Interview by Anna Day
Feature image by Lucy Edwards
Who are the Rainbow Club?
We are seven fabulous students of various sexualities, genders, political beliefs, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, who are undertaking different degrees. What unites us is our commitment to ensuring all queer students at UniSA have a positive, safe, and supportive experience. We chat every day, and have forged solid friendships over the years, so the club is a big part of our lives. We all have different roles within the club but no hierarchy. We contribute what we can, and learn from each other.
The Rainbow Club is here for students of diverse genders, sexes and sexualities. How does the Rainbow Club support students if they’re not out?
If you’re not out, you’re not alone—some of our members and executives aren’t out to everyone in their lives. So supporting people experiencing this is something we’re very conscious about. Queerness is valid regardless of whether a person is out or not. We’re always available to talk over Facebook or email, and we’ll never out anyone against their wishes. We want to provide opportunities for people to be openly queer, especially on-campus, which is why we’re working with UniSA to establish a queer space. Our focus is getting one at both City West and Mawson Lakes because City East students have access to the University of Adelaide’s George Duncan Room (apologies to Magill fam—we heart you but R.I.P. campus consolidation). Much of our social media is about what it’s like to be queer and from a culturally and linguistic background, so we share people’s personal experiences of what it’s like to not be completely out. We strongly recommend following our Facebook page for heaps of useful queer articles and memes.
The Rainbow Club has been going strong for five years now and has become an essential part of UniSA. What are some of your proudest moments as a club?
We are very proud of the work we’ve done together with our allies within UniSA to make the Ally Network a reality. It’s taken almost three years, but we’re nearly ready to launch it. If students are facing issues related to being a queer student, they will finally have formal support from a group of staff.
Winning USASA Club Awards every year since 2017 has also been a great feeling. USASA has gone above and beyond in supporting us over the years, and to have our achievements recognised is both incredibly humbling and motivating. Fingers crossed we’ll be able to achieve our other goals soon as we’re always busy making steady progress behind the scenes.
Tell us about the 2020 Queer Ball coming up on April 3? Is that still going ahead?
We were really looking forward to it but decided to cancel the ball based on the health advice around COVID-19 and social distancing. It was going to be spy-themed and would’ve been the 4th joint ball between The Queer Society, Flinders University Queer Collective, and University of Adelaide Pride Club. We kept ticket prices low at $40 (compared to $200 for some other balls) because our goal is accessibility rather than profit, so we’ve refunded all tickets. We intend to hold it later this year, but we’ll see how 2020 goes…
How can allies support the Rainbow Club?
Listen to queer people and our individual experiences. For real, legit genuinely listen to us and what we have to say and what we want you to do to help us. In order to work better with our community, be open-minded to learning about our members. Acknowledge that each person has different levels of knowledge about the queer community and that equity can only be achieved through a critical self-reflection of what we know and how we can move forward. Don’t be woke and throw one group of us under the bus because you think another group of us deserves more support. Intersex and gender diverse people face societal obstacles that white, gay men don’t. We encourage supportive staff to join the Ally Network. We need your support to foster institutional change and make UniSA a leader in supporting queer students. We’re all in this together. Join the club.
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