Call for Shared Experience Representatives

We’re looking for an enthusiastic bunch of people to share their coming out stories in our education workshops that we deliver in schools or other institutions.

RainbowYOUTH  has been delivering education workshops for schools, agencies and tertiary institutions for the last 10 years on sexual orientation and gender identity issues, the impact of homophobia, and how to create a safer school environment for all students.  These workshops cover several of the learning objectives of the NZQA Health and Physical Education Curriculum.  Our resources are also available for use by other organisations and trainers around the country.

Sharing a personal story with our workshop attendees is a great way for them to see the real life impact of the workshop content. If you feel comfortable we invite you to also join the educator in answering some of the anonymous questions that the students submit towards the end of the session

It is entirely up to you what you feel comfortable sharing in the classroom, and any questions that you don’t feel comfortable answering do not have to be answered. You can either say you don’t want to answer that, or you can look at the educator and they will step in.

Things that volunteers often include in their stories are:

– When they first started thinking about their sexual orientation/gender identity

– How they went about exploring that

– Who they told and how

– How that went (how things went with their family, their friends)

– Any reactions they’ve had from society (any homophobia or transphobia they’ve experienced)

– Where they got support or what strategies they used  

Sharing your story with a group of people can feel scary and we want to do our best to support you. Before you share your story in one of our education sessions we will get you to come into the RainbowYOUTH centre and chat with one of our educators about what you might want to share and where your boundaries are around what you disclose. We will then get you to visit a school with an educator and another shared story rep so you can see how the sessions work and what kind of questions the students ask.

If this sounds like a bit of you, get in touch! Email: [email protected]

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