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Blog: Community Matters

Some things are obvious: don't be ignorant, don't be hateful, don't discriminate; be inclusive and show respect. These rules apply to us all. Mya (Year 12) points out why this is so important.

“Dear Wenona,

GPLA 3 and up the back of Room 8, you were where I figured out who I was. Back-left desk of Room 4, you were where I said the words, ‘I’m queer!’ for the first time.

Room 4, I think I’ve sat in every one of your seats. It’s been years, but I’ve learnt more in your space than any other. PDHPE Studio 1, you held a safe space for me one year, but another, it wasn’t so great.

Independent Theatre, you’ve changed a lot for me this year. On one of your seats I decided to ‘just start’, and it was on your stage that I chose to ‘just speak’.

Dear Wenona,

We are all connected, none of us operate in isolation. Knowing that the network of community is always present, but it’s my efforts that contribute to how strong it is, has been so important. Community for me is life giving – it grounds and uplifts me.

This March, I started the Sydney Youth Pride Network. We are a youth movement who stand in solidarity with queer students, advocating for change in schools and broader communities to ensure queer kids are safe, supported and celebrated at school. This is the largest scale I’ve felt the love of community, but it started a lot smaller than that. It all began in a group of now 123 people.

Dear Wenona,

Back-left Undercroft staircase, oh were you the place to be! Thank you to all the beautiful queer friendships that live between our group of 123. You’ve all shaped my path.

Year 12 you are the reason there are students all around this city, in Principals’ offices fighting. Thank you all for sharing that post, it reached thousands and has led to the 30 schools that we have engaged. So, you see community changes lives. When the community around you treats each other as though they matter. Not in a way that demands judgement, but rather understanding and support. Lives are changed.

Dear Wenona,

No more slurs, invasive questions and gossip about identities. More respect for people’s privacy, gender and pronouns. More accountability for your boyfriend, friend and brother from (insert GPS school name).

Dear Wenona,

Queer people are here, and we are not too much, we are not debate topics and we are not political. We are natural and normal.

Dear Wenona,

This is a call in, for each of us to consider how to make the ‘ordinary extraordinary’ from here on out, for all of us. Because we all deserve that. Your walls hold the lives of so many.

Thank you!”

MMeldrum

Mya (Year 12)