Fast food giant McDonalds’ have tried it in France, now Aussie Rules football is being used to help people with the often difficult task of ‘coming out’ to family and friends.

Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria (GLHV) last week launched its series of six “coming out” footy posters in a bid to help parents better understand their children may not necessarily be heterosexual.

GLHV information and resource manager Sunil Patel ­— who designed the poster — told Southern Star the series was developed to send an accessible message to people from all walks of life.

“What we’ve found in our research is that one of the biggest fears of young people coming out is being shunned by their family,” he said.

“Using football is a great way to get a non-threatening message across.”

The posters depict young people telling a parent they are gay. On one poster, in response to his son’s news, a father wearing a Collingwood scarf responds, ‘Thank god, I thought you were going to tell me you were switching to Carlton’.

Patel said the poster series would be sent to sporting groups and health services and was available for anyone to download from the GLHV website.

GLHV director Professor Anne Mitchell said she hoped the initiative would help parents and families of gay, lesbian and bisexual people feel less threatened during the coming out process.

“We know that, for many same-sex attracted young people, coming out to their parents and family is still a difficult and frightening thing,” she said.

“A lot of young people are unsure of how their parents and families will react. At the same time, we know that for many families the news comes as a shock not because they’re homophobic but because they’ve just never considered that one of their kids might be lesbian, gay or bisexual.”

The AFL gave approval for club colours and names to be used.

info: To download a poster visit
www.glhv.org.au

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