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 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.
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!