Minus18

Minus18

At Minus18 we aim to improve the lives of same sex attracted and gender diverse (SSAGD) youth by empowering them, connecting them with other SSAGD youth and helping them to understand themselves. We do this by running social events, producing resources, partnering with other community groups, and awareness raising. Each year our events and projects reach more than 60,000 youth right across Australia.

Minus18 has two key philosophies underlying the management of all projects:

1. Youth Empowering Youth.
Minus18 believe that the best and most effective way to empower young people is for other young people to be the ones engaging with them. As such, all Minus18 projects are imagined, organised and run by the Minus18 Crew to ensure everyone who attends leaves empowered.

2. Social Inclusion.
Social isolation due to location, bullying and homophobia can lead to mental illness and a lack of confidence. Minus18 combats social isolation through providing a place where young people feel they belong and are 100% safe. Because of this, participation in a Minus18 event has been proven to improve mental wellbeing in young people.

Youth Mentoring / Resources

Minus18 is run by more than 40 youth volunteers, who work with other members of the community to gain skills in all aspects of event and project management. We've fostered Young Australian of the Year finalists, DJs, Event Planners, Health Promotion Teams, Youth Workers - the list goes on.

We develop resources designed to support SSAGD young people and to tackle homophobia and transphobia. These resources are created for young people, by young people. Our resource STAND OUT gives youth the tools to stand out against discrimination and ignorance in schools. Over 10,000 copies have been distributed to schools and youth services. Our coming out support resources OMG I'm Queer and OMG My Friend is Queer have had a combined 13,000 copies distributed across Victoria.

Mental Health Support

Minus18 provides mental health support and peer-mentoring to thousands of same sex attracted and gender diverse young people from all over Australia. Our youth workers and peer mentors are ready to go whenever young people need someone to talk to.

Events

Minus18 put on incredible dance and music events every school holidays. Around 500 young lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* (LGBT) people, and allies, attend each event. We also run social events twice a month - movie nights, scavenger hunts, pool days - that sort of thing. Generally, social events can have 20 to 50 people attend. They are an awesome chance for queer teens hang out with other same sex attracted and gender diverse young people.

Why we do it

Being same sex attracted or gender diverse isn't always easy, and it can be even more confusing and isolating when you don't know other people who are going through the same experiences as you. Unfortunately, because of homophobia and isolation, SSAGD young people experience higher rates of mental illness and suicide than heterosexual young people.

75% of SSAGD young people in Australia experience homophobic abuse - most of this occurring at school.

As a result, SSAGD young people are 2 times as likely to experience anxiety or depression and 3 times as likely to attempt suicide.

We know that the best remedy for social isolation is to provide a place where same sex attracted and gender diverse youth can make friends in a safe and fun atmosphere. While Minus18 is promoted to young people as a social space, it's really so much more. We're all about improving the mental wellbeing of young people, increasing their self-confidence and overall making their lives better.

Why what we do works

A sense of belonging and inclusion assists the integration of a SSAGD young person into society and benefits their mental wellbeing.

"Minus18 helps young people rebuild social networks and establish close, trusting relationships where they feel valued and safe, and is what is needed to address the impacts of homophobia in young people's everyday live."


-Health & Well-Being of Same-Sex-Attracted Young People, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University.

Contact Details

81 Rupert St, Collingwood
COLLINGWOOD VIC, 3066

(03) 9913 9275
Are donations tax deductible?

Yes

Will I receive a receipt for my donation?

Yes, as soon as your donation is processed.