Queer, Blak & Deadly

Resources for LGBTIQA+SB Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and our allies. 

A Gender Agenda acknowledges the Ngunnawal people as the traditional owners of this land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to the Elders of the Ngunnawal Nation, both past and present.  We acknowledge and respect their continuing connections to land, water and community.  Always was always will be.

These resources were informed and created by LGBTIQA+ mob on Ngunnawal and Gadigal land by folk from many different lands. There are many cultural understandings of sex, gender and sexuality across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations, and as such there will always be knowledge and experiences missing.

Being an LGBTIQA+ advocate and ally should always also involve being an ally to First Nations peoples’ fight against ongoing colonisation. Queerness and gender diversity exist in all cultures across the world and throughout history. Indigenous understandings of these experiences has been impacted by colonisation, dispossession and cultural erasure. Indigenous liberation goes hand in hand with LGBTIQA+ liberation.

“Be proud, be strong. Cause we’re blak and deadly” Krystal Hurst

 

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Artwork

Krystal Hurst

This artwork was created in response to the ACT First Nations LGBTIQ+ Project. Within the artwork I wanted to represent our LGBTIQ+ community authentically, to show the strong connection to our ancestral roots to who we are today as proud people, from many Nations, many background and identities. I wanted to show the visibility of LGBTIQ+ mob together, including our transgender family. I hope our community can connect to this artwork to feel a sense of belonging to be strong, supported, and deadly within family and community.

Ed Bailey

Traveling through life can be difficult, especially if you are a minority.” “Being an Indigenous gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender is hard at times, especially when all you want is to be accepted.” “For many of us, we struggle through life, trying to live and survive.” This painting depicts a journey that we all must take in life, and even though it is hard and difficult and we feel like giving up.” “We must stay strong, and true to ourselves.” “ Because it encourages us to keep going and stay proud of who we are.” The circles represent us, moving forward. “The bright colours  represent the LBTIQ community, and all of us traveling forward together.” “The strong black lines, represents a strong connection that we have for each other.” “As together, we can conquer and do anything, without fear of rejection or persecution.”

All other graphics and illustrations were created by Alistair Ott, a Wiradjuri nonbinary queer artist and LGBTIQA+ advocate based on Ngunnawal land.

Labels, Definitions & Flags

Sistergirl: A cultural term for someone that has a woman’s spirit and takes on women’s roles within their community.

Brotherboy: A cultural term for someone that has a man’s spirit and takes on men’s roles within their community.

Please note: The terms Sistergirl and Brotherboy can have different meanings between mobs, countries and nations. Sistergirls and Brotherboys might be nonbinary, transgender, or gender nonconforming. These terms may not specifically define a specific identity, but are more so cultural terms.

An article by Wiradjuri Brotherboy Hayden discusses these concepts more

In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the terms Sistagirl and Brothaboy are also used as a term of endearment or family with no connection to gender identity.


LGBTIQA+SB: An acronym that represents some common sexualitys, gender identities, and bodies in the community. The acronym includes – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Agender, Plus, Sister Girl, Brother Boy (definitions below).


Philadelphia Pride Flag: Created during the Black Lives Matter protests, the flag represents inclusion of people of color in the LGBTIQA+SB community.

“In 1978, artist Gilbert Baker designed the original rainbow flag,” the campaign states. “So much has happened since then. A lot of good, but there’s more we can do. Especially when it comes to recognizing people of color in the LGBTQ+ community. To fuel this important conversation, we’ve expanded the colors of the flag to include black and brown.” – Read more here.

Progress Flag: The Progress Pride flag was developed in 2018 by non-binary American artist and designer Daniel Quasar (who uses xe/xyr pronouns). Based on the iconic rainbow flag from 1978, the redesign celebrates the diversity of the LGBTQ community and calls for a more inclusive society.


Lesbian: A woman or fem person who is solely or primarily romantic and/or sexual attracted to other women or fem people.

Gay: A man or masc person who is solely or primarily romantic and/or sexual attracted to men or masc people. Gay is also an umbrella term for the community and many people may use it to describe themselves.

Bisexual: Someone with romantic and/or sexual attraction to people of more than one gender.

Transgender: Someone whose gender identity differs from that assigned to them at birth. This can be in a binary sense, or example a trans man or trans woman, or in a nonbinary sense.

Intersex: Someone born with innate variations in sex characteristics that do not fit the social and medical norms for binary male and female bodies. Learn more about intersex here. 

Queer: Originally meaning strange or peculiar, it has been reclaimed by some LGBTIQA+SB people to describe their identify as a part of the gay rights movement. It has now expanded to mean ‘not hetreosexual or straight’ and some people use it as a means of making a political stance.

Asexual: Someone who does not feel any or has limited sexual attraction.

Aromantic: Someone who does not feel any or has limited romantic attraction.

Plus: This includes every other sexuality and gender identity not in the acronym, allowing room to grow and expand.


Just as we are unique individuals, and our connection with mob and spirituality are personal to us, so too is our sexuality and gender identity. These definitions are only general community understandings, and their meaning might change for everyone person.

LGBTIQA+SB Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Organisations and Networks

This list only includes organisations and resources that are for LGBTIQA+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and does not include resources for only one or the other identity. If you notice an organisation or network is missing, please contact us at support@genderrights.org.au.

 

Local Organisations

Rainbow Mob
Empowering Rainbow Mob nationwide through Support and Information!

DEiFY
A Queer, Trans, Intersex Bla(c)k and People of Colour Collective residing on the stolen lands of Ngunawal and Ngambri Country.

National Organisations

Black Rainbow
A national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI+SB organisation. In pursuit of positive health and wellbeing for mob.

Yarns Heal
A suicide prevention campaign for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and LGBTIQ+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy community. Queensland based, provides National advocacy.

BlaQ
Empowering the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQ+ community through innovation, inclusion, understanding and advocacy.

Koorie Pride Network Victoria
Helping build visibility, strength and connection for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQAS&B+ people – our beautiful Rainbow Mob – across all of Victoria.

Sistergirls & Brotherboys + Gender Diverse Mob
Social group for Gender diverse Aboriginal Sistergirls and Brotherboys

Yarning Blak and Queer by Thorne Harbour
A monthly online yarning group facilitated by and for queer mob.

Resources and Information

Trans Mob
Information and resources for trans mob in NSW.
(ACON and Transhub is a NSW based non-indigenous LGBTIQA+ organisation.)

What do we know about queer Indigenous history? by James Findlay from Triple J, The Hook Up. May 2018.
“Some of us will hear stories from some of our relatives about what some people might have got up to on the sly, so to speak, but there’s not a lot of evidence that there were formal structures and formal roles within Aboriginal communities really anywhere in Australia except for in the Tiwi Islands,” Troy-Anthony told The Hook Up.

Queer Aboriginal Voices Matter: September 2020
A webinar by Pride@AGSM at the University of New South Wales and USYD Pride Network. Four panelists came together to discuss inclusion of LGBTIQ+ First Nations People through their work, research and authentic leadership.

Protests and parades: being queer and Indigenous: By Dr Sandy O’Sullivan. February 2017.
“For LGBTIQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, there is an added complexity because being queer and being an Indigenous person are often treated as separate elements by communities, government, support agencies, and even sometimes by our own mob.”

I’m a non-binary Indigenous drag queen and have never been happier: By Nevanka McKeon from ABC News. December 2018.
“Being an Indigenous drag queen also means there’s the political context as well. We are having to stand up against racism and against prejudice against our cultural background and us as LGBT people.”

Breaking the Silence – Research Project: 2018-2021.
Conducted by Indigenous LGBTIQ+ researchers and led by Edith Cowan University’s Kurongkurl Katitjin Centre for Indigenous Education and Research. One of the first to focus on the unique experiences of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+ people living in Western Australia.


These resources are supported by Hands Across Canberra and ACT Government.