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Session 11(October 2013)

Audio from the session: Fighting homophobia, transphobia and bigotry in our communities.

Social transformation means transformation of our own communities; our workplaces, schools, homes. This includes challenging everyday bigotry such as homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism. A discussion of strategy and tactics in challenging everyday bigotry and oppression.

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This summary presents an overview of the "Session 11 - Beyond conference" audio recording from Wellington High School, recorded on October 12, 2013. The session focused on combating homophobia, transphobia, and bigotry within communities and featured speakers Bill Logan, Calum Bennachie, Jo Wrigley, and others. Over the course of an engaging discussion, the session captured the complexities of intersectional activism and the challenges faced in aligning diverse groups for a common cause.

The discourse began with a reflection on past struggles, such as the early days of the AIDS crisis, highlighting how fear and misinformation can drive wedges between oppressed groups. Examples were given of how these situations led to hierarchies within the queer community, emphasizing a need for united fronts and solidarity across different identities to overcome larger societal battles against prejudice and health crises.

Significant emphasis was placed on the nuanced debates surrounding the marriage equality campaign in New Zealand, including the challenges in accommodating differing perspectives within the LGBTI community. Some observers noted that the campaign, while successful, at times felt narrowly focused and possibly marginalized more radical voices. Evaluating the outcomes and the discourse around the campaign, the speakers emphasized the importance of integrating various standpoints and strategic alliances, and the need to learn from these experiences for future societal advancements.

A substantial portion of the session was dedicated to discussing the realities and stigma faced by sex workers in New Zealand. Calum Bennachie provided an extensive overview of the NZ Prostitutes' Collective (NZPC) and its efforts to support sex workers’ rights, improve sexual health, and fight stigma and violence. There was a discussion on the legislative challenges at play, particularly with the proposed bill in Auckland that could restrict where sex workers can operate, and the potential for such laws to push sex work underground and exacerbate health risks.

The session also addressed the troubling trends in media representation of sex workers and the desire for more accurate and respectful reporting. Additionally, the role of trade unions in furthering social justice and inclusion was touched upon, with a focus on initiatives by "Out at Work" to educate union organizers on LGBTI issues and advance equality in the workplace.

In summary, "Session 11 - Beyond conference" provided a platform for insightful conversations on important social issues, illustrating the ongoing efforts to fight intolerance and discrimination in myriad forms. The discussion highlighted collaboration, education, and proactive strategies as key methods for promoting understanding, rights, and equality across different segments of the community.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

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Record date:12th October 2013
Location:Wellington High School, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004276).