When we talk about health and wellbeing, most people understand that where you live, your income, and how much time you have to do things that are good for your physical and mental health, have an effect on how healthy you are. Gender and sexual identity also play a part, because of the inequities that women and LGBTIQ people experience.
Women have told Women’s Centre for Health Matters that they find it very difficult to access health services that meet their health needs as a same-sex attracted woman.
“Being a lesbian makes it hard. The information in the services (including private doctors) makes it hard to be a lesbian with endometriosis. Everything is geared to maintaining fertility etc, and people can’t seem to understand that my experience just doesn’t cover that. Leaves you feeling invisible twice over…”
The health needs of women who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer may not be the same as those of women who are not same-sex attracted. They may also experience discrimination or stigma in relation to their sexual identity. For women who have intersex characteristics or trans women, there may be multiple intersecting barriers to accessing the right healthcare for their needs.
This is why it is important to understand the health needs, access to services and experiences of women in the LGBTIQ community. Women’s Centre for Health Matters is working with AIDS Action Council to research the health needs of same-sex attracted women in the ACT, starting with a survey open until 26 November and followed by focus groups and interviews.
It is hoped that the results of the research will be useful in advocacy for services that are more helpful, and easier to access, for same-sex attracted women in the ACT.
Are you an ACT woman who is same-sex attracted? Complete the survey before 26 November, and share it with your friends.