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May 31, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Acting Queer Officer

Queer musings

Already this year we have seen GLBT rights attacked in the USA, Aussie athletes told to “stay in the closet”, the death penalty for the “crime” of homosexuality put into Ugandan legislation, two men from Malawi imprisoned for holding an engagement party and police violence against transgender activists in Turkey. We are pretty lucky in New Zealand that we have a society that generally respects diversity and celebrates our differences. However we still have some way to go in terms of living up to the decent, equal society that most kiwis expect. The Human Rights Commission released a report that sought an amendment to the Human Rights Act to make it clear that people are protected from discrimination based on their gender identity. It appears that there is currently some political resistance to this non-contentious change to the Act. If you are interested in this issue head to to find how you can get involved.

Thanks UniQ

The cool kids at UniQ put on a great night at the annual Traffic Light Party on Friday night. There are plenty more queertastic events planned for the year so remember to come along to UniQ meetings. Send an email to to make sure you are kept in the loop.

Break from study break?

Out Takes 2010: A Reel Queer Film Festival runs from the 3-9 June and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. So when the long nights of study and revision are getting you down, head along and catch some of the world’s best queer films. Festival programmes are available from outside the VUWSA office at the Kelburn campus.

Queer Tertiary Student Survey

In 2001 survey results from the National Union of Students’ Associations found that 40% of queer students said that they had experienced harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity whilst at university. In 2010 VUWSA and other students’ associations are again asking queer students to provide feedback about their experiences at tertiary institutions around New Zealand. This survey will provide a valuable basis for immediate action and future research for queer and transgender students on campus. The research will give an indication of the prevalence of sexual orientation and gender identity harassment and give an assessment of the needs of bisexual, gay, intersex, lesbian, takatapui and transgender students in Aotearoa New Zealand. Email me at if you want to know more about this upcoming survey.

Kurt Sharpe


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