From Uncategorized

Expression Arts Competition Winners Announced!

The results of Expression, InsideOUT’s first multi-media arts competition, are in, showing strong entries across three categories of art, writing and film.

“Part of our work is to bring more visibility to issues relating to people of minority sexualities, sexes and genders,” said Tabby Besley, National Coordinator of InsideOUT.

As part of this endeavour, InsideOUT launched Expression this year – a multi-media arts competition for young people aged 13-19.

an excerpt from Don't Look Now by Elliot Mckenzie
an excerpt from Don’t Look Now by Elliot Mckenzie

“We were aware that in some schools young people are discouraged to create artwork with rainbow themes and that often when they do, it isn’t understood or recognised appropriately,” said Tabby. “Expression intends to bring more visibility to artworks with rainbow themes that contain positive representations, challenge norms and confront LGBTQIA+ issues, and reward the young people who are creating this content.”

Entries to the art category were strong, seeing Clay Morrigan, an eighteen year-old from Auckland take out first prize for their comic called ‘Transition is Freedom’.

“Winning this means a ton to me because this makes me feel understood and valued as an artist and as a trans person,” said Clay. “It makes me feel like people appreciate my work and that it’s actually a possibility to reach and help a lot of people with my art. Thanks again to anyone who has supported me so far with my work, I wouldn’t be here without you.””

Transition is Freedom by Clay Morrigan
an excerpt from Transition is Freedom by Clay Morrigan

In second place for art was a piece called ‘Ignorance’ by Winter and third place went to Elliot Mckenzie for their comic ‘Don’t Look Now’.

Ignorance by Winter Kneale
Ignorance by Winter Kneale

Anthea Visage from Waikato won the top prize in the film category.

“REBORN was created for the queer youth who feel that they don’t have a voice. Ultimately it showcases the importance of unity, and the idea that we should support, accept and love one another no matter what,” she said. “We are all different, we are all diverse. But it is what makes us who we are.”

“Being a strong advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, it means the absolute world to me that I have won InsideOUT’s Expression Film Competition. It has now given me the opportunity to share my art, in order to not only educate viewers, but to also give struggling transgender youth hope. I hope REBORN influences people in to be kind, and compassionate. I hope REBORN empowers queer youth, and most importantly, I hope REBORN inspires bravery.”

Jayden Hooper from Wellington came in second place for his artistic film ‘Others’, which explores heteronormativity.

In third place was Jay Whipps for their film ‘The Short Straw’, which documents Wellington Girls’ College student activist Josie Chambers and how she successfully pushed for her school to implement a gender neutral uniform option.

The writing category saw the most entries to the competition, and included a range of prose, poems, short stories and even a screenplay. First place went to Jennifer Alderton-Moss from Wellington, for her first-person prose, ‘Jenny’, which sees a young woman coming to terms with her sexuality and overcoming internalised biphobia.

“I fell in love with the whites of her eyes as they rode a roller coaster, looping around at something silly I had done, but always with a smile; always with that little hidden smile” – Jenny

Second place was awarded to Tymesha Cousins for her piece ‘Release Me’, about a closeted person coming out to the person they like. In third place was Miriam Roberts-Thomson for ‘Coffee Bliss’.

The three first place winners will each receive $500, with the runner ups receiving prizes thanks to sponsorship from Unity Books, The French Art Shop, Lighthouse Cinemas and Event Cinemas.

“We were overwhelmed by the time and effort put in by this year’s entrants and can’t wait to see how the competition grows over time,” said Tabby. “There was a huge amount of resilience in people’s experiences that rang through across all the submissions, and InsideOUT feels honoured to provide a platform to share these young people’s stories.”

All submissions will be gradually released on the Expression website over the next few weeks. The competition will be open again for submissions between 1st May-31st October 2017.

InsideOUT Wins at Wellington Airport Awards!

In August we were honoured to be the category winer for the Education and Child/Youth Development at the Wellington Airport Community Awards for Wellington City!


Much to our surprise, we went on to win the overall award for the Wellington region in the same category at the Wellington Airport Community Award finals!


A huge thanks to the Wellington Airport and Wellington Community Trust for their support of our work.


And congratulations to all the other incredible groups who won awards and were nominated for their work in our communities!

The Wellington Airport team came and made this awesome little film about us, giving you an overview of InsideOUT and some of our key projects!

Seeking Schools Coordinator

Schools Coordinator

Part-time; fixed-term (five months), Wellington-based.

InsideOUT is a national youth charity seeking a Schools Coordinator for ten hours a week to support our growing organisation.Insideout-01

You will also be responsible for managing and developing InsideOUT’s relationships with schools and school groups. You will be responsible for overseeing the creation and delivery of a national network for schools with rainbow diversity groups/queer-straight alliances.

This will include the construction of an informative database, and providing support to schools and school groups through resources, and advisement over phone, e-mail, and in-person as required. You will also produce a monthly informative and advisory newsletter to these groups, as well as a report of your progress to the board.

Additionally, you will oversee and deliver the monthly Wellington QSA Leader group alongside volunteers, and support InsideOUT in ongoing projects such as the Day of Silence.

InsideOUT is a growing organisation that works to support youth, whānau, schools, community groups, youth services, government agencies and other relevant organisations to provide safer schools and communities for young people of diverse sexualities, sexes and genders. In the last year we have experienced significant growth of our initiatives such as the nationwide awareness campaign ‘Day of Silence’, our annual youth hui Shift, and our support of schools’ rainbow diversity and Queer Straight Alliance groups.

We are looking for someone with superb networking and communication skills and outstanding knowledge of the challenges faced by sexual, sex, and gender minorities. You are self-motivated with strong time management skills, and will work to uphold the vision and mission of InsideOUT. Experience in youth work and cultural competency would be an advantage. More information about the organisation is available on our website:

Initially this is a five-month contract for ten hours a week, with the possibility of this being extended. The successful applicant will be paid the living wage.

Contact us to view a full job description. E-mail your CV and cover letter to by Friday 27th May 2016 to apply.

Seeking Funding and Finance Coordinator

InsideOUT is seeking a Funding and Finance Coordinator for six hours a week to support our growing organisation. You will have responsibility for identifying and pursuing opportunities for funding for InsideOUT and overseeing finances. You will oversee the organisation’s financial management, taking responsibility for reconciliation and tax obligations.

You will be responsible for sourcing funding via corporate partnerships, charitable trusts and government funding, as well as developing other funding strategies such as bequests, donations, sponsorship campaigns and as a recipients of charitable events.

You will also be responsible for managing InsideOUT’s relationships with funders, reporting back and for investigating opportunities for increased and ongoing support and corporate sponsorship.

InsideOUT is a growing organisation that works to support youth, whānau, schools, community groups, youth services, government agencies and other relevant organisations to provide safer schools and communities for young people of diverse sexualities, sexes and genders. In the last year we have experienced significant growth of our initiatives such as the nationwide awareness campaign ‘Day of Silence’, our annual youth hui Shift, and our support of schools’ rainbow diversity and Queer Straight Alliance groups.

We are looking for someone with superb communication skills and ideally a track record of experience in fundraising and finance, as well upholding the vision and mission of InsideOUT.

Initially this is a six-month contract for six hours a week, with the possibility of this being extended. The successful applicant will be paid the living wage.

Contact us to see a full job description or apply by e-mailing your cover letter and CV to by Friday 6th May 2016.

Making Schools Safer for Trans and Gender Diverse Students Resource

InsideOUT Brings Trans Visibility to New Zealand Schools

National youth organisation InsideOUT have released a new resource for schools today, coinciding with International Day of Transgender Visibility.

The resource, titled ‘Making Schools Safer for Trans and Gender Diverse Students’ is aimed at secondary schools, providing information for boards of trustees, principals, teachers, school staff, parents and guidance counsellors.

“An increasing number of young people in New Zealand are coming out as trans while they are at school,” says Tabby Besley, National Coordinator of InsideOUT. “Schools have an obligation to provide a safe environment for all of their students, but many don’t know where to start when it comes to providing support for a trans young person.”
“This resource aims to walk schools through that process, raising all of the things they might need to think about in order to provide a safe and inclusive environment for trans and gender diverse students. From dealing with bullying to bathrooms and uniforms, to school camps and roll calls, the resource provides best practice solutions in all areas.”
“We want this resource to create visibility for trans and gender diverse young people and their right to safety at school. We know from the Youth’12 study by the University of Auckland that 4 out of every 100 young people in NZ identify as trans or questioning their gender, and over half of them are afraid of being hurt or bullied at school. Our resource gives schools the tools to be able to support these students the best that they can.”

“In 2015 the Ministry of Education released their updated Sexuality Education Guidelines, recommending that all schools provide gender neutral uniforms and toilets, ensure inclusive sports procedures, have health programmes that affirm sexuality and gender diversity and educate against and respond to incidents of bullying in relation to sexuality and gender diversity. These guidelines align with our suggestions in this resource and we believe it is vital to uphold them in order to create safer schools for trans and gender diverse youth.”
The creation of InsideOUT’s resource, Making Schools Safer for Trans and Gender Diverse Students, was a collaborative effort, started by gathering experiences of trans and gender diverse young people across the country and identifying what would or had make them feel supported at school.

Every secondary school across the country will be sent two hard copies of the resource to use. It is available for anyone to view and download for free online at:

Shift Hui 2016!

InsideOUT is excited to announce our national hui, Shift, will be running again this April. The hui follows on from the success of Shift 2015 and aims to bring young people of diverse sexes, sexualities and genders from all over the country together.

“Shift provides a unique opportunity for young people in our community to come together and be in a space where they are completely free to be themselves. They are given the opportunity to learn skills and tools to take back to improve their own schools and communities,” says Tabby Besley, InsideOUT’s National Coordinator. “Shift 2016 wil provide a wide array of workshop, covering topics such as leadership, self care and inclusivity to practical life skills such as cooking and how to tie a tie!”

insideout_shift hui(4)

The hui will take place at Tapu Te Ranga Marae in Island Bay, Wellington over the 22nd-25th April, in the school holidays. Young people aged 13-22 years old from all over Aotearoa are encouraged to come along, with over 100 expected to attend.

Young people needing financial assistance to attend can contact InsideOUT for support and anyone in the community wanting to sponsor a place for a young person to attend can donate to InsideOUT via their givealittle page.

“We are committed to making it possible for every young person who wants to attend to come along, regardless of financial barriers,” says Tabby. “Attending a hui like this has proven for many young people to be a turning point in their journey to discovering and accepting themselves, increasing their confidence and finding support networks and we want to extend that experience to as many people as we can.”

The hui has been made possible with generous support from the Ministry of Youth Development.

Find out more info and register for the hui at:

A short film on Shift Hui 2015:



Inside Out – Educational Resource

Last week our friends at Rainbow Youth launched an exciting new educational resource, which we reckon has the power to really transform sexuality and gender diversity education in New Zealand schools!

We’re super excited to support this project and to see it roll out across the country at regional launches over the next few weeks.

As you may have seen, Rainbow Youth’s new resource is called Inside Out – just like our organisation. To clear up any confusion we just want to let everyone know that we were aware of the name double up some time ago and understand it was unable to be changed after a lot of thought and hard work had gone into the resources. We know it’s a little confusing but reckon it’s a classic case of ‘great minds think alike’ – it’s an awesome name for the work we do in our communities and we’re 100% in support of Rainbow Youth and this project.

You can learn more about it and watch the videos that make up the resource here:

If you want to help minimize any confusion then the best way to refer to us is as: InsideOUT (yes that’s all one word, with a capital OUT!) – a national organisation working to make schools and communities safer for  young people of diverse sexualities, sexes and genders. We work alongside young people to set up queer straight alliance/diversity groups in their schools, run awareness campaigns like the Day of Silence, and a whole lot more!

Whereas the resource can be talked about as:  Inside Out – Rainbow Youth’s video-based teaching resource which aims to increase understanding and support of sex, gender and sexuality diversity, so we can all belong. The resource is freely accessible and hopes to decrease homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools.

Read about what the name InsideOUT means to us here!

We can’t wait to put this new resource to work and see the changes this can make in schools across the country!

Fundraising Art Exhibition for InsideOUT

We’re holding a fundraising art exhibition and auction! The exhibition will run from Monday 17 August to Sunday 23 August at Matchbox Studios, 166 Cuba Street, Wellington. Artworks will be available for purchase throughout the week, with an auction at 6pm on Friday 21 August.

InsideOUT Art Exhibition Poster

More than 40 artists and craftspeople have contributed a wide range of artworks – including paintings, jewellery, sculpture and photographs – and they have been priced to be as affordable as possible, prices ranging from $20 to $400.

Contributing artists include Mica Still, Pinky Fang, Deano Shirrifs, Jamie Mackman, Joe Mcmenamin, Lucita Peek, Lucille Rauscher, Ellaquaint, Toby Morris, Minu, Sophie Oisea, Rika Nagahata, Scott Savage, Nathan M, Grimoire, Zach Webber – and many more.

InsideOUT is run by young people, for young people, and all of the money from this fundraiser will help us to support those facing issues such as homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying at school.

Our work making schools across New Zealand safer is vital for the positive health and wellbeing of LGBTQIA youth around the country, but currently our capacity is really limited by a lack of funding. The money raised will enable us to reach out and support even more young people to live safe and free of discrimination.

A huge thank you to Victoria Beesley for all her work organising the exhibition!



Shift Hui 2015 Recap

Shift Hui


Assembly, gathering (noun) to gather, to assemble (verb), generally applies to a group of people



Move or cause to move from one place to another, especially over a small distance.

When InsideOUT started planning a hui one of the first things we needed to do was come up with a name.

This may sound easy but we really struggled to think of something. We wanted to have a name that we could use every year for our annual hui and for smaller hui we run in other communities. Someone said a few action words, but then someone suggested Shift. We all stopped and realised that this was it: Shift Hui 2015. We decided that Shift represented what we wanted to achieve. We want to help support LGBTQIA+ youth to shift the cultural ideas and standards that have been set within in society. 

Shift Hui group photo

Shift Hui 2015’s main focus was talking about the issues and people that you never hear about within our community, a minority within in a minority if you will.  We had a range of panel discussions, including hearing rainbow Pasifika experiences, a queer and trans Asian stories panel, and a panel discussion with people who held a range of identities and experiences that are barely ever spoken about in our community. We also had a workshop about what takatāpui means, the history behind it and ways we can support our takatāpui youth within our communities. 

We had roughly 100 young people from all different parts of the country attend. For some of them this was their first time at a hui, but for others it was an overdue welcome home. The amount of love and support is something that can never be described in words; you feel it when you walk onto the marae. Shift gave the young people there an opportunity to be whomever they want to be, without being judged or questioned, something that never happens in their hometowns.  

workshop with Rainbow Village Collective
Sharing Pasifika Rainbow Experiences Through Talanoa workshop with Rainbow Village Collective

It was important for the youth to also have down time to build solid friendships that will last them a lifetime. During the downtime we had lots of activities so the youth could bond. We had make-up application, a crafts table, zine-making, waiata and voice coaching among others. Not forgetting the incredible talent show!

Overall Shift was a major success and InsideOUT will do our very best to make sure it happens again in 2016. Thank you again to all the volunteers and people who helped make this possible, without you this just wouldn’t have happened.

By Bella Simpson

Check out the Shift Hui 2015 film below to relive the memories or learn about what you might experience when you come along!



InsideOUT’s Tabby Besley A Queen’s Young Leader

InsideOUT is very proud of our founder and National Coordinator Tabby Besley, who has just spent a week in the UK for the residential week of the Queen’s Young Leader programme.

Tabby received her award from Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Monday, followed by a dinner at St James’ Palace. The rest of the week was no quieter, including visits to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street, Twitter HQ, BBC World, Nesta, METRO, the Canadian High Commission, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the BT Tower.


The group of 60 young leaders from Commonwealth countries also spent two days in Cambridge, taking part in a programme linked into the online course on Leading Change that they are taking over the duration of the year.

Tabby was the first and only New Zealander to receive a Queen’s Young Leader award, and encourages other young people making a difference in their communities to apply to be a 2016 Queen’s Young Leader – #TheSearchIsOn!