Viewport width =
July 23, 2018 | by  | in Presidential Address |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Presidential Address

I have an interesting problem that pops up quite a bit in my job — I’m not fully comfortable speaking on issues that don’t reflect my experience. A big focus of mine is trying to get people who want change into the room themselves, but this is not always possible.
When it comes to issues affecting the LGBTQIA+ community, I probably struggle the most. But it’s my job to advocate, and I’m going to share with you how I try to stay on the right track.
First, don’t be a dick. As well as being generally good life advice, it’s especially relevant here. If someone tells you their pronouns, just use them! You don’t have to “get it”, you don’t have to make someone explain themself. It’s far easier to just respect someone’s request. I get this one wrong all the time too, but the world isn’t going to end if you refer to someone as “they”, “he”, or “she” because they ask.
Second, try learn something. It’s okay to not understand someone’s perspective, but if your lack of understanding is causing problems, you should try learn a little bit more. This doesn’t mean using somebody as a learning resource (unless they are happy with that). A Google search might do as well.

Finally, if you get something wrong, just take it on the chin. If you drop the F or T bomb, and someone calls you out on it, a sincere “Yeah fair enough, sorry team” is fine. You don’t have to spend half an hour justifying yourself because mate, and you know who you are, everybody just wants you to shut up and move on.

I hope this advice is helpful. It’s really not hard stuff, and I think you’ll find that if you apply these tips everything starts to make a bit more sense. It’s not about politics or ideology, it’s about respecting people.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent posts

  1. Beyond Pink and Blue
  2. It is Enough: Reflections on Pride
  3. In the Mirror: Queer, Brown and Catholic
  4. “Representation”: Victoria Rhodes-Carlin Is Running For Greater Wellington Regional Council
  5. The Community Without A Home: Queer Homeslessness in Aotearoa
  6. Pasifika Queer in Review
  7. The National Queer in Review
  8. Māori Queer in Review
  9. LGBTQI Project Report Update
  10. International Queer in Review

Editor's Pick

Burnt Honey

: First tutorial of the year. When I open the door, I underestimate my strength, thinking it to be all used up in my journey here. It swings open violently and I trip into the room where awkward gazes greet me. Frozen, my legs are lead and I’m stuck on display for too long. My ov

Do you know how to read? Sign up to our Newsletter!

* indicates required