Youth Pride Network set their sights on WA’s 2021 state election

LGBTQIA+ youth advocacy group Youth Pride Network (YPN) have set their sights on the next state election, and the organisation wants to hear what issues young LGBTQIA+ West Australians want on the agenda.

YPN have launched a survey to gauge the needs and aspirations of LGBTQIA+ folks in WA under the age of 25, as parties and candidates gear up to launch their campaigns across the state.

Speaking to OUTinPerth’s Leigh Andrew Hill, YPN Chair Charlotte Glance tells us more about the group’s mission and what they hope to achieve with data gathered by the survey.

“While it seems like there are so many other things that are more important right now, what we really want to do is make sure LGBTQIA+ young people’s voices are on the agenda and that they’re being listened to,” Glance said.

“I think sometimes because we don’t necessarily have a dedicated minister, it can be really easy for these issues to get lost in the broader political debate and so we want to make sure they’re at the forefront.”

“So what we’ve done is we’re created a survey that we’re encouraging LGBTQIA+ young people to fill out to tell us what your needs and aspirations are. What do you want to see the state government, whoever gets elected, working on over the next three years?”

“We’re encouraging young people to fill that out and tell us what they’re excited about, what they want to see pursued, and then we’re going to make sure we can develop almost a bit of a road map for state government to say this is what LGBTQIA+ young people need, and ensure that there’s a level of accountability.”

“We’ve seen great commitments from various governments over the years and we haven’t always seen the follow through so this is a way of trying to promote that accountability.”

Young people have becoming increasingly visible forces at elections of all levels around the globe over the last few years, while youth-led movements both build on the work of activists past, and new pathways forward on emerging issues. Glance explains that the YPN was formed by young LGBTQIA+ people who’d been energised by Australia’s marriage equality plebiscite.

“I think that was because we acknowledged there was such an incredible youth-led movement throughout that campaign, and I think from then young people – all over the world – have really been taking charge in youth-led movements. In asking for School Strike for Climate Change, and Black Lives Matter and LGBTQIA+ movements as well.”

“Generally, I think as we’re getting better at communicating with each other, and with social media, we’re realising how much power that young people actually do have, and so I think it’s an awesome opportunity here to continue that kind of tradition and make sure we’re hearing the voices of young people.”

Speaking on the early results of the survey, Glance notes that intersectional factors such as climate change, Indigenous issues and anti-racist movements rank highly among the issues LGBTQIA+ youth want to see addressed by our next state government.

“It’s something that we integrate into our work, and it comes across really strongly. Even just the survey results that we’ve had so far, issues like Aboriginal sovereignty have come up very strongly, and reducing deaths in custody, tackling climate change…”

“We as a queer community sit across a number of different intersections, and so you can’t talk about those issues without talking about the other ones as well.”

When asked if young LGBTQIA+ people were being heard by officials and policy-makers hear in WA, Glance says that while things may be improving, there is still much work to be done.

“I think it’s getting somewhat better, broadly we’ve acknowledged the sentiment that I think was started by the disability movement ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’, I think that sort of sentiment is starting to permeate all different levels of government.”

“Whether that is as a tokenistic measure or whether that’s an integral measure is a little bit different… I’ve seen some really good responses, I’ve seen some really excellent examples of listening to the community and I’ve also seen some other examples that we could call tokenistic.”

If you are a person between the ages of 12 – 25 and identify as LGBTQIA+ and would like to participate in the survey, follow the link here. You can also find more information on Facebook.

Leigh Andrew Hill

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