Our Health Matters

By Dylan Barrett, Health Promotion Lead, Queensland Council for LGBTI Health.

Our Health Matters is a Queensland first for Trans, Gender Diverse and Non-Binary communities. The first phase of the campaign are sexual health and sex & intimacy guides developed by Trans, Gender Diverse and Non-Binary communities for Non-Binary communities within Queensland by the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health. Future phases will be added as the campaign continues to develop and respond to the changing needs of our Trans, Gender Diverse and Non-Binary communities.

Phase one of Our Health Matters aims to bring together up to date sexual health information that is gender neutral and doesn’t make assumptions about who you are, what body parts you are using for sex, the kinds of sex you are having or who with. It’s a one stop shop for sexual health information for Trans, Gender Diverse & Non-Binary communities.

Research has shown that testing rates amongst Trans, Gender Diverse and Non-Binary communities have been quite low historically and that there are many barriers to accessing affirming care when it comes to sexual health and often a lot of assumptions are made about our bodies and what we do with them. This can create a level of distrust of clinical services which can have a detrimental effect on testing rates amongst Trans, Gender Diverse and Non-Binary communities. Having sexual health knowledge for us by us will help with having conversations with your GP or sexual health clinic about our sexual health. Access to sexual health information for us by us should not be hard to find, as Our Health Matters!

As reported in the 2018 Australian Trans & Gender Diverse Sexual Health Survey, a large proportion (75.3%) of participants had used online dating and apps for dates and hook ups. The survey also reported that 69.6% of participants who experienced sexual violence or coercion experienced it multiple times compared to 45.3% among a general sample of people in Australia. With these statistics in mind along with what had been learned for our Queensland communities, the sex and intimacy guide was created.

The sex and intimacy guide covers sex and romance which can be important aspects of a person’s life. The guide includes topics such as safety and disclosure, boundaries and consent, dealing with rejection, gender euphoria, gender dysphoria and respectful relationships. Trans, Gender Diverse & Non-Binary communities have been telling us during consultations, at events and anecdotally that there needed to be more information for our communities by our communities relating to sex and intimacy and this guide is a fantastic start to an ongoing and often changing space for our communities.

To check out Our Health Matters, go to: www.ourhealthmatters.com.au


QC acknowledges all the Queensland community members who volunteered their time, knowledge, and expertise in the creation of Our Health Matters, especially QC’s Trans, Gender Diverse and Non-Binary Communities Health Advisory Group.

Published: January 2024