“All Queer (LGBTIQA+) Autistic young people need mentors and communities that they can turn to for guidance and support.”
This is why I’m so happy to be mentoring alongside Sam and Madi and sharing a webinar with Shadia and Sam. It is so important for young Queer Autistic people to hear different voices and experiences when they take part in our mentoring programs or use our resources. I am always gaining new insights and learning more about myself from my I CAN teammates. It is always an amazing feeling to share something personal and see it resonate with younger members of the community. Collaborating with other mentors means that we get to reach even more mentees and give them a fuller understanding of themselves and their identities. There’s more than one way to be Queer and Autistic, something we embody by working as a team to represent many different parts of both spectrums.”
~ Christian, I CAN Network Leader (Mentor)
ONLINE MENTORING (UPDATED FOR AUGUST CYCLE)
In addition to our longstanding online mentoring programs for Autistic young people (ages 9-20), earlier this year we proudly launched a group specifically for teens (ages 13-17) who identify as both Autistic & LGBTIQA+. Our programs are open to participants from both Australia and New Zealand.
The group runs for six (6) hour-long weekly sessions on Thursdays (6:50-7:50pm AEST/8:50-9:50pm NZST), with a new cycle kicking off the week of August 3rd. To learn more and/or to submit an Expression of Interest, please see: www.icannetwork.com.au/
Special thanks to the Ian Potter Foundation for supporting the continued expansion of our Autistic-led online mentoring programs.
WEBINAR & TIPS
Mentors Christian, Sam & Shadia recently captured some of their experiences, insights and advice for younger peers through a webinar and related tip sheet. Click on the images to view.
We are grateful to the Department of Health & Human Services Victoria for sponsoring the creation of our video and tip sheet series that showcases Autistic young adult voices.
You can find other videos on our I CAN Network YouTube Channel
RECOMMENDED RESOURCES (list not exhaustive)
I CAN Webinars:
Insights from Autistic LGBTIQA+ Young Adults (February 2020)
Autistic, LGBTIQA+ and Proud (August 2018)
Support Groups (Online):
Parents of Gender Diverse Children (for parents/carers): www.facebook.com/parentsofgenderdiversechildren
Spectrum Intersections (peer-led group for people who identify as neurodivergent and LGBTIQA+): www.facebook.com/spectrum.intersections
Victorian & Nationally-Based Organisations:
Minus18 (Specific to LGBTIQA+ youth): www.minus18.org.au/
Transcend Support: https://transcendsupport.com.au/
Rainbow Families: https://www.rainbowfamilies.com.au/
Transgender Victoria: https://transgendervictoria.com/
Melbourne Bisexual Network: https://www.melbournebisexualnetwork.com/
Bisexual Alliance Victoria: http://www.bi-alliance.org/
From Amaze, resources for parents of trans and gender diverse Autistic young people:
Wenn Lawson is an Autistic trans advocate and psychologist who is a longtime member of our I CAN family. His amazing work can be found here: www.buildsomethingpositive.com/wenn/.
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I CAN Network Team