The push for acceptance

LGBTIQ: Members of the Port Pirie LGBTIQ community group. Back: Emma, Anthony, Suzanne, Susan and Julianne. Front: David, Ellenor, Elissa, Ifeta and Bernie.
LGBTIQ: Members of the Port Pirie LGBTIQ community group. Back: Emma, Anthony, Suzanne, Susan and Julianne. Front: David, Ellenor, Elissa, Ifeta and Bernie.

A group of agencies across Port Pirie and the surrounding regions have recently come together to form the Port Pirie LGBTIQ community group. 

It is their aim to establish support throughout the community and find places for individuals to visit and approach that make them feel safe and welcome. 

The group have been working together for several months now ahead of their August 31 launch.

At the moment they are working on a business friendly rainbow sticker that can be presented in a shop or business front, to welcome those from the LGBTIQ community into their store and have them know they are a place where they can feel safe and accepted.

Elissa is a member of the Port Pirie LGBTIQ community group and she says that there is a need for a supportive and accepting community in the Port Pirie and surrounding regions and the rainbow sticker is just the start.

“I think it is well known across Australia, particularly with the yes vote, that there is a need for an accepted and supported community”, Elissa said. 

“Particularly in this area and that is why it is important for us to look at what is available and looking at some safe places in our community for them to go and feel apart of.”  

“We eventually hope to have a community with rainbow stickers across that are very accepting of the community. Where people can feel safe, respected and accepted.” 

Businesses and services can self nominate or be nominated and will make a pledge to support the LGBTIQ community to show their support.

Within the short time of operating, the group have put together two Facebook groups. One is an open space that is for community and allies to use which provides access to support and events. 

The other is a closed group for community members, where they can feel safe and access information that is important and necessary for them.

The group have already received positive feedback in response to the launch of their Facebook groups and hope to soon launch an Instagram page to help attract the young members of their community. 

“I was quite taken aback and I think so were most of the community agencies here around how many members we got quite quickly and the likes that we do get”, Elissa explained.

“We are hoping to grow it, depending on what the community want. We don’t want to create services that are not needed in the community.”

David, the chair of the Suicide Prevention Network in the Yorke Peninsula had no hard choice to make in supporting the new group and hopes that this group can help decrease suicide prevalence in LGBTIQ teens.

“My big concern that when we talk about suicide, youth suicide particularly in the LGBTIQ sector is an extremely bad situation”, David said. 

The official launch will be in collaboration with Wear It Purple day at the Portside Tavern on August 31, from 4.30pm. 

For 24/7 crisis support or suicide prevention services, please call 13 11 14. If life is in danger, call 000.