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February 25, 2008 | by  | in Opinion |
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Hi. I’m Bobby. I want to take you to a gay bar.

If you’re a first year and have spent the last five years in some provincial, single sex prison, you can rest assured that the first XV won’t find you here. All the years you spent at school yearning for people who, like your subversive-queer-self, could think ‘outside the square’ have finally culminated in you being a first year at Vic. So congratulations! You’re finally at university! And sure, even though you might still get the odd baboon around campus using the word gay as a synonym for stupid, just know that the whimsical statements of chavs and tragic hipsters are about as ironically charged as rain on your wedding day.

Welcome to the big gay pedestal that is the Queer column! This year you can look forward to a (hopefully) weekly column, with contributions from myself, Rachael Wright and guest writers. Every week we’ll fill you in on UniQ events, things about town and general ongoing Queer affairs.

If you’re new to university, chances are you’re new to the concept of Queer too. This column will quickly fill you in on what Queer means and how to be a po-mo homo. Queer is a reclaimed word and is used as an umbrella term for GLBTFTI (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, fa’afafine, takataapui and intersex) people, and provides us with the premise that sexuality and gender identity is a spectrum rather than a dichotomy, i.e. straight/gay and masculine/feminine. Straight people are queer too, of course, they just have less to complain about. There are no two-ways about sexuality, and being attracted to the opposite sex is just part of the diversity. However, the world we live in was made with the interests of heterosexuality primarily in mind, which is why we need organisations like UniQ, as an example, to put ours forward. Heteronormativity will always try to drag you down and set you straight, so to speak, but the more we show we’re here and we’re Queer, the more we’ll be able to make changes in our favour.

So if you’re not out then you should be! With bells on! If not only to do yourself the biggest favour of your sexual life, it’s good for ‘the community’. Stop sticking where the first XV want you and remember you’ll only end up regretting all the time you spent closeted the longer you leave it.

There’s a lot more to being a refined Queer than popping Margaret Cho quotes and being an outspoken feminist. I’m prone to both of these things and both went a long way on the perilous, homotional path I took in my first year, and if my perspective can help anyone reach an emancipatory conclusion in regards to their own sexuality at any point, then I will have done my job as one of the Queer columnists. That’s why I urge people to confront their sexualities, push boundaries and not settle for anything short of endless diversity, because, as Queers, if we don’t have diversity, we are denied the opportunity to choose our identity and I don’t want someone to arbiter that for me.

Cheers, Queers!

Up-coming events:

UniQ orientation week tea party! 28 Feb – 12pm, Meeting Room 1, Student Union Building.
The Gay and Lesbian Fair! 1 March, Civic Square
IGM/BBQ! 6 March – 5pm, Mount St Bar

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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this