LGBTIQA+ counselling and support

About LGBTIQA+ counselling

You're not alone

At the University of Melbourne, we recognise the richness diversity brings and pride ourselves on fostering and promoting a diverse and inclusive learning and working environment free from discrimination, harassment, vilification, or victimisation based on sex, sexuality, or gender identity.

We acknowledge there are a wide range of unique challenges facing people from the LGBTIQA+ community:

  • Sexual preferences and decisions on 'coming out/inviting in'
  • Determining an authentic sense of 'self' in relation to societal pressures
  • Strategies to deal with improving self-esteem and confidence to better deal with isolation, harassment, rejection or homophobia
  • Safe sex practices and health-related matters
  • Managing depression, anxiety and stress.

We are here to help

You may be questioning or have decided it is time to tell others about your sexuality or gender identity. This can be an important, exciting, and affirming moment for every LGBTIQA+ person. However, it can also be a daunting and often challenging process. Where do you start, who do you invite in, and how do you do it?

It is usually helpful to talk with someone you trust. You might want to talk to a friend or a qualified counsellor. All of our counsellors are welcoming and supportive of people of all backgrounds, and many counsellors have a particular interest in supporting students of diverse sexuality and gender identity.

If you are questioning or planning to invite others in, our specialist LGBTIQA+ counsellor, Jean Popomilkov, can also support you through the process. As a member of the LGBTIQA+ community, they understand what it's like, which means you don't have to explain yourself. You can just focus on the issues that matter to you.

You can read more about our staff, including Jean.

Appointments can be booked online or by phone at 03 8344 6927. If you would like to see Jean or any specific counsellor, you can request this.

Further support

  • LGBTIQA+ counselling services
    • Mind Equality Centre - Psychological services for sexually and gender diverse people including occupational therapy; individual, couples, group, and family relationship counselling; and sex therapy.
    • Switchboard Victoria - National telephone and web counselling, information, and referral service for LGBTQI identifying people or families, friends, teachers, and co-workers of LGBTQI people.
    • Queerspace - Family support agency that provides counselling and support to LGBTIQA+ people and their families.
    • Thorne Harbour Health - Counselling, peer, and community support for the local LGBTIQA+ community in the areas of HIV, trans and gender diverse health, mental health, alcohol and other drugs, and relationship and family violence.
  • LGBTIQA+ friendly GP clinics and health services
    • DocLIST - Online list of doctors and mental health professionals recommended by lesbian and bisexual women in Australia.
    • Equinox - Specifically trans and gender diverse health clinic located in Fitzroy providing GP services, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) management, sexual health, and counselling.
    • Northside Clinic - LGBTIQ+ oriented general practice and sexual health clinic in Fitzroy North.
    • Prahran Market Clinic - General medical practice in Prahran with particular focus on gay, lesbian, and gender diverse health.
    • The Centre Clinic - General medical practice in St Kilda providing general health care for LGBTI community.
    • Touchbase - Information, support, and services for LGBTI people for alcohol and drugs, mental health, and sexual health.
    • Turn the Corner Medical Clinic - General medical practice in Northcote committed to providing an environment that is safe and inclusive for LGBTIQA+ people.
  • LGBTIQA+ support for families
    • PFLAG Australia - Support group and advocacy for parents and allies of the LGBTIQ community.
    • Rainbow Families - Community organisation for rainbow families.
    • Transcend - Parent-led support network and information hub for transgender children and their families.
  • Transgender
    • Equinox - Specifically trans and gender diverse health clinic located in Fitzroy providing GP services, HRT management, sexual health, and counselling.
    • Seahorse Victoria - Support and social group for the Victorian transgender community.
    • Transgender Victoria - Information and resources for the Victorian transgender community.
    • YGender - Peer-led social support and advocacy group for trans/gender diverse young people.
  • Intersex
    • Intersex Human Rights Australia - Support, education and policy development for people with intersex variations or traits focusing on human rights, bodily autonomy and self-determination, and on evidence-based, patient-directed healthcare.
  • Bisexual
    • Bi-alliance Victoria - Non-profit volunteer-run organisation dedicated to promoting the acceptance of bisexuals in LGBTI and mainstream society.

Things to do to feel connected

Becoming part of an LGBTIQA+ community can be an important step in building a support network and making lasting social connections with people who understand issues specific to LGBTIQA+ people. The UMSU Queer Department can help in providing advice and a safe place, along with local support groups and resources listed below.

  • Community networking
    • Black Rainbow - Supports the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander lesbian, gay, bisexual, sistergirl & brotherboy, and queer community.
    • Joy 94.9 - Australia's only 24/7 LGBTIQ radio station.
    • LGBTIQ Multicultural Directory - List of multicultural LGBTIQ services and supports.
    • Queers in Science - Melbourne-based initiative aiming to build community and improve support for LGBTIQA+ people working in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine) in Australia.
    • Star Observer/Star online - The latest in LGBTIQ news from around Australia.
    • Victorian Pride Centre - Online directory for resources and LGBTIQ+ support groups in Victoria.
  • Social activities
    • Globe - Not-for-profit community group that encourages diversity and inclusiveness.
    • Lesbian Wine Club - Social group for women who share a common interest in enjoying and learning about wine.
    • Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus - Australia's longest running LGBTIQ+ choir.
    • Queer Book Club - Read and discuss all manner of books with LGBTIQ characters and themes.
    • Queer Club - A fantastic way to meet new friends, try something different, have fun, and get involved in the queer community.
    • Queer Culture Vultures - Social group who love seeing shows, theatre, films, musicals, concerts, and plays.
  • Sport