"She's always been a fighter for me": Indigenous mothers as advocates and defenders of their LGBTIQSB+ children

Corrinne T. Sullivan, Kim Spurway, Linda Briskman, John Leha, William Trewlynn, Karen Soldatic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


There is no research into the experiences of Indigenous LGBTIQSB + young people and their mothers in the country now known as Australia. Based on a series of nine narrative interviews with young LGBTIQSB + people living in New South Wales, this article is the first to discuss Indigenous LGBTIQSB + children’s relationship with their Indigenous mothers. Indigenous mothers have been framed in ways that justified targeted settler state interventions situated within broader racialised biopolitical governance practices and the regulation of Indigenous lives. The findings of this research project provide a counter narrative to the current framing of Indigenous mothers and families as dysfunctional and in need of intervention by state and welfare agencies. Indigenous LGBTIQSB + young people speak to their experiences of coming out and the ways their Indigenous mothers defended, affirmed and advocated for them. Participants spoke of how Indigenous mothers provided them with protective skills and strategies that allowed them to effectively navigate close and extended familial and community contexts. This article demonstrates the significance of Indigenous mothering practices and values for the wellbeing of their LGBTIQSB + children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-474
Number of pages12
JournalLGBTQ+ Family: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Issue number5
Early online date27 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2022. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Indigenous
  • mothers
  • LGBT
  • children
  • Australia


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