Australia: Unexpected challenges for LGBs in outer metropolitan areas

Lesbian, gay and bisexual Australians living on the outskirts of major cities experience similar levels of discrimination and social isolation to those living in rural and remote areas. This surprise-finding is from the first nationwide survey comparing the experiences of LGB communities in a range of metropolitan and rural locations.

The survey found those in rural-remote and outer metropolitan areas experienced similar levels of 'minority stress' such as internalised homophobia, concealment of sexuality from friends and concern regarding disclosure of their sexuality. Compounding this disadvantage, LGBs in rural areas and outer city areas also reported reduced social support relative to their urban peers, including less involvement in an LGB community. 

The findings reinforce those of past research, indicating that LGBs living in rural and remote Australia experience a greater likelihood of risk factors linked to adverse mental health outcomes including substance abuse and suicide.Those in outer metropolitan areas also reported increased social isolation, something not seen among the rural sample. Read More