On Sunday 20th January 2013, as part of the Midsumma Festival, Daniel Witthaus launched the National Institute for Challenging Homophobia Education (NICHE). In his speech Daniel explained that NICHE builds on his many years working in regional, rural and remote Australia. Those communities regularly said it was “about bloody time” that they are included in national conversations about how to create safer communities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.
With the atmospheric setting of Hares and Hyenas Bookshop and a crowd of around 110 people, Rodney Croome followed Daniel’s speech to officially launched the new initiative. He observed that Australia is ready for NICHE and a national conversation in ways it was not ready only 18 months ago. Rodney added that there was no-one better placed in Australia to build NICHE than Daniel.
Daniel outlined what NICHE could do in its first year, given limited resources. The projects announced included:
1. A competition for five regional, rural and remote Australian communities to apply for Daniel to spend a week in their community helping them find better ways to challenge homophobia and support local LGBTI people.
2. A call for local regional, rural and remote areas to map their own communities for their LGBTI Inclusiveness [to be officially launched in March 2013].
3. A library of LGBTI stories from regional, rural and remote communities to highlight the good, the bad and the ugly, and help us plan for the future.
4. The world’s first LGBTI TEDx event (to be confirmed, currently being considered).
5. A National Challenging Homophobia Roundtable of mainstream, philanthropic and LGBTI orgnaisations and individuals.
Stay tuned for more information, coming soon.
To register your interest, to offer your support or to find out more, e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently I wrote a two-part piece for The Stirrer around the idea of LGBT young people, victims and allies.
As I say in Part I, accusations of ‘playing the victim card’ are misplaced: “If young LGBT people in every nook and cranny of the country are victims, they certainly aren’t doing a good job of showing it.”
Read Part I here: Friends Of Dorothy – Not Victims But Allies
In Part II, I point out that there are lots of LGBT and LGBT allies in such mainstream organisations, and we need to find them, link them together, and work with them. I explain how important allies have been to me in my career as a challenging homophobia educator.
Read Part II here: Friends of Dorothy – The Power Of One
On Saturday 24th November 2012, Daniel joined Saturday Magazine’s Macca and 3AW’s Neil Mitchell at the JOY94.9FM.
Find out more here: saturdaymagazine.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/neil-mitchell-joins-the-show/
You can download the podcast here: SatMag Podcasts
Hear Daniel Witthaus discuss his book, Beyond ‘That’s So Gay’: Challenging homophobia in Australian schools by clicking here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhq_-I1EelY
On Wednesday 7th November, Daniel Witthaus will speak at the latest UWS Open Forum, Homophobic Bullying: That’s So Gay Is Not OK.
Hear personal stories, get the facts and find out what you can do about homophobic bullying. It’s an issue that affects all of us. Daniel joins Professor Rhonda Craven (Director of the Centre for Positive Psychology and Education) and Jayde Ellis (School & Education Coordinator for Wear it Purple).
It will take place at Parramatta South Campus, building EA.G.19, 5:30 pm for a 6:00 pm start.
Last week ‘Ugly In The Bush’ was uploaded to YouTube. It can be seen here (you’ll need to turn it up):
Stay tuned for Daniel’s ‘Challenging Homophobia Chunk’ series, slowly being rolled out for the remainder of 2012. There will also be a full version of his presentations in early 2013 as a fundraiser for his new national project.
To celebrate 10 years of real change in schools around Australia, Daniel Witthaus is launching a ‘Talk To Your Local School and Library’ Campaign: End Homophobia Now. Pride & Prejudice, the only formally evaluated educational package for everyday schools, has changed the attitudes and homo-aggressive behaviours of 1000s and 1000s of students in every corner of Australia since its launch in 2002.
Pride & Prejudice is an easy-to-follow, interactive six-week program that gets students talking. It doesn’t hide behind broader terms like bullying, diversity and safety, or rely only on posters and stickers alone. It provides real examples of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
Pride & Prejudice, and the book it inspired, Beyond ‘That’s So Gay’, go beyond talk and awareness-raising. Both the popular resources provide teachers, health professionals and homophobia-curious others with strategies they can use in their classrooms and schoolyards immediately. Not when it gets better. Now. They are available here: 10 Year Combined.
People motivated to end homophobia in schools have reported success when they approach their local school and library to ask a simple question: ‘Do you have this resource?’ Most find that the schools and libraries are quick to get the resources to use for educators and to display for library users.
Please take the time to drink one cuppa and read this short document: End Homophobia Now. If you can take action, please do. Importantly, please consider passing this on to 3-5 people in your networks who could also take action: Pride & Prejudice/Beyond ‘That’s So Gay’ Special.
Oh, and wish Pride & Prejudice a happy 10th birthday in changing the way that we think about homophobia in everyday schools.
Thanks for your time.
This is an article about the post-Marriage Equality Defeat Blues, contributed to new site: The Stirrer.
Read by clicking here: http://www.thestirrer.com.au/getting-back-into-the-fight/
This is an article about regional, rural and remote Australia, contributed to new site: The Stirrer.
Read ’50 Shades Of Rainbow’ by clicking here: www.thestirrer.com.au/outside-the-city-50-shades-of-rainbow/