Kassie Hartendorp is a member of the Workers Party, and delivered this speech as a part of Queer The Night 2012. The Workers Party will be holding a talk on queer liberation and socialism as part of our Socialism 2012 conference.
Kia ora whanau,
My name is Kassie and I work for School’s Out, a queer youth organisation, and I am also a member of the Queer Avengers . I’m here speaking to you today, because I want to really drive home that the experiences of the youth up here tonight are not isolated cases.
The whole reason that queer youth support organisations exist is due to the fact that our schools, our families and our communities are not always safe places to come out as a queer or questioning teenager. Our entire existence is based on the fact that so many of our youth and adults, are still unaccepted, marginalised, or treated as second class to heterosexual or cis-gender people.
As a youth worker, I see many of the younger generations coming through with a confidence that even I, as a 22 year old find absolutely inspirational. When I was young, even going to a queer group was too terrifying for me, let alone starting a Queer Straight Alliance, or standing up at a march in front of so many people. Read the rest of this entry »