We are proud to say that Aspect participated in the 2019 Mardi Gras for the first time. The initiative, which is part of our inclusion plan, was overwhelmingly supported by our steering committee, and as our pictures show, provided enormously positive benefits and a great night out for those that chose to participate.
A longtime friend of Aspect, Yenn Purkis, joined us on the day and shared their feelings on the experience in their blog.
LGBTQIA+ & Autism Advisory Committee
As part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we have formed the LGBTQIA+ & Autism Advisory Committee.
The LGBTQIA+ & Autism Advisory Committee works with Aspect to highlight issues relating to people on the Autism Spectrum who identify as LGBTQIA+ in order to:
- co-produce a paper identifying gaps within mainstream and disability services
- contribute to Autism Spectrum Australia’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan
- educate other service providers on how to support people on the Autism Spectrum who identify as LGBTQIA+
The Committee consists of members of the autism community who identify as LGBTQIA+, as well as staff members of Autism Spectrum Australia. They meet as frequently as the group determines to be necessary, at least once per quarter.
Aspect has embraced the term LGBTQIA+ to support members of the autism community and our participants to express their identity.
For us, LGBTQIA+ is:
Lesbian– A female-identified person who is attracted romantically, physically, or emotionally to another female-identified person.
Gay – A male-identified person who is attracted romantically, physically, or emotionally to another male-identified person.
Bisexual – A person who is attracted romantically, physically, or emotionally to both men and women.
Transgender – A person who is a member of a gender other than that expected based on anatomical sex.
Queer – An umbrella term which embraces a variety of sexual preferences, orientations, and habits of those who do not adhere to the heterosexual and cisgender majority. Traditionally this term is derogatory and hurtful, however, and many people who do not adhere to sexual and/or gender norms use it to self-identify in a positive way.
Intersex – Someone who’s physical sex characteristics are not categorized as exclusively male or exclusively female.
Asexual – A person who is not attracted to anyone, or a person who does not have a sexual orientation.
Ally – A person who does not identify as LGBTQIA+, but supports the rights and safety of those who do.
We recognize the diversity of individual identity and acknowledge that these identities are part of other identities, and intersect with race, class, size, sexual orientation, age, immigration status, etc
Dr Wenn Lawson is a member of the LGBTQIA+ & Autism Advisory Committee and has shared his journey through his website.
Wenn also provides links to a number of valuable resources through that site.