During the month of June, you might notice that there are a few more rainbows than usual – either in the streets or online. This is because June is Pride Month.
According to UN Youth Australia, Pride Month “celebrates the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community” and is a time to “reflect on just how far civil rights have progressed in half a century and an opportunity to protest discrimination and violence.”
What does LGBTIQA+ stand for?
LGBTIQA+ refers collectively to people who are:
- plus the many people and communities who have additional ways of describing their distinct histories, experiences and needs
What can you do this Pride Month?
Due to COVID-19, many events and festivals have either been postponed or cancelled, but there are still a few to get involved in. The Sydney Pride Festival for 2021, with this year’s theme “Diversity, Inclusion, Equality” was launched just last Thursday and will run until the end of the month. There are many different events in Sydney to attend, including art exhibitions, theatre productions, music, fashion shows and parties. For more information, go to Sydney Pride Festival – Sydney Pride Festival 2021.
Out in regional New South Wales, Tropical Fruits, which is the premier LGBTIQ community group in the Northern Rivers host many events including one scheduled for this coming long weekend. For the Queen’s Long Weekend, a party will be held in Lismore on Saturday 12 June. More information can be found at Queen’s Birthday – Tropical Fruits.
What can you do at Charles Sturt?
Charles Sturt University offers students the opportunity to complete the Ally Program, which aims to educate people about complex concepts around bodies, genders, relationships, sexualities, histories, and lived experiences.
The Ally Program:
- promotes a safe, inclusive and affirming environment for students and staff who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning or asexual (LGBTIQA+)
- builds a culture of affirmation and inclusion by raising awareness of the experiences of people who are LGBTIQA+
- provides a visible support and advocacy network of identified Allies to the LGBTIQA+ community.
What do Allies do?
- provide a comfortable and confidential environment for people to discuss matters related to sexual diversity and sex or gender identity
- work on expanding their understanding of LGBTIQA+ communities and the nature and impact of discrimination experienced by LGBTIQA+ people
- show leadership by being publicly supportive of sexual, sex and gender diversity
- role model non-discriminatory practices and language
- promote a greater understanding of the LGBTIQA+ community
- challenge, wherever possible, homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism on campus
- provide information and make appropriate referrals.
Charles Sturt holds free Ally training workshops regularly, and you can access them registering via the Workshops and Events page in Student Portal. The next training session will be held on 25 June between 1.30 to 3.30pm.
The Ally Program is an initiative of the Student Equity Office within Charles Sturt. It has been funded for the past 6 years by a grant from Student Services and Amenities Fee funds.