Rainbow Realities

Group of diverse cartoon LGBTQ+ people

In-depth analyses of large-scale LGBTQA+ health and wellbeing data in Australia


Natalie Amos, Gene Lim, Pip BuckinghamAshleigh Lin, Shakara Liddelow-Hunt, Julie Mooney-Somers and Adam Bourne

The Rainbow Realities report has been commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care to inform development of the 10-year LGBTIQA+ Health and Wellbeing Action Plan. It reflects the commitment of the Australian Government to ensure the needs and experiences of LGBTIQA+ people are carefully considered in the development of the Action Plan. This report represents one component of the national consultation process, which also includes engagement of an Expert Advisory Group, a report on LGBTIQA+ inclusion within State, Territory, Commonwealth and Public Health Network strategies and action plans, an examination of perceptions on primary care provision for LGBTIQA+ communities and other targeted consultation activities. Rainbow Realities provides a synthesis of pre-existing findings as well as more than 50 new analyses derived from the data of six surveys of LGBTQA+ populations in Australia: Private Lives 3, Writing Themselves In 4, SWASH , Trans Pathways, Walkern Katatdjin (Rainbow Knowledge) and Pride and Pandemic. In total, the surveys received more than 20,000 responses from LGBTQA+ people, spanning all parts of the country and a wide range of intersectional backgrounds.

The report has been thematically organised into 10 chapters relating to either a key determinant or contributing factor to LGBTQA+ health outcomes, or a topic of particular interest:

  • Mental health and suicidality
  • Income inequality,
  • Housing and experiences of homelessness
  • Discrimination and abuse
  • Family violence and sexual assault
  • Alcohol and other drugs
  • Relationships
  • Parenting and sexual and reproductive health
  • Gender affirmation and trans affirming practices
  • General healthcare
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Intersectional identities

Rainbow Realities was launched on Tuesday 9 April at the 12th Health in Difference Conference in Canberra by The Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care.

Download the Rainbow Realities report now.

Partners & Funding

Rainbow Realities was produced as part of a research partnership between the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University, the University of Sydney, the Telethon Kids Institute and the University of Western Australia, with funding from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care and LGBTIQ+ Health Australia.

Text 'Telethon Kids Institute' with 'KIDS' in letters made of a variety of bright colours and patternsThe University of Sydney logo which includes the University coat of armsCrest with a black swan and text 'Seek Wisdom' on a ribbon and 'Vitam excoluere per artes' on open books, with the text 'The University of Western AustraliaLogo of the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, with the crest of Australia and a stripe made of up of blocks of different shades of blue and tealLGBTIQ Health Australia' superimposed on a design of ten stars in the colours of the Progress Pride Flag