RainbowYOUTH is a charitable organisation that was established in 1989. RainbowYOUTH is here to work with queer, gender diverse and intersex youth as well as their wider communities to ensure that Aotearoa is a place where all young people can thrive.
At RainbowYOUTH, we’re about fostering safe, inclusive, accepting and diverse environments that are family friendly. We are drug, smoke and alcohol free.
Our motto is “know who you are, be who you are”. Tīwhanawhana Trust have gifted us a version of our motto in te reo Māori: “Whāia tō ake ngākaunui, i te pono, i te mārama”. Simply translated, it means: “follow your desires with truth and clarity”.
The vision of RainbowYOUTH means what we envisage for the future of Aotearoa. RainbowYOUTH’s vision is:
All young people thrive in Aotearoa, he waka eke noa (A waka which we are all in together, without exception).
To create social change in Aotearoa by providing support, information and advocacy for queer, gender diverse and intersex youth, their friends, whānau, and communities.
Our Values / Kaupapa
The values or kaupapa of RainbowYOUTH are a list of key standards of behaviour or ways of working that everything we do must align with. RainbowYOUTH’s values or kaupapa are:
- Affirming and empowering young people from all walks of life
- Young people determining their journey
- Proactively and respectfully honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi
- Strengths-based advocacy
- For youth, by youth
Our constitution lays out the 'rules' of how RainbowYOUTH functions as an Incorporated Society. You can read our constitution here!
View a timeline of the history of RainbowYOUTH below. Click the image to expand it.
Drawings on the timeline were done by Case Dakota
Language and terminology
At RainbowYOUTH we use the terms queer, gender diverse and intersex to refer to diverse sexualities, gender identities and sex characteristics.
Queer is a reclaimed, umbrella term that we use to include all of the diverse sexualities that make up our community; such as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, demisexual, etc. We recognise that queer will not be the right term for everyone.
Gender diverse is an umbrella term that we use to include all of the diverse gender identities that make up our community; such as transgender, genderqueer, gender fluid, non-binary, trans masculine, trans feminine, gender non-conforming, agender, etc. We recognise that gender diverse might not be the right term for everyone.
We recognise that as western terms, 'queer', 'gender diverse', and 'intersex' do not adequately encompass indigenous identities such as takatāpui, whakawahine, tangata ira tane, fa'afafine, fa’afatama, fakaleiti, leiti, akava'ine,