Have you ever heard someone say ‘that’s so gay’ and had that icky feeling in your gut? This happened to me on the bus recently and I found myself confronted by an ethical and moral dilemma. When do you give nothing, and when do you speak up?
A person in the UC community also noted to me the irony of the saying being used in a conversation during a te reo class – a context on campus which actively encourages inclusiveness. People think that’s not really bad ‘on the scale of things’ but passive homophobia can be just as damaging as an aggressive homophobic verbal attack because it inhibits the rights of people to feel free and confident to be who they are, where they are. This person had no idea who they might be sitting beside and how it might affect them.
Friday 17 August was the day of silence. The National Day of Silence is a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, name-calling and harassment in schools. The goal of the Day of Silence is to make schools safer for all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Often times it is the casual homophobia that causes the most damage, like the saying ‘that’s so gay.’
I encourage you to download and print posters to put up on your noticeboards. Download posters here>
You can also check out the LGBTQIA+ info page.
Please tell students and staff about the new safe space on campus for rainbow communities – Locke Room 109a. The space was granted to QCanterbury by the College of Arts, and named the ‘Robin Duff Room’ in honour of a former UC student leader who poured his heart and soul into advocating for LGBTQIA+ people on our campus and beyond during the years surrounding the Homosexual Law Reform of 1986.
On Thursday (10 August) 30 staff and students from UC, Ara and Lincoln attended a workshop with Anne Nicholson from Q-topia on ‘making a difference for LGBTIQ+ students on campus’.
Anne asked us to watch these short videos in preparation for the workshop, and they were so useful and informative I wanted to share them with you. They explain about rainbow communities, in particular the differences between sex, gender and sexuality.
If you want to learn more about how you can support rainbow communities on campus, check out these resources and ideas:
- Q Canterbury
- Otago University – coordinator and peer support
- AUT – Rainbow Community Manager and student groups
- TEU Rainbow Te Kahukura – network for lesbian, gay, bisexual, takatāpui, fa’afafine, transgender and intersex members of the NZ Tertiary Education Union.
- Rainbow Tick accreditation – promoting gender and sexual diversity in the workplace plus resources (AUT is accredited)
- Q-Topia – Social support for queer youth in Canterbury with youth facilitators and education
- Inside Out resources include Making Schools Safer for Trans and Gender Diverse Students; Starting and Strengthening Rainbow Diverse Groups, plus services
- Free Community and Public Health publications: several free LGBTIQ+ resources which can be ordered on line
- Supporting LGBTI Young People in New Zealand, 2015 – recommendations and examples of good practice
- Takatāpui – 2 resources for Māori with diverse gender identities and sexualities
- Ara Taiohi resources include a Rainbow Competency Framework; rainbow youth sector reports s
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus recommendations
- Deakin University website
- UK study
- Rainbow Health Ontario – on line training, guides
- TSER Trans Student Educational Resources including websites, policy, publications
- Safe Space stickers
Out and Proud Dance Party
Friday 4 August 2017, 8pm – 11.45pm
The Foundry – 90 Ilam Road
Get frothing at the Foundry for an LGBT+ dance party, this will be an epic night including an on-site bar, some ridiculous DJ skills, and fabulous drag queens courtesy of Christchurch Pride. More information here>