Beautiful women – making a difference


Catherine: We have had so much positive feedback about the Beautiful Women Campaign. Well done BreastScreen Victoria. This included one of the participants who sent us an email from her friend of 18 years, living in the UK. The email read: 

“Hiya …!! I wanted to share this with you – a friend of mine has recently come out as a lesbian and was really struggling with where to go from that point, and with people accepting her. She called me yesterday, in great excitement, to tell me that she’d found something that really cheered her up: a photography project all the way from Melbourne of LGBT women – and lo and behold, who’s the first picture? I was able to delightedly tell her, “That’s my friend Barb!!” She wanted me to tell you that seeing you (and all the other women) gave her a massive boost.”

We love that The Beautiful Women Campaign is sending the message to LGBTI women that they are valued.


Gay men and poverty

Presenters Brian Day and Jill Bolen (photo courtesy Brisbane Times)

Congratulations to Jill Bolen and Brian Day for their presentation at the Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland. Great feedback about the presentation and a write up in the Brisbane Times blog as follows:

“Gay men are more likely to experience poverty that straight men, according to Australian gay rights activist Brian Day. Under the sanctuary of shade on the fourth day of the festival, Mr Day and LGBTI spokeswoman Jill Bolen spoke to an attentive crowd about the hardships of being in the LGBTI community. Mr Day said the stereotype that gay men were inner city yuppies living the dream did not reflect reality. He blamed higher poverty rates amongst gay men on an inability for them to excel in their careers due to discrimination. He said that since he told people he was gay in 1968 he found it harder to get a job in his area of expertise. “Our poverty goes under the radar,” he said.”

Well done on challenging stereotypes about gay men. There is also data on LBTI folk more broadly experiencing poverty.

Beautiful Women


Today we launched Beautiful Women, a Campaign celebrating the beauty of LGBTI women. The Campaign recognises the diversity of beauty and the contributions LGBTI women have made in challenging narrow definitions of female beauty. Beauty is presented as ‘beyond skin’ to a sense of pride in who we are. The Campaign, which is led by BreastScreen Victoria kicks off with a photographic exhibition for Midsumma Festival showcasing photographs of LGBTI women by photographer Lisa White ( Beyond the gender binary the photographs explore the power of LGBTI women and the diverse characteristics of their beauty. For the past 7 years BreastScreen Victoria have been working to ensure their services are LGBTI inclusive (see

Garage Meet

LGBTI Elders are invited to attend our first Garage Meet to help set the agenda for Alice’s Garage for 2017. The session will kick off with morning tea and then Jamie Gardner

Date: Wednesday 7th December
Time: 10 – 12midday
Location: St Kilda (RSVP for details)


  • 10am: Morning Tea
  • 10.15am: Speaker: Jamie Gardner (Vice-president of Liberty Victoria and a former member of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission)
  • 10.30: Working with Catherine Barrett to identify key projects for 2017
  • 11.30: Rainbow Families visit and photo option

RSVP: Catherine Barrett on 0429 582 237 or email:

Lesbians Ignite

Congratulations to Jean Taylor on the publication of her latest book Lesbians Ignite. Come and celebrate the launch on Saturday 19th November, details here: lesbiansignite. The following is an edited bio from Dyke Books:

“Born in Melbourne Australia in 1944, Jean Taylor was subsequently raised in country Victoria on a dried fruits vineyard in Mildura South. …While working at La Trobe Uni Jean started writing short stories for the student newspaper Rabelais under the pseudonym of Emily George, 1975 – 1976, and continued to use Emily George for all the books she published starting with the poetry book Emily George in 1976, a book of short stories Woman in 1978, both now out of print, and all the subsequent books including those under the imprint of Dykebooks including The Journey in 1991, also out of print.

Jean’s latest books are Brazen Hussies: A Herstory of Radical Activism in the Women’s Liberation Movement in Victoria 1970 – 1979 (2009) and Stroppy Dykes: Radical Lesbian Feminist Activism in Victoria During the 1980s (2012).” … Lesbian’s Ignite is the third book of the trilogy documenting radical lesbian feminist activism and the Women’s Liberation Movement.


Exemptions and faith based services

I hear from a lot of people who want information for religious organisations that believe they are exempt from laws protecting LGBTI people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status. There are no such exemptions – since changes to the Sex Discrimination Act, see summary below and link here: sexdiscrimnationactamendment

“From August 2013 it became unlawful under federal law to discriminate against a person on the grounds of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status. The changes also mean that same-sex couples are now also protected from discrimination under the new definition of ‘marital or relationship status’ (this was previously ‘marital status’). …The Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Act 2013 (Cth) (SDA Amendment Act) inserts the new grounds into the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) (SDA). Most states and territories have some form of protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. However, the SDA Amendment Act introduces more inclusive definitions and addresses gaps such as a lack of coverage for acts or practices of the federal government. It also qualifies the exemptions for religious organisations to the effect that it does not apply to conduct connected with the provision of Commonwealth-funded aged care services. It also includes the new ground of intersex status which is not covered by any other law.”