We are committed to making sure our services are inclusive, welcoming, and safe for LGBTI+ people.
LGBTI+ inclusive practice
In March 2019, BreastScreen Victoria achieved a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to diversity, inclusion, and accessible screening for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI+) people. BreastScreen Victoria's Coordination Unit and Mobile Screening Service achieved a Rainbow Tick accreditation for our commitment to safe and inclusive practice - a first for a breast screening service in Australia. Achieving accreditation is the culmination of many years' work to better understand the needs of LGBTI+ people.
In the community
In support of our commitment to inclusive practice, we hold regular LGBTI+ community screening sessions, called Rainbow Sessions.
Sessions are held outside of business hours at various BreastScreen clinics. They are designed to create a safe space for people to screen individually or as a group among other LGBTI+ people.
Beautiful Women, was a photo series campaign celebrating the diversity of LGBTI+ women photographed by Lisa White. It explores the characteristics of beauty in all shapes, sizes, colours, abilities, and ages. It also celebrates the contributions that LGBTI+ women have made in challenging narrow definitions of female beauty. Beauty is presented as 'beyond skin' to a sense of pride in 'who we are'.
Our research identified the following barriers to screening for LGBTI+ people: previous experiences of discrimination in healthcare, lack of representation in promotional materials, staff lack of knowledge, fear that they may have to ‘come out’ in the process.
These barriers not only impact negatively on a person’s experience and choice, but can also deter an individual from accessing routine screening due to lack of awareness, or fear of the ignorance or discrimination they may encounter.
It is only recently that LGBTI+ communities and individuals have been able to develop their own, positive definitions of who they are and how they live. BreastScreen Victoria uses LGBTI+ in the broadest possible way, and with the intention of supporting all people of diverse sexuality, gender, and sex. We acknowledge the limitations of LGBTI+ when speaking about the full breadth of people’s bodies, genders, relationships, sexualities, and lived experiences.
For some people, in particular older LGBTI+ people, the term ‘queer’ has negative connotations, because in the past it was used as a discriminatory term. Given that BreastScreen Victoria target women and gender diverse people aged 50–74 for our program, we do not use the ‘Q’ in the acronym. We recognise that terminology is dynamic. For specific projects, initiatives, or events we may adjust our language to best fit the target population, or reflect the terminology used by a community partner.
There are currently no guidelines on breast screening for intersex people. BreastScreen Victoria welcome anyone with breast tissue to attend a clinic for screening. If you are not sure whether or not a mammogram is the best form of screening for you, we recommend speaking with your GP to discuss your individual needs.
When you book and attend your appointment we will only collect information that is required to perform your breast screen. We will not ask you to disclose information about your sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status.
If you would like us to record this information on your file please let us know. If recorded, this information will be visible to contact centre and reception staff, and clinical staff who access your record. We will not record this information unless you provide consent.
Our Business Coordination Unit will be applying for the Rainbow Tick first, and we’ll then look to accredit our Screening Service Providers and Reading and Assessment Services.