Thursday, September 30, 2010

Schools Out Update

We’ve been going well in September with new faces turning up most weeks. The group at Kapiti Youth Support is off to a great start with a strong turn out, nice facilities and very supportive and friendly staff.

We had people from the police come in and have a chat about DLO's (Diversity Liaison Officers) and joining the force. That got our attention - particularly for those of us who had been at the police college the previous day to help with training.

Now we are in the middle of the school holidays with fun events planned such as a bake-off and a sleepover with DVD's and board games. I have my learners drivers licence test coming up so am also busy studying. Brendan

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


The September guest speaker was Louse from Tranzform Wellington, a support group for young transgender people. They meet on the second Tuesday of the month and can be contacted via their website.

Louse explained that the group has about 20 members. About three quarters are girls and a quarter are guys. At present the members’ ages range from 14 to 28.

Louse shared a lot of information about the challenges facing transgender youth. One of the main obstacles to overcome is a feeling of isolation. It's really important to know that if you are transgender you are not alone. Having a supportive GP makes a big difference. Some of the assumptions people make - such as 'it is just a phase' and 'it's a choice you make' - are similar to what we often face when coming out.

Louse's advice was that if a transgender youth calls Helpline, don't judge or make assumptions. Let them know it's ok, there are many other transgenders out there. Putting transgender youth in contact with someone who has been through the process is really valuable so we're lucky to have Tranzform as a local group to refer callers to.

Louse coped outstandingly with lots of questions. It was a great session.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Check out the below site for some pretty amazing Wellington and NZ audio interviews and stories from the queer community. Our very own (ex) Schools Out co-ordinator & community development worker hanna Ho is doing a great job putting them together!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Common topics raised by Helpline callers

Have you ever wondered why people phone the Wellington Gay & Lesbian Helpline? Here are some of the common topics raised by callers from January to August this year:

- relationship issues
- confusion with sexuality
- people looking for same sex relationships
- coming out (ranging from teenagers to middle-aged callers)
- callers who have recently had their first same sex experience
- general chats
- married men who think they might be gay.

Every caller is different! If you or someone you know wants to chat anonymously to someone from the gay and lesbian community, that's what we're here for. And don't hesitate to call more than once - our volunteers all have different experiencs to share. Phone 04 473 7878 Sunday-Wednesday from 7.30pm-9.30pm.

Friday, September 3, 2010

August AGM

There were 18 of us at the AGM on 17 August. George replaced Jo as a co-chair (joining Chris) and Greg and Stu remained as secretary and treasurer respectively.

Unlike previous years we also appointed a couple of assistants. Jason put his name forward to be assistant secretary, and Liz put her name forward as assistant treasurer. Jason also joined Ted as a trainee co-ordinator, Alexis offered to help out with the newsletter, and Jerad put his hand up to join the funding committee. That is awsome guys!

A full list of position holders will be published in the August AGM minutes.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back in 1979...

Kura and I were browsing through papers in the Helpline room a week ago and came across WGWG’s 25th birthday folder. Did you know that although we were formally established as an incorporated society in 1981, 1979 was our official start date? Incredibly that was less than one year after openly gay Supervisor Harvey Milk was shot and killed in San Francisco.

At the age of 31 we’re doing pretty well for a volunteer organisation. Congratulations to all the people who took on roles at the August AGM. Make sure you bring energy and put new ideas forward to help keep WGWG alive for many years to come. Stu

September update from Schools Out

This month in School's Out we have been looking into how to get in touch with ourselves and others with discussions around masturbation and flirting. We have looked at family and issues within the family and how to work through those issues. Promotion has also been a focus for us and looking at ways to promote the group and what appeals to the youth with wristbands and t-shirts being a popular idea. The attendance of youth has been fairly steady with an average of about 12-20 people attending on a weekly basis. We are also in the process of looking at starting a group in Kapiti at Kapiti Youth Support which we hope will help us to link-up with youth up the coast.

Greetings from WGWG's New Co-Chair

I am George, your recently elected co-chair. I’m 26, and I’ve been living in Wellington for the last 8 years. Before that I was at high school on the Kapiti coast, so Wellington’s always featured in my life as the nearest big city. My personal interests are gender and sexuality, oral history, and youth development. Also I am very good looking. I have been involved with WGWG for just over a year and have gained a lot from my experience in volunteering for Gay Helpline, attending the Lesbian Drop-in group, and in helping facilitate School’s Out.

We are facing complex challenges in our organisation. These include the impact of the recession on our funding base, and the trend towards a declining number of calls to the Helpline. This may mean we need to raise the profile of WGWG, and think about new ways that people may seek help from us.

Youth programmes such as School’s Out, GBLT Sandwich and Tranzform continue to be a crucial point of contact to queer youth in Wellington. Our website is currently being tweaked to offer more to clients, such as information about sexuality and connection to our services. Use of technology also helps our members provide a better service, for instance through the ability to take calls at home and the searchable Redbook.

Strengthening the profile of the group is crucial to the sustainability of the services we provide. As a WGWG member, you have committed your time and energy to your community through being a support and guide to people questioning their sexuality. We have an opportunity to enlighten the public and our membership on the contributions that WGWG makes in the community.