This has been quite a good year for young same-sex-attracted men and women in NSW. The state government has finally equalised the age of consent for male homosexual sex, NSW-based gay and lesbian internet site Mogenic.com continues to provide a professional outlet for the youth of the world and ACON’s Fun and Esteem Project continues to help young men work themselves out in a safe and healthy environment.
And from next week, young same-sex-attracted women may also have a win, with ACON starting a program aimed at giving them a chance to meet and chat in a similar safe and confidential environment.
Young Same-Sex Attracted Women’s Project Officer Katy Roy is facilitating the Fun and Esteem-modelled group for women aged 25 and under.
The group follows on from a joint project between ACON and Twenty10 which has recently ended.
The attendees will talk about forming and maintaining relationships, sexuality and sexual health, and anything else they feel they want to. On some nights guest speakers will lead discussions and make presentations, Roy says.
There’ll be someone coming in and doing a safe-sex workshop, and a couple of speakers are going to talk about relationships -“ being in a relationship and also not being in a relationship, Roy says.
The meeting schedule is based on what some young women want to discuss. Early applicants filled out forms suggesting some of the things they were interested in talking about.
Most of them want to find out about relationships. Some want to hear about safe sex, a few want information about drugs, but mostly it is relationships. It’s also about meeting people their own age.
The results of the pilot project will be used to determine whether a similar program is viable in the future.
ACON and the Sydney Sexual Health Centre are also hosting a six-week pilot program for slightly older same-sex-attracted women called 27 Up, aimed at providing support and information to those who may have arrived on the scene a bit later. The 27 Up group is currently full, but organisers are hoping to run similar programs in the future.
ACON will be running a group for young same-sex-attracted women 25 years and under, starting on Wednesday 17 September from 6pm to 8:30pm. It will run fortnightly for 10 weeks and aims to create a safe, fun and educational space for young same-sex-attracted women. For more information please contact Katy on 9206 2012 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.