DSG is Diverse Sexuality and Gender.
StartOut Australia aims to be an organisation that is inclusive of all people irrespective of any traits including race, religion, gender and sexuality. Our work is primarily focused on supporting people who identify as being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and questioning. As an acronym LGBTIQQ is problematic as there is a lack of consistency in its use. Variations include LGBT, GLBT, etc. Broadly, we believe that people are people and that being different is okay.
In respect of sexuality, we are also aware that for some it can be considered more fluid and that part of the challenge for these individuals is that they may not comfortably identify with a specific label, for a variety of reasons. Depending on gender identity, sexuality can be further complicated. The use of terms like “same-sex attracted” should be avoided unless they are specifically relevant as there is potential to exclude people who are transgender and attracted to opposite-sex people.
In respect of gender, there are at least 56 possible combinations of terms used by people around the world to define their gender identity. Increasingly, modern society is providing for male, female and “other” as options. This includes recognition by the Australian Government that an X may be used in passports to define gender, rather than an M or F.
In order to be as inclusive as possible of any person who struggles or may struggle with mental health issues, StartOut Australia has adopted the term “Diverse Sexuality and Gender (DSG)”. Our intention is one entirely of inclusiveness to ensure that irrespective of how a person chooses to identify themselves, if they feel that they do not “fit” in the mainstream, they are among those we intend to support.
The use of DSG is in no way intended to detract from an individual’s right to identify their sexuality and gender in a more specific way. DSG is a collective term that includes people who identify as gay, lesbian or otherwise, rather than being an alternative identifier.
StartOut Australia is also grateful for and reliant on the support of those who identify as heterosexual or straight. In order to achieve our mission, we will be an organisation that is supported, managed and staffed by anyone who shares our values and has empathy for the specific challenges faced by DSG people.