This week is the Pride edition of Craccum and I’m truly thrilled to bring this edition to our digital newsstand, both as a member of the LGBT community and also one of the Co-Editors of Craccum. It’s a real privilege to be able to work on this edition and to share in celebrating queer culture at the University of Auckland – for all the triumphs, challenges, and experiences we have in Tāmaki Makaurau.
I know that it’s not a conventional time to have a pride edition. Pride month in New Zealand is in February, where Craccum doesn’t produce editions, and Pride in the Northern Hemisphere is in June – where Craccum goes on break for the mid year exams. With all the disruption from COVID, we felt that it would be best to include this edition later in the year. Ultimately, whenever we celebrate our pride edition, we’re still devoting a week to speak about our LGBTQIA+ community and bring them to the forefront. But celebrating our community goes beyond just one week of the year. Pride weeks are a time to bring queer people to the forefront, and then to continue that in all spaces all year.
If I have any message in this editorial,it’s simply to be Proud. It sounds basic but it’s genuinely true. Be proud of who you are and stand with those in our community. There’s nothing more powerful than being who you are and embracing all that comes with that.
This week Dan’s editorial speaks of being a good ally – and to supporting our community. It’s a sentiment that I want to echo from within. Be an ally not just for those like you, but an ally for all of those around you.
I’m a straight, cisgendered male.
I’ve never felt excluded because of my sexuality. I’ve never been marginalised because of my gender identity. I’ve never been paid less, or received worse medical treatment, or lost friends and family because of my identity. For those reasons, I won’t try to talk about what it means to be a part of the LGBTIQ+ community. I don’t have that perspective.
What I can talk about is what straight, cisgendered people can do to be better allies. It’s something I’m working on all the time; if you’re straight and cisgendered, I hope it’s something you’re working on too. It’s important.
Acknowledge your privilege: Straight, cisgendered people have many hidden advantages over those in more marginalised communities. We need to acknowledge and accept that. Accepting it isn’t saying that you can never feel down or low. It’s simply acknowledging that those in the LGBTIQ+ community face more barriers in society.
Speak up when something is wrong: Call out slurs or misinformation when you hear it. It can lead to some awkward conversations (I went to an all-boys Catholic school; I’ve had my fair few) but it’s always worth it. Silence is complicity.
Keep going: The LGBTIQ+ community exists outside of Pride week. Don’t stop caring just because it’s out of the media.
Take a backseat: Above all else, recognise that you can’t speak for a group you’re not a part of. You can help, but don’t crowd out the authentic voices of those in LGBTIQ+ community.
Everyone should feel empowered to embrace who they are.
All of us have a duty to make that possible.