Nowra High School stands up against homophobia

This week headspace Nowra teamed up with the Nowra Queer Straight Alliance, ACON, and Nowra High School staff and students to put on an event for International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT).

Held on May 17 and 18 each year, IDAHOT aims to bring people together in support of same sex attracted and gender diverse people around the globe.

The event at Nowra High was planned by the Nowra Queer Straight Alliance (NQSA), a group of volunteers who meet fortnightly at headspace Nowra. The group recieved a grant from ACON for the event, allowing them to dye and print T-shirts, which were worn at the event by NQSA volunteers, headspace staff and students at the school. Information and freebies were given out to students during lunch time, with hundreds of young people approaching the stall and taking flyers, info and merchandise.

Feedback from the NQSA over recent months has backed research that shows that high school can be a very hard time for young people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or intersex, with young people often feeling stereotyped and socially isolated.

Having a large group of young people proudly wearing shirts printed with NQSA and IDAHOT logos sent a powerful message to the student body; the message that everyone should feel safe and accepted at school no matter what their sexuality or gender identity might be.

For photos of the event check on the NQSA facebook page at www.facebook.com/nowraqsa 

Huge thanks go to Nowra High School staff and students, especially NHS Deputy Principal Kylie Newton, the SARSH group and the Student Wellbeing team, as well as ACON, Safe Schools Coalition, Nowra Youth Centre and others- for their fantastic support and enthusiasm.