This preliminary report shows the need to understand the experiences and perspectives of young First Nations LGBTIQA+ Peoples living in Australia. In many ways, they encounter and live with many of the challenges of older First Nations LGBTIQA+ Peoples in Australia, affected by centuries of colonial policies that denigrate and attempt to eliminate community, culture and people. This has led to collective intergenerational trauma that affects young First Nations Peoples as much as older First Nations Peoples. Young First Nations LGBTIQA+ Peoples also acknowledge the hard work and difficult life experiences of their older peers, living through criminalisation and HIV/AIDS. Even though they recognise the gains made by older First Nations LGBTIQA+ Peoples and the benefits of living out and proud in the present time, they also still face specific challenges to their wellbeing.
Understanding more about these challenges and how young people resist and overcome them, is important to break down some of the isolation of young people as well as to improve the areas of education, work and mental health service provision. The report shows the need to understand the perspectives of young people as they meet challenges related to living in a neo-colonial state such as Australia. Other people’s discriminatory, racist and queer-phobic attitudes and behaviour at collective (culture, community, family) and individual levels are shown to affect their wellbeing. However, although participants spoke of being depressed or anxious or unsafe in some situations, they also spoke of their pride in being First Nations and LGBTIQA+ Peoples and of their ability to sustain and cultivate wellbeing. In particular, young people spoke of the importance of family, social networks and role models for their overall wellbeing. Unique to the Australian experience, was the overwhelming importance of their mother's support and acceptance for young First Nations LGBTIQA+ Peoples successfully navigate and resist racist and LGBTIQA+-phobic settler-colonial contexts.