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Construction of new centre for LGBTIQA+ in Linz begins

Construction of new centre for LGBTIQA+ in Linz begins
Construction of new centre for LGBTIQA+ in Linz begins

LGBTIQA+ speaker Vice Mayor Tina Blöchl (2nd from left) and LGBTIQA+ representative Patricia Kurz-Khattab (left) together with Paulina Wessela (Chair of the Bily Association) and Johannes Wahala (Head of the COURAGE Advisory Center) provided information on the start of construction of the LGBTIQA+ Competence Center.

Stupid and embarrassing jokes. Physical and psychological violence. Young people and adults who are either gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer experience hostility again and again in everyday life. The consequences are often fatal and can even lead to suicide. This is the framework that Tina Blöchl, SP deputy mayor of the city of Linz, outlined yesterday at the start of construction of the first such competence center in Austria.

More on the subject: Many queer Linz residents are discriminated against in everyday life

This contact point for affected people at Weißenwolffstraße 17a is due to open in September – it was approved by the Linz City Council three years ago as an “LGBTIQA+” concept. Those affected – but also parents who are having difficulty with the outing of one of their children, for example – can find advice and help here.

Not a minority issue

“Many people still believe that this is a minority issue,” says Johannes Wahala, sex therapist and head of the “Courage” counseling center. “Today, around 25 percent of the youth movement is located in the spectrum of this queer diversity, but we still live in a heteronormative society. And so young people in particular, when they realize that they are different, often have to deal with a painful coming out process. And they suffer from depression, hurt themselves – it can even go as far as having suicidal thoughts. That’s why this center is a milestone – but it is also a necessity.”

Paulina Wessela from the counseling association “Bily”, which is located in the same building as “Courage”, and Patricia Kurz-Khattab, “LGBTIQA+” representative in Linz, also support Wahala’s responsibility for the psychosexual health of all people.

Normalization is the declared goal

“Violence against those affected occurs in everyday life,” said Blöchl at yesterday’s press conference. Normalizing this issue in society is her declared goal – knowing full well that until that happens, making the “LGBTIQA+” movement visible in society will trigger aggression. “But it cannot work without making it visible,” she says.

June 28th is “Christopher Street Day” and “LGBTIQA+” Remembrance Day. It will be celebrated on Friday from 2 p.m. on the main square.

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