The queer community in Kirikiriroa has been poking out of small pockets throughout the city in the past couple of years. Hamilton Pride Inc. for example, which had sat dormant for a while, has recently been brought back into the swing again.
Folks in the community have come together to start to organise regular meetings and keep the queer organisations of Kirikiriroa on the same page. Long-standing group WaQuY (Waikato Queer Youth) has rebranded this year to become Rainbow Hub Waikato, an organisation of groups, community events, and resources expanding their original reach of queer youth.
Rainbow Alliance, the staff and student-run group within Waikato University with the goal of promoting equality for opportunity and furthering social inclusion, have continued to assist the rainbow community, specifically LGBTTQIA+ students, at the University of Waikato.
‘Say My Name’ was an event recently held outside the Waikato Museum to show love and support for the transgender community. This gathering had a Justice of the Peace present to aid and provide documentation for legal name changes and gender markers – a process that is often a large hurdle for so many trans individuals. They will be hosting more similar events for people to drop in and get advice from a JP.
This year has really been one full of change for the Kirikiriroa pride community, and will hopefully bring on a strong future.
What is UniQ Waikato?
We are the social & support group for all gender, sex, sexuality diverse, questioning and/or ally students at the University of Waikato. We meet fortnightly over A and B trimesters at the Hamilton campus.
We have our own space in the Cowshed where our meetings and get-togethers are often held. If you would like directions, feel free to contact us and we can tell you how to find us.
What does UniQ Waikato do?
We collaborate with and host a variety of different organisations, clubs, and groups within New Zealand. Ranging from support groups from other universities, fundraising, educational sessions and information evenings.
Why is UniQ Waikato needed at the University of Waikato?
While Aotearoa is taking steps to be more supportive and accommodating for the LGBTTQIA+ community, such as the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill, there is still a lot of uneducated and blatant homophobic opinions.
UniQ Waikato is not only a space to receive support for those within the LGBTTQIA+ community, it is also a place where we can celebrate and be proud of who we are.
What are UniQ Waikato’s goals as we prepare for 2022?
As normal, our focus will be on maintaining a safe space and environment for those within the LGBTTQIA+ community and those that support us.
We will be having our AGM later this trimester where our executive team will gain some new members as some of our current executive team will be graduating. This is an awesome opportunity to take on a leadership role within the LGBTTQIA+ community and leave your mark.