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Queer-Straight Alliances

In this podcast Tabby, Griffin and Tommy from the newly formed QSA Network Aotearoa (now InsideOUT Kōaro) talk about Queer-Straight Alliances and organising in schools. Participants then share their own experiences. This session was recorded during the Marriage Equality Conference held at Community House in Wellington.

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This abstract summarizes a podcast recorded at the Marriage Equality Conference in Wellington on December 1, 2012. Tabby Besley, Griffin, and Tommy from the newly formed QSA Network Aotearoa, which is now known as InsideOUT Kōaro, discuss the significance of Queer-Straight Alliances (QSAs) in schools. The speakers cover the organization's mission, which includes empowering young people to create leadership avenues, foster positive changes in schools, and establish a network among youth leaders across New Zealand. Initially, the group formed in response to the successful establishment of QSA support groups in the Nelson region, which then kindled the desire to replicate this model nationwide.

The podcast includes a history of their activities, which involve setting up QSAs to offer safe spaces for socializing and support against issues like bullying, homophobia, and transphobia. The organization seeks to educate students on these issues, provide resources and training to QSA leaders, and create awareness through national campaigns, such as Pink Shirt Day and Day of Silence. A key takeaway from the organization's efforts is the impact such alliances can have on transforming school culture to be more accepting and inclusive.

The speakers also highlight concerning statistics about the higher incidence of bullying, depression, and suicide attempts among queer youth compared to their straight counterparts. This alarming data underlines the need for QSAs and similar support structures in schools. An overview is provided of the High School Diversity Tour from 2011, which involved visiting schools across New Zealand to talk about homophobic bullying, and how successful those visits were in inciting schools to establish their own QSAs.

The podcast emphasizes the importance of community engagement and regional outreach, especially for rural areas where support is sparse. It's mentioned that the organization, despite being primarily volunteer-run and lacking funding, has aspirations to expand services and increase its impact.

The session concludes with a conversation about the marriage equality bill and how QSAs were encouraged to creatively contribute to the debate. Participants then shared anecdotes reflecting their own experiences with queer identity and support systems in schools, the impact of cultural differences, and the challenges involved in setting up inclusive environments.

The recording concludes by addressing the audience with an encouragement to spread the word about the QSA Network Aotearoa and its mission, emphasizing the transformative power of support and advocacy for queer youth in educational settings.

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:1st December 2012
Location:Community House/Press Hall, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004080).