Australian governor-general Sir Peter Cosgrove has visited Brisbane’s Open Doors Youth Service to speak to young people who discussed with him the challenges they face being LGBTI.
Some of the issues the young people discussed with Mr Cosgrove during his May 20 visit included a range of health and education issues affecting them, including more inclusive school policies, access to gender neutral toilets in schools and public places, access to mental health facilities, and a reduction in age restrictions for young transgender people seeking to access appropriate medications and necessary medical support.
Open Doors chairperson Tyrone Shandiman said during the visit Mr Cosgrove encouraged the young people to use their voice and highlight these issues to the wider community.
“Listening to our young people share their stories was very inspirational and I think it would be hard for a politician to hear the stories and concerns raised and not seek to make policy changes to make our society more inclusive,” Tyrone said.
“It is exciting to see that we have such a passionate group of young people that are willing to put the fight up and make change for future generations of young LGBTIQ people. Policy change can only happen when our politicians are aware of problems faced in our community.”
After the meeting Mr Cosgrove, the youth at Open Doors formed a group, as yet unnamed, which they say will be a voice for LGBTI youth to promote change within Queensland’s various levels of government and institutions.
Before the federal election on July 2, Open Doors also met with the candidates vying for the seat of Brisbane, including the electorate’s newly-elected MP Trevor Evans.