Today is Wear It Purple Day, a global movement that strives to foster a supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ young people.
Western Health proudly supports some wonderful community programs that offer support and safe spaces for young LGBTIQA+ people in Melbourne’s west. One of these is The Space, a social support group for same sex attracted, transgender, gender diverse and intersex young people who live, work, study or play in the Melton region. The Space is a safe place to meet like-minded young people, hang out, share stories and support one another.
Pheonix Dean is one of the young people accessing this amazing service. Last year’s Wear It Purple Day led Phoenix to finding the group, and they haven’t looked back, not only loving the welcoming environment, but also finding fast friends with other queer youth.
They explained, the main reason people join the group is to make friends and have a space to safely explore their identity.
“I honestly think that the best part of The Space is the friends that I have made and the older sibling relationship that I have with a lot of The Space kids. Often they don’t have support from their families, or they don’t have anyone else queer like them in their families.
“I like to think of The Space kids as my little siblings that I need to protect from the scary world that awaits them.”
Phoenix said days like today are so important, not just to the queer community, but for the wider community to learn the importance of being an ally.
“It’s a day to advocate for and empower young, queer people, and to celebrate the value of diversity and inclusion in all community settings.”
Phoenix’s dedication to supporting the young queer community extends beyond The Space. They are a member of the LGBTIQA+ Consumers Committee and Co-Chair of the up and coming Western Health Youth (WHY) group, which provides an opportunity for younger people to give feedback on accessibility to Western Health services.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Minus18 (youth events, education, advocacy and empowerment) - Home | Minus18
Queer Space (mental health and wellbeing) - Queerspace Youth - queerspace
Better Pride (mental health and wellbeing) - Better Pride | Support for LGBTIQ+ communities
Rainbow Door (specialist support and referrals) - Rainbow Door
Thorne Harbour Health (specialist support and referrals) - Thorne Harbour Health - supporting LGBTIQ+ communities and people living with HIV | Thorne Harbour Health
Zoe Belle Gender Collective – (resources and youth workshops) - Trans and gender diverse led advocacy - Zoe Belle Gender Collective (zbgc.org.au)
Rainbow Families (resources for parents and children) - Rainbow Families
Equality Australia (resources & info) - LGBTIQ+ people should live free from discrimination - Equality Australia
Headspace (resources & info) - resources to support LGBTQIA+ young people (headspace.org.au)
Victorian Pride Centre (central hub – services, supports, and events) - Home - Victorian Pride Centre
Rainbow Network (directory for supports) - Rainbow Network
Melbourne Queer Film Festival (film) - Melbourne Queer Film Festival (mqff.com.au)
Joy Media (radio) - Home | JOY Media
Hares & Hyenas (books) - Home (hares-hyenas.com.au)
Australian Queer Archives (historical) - https://queerarchives.org.au/
The Space (LGBTQIA+ Group 12 – 25yo) - The Space LGBTQIA+ group Melton City Council
Transcend (support groups for young people) - Young People - Transcend Australia