I had the pleasure on January 29 to be involved in UNITE, the diversity-focused intergenerational dialogue between younger and some of us slightly older queers (smile).

This was definitely a two-way street of communication and information. It was exciting to share our stories.

Speakers such as pioneer Shanton Chang on multiculturalism, Bryan Andy on indigenous issues, Leenie Fabri on coming out to family, Rachel Goff on being gay and Christian, and Thomas Burke (queer and disabled) spoke about their experiences with passion, determination and humour that gave everyone great inspiration.

Most importantly, all touched on the fact that they were not one-dimensional either.

The afternoon saw discussion about what the generation of future queer leaders thought about these and other themes. Great value was placed on celebrating diversity and condemnation of sexism/ gender stereotyping, racism, transphobia and biphobia. Equal respect for everyone’s goals was considered important.

Receiving this feedback helps advocacy groups keep on track regarding our representation and therefore is really helpful in our work.

As someone who has worked in day jobs, in two youth organisations, I am aware of the generalisations faced by all young people, often originating from sources with their own agendas e.g. sensationalist media and law-and-order types. If we believed these types, we’d believe young people are all dangerous drivers, violent, dole bludger — and apathetic. No way (in any of those allegations).

The SSAT young people I met are very keen to see our GLBTIQ community continue to grow stronger, have a great sense of responsibility and are keen to be involved.

There was pizza for lunch. Queers, pizza and diversity — how good does it get?Well done to ALSO, Minus 18 and the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council for arranging this event. I hope everyone partied on afterwards.

This ‘slightly older’ queer went to a friend’s 37th birthday party. But we all enjoyed our day in our own way — just what celebrating diversity is about.

By Sally Goldner

info: Sally Goldner is VGLRL Treasurer, Bisexual Alliance Victoria Treasurer and TransGender Victoria spokesperson.

© Star Observer 2022 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.