Published Dec 20 2019
Community health provider Merri Health is calling on people to support safe spaces for LGBTIQA+ people.
This comes as Merri Health unveils its rainbow tram that highlights the need for safe and welcoming spaces for LGBTIQA+ people for better health.
The campaign has been inspired by LGBTIQA+ advocate Alison Black and follows years of discrimination and harassment that left Alison scared to travel alone or access services.
“You can feel the eyes on you because you look different, you move different, you act different.
“Seeing the tram, I can imagine quite a few people wanting to use public transport again. I would and I’m somebody who was used to hiding all the time,” Alison said.
Melbournians are being asked to commit their support by displaying a safe spaces poster or sticker at their worksite or committing their personal support as an ally. Information and materials to support safe spaces for LGBTIQA+ people is available at merrihealth.org.au/ally.
Merri Health is a tram wrap recipient of the 2020 Yarra Trams Community Partnerships Program, which provides $1 million of free advertising value annually to eight community organisations making a positive impact on diversity and inclusion in Melbourne.
The rainbow tram will operate on routes 48 and 109 from 19 December 2019 until 24 March 2020 and can be seen running along Collins Street in the CBD.
- Statistics from Human Rights Face the Facts 2014 show that 6 in 10 people that identify LGBTIQA+ have been a victim of verbal homophobic abuse.
- The Black Dog Institute report that ‘same-sex attracted people are 14 times more likely to attempt suicide, twice as likely to experience anxiety disorders and three times more likely to experience affective disorders compared with the broader population’.