• New report: Voices from the Black Rainbow (Supplied)
A new report from Black Rainbow founder Dameyon Bonson, hopes to change the conversation about Indigenous LGBWTI health, well-being and suicide prevention in Australia.
By
NITV Staff Writer

16 Feb 2017 - 11:43 AM  UPDATED 16 Feb 2017 - 11:43 AM

The report tilted "Voices from the Black Rainbow: The inclusion of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI, Sistergirls and Brotherboys in health, well-being and suicide prevention strategies" grapples with the damning evidence that shows Indigenous and LGBQTI communities experience much higher rates of self harm and suicide. Surprisingly, little research about these issues among Indigenous LGBQTI people has been undertaken, until now. 

Dameyon Bonson, founder of Black Rainbow and the recipient of last year's Dr Yunupingu Award for Human Rights, has released his report, "Voices from the Black Rainbow" citing a disturbing lack of inclusion of Indigenous Lesbian Gay Bisexual Queer Trans Intersex (LGBQTI) community voices, including Indigenous Transgender people who identify as Sistergirl and Brotherboy from both Indigenous and LGBQTI suicide prevention strategies and activities. Bonson states that this lack of inclusion does not necessary come from either racism or homophobia, respectively, but 'is part of a larger issue of unintentional heterosexism and Eurocentric privilege'. 

His report includes an analysis of existing literature, and focuses on the voices of Indigenous LGBQTI participants in a yarning circle workshop held in Darwin. Yarning Circles are an example decolonising methodologies and are conducted as informal conversations, and are recognised as an appropriate form of academic research for Indigenous researchers and participants. 

Bonson believes his report demonstrates 'opportunities for self determined research' in the area of Indigenous LGBQTI health, well being and suicide prevention strategies' and hopes that it will amplify calls for greater resourcing of this area to collect data, determine areas of need and opportunity, and explore relevant issues and perspectives. He argues that this research needs to be led by people who are 'informed, competent and confident' to work effectively on this crucial topic. 

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