Today is International Women’s Day, an annual commemoration of the movement for women’s rights.

The Star Observer spoke to a handful of women in Australia’s LGBTI community and asked them what advice they would like to give to young queer women about their sexual or gender identities, coming out, and facing discrimination.

Kerryn Phelps

Kerryn Phelps

“As a mother, I encourage my daughters to follow their passion and keep to their true north. To young LGBTI women my advice is to not let your sexual or gender identity get in the way of participating fully in the things that excite you and drive you. Find mentors who will help to guide and support you in pursuing your life goals. And as a doctor I have to put in a word for looking after your physical and emotional health and to ask for help when you need it.”

Rebecca Johnson

Rebecca Johnson

“Togetherness forms our cultural strengths. The love, leadership, and support we receive from elders develops our sense of pride in self. Our elders’ stories and wisdom provide many of us with direction and safety in life. Being a minority within a minority tests our strengths and excludes our voices socially. Stay connected to culture and community, stand strong, and be proud of your cultural, sexual, and gender identities. We are a deadly mob us First Nations women, we come from strong roots of womanhood, and we are resilient.”

Ruby Susan

Ruby Susan

“I want young women and non-binary femmes who identify with any label under the bi umbrella – be it bi, pan, queer, or any other, to know that you sexuality is valid. You deserve to be proud of your sexuality, and to be loved and accepted by our community no matter who you’re in a relationship with. Your sexuality is not made up of percentages of gayness and straightness, it is complete and it is beautiful.”

Sophia Busch

Sophia Busch

“The best advice I could give is to always stay true to who you are as a woman. No matter what life sends your way, remember that you are a beautiful and strong woman, who is loved by at least one person. Nothing is too difficult to overcome, there is an amazing strength that comes from sisterhood.”
Tennille Moisel

Tennille Moisel (left)

Tennille Moisel

“The only thing you need to worry about is what you think of yourself. When you’re telling yourself stories about who you are and what you stand for – make sure they are the good stories, full of pride and grace.”

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