Where to get help Switchboard Gay and Lesbian Tel. They also have higher rates of obesity, smoking and unsafe alcohol and drug use, and are more likely to self-harm. This can have a range of impacts. The constant pressure of dealing with the homophobia of others makes depression, among other mental health problems, relatively common. They may express this fear in a variety of ways ranging from subtle discrimination to overt violence.
Sexuality and violence A study of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender GLBT Victorians found that nearly one in seven reported living in fear of homophobic violence. This belief may underpin a range of areas — for example, health policy, health services, welfare and education services — and can make gay and lesbian people feel invisible. Some people may feel threatened by people who have sexual preferences other than their own. They can be accessed on the Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria website. Where to get help Switchboard Gay and Lesbian Tel. This fear was justified in that nearly 85 per cent of respondents had been subjected to some form of homophobic violence or harassment in their lifetimes and one in two had experienced homophobic harassment or other non-physical abuse in the past two years. They also have higher rates of obesity, smoking and unsafe alcohol and drug use, and are more likely to self-harm. This can have a range of impacts. The Victorian government has also been proactive in fighting homophobia in schools by establishing the Safe School Coalition of Victoria. They may express this fear in a variety of ways ranging from subtle discrimination to overt violence. The constant pressure of dealing with this uncertainty has an impact on health. A study of young Australians found that 61 per cent had suffered verbal abuse because of their sexuality, 18 per cent suffered physical assault and 69 per cent suffered other forms of homophobia such as exclusion rumours and graffiti. Gay men and lesbians may be reluctant to have their sexuality recorded in their histories due to the fear that others may gain access to their records. The majority of gay men and lesbians have had experience of homophobic health professionals. Australian society generally regards heterosexuality as the most acceptable sexual orientation, which means that gay men, lesbians and bisexual people may be marginalised and discriminated against. Health professionals, particularly in rural areas, may be inadequately informed about gay and lesbian health issues. The constant pressure of dealing with the homophobia of others makes depression, among other mental health problems, relatively common. This may make them less inclined to seek medical help, or they may wait longer before they seek help. These conditions develop in response to different scenarios including: In , the Federal government went further and changed 58 laws that discriminated against gay and lesbian people and their families. Among same sex attracted young people, violence and discrimination were also common. Reduced access to services leads to reduced levels of screening in gay and lesbian populations. Gay men and lesbians have higher rates of mental health disorders than the rest of the population. Gay men, lesbians and health professionals Research suggests that gay men and lesbians have reduced access to medical care compared to heterosexuals. This is likely to account for the higher levels of some cancers in these groups. In , Victoria was the first state in Australia to establish a Ministerial Advisory Committee on gay and lesbian health.
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