Queer and Far offers support

OUSA Queer Support co-ordinator Hahna Briggs. Photo: Greta Yeoman
OUSA Queer Support co-ordinator Hahna Briggs. Photo: Greta Yeoman

A new support and talking group for international queer and questioning students at the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic has been launched.

Queer & Far, the brainchild of OUSA queer support co-ordinator Hahna Briggs, has been launched to help international students to be more confident in group situations.

"I had received some feedback that students for whom English is a second language had struggled to keep up with conversations in group settings,'' Ms Briggs said.

"Some had also found it a little bit intimidating.''

For students from countries where there was a lack of support for those exploring sexuality or gender identity, visiting the queer support co-ordinator was "a big step'', she said.

"For these students, it would be more comfortable to go to the university's international office instead.''

The international office hosts the weekly Queer & Far meetings, every Wednesday, from 3pm.

The group was launched on July 19 and at its first meetings discussed what the students wanted to gain from it.

"As well as discussing the issues, there is also a social side to the group,'' Ms Briggs said.

Queer & Far would provide social support and advocacy for students, as well as being a forum for discussing LGBTQ issues around the world.

Ms Briggs said the OUSA queer support office was working to establish a Q2 Trust to plan more Pride events in Dunedin.

On August 23, the twice-yearly Queerest Tea Party would be held in the main common room, from noon to 2pm.

• For more information email q.support@ousa.org.nz

BRENDA.HARWOOD @thestar.co.nz

BRENDA.HARWOOD @thestar.co.nz

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