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March 26, 2012 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]


I believe the concept of “community” is vital to those of us who lie somewhere along the queer*/ rainbow spectrum. It’s a catalyst for both social and political change. It allows us to share in life’s rich journey of discovery and exploration by meeting friends, family and lovers, and serves as the first step on one of the many roads to equality for all humans. Take, for instance, the New Zealand Homosexual Law Reform Society. Without a pre-existing gay community, this group would never have formed, and July 9th 1986 would never have been written into the history books of queer* New Zealand.

Of course, the same goes for every LGBTQ community, but what is “the gay community”, really? I don’t believe one exists, well, not in New Zealand, anyway, and certainly not in Wellington. We capital dwellers wax lyrical about how inclusive and friendly our city is, when, in reality, we’re not a cohesive whole, rather a series of atomised, individual groups, thrown to our respective and claimed corners of Wellington’s queer* world, hesitant to venture far from our familiar bubbles. Barflies, radical activists, students, fashion fiends, pill-poppers, swingers, over-fifties, and intellectuals; interactions between us are brief and fleeting. But how did this come about?

Maybe it’s a generational thing. In my involvement with UniQ Victoria, it’s been awesome interacting with a wicked bunch of people who are focused on the acceptance and inclusion of everyone, irrespective of hir location on the various spectra of sex, gender, and sexual orientation. Does it have something to do with the fact that the average UniQ member is around 20 years of age—are we mostly untainted by the extremism and bigotry of eras gone by and, perhaps naïvely, more willing to embrace the big scary world beyond campus? We network, we interact… but we’re not innocent in all this. When did we last see a significant non-UniQ presence at a UniQ event?

Maybe Brian from Queer as Folk had it right. Maybe we should spend our lives partying and acting in our own best interests. Personally, I believe that each of us has hir own unique influence to place on the rainbow community, but, in order to become a community, we need to tear down the walls of one-upmanship and politicking which are keeping us apart. Queers unite! Think of what we can achieve when we all cum together.


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