EDITOR’S NOTE……………………………………………………………………………………………….…..………PAGE 3 MEET THE TEAM.............................................................................................................PAGE 4 MUSINGS ON LABOUR’S “RAINBOW-EFFECT”…..…………………..…..……….……….…...PAGE 5 IT’S NOT OKAY: RACIAL DISCRIMINATION…………………………………....………………..…..PAGE 6 SAYING “BI” TO BIPHOBIA………………………………………………………………...……….…….……..PAGE 7 RAINBOWING THROUGH AUGUST………………………………………….…….….…….…..………….PAGE 8 UPCOMING EVENTS…………………………………………………………………………..…………….…………PAGE 9
Want to contribute? E-mail us on theoutletAUT@gmail.com
Kia ora, everyone, and welcome to the first issue of The Outlet—Out@AUT’s very own rainbow newsletter! Out@AUT is a support group in which we provide social and networking opportunities for students in a comfortable and friendly environment. Led by a diverse executive team, we organise weekly and monthly events, most of which are held in the Rainbow Room. I’ve always had a passion for writing, but, more often than not, I’ve pushed it aside to prioritise my music. I came up with the idea of creating The Outlet, not only to document my own ideas, but also those of our talented writers, who you’ll meet on the next page! The Outlet was created to provide our readers with a source of entertainment, news and gossip. I thought that having our own Outlet, so as to speak, would be a great form of self-
expression for our community, and an effective way to have our voices heard. Each quarter, we will release an issue via e-mail (you can sign up in the Rainbow Room!), and hopefully, very soon, we’ll be able to print physical copies of The Outlet. I hope you enjoy our first issue. See you soon! Nāku noa, nā
Jennifer Daruwalla Editor of The Outlet.
DISCLAIMER: Thoughts and views expressed in this newsletter do not reflect those of Auckland University of Technology or Out@AUT, but the writers themselves.
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Course: Bachelor of Communications
Course: Doctorate of Philosophy
Favourite colour: Black
Favourite colour: Purple
Favourite artist: Pink Floyd
Favourite artist: Lady Gaga
Social media: @jenniferdaru on Twitter
Social media: @sirgagaxox on Twitter
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand
Birthplace: Mumbai, India
Course: Bachelor of Communications
Course: Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences
Favourite colour: Turquoise
Favourite colour: Red
Favourite artist: Britney Spears
Favourite artist: Rihanna
Social media: @lukiep96 on Twitter
(Mac & Cheese has chosen to remain anonymous)
A thought-piece on Labour’s Rainbow Policy for the 2017 General Election by PhD student, Blair Speakman
"All Kiwis want is someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work, and something to hope for." - Norman Kirk, 1974 By the time you’ve read this, you’ve already voted for the 2017 General Election in New Zealand (hopefully…). Chances are, for the last 6 -8 weeks, you have been bombarded with election news, whether it be about the meteoric rise (and rise) of Jacinda Ardern as leader of the Opposition (#TheJacindaEffectisReal), the resignation of Meteria Turei, or Winston Peters’ Superannuation debacle. This election, it has become clear which issues are on most New Zealander’s minds: poverty, youth suicide, mental health, and housing (what housing crisis?!). I’m willing to bet that, like me, you’re also highly concerned about these particular issues, especially as we see an increasing number of New Zealanders forced out of the home market and into poverty. However, due to the media and public attention focused on the aforementioned issues, as well as the spectacle of watching Labour’s resurgence as THAT Left-wing party under Ardern’s leadership, one of their policies which will hopefully make a significant difference for one of the most vulnerable groups in New Zealand has already been side-lined in favour of ‘sexier’ and more controversial topics. On Friday, the 4th of August, at Family Bar, Ardern announced Labour’s Rainbow Policy, which is one of the most comprehensive and inclusive Rainbow policies that a New Zealand political party has announced prior to a general election. Particularly striking, Labour wants to support
schools to develop comprehensive policies and actions to deal with bullying on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and intersex status. Additionally, Labour has also committed to implement the Ministry of Education’s Sexuality Education Guidelines as part of the Health curriculum. Increased support for queer students who are bullied for who they are, as well as further education around sexuality, gender identity, and gender expression, will immensely improve the lives of young Queer students. Despite being a ‘Millennial Queer’, I found the support for myself and my fellow Rainbow peers throughout primary and secondary education to be severely lacking, which I believe was quite a big factor in my feelings of isolation from those around me. I hope that Labour will stay true to its word and implement these policies, come September 23rd, if they win the election, as it will save the lives of our future Queer youth. While I won’t tell you who to vote for, I urge you to check out each party’s Rainbow policy, if they even have one, and consider how those policies will impact those in our community on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, I could not discuss every detail of the policy in detail here, but Labour has committed to provide further support for people who are transgender or intersex, and those who have HIV/ AIDS. For further information, check out: www.labour.org.nz/rainbow
by Mac & Cheese
meant to look and act?
Yes, the above is an excerpt from a real conversation I had with someone on Grindr. If you think there’s nothing wrong with that, think again. Has he forgotten that Indians are Asians, too? (China isn’t the only Asian country, y’know!) He states that this is merely a preference, but in fact, this, my friends, is a fine example of racial discrimination. I’ll start with some fundamentals. There are a handful of people who claim having racial biases are not racist, and just a preference. The truth is, with any choices you make, if you’ve considered race as a selective factor, that is most definitely racism. Don’t argue with the whole “I can’t help who I get attracted to!” jargon, because that is not a reasonable justification. If you want to have sex with someone, all you need are certain body parts. It doesn’t matter what colour. So, why does the colour of our skin play a significant role in our dating and sexual lives? Could it be that it is linked to the stereotypes of gay Asians in mainstream media, such as gay Asian is light skinned, effeminate, submissive, smooth-bodied, etc, which have, in turn, influenced our idea of how Asian men are
Another question that comes to mind is “why limit your preferences by race?” What if you came across a nice guy, who had all the qualities you were looking for, but he belonged to a race that was not in your preferences? Are you really going to push him away just because of the racial factor? Why not be openminded and date him for the qualities that he has? The thing that gets to me is how some people claim to be open-minded while simultaneously making race the deciding factor. A bad experience with someone from a specific race shouldn’t dictate how you feel about other people from that race. This applies to all “labels” – no matter your size, your religion, and in this case, your race! I have personally been shot down by many times because I’m Indian, and I might have “broken English” (does my English look broken to you?) or that I must have an Indian accent. At the end of the day, I can’t tell you how to think. No one can change that but yourself. I’d like to think that many of us are open-minded, but can we practice what we preach? Be open to having a conversation with anyone and everyone. Let them surprise you! Think about it. Every time someone uses race as a filter for their dating and sexual preferences, they’re excluding minorities. Maybe before you swipe left on that Tinder profile, or block yet another Grindr profile, ask yourself why you’re doing it.
by Jennifer Daruwalla
“Biphobia is aversion toward bisexuality and toward bisexual people as a social group or as individuals. It can take the form of denial that bisexuality is a genuine sexual orientation, or of negative stereotypes about people who are bisexual. People of any sexual orientation can experience or perpetuate biphobia, and it is a source of social discrimination.” (Wikipedia) It's 2017. It’s unbelievable that biphobia is something that still exists. It’s unbelievable that homophobia, in general, still exists. What’s more, is this can occur within our own community – the rainbow community. For some reason, there seems to be an unjustifiable aversion to bisexuals, and I fail to understand why. I first experienced biphobia when coming out to someone (who I shall not dox!). “I’m bisexual” (Scoffs) “No, you’re not!”
Sex and The City for broadcasting that bisexuality is simply a “layover on the way to Gay Town” for negatively propagandising the bisexuality of a male character from the show, which, in turn, led to many viewers being influenced by this seemingly harmless joke. It doesn’t help that there are other bisexual people who add fuel to the biphobic fire, and disregarded it as “SJW bullsh*t”. Here is an interaction I had with someone in the comments section on Facebook (always a great place for arguments, right?).
“That’s not possible, you’re being greedy! You either like men or women! You’re confused.” This interaction pretty much shaped how I assumed people viewed bisexuality from then onwards – this was also how I assumed people would view me. I was scared to come out to anyone else. I thought – Am I greedy? Is my bisexuality real? Is this just a phase? Those questions swam around in my head for quite a while; and like a shark hunting for its prey, I was searching for some answers. Thankfully, my boyfriend (yes, I am in a relationship with a MALE! *gasp*) was incredibly supportive when I came out to him. Bisexuality is commonly assumed to be a sort of transit-zone between homosexuality and heterosexuality. Bisexuality, especially in films and TV shows, is portrayed as wildly promiscuous and wildly kinky – but confused. News flash – that representation does not embody all bisexuals! Many credit the infamous
It’s pretty evident that people fear what they don’t know – and especially what they don’t understand. But what is there to understand? Two people, no matter who they are, what gender they are, or even where they’re from, should have the right to love each other without being judged. It’s 2017. It’s time to kiss biphobia good-bi.
by Luke Parkes
No one can deny that time has flown by. I mean, it’s September for crying out loud; that’s evidence enough! Then, we only have a few months more until the end of 2017. August has come and gone, and for the LGBTQ+ community, many events have unfolded within the past 31 days. Among them includes the Labour party’s announcement of policies to support us Rainbow folk in New Zealand. Another progressive thing to happen is that Canada has allowed their people to put the gender neutral “X” on their passports. Also, how awesome is their prime minister, Justin Trudeau? I mean, seriously, he has marched along in Pride Parades, more recently in Montreal. Canada, you’re doing fabulous, darling! Meanwhile, Australia has started their progress towards marriage equality. Many people have made campaigns against it; one of them was an Anti-LGBT group that featured Meghan Trainor (without her permission, I might add) saying “No” even though she says “Yes” to equality. There are, of course, plenty of people who are fighting for it. So let’s hope the next
few months will show such favourable results! On the other side of things, inequality continues to plague the United States as Trump (fun fact: I recently learnt that “Trump” means “fart” in Britain) signed a bill to exclude transgender troops from the military. Luckily, people—the LGBTQ+ community and allies—have continued to raise their voices against this. They’re even going to put a lawsuit in place. Here’s something else preposterous: Author V.E. Schwab, known for her Shade of Magic series, learnt, to her horror, that a scene involving a romantic relationship between a same-sex couple from the Russian translation of her book was cut. After news spread on Twitter, author Victoria Aveyard, who wrote the fantasy series Red Queen, has requested the Russian translations of her books to be investigated. So, in the month of August, we, the LGBTQ+ community, have continued to have our moments. Some of it hasn’t been, you know, wonderful, but hey, at least there has been the good, and not just the bad and the ugly, right? Well, here’s hoping we have more of the good things taking over the rest of the year!
by Jennifer Daruwalla
Every week, on Tuesday, we Join sex educator Louise
hold a Rainbow Hangout in the
Bourchier to discuss the hows and
Rainbow Room. Relax on our comfy
whys of safer sex, and making safer
bean bags or enjoy a hot cup of free
sex sexy. You’ll also be able to get your
coffee—the aim is to make friends!
hands on some safer sex supplies!
Keep an eye out for the Facebook
event posted to the Out@AUT page. Every Tuesday, 11AM
WF711, AUT City Campus onwards
WB212, AUT City Campus
Let your inner Beyoncé
Every year, February is filled
shine! We’ve got a spectacular night
to the brim with rainbow events.
planned, so come along, bring some
Auckland hosts the annual Pride
friends, and sing to your heart’s
Parade, and the Big Gay Out: Ending
content! Be sure to bring a $2 coin to
enter—plus more for food and drinks! 5PM—9PM Vesbar, AUT City Campus
Dates and timings TBA—be on the lookout for updates! The
Parade is held in Ponsonby, and Big Gay out is at Point Chevalier.
The Outlet has finally arrived. Here is our very first issue.