Akika says: Gender Fluidity Welcomed in Southern New Zealand

By Geisha Bar

It looks like our New Zealand neighbours are getting some international recognition lately for some of their awesome corporate attitudes to gender fluidity and non-binary gender recognition.
The Regent Theatre, in the small southern town of Dunedin, has recently installed a toilet sign that welcomes people of all types (including extra-terrestrials!), insisting only that whatever you identify as, be sure to wash your hands.

Regent Theatre’s marketing manager Hannah Molloy stated that the sign is there to help people feel more comfortable and safe …… “it takes away any anxiety for people who might feel pressured into going into toilets specified for one gender, or another, when they don’t necessarily relate to that gender.”

Dunedin is rapidly paving the way for the rest of the country, with the recent announcement that Dunedin North Intermediate School has done away with gendered uniforms altogether, providing a range of uniform options that are available to all students – so if a young man chooses to wear a kilt to school, he may do so in peace. The decision to upgrade the school uniform policy was in part due to many female students vocalising their dismay at being forced to wear kilts to school, asserting that the sole option of a kilt for females served only to reinforce and uphold outdated gender stereotypes.

Principal Heidi Hayward is confident that this new policy will pave the way toward a much more accepting and normalised environment for any students who may be questioning their gender or sexuality, stating “hopefully the flow-on effect from this is kids at our school who are questioning their gender or sexuality, hear that message that it is ok and we value diversity and being
comfortable in your own skin.”

Hearing about awesome progressive actions being taken in places as small as Dunedin, New Zealand, gives me so much love and hope for society right now. Over the past decade I’ve definitely witnessed societal norms grow and change to include a much broader spectrum, and seeing this change happening (albeit sometimes slowly) is such a beautiful thing to witness.
Given another few years, once some more of those stupid white conservative religions jerks in parliament die off, I reckon we might have a new golden age of diversity acceptance on our hands here in ‘Straya!

Love, Akika xoxoxoxoxo