LGBTIQA+ counselling and support

About LGBTIQA+ counselling

You're not alone

At the University, we value and celebrate the richness diversity brings to our community. We are committed to fostering a safe and respectful environment free from discrimination, harassment, vilification, or victimisation based on sex, sexuality, or gender identity.

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

  • Sexual orientation 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+ support
    • Rainbow Door - Free, specialist LGBTIQA+ helpline for all LGBTIQA+ people in Victoria. Experienced peers provide information, referral, and support to enable LGBTIAQ+ people, their friends, and their families to navigate the system and access the supports they need within a safe environment.
    • Qlife - Anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people in Australia wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings, or relationships.
    • Switchboard - Community based not for profit organisation that provides a peer driven, support service for LGBTIQA+ communities and their allies, friends, support workers and families.
    • 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
    • Docdir - Australia's national directory of LGBTIQ+ friendly health clinicians.
    • Equinox - Specifically trans and gender diverse health clinic located in Fitzroy providing GP services, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) management, sexual health, and counselling.
    • Monash Gender Clinic - Statewide service providing consumer-centred care for trans, gender diverse, and non-binary people and allies.
    • 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

    The University's Safer Community Program offers specialist support to the University's transgender and gender diverse (TGD) community. This support extends to information and guidance around gender affirmation at the University, facilitating connections with appropriate services and agencies, and providing TGD resources for students and staff.

    • 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.
    • The Shed - Support group for trans masculine people, including people who are non-binary and those who are questioning or exploring their gender.
    • 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.