Culturally and Linguistly Diverse
“I come from a culturally diverse background, how can you help me?”
LGBTIQ people come from every corner in the world, they come from every country, every continent, every city and every small village. Your country of origin, ethnic culture or religion can make coming to terms with your sexual identity an extremely difficult process.
Feelings of guilt, shame and doubt are all normal in this situation. Some of you will experience withdrawal of support by family, church/religion and cultural community. Others will feel that their own morals and values are challenged by “Western behaviour” e.g.: PDA’s (Public displays of affection), open discussions about sexuality, drug and alcohol consumption.
Crossing the cultural divide has unique challenges and it is important to remember that it won’t happen overnight. Social cues, language, acceptable behaviours and laws may be different than experienced in your country of origin.
You may come from a country that enforces severe punishment for same sex acts, some countries may even have the death penalty. While Australia does not consider Homosexuality illegal, fear of persecution can also affect how you relate to others, especially those from your own cultural community.
It is hard to balance your cultural identity with your sexual identity, both are important, but with a little work and understanding it can be done.
Remember to take it slowly, only do what you are comfortable doing and seek advice if you need to. You are not alone, check out our resource page for a list of Culturally diverse websites.