Finding ways to affirm our sexual diversity is one of the great things about belonging to the GLBT community. It is not always easy living in a small town like Lismore and it can be a real challenge when you live in the bush – the population of the town I live in is only 245 people. Getting access to publications and resources which affirm a range of body types, ideals and beliefs can assist in realising that there are other people out there just like you, especially if there are not local events and venues.
Many publications of course are now accessible via the net, and online communities like Facebook allow you to create and participate in communities that celebrate diversity. Local sites like www.ozegay.com, www.byrongay.com and http://mc2.vicnet.net.au/home/norcowam/index.html (for HIV positive people only) exist to keep people informed and provide information on what’s on locally.
Recently a workshop aimed at improving lesbian sexual health was hosted for women interested in the BDSM scene. It provided an opportunity to demystify the leather and BDSM scene, as well as provide advice and information to women who may be interested in finding out more about this scene. The workshop informed women of a range of sexual health messages, improved their ability to explore pleasure and safety in a range of situations and increased visibility of a diverse lesbian sexual identity.
This workshop was specifically held prior to Sticky Lips, a private women’s-only party hosted in Ballina. It appears the event was a real step forward in creating a local space where a diversity of sexual expression and lesbian identity was visible. There is talk that these workshops and events will be held frequently so look out for details in future columns.
A reminder that the Gay and Lesbian AIDS Memorial Concert (GLAM) is being held on 29 November at the Star Court Theatre. Tickets are on sale from Caddies Coffee, Happy High Herbs, The Bush Telegraph and ACON.
ACON Northern Rivers is looking for volunteers to assist with World AIDS Day activities, so if you can donate some time, contact Sioux at ACON.
If you are wanting any information about groups, services, organisations or community events taking place in the Northern Rivers, you can contact ACON Northern Rivers on 02 6622 1555. Dermot Ryan is the Community Development and Education Officer for ACON’s Northern River Branch.
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