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Know Your Rights

You have the right to have your identity respected:

  • You have the right to choose the language you want for yourself, for example, your pronouns and identification.                               

  • When coming out, there’s no right way to do it - and there’s no rule saying you even have to if you’re not comfortable with it.

You have the right to a standard of living: 

  • You have a right to food and safe shelter, including having access to a home free from violence.

You have the right to a diverse/queer sexual education

  • If you go to a public school, you can request that your school use your affirmed name and pronouns, and to use the bathrooms and change rooms that best reflect your gender identity.

  • If you have parental permission, your school should make these changes. If you do not have parental permission, you can ask if they will consider your request as a mature minor.

  • You don’t have to ask them alone, either – in Victoria, Safe Schools can help you talk to your school about your needs and your rights. 

  • Your school should be involved in providing you diverse sexual education including queer sexual health. 

You have the right to be safe

  • Consent is important – it’s about freely choosing to say ‘yes’, and it’s no different if a person is queer or if they’re in a queer relationship. 

  • Consent isn’t given unless it is a clear yes, without pressure, bribery or intimidation. There are also laws (which are different from state to state) about what age you need to be to be able to give consent. 

  • If you decide to make a formal complaint about a discrimination matter, it can require a lot of energy and emotional resilience, so make sure you’re connected to a support network! 

You have the right to support and confidentiality 

  • Depending on your age, you might not need permission from your parents/guardian to access support services. Even if your parents aren’t supportive, it’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust about what you’ve experienced.

  • There are many groups and services you can access such as queer spaces, a doctor, or support at school. Confidentiality is kept and only broken if your safety (or someone else's) is at risk or there is a legal requirement (such as in a court case if records are legally demanded as evidence). 

You have the right to culturally and linguistically diverse support:

  • Queer people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities can also find support specific to their intersectional needs – the Australian LGBTIQ Multicultural Council (AGMC) has a range of resources and a list of LGBTIQ Multicultural support groups: www.agmc.org.au

  • Many services offer translation options in order to be accessible for people that do not speak English. This may mean arranging an in-person translator, or using a phone translation service.

  • For people aged 18-25, there’s also the (in)visible group for queer and trans people of colour (QTIPOC – pronounced “cutie-pok”):  (in)visible – The Drum