Lifestyle

It’s not easy being gay in Gympie

HELPING OUT: Matthew Wilshere is starting a youth group for young gays who can talk openly about homosexuality and related issues. PHOTO: PATRICK WOODS
HELPING OUT: Matthew Wilshere is starting a youth group for young gays who can talk openly about homosexuality and related issues. PHOTO: PATRICK WOODS

IF YOU are questioning your sexuality while growing up in Gympie life isn't always going to be easy, according to youth advocate Matthew Wilshere.

The 24-year-old says a lot of young people can struggle with the many issues associated with being gay, and he has set up a new youth group, LGBTQ, in Gympie.

LGBTQ, a world-wide organisation, stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender and Questioning.

The Gympie group, for people aged 16-24, is just new but its Facebook page already has more than 120 likes in just four days.

Mr Wilshere, who is openly gay, says Gympie is a great place but in some ways is behind the times.

"There is an element of homophobia in town," Mr Wilshere said.

He cited the gay slur drawn on a Mary St cafe window earlier this year and his own experiences growing up in the Gold City.

"I have been bullied at school and night clubs etc," he says.

"If you are open like me, you get a lot of derogatory comments."

Mr Wilshere said he was lucky he had a thick skin and could handle the negative remarks, but some people weren't so strong.

"Homophobic comments contribute to mental health problems in the gay community," he said.

"It's Mental Health Week and it's important people realise the effect it has."

He said the gay community had a high suicide rate and friends needed to support each other regardless of sexuality.

That is how the new youth group fits in.

LGBTQ Gympie's main focus is to provide a safe environment for Gympie's gay youth to meet.

"They can talk about their feelings, the joys and challenges of being gay," Mr Wilshere said.

The best thing is there is no pressure to come out; people can just be themselves.

"Some people could come away feeling they are straight and that's great too," Mr Wilshere said.

He was hoping the group could also offer counselling and health information and was looking for volunteer youth and health workers to be part of the team.

One of the aims is to facilitate better access to health services and support while building self-worth, a sense of community and resilience, he said.

Anyone willing to help out or who is interested in joining the group could head to the LGBTQ Gympie Facebook page for more information.

Gympie Times

Topics:  editors picks gympie



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

WEATHER: Why today will feel even hotter than predicted

The RSPCA are reminding pet owners to make sure their furry friends stay cool this summer.
Photo: Contributed

Temperatures to finally ease to usual December weather

Details emerge on victim in Gympie's horror crash

FATAL CRASH: The scene of a tragic accident in Gympie Saturday afternoon where a Cooran man, 40, lost his life.

Cooran man, 40, the victim of Saturday's Bruce Hwy crash at Gympie

How 'walking on water' gave Prowd another chance

Stand up paddle boarding is gaining popularity.

The Gympie Times' Jacob Carson learns about stand up paddle boarding

Local Partners

UPDATE: Ethan fights on as complications cause brain injury

YOUNG Gympie battler Ethan Fuller remains in hospital and is in and out of consciousness after he was rushed back into surgery last week.


Seqwater warns of blue green algae threat

When blue green algae forces the closure of Borumba Dam, the local economy of Imbil is heavily impacted.

Lake Borumba visitors warned about potential blue green algae

Katie Holmes' empowering directorial debut

Katie Holmes

KATIE Holmes as made her directorial debut

Jennifer Lawrence gives keys to new partner

Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence

Oscar winner settling down with new partner

Rogue One star proud to lead new Star Wars film

Felicity Jones leads the new Star Wars film

Star Wars lead proud to be in front in sci-fi

What's on the small screen this week

Ernie Dingo stars in the TV series Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

ERNIE Dingo stars in a new travel series and Seven airs the AACTAs.

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

INSIDE STORY: Disused pipeline stops hundreds from building

TRAIL OF TEARS: Route of the disused Santos oil pipeline which is stopping hundreds of Ipswich residents from building.

Santos responds but Tully says easements issue must be addressed

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!