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Qtopia disappointed that MP Joanne Hayes accepted petition

Qtopia are incredibly sad to see that National Party MP, Joanne Hayes has accepted a petition into parliament asking the Ministry of Education to "stop transgender teaching in New Zealand schools". “As a provider of education to schools and businesses Qtopia have seen the benefits of this work first hand and the benefits to our young people.” Ryan Keen, Qtopia Co-Chair said.

The reason given for this petition is that its writer believes that teachers are already required to create a safe environment for all students regardless of race, religion, language, disability, and sexuality. Keen continued saying that, “The writer's omission of gender diversity from this statement speaks to the need for education. The anecdotal evidence and mental health statistics from the gender diverse community speak to the inadequacy of any pre-existing obligation. Education and understanding lead to acceptance; ignorance and misinformation create intolerance, misunderstanding and isolation in our communities”.

Keen also said that, “The writer has fundamentally concluded that they believe that "endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents". Qtopia reject the fundamental premise of this statement and its transphobic terminology that is not based on facts or truth.”

Rawa Karetai, Qtopia Co-Chair said “The staff and board of Qtopia ask MP Joanne Hayes to think back to her maiden speech where she agreed to take the road less travelled than others and her promise to utilise her skills and experience and to learn new ones. As a spokesperson for Maori Affairs, representing another minority in our community, the people of New Zealand deserve better”.

Karetai continued to say that, “Our friends and whanau in the gender diverse community deserve our respect, our understanding and our willingness to learn and understand. To our LGBTI+ young people of Aotearoa, know that you are valued, you are normal, and we are here.”

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