LBGTI+ education forum

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in [00:00:05] Kota, Kota, Kota, Kota time. And this is the pride festival Education Forum. We've been organized organized by Rainbow Wellington, that would be great participation of all these wonderful people who I'm going to introduce you to in a moment. The idea behind this is to esteem issues, from personal perspectives from organizational perspective, from your perspectives, about education and young people and LGBT q i plus. [00:00:40] So what I'm going to do is I'm going to introduce the speakers that we have, and then after that, they're going to hand the microphone alone along and address you each for a few minutes. After that, we're going to have a big talk together about the issues that have come up, will hand the microphone around [00:00:58] so that you can ask questions and be here. Okay, so I'm Richard on hold on the chair or rainbow Wellington, chair of the board. We're Wellington's falling over lobbying and network and socializing, network. And events like this are very much part of what we like to do to to bring issues for discussion. We have David pilgrim here who was born in London and as for three years in the West Indies, 10 years in London, and for the past 30 years has been at Newlands college and Deputy Principal since 2000. Next to him is cursed different. The rainbow coordinator the PPT PVT a union head office. Next to her is Toby Beasley, who's the national coordinator and founder of inside out which are the national charity that works to give young people of minority sexualities, genders and sex characteristics across how to draw a sense of safety and belonging in their schools and communities. Next to Kirsty we have Josh [00:02:00] Josh founded a private key as a group, a super ultra rainbow Alliance six years ago, while they were in your 10am now graduated but still support the group for Rambo youth that attend their old high school. Next to Josh we have resources currently occupied later at Wellington High School and as in year 12, and this will be our second year running the club as well as running debating Wellington high. And we have near that currently leader the ultra violet group at Wellington high and they previously started a que si quis threat Alliance at Queen Margaret college. Okay, so now it's going to be over to you to say whatever it is you'd like to say, within a few minutes. Okay, so we'll start with David, this is going to hand the microphone along. [00:02:46] And when I thought about what I wanted to say here today, the title came into my mind of in schools, everything's changed, and nothing's changed now just want to pursue that theme of everything's changed and nothing's changed. We have a diversity group at you know, as college, two of our students are here today, Anna here and Natalie. So they'll keep me honest, in terms of what I'm going to say. And we meet Monday on a lunchtime. And yesterday lunchtime, I said, Look, I've been invited to this forum tomorrow night. And I'd like your perspective on what you think is happening in schools at the moment from an LGBT IQ perspective. whiteboard, divided it into, on the left hand side, we put what's good at noon, as college at the moment, and on the right hand side. What's not so good. And I lifted over to them then we had a red pen and a blue pen. They filled in the what's good side within three minutes, and took 27 minutes to fill out the what's not good side. And I thought I just tell you, I'd say with you what they think their perspective of what a college education for LGBT IQ kids are like at the moment. The top of their list for what's good is that there are chilled students at school, and zero their words chilled and students and they contradicted that later on. And they sit there was no bullying. They liked the fact we've got a QA so we've got a queer straight Alliance. And for those of you that don't know, that means it's an open forum, an open group is public publicize across the school, it's a blend of queer and straight students who meet together to push the frontiers forward. And they said our school was accepting they liked the fact that we got were very relaxed about uniforms over there will restrict on uniform itself, we're completely relax at the house which parts of the uniform students were so you can, we would have traditionally had a boys uniform and it goes uniform. And now it's just a complete a complete, then we have what you like, as long as you're wearing your for them, you can wear what would traditionally the boys bottoms and they goes tops or, or whatever. They love the they sit, they like the fact that we're accepting of whatever name students want to be called. And so our administration systems within the school allow for a student to have a given name, but also to have a preferred name. And those can be in contradiction to each other in terms of gender identity. And I like the fact that we had a diverse group running at school, and that they did in three minutes. And then the other 27 minutes, some of which is a bit of a contradiction was into this derogatory language. In the school, it's all around, it's something they meet, every day, there are still put downs in the school from other students. Teachers don't take action on those put down. So they're ignored within the classroom situation. bathrooms and changing rooms are the same nightmare as they were 50 years ago, within scope for LGBT kids. One of them said, I'm in year 12. Now I no longer have to do p, I no longer have to be in the change of rooms. That was my decision to come out this year, because I couldn't before that time. [00:06:15] They don't like the fact that the staff keep calling them here. And she and they'd like their own pronouns. [00:06:23] And they say that people still don't understand within the school, and that there is still a huge amount of education to be done. Sorry, that was more than two minutes. [00:06:35] Hi, [00:06:37] I'm Casey Ferran. One of my roles is to coordinate the rainbow task force a PPT a, it's a small part of my job, but it's the part of my job that I enjoy the most. And within that role, one of the things I do is travel the country and go and visit schools and deliver workshops about making the school more inclusive. And I guess what I want to talk about really is my experience of doing it, I was a teacher at Newlands college before I started this job. So I know David quite well, and I know Newlands college quite well. But what I wanted to talk about was my experience visiting other schools and the messages that I get back from schools when I go to do a workshop. [00:07:16] And probably the biggest [00:07:19] hurdle I think schools are facing at the moment, or that they feel they're facing at the moment is every school feels like it's reinventing the wheel. And it's struggling with making the same decisions and the same kind of organizational choices around things like uniform toilets, changing rooms. And there's a feeling from many schools that they're unsupported in some of those decisions. So things like for example, toilets are really expensive thing if you want to change them in your school and do it in a you know, completely safe way. And therefore it becomes something that's often done as an add on or when you're redoing your school or something like that. It's not something that necessarily easily changed in some schools. And many schools face challenges around. [00:08:09] He The other thing I should probably say is that the workshops that I do generally are in either girls schools or code schools. I think in the two years I've been involved with been to two boys schools, which I think is kind of interesting in itself. But schools are also starting to face challenges and questions about the actual nature of single six schooling, why do we have boys girls and girls go as a girl school store girls school, if it now has trans male students in it? And what does that mean in terms of enrollments within the school, from a legal perspective, is students come through. And I guess the [00:08:44] thing that [00:08:46] kind of warms my heart when I go to all these schools is that although schools feel like they're struggling, they're genuinely trying to do the right thing for the young people. The reality is, though, that there are some teachers who haven't quite caught up with the changes. [00:09:01] And I'm always interested in every single school, I go into the evaluation at the end, there's always at least one teacher who puts one it's not at all relevant to me this workshop, and I find that really hard to believe because the working with teenagers, of course, it's relevant to them. So I think, you know, we'll start with for a union that represents teachers, the reality is there are some teachers in this area who are really slow to catch up and struggling to see what they should be doing. But I feel a sense of hope, because schools are working through some of these processes. [00:09:36] curate data integrity, sleep from inside out. [00:09:40] So I was very lucky when I was a well, my first high school that I went to was very homophobic environment. Luckily for me, I was only there for a year. And then I moved to the first school in New Zealand that had equestrian Lance and Nelson at night and college. And for me as again, kiss. And that was an amazing experience. This was back in 2007. So to have that group in my school, that kind of food, my identity, and let me know who I was, was okay, was incredible, but was a very great experience. At that time, very few schools in the country had anything kind of like that. [00:10:13] So kind of my experience has been coming from having that, as a young person at school and knowing what it felt to have that, and then supporting lots of other schools and nothing, initially to also start those groups. And then after I finished school, we started to get lots of requests from other people all around the country kind of saying, What is Nelson have the support? What about the rest of the country? How do we get these groups in our school? That's kind of what motivated me to stop inside out. So originally, the idea was very much focused on Christian alliances and wanting to every school in New Zealand should have a group of like that for students. But that was a really powerful way that we could make a change. [00:10:50] We've now been going for five years. And so over that time, we've kind of expanded that vision and kind of looked at, there are so many different ways that we can make schools inclusive and safe environments for young people and actually community. And so you kind of touched on lots of schools, or some schools, particularly religious schools and voice calls. [00:11:08] I can I take a longer process offering or like, I'm always ready for a group straightaway. So it's other six that might need to come first for that to be enabled. That's not a strict rule at all. There are also lots of boys and religious schools that do have these groups that are taking changes a lot of come back to the school staff and the senior leadership, unfortunately, and kind of the culture of that school in the first place. And whether the students feel safe enough to talk about their experiences or to like if it's a safe environment for them to challenge those kind of system. [00:11:39] So inside out, we are a national organization. And we do a lot of all sorts of work, we kind of the place that people come to, if anything around schools and remember issues. So [00:11:51] resources. So we've got one on studying instinct thing, grammar diversity group, we put out a resource on making school safer for trends and diverse young people, which we think to free copies to every secondary school in New Zealand last year, a lot of those schools actually came back and ordered more copies to distribute around this stuff, which was really awesome. And I think a lot of the time now, especially looking back since when I was high school, and it was like very realistic, we talked about [00:12:16] my school is kind of this one off to now look at where things have come over the last, just the last five years, since since it has been going. [00:12:24] It's so much more kind of support and willingness from schools to to engage, not all the time, not all the time, by any means, there's still a long way to go for lots of them as well. [00:12:34] But a lot of them are really grateful to be having this kind of material. And for someone to be able to give them that kind of guidance or like looking for workshops, like what the PPT a offer what inside out offers. [00:12:45] So I think, for me, one of the biggest issues is actually the kind of lack of support from government to get behind organizations like inside out. Because what we're doing really is making sure schools are safe, so but I got before continuing to live, if there's goes on a safe place for them to be who they are, that's going to be really detrimental to the mental health. [00:13:05] Yet, so for me, I'm just kind of really frustrated. Now. There's like this clear demand from schools, from students, by the government not coming into really kind of come behind that and support resource our work. And also, I think it's because you touched on this, a lot of this, like every school thinks that they have to kind of figure things out for themselves. When that's not really like they haven't talked to us. Very nice. I [00:13:27] know, there's lots of kind of things. So if there was some kind of like template policies or things like that, and like, endorsed by the Ministry of Education, particularly, I think that would be really helpful moving forward. We did work with him last year, on a inclusive guide for schools around the LGBT students. So that's really awesome to come from the Ministry of Education. But at the same time, that process was really frustrating to work on them, working with them. Because most of it was doing stuff like linking to our resources, which they wouldn't Fund, which were out of print off and all this kind of stuff that Okay, so you're using our work to make yourself look good look like you're doing something, you're not actually supporting the work. So that's kind of mental thing. And the last resort for a long as our latest one, which is on legal rights for young people with minority sexualities and dinners at school. And so we get a lot of questions from young people who are experiencing discrimination in their schools, whether that's issues around, like, the more common things we hear about tends to be like toilets and uniforms and that kind of stuff. Also, things like I wasn't allowed to do my speech on homophobia, even though that fit the assignment just because my teacher didn't like that as a topic. Or I got told off for wearing like a rainbow badge on my bag like these kind of like miniscule things I really actually acts of homophobia, and transphobia, in a school was often coming from stuff. So this kind of now exists is something that young people can take as an external resource to the school and say, Actually, these are my rights. And we worked on this with community law. So it's kind of based in the law. [00:14:55] I could say, [00:14:59] Hi, [00:15:01] I'm Josh. I've been running my private group, my old high school, and college for six years until I graduated two years ago. So don't actually know what it's been like since I left because I left and I did not go back, because it was so bad. [00:15:20] But my experience with homophobia and bullying in school was quite bad. And I felt that nobody really paid attention to it up until either it made the school bag look bad, or it made people realize like, Oh, this is a problem that we need to fix. So when I was in year 10, and I realized that nobody didn't, like didn't really care about all the all the boys and the trans girls at that high school, wanted to colleges, all boys school, but there are a few, a few girls in there, but they can't come out because it's such a terrible place. [00:16:00] And I started my group because nobody else was doing anything. And it was private. I started at outside of school grounds. And really, it was just to make sure that everybody was safe and people had someone to talk to. And there were people that were that were higher up in school that could do something about it. And some teachers were there for us was awesome. Some teachers weren't. I remember somebody that was high up in the school, when I was trying to run the Day of Silence. I was told that I was only allowed to print out 10 posters to to [00:16:41] promote the Day of Silence. And I think you told me that it was like not okay for them to tell me that they only that they were only about that they told me that I was only allowed to put up 10 posters. So what I did, because I want to stick with the 10 posters. I went to the library. And I printed out to really big, really bold, and really out there posters. And I stuck them everywhere throughout the school. And I gave people little stickers on the day just to show their support. [00:17:15] And then there were people who were showing their support, because they only wanted to not speak to anybody the whole day. But um, [00:17:23] yeah, it's just it's, it's been a journey for all the students that have gone to Washington College, because we just don't feel heard. [00:17:34] And nothing that we ever complained about two people, it doesn't get solved. And things just keep escalating to this point where you just don't want to say anything. And for like a whole six months, I didn't tell anybody about all of my bullying. But after a while, I was like, You know what, I'm just gonna throw it out there because it's kind of important. [00:17:55] That But yeah, I just I founded the group, on the basis that it is a trust tree. There's a safe space. Everybody climbs and nobody fall. And [00:18:10] that is my look on all walks of life. Because I don't want anybody to fall out of a tree. I want everybody to get to the top no matter how difficult things got. [00:18:27] She's ready. I'm ready. The currently attend Willington High School, I've been running the USA ultraviolet air for this is the second year now. And I'm kind of the main coordinator and planet I do all the like, book work with the legal work or the planning things out writing things out. And so that's been pretty successful. We've had like one class a lot more accepting of against LGBT students, because we have no uniform, we have that's coed, we have a really open senior staff, like I'm like mates with all the deputy principal and the principal like I make them coffee and whatnot. So it's really nice to have like, an open relationship with them. And I guess the biggest thing that we're trying to focus on as a school is both promoting, like quite out loud pride, instead of, you know, positive pride and trying to make our school like the safest place it can possibly be. We don't want to work with Tammy with a lot of work with the rest of the inside out team and like Connor and whatnot. And so we're trying, I think now to promote, where you create an event, a couple years back, called out loud was kind of an alternative to do silence because you're like, there sounds great. and whatnot in showing solidarity to like, LGBT movement, so whatnot, but how about we just do the exact opposite, and like, make a whole day of it, make it really loud, make it really fun, like sounds silly match, and we raise money for inside out, which will be doing again this year, so hit us up. And so that's kind of the goal. [00:20:01] I can just our school event, and throughout running ultra, it just provides a safe space every Thursday, lunchtime, where you know, all your groups can come and hang out. And we can have lessons we do a bit of sex ed, we do a lot of like talking about LGBT people in politics, or like disabled LGBT people. And so it's kind of just like highlighting all the issues that we should address. And like all the inclusiveness that needs to happen. And what we want to do this year is helping other schools in our area. So places like wanting to East Coast or orange or mountain college itself, just to try and get [00:20:37] there inclusiveness is almost like not as it probably even better than Wellington highs, which is proven to be really difficult. But we we have the opportunity to work with heavy, we have the opportunity to work with, you know, like rainbow pride and like Wellington organization, so yeah, really excited about that. I'm super busy right now, [00:20:56] it's going to be fine. Via [00:21:00] I'm neighbor, [00:21:01] I go to Wellington high now and I have been there for almost a year, maybe it's really good, like the teachers of the start of the pronouns and like preferred names, and you can have preferred names on the role, and it's really good. But before that I went to Queen Margaret college, which wasn't so good. What I'm going to be talking about is the QA, which I started. [00:21:26] So after years of years of previous students before me trying to get it, they would not allow it, it was specifically the principal, as well as the senior staff and like [00:21:37] lots [00:21:38] of them are on board, but the principal just wouldn't allow it. So I had to go to Teddy, who took the community law and was just an they told us like, okay, that's not legal. So we got a letter from them, who we showed to our principal in the senior staff, and they were like, okay, fine, but here are the rules. And the rules were had to be seniors only because what if the young ones thought they were gay [00:22:07] had to be called the diversity group, which is fine. [00:22:13] Word of mouth only no posters up no Facebook presence, you can only tell people about it. Not in the notices nowhere, which [00:22:21] we weren't too happy about. [00:22:25] And it had to be held in the counsel's office which is really small. And it also made us feel like it was something to be fixed, which obviously isn't so um, that was a struggle for a while. And it only got fixed when the principal lift just this year. So now I've got a new principal who's really good, but I'm those with the struggles at Queen Margaret's and the teachers were all [00:22:52] all right about it, like I [00:22:53] emailed them so with my pronouns and name saying, Hey, [00:22:55] this is [00:22:56] what's up and they were all pretty good about it as well as the students but um, I know several students in the as above and below me who were bullied out of Queen Margaret's because they were LGBT, especially trends. [00:23:11] And it's getting better, but there's still agents to go. And that's, yep. [00:23:21] That was a fantastic array of inputs here from teachers and organizers. And of course, people living through recent times. It's an it's an unimaginable change for me to listen to how you Zealand schools have changed over the past decades, I was lucky enough to go to bed side Hi, I'm in I'm in Christchurch, and Robin Duff was my English teacher. And so he was chair of the PTA or whatever, President PPC a, an out gay man. And this was in the 1970s. And he was someone who took young LGBT students under his wing white back then, of course, so many, I include myself among that, we just went out, we were too terrified, even even with this very friendly, wonderful person there to support us. So it's fantastic to hear there are organizations now self organized, within schools, but as we heard, it's still a long way to go. Alright, so now it's time to hear from everyone who's come. So what we're going to do now is I'll just hand this microphone around, you can direct your questions or comments to Intel entire panel or to particular people, if you've got a question that you'd like to ask someone specifically. So if someone does have a question, just put your hand out now and I'll come in hand you the microphone. [00:24:46] Hello. I was just wondering if there were any specific things when you're selfish question Lance's or quit advocacy groups that were easier to do and in things or that tend to be done quite quickly versus things that [00:25:02] if people seem to keep hitting roadblocks on especially in the long term, but also in the short term, [00:25:08] roadblocks, and there is a there was a lot of roadblocks when I was organizing my one because everybody would be like, my role in that room like, you. [00:25:20] A lot of people would be like, Why are you all inside the library, like meeting room that that's really key. And I was like, well, that's the point. I mean, we're, we're trying to do something about it, or people would be like, nobody actually cares. And it's like, well, people cared enough to kick you out of the room. So we're here now [00:25:38] other roadblocks. [00:25:41] Walking around school was a roadblock. Um, you at my school, you couldn't really walk around and keep your head up. Because if you did, if you made eye contact with the wrong person, you are in so much trouble. [00:25:56] And some of the easy things to get around was to stay calm or like staying after for me at least was staying after class and talking to your teacher and be like, I'm being bothered by this person. And then sometimes it will get sorted out. Sometimes it would go into the trash. And other times they would just like disappear completely. [00:26:19] us [00:26:21] it's kind of difficult kind of [00:26:25] something that was really easy was getting people along because apparently there's heaps of LGBT people that way Margaret's um, but then the hard thing was getting teachers on board who were willing to put in the time to supervisor will help out young LGBT students [00:26:46] how often you have to get the big legal stick out like you did with Queen Mogra. [00:26:53] Fortunately, I think [00:26:53] that's that [00:26:55] doesn't make a mockery. [00:26:58] Has it has come [00:26:59] close and but I moved into recently someone to it. [00:27:05] Yeah, but now we've got that guide, which will hopefully kind of made it won't get to that point where we need to have a leader directly to the school kind of saying and so I've process after which we haven't had to do but if they had denied that, after that kind of legal opinion, we would have been supported Neo and let's go to the students to take it to the Human Rights Commission. So that's kind of what we would offer a school in that situation. [00:27:28] Yeah, going back to the question, I think it's really dependent on the school itself, like it's and the student to like, everybody's experience is different and every school is so different. So for some schools, like starting a group might be a really easy thing. But getting the teachers to use the right pronouns might be really, really difficult. Yeah, so I think and I think too, if we look at different [00:27:49] parts of our community, [00:27:51] for example, like a student who's very confident in their identity might not have any trouble being bullied at school because often if you put yourself out there nothing people would kind of if you're confident in yourself, people won't give you so much stuff. Not always but often we can see that and whereas if [00:28:13] for example, [00:28:14] maybe [00:28:18] you might be facing a lot more kind of bullying and discrimination so we definitely had schools to were two students experience from within our community different like really fastly so [00:28:31] I want to high school was like relatively easy to get both students on board and both teachers on board because the teachers are about being really inclusive and we have like a restorative process for like all sorts of different issues the hardest things just kind of what we said was legal matters. So like getting the bathroom sorta in the changing rooms and then getting open agenda category in athletics so there's a whole lot of laws and regulations surrounding that and like it can you be trans and like attend athletics on the you regional level, so it's difficult to get past you know, like governmental barriers and also get it like difficult getting like if you need funding for certain things. It's frustrating, but yeah, different experiences so [00:29:15] cura Katie Hodgson, Onslow college x tower college x, Western heights, high school, Russell, [00:29:23] I know, I can't take any responsibility. So I responded when [00:29:31] there was a need appeared at the school for gay straight lines. Now, one of the things for me is I'm, I'm an art teacher at school. And I know with that comes responsibility. [00:29:46] For example, our Gay Straight alliances are coming from the students perspective. Okay. So for myself, I know I, there's the conflict between me being someone who's in a position of power. And I've also a position of responsibility, and also in a position of recognizing a need. But also recognizing that the, it really needs to come from the students. I guess my question is, for you, guys, in terms of what you would want from someone like me, what would you want? What would that look like? [00:30:29] I'm kind of, I think the most important thing for being like a teacher, and that kind of position is kind of acting as like an enabler for things. So it's a lot more difficult to voice out on a larger scale, if you're a student, and to voice up the legal matters if you're a student. So I think being like a person to go to, for that was one of the most important things I, I like it, Hi, it's a lot better, too high, it's a lot more [00:30:57] like less of an authority, but in balance between the students and peers, at least, at least for myself, and for ultraviolet, because we have, you know, like teacher like enablers rather than teacher micro managers. So I guess it's just, you know, taking it with a grain of salt and trying to like, find out what works, and what you need to be there. And like, just listening to the students and what they need, rather than trying to be like, you know, forcing them into situations like, should we do like, like this, or you should do this as like USA, I think that's important for students so that they have like the power to kind of get things going, but they have you to go to [00:31:36] I think it's good from a teacher's perspective, because I know kind of a bit of both perspectives, because I've graduated school and like I was had a really close relationship with all the teachers that were really supportive. So I knew what they would have to do to have something be done. So I think it's best if teachers who are either supportive or out or feel that they need to [00:32:09] be some be up at some point at some height of support for the students is to remain on neutral ground. So be there for the students, but also be there for the people who aren't wanting to accept them, because then you have to understand from both sides, because you have to understand how our, the the queer kids, as students going to get along with the people who don't believe in them. If you're only focused on one side of something, the other side can get really, really angry, and vice versa. [00:32:46] It's I think, if everybody understands each other and creates a grounds for where we can all work together, it would be a lot better for a lot more people. [00:33:00] Just really quickly, just let the students lead it like Kim say the counselor wanted to do everything, even though it was a student run club. So like, once you've got it going, let the students like obviously, support Yeah. [00:33:18] Absolutely what these kind of living the students lead it, but I think being a visible presence makes like such a difference to the students knowing that that is kind of an lm stuff. I know for me having like an upward teacher, my school MIT so much as a young person, and, and that person not being afraid to kind of show that and I don't, I don't think that responsibility should be on every teacher, but I know it made a difference to me. And, um, I think, yeah, just being an advocate for that group and using your, your privileged position as a staff member to kind of advocate for the more go along, if they are meeting with senior leadership about something going on with them and supporting them, and kind of being that in between where you can, but letting them be the ones deciding what they're fighting for, and that kind of thing. [00:34:01] I was just gonna say, I think, as a teacher, being an app teacher, as a, as a really critical thing, because you're showing that, you know, as a teacher, you're a normal person. And I know, I was certainly accused by one of my colleagues, not maliciously, but you know, she said to me one day, the students know so much about you that so wrong, that you're revealing so much of your personal life. And I said, Well, what do they actually know about me, they know that I have a female partner. And they know I have a catch. They don't know the name of my partner that never met my partner, they know your, who your husband, as they've met your children, they know where you live, I see they're not a lot more about your personal life, and they know about mine. So I think sometimes a different kind of bad is placed on out teachers because people, you know, I can send that you can be ramming it down the students throats and all this sort of stuff. And it's not like that at all. The other thing I would say too, is that max the membership of PGA there are teachers who don't feel safe to be out in the school. And I know this is about and really focus on young people. But I think we also need to remember that for a lot of teachers, they are in communities where they don't feel safe to be out and I think that's really said that if the teachers feel like they can't be at imagine what it must be like to be a young person, the next school [00:35:25] university lecturer Victoria and I've only just put a rainbow flag on my door after meeting with the students, the students who said that I appreciate it. I also struggle with this power gradient. gradient is extreme. I like my office to be very neutral and gray in a sense that the students don't feel it coming into anything where they're being judged in any way at all. It's entirely academic but [00:35:50] but I think it's worth pointing out that we exist everywhere especially the university to anyone at university. Anyone future people [00:36:02] very good. Any more questions? Oh, [00:36:07] thank you. I'm I'm particularly interested to hear from the representatives for the teachers or students putting in the audience profession that is currently being made with a new school have a school that you know of, for unit six toilets in uni six changing rooms, that David really around made reference to the fact that the change rooms do have implications for some people, as far as with light participate in p or not. So I'd be just interested also people from the floor to to contribute to this from your own knowledge. [00:36:47] From from my point of view, Chris right Alliance last year, their project was to put a proposal to the Board of Trustees for unisex toilets, which they did very simple successfully. [00:37:02] baths, as Kirsty said, this huge, huge sums of money involved, you're talking 10s of thousands of dollars for conversions, and probably close to hundreds of, you know, just over 100,000. Mark. So, for us, it's on a property plan, it's on the five year property plan. But there we go, it's, it's about the money when there are a lot of pressures on schools to fix roofs and two men the plumbing and to replace the 50 year old boy there and all that sort of stuff. So there are this mobile app money to, to go around. On the other hand when it's in high school. [00:37:42] So we that was in my year nine, when I first joined the UK, USA, then known as queer support, there was a very first project to get gender neutral, at least bathrooms and like, if we're lucky, a changing room. And so that was pitched by the leader then who I won't name and also another like outside source who just graduated from high that wanted to help with that. And so the main thing was just writing the letter of why it was important than pitching that to the board, making sure everybody was on the same page of why we needed them, and where they would go. And so it might just be unique to Wellington high. But we have like, quite a few bathrooms like we have a bathroom block. Because it's would were mainly a vertical school, I guess you could say. And so it's basically just pick a floor. And the most money involved was just removing, like changing the signs from girls bathroom to boys bathroom, bathroom. Like that, was it there already a couple of changing rooms in the very, like top ones that worked out? Well. But I think almost to contradict the point of like, 10s of thousands of dollars pour into it. I don't think it's necessary to say that because [00:38:56] genuine, the most thing you have to do is just like pick a bathroom to change, or pick all of them to change, and just just change the science. I think a lot of like, one of the main excuses by the void is like, oh, it will cost so much money when really won't. And it's doing so much good to all of the LGBT students are all the people who just don't like feel comfortable defining in like an EOB category agenda. I think it's within their full right to say like, I like an open space bathrooms. So yeah, now we have that had been here for four years. Question. [00:39:31] From the floor, you'd like to add something about their experience their school. [00:39:38] Everyone, so [00:39:41] I've only been at school since the start of term. But we have unisex toilets. [00:39:50] Hi, my name is Sarah. I'm actually here as a parent, and I've met you before TV when my daughter first came out. And I'm interested to meet you, David, I've got a 10 year transgender daughter, and she's in the Netherlands community. [00:40:03] When we had the bathroom discussion with the school, the decision was made [00:40:10] that the staff told us to become unisex. At the time, they did actually have a gay teacher at the school. And so that made it a little bit easier. [00:40:18] But [00:40:20] the again, [00:40:21] I mean, I'm I'm working education as well, the pressures of new amount of money it is to cut it to change those kind of things. Excuse me, um, but it's like, [00:40:29] puts a lot of pressure on schools. [00:40:30] But my daughter still gets delayed going into the girls toilets at her current primary school. [00:40:39] And [00:40:41] I think [00:40:41] my question for you, Christine, David has, has there been? Have you done any work with the intermediate and the primary schools? And are you looking at doing things like that, because it's very much needed. [00:40:52] We're kind of on our own selling through this. I know a lot [00:40:55] of the focuses on young people and youth. And I think that's fantastic. And I don't want to take it from that. But for my daughter, my family is zero support, we don't know where we should go to get support in although Primary School has been fantastic. And I think the general feeling I get is, is you can have whatever you want, let's just not make a big song and dance about it. So my daughter can be who she is it his goal, but just not too loudly. [00:41:25] And that can get very frustrating is appearance, because you want your child to obviously be everything they want to be and be supported. But also from an education point of view. We've got health education this year, and I have tried repeatedly to start a dialogue with my school about how they're going to include my daughter in this way she going to go when they split the boys in that room, the girls in that room? And how are they going to discuss gender? So that's his appearance. And then as an educator, Mr. def, was my English teacher up inside as well, oh, well, I'm really interested in that I'm interested in how we start to draw down the education and the practices you have happening in high school and get them into the intermediate and get them into the primary school. Because our kids don't suddenly just become trends when they're 14, or they don't suddenly become gay when they're 14 and enter a high school. [00:42:16] So yeah, [00:42:18] that's I've got lots of things, I could say that it's a good start. [00:42:21] I'll start like, David, [00:42:23] one of the challenges for PGA is that we're a secondary teachers union. And so therefore, you know, I mean, secondary teachers are paying subscriptions to be part of our union. So therefore, obviously, we work with secondary schools. But what I would say is, I've pushed quite hard to try and get at least in to Intermediate School in a slightly devious way we're of schools contact me, if we have one member in that school, and that's usually a technology teacher, then I would argue that we have membership there. And so therefore, we could work with it school, and I've tried to convince intermediate schools, that would be a useful thing, but I haven't got there yet. And we have to be really careful about not sleeping on the primary teachers patch. And as far as I'm aware, they do absolutely nothing in this area, which is, which is a challenge. The other thing that I would say, too, is that [00:43:19] when we go to an area school, so in the area school, if you don't know what near your school is, it covers everything from the one to 13 and a single on a single site. [00:43:28] Our workshop [00:43:31] is offered to the whole staff. So [00:43:32] there are pockets [00:43:34] where teachers her and prime and intermediate are getting our message. But it is a real challenge. And I think it's it's a real issue. When you look at the statistics from the US 2000 survey, how many students know by the age of 11, that very the same sex attracted, or that the transgender that, you know, it's not like you suddenly era you don't turn on a switch when you get to secondary school and suddenly felt look at it. Now, I realized that I'm a lesbian, and it doesn't work like that. And I think there is a need to move into younger, you know, to support schools to support younger people, but I'm not sure I'm not the answer. But I'm trying and slightly subversive ways. [00:44:21] You raised heaps [00:44:21] and heaps of issues. And I think sort of in the general public's defense, but I'd like to say is the things are moving so rapidly in these areas that even us who are so close to it, have some difficulty keeping up with the changes that are happening within our society, and particularly within the the youth society, that those people that are on the fringes are completely outside. Sometimes what I think is, we perceive as resistance from them is just a lack of understanding of what's going on. And there's a fair amount of education that needs to be go on. I'd love to get, I may have more links into the new I do have more links into the units educational community, the new might might have, I'd love to get alongside you and see what crowbars we can work together. [00:45:16] That she's still got she started. [00:45:19] And we just need some help in this community that I'm aware of [00:45:24] her native support right now, [00:45:25] women to talk. [00:45:28] As anyone else would like to talk just on this issues about start off with bathroom. Oh, sorry, there we go. [00:45:36] So first is really want to acknowledge what the situation that you're in, and a lot of people are in because there is support. And that sucks. [00:45:45] Yeah, really feel that. And, again, back to what I said at the start of we, I guess our point of view from inside out. So we would love to be able to do that work, it's just a matter of [00:45:55] capacity, we're [00:45:56] struggling to do what we're already doing. [00:46:00] To do that, well, we need to have it focus area, however we do. If a school reaches out to us, then we will work with them. [00:46:09] We'd like to get my school to reach out to [00:46:12] others. [00:46:13] Yeah, we just don't have the capacity to put a lot of work, we just don't have the resources to go out there and encourage them to come to us. [00:46:21] But if they are willing to pay us for training, that we would absolutely love to do that we have worked with a few intermediates. And sometimes we get really like last year, however, we got a few emails from the intermediate students who are doing the like assignments on stuff and wanting to do like an interview about transphobia and stuff much like surveys. So think about this, it makes enough [00:46:41] theory aware of these social issues. [00:46:43] Adults, we seem to find the links for young to discuss more emphasis is actually what my daughter's face. And as well as that know, you're a child, you do not know what you're talking about. So just sit down and be quiet. And so that's a dialogue we need to show for sure. [00:46:58] Yeah. [00:47:02] Yeah, I think that's really important. Because, you know, whenever we have, like discussions with kids, even with stuff about like, not gang related issues, just like, you know, bullying or like, even stuff like climate change, really, like they absorb it all. And so I don't know why we don't have like, you know, gender education in primary schools. [00:47:24] And people just not being educated about my postgraduate work has been looking [00:47:28] at this stuff. And a lot of it comes from fear and misunderstanding. [00:47:31] So this what you guys, what you guys are doing is shifting, helping to show and it will trickle down. [00:47:39] I guess the whole thing is that some of wherever possible, we do try to make it work inclusive of the Board of Education spectrum survey, results on making schools safer for trans youth, for example, is definitely applicable to my school settings. This year, we're doing a new project, which is focused on kind of rainbow visibility in libraries. So that will be something that we will be open to any any group of library. [00:48:00] Yeah, yeah. [00:48:03] And just really trying to have that kind of in school and community libraries, representation of member communities, getting schools to do a display once. Let's see, it doesn't sound like much but and kind of [00:48:17] my school today. [00:48:20] Exhibit it is not really an exhibit. It was like a thing in the library. It's like a, it's called a display board. Thank you. [00:48:32] So my group that I've ran that I run, [00:48:38] Sierra, we we picked out a lot of different books that had to do with queer people and queer straight line says and how it's progressed through the years and like the history of gay people and what we've had to go through. And we just put it up in one whole display and people. [00:48:58] Students, mostly, were actually paying attention to it. Some people were picking up the books and reading and being like, Oh, I should really stop believing these people. And some, yeah, some boys who would believe me and pass when they saw that they came up to me and apologized. So even if it's just those little things that, that you just accept the idea and the other people's brains that it's not that there is something wrong, but it's it's not being gay, being gay is okay. This is the trust tree, everybody climbs and nobody falls. [00:49:35] I just wanted to add to what you're saying, I am co leading [00:49:42] Newlands colleges, QA this year. Last year, we touched on changing the health curriculum. So when your daughter gets to his college, she will not need to worry about which group she's going to go into it will. We wanted to get we're going to start off with getting more of out there because all we ever we when we didn't help it was [00:50:10] they dip their toe into the LGBT q pole. And that was it. And so we're going to get them to dive in. They are going to get in that poll. [00:50:22] And if they don't [00:50:24] know, but yes, [00:50:25] so the brought up a very good point. In the Q Si, I will try to get involved with the intermediate and the primary if possible, because if we get students from five, knowing that it's okay to like, [00:50:47] everyone, or not everyone, or [00:50:50] people who look the same as them, then then going to go into college and intermediate, and university in life and know that [00:50:59] that's [00:51:00] normal. And it right, yeah, normalizing everything remotely. [00:51:05] Yeah. And so five [00:51:06] year olds, when, then 20 they're going to see if other people if other people are going, Hey, you know, [00:51:15] that's kind of gay, they're gonna be like, what's wrong with being gay? So it's just yeah, we need to stop kids. If you need resources for like, [00:51:27] resources for like any health related things. Hit us up on me go. Because, boy, do we have them if you want to parent Li and [00:51:45] first of all, that's a really swag way [00:51:47] to like, get someone's number. But [00:51:51] I had a comment and a question. But now I've got two comments and a question this. First of all, if you're looking for gay literature, shameless plug for gracefully Grayson, it's a great book. [00:52:01] Love it. [00:52:04] My second comment is your great parent, I love you. [00:52:10] My question actually is [00:52:12] transparent. And [00:52:14] how was it like when you first came out? It's go to your students, what was it like? [00:52:22] Oh, [00:52:24] when I did my teacher education, which was quite a long time ago, in the 1990s, I made a decision that I wasn't going to be out as a student teacher, because I wanted a job at the end. And I was fearful that I might not get one. [00:52:37] And [00:52:38] as soon as I started teaching, I was out. And [00:52:43] I think [00:52:43] being out has been hugely protective for me and teaching, I started teaching at the same time as a colleague who didn't want to be out and spent two years fighting fires with people kind of name calling. And the story I use to describe this for myself as well into the classroom one day and a student I didn't, I didn't see who it was, I just heard a voice. And as I walked into the room, all I heard was dinosaurs. And I was immediately offended by the application. I was old, [00:53:13] for staff. [00:53:15] And I said, at the end of the lesson, you know, whoever said that, could you just stay behind at the end and carried on him Allison at the end seven boys or stay behind? And they all told me what they see they see other things as well that I hadn't heard. Sometimes it's helpful being a bit diff. And I said to them, that's like me saying to you, you're nine, naughty boy, because, you know, he was naughty boy. And I said, [00:53:38] this, you know, [00:53:40] it doesn't mean anything. It doesn't offend me, if you call me and lesbian because I Emily's being, and I just never got here. So the game. And so I think there's a huge amount of power in there. But I think the other kind of side of it is for the kids, it was really important to be out as a teacher. And you know, sometimes I was the first person that they came out. And [00:54:03] you know, it was one of those kind of privileges almost as a teacher that you were able to support young people as they kind of started on their own journey to work out where they were going to go. And you know, what, what was going to hit them for them whether we're going to end up. [00:54:19] I've never had any problem bad on it never had any serious problem. But I think that queer teachers, in the same as any other minority group, that's a teacher, you have to be good otherwise should be picked on. So I've always got the impression that if I wasn't good at what I do, and I think I'm good at what I do, that I wasn't good at what I do, my sexual orientation would be picked upon as the excuse to have a go at me. And I think that's the same for all sorts of minority groups within the teaching profession, and perhaps within the wider communities, as well. [00:54:56] What stage of your career Did you come in? [00:54:58] And what will Robin tough keeps on being mentioned here, and really a little bit in England, that's, that's over 30 years ago, but but really here in New Zealand, just about 30 years ago, gay teachers, gay lesbian teachers group was formed by Robin, and one of his friends called gays and lesbians everywhere in education. And we had a fair amount of media publicity at the time. So the number of articles and the don't post and then the local papers. And so yeah, that was 30 ish years ago. [00:55:37] I'm amazed by the stories of courage, we're hearing from all these young people coming out and setting up their own organizations in the face of adversity. And I just take my hats off to you all for for pushing on, and doing it. We all feel at risk when we come out. Come out of the closet first, but to do it at school, and not know that you're going to be surprised that is a massive thing for my use, and very, very more on the side of the stage. Any other comments from the thought? [00:56:11] I was just rather disappointed. The limited progress that will in college because I remember the long term principle, I think he might just be finishing. But when he came to that job, so many years ago, he piece he I remember him saying that he was going to address homophobia. So that's summary at the top. I'm just wondering if you could be sort of comment on them. [00:56:38] Were you teacher wanted to call jewelry? No. Okay. So [00:56:43] there is only so much that the headmaster can do. [00:56:50] And I mean, that in the sense that I've seen, I've seen them, I've spoken to him. Every time he saw me throughout high score any of the boys that were also being bullied, he would always ask them, he would stop them, even if they're about to get on the bus. Like, are you okay? And it was really helpful that that was the thing because that at least we could speak to him directly. Because nobody, a majority of people wouldn't even see the headmaster, most of the time, you would only see your teachers or [00:57:19] your tutors are the teacher aides, and that will you would have to talk to you. So he was there in the sense that he was supporting us like that. But I feel that just talking about it really doesn't do anything, you have to actually take an action. [00:57:37] And that's part of the reason why I found its here in the first place was because nobody was listening to us. Nobody was really doing anything. People were saying that they were doing something and nothing had been done. I remember reporting, an incident that happened. And then I got I went back to the same person that I reported it to a little while later. And they were just like, what? [00:58:01] Well, one thing and I think you forgot, Okay, thanks. You're a decent person. But it's, it's it's such a difficult thing [00:58:13] to talk about that school, because if you didn't fit a certain category, assertion hierarchy and the social hierarchy of the school, for instance, if you didn't do a sport, if you weren't in any production, if you weren't a prefect, if you weren't a leader of some sort of thing didn't really matter. Like if you were in a sports team, and you like this happened to me, I reported somebody who was bullying me and a few of my other friends. And they were only given one detention, but the thing that they had done was so bad. And that's such a huge magnitude that it was only one detention and the reason why was because he had rugby practice after school, and he had to go play the game because the school was so fixated on keeping that trophy cabinet full. And that is the most annoying thing is because is that they're more worried about how they look towards the towards everybody else that they don't realize what they're not doing for the students who need those things are making them look even worse, which is why things explode. Like every time while into college goes on the news on my golf. Here we are again, like, it's, it's so bad. It's it's not a safe place. That's coming from a personal point of view, that's not a safe space for students. Not a safe space for some teachers. And it's just not a safe space for even [00:59:42] kids who are an intermediate coming in. Like when you said before, that your [00:59:48] daughter is going as like you don't know what she's going to go through when she gets into college. Like I feel for that because I didn't know what I was getting into going to an all boys school like, I was the reason to hide the reason how I figured out I was gay was like, Oh my [01:00:05] God, look, Orlando Bloom. And I was like, Well, I'm gay, but and [01:00:08] then I realized like, [01:00:10] and then I realized high school, I was like, oh, there's a lot of boys there and a lot of problems. [01:00:17] And I didn't I [01:00:18] didn't have time to understand that when I went into here, nine. So I think getting students while they're young and telling people that things need to be done is what's going to make things better for everyone else. Like if you're gay or not, if you're accepting or not, it's just going to make things better for everyone. Because like, if you don't believe in gay people are gay marriage just don't marry somebody of the same text. [01:00:44] back [01:00:45] so I no longer a high school, I'm now enjoying University, but there was curious as you know, soon after I left and still kind of sitting up. And I was really just wondering what your advice would be. I am sitting up and also the in especially in approaching the school leadership around specific issues and proposals and things like that, especially because I recently got like, allocated $13 million to help rebuild the school or not rebuild it, but change it. So I was just wondering, from everyone because these little angles here what would your advice be to up and coming queue size [01:01:27] for the latest there's a Wellington q amp a ladies group and that's been really helpful like there's lots of resources and you can talk about what what direction you want to go with Mike. [01:01:38] It's really good. [01:01:40] Connect with all the other leaders in like the Wellington region. So you can like make connections and how other people get resource them and it's like, how would you like supervised by inside out and kind of run by people their social so helpful to have access to like, literally anything you want, but tab is probably your for the question. [01:02:05] For me, starting it because they're starting to say right are trying to just just started Okay, um, if it's entirely student run, it's better if you have bigger numbers, because the you won't have to have one person doing everything. I started my one myself, that was girl that was stressful. [01:02:30] And it was like the second I had more people coming into the group. And being I can help I can do this, it was so much easier. So going on Facebook pages where other leaders are going to going and to inside out and having meetings with other people are just going out into town and hanging out with other people or people who have just left high school and people have just started uni. It's easier to work together in a big group rather than work by yourself and your own little corner. [01:03:04] Everything on your back, it just doesn't feel good. [01:03:07] So I know you're talking about a school in South [01:03:11] Central Otago, is that right? Yeah. So unfortunately don't have access to are willing to use a support group. Yet first, just connecting with inside out, we have a national schools network, we can send them out resources were available to do video, email, text with people kind of like digital mentoring around groups with anyone and the country. I think in terms of that stuff, like getting things through senior leadership, etc. Having like an ally on the staff, like having a staff member will see foods that are supporting the group that can help them with those just raise really great point about way possible not having it all on one student because people burn out and it can actually be a huge responsibility. being like, [01:03:54] yeah, being being one. [01:04:00] School just being like a better person at school, and even the stuff come to you for everything. And often you're dealing with other people who might be having really had mental health times back when I was at school, there were people being kicked out of home, all sorts of stuff. And having that all was a young person. Feeling like that's your responsibility to respond to you can be huge, so differently connecting the men with support from their peers, their staff and and so that will be mine like top thing, reading out resources using them. The one on starting on strict with diversity groups has heaps of tips on kind of what to do challenges that come up all sorts of stuff [01:04:36] inside our house, but happy how an hour on the stuff. [01:04:42] quick point, the easiest, like the best thing that we've done for like continuation of a group is trying to have at least one person one year is like willing to help out because then you know that there's always going to be least somebody at a meeting, if somebody's like on a school trip, or like the club might die. It's good to have like a junior, that's like, I'm really keen. So find them. [01:05:03] Something good for starting to say is asking the students what they want. Like we had a like an anonymous survey if anyone didn't speak up, because it can often be really hard to start the discussion. And asking students going Margaret's was just the best way for us to see what they wanted to where they want to go with it. [01:05:23] But I think we're out of time. So we can continue the discussion of over refreshments which are going to be through that door and two flights up to the common room. Before we do this first up that way though, I just like to thank our panel so very much. That's all show our [01:05:44] practice. [01:05:49] It's really great to hear these these courageous stories and so much progress has been an in our lifetimes. I'd also like to thank very much the community of sin on the terrorists who provided this wonderful space to us revenues and Jen Jones chemtrails and from the standards community, other volunteers who have made this possible, like think inside out for being there. And they would in case they for coming to speak and read Josh, thank you so much. So now we will move Upstate. So thanks very much for everyone for coming.

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