The oh so powerful gay agenda

Last week I got one of those mass emails railing against the ‘gay agenda’ and other identity politics.

Here are a couple of snippets:

“Or is one reason for the hesitancy or confusion many New Zealanders feel – deluged by constant political propaganda from the now strident LGBT (lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender) power groups …”

“…But it is the passivity in the face of the threats our children increasingly now encounter for which we are going to be most answerable. What we do, or don’t do, for the little ones… And one of the most destructive attacks now being mounted on them, particularly through the destabilising, biologically and morally perverse sex education programmes now being forced upon the schools (and aided by many now activist teachers – themselves lesbian or gay) is the transgender, choose your own sex “option” – achieving cult proportions.”

Ahh yes, all those LGBT power groups running mostly on fundraising and volunteer hours. We are so powerful. So frighteningly well resourced. The fact no-one collects or analyses data on us anymore is surely a sign of our power.

The very worrying health outcome for the 4% of school students who identified as being transgender or unsure of their gender will be because of these programmes.

Nearly 1 in 5 transgender students who have experienced bullying on a weekly basis are obviously being bullied because of the destabilising influence of suggesting they exist and are okay.

And the fives times higher suicide rate for same sex or both sex attracted students would of course be the result of the moral perversity of suggesting they have nothing to be ashamed of.

Excuse the dripping sarcasm.

It was particularly galling to read the above email after visiting Q-topia in Christchurch. The Press ran a story today about the serious funding struggle that Q-topia are facing.

They are doing some amazing work, they run support groups for young people and support groups for parents. They also go into schools and help them develop policies to meet the needs of LGBTIQA+ students and upskill teachers to be able to run the diversity programmes according to the new sexuality education guidelines. These are the very programmes that are being vilified in the above email. Q-topia told me that they’ve found most schools haven’t even heard of the guidelines.

Q-topia mostly get approached by schools when students want to set up a student group, or a student comes out. They’ve found communities, who are consulted when they do this work, are overwhelmingly supportive and that it is possible to make a school environment significantly safer and more inclusive with relatively little effort. They are now being approached by some health and social service organisations to do this work as well – because they’re identifying a need. I must say I was really excited to hear about all the work going on. They are working with five schools in Timaru and are in the process of helping support people in Dunedin to do this work. To my knowledge, currently they’re the only people in the South Island doing this kind of work.

The problem is they don’t get any government funding, and only have five weeks of funding left in the bank. The powers that be are saying it is for the Ministry of Education to fund, and the Ministry are saying it is for the schools to fund. The schools don’t know that they need to do this work because until a student comes out or students are trying to set a group up, the school doesn’t register it as a problem. The system relies upon schools proactively identifying the need for upskilling on queer issues, but they don’t until an individual student raises it. And Q-topia is doing work well beyond schools with other social services.

I have written to the Minister to see if there is an option for funding but in the meantime please please please donate to their givealittle page to keep this important work going.

LGBTIQA+ people make up at least 10 percent of the population, though stigma makes it hard to be sure. Members of our communities experience varying degrees of discrimination and other forms of violence and as a result are more likely to have mental and other health issues. Yet there is no ongoing funding for any LGBTIQA+ social service organisation, unless you count the AIDS Foundation.