New ‘Rainbow Youth Collective’ forms to fight against homophobia

Issue 

A new group has formed in Adelaide to organise young people to fight against homophobia.

The Rainbow Youth Collective was formed out of a discussion hosted by Resistance on the topic of homophobia and queer liberation, following the Adelaide equal marriage rally on August 11.

Presentations by Resistance activists on the marriage campaign, the origins of homophobia and the next steps for the movement were followed by great discussion around issues facing young queer people today.

Participants shared heart-breaking stories of homophobic bullying and queer youth suicide. But there were also stories of amazing courage, resilience and willingness to fight homophobia wherever it appears.

In particular, the meeting identified a need for strong anti-homophobia education, advocacy and campaigning in high schools to fill a gap left by the education system and the government.

This sparked the idea to form a Rainbow Youth Collective to play this role.

Christina Rees, a student at Aberfoyle Park High School, told Green Left Weekly: “I'm really excited about getting something running for the youth of Adelaide where the government and schools have fallen short in providing services, support and education for lesbian, gay, bisexual and sex and gender diverse youth.’”

The Rainbow Youth Collective held its first meeting on August 23 at the Adelaide Activist Centre.

Comprising a broad cross section of people — including high school students, university students, teachers, activists and supporters — the meeting produced rich discussion around what the group could work on.

The meeting developed a mission statement, which said the group aims to “unite and organise all young people in high schools, universities and the wider community in order to fight against homophobia and other forms of discrimination”.

The group expressed interest in a variety of activities and events, with the aim of advocating, educating and campaigning around this goal.

There was plenty of enthusiasm for the Rainbow Youth Collective, which decided to meet fortnightly to plan as many actions and campaigns as possible.

The first projects are to organise an official launch party for the collective and make an educational brochure about homophobia and young people.

The “Rainbow Youth Collective’s Coming Out Soiree” will be held on September 7. It coincides with Wear It Purple Day, a youth national day of action against homophobia.

The event aims to spread the word about the new group, encourage other young people to get involved and provide a safe, friendly space for young people to come together, regardless of sexuality or gender, and to feel respected and welcomed. It will also double as a fundraiser for future activities and campaigns, featuring food, drinks, music and good company.

[For more details email gweedall@gmail.com.]


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