Culture

Josh Thomas Stands Up To “No” Voters, Floods Twitter With Stories Of Homophobic Abuse

#TheyGetToVote

This post details homophobic abuse and violence.

Members of Australia’s LGBTIQ+ community are sharing their most confronting stories about homophobic abuse they have experienced or witnessed, in order to demonstrate the real-world repercussions of the upcoming survey into marriage equality.

The #TheyGetToVote hashtag was started by comedian and actor Josh Thomas after star rugby player Israel Falou tweeted about his opposition to marriage equality.

Hundreds of people have since shared their experiences using the hashtag, revealing the difference between the complaints of marriage equality opponents who feel “bullied” by the Yes campaign, and those of queer people who live with the daily threat of physical violence.

The stories are extremely upsetting, which is precisely why they need to be shared.

In addition to stories of physical violence, people also shared their experiences with bullying and discrimination.

These heartbreaking stories are also reflected by the research.

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are three times as likely to experience depression than heterosexual cisgender Australians. 61 percent have reported experiencing verbal homophobic abuse, while 18 percent report experiencing physical abuse. 80 percent of homophobic bullying involving young people occurs at school.

Additionally, young LGBTIQ+ people are five times more likely to attempt suicide compared to the general population. For transgender people, that number more than doubles.

If you’d like to talk to someone after reading this (or at any point during the marriage equality campaign), QLife is a national counselling service for LGBTQI+ people, which operates between 3pm and midnight AEST every day. You can get in touch with them by calling 1800 184 527, or visiting their website if you’d prefer or require a text-based chat.

Read about your other options here.