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For International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), writers from the LGBTQIA+ community respond to the idea of being ‘seen and heard’ in media or personal moments. 


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International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is an opportunity for both the LGBTQIA+ community and allies around the world to come together in an act of celebration, solidarity and strength. 

To mark the occasion, we asked writers from the LGBTQIA+ community to reflect and respond to feeling ‘seen and heard’ through moments in their lives or in books, film and other media. 


Jax Brown (they/them)
Disability and LGBTQIA+ rights activist, writer, educator and consultant 

As a queer, trans disabled person, a key way I feel seen and heard is by #ownvoices literature. I seek out and read as many memoirs by other trans, gender diverse or non-binary people as I can find in order to see parts of my story reflected back in theirs. I also do the same with writing by disabled people; I find books written by people who live the experience of existing in an ableist world and feel connected to them and the broader disability rights movement by reading their accounts.  

Finding this work, whether it be in books or online, videos, documentaries or films written by people with lived experience depicting their lives, has been pivotal in me feeling proud of who I am and connected to the LGBTIQA+ and disability communities and respective rights movements. 


Chris Cheers (he/him)
Psychologist and author of The New Rulebook 

I came out in my early 20s and had spent a couple of years trying to navigate dating and relationships as a gay man. I often felt like there was something wrong with my want for emotional connection and romance, in a gay culture that wasn’t ‘looking for a relationship right now’ but just sex with no strings attached. I wanted string.  

I think Weekend was the first film I had seen that presented intimacy and connection between gay men that felt authentic to me. It presents the story of Russell and Glen, who hook up the weekend before Glen is leaving the country. The film shows the 48 hours that follow when their connection becomes far more than they were both expecting. The romantic in me, who could fall in love quickly (and hopelessly), felt seen.


Kelly Gardiner (she/her)
Historical fiction and fantasy writer, author of The Firewatcher Chronicles and Goddess

I was eighteen, didn’t have a girlfriend and had never even kissed another woman. I lived alone, surrounded by books, and spent evenings in the pub with The Police wailing on the jukebox and endless games of Space Invaders. 

That summer I stood in the lunch queue behind two women. They took one look at me and spoke to me as if I was one of them, as if they knew me. As if I was queer. 

In their eyes, I already had an identity. 

The next day, I got my ear pierced. Just the one. I pinned on a badge that read, ‘How dare you presume I’m heterosexual?’ and swaggered along the street imagining that every passer-by was gazing at my gay earlobe, awestruck. 

You know that moment in The Wizard of Oz, when Judy Garland opens the door of her black-and-white farmhouse, and everything outside is in glorious Technicolour? 



Sasja Sÿdek (she/her)
Co-founder of Trans Sisters United and Trans Pride March Melbourne 

A TV series like POSE is an excellent model for progressive trans representation in media and entertainment. The show positively portrays the humanity, struggles, and experiences of trans individuals as valid and meaningful, contributing to the cultural shift towards greater recognition of trans identity and existence. It is a vital reminder that trans individuals deserve visibility and representation that portray them as authentic and empathetic human beings. 

It is important to continue to create spaces and platforms where these moments of visibility and representation can occur, and where people feel seen and heard. Whether it is through media, activism, or everyday conversations, we can all play a role in promoting inclusivity, acceptance, and representation for the LGBTQIA+ community. 


Jamie Tram (they/them)
Culture writer, screenwriter and 2023 Hot Desk Fellow 

No on-screen couple has been more personally consequential than the pairing of Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. Across their four sparkling screwball comedies (including several helmed by illustrious gay director George Cukor), the bisexual duo would breathlessly spin conventional heterosexual relations into a tornado of gender-bending glee.  

Consider the discussion of facial hair preceding Hepburn’s lesbian kiss in Sylvia Scarlett, or Bringing Up Baby’s famous justification for Grant’s appearance in a fur-cuffed dressing gown: ‘Because I just went gay all of a sudden!’ Even their less farcical films meaningfully embraced nonconformity and transgression.  

While Grant’s masculinity could be the butt of a joke, Hepburn’s characters were always taken seriously in shirking gender expectations. Cary Grant once presented an appealing queer masculinity to someone who had just come out, but it never truly stuck – I would later discover that Katharine Hepburn was the one with whom I truly found kinship. 

Baby Poster


Ellen van Neerven (they/them)
Writer, poet and author of Personal Score 

In 2019 I was in Mildura on the Country of the Latji Latji, Nyeri Nyeri, Wergaia and Ngintait and Paakantyi/Barkindji peoples as a guest of the Mildura Writers Festival. It was struck by the beauty of the Country, the light, the colours off the river, the air and the water birds that passed by. One of my events was at the gallery and before it began, I checked out the current exhibition. The incredible work by a local artist called Sianlee Harris caught my eye and made me feel welcome as a visitor. When I was talking about Sian’s work on the panel, I realised Sian and her sister Stacy, an artist and curator, were in the crowd and I felt an instant connection.

Since that meeting, they have told me what my existence had meant to them. The feeling is reciprocal. I was proud to return for an inaugural Pride in 2021 and paint the town Blak and Queer. As much as this celebration was healing for local mob, it was also healing for me. I was seen, shiny and safe. 


Laniyuk (she/her)
Poet, writer and performer 

Thank God for Representation

When Midsumma asked me to write a poem and rejected it cause I said cops and corporations don’t belong in Pride  

I felt really seen and heard 

When that white twink at the after party said ‘It’s ok, you don’t look Aboriginal’  

I felt really seen and heard 

When Vic cops protected n*zi’s and peppered sprayed Queers  

I felt really seen and heard  

When my cousin said he could love me, the sinner but not the sin  

I felt really seen and heard 

When I was told there’s no gays in my family so I must have got it from somewhere else  

I felt really seen and heard 

When my therapist charged me $170  

I felt really seen and heard 

When Vic Roads tore down Djab Wurrung birthing trees  

I felt really seen and heard 

When the government gave millions to invest in fracking of the NT 

I felt really seen and heard 

I feel so seen and so heard
So seen and so heard
So seen and so heard 


You can learn more about the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia and explore ways you can get involved at  


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