It’s hard getting accurate numbers when people are scared and so feel forced to keep big parts of their lives hidden. Because of this many people mistakenly think there aren’t many GLBTIQ people here. Many feel alone and isolated. People in authority think it’s not a local problem. But we do have general statistics which we can apply to our local population and get a good minimum estimate.
Armidale as of the 2006 census has 19,485 people in it.
Lets start with Intersex, alas usually the least mentioned part of GLBTIQ. People born biologically, physically, some combination between male and female. An insignificantly small number of people? No it’s about 4% of live births according to University of Queensland geneticist, Peter Koopman. So that’s approximately 779 people who are Intersex living in Armidale!
What about Transsexuals? They are meant to be rare aren’t they? Well going by computer pioneer Lynn Conway’s figures of 1 in 500 then Armidale should have about 39 Transsexuals living here! Now while many Transsexuals traditionally flee to Sydney because of the fear of violence and lack of services in rural Australia, something that we want to fix, still many do not. However as about 30% of Armidale’s population is in the 10-24 age group that’s still means there are Transsexual kids in Armidale schools let alone those who do not flee to Sydney.
What about the rest of Transgender? The Genderqueers and Crossdressers and a host of other terms (and who have no protection from discrimination in NSW!) Well it’s harder to get good figures there but the APA has minimum numbers of 2%-3% Lynn Conway said conservative estimates are 2%-5% (Some sources have it as much as 6%-8%!) so lets use the 3% number. Well that means 585 people in Armidale are non-transsexual Transgender people! And if it’s as high as 6%? That’s 974 people! That means there may be as many as 1000 people in Armidale hiding their Gender Diversity!
What about the Gays and Lesbians and Bisexuals and Questioning people? Well about 2%-3% of people (according to a 2006 study) identify as being Gay or Lesbian while 20% are same-sex attracted. So that means we should expect around 487 people in Armidale consider themselves Gay or Lesbian and 3,897 people in Armidale are attracted to the same sex! And while some do flee to Sydney etc it’s definately not all. Some have in fact been moving from the capital cities to this region! And with the EVO cities program bringing more people to Armidale from the big overcrowded cities there will be likely be more GLBTIQ people who choose to stay and more coming here from Sydney and Brisbane!
So there’s Thousands of people in Armidale who are GLBTIQ!
Click the graph for a larger version.
So here’s these approximate figures in graph form. The Grey ‘other’ catagory is of course the Heterosexual Cissexual Cisgender people. AKA the ‘straights’. Sure the largest group but i bet not by as much as most of you were expecting! Now this graph gives a basic idea, of course it doesn’t account for overlap, as some of the Transgender and Intersex also fit into the Gay/Lesbian and Same-Sex Attracted catagories. And these are all rather minimum estimates based off fairly conservative national and International figures from studies where under-reporting tends to occur. For example a rural school in Thailand surveyed it’s male students and found between 10% and 20% considered themselves Transgender which would have a big impact on that pie chart!
Clearly GLBTIQ must be a big hidden slice of Armidale.
Lets make Armidale safe and welcoming and accepting and fair and equal for them!