Are You READY for Adelaide’s newest LGBT+ safe space?

For this post, our latest work experience student Miriam (Mim), who identifies as non-binary, interviewed friend and fellow work experience student Carissa. Both are passionate about creating a safe community space for sexually diverse and gender diverse teens.

Read the interview below:


Hiya, I’m Mim (they/them*) and for my addition to the blog, I wanted to share with you a new independently run safe space called READY. As a non-binary person, I am really excited about this. I do have a small bias as a contributor to the project and as a close friend to the founder, Carissa Fischer. As I write, Carissa is still working hard to finalise the safe space, and will be setting up a dedicated READY Facebook page. where she will post announcements about the official launch.

picture of carissa and i

Carissa and me!

During my work experience week at Tea Tree Gully Library, I interviewed Carissa about the motives behind the safe space and she had this to say.


Why did you want this safe space?

I wanted to create a safe space for LGBT+ people to meet other LGBT+ people and to create a support network to strengthen our alliance as diverse people. During late last year it dawned on me that the only sexually diverse and gender diverse youth I know personally is you.

So I did research into the other safe spaces in Adelaide, and found an entire community that I wanted to meet. I learnt that there is no safe space locally (North-east Adelaide) for the broad spectrum of LGBT+ youths. This concerned me because this is a recurring theme in LGBT+ teens – often they will only know one other LGBT+ teen personally or more commonly, they won’t know anyone.

I knew I had to start this space because, to my knowledge, no one else had.


What does the name READY mean?

READY stands for Rainbow Education and Alliance of Diverse Youths. It is also a metaphor in being ready for the world ahead and growing up. This program aims to help prepare sexually diverse and gender diverse adolescents to figure out how they fit into the world with their diverse lives.

Adolescence is a really hard time for anyone, but mental health statistics show that it’s especially tough for sexually diverse and gender diverse teens. It’s hoped the READY space will help these teens develop self-love and self-worth. The program also aims to encourage (but not enforce) self-discovery.
What do you hope to see happen in READY?

My main hope is that READY become a well-known program with a thriving sexually diverse and gender diverse community, which can engage with other safe spaces in Adelaide.

Just before our official launch we are planning to screen the movie Love, Simon which will hopefully kick off monthly movie nights.

I want to be able to watch some movies with representation of the LGBT+ community and reflect on portrayals and stereotypes which will allow critical thinking and self-reflection. I honestly just hope this program works.


READY is going to be open to sexually diverse and gender diverse youths aged 15-22. Of course allies** (and people wanting to become allies) and questioning** are always welcomed.

All I ask is, are you READY?
Glossary:

*Non-binary: Not identifying within the feminine and masculine binary. I prefer that people use the pronouns they or them, when I am mentioned in written or spoken form, instead of he or she.

**Ally: is a heterosexual person who supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBT social movements, and challenges homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

***Questioning: A person who is questioning their sexuality or gender

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