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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are FC’s Frequently Asked Questions! These can help you understand more about FC, sexuality, sex & gender, and help you find where you can get more info in this website. Don’t forget to check out our Glossary of terms and Info sections for more info too!

We always welcome feedback and more questions, so if we’ve missed anything or you have anything to say about our FAQs or the rest of the FC website, please contact us.

 

Click on the menu item to read our FAQs;

FAQs About FC Services

What is Freedom Centre?

We are a youth owned drop-in space for young people (under 26) who are same sex attracted, sex and/or gender diverse. We also run groups, courses, retreats, activities and events.

What does Freedom Centre offer?

Freedom Centre is a free service. We provide a safe social space to meet new people, chat, hang out, get support and find information on a range of issues.

 

Freedom Centre is not a counseling service but provides referrals to queer friendly counseling, accommodation, health and crisis services. We also do trainings for professionals working with young people.

What happens at the Centre?

Most of the time everyone just sits around and chats and has cups of tea and coffee!! It’s very laid back. Sometimes we’ll play cards or board games or watch a dvd or video if everyone wants to. People can come and go as they please – or drop in and out! Some people bring, or pop out and buy, their dinner or munchies. Basically, as long as the FC Rules are followed and everyone is respected, you and the other visitors can do whatever you please; FC is our centre!

Can I bring a friend or family member?

Yes. Going to any new place for the first time can be scary, so feel free to bring along a friend or family member for support while you are getting used to Freedom Centre.

What are the rules around picking up at FC?

Freedom Centre is a no 'pick-up' zone. Respecting Freedom Centre space means respecting everyone's personal space. People come to Freedom Centre expecting a safe space for friendship, support and information. There are other queer venues in Perth where 'picking up' is acceptable behaviour, Freedom Centre provides something different. If you ever feel uncomfortable by someone else's behaviour, let one of the volunteers or staff know.

What are the rules at the Freedom Centre?

It's fairly basic and can be summed up in one word: Respect. This means respecting yourself and others, so be aware of peoples privacy and personal space; and respecting the space. Additionally FC is a drug and alcohol free zone.

When I'm at FC how can I be sure that what I say remains confidential?

We take confidentiality really seriously. Staff and volunteers attend training about confidentiality, its importance and how to maintain it. We take it to the extent that if a volunteer sees you in the street and recognises you from FC they will not say "hello" just in case you are with family/friends and you don't want to explain how you know each other. As for stuff at the Centre, there's space for you to have private conversations with staff and volunteers. We'll keep what you say confidential except if you are going to harm yourself or others.

How old are people who come to FC?

Generally between 15 and 25, but it really varies from day to day. Our upper age limit is 25 but there's no lower age limit. People who are aged 26 and over can access other groups through GLCS (Gay and Lesbian Community Services) such as "26 Up" for men attracted to men, and "Women on Women" for same sex attracted women. It's important that we maintain 25 and under as our age limit for a number of reasons: our funding is specifically for the 15-25 age bracket; we think its really important to provide young people with their own space and with opportunities to support, manage and run that space; maintaining youth space means that the peer model of support carries through from generation to generation; the experience of coming out as a young person is very different from the experience of coming out later in life. All our volunteers are aged between 18 and 26.

I'm fairly happy about my sexuality, I just want to check out FC for more info, am I going to be really out of place?

No. While people come to Freedom Centre with all sorts of questions, most people are just looking for a safe space to be who they are, to find out more and to talk to other people who might have similar experiences to them. No matter how comfortable you are with your sexuality, Freedom Centre is a safe space for you to make contact with peers and access info.

Who are the volunteers? Can I be a volunteer?

Volunteers are aged between 18 – 25 with diverse sexualities and/or gender. There are at least two volunteers at every shift. Volunteers are trained peers who understand confidentiality and know how to be good listeners. To become a volunteer you must be at least 18, you must attend an interview with the Coordinator, and then you must complete the appropriate training. Email us for more information.

I want to meet you guys but can't get to Freedom Centre yet. Is there some other way we can talk?

Yes. You can get in touch by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), add us to your MSN to FC Chat with FC volunteers and staff, or phone us (9228 0354 /9482 0000).

Where is Freedom Centre? How can I get in contact?

93 Brisbane St Northbridge (go to our Contact Us page for directions & a map)
For more info about Freedom Centre call Dani on 9482 0000 during business hours or 9228 0354 during session times or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FAQs About Diverse Sexuality

Before you check our FAQs about diverse sexuality, check out our glossary which has all the meanings
of different labels and terms; it might answer some of your questions and it will help you understand some of the following FAQs and their answers too.

 

I think I might be gay, lesbian or bisexual; but what if I don’t know for sure?

It’s OK to take time to figure out who you are and being gay, lesbian or bi is most importantly about what you feel comfortable identifying as; not what someone else thinks you are or what you do with people of whichever gender.

Many people will identify with one label for a period of their life and then another for another period of their life. For example, many people identify as bisexual for many years, but then begin to identify as gay or lesbian. This doesn’t mean they weren’t bi as that’s the identity that they felt comfortable with for that period of their life. We’ve also heard many stories of people identifying as straight for years and then coming out as gay or lesbian later in life.

Similarly, we know people who felt they were gay or lesbian from a very early age and lived a happy and fulfilling life with this identity, but then have later fallen in love with someone of the opposite sex. Sexuality is fluid and can change some or many times over a person’s life. Other people’s sexuality is more fixed and they identify as gay, lesbian, bi or straight for their entire lives. The important thing is that you listen to your feelings and trust yourself to know what’s right for you.

Another misconception is that what we do determines who we are; this is not so. Many people have an open approach to sexuality and will identify strongly as gay, lesbian or heterosexual, but may have sex and/or relationships with people that don’t fit with their identity. Similarly, people who identify as bisexual don’t have to be having sex and/or relationships with both genders; someone can identify as bisexual but be in a long-term, monogamous relationship with one person.

Finally, if the terms gay, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual don’t feel right for you they aren’t your only options. Many people choose to reject all labels, asserting that they are themselves and don’t want a label to determine their sexuality or identity. Others prefer labels like queer, pansexual, omnisexual, dyke, fag, or anything else that feels comfortable for you. Other people dislike some of these terms for various reasons, but if it suits you it’s OK.

 

Everyone has the right to be themselves – what or however that may be. It’s OK to take your time figuring out what’s right for you. Many adults will say they still haven’t and will always be figuring out who they are. Our identities are always changing as we experience and come to know new things. Listen to and trust yourself and stick up for what you know is right for you!

Am I the only one with these feelings?

There are thousands of other people around Australia and the world who feel attracted to the same sex as themselves. You are not alone!

Is it natural to be gay, lesbian or bisexual?

Yes! Being gay, lesbian or bisexual is as natural as being heterosexual. The Australian Psychology Society asserts this and that it is not possible to force someone to change their sexuality through any psychological or medical means.

Why do I feel attracted to people of my own sex?

Young people often ask “Why am I attracted to people of the same sex?” It’s interesting that people don’t ask “Why am I attracted to people of the opposite sex?” The answer is the same to both of these questions.

 

Our society is often looking for a cause for something that is different so that it can be ‘fixed’. Being attracted to people of the same sex is not something that needs to be fixed. We live in a world that often fears and questions difference. This is the reason for racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination and prejudice. Being young and different can be hard, but everyone is different in some way. It makes life interesting!

Being attracted to people of the same sex is just one part of who you are.

I thought gay, lesbian or bisexual people acted in certain ways; if I don’t fit the stereotypes, am I still gay?

Gay, lesbian or bisexual people, like all people, are diverse. They are young, old, Asian, Aboriginal, European, African and from every other nationality, religion and culture. They may have disabilities or impairments. They are mothers and fathers, daughter and sons, friends, and family members. They are construction workers, teachers, doctors, students, secretaries, business people, police officers, politicians, athletes, and every other occupation.

Many of the stereotypes and misunderstandings are about sexuality and gender. We often hear that gay men want to be women and lesbians want to be men. This is confusing sexuality with issues about gender. Check out our Glossary for definitions of these and our Info sections on sexuality, gender and identity for more info about this.

Stereotypes and myths exist because of ignorance and assumptions. Some people fit stereotypes and some don’t. Trust your feelings and be yourself.