Zest Lesbian Wellbeing (formerly LHAG) was formed by Healhty Communities in 2008 to lead on the development of health initiatives for lesbians and other same sex attracted women.
The goals of the group are:
- - to improve the health and wellbeing of lesbians and same sex attracted women in Queensland
- - to build on past and current initiatives and the existing strengths and resources of women
- - to develop new and innovative responses to lesbian health using evidence-based practice
The term ‘Lesbian', for the purpose of the work of the Zest Lesbian Wellbeing refers to all people who identify as lesbian, bisexual, queer and same sex attracted and trans women in Queensland.
This group includes, but is in no way limited to, lesbians, gay women, dykes, women who have sex with women (WSW), queer women, women-partnered women (WPW), trans women, lezzos, SSAW, lipstick lesbians, sporty dykes, of Sapphic inclination, butch lesbians, bull dykes, stone butches, femmes, lesbian transwomen, gender queer people, diesel dykes, baby dykes, stealth dykes, transdykes, bicurious women, non-heterosexual women, fluid, androdykes, bois, bulldaggers, vagitarians and anyone who is on this side of the fence, on our team or one of us.
So all of our activities and events are open to anyone who may identify with any of the above!
Since 2008 LHAG has undertaken a range of activities to assist in the improving of the health and wellbeing of lesbian, bisexual and same-sex attracted women in Queensland. Our activities have included:
- Health Promotion
- - Contributed $8000 to the wages of a LGBTI Health Promotion worker at Healthy Communities to support the promotion of Lesbian and Transgender health.
- - Boobalishious Calendar in 2010 with health information about breast health and breast care for lesbians
- - In the Persuit of Pappiness Calendar in 2011 with health informaiton about HPV and pap smears for lesbians
- - Ads in LGBTI community magazines to bring awareness to lesbian health needs, such as mental health, STI's, drug use, safe sex, etc.
- - Radio interviews on Dykes on Mykes (4zzz) about lesbian health issues
- - 2014 I Am Calendar
- Survey of Community Needs
- - Since 2009, each year LHAG has conducted a snapshot survey of the self identified needs of the lesbian community. This helps LHAG to direct our activities to match the needs of the community.
- Community Events
- - Outreach volutneers at Scarlet and City Licker events promoting safe drinking and safer sex
- - Facilitating International Lesbian Day in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and supported City Lickers in the event in 2009 and 2010
- - Production of the Vagina Monologues that funded the development of the 'Queer Without Fear' resouce and safety card about domestic violence in LGBTI relationships.
- - Information stalls at LGBTI community events (such as Pride, Queer Film Festival, etc.) providing information about lesbian health including breast care, pap smears, mental health, healhty relationships, STI's and safer sex
- - Showcase to connect community members to the small unfunded social groups in the community
- Physical Health
- - Yoga classes for lesbians that were subsidised to make them more affordable and accessible that encourage good physical health and mental health
- - Touch football (Lez Touch) games held weekly througout winter as a fun social game and opportunity for improving physical fitness
- Social Activities
- - Regular brunches, lunches, coffees and dinners that allow women to meet and socialse with others without alcohol.
- - Bunnings women's skills night at Rocklea
- - Picnics during Pride month or around other signifiant LGBTI community events.
- - The development of a Lesbian Social Calander
- - International Lesbian Day
Zest is always looking for women who are interested in volunteering.
Volunteer activities include:
- - Outreach at womens events
- - Planning and facilitating drug and alcohol free social events
- - Planning and facilitating physical activities
- - Planning festivals and community events
- - Supervising stalls and distributing informaiton at community events
To become a volunteer, please register as a QuAC volunteer at http://www.quac.org.au/volunteer indicating you wish to volunteer with Zest Lesbian Wellbeing.
This is a Lesbian Health Action Group, MICAH and Healthy Communities project has been funded by the Ian Potter Foundation http://www.ianpotter.org.au/
Please click on image to download resource
- The Birds and The Birds - This Lesbian sex workbook contains important and helpful information about sex between women, and how to look after your sexual health and wellbeing as well as your partner/s. (2011)
- Be Breast Aware provides information on the potential increased risks of breast cancer for lesbians and what can be done to reduce risks and detect breast cancer. (2006.)
- Quit Smoking Now highlights the benefits of quitting, provides tips on how to quit and provides info on rates of smoking in among lesbians. 2006.
- Opening the Window to Lesbian Health provides an overall look at lesbian health, from accessing services to taking care of yourself and your body. (2003)
- I Love Claude - Claude is an initiative of the Lesbian and Same Sex Attracted Women’s Sexual Health Project at ACON. Through Claude we aim to reach sexually adventurous women across different ages, geographical locations, cultural backgrounds and sexual identities in the BDSM/Swingers/Kink communities. www.iloveclaude.com
Family Planning Queensland and Women's Health Queensland Wide
- Lesbians, Sexual Health and Pap Smears is a Queensland resource on sexual health, pap smears, cervical cancer and finding a health professional (2004)
University of Melbourne
- Outs and Ins - Women can use this information to become better informed about their own health and health care (2010)
- Lesbian Health: Health and Health Care for Lesbian, Bisexual and same sex attracted women including sexuality and parenting.
Pap Screen Victoria and Cancer Council of Victoria
- Lesbians Need Pap Tests Too - Remember that lesbians need pap tests too! A common misconception by some lesbians and health professionals is that lesbians don't need Pap tests. Some believe that being a lesbian is protection against problems like cervical cancer and sexually transmitted diseases. Unfortunately it isn't! (2008)
Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT
- Girl2Girl is a lesbian health wesite that provides safe sex information for women having sex with women. www.girl2girl.info
South Australia (Mulligan and Heath)
- Lesbian Zest shares the stories of 27 lesbians who tell where they get their support from and what supports them flourish. (2007)
- Thriving as a Queer or Bisexual Woman - This document brings together stories from 20 Australian women who identify as bi or queer and who are leading thriving lives. They agreed to be interviewed and to share their wisdom about how to thrive as a queer or bi woman: sharing some of the ways they find fulfilment, support, joy and sustenance for themselves. (2009)
Southern Womens Community Health Centre (SA)
- Stress in a Lesbian Health Issue - This leaflet is wriiten specifically for lesbians. It offers advice and information on how to deal with stress and the impact it can have on health and well being. (2008)
Gay and Lesbian Foundation (UK)
- Beating Around the Bush - A Guide to Sex and Sexual Health for Women who have sex with Women
- Thanks for the Mammaries - Getting to know yours, and her breasts can be fun and also very important and knowing how your breasts look and feel can help in the early detection of breast cancer.
- Girls Go Pop - In this resource we take a look at why women like to drink, the effects of alcohol on our health and behaviour, where to get support, alternative ways to be social without getting worse for wear, and much more.
LHAG Lesbian Health Issues Paper has been written to inform the work of the QAHC Lesbian Health Action Group (LHAG) in developing a Queensland Lesbian Health Strategy. The paper does not seek to be a comprehensive academic literature review of all issues relating to lesbian health, but rather seeks to highlight current, urgent and relevant health issues pertinent to Queensland Lesbians.
The paper is designed to be brief and user-friendly so that it is readily utilised in raising awareness of lesbian health issues. Evidence used in the paper is from an Australian (preferably Queensland) context and has been selected based on currency, relevance, and on the significance of the health issues that impact on the lesbian community.
Whilst we have conducted an extensive search of the literature related to lesbian health over many months, we apologise in advance for any omissions. Our aim has been to present the most important and relevant evidence at hand. Further, we acknowledge that research on lesbian health issues is difficult to compare and analyse due to the wide variances in methodological preparations of study populations (Mravcak, 2006). Some studies use three categories (homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual) whereas others use large scales of up to seven categories to classify sexual orientation. This means more or less women may be captured in the various studies. This methodological phenomenon has been taken into account when reviewing the evidence presented herein.
The Health and Well-Being of Lesbian and Bisexual Women in Western Australia report provides an insight into the health outcomes, inequalities and community connectedness of women who have sex with women in Western Australia. Produced by the Western Australian Centre for Health Promotion Research, WA, 2007.
Health of lesbian, bisexual and queer women in Sydney: The 2004 Sydney Women and Sexual Health Survey provides an insight into the sexual health, practices and partners, as well as drug use and knowledge of health risks for LBQ women in Sydney. Published by National Centre in HIV Social Research, NSW, 2005.
Turning Point: ACON Lesbian Health Strategy 2008-1011 a guiding document to inform ACON’s whole-of-organisation approach to service and program delivery to lesbians and same-sex attracted women, and to equip ACON with an effective lobbying and fundraising tools
Lesbian Accessible Services
DocLIST is an online list of doctors recommended by lesbian and bisexual women, administered by Alliance member the Australian Lesbian Medical Association. DocLIST is a free service to lesbian and bisexual women within the community. www.doclist.com.au
Women's Health Queensland Wide is a not-for-profit health promotion, information and education service www.womhealth.org.au
Family Planning Queensland provides sexual and reproductive health services to the Queensland population www.fpq.com.au
Brisbane Domestic Violence and Advocacy Service (BDVAS) is a community based organisation that provides a free and confidential advocacy and support service for women, children, family members and individuals affected by domestic and family violence in the Brisbane Metropolitan area. www.dvrc.org.au