Queer Chat

Queer Chat is a social support group and safe space that meets weekly at Melbourne (Bundoora) Campus and is for like-minded students to chat about all things queer.

It’s light and fun but there is also space to share hard times with people who understand, or you can just listen.

Queer Chat meets at 1 pm every Wednesday during the semester on the Melbourne (Bundoora) campus. The group runs from February to November each year.

Queer Chat celebrates all genders and sexualities including:

  • bisexual
  • pansexual
  • fluid
  • asexual
  • questioning
  • transgender
  • non-binary and intersex students.

If you are questioning your sexuality, gender, coming out, or you are out and want to connect with other people dealing with similar experiences. Come and join us.

How to join Queer Chat

If you’re interested in joining or would like to find out more. Please register your interest in attending Queer Chat and we will provide you with more information. Alternatively, contact our counselling service reception:

P: (03) 9479 2956
E: pride@latrobe.edu.au
Address: Counselling Office, Level 2 Peribolos East building (above the Wellbeing Resource Centre and AccessAbility)

We will arrange a time for you to meet with the Queer Counsellor before you join the group, that way you can ask any questions about the group to see if it’s right for you and talk through any concerns you may have about coming. The counsellor will also inform you of other supports that are available.

Physical Space

Queer Chat goes for one hour (1.00 pm–2.00 pm) each Wednesday throughout the semester, from February to November.

Queer Chat will be run in a new location: Room 212 on level 2, Education 2 (EDU2 - 212).

People usually arrive at the room 10–15 minutes before 1 pm (the room will be accessible from 12:30 pm), and then the group will start at 1 pm. You will find a coffee table covered in a rainbow flag, biscuits, and a circle of chairs filled with other students who are queer.

Structure

The structure of the session is that we start by going around the circle to share preferred names and pronouns, and a getting to know you question or activity. We usually then talk about a queer topic that people have indicated interest in (such as coming out, dealing with queerphobia, and learning about other parts of the queer community) and there is space for people to share about recent experiences or bring up other topics for discussion.

How we make the group safe and inclusive

  • We facilitate the group in a way that helps people to share experiences and support each other. Ideally experience acceptance and belonging. We see it as a warm, gentle place that nurtures individuals as we build a strong queer community together.
  • You always have the right to ‘pass’ if you don’t feel like sharing.
  • You don’t have to know everything about the queer community or what every word/ label means. Language in the queer community is dynamic and evolving and we don’t shame anyone about the language they use or don’t use. We ask that people share what they mean if using different terminology so that everyone is on the same page.
  • You’re welcome to ask questions.
  • You won’t be judged as ‘not queer enough’ if you’re questioning, bisexual, asexual, currently in a relationship with someone of another sex, or don’t ‘look’ queer.
  • Everyone who comes to Queer Chat agrees to abide by our safe space rules.

At Queer Chat, your information is kept confidential to the high standards of the Counselling Service. Queer Chat staff cannot share any of your information with anyone (including attendance at Queer Chat) unless you explicitly give permission.

There are some limits to confidentiality such as:

  • if there is a serious risk of harm to you or someone else.
  • if we are required legally to disclose to a court, requested by subpoena.
  • if you are under age 18 and disclose being currently physically or sexually abused.

Debriefing and supervision between the queer peers and the Queer Counsellor (or Manager of Counselling). After Queer Chat, the facilitators discuss the session with the clear aim of improving the sessions for all members or offering further support. This is kept confidential within Queer Chat staff and the manager of counselling.

Queer Chat is facilitated by the Queer Counsellor and two Queer Peers. They identify as part of the community and understand what it’s like to be queer at La Trobe University. The Queer Peers also share their experiences in the group.

  • If you need help with issues that are better addressed in individual counselling, please make an appointment with our Counselling Service (03) 9479 2956 or counselling@latrobe.edu.au). We have a dedicated Queer Counsellor, but all counsellors at our service are queer-friendly and ALLY-trained. We also have an afterhours phone Mental Health and Wellbeing Support (1300 146 307 or text 0488 884 100).
  • There is also a Queer Collective and Queer Lounge on campus run by our Student Union. Where students can hang out and meet other LGBTIQ+ people in a safe space and be part of other social events throughout the year.
  • We celebrate Pride every year at La Trobe, usually in March, and some other queer events throughout the year.
  • If you are experiencing harassment or discrimination, Safer Community can help.
  • We have an ALLY Network of staff and students who have been trained in LGBTIQ+ awareness, and Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria provides ALLY training each year to interested staff and students.
  • If you need to talk to someone, QLife is a national LGBTIQ+ helpline and chat service staffed by peers (3.00 pm–12.00 am), and there are other emergency numbers you can call if you are struggling.
  • For external queer services and support groups in Victoria, you can search the comprehensive database at Rainbow Network.