A new report has found that LGBTIQ+ youth leaders in Victoria rank inclusive sex education as a key priority among their cohort.
The Young and Queer report was commissioned by Minus18 and identifies 16 key issues facing LGBTIQ+ youth, along with solutions.
The issues and their solutions were drawn from discussions with 120 LGBTIQ+ young people during the Queer Ideas Festival in Melbourne last year.
The event, which was funded by the Victorian Government, saw young people discuss and vote on the issues they were most passionate about, before brainstorming actionable priorities for the government, schools, community organisations, media entities, and businesses.
The Young and Queer report, which compiles what was discussed at the festival, reveals that inclusive sex education is a key priority for LGBTIQ+ young people across the state.
“Young people in the workshops talked at length about how they felt the sexuality education they received was irrelevant to them, as it was centered around heterosexual and cisgender experiences,” the report reads.
“They spoke about how this causes them to feel excluded, and fearful for contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) due to not being taught relatable safe sex practices they felt were relevant to their experiences.
“Due to a lack of education, they also expressed feeling at risk of being misinformed by their self-directed online research sources, through attempting to find their own information online, especially via pornography.”
At the festival, LGBTIQ+ young people agreed that sexuality education should be inclusive of LGBTIQ+ experiences, and that the teachers responsible for educating students on sexuality and sexual health should be required to undergo annual training to ensure they’re teaching the most up-to-date information.
The cohort also agreed that sexuality education should be standardised throughout all schools, or taught by a funded external provider, so that everyone is receiving the same up-to-date information.
Other key issues identified in the report included respecting trans and gender diverse people in schools, rural and regional events for LGBTIQ+ youth, and support for queer, trans, and intersex people of colour and people of faith.
For the full report and all 16 issues identified in it click here.