LGBTI+ Community members say Fraser Coast is "welcoming"
FOR openly gay couple Helen and Angela, living in an accepting community means being able to hold hands in public without fear of judgment.
The Hervey Bay women say they have always felt welcomed by the people living in the area; gay or straight.
While both are now out and proud, Helen said there was a time when she was nervous about how others would see her.
"I used to live in Maryborough and I was with my former partner who kept it [her sexuality] pretty secret, so I was always worried what people might think," Helen said.
"But we've only ever been shown acceptance here."
To show the region's support and acceptance of the LGBTI+ community, the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre hosted a dawn service and breakfast to celebrate International Family Equality Day.
Former Hervey Bay resident, social worker and transgender man Max Mackenzie spoke at the breakfast about what it was like to be an LGBTI+ person in the Hervey Bay community.
"This region is in a lot of ways vibrant, growing and accepting for the LGBTI+ community and their families," Mr Mackenzie said.
"That is something to consider; being a family member or loved one of someone in the LGBTI+ community can be a really big thing because any change is big.
"They [LGBTI+ supporters] should know there is help and support for them, too."