In 2011, after a series of queer-bashings in Wellington, hundreds of people from the community came together to reclaim the streets, to paint the town pink & purple, to Queer The Night. Out of this march, the Queer Avengers formed.
This is the second annual Queer The Night march. This time we’re particularly supporting Pink Shirt Day on the 18th of May, and more generally opposing all homophobia and transphobia.
We’re out here in solidarity with all kids facing this oppression.
School bullying is one of the many ways that people are forced into the closet. A range of spaces; bars, streets, schools; are policed to ensure that gender and sexual expression remain within certain boundaries.
20 per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual youth attempt suicide – compared with 4 per cent of straight youth.
There is very little statistical information on the problems affecting trans youth in NZ schools. However a recent US study, “Childhood Gender Nonconformity Linked To Higher Abuse Risk” (Roberts et al, 2012) found something the trans and gender variant community know perfectly well: young people who do not conform to gender norms are targeted for abuse, which can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.
We’re here to say that consent, and self-determination, must be the bottom-line for gender and sexual expression. We oppose all barriers to queer and trans expression; legal, economic, social.
What is Pink Shirt Day?
Pink Shirt Day began in Nova Scotia, to support a young boy targeted for homophobic bullying for wearing a pink shirt. Around the world people continue to oppose homophobic and transphobic bullying by wearing pink shirts en masse. Show your support and wear pink on May 18th.
We support the formation of Queer-Straight Alliances in all schools. We support education on gender and sex. We demand the recognition of all sexual orientations and identities.
Sometimes it’s denial of medical treatment, or denial of chosen names. Sometimes it’s fists and bottles. There are many tools used against us, direct and indirect. We’re here to say that in schools, and everywhere else, it doesn’t get better until we make it better.
Queer The Night departs from Waitangi Park, 7pm on Friday May 11th