Thursday 22 April 2021

A powerful short film has just launched to highlight the positive experiences of LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) people in neighbourhood houses.

Glen Park Community Centre, with the support of a State Government Pride Connection and Accessibility Grant, produced the video project 'Proud Houses' which shares the stories of four individuals: mother of three Letitia, community development worker Warren, Klaus who is transgender, and Piper who is non-binary and pansexual.

As well as Glen Park, participants represented Central Ringwood Community Centre and Mountain District Learning Centre.

Warren believes neighbourhood houses are a great space for the LGBTIQ community to be a part of. "Being a worker who's openly gay and happy to have those conversations with people who have felt safe enough to open up about their sexuality, it's been really beautiful to see them flourish and be able to be who they are."

Letitia, whose children have two mums, started coming to her local neighbourhood house when she was on maternity leave with her twins. "What makes me feel safe is that it's very family orientated... that welcoming and accepting atmosphere I think makes all the difference," she said.

Klaus shared how his involvement has helped him with his anxiety. "Being involved at this neighbourhood house has made me a lot more comfortable around people, and my anxiety is now nowhere near as bad as it used to be."

Piper who is studying at their neighbourhood house said, "For me, a big part of feeling included was just having people reach out to me, and involve me, and reassure me that 'hey, you're welcome here, you're okay here, you're gonna be fine here.'"

Watch the short film:

A community survey is also open for people to share their own experiences and offer suggestions on how neighbourhood houses can be more inclusive.

All neighbourhood houses across Victoria are being encouraged to upload the video directly to their Facebook page to demonstrate their allyship, and to reassure anyone who may have any doubts, that they will be welcomed and embraced by their neighbourhood house. To download the video file, guidelines and marking plan, click here

If you have any questions about the Proud Houses video project, please contact Glen Park Community Centre on 9720 5097.