The LGBTQIA+ community in Australia

Find out about living in Australia as an LGBTQIA+ international student.

4 June 2024

A young man standing against a wall that has angel wings and writing that says "You are loved"

Oxford Street Fair, Sydney WorldPride 2023. Image credit: Destination NSW

If you're part of the LGBTQIA+ community, you may be wondering what life in Australia will be like. Or you may already be in Australia and looking to become more involved with the LGBTQIA+ community.  

In this blog post, we explore LGBTQIA+ rights, culture and support services. Plus, we share some great tips for getting involved with the LGBTQIA+ community.  

LGBTQIA+ rights in Australia  

LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and asexual.  

Australia is known for its progressive attitudes toward LGBTQIA+ rights. Legal protections prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In Australia:  

  • The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 makes it unlawful to discriminate based on a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status. These protections apply to everyone, including international students. 
  • Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2017. 

Understanding the LGBTQIA+ culture in Australia 

In Australia, it is generally safe and accepted to hold your partner’s hand in public. You can also feel safe to go to public venues.   

The major cities in Australia have thriving LGBTQIA+ communities that offer many events, arts and culture, clubs, bars, communities and support networks.  

Some of the major LGBTQIA+ events in Australia include:  

Support and resources 

Australia is a very LGBTQIA+-friendly country. While settling into a new environment, it’s important to know where to find support. Support services for LGBTQIA+ people include:               

There are also many local support services and communities. You can find many of them here: Queer and LGBTQIA+ community support services in Australia.

Whether it be questions about your sexuality, sexual health, feelings of anxiousness or depression, or just need someone to talk to - there is always support available.  

Getting involved in the LGBTQIA+ community  

Finding your community can take time, but there are some things you can do to help build meaningful connections:  

  • Attend LGBTQIA+ events: Keep an eye out for pride parades, film festivals, drag shows and other LGBTQIA+ events happening in your city. These gatherings not only celebrate diversity but also provide opportunities to meet new people and immerse yourself in the community culture. You can find events on websites such as Eventbrite or event guides for your area.  
  • Join Facebook groups: There are many Facebook groups for the LGBTQIA+ community. Search for social groups in your city or area.  
  • Join student organisations: Many education providers have LGBTQIA+ student societies or diversity clubs where you can connect with like-minded people and organise meet-ups and social events.  
  • Use MeetUp: Search for events and social groups near you.  

By reaching out for support, building connections and embracing your authentic self, you can thrive and find belonging (and loads of fun!) in this diverse society.  



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