IDAHOBIT 2021 is the perfect day for us at QNews to amplify some of the powerful reflections that the CEO of the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health has made around what it means to champion change, one day at a time. While hard-fought freedoms are not taken for granted in our diverse communities, there is always more to do, and the acknowledgement that people on their own don’t always have the energy to bring all of themselves to the world everyday is a powerful one.
Rebecca Reynolds is the CEO of the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health, sharing here some powerful reflections based upon QC’s ongoing strategic focus to connect, celebrate and support our diverse LGBTI Sistergirl and Brotherboy people and communities across this vast state.
“I’m sitting and writing this from my makeshift desk in Mt Isa, looking out the window and the ever-billowing smoke stack and machinery of the mines. The clouds are Simpson-esque and when framed by the red dirt, make the sky seem even more endless and the town feel even more remote than it is.
I can really feel why the message we have been getting from communities here is “It’s hard to be ourselves in a town like this”. It’s very real. And it’s not something that is limited to Mt Isa, I just happen to be here while I’m writing. It’s a message that is shared with our team at QC time and time again. That is, when living our lives as people who have relationships, feelings, bodies and genders that sit as a minority, we can’t always bring all of ourselves to the world every day. We don’t always have the freedom, the choice, the energy or the stamina to deal with the very real-world consequences of doing so. Or if we do today, will we have the same energy levels tomorrow if there are repercussions of what we chose to do today?
It’s a tightrope act, a fine line, a sometimes seemingly impossible balancing act that has more than two sides. We are complex, multifaceted humans whose full selves need to keep on pushing to create spaces for ourselves to breathe, to exist, to love, to cry and to be angry when the world rejects a part of our ways of knowing, being and doing.
As an organisation, we have the privilege of being a part of creating some of that breathing space for our communities in Queensland. The ability to be visible and take some of the more pointy conversations on board. The ability to talk with other organisations about Inclusivity being an intentional planning principle from the start and not just an afterthought, to tick a box on some form somewhere.
However, for folk living in smaller areas, where there are fewer visible people from our communities for politicians or public servants to pay attention to, the good intentions of an organisation, sit in a sharp and uncomfortable contrast to the daily lived experiences of people on the ground. It is not safe to be visible. It is not safe to be angry. And it most certainly takes a level of amazing bravery to live and love loudly, without compromise every day. There are some amazing humans who are living their best lives. They should be celebrated and supported a million times over.
But with limited resources, organisations like QC cannot be everywhere. Cannot stay day after day on the ground to take the brunt of those more difficult and damaging conversations. Yet we can invest in amplifying the voices of those who are willing and able to champions the change in their lives and the lives of those around them.
If you want to be a part of our journey and help us amplify the voices of LGBTIQ+ Queenslanders then there are simple actions you can take, such as following us on socials and add your voice to ours by becoming a member of QC at qc.org.au. The QR code below will take you to our website.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.