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InsideOUT Kōaro - navigating the hate

Tabby Besley and River Ayto talk about the rise of hatred directed towards InsideOUT Kōaro and rainbow communities, since the visit of Posie Parker to Aotearoa in March 2023. In the interview, River refers to The Disinformation Project's research paper Transgressive transitions.

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This is an interview with River Ayto and Tabby Besley. The discussion centers on the escalation of hostility towards InsideOUT Kōaro and the broader rainbow communities, triggered by Posie Parker's visit to Aotearoa in March 2023. This uptick in hate coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic and is linked to the spread of disinformation, particularly around vaccines, which has fostered an environment ripe for transphobic and anti-rainbow sentiments.

The interviewees note a specific increase in negative content and harassment targeting their communities after Parker's arrival. This hostility is not isolated but part of a broader global trend of rising anti-rainbow and transphobic rhetoric, particularly in the UK and the US. The discussion highlights the vulnerability of InsideOUT Kōaro, owing to its public role in challenging the immigration minister's decision to allow Parker into the country and its work with schools and young people, which makes it a prime target for accusations of indoctrination and gender ideology.

The interview delves into the nature of the attacks experienced by InsideOUT Kōaro and other organisations, ranging from online negativity to physical acts like arson and graffiti. It reveals that InsideOUT Kōaro, having previously experienced little to no online hate, began receiving overwhelming amounts of it from March onwards. The hate speech often targets trans individuals, especially trans women, and encompasses broader attacks against the rainbow community. The discussion also sheds light on the tactics used by those spreading hate, including malicious OIA requests and the spread of disinformation about InsideOUT Kōaro's funding and activities.

The conversation also touches on the emotional and operational toll these attacks have taken on the organization and its staff, highlighting the need for strategic responses to counter such hate while maintaining the safety and well-being of the community. The interview concludes by emphasizing the interconnectedness of this hate with broader societal issues, such as anti-Māori rhetoric, and the compounded impact on individuals who belong to multiple marginalized groups.

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:29th August 2023
Interviewer:Gareth Watkins
Location:InsideOUT Kōaro, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (reference number to be confirmed).