LGBTIQ+ is a shortened form widely used to collectively describe three distinct attributes: sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.
Although LGBTIQ+ people do not constitute a single demographic, they are frequently grouped together because of their shared experience of prejudice and social exclusion. This can be the result of homophobia or the discriminatory treatment suffered by those who fall outside expected binary sex and gender norms.1
This version of the rainbow flag is used across the Victorian Government and includes black and brown stripes at the top.
In Victoria, the black, which should be shown on top, signifies Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the brown is to show support and respect for people of colour in LGBTIQ+ communities.
Being LGBTIQ+ is only one aspect of a person’s identity.
LGBTIQ+ people are diverse within their own experiences of gender identity, sex characteristics and sexual orientation, but are also diverse in other ways. This might include their Aboriginality, ethnicity, colour, nationality, refugee or asylum seeker background, migration or visa status, language, faith, ability, age, mental health, socioeconomic status, housing status or geographic location.
People within LGBTIQ+ communities who live with other forms of discrimination can experience compounded inequality.8
Brotherboy and sistergirl
Aboriginal communities use these terms to describe transgender people and their relationships as a way of validating and strengthening their gender identities and relationships.
Non-trans but non-conforming Aboriginal people may also use these terms. For example, both lesbian and heterosexual Aboriginal women may refer to themselves as ‘sistergirls’, ‘sisters’ or ‘tiddas’, which is an Aboriginal English term for the word ‘sisters’.
Gay Aboriginal men may also refer to themselves as sisters.9
In 2021, Victoria Police’s primary human resources IT system was enhanced to capture data about each employee’s sex, gender, sexuality, languages, culture, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status and if a person has a disability.
Current Victoria Police diversity figures appear lower than might be expected. As more employees become aware of the ability to self-identify through Victoria Police systems, these numbers are expected to increase. This data provides a valuable benchmark to monitor our progress, and gives Victoria Police a greater understanding of the diversity and needs of our employees.
Where are we at for LGBTIQ+ inclusion?
Victoria Police participates in the Victorian Public Sector Commission's People Matter Survey. The survey provides valuable insight into our culture and safety from employee perspectives.
In 2021, 6,889 Victoria Police employees responded to the People Matter Survey. 424 participants self-identified as LGBTIQ+, their findings included:
People Matter Survey responses to "There is a positive culture within my organisation in relation to employees who identify as LGBTIQ+"
- Employees who disagree: 17%
- Employees who are neutral: 19%
- Employees who agree: 64%
People Matter Survey responses to "Sexual orientation is not a barrier to success in my organisation"
- Employees who disagree: 16%
- Employees who are neutral: 25%
- Employees who agree: 59%
Employees who identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, pansexual, queer, asexual or different orientation: 0.76%
1 Victoria Police (2018), 2018–2021 LGBTIQ Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan, Victoria.
2 Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness and Housing 2022, Pride in our future: Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ strategy 2022–2032, Victoria, Australia.
4 Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness and Housing 2022, Pride in our future: Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ strategy 2022–2032, Victoria, Australia.
5 Adapted from Victoria Police’s 2018–2021 LGBTIQ Strategy and Action Plan.
6 Equal Opportunity Act 2010.
7 Victorian Government Inclusive Language Guide .
8 Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness and Housing 2022, Pride in our future: Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ Strategy 2022–2032, Victoria, Australia.
9 Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness and Housing 2022, Pride in our future: Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ Strategy 2022–2032, Victoria, Australia p.10
Reviewed 11 April 2023