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Home Diversity resources Diversity characteristics Characteristics p3

Characteristics p3

LGBTI people

In line with LGBTIQ+ Health Australia’s recommendations, for the purpose of this training, we will use the acronym LGBTIQ+ when referring to the broader community. However, in the context of older people and aged care, we will use the acronym LGBTI.  This reflects that many older people find the word queer derogatory based on previous discrimination and persecution. While some older people may use the term queer, it is not routinely used by older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or intersex (LGBTI) people.  We acknowledge that the acronym LGBTI does not reflect the full diversity of relationships, sexual orientation, bodily diversity, sex or gender identity of older people.

It’s important to ask people about their preferred terminology (including how they describe themselves / their identity, their relationships and their preferred pronouns) and use the appropriate language throughout your work together.


To learn more about LGBTI older people:

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) (2021) Older Australians who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australia-at-a-glance/contents/diverse-groups-of-older-australians/older-australians-who-identify-as-lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-or-intersex

Rainbow Health Victoria (2020) Research Matters: How many people are LGBTIQ?  Available here.

Rainbow Health Victoria (2020) Research Matters: Why do we need LGBTIQ-inclusive services? Available here.

National LGBTI Health Alliance (2016) Understanding the Differences: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People. Available from: https://www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au/understanding_the_differences_lgbti

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) (2018) Webinar: LGBTI Older People and Ageing.  Available from: https://www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au/webinar_lgbti_older_people_and_ageing

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) (2022) LGBTIQ+ Health Australia Budget Submission 2022-2023. Available from: https://www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au/budget_submission_2022_2023

Qlife have published a set of Qlife Guides for health professionals working with LGBTI people. They describe and discuss a range of common, often complex topics, to help people feel able to work with all kinds of people on LGBTI matters. Available from: https://qlife.org.au/resources/qguides

Qlife (2016) QLife Guides Glossary.  Available from: https://qlife.org.au/uploads/QLife-Tip-Sheets-Glossary.pdf

The Asexual Visibility & Education Network (AVEN)  Definitions.  Available from: https://www.asexuality.org/?q=general.html#ex2

Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) HIV in Australia.  Available from: https://www.afao.org.au/about-hiv/hiv-in-australia/

Pebody, R. (2017) HIV and the ageing process.  Available from: https://www.aidsmap.com/about-hiv/hiv-and-ageing-process

Fitzgerald, L., Howard, C., Herron, L., Hannan, K., Whittaker , A and Mutch, A. (2019) Is it HIV or just old age? How Australia’s first generation of PLHIV are experiencing ageing.  HIV Australia.  Available from: https://www.afao.org.au/article/how-australias-first-generation-of-plhiv-are-experiencing-ageing/

Dementia Australia provide a range of resources about HIV and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Available from: https://www.dementia.org.au/resources/dementia-and-chronic-conditions-series-toolkit

Dementia Australia (2020) LGBTI and Dementia. Available from: https://www.dementia.org.au/resources/lgbti-and-dementia

Housing for the Aged (HAAG) Action Group (2020) Out of the Closet, Out of options: Older LGBTI people at risk of homelessness.  Available here.

Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) (2014) Face the Facts: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex People. Available from: https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/education/face-facts-lesbian-gay-bisexual-trans-and-intersex-people


Aged care services and support for older LGBTI people

My Aged Care. Support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.  Available from: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/support-lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-and-intersex-people

Australian Government. Carer Gateway: LGBTI carer tips.  Available from: https://www.carergateway.gov.au/tips/tips-lgbti-carers

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia is the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans/transgender, intersex, queer and other sexuality, gender, and bodily diverse people.  Further information is available from: https://www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au/

Qlife provides Australia-wide anonymous, LGBTI peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships..  Further information is available from: https://qlife.org.au/

The following organisations provide information and support for LGBTQI+ communities:

Additional services and supports for LGBTI elders and people working with LGBTI elders can be found at: https://www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au/services_and_supports


Delivering safe and inclusive services for older LGBTI people

Department of Health (DH) (2019) Actions to Support LGBTI Elders (includes guides for consumers and Aged Care Providers).  Available from: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/aged-care-diversity-framework-action-plans

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia have a comprehensive resource library, which includes a number of resources related to LGBTI ageing and aged care.  The knowledge hub is available from: https://www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au/hub.  LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) have also developed the following resources for aged care workers:

  • The Ageing Fabulously podcast is a new education resource about providing inclusive services and care for LGBTI older people. Topics include an introduction to LGBTI and aged care, inclusive language, families of choice and palliative care. Available here.
  • A series of plain English factsheets for aged care workers including older people living with HIV, families of choice, dementia, palliative care, isolation and elder abuse.  Available from: https://www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au/silver_rainbow 
  • LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) (2017) Developing an LGBTI Inclusive Practice Policy.  Available from: https://www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au/developing_an_lgbti_inclusive_practice_policy

LGBTIQ+ Aged Care Awareness Training. The Silver Rainbow LGBTI Aged Care Awareness Training Project is managed by LGBTIQ+ Health Australia and is delivered collaboratively with project partners across every state and territory in Australia.  Further information is available from: https://www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au/silver-rainbow-training

Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) conducts social research in sexuality, health and the social dimensions of human relationships.  ARCSHS initiatives include:

Rainbow Health Victoria (2020) Rainbow Tick Standards: A framework for LGBTIQ cultural safety (3rd edition).  Available here.

Latham, J & Barrett, C (2015) We’re people first: Trans Health and Ageing: Summary – An Evidence-Based Guide to Inclusive Services. ARCSHS.  Available here.

Wellness Diversity North and West (2019) Ageing & Aged Care for older LGBTI people (videos of interviews with Pauline Crameri from Val’s LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care).  Available from: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6Gy34NmN7NLF1m1cKpD964upDcTZB3OV

ACON (2021) ACON Pride training: Pronouns 101.  Available from: https://www.pridetraining.org.au/pages/pronoun-page

Transhub. What are pronouns?  Available from: https://www.transhub.org.au/101/pronouns

Intersex Human Rights Australia (IHRA), Intersex Peer Support Australia (IPSA), LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) have created resources that provide practical strategies around promoting understanding, respect and inclusion for intersex people.  The following resources are available from: https://www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au/intersexinclusion

  • IHRA, IPSA & LHA (2020a) Inclusion guide to respecting people with Intersex variations
  • IHRA, IPSA & LHA (2020b) Raising the bar.  How to be an intersex ally: a guide for organisations and individuals keen to go further than trying to define the term.

Dementia Support Australia and LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (2022) LGBTI and Dementia: Understanding changes in behaviour. Available from: https://www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au/lgbti_and_dementia_understanding_changes_in_behaviour_resource

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic (2014) HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND): A toolkit for community care workers.  Available here.

Victorian Government DPC (2021) LGBTIQ+ inclusive language guide.  Available from: https://www.vic.gov.au/inclusive-language-guide

Intersex Human Rights Australia (IHRA) (2020) Inclusion guide to respecting people with intersex variations.  Available from: https://ihra.org.au/inclusion/


LGBTIQ+ pride flags

Queer in the World. 50 Different LGBTQ Flags And Meanings Behind Them!  Available from: https://queerintheworld.com/different-lgbtq-flags-and-meaning/

Gillespie, C . (2020) 23 LGBTQ+ Pride Flags and What They Represent.  Available from: https://www.health.com/mind-body/different-pride-flags-what-they-represent

Lambert, K. (2021) IDAHOBIT: Queer symbolism, and the importance of showing your true colours.  Available from: https://lens.monash.edu/@politics-society/2021/05/17/1383216/idahobit-day-queer-symbolism-and-showing-your-true-colours

The LGBT rainbow Pride Flag. Based on the original Pride flag created by Gilbert Baker Pride Flag in 1978.  Further information available from: https://www.glbthistory.org/rainbow-flag

Pride Progress Flag. Created by Daniel Quasar in 2018. Further information is available from: https://progress.gay/

Transgender Pride flag. Created by Monica Helms in 1999. Further information is available from: https://www.pointofpride.org/blog/the-history-of-the-transgender-flag

The Intersex flag. Created by Morgan Carpenter in 2019. Further information is available from: https://ihra.org.au/22773/an-intersex-flag/

The Bisexual flag. Created by Michael Page in 1998. Further information is available from: https://www.queerarthistory.com/uncategorized/michael-page-bisexual-pride-flag-1998/


Creating safe and inclusive environments for older LGBTI people

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) (2021) Aged Care Inclusive Practice Poster. Available from: https://www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au/you_are_welcome_here_poster

Val’s LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care (2020) LGBTI-Inclusive Practice Review Tool for services supporting or caring for older people (The Val’s Review Tool) Available from: https://www.latrobe.edu.au/arcshs/health-and-wellbeing/lgbti-ageing-and-aged-care/resources-reports-and-training


Collecting data about LGBTIQ+ people

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2020) Standards for Sex, Gender, Variations of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables.  Available from: https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/standards/standard-sex-gender-variations-sex-characteristics-and-sexual-orientation-variables/2020#introduction

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) (2021) LGBTIQ+ Health Australia Fact Sheet: ABS Standard for Sex, Gender, Variation of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables.  Available from: https://www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au/new_australian_bureau_of_statistics_2020_standard

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) (2022) Silver Rainbow Webinar: Older LGBTI people and accurate data collection.  Recording. Available from: https://www.lgbtiqhealth.org.au/silver_rainbow_webinar_older_lgbti_people_and_accurate_data_collection_upload