A while ago I made a poster for the Pacific and Asia Regional Trans and Intersex hui as part of the Wellington Outgames Human Rights conference. I volunteered to help out a bit getting international participants to the conference – and it was soo awesome to meet all the faces I’d been emailing, and pestering for details. It was such an overwhelming, incredible experience to share stories and ideas with a room full of 90 or more gender diverse people and allies.
I really don’t think I can describe the feeling. I spent most of the time pretending to find jobs, because I felt like if I stopped and thought about how many cool activists, who did incredibly important things, I’d probably start crying or something. And that would ruin my *manly* reputation.
No, but seriously, it was incredible.
For the three days after that there was the official human rights conference for the outgames – and I got to participate in some incredibly powerful workshops. It’s given me a lot to think about, in terms of my own privilege, and in terms of what sorts of things I could be involved in, and I feel empowered to put on my activist cape and walking alongside the incredible change-makers I met.
Plus! I got to see Joe too!! It was great. I think I would have spent the whole time freaking out if he wasn’t there to squeeze my hand every now and then, and to check in with him after each day. He’s cool. Really, really cool. I miss him. Saying goodbye again was a little heartbreaking.
Oh yeh, and I got to see roller derby too!! (as noted in the above comic) As part of the Outgames they had a special Trans Tasman match. The Wellington Richter City All Stars vs. The Sydney City Assassins. Holy.Crap.it.was.so.awesome. Wait for fan art. My world has been officially changed.
Wow. This has been a super long post.
Posted in Activism, Comic
Tagged Joe, Love, Oh look this is awesome!, outgames, politics, queer, reflection, roller derby, Super Butts, thankyou
So last year Joe and I made up some stickers for Transgender day of Remembrance, on November 20. We are nerds so we had a maths theme about the whole thing, and wanted to have a message about breaking down the binary and encouraging
tolerance celebration of diversity….
I live in a university town – in fact Dunedin’s uni is the oldest in New Zealand. So on the 5th of July (during the middle of school holidays) the executive decided to hold a referendum to see if students wanted to downsize their student association (OUSA) executive.
The argument goes is that the student association is big business – millions of dollars to manage – and with 17 people on the executive it’s too “dysfunctional”. So they want to cut it down.
Instead of offering students a choice of models of how a downsized exec might look they picked one model and asked students to vote on it. In this model the exec gets cut from 17 members down to 10. A more “manageable” number.
In this model we lose the Women’s Rep, Pacific Island Rep, and Queer Rep, and the Maori Rep’s role changes significantly. In conclusion we lose representation for already vulnerable, disenfranchised groups.
Through a series of incredibly bias posters, and manipulation of student apathy, the referendum passed. Albeit by a mere 78 votes.
This would be somewhat ok if OUSA really was merely a business. If it was only about managing assets, putting on shows and making money, money, money.
But, it’s not.
OUSA is responsible for representation, for student welfare, and for making political noise. It’s the group of young leaders that we go to: it is our voice for systemic change within the university, within the city and to the big fella’s in the government; it provides us with advocacy and support spaces; it campaigns for our rights; it represents us in all our diversity.
And we’ve just lost the voice, representation and visibility for Women, Pacific Islanders and Queer people.
I guess this isn’t just about television – in fact it’s mostly about articles I read online – but I liked the idea of drawing myself in front of a TV. I’ve had to make a rule against reading the comment section of a lot of articles I read online because I end up feeling more hurt. The reference to Johnny Weir – ice-skater extraordinaire – came from this article from the GLAAD.org blog a while ago. Reinterpretation is definitely the way to go, makes my article reading a lot happier…
So last week we had Pink Shirt Day in New Zealand. Pink Shirt day is a an international campaign aiming to show that bullying is not ok and won’t be tolerated. People were encouraged to wear a pink shirt to raise awareness of bullying and show the massive amount of people who support taking a stance against bullying and believe that bullying should not be tollerated anywhere no matter what the reasons or circumstances are.
I helped organise a little promotion for it down in Dunedin – hanging out some washing across the Octagon (our city centre) – namely pink shirts. The local TV came down to say hello 🙂 – Watch it Here!
Sigh – so, the National Party is looking to mine some of our most precious land.
This makes me unhappy – what’s more to say?
It’s just so stupid.
So, we’re starting up a Queer Avengers group here, as I’ve mentioned before. It’s in its very early stages so we’re just getting together to chat about what we want to do. The premise of the group is to get together queer people interested in being a political force within our community; for me it seems to be about advocacy, education, and visibility.
Homophobia and transphobia can be pretty hard to be around, and this group is about finding creative, fun, affirming, and empowering ways to combat it in the place where we live. The sorts of things I’m keen to see happen is to make our city leaders stand up against the violence and discrimination that can happen here (it’s pretty sad that the majority of high schools down here either make it very hard, or don’t allow people to take same-sex partners to schools); I want to make the Police Diversity Liaison Officers more accessible for queer people in the city; I want to make sure that queer friendly businesses and organisations are celebrated; I want I want I want.
If anyone has cool ideas, campaigns, actions, advice, energy, anything they wanna share, please let us know!
So, I used to do some political cartooning for the university magazine a few years ago. I stopped it when I got myself employed, and simply didn’t have the time for it. I have recently become less-employed, started an art course, and bought myself a lovely little tablet (which I’m still desperately trying to learn how to use). And, as our current Prime Minister, the lovely John Key (as drawn above), is a bit of a jerk, it looks like I’ll be brushing up on those old caricatures again…