Encounter, an organization that provides, “professional development training in LGBTI issues and culture in Australia,” has announced it’s lineup of speakers for the May 29-30 Encounter Course in Melbourne. According to the organizations website, this introductory course, “covers the ten most common myths surrounding the LGBTI community and sets the record straight by presenting the latest research and lived experience.” The description goes on to say, “we look at the common issues in the LGBTI community, with a special emphasis on the ‘coming out’ journey'”
Unfortunately, this important professional development course will feature no lesbians, as according to their Facebook page, “we have two on our team, but both have had to pull out.”
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If this series is so, “essential for those working with LGBTI clients, employing LGBTI people or simply those wanting to gain a better understanding of the journey of a person they care for,” why were they unable to find a single lesbian on the east coast of Australia who could share her experience as a lesbian?
Without the “L” represented as the title proclaims, this organization is at the very least being disingenuous and at most, erasing lesbian lived experience and lesbian voice from the community it claims to represent.
After several people voiced concerns that there was no lesbian representation in their course, the Facebook page moderators removed all questions and comments related to this matter.