Queer Space

The space for LGBTIQA+ students and their allies


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 Mardi Gras 2020: What Matters? 

 Read the personal stories of UNSW students and staff below: 

Brooke Brady (she/her)

Queer Space
UNSW Interdisciplinary Research Fellow

Division of Research / UNSW Ageing Futures Institute

Faculty of Science / School of Psychology (Conjoint)

Faculty of Business / Centre for Excellence in Population Ageing Research (Associate Investigator)

What matters in 2020 is visibility for LGBT+ elders. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the LGBT+ liberation movement in Australia. In 1970, when the founders of CAMP Inc. and the Women’s Liberation Movement bravely stepped forward to demand equal rights, they sparked a social revolution that transformed the world as we know it today. Thanks to their actions, we have reached a time in history where LGBT+ Australians can live authentically and largely without fear of violence. What a fantastic legacy!

However, as the global population rapidly ages, our elders are facing a harsh reality – struggling Australian aged-care services that are unwilling or ill-equipped to meet the needs of our nation’s diverse elders. We must shine a spotlight on the experiences of our elders, many of whom are experiencing re-marginalisation and trauma in later life. In 2020, what matters to me is demanding equal rights for diverse elders - standing in solidarity with the people who fought for us and changed the world.

Lynn Ferris (she/her)

Queer Space
UNSW Lab Manager, Faculty of Engineering

We have been working really hard towards a society in which difference doesn’t matter. We worked hard to be not judged on gender preference, on disabilities, on who we love. We have fought for it not to matter, in our job prospects, in our work world. We have said it does not matter. Universities have embraced the logic and natural justice of non -discrimination and will proudly say “come work for us- it does not matter” and they work hard to make this true. So maybe we are ready. Ready to let it matter again. All the forces that shape people, who I love, what hardships and joys I have face, they matter. Now it matters that people see these forces and celebrate them.

JJ Chapman (they/them)

Queer Space
Business Partner – Faculty of Science, Estate Management

The perfectly made cup of tea, good hair, a quiet home, honest, genuine and zany friends, kitty cats, care for my mental health and the liberty and safety of equality for every person.  As a Bi+ person about to turn 50, I’m angered at our society’s descent into legalised discrimination, increasing hate crimes and the erasure of Bi+ people everywhere.  My Bi+ community has saved my life and I now educate, advocate and support others in the fight for equality and safety in our 21st century life. The freedom to be our true selves is what matters. 

Matt Davis (he/him)

Queer Space
UNSW PhD Candidate, Research Assistant 
Centre for Ecosystem Science

The most important things that matter in LGBTQ+ spaces are inclusivity, awareness and support. The LGBTQ+ movement has come so far in pushing for equality, but there are still many leaps to go. As someone who identifies as a cisgender gay/queer man, it’s important to recognise the privilege that comes with that and to use that privilege to amplify the voices of those in our community that are still facing oppression, particularly those that identify as transgender and queer people of colour. There’s a long way to go, but together we are moving forward in the fight for equality. 

Ro Elders (they/them)

Queer Space
UNSW Student
Faculty of Engineering

What matters to me is having a place where I can be comfortable to be unapologetically myself and not have to hide who I am. That means having a community of people backing me up and supporting me regardless of what’s going on in my own life. It matters to me that young people are able to see people being true to themselves so that they can have someone to look up to and know that there is no reason to hide. With all that is going on in the world, it is so important to have a place where everyone can feel safe, listened to, and understood.