Vital new survey launched on LGBTI Sistergirl and Brotherboy ageing

university of southern queensland lgbti sistergirl brotherboy
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Researchers from the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) are conducting a study exploring the needs and concerns related to ageing among older LGBTI Sistergirl and Brotherboy Queenslanders and their carers.

The term Sistergirl refers to an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander gender-diverse person who lives and presents as woman and has a female spirit.

Brotherboy refers to a genderdiverse person who lives and presents as man, and has a male spirit. Both have strong cultural identities and backgrounds.

The Queensland researchers say the important survey will help build a better picture of LGBTI Sistergirl and Brotherboy ageing and caring now and into the future.

“For many older LGBTI Sistergirl and Brotherboy persons, the lack of strong or extensive family networks has imposed a greater reliance on other social and community services for support as their age or care needs increase,” USQ Senior Lecturer Dr Annette Brömdal said.

“Similarly, for many LGBTI Sistergirl and Brotherboy elders who have experienced decades of discrimination, marginalisation and disempowerment, the transition to aged care can be one of
returning to the ‘closet’, where new experiences of old issues of stigma and invisibility reemerge.”

USQ Nursing and Midwifery Senior Lecturer Dr Lisa Beccaria added it’s important for services to remain responsive to changing needs.

“We need to understand what might be currently working well or areas for improvement for older people,” Dr Beccaria said.

“But equally what younger people feel that they may need more of as they age.

“We are also starting to see more mainstreaming of services and agencies providing support to older people and their carers, and we need to look to the future to forward plan.

“There are already examples emerging of peer-based services and aged care providers looking to focus on LGBTI Sistergirl and Brotherboy care recipients.”

Confidential and anonymous survey on LGBTI ageing

The researchers want to hear from everyone who identifies as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Diverse, Non-Binary, people with the experience of Intersex variations, Sistergirls and Brotherboys.

They can complete the confidential and anonymous survey to help researchers understand their unique needs, including

  • What are your priority concerns and issues regarding your health and wellbeing in your older years (now or in the future)?
  • What support do you currently need, or might you need as you age?
  • What’s working well in aged care support services?
  • What could be improved and how?

This research is conducted in partnership with the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health, Queensland Positive People, Torrens University, Metro North Public Health Unit and LGBTI Community Ageing Network.

The online survey will be open until February 28, 2022. Paper copies are available from Dr Annette Brömdal here.

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