Supporting LGBTIQ+ inclusive emergency services
On Thursday 25 July, AIDR Project Officer Ella Wilkinson attended training run by the Gender and Disaster Pod (GaD Pod). The three-hour training covered reflections, facilitated discussion and ran group exercises to learn about research conducted on LGBTIQ+ people’s experience of disasters and emergency situations, and the attitudes towards the knowledge of LGBTIQ+ specific needs by emergency service personnel.
A review of recent research on LGBTIQ+ people’s disaster experiences shows that their already higher levels of discrimination and vulnerability are magnified during and after an emergency. LGBTIQ+ people report being subject to increased discrimination from both emergency service personnel and other clients; loss of LGBTIQ+ safe spaces and privacy; and increased fear and anxiety in accessing mainstream services, including faith-based providers, due to the expectation of discrimination and abuse.
The training was facilitated by academic and former Director of Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria Liam Leonard. Mr Leonard was a lead investigator on a number of state and national LGBTIQ+ research projects and was involved in the development of the world LGBTIQ+ inclusive accreditation program, the Rainbow Tick.
Having inclusive emergency services and management makes Australia more resilient in the face of disasters. GaD Pod have multiple resources and research available through their website.