BreastScreen Victoria is dedicated to ensuring our services are LGBTI inclusive; because LGBTI women are under screened. As part of this commitment, we are currently applying for Rainbow Tick Accreditation. The Beautiful Women Campaign was conducted as part of our work towards achieving a Rainbow Tick.
Beautiful Women was a campaign celebrating the diversity of LGBTI women. It explored the characteristics of beauty, in all the shapes, sizes, colours, abilities and ages that women are. It also celebrated 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’.
The Beautiful Women Campaign included a number of events.
Midsumma Photo Exhibition
The campaign kicked off with a photographic exhibition, held as part of Midsumma Festival in January 2017. The exhibition showcased photographs of LGBTI women taken by photographer Lisa White (see In Bed Project and the Social Photographer) and raised awareness of the campaign and celebrated LBTI women.
A poster was developed from the exhibition photos. First displayed in the Rose Clinic at David Jones, this poster was so warmly received that we have redeveloped it and proudly display it in every BreastScreen clinic, including our mobile screening service vans.
Photos by: Lisa White The Social Photographer)
Read about the responses by women and media to the exhibition
Screening events for lesbian and bisexual women
Women who participated in the campaign told us they wanted mammograms with their mates. They also wanted to encourage butch lesbians to participate – because they feel this group is under screened. In response BreastScreen Victoria hosted a screening session for lesbian and bisexual women at the Rose Clinic in David Jones, Melbourne.
The event was shaped, promoted and named "Butch Melon Camp' by the women who participated in the campaign. The 12 places available for mammograms were fully booked and 25 women attended the event.
The success of this event has led to regular sessions being held at the Rose Clinic.
Consulting trans and gender diverse people
In collaboration with TransGender Victoria and other experts, we developed a survey consulting trans and gender diverse people about their knowledge and screening needs.
The survey was launched in August 2017 and was followed by a community consultation in which trans and gender diverse people were invited to further guide BreastScreen Victoria on the development of inclusive services. The information gathered from the survey and face to face consultation will inform:
- initiatives to achieve LGBTI inclusive services – and a Rainbow Tick
- an online training module for BreastScreen Victoria staff
- a policy guiding trans and gender diverse breast screening (there are currently no evidence based guidelines in Australia to inform best practice)
- information for trans and gender diverse people about their risk factors and best practice in breast screening or chest care.
BreastScreen Victoria will share the information and resources with breast screening services in other states and territories.
Photo by: Lisa White The Social Photographer)