Research highlights lower standard of living for LGBTQIA+ Tasmanians

A report from the University of Tasmania shows LGBTQIA+ people have a lower standard of living than other Tasmanians, prompting calls for government action.

The survey conducted as part of the Institute for Social Change’s Tasmania Project found LGBTQIA+ people have lower income, higher unemployment, more housing stress, poorer health and much lower personal safety than other Tasmanians.

“For many years state governments have focused on removing legal inequalities against LGBTIQ people, but this report shows the government must also tackle the disastrous social and economic impacts of discrimination,” Equality Tasmania spokesperson Rodney Croome said.

“We call on the State Government to invest more in ensuring LGBTIQ people enjoy the same standard of living as other Tasmanians.”

“The first step is for the State Government to ensure all its employment, income, housing, and health programs focus on LGBTIQ people as a high risk group.”

Dr Ruby Grant, the author of the report from the Institute for Social Change, says the research is the first of its kind in Tasmania.

“The figures are stark. Even when we control for the younger age demographic of LGBTIQ respondents in the Tasmania Project survey, LGBTIQ Tasmanians have poorer health and lower incomes.”

“That 43% of LGBTIQ Tasmanians, many in their 20s, feel that they can’t do the things they want to because of their health, is a real problem.”

CEO of LGBTQIA+ support organisation and education service, Working It Out, Lynn Jarvis adds that the report reflects national research showing serious and ongoing inequities.

“Working It Out, Tasmania’s only dedicated support and education service, has limited capacity to support LGBTIQ Tasmanians and to work with other agencies to ensure they are LGBTIQ inclusive and safe,” Jarvis said.

“We look forward to the Government working with WIO and the broader LGBTIQ community to enact real change.”

Tasmanian Council of Social Services CEO, Adrienne Picone, said the research provided a solid base for the provision of needed services.

“These research findings point to the need for more support and services to address the inequalities experienced by LGBTIQ people in Tasmania, especially around health, income and housing.”

The UTas report also found LGBTIQ+ Tasmanians were hit harder by the pandemic than the broader Tasmanian community, with LGBTIQ people more likely to lose their jobs, and more likely to experience an increase in mental ill-health.

LGBTQIA+ people made up 7% of the overall sample of 2354 Tasmanians. The Tasmania Project regularly surveys Tasmanians on a wide range of social, economic and health issues.

From now on all Tasmanian Project surveys will ask participants whether they identify as LGBTIQ which will allow the living standards of LGBTIQ Tasmanians to be tracked over time.

Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

QLife: 1800 184 527 / (Webchat 3pm – midnight)
QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people.

DISCHARGED: 9364 6909 / / [email protected]
Discharged is a trans-led support service with peer support groups for trans and gender diverse folks.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 /

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 /

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