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InsideOUT Kōaro at Out in the City

As part of Out in the City 2024, the team from InsideOUT Kōaro held a panel discussion in the main auditorium of the Michael Fowler Centre. The panel was led by MC Karen O'Leary. Thanks to the organisers and and participants for allowing this to be recorded and shared.

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The event presents a rich dialogue that encapsulates the essence of contemporary challenges and triumphs within the LGBTQ+ community, particularly focusing on the work of InsideOUT Kōaro, a national charity dedicated to fostering safety and belonging for rainbow and takatāpui young people in schools and communities.

InsideOUT Kōaro's multifaceted approach includes educational initiatives in schools, workplace training on rainbow competency, advocacy for social policy changes, and youth development programs. These efforts aim at creating an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ individuals, emphasizing the importance of understanding and embracing diversity within educational and professional settings. The panel discussion, led by MC Karen O'Leary and featuring voices such as Julia de Bres, Karen O'Leary, Tabby Besley, Tobias Kenny, and Val Little, navigates through personal introductions, shared experiences, and the broader objectives of InsideOUT Kōaro.

The conversation delves into the challenges posed by the current government's stance on LGBTQ+ rights, underlining the potential backslide in progress and emphasizing the need for vigilant advocacy to protect and advance these rights. Funding uncertainties and the alarming rise in transphobia and queerphobia, both online and offline, are identified as significant obstacles, reflecting a global trend of increased hostility towards LGBTQ+ individuals. This adversarial climate calls for solidarity, not just within the LGBTQ+ community but also from allies, to counteract hate speech and support those affected by it.

Moreover, the event illuminates the interconnectedness of various social justice issues, with discussions on the importance of supporting movements like Free Palestine and the protection of Te Tiriti o Waitangi rights. The panelists share a collective vision that underscores the fundamental link between different forms of oppression, advocating for a holistic approach to social justice that recognizes the inherent dignity and rights of all individuals.

InsideOUT Kōaro's initiatives, particularly around school inclusion and the advocacy for gender-neutral bathrooms, illustrate the organization's commitment to tangible change. These efforts, coupled with their involvement in broader social justice movements, demonstrate a proactive stance in not only addressing the specific needs of LGBTQ+ youth but also engaging with wider societal challenges.

The conversation consistently circles back to the concept of community care and the vital role of joy and resilience in the face of adversity. The narrative weaves through the importance of finding happiness amidst struggles, whether through quirky expressions of queer joy, like the broccoli-themed event at Thistle Hall, or through the solidification of community bonds that offer support and understanding in challenging times.

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.

Record date:17th March 2024
Interviewer:Karen O'Leary
Location:Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington
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