Tasmanian Government officially adds the “A” to LGBTIQ+

The Asexual Pride Flag

The State Government of Tasmania has become the first in Australia to officially acknowledge asexual, aromatic and agender people by adding an “A” to the acronym that it uses to refer to sexual and gender minorities.

Advocates for Tasmania’s asexual, aromantic and agender community made the case for inclusion to the state’s Whole-of-Government LGBTIQ+ Reference Group, which has now been renamed the “LGBTIQA+ Reference Group”.

The decision to change the acronym that the government uses to refer to sex-and-gender diverse people was made by a meeting of the secretaries of all Tasmanian state government departments and has been hailed by advocates as a step forward for inclusion and equity.

“The asexual, aromantic and agender communities remain some of the most highly misunderstood, mistreated and misrepresented LGBTIQA+ communities due to the lack of awareness [of their] experiences,” Samuel Watchman, a member of the Tasmanian a-spec community, says about the reform.

“With the government recognising our existence by expanding the acronym, our identities and experiences have been, and will forever be, validated, inspiring future change that will improve the acceptance, treatment and perception of asexual, aromantic and agender identifying people.”

Watchman hopes the reform will inspire similar changes in jurisdictions around the world.

Advocates welcome reform

Equality Tasmania spokesperson Lucy Mercer-Mapstone also welcomed the reform.

“Equality Tasmania congratulates advocates like Sam … as well as the state government, for ensuring official references to our community are as inclusive as possible.” Mercer-Mapstone says.

“Asexual, aromantic and agender Tasmanians have been invisible for too long and now have their place alongside other members of the state’s LGBTIQA+ community.”

“Despite being the last state to decriminalise homosexuality, Tasmania has led on LGBTIQA+ human rights in recent years and this is yet another example of that leadership.”

“The job ahead of us now is to build on the government’s decision by ensuring the needs of asexual, aromantic and agender people are recognised and met in government and non-government policy and service delivery.”

Minister for Community Services and Development, Nic Street, said the Tasmanian Government has a vision for an inclusive community where all Tasmanians are treated with dignity, respect and without discrimination.

“In line with this vision, we are ensuring that no one feels excluded or left behind,” Street said.

“The inclusion of ‘A’ to the LGBTIQ+ acronym ensures that asexual, aromantic and agender communities have greater visibility, representation and support that they deserve.”

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.

Andrew M Potts

Andrew has been covering LGBTQIA+ issues for a range of publications in Australia over two decades and was the Asia-Pacific correspondent for global LGBTQIA+ news website Gay Star News.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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