Every person is entitled to feel welcome and participate fully in all aspects of life, free from discrimination and prejudice.
Every person is entitled to feel welcome and participate fully in all aspects of life, free from discrimination and prejudice, no matter their sexual orientation or how they define their gender.
The South Australian public sector is committed to creating an environment inclusive of people who are LGBTIQA+ – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Asexual, or use other personal identifiers.
Our sector’s commitment to inclusion is set out in the Diversity and Inclusion strategy.
Being an ally
The term ally is used in the LGBTIQA+ community to refer to heterosexual and/or cisgender supporters of LGBTIQA+ inclusion. An ally is an active advocate for inclusion and supporting people who are part of a marginalised group.
You can be an ally by:
Below is a short introduction to the terms in the LGBTIQA+ acronym.
Lesbian: A woman who is attracted to other women.
Gay: A person who is attracted to people of same gender. It is often used to specifically refer to men who are attracted to other men.
Bisexual: A person who is attracted to people of the same gender and other genders.
Transgender: A person whose gender identity is different from their presumed sex at birth.
Intersex: A person who is born with natural variations of sex characteristics that do not fit medical and social norms for male or female bodies. This can include, but is not limited to, variations in hormones, chromosomes, and sexual organs.
Queer: An umbrella term for diverse genders or sexualities. The term ‘questioning’ is also sometimes used if someone is still exploring or questioning their gender or sexual orientation.
Asexual: A person who does not experience sexual attraction but may experience romantic attraction. Related terms include ‘agender’ (someone who does not have a gender identity) and ‘aromantic’ (someone who does not experience romantic attraction).
The + symbol acknowledges that the terms in the acronym may not cover all sexual identities.
This introduction has been informed by the references below, which have more detail and define more terms.
- Australian Institute of Family Studies - LGBTIQA+ communities – Glossary of common terms
- Victorian Government - LGBTIQ+ Inclusive Language Guide
- Minus 18 - LGBTIQA+ Your guide to words and definitions in the LGBTIQA+ community
- The Equality Project - LGBTIQ 101
- Intersex Human Rights Australia - What is intersex?
The Australian Government Institute of Family Studies Information Hub's LGBTIQA+ communities - Glossary of common terms resource sheet, enhances understanding of the language and terminology, to support the use of inclusive language. The glossary helps to define terms around bodies, gender and gender identities, sexual orientations, and societal attitudes and issues.
The way we refer to one another matters. Identifying and using correct pronouns are an important element of a person’s self-concept, particularly in the trans and gender diverse community.
Pronouns are used to refer to people without using their name, we use these every day and often without thinking too much. Although many people use she/her/hers or he/him/his, some people use different pronouns, such as the most commonly used gender-neutral pronouns, they/them/theirs. Using pronouns promotes honesty, inclusivity, and acceptance of all people, regardless of how they may identify.
SHINE SA’s Pronouns - A guide to correct use covers the definition of a pronoun including gender neutral pronouns, how to apply correct usage and what to do when addressing someone incorrectly.
Adding pronouns to your signature block or social media is a simple but visible way to show allyship, acceptance and support. This aims to help normalise the sharing of pronouns and reduces what is known as ‘othering’ of the LGBTIQA+ community. Identifying pronouns is a voluntary and personal choice for every individual and some people may not be comfortable disclosing this information.
Write in gender-neutral language
The correct use of pronouns is not limited to verbal communication. Using inclusive language in written documents ensures agencies are respectful of all gender identities and sexual orientations. The SA.GOV.AU style guide advises avoiding personal pronouns wherever possible to make text gender-neutral.
The Australian Government Style Manual also provides useful and practical tips on how to apply inclusive language, including the treatment of they/them for singular and plural pronouns.
While we aim to build a culture of inclusion every day, days of significance provide an opportunity to show support to the LGBTIQA+ community. View a list of LGBTIQA+ days of significance.
The Rainbow Email Network is coordinated by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and shares information about research, resources, events, grants, and consultation opportunities. Contact DHS to join the network.
LGBTIQA+ inclusive workplaces
SA public sector agencies can enhance LGBTIQA+ inclusion and understanding by providing the LGBTIQA+ Inclusive Communities Benefit Everyone online awareness program to its employees.
Rainbow Tick Accreditation is an optional quality framework that helps organisations demonstrate that they are safe, inclusive, and affirming employers and providers of services to the LGBTIQA+ community. Agencies interested in pursuing Rainbow Tick Accreditation should consider SHINE SA’s HOW2 Create LGBTI Inclusive Services training.
Transitioning gender is a personal journey that requires tailored advice and support.
Please contact us for guidance on how to support employees transition gender in the workplace.
OCPSE and the Department of Human Services (DHS) are partners in the advancing of LGBTIQA+ inclusion in South Australia.
DHS is the lead agency responsible for promoting state-wide inclusion for LGBTIQA+ South Australians. To learn more about their initiatives, please visit the DHS’ website.
OCPSE is focused on enhancing LGBTIQA+ inclusion within the South Australian public sector, in line with its Diversity and Inclusion strategy.