Australia’s Governor-General attends LGBT e-book launch of “Families Like Mine”

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On Tuesday, November 26, the Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, called attention to the high suicide rate among gay, transgender, bisexual, and intersex Australian youth.

“This is too high a price to pay for our young people,” said Bryce. “We cannot allow another person to be lost.”

On Tuesday, Bryce, who said she had difficulty coming to terms with her own sexuality, attended the launch of an e-book, “Families Like Mine.” The book, published by depression awareness group Beyondblue, gives LGBT-related advice for families.

“Fear of rejection and, particularly, fear of being rejected by a loved one is shown to increase anxiety and the risk of suicide and self-harm,” Bryce said at the launch in Melbourne, Australia. “But a supportive family can make all the difference.”

Bryce, who has been Queen Elizabeth II’s representative in Australia for the past five years, will leave her post next March.

Touched by the stories in the book, Bryce underscored the importance that all young people feel that society cares about them.

“Everyone here would want all young people to know that they are not alone, that as a society, we do care,” said Bryce. “They can live rich and rewarding lives, but sometimes they just need our support.”

Brock “Chooka” McLean, a professional Australian footballer for the Carlton Football Club, whose own sister is gay, said the book has the power to provide families with a foundation for understanding LGBT people and to learn how to properly support them.

“I’ve always told myself that if my sister can’t feel comfortable enough to be who she is around me and feel accepted and loved, then I’ve failed my role as a brother,” said McLean. “There are parents out there who want to love their children and accept them, but they just don’t know how.”

McLean also added, “For parents to basically tell [their LGBT children]: ‘we don’t love you anymore,’ I think for a child to hear that is one of the most awful things you could ever hear.”

“Families Like Mine” is free and available to view on the web here.

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