As the Mardi Gras season creeps closer, and we get ready to celebrate being our fabulous queer selves, it’s also a good time to celebrate happy and safe queer relationships.

So what is a ‘safe relationship’, I hear you say?

Safe relationships are where both partners are able to be themselves, and feel comfortable being in the company of the other.

In safe relationships we are free to say no to things we don’t want to do. We don’t have to spend all our spare time together — we can spend time alone or with family or friends.

In safe relationships we have a friendship not just a physical relationship. We value our differences and we support each other.

In safe relationships we communicate openly and honestly about what we want from the relationship. This may include commitment and monogamy, or it may include being in an open relationship where we can have casual sex with other partners.

Whatever form our relationship takes, both partners feel they have a voice and are listened to.

Safe relationships are based on trust, compromise and understanding for each other, but most importantly, mutual respect. Safe relationships are worth celebrating!

If you have read the above and think your relationship doesn’t sound like a safe relationship this may be a warning sign that your relationship is, or may turn, abusive.

If you feel your relationship is abusive, help is out there.

info: For more information, visit www.anothercloset.org.au or contact the Safe Relationships Project www.iclc.org.au/srp 02 9332 1966 or 1800 244 481.

By KATE DUFFY. Kate Duffy is the Project Officer of the Safe Relationships Project and a solicitor at the Inner City Legal Centre.

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