Queerkats is a fabulous new collective created this year as a subset of the Queer Action Collective. Queerkats aims to create a safe and welcoming space that acts as an alternative to spaces and groups that are often dominated by cis men (cis men being people who were assigned male at birth and agree with that assignation). At the beginning of the year we were defining ourselves as a ‘non cis male’ collective, but this definition has proved insufficient, and we are currently workshopping a better and more inclusive definition. At the moment we are defining ourselves as a queer collective for those who identify as women (trans, cis, butch, femme, transfeminine), nonbinary folks (genderqueer, genderfluid, agender, androgynous, bigender, demigender, polygender), people who are gender diverse (including non-Western and indigenous gender identities such as two spirit, hijras, and third gender), intersex people, trans men, and anyone who experiences oppression for their gender identity. We’re still working out a definition that fits us, but part of our concerns stem from our desire to define ourselves by what we are rather than what we are not.
So far this semester we have already organised and created a magnificent zine made up of collaborative work from our community. This was for the USU’s Pride Festival, and aimed to showcase the voices of people who aren’t usually heard in mainstream society. The party to launch it was super successful, with spoken word performances, readings from the zine, and lots of rad queer dancing.
Continuing on from this great start, we have a lot of exciting plans and ideas. We will be starting up a fortnightly workshop/social event on Tuesdays, the first being a poly discussion group held Tuesday from 5-7 in the Queerspace. In the future this time can be used in a variety of ways, from dry events, to potluck dinners, to drinks, to informative workshops and skill shares, and movie nights. During this regular event and beyond, we will be working towards a celebratory Art Party to showcase the creativity and scope of non-normative queer experiences, to be held at the end of the semester. We’re also hard at work organising the production of Queer Honi, which we’re hoping to make a particularly inclusive and intersectional issue.
Queerkats meet 1pm Thursdays, and we always love to see new faces!