To be characterised as gay orlesbian means to have a sexualattraction, romantic love ordesire for a member of the samesex. To be gay is two males beingattracted towards one anotherand to be lesbian is two womenbeing attracted towards oneanother. Expectations to be gay orlesbian are not confined toprofessions ofclass, race, stereotypes orreligion. It is ones choice tochoose this path it is notnecessarily as a result of playingcertain sports, dressing a certainway, or working at certain places.
Access to servicesIt is harder for people in this community to maximisetheir utilities as a result of fearing judgement orexperience guilt about being proud of their sexuality.For example health care services are very under-utilised, and there are many services that they areunaware of with specific needs, due to fear of truth.
EducationMany young people use Internet typewebsites to find partners of the same sex aspersonal information is secret and is onlyshared on a person’s free will. This isconsidered a good option as it is anonymousand gives them a chance to show theirsexuality.Some students who are a part of a schoolcommunity who are proud of their sexualityfind it hard to make significantfriendships, as not all people are on boredwith the idea of same sex relationships.School can be a very hard place for teens inthis time.
Homophobia is a main sufferingfor same sex relationship, to behomophobia is a fear of, distastefor, discrimination againsthomosexuals. It can occuranywhere and can make mattersvery difficult. In schoolsespecially anti-discrimination is amain rule at schools and thereare welfare positions ineducational institutes that ensurethat bullying does not take place.
EmploymentDiscrimination can beseeing us unfair in workplacements. Places ofwork must be very carefulwhen hiring and or firing agay or lesbian employee, itcan be seen in a way asunfair dismissal and theycan claim that it was aresult of there choice ofrelationship.
Financial support By 2007 all governments were starting to recognise same sex partnerships. Forms of support have newly been developed over the past couple of years; these are reforms that cover tax, superannuation, social security, Medicare, aged care, family law, immigration and veterans’ affairs. These were all implemented by July 2009.
HealthGays and Lesbians are lesslikely to receive healthservice due to experiences ofhomophobia. Gay andLesbian seek out healthprofessionals thatunderstand specific healthneeds, these includeorganisations such as TheALSO foundation and the gayand lesbian switchboard.
Male to male unprotectedsex was a risk in over 70%of notifications in HIVAustralia. Unfortunatelydiseases such as STI’s arestill an associated risk insame sex relationships.However there arediagnoses and treatmentservices that are available togays and lesbians withoutdiscrimination.
HousingFinding a place thataccommodates gay andlesbian relationships cansometimes be hard; thisis, as some landlords donot accept this population.Others have no choice butto leave home, as they arenot accepted where theylive as a result of theirsexuality.
Fortunately there are groups such as Twenty10 and TheNSW ACON that support this population and offerservices and help to protect people with HIVAIDS andfinding affordable living environments.
Security and SafetyHaving that feeling that you aresafe and secure is one of the mostimportant things for gays andlesbians. This population inparticular is more likely to be avictim of assault rather thenheterosexuals. NSW laws doprotect the rights of all citizens tofeel safe no matter what; theybelieve everyone should feel safeand free from discrimination.There are however supportservices for gays and lesbians togo to if they do suffer fromharassment or discrimination.
Self EsteemYoung homosexuals often like inhomophobic environments andsome generally endure verbal orphysical abuse. This further leadsto disconnection from their homecommunity; this makes it moredifficult to establish closefriendships. This has a directbearing on there self-esteem.Gays and lesbians who do not“come out” about their naturalfeelings for same sex peopleusually live uneasy and unhappy,but then again “coming out” canalso lead to abuse and havedisastrous consequences.
There is on the other handa Gay and Lesbiancounselling service of NSWwho help to support thispopulation and enhanceself-esteem. This also helpsexplore issues around theirsexuality and coming out.
Sense of identityThe gay and lesbiancommunity has united overthe past few decades and isbecoming more known.There is now a greater sceneof ownership and pride oftheir sexuality. Events areheld such as Mardi gras andthe gay games for gays andlesbians to come and showtheir true personalities.