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September 10, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Bent: Queer Straight Alliance

Are you a straight supporter of queer rights (a ‘straight ally’) who wants to help push for queer rights and a safer campus community, but feel intimidated or unwelcome in the queer community? Well then you’re in luck, because UniQ has recently started up a Queer Straight Alliance as a way of opening the door for you to get involved.

The group will have fairly regular meetings, including social events, educational seminars, discussion groups, and more, so that we can get to know each other, educate ourselves about queer issues, and see what we can do to help. It will also serve as a support group, because as rewarding and important as being a straight ally is, it is not always easy.

I also want to stress that this is not meant to be a “straight allies only” sort of group, and anyone queer or straight who wants to be a part of bridging that gap is more than welcome to join.

This group will also serve as an important part of a widening support network at Vic for queer students, and the Safe Spaces campaign that I am working on with Gen Fowler, VUWSA Queer Officer is a step towards that. This will involve educating students, staff, local businesses, and anyone who wants to get involved about what it means to be an ally, and providing Safe Space stickers for people to display so that queer people know that they are in a safe space.

I’ll also be talking with counselling and health services to ensure that they up to a high standard as far as queer students are concerned, and working with other local organisations like Legalise Love, School’s Out and the newly formed lower North Island chapter of PFLAG to make the wider Wellington community as safe, friendly, and inviting as possible.

You don’t have to be queer to support queer rights—anyone can be an ally. All you have to do is care about our queer friends and family, and be willing to fight on their behalf to break down all the different kinds of heterosexist attitudes that pervade our society, and cause so much unnecessary strife for the people we love and care about. So what are you waiting for? Come join the UniQ Queer Straight Alliance, and help make our campus a better place.

When you’re ready to join, you can find us on Facebook, at facebook.com/uniq.qsa, or on Twitter, @UniQ_QSA. Looking forward to meeting you!

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