Providing positive representations of the diverse range of relationships that exist within the LGBTIQ community, and showcasing what healthy relationships can look like, are the focus of a series of new mini-documentaries from NSW’s leading LGBTIQ health organisation, ACON.
Our Relationships is an eight-part series that delves into the lives of real NSW-based LGBTIQ identifying people as they open up about their relationships – what works for them, what challenges they have faced and how have they worked through these challenges
Launching on Monday 11 December via ACON’s social media networks, the series seeks to provide LGBTIQ people with relatable and accessible peers who can act as role models in creating healthier practices, helping to improve relationships and overall wellbeing, fostering resilience, transmitting positive values and beliefs, and generating a positive sense of self-worth for individuals and communities.
Our Relationships features 15 individuals and eight different relationships, following their stories and the impact that challenges have had on their lives, and what they did to overcome their issues. By sharing their unique journeys, ACON hopes that members of the LGBTIQ community will be able to connect and relate to experiences of what healthy relationships can look like.
The series has been produced by ACON’s Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) Project, which works to address both the rates of domestic violence in the LGBTIQ community and to support LGBTI people who have experienced abuse.
It comes off the back of a 2016 online survey conducted by ACON, which found a high number of participants had no positive relationship role models, with many also stating that there is a lack of visibility of LGBTI role models more generally.
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said showcasing positive depictions of LGBTIQ people will raise awareness of the diversity of healthy relationships that exists within LGBTI communities, and encourage those needing support to seek help and information.
“Domestic and family violence remains a significant health issue for our communities with one in three lesbian and gay people in NSW having experienced domestic and family violence in their current or in previous relationships,” said Mr Parkhill. “We are continuing our efforts to address the issue by providing campaigns, services and programs that support LGBTI people experiencing domestic and family violence.
“A part of those efforts is showcasing the diversity of healthy relationships within LGBTIQ communities. Our Relationships aims to depict this variety and, in the process, foster discussion around issues that are unique to our communities.”
“We hope that the role models in Our Relationships can help people whose relationships may have problematic elements. They can be a critical factor in reducing risk and increasing protective factors for those around them.”
“Having accessible role models who are affirming of LGBTIQ relationships will show our communities, as well as broader society, positive perceptions and behaviours that support them in understanding their own relationships and drive them to create healthier practices of their own.”
As well as being featured on social media, Our Relationships can also be seen on ACON’s recently updated DFV website Say It Out Loud – which provides information, support and resources to address abuse in LGBTIQ relationships, as well as information about what a healthy relationship looks like and tips on how to improve your relationships.
View the Our Relationships trailer, or watch the first documentary from Our Relationships on Monday 11 December on ACON’s Facebook page. For more information on DFV in LGBTIQ communities, visit: www.sayitoutloud.org.au for details.
Image: courtesy of ACON