LGBTI group started at high school

Is this the Coast's first LGBTI group meeting at schools?

TWO Noosa State High students have started what may be the Sunshine Coast's first school meeting for lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and intersex students.  

Courtney Robinson, 15  and Samuel Bouzanquet, 14, plan to host weekly meetings with the school and their parents' blessing.  

They aim "to provide a safe place for students to celebrate diversity and difference within the school community, providing support and addressing welfare concerns of students who may identify as LBGTI".  

It's a dream fulfilled for Courtney, who tried to initiate a Gay Pride Day at the school last year with no success.

"We have Harmony Day at school celebrating multi-racial diversity so I thought we should have a Pride Day to celebrate sexual diversity," the Year 12 student said.

Sam Bouzanquet from Noosa State High School has started a LGBTI group at school. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily
Sam Bouzanquet from Noosa State High School has started a LGBTI group at school. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily Warren Lynam

Then Sam joined the school and also started asking questions about a support group and the two were introduced.  

They shared their plans for the group with the school assembly on Monday  and received a warm reception.  

Courtney, who has been aware of her sexual diversity for four years, didn't want anyone to feel alone.  

"I knew I wasn't straight when I was 11, I knew my whole life, but there wasn't a term for it," she said.

"I came out in Grade 10 as bi (sexual) and have been advocating for other LBGTI people.

" I learnt a lot about it when I came out."  

She realised how many youths felt "really isolated and scared and alone".  

"That's why there is such a high rate of mental health issues.  

"We created this group to help a lot of people know they are not alone," she said.  

Sam also knew he was gay for several years, but only "came out" last year.

"No one else came out. Then when I came to this school I thought there would be a group for LGBTI to meet up and network," he said.  

"There wasn't, so I went to the teacher and asked and she introduced me to Courtney."

Noosa High principal Chris Ross said the school was "very supportive of the students and the meeting that is being held once a week".

"The school is founded around the concept of diversity, it is part of our motto to support students wherever we can."  

Education Queensland did not respond to questions by deadline.  



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