The queer community at the University of Sydney has been kicking goals this year. I think Queer Honi is the perfect time of the year to reflect on our successes and recognise what we’re working towards.
Pride Festival in week 2 of this semester was an incredible success, with many different corners of the queer community contributing to what was a very diverse and engaging festival. In the last couple of weeks, Queer Revue put on an incredibly clever show, The Nightmare Before Mardi Gras. The USU ran Radical Sex and Consent Day for the first time ever, which was a very visible, valuable, queer-inclusive event; basically it was what sex education should have been in high school. SHADES hosted the amazing afterparty, featuring some of Sydney and the University of Sydney’s best drag and burlesque acts. There are gender neutral bathrooms under construction in the Holme building by the queerspace. The USYD Queer Arab Film Festival has free screenings every Wednesday at 4pm. Our newly refurbished space will soon be ready for occupation. It’s a good time to be queer.
The university affords queer students a multitude of ways in which to engage with queer programs, and a huge focus of this year for the Queer Officers was to encourage a more accessible collective environment, as a more inclusive political organising space. Collectivism is so important to the queer struggle, without it my understanding of queer politics would probably be restricted to gay marriage. We need to ensure that our entire community is supported, heard, and respected. Community is super important. Queer Honi made explicit attempts to make this edition “intersectional”: as representative of the broad spectrum of queer identities in our community as possible, and their efforts should be noted. Intersectionality is the study of intersections between forms or systems of oppression, domination, and discrimination. While it’s difficult, potentially impossible, to foster a collective environment completely free from -isms and -phobias, I’m confident in saying that the queer collective has taken important steps towards challenging the patriarchal and white supremacist perversions of our safer space, and I only hope that we can remain self-critical as this trend continues throughout the rest of the year.
There’s much more to look forward to this year in queer: between moving into the new queerspace, to Glitter Gala, to the Identity program currently being run at 5pm on Wednesdays in the queerspace, there are still plenty of opportunities to engage this year. Find us, “SRC Queer Department”, on Facebook, and send us a message if you’re keen to get involved.