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Queer Youth Hui Schedule Announced

Queer Youth Hui Schedule Announced

(January 10, 2007) More than 50 young gay, lesbian, takataapui and transgender community leaders from all over the country are set to head to Wellington this month for “Kaha”, a queer youth hui hosted by the OUT THERE Youth Development Project.

“This will be a place to share experiences, make new connections, build confidence, and increase awareness of the issues facing queer youth in Aotearoa New Zealand, while learning about activism and encouraging societal acceptance,” says organiser Nathan Brown. “Perhaps most importantly, it’s an event that will be a whole heap of fun for an often stigmatised group.”

Brown is the National Co-ordinator of OUT THERE, which aims to create communities that are safe and inclusive of sexuality and gender diversity. The project uses the word “queer” as an umbrella term encompassing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, fa'afafine, and takataapui identities.

Kaha is a three-day event taking place at Tapu Te Ranga Marae in Wellington on the weekend of January 26-28, 2007, and Brown says a busy weekend is planned.

There will be workshops on drug/alcohol issues, sexuality and relationships (with separate streams for gay, lesbian and transgender attendees), safe sex and HIV, empowering queer youth to promote acceptance in their local communities, documentary screenings, and a special training day for current and would-be facilitators of queer youth groups.

Special guests include New Zealand AIDS Foundation chair Jeremy Lambert discussing activism and the media, a Q&A with MPs Maryan Street and Charles Chauvel, drag icon Buckwheat hosting an open mic concert, and a special screening of the documentary short film ‘Black & White’, introduced by the film’s intersex activist and star, Mani Mitchell.

Another objective of the weekend is to help queer youth groups to better meet the needs of Maori and Pacific youth. “There is a workshop option in kapa haka, and the youth workers training day will cover inclusivity and Treaty issues,” Brown says. “There will also be a powhiri - Maori process is a key part of the weekend.”

Registrations for Kaha are $25, and are still open to all under-25 queer youth irrespective of identity, gender, ethnicities or background. Accommodation and meals are provided, and help is available for transport issues. More information can be found on the Out There website: www.outthere.org.nz/kaha

ENDS

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