Discrimination, in all its forms, is unacceptable. People who discriminate, and the structures and systems that allow this to happen, must be called out. Discrimination causes people to lose their self-confidence, make them feel like outsiders – not part of the team; the anger that arises from being ‘othered’ can lead to depression and even suicidal thoughts.
In this fifth episode of our Lived Experience series, special guest Yvonne Sillett talks about the overt, systemic and intense discrimination she experienced as a lesbian woman in the Australian Army, which left her angry, depressed and at times suicidal. While significant reforms have occurred in the Army and society as a whole over the past two decades, LGBTIQ Victorians continue to experience inequalities. Of particular concern is data on increased rates of depression, psychological distress, self-harm and suicidal ideation. When compared with the rest of the population, LGBTIQ+ people are twice as likely to experience anxiety, and three times as likely to experience depression and related disorders, largely due to the inequalities they experience based on sexuality.
Listen to how Yvonne coped, and how she became even more resilient. Hear how sharing her story not only helped others, but also helped her heal. Yvonne has also participated in two books: Serving in Silence! (which her story is in) and also the recently released titled Pride in Defence, both written by Noah Riseman and Shirleen Robinson.
If you have found any of this discussion distressing, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.