LGBT Group Reflection Report

Decent Essays

When I first met Tabby, I wasn’t sure if I was more struck by her bold sky blue hair or by her huge smile as she shouted a greeting across the road. I vividly remember her head sticking up from the other side of the car almost as soon as it had stopped, greeting me as though I was an old friend. This meeting had arrived after four months worth of emails and texts back and forth across the country, and I’m not sure who was more excited.

Tabby Besley is the sole founder of InsideOUT, a national organisation which works with youth, whānau, schools and communities to make Aotearoa a safer place for all young people of minority genders and sexualities to live and be in, and she was in Napier to run a workshop for Hawkes Bay youth, on running QSA’s (Queer Straight Alliance) and promoting awareness of LGBT+ issues within New Zealand's schools. This workshop was attended by six different schools and the information that came out was eye opening. Two male students from a private school described the environment at their school, explaining physical fights and bullying occurring for students just for ‘looking gay’.

While talking with Tabby I soon discovered that the portrayal of the LGBT+ community to everyone else is often quite warped and inaccurate. Unlike what many seem to believe, such as student Josh from Havelock North High School stating “only around I think 8% is (sic) gay”, earlier this year a survey released by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) showed

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