From the Queer Department

I’m one of the three Queer Officers for the RMIT Student Union. Perhaps you’ve seen me handing out free condoms to people, or chalking the sidewalk with “QUEER LOUNGE THIS WAY”. I’m also the one that yells, “Hashtag-YOLO-DGAF” at Chill ‘n Grill. Any bells? No? Your world doesn’t revolve around me and my little queer lounge?

Whatever. Back to me. The reason I’m finally getting around to this entry is because I’d like to increase awareness about the Queer Department.

What is the Queer Department? How did that dude get elected when he still thinks ironically using YOLO is a thing? The official line we give you is, “The Queer Department exists to represent, advocate and empower RMIT students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, and those who are curious about or questioning their sexuality.”

That doesn’t really mean anything. I mean, it does. And it is what we do. But it’s not literally what

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we do, because that’s ambiguous – like the ending of Ghost World, or things covered in mist.

So what do we, like, literally do? On Wednesdays, we wear pink. Sorry. No, we don’t. Most importantly, we run the queer lounges around RMIT University. The City campus queer lounge is located in Building 8, Level 3, Room 6. This is down the hallway next to the RUSU front counter, just across from the womyn’s lounge. The Bundoora campus queer lounge is located in Building 280, Level 1. These are open from 8am weekdays, and are open to all queer and queer-friendly students.

We also host many events throughout the year. We had a Beginning of Queer Party the first week of uni. About 90 students attended to enjoy free booze, free pizza and beer pong. If you were unable to attend because of your sick pet lizard, maybe you’ll be able to come to our End of Semes-queer Party. Hopefully I will have thought of a better queer pun by then.

We’ve also got some big plans for the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia on Friday, May 17. OK, that’s a lie. We haven’t planned anything, but that’s what our meetings are for.
Seamless segue into the Queer Department’s weekly events:

Monday Meetings: 3pm, City campus

This is a great opportunity for new students to come into the queer lounge and meet the Queer Officers. Picture Parliament but completely the opposite, because no one is angry and yelling about something. Basically, we’re just touching base, eating food – sometimes we crump (we don’t

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crump). This is also the time we allocate for members to raise ideas, concerns, questions, and suggestions related to the Queer Department.

Workshop Wednesdays: 2pm – 3pm, City campus

Each week we hold a different workshop. Many of them are related to being queer, but are open to all students regardless of their sexuality. Our workshops vary with topics ranging from queer nightlife, to safe sex, to sexuality and spirituality. We promote student participation and discussion throughout the workshop, but we are also happy for students to sit there lazily and eat sausages from Chill ‘n Grill.

Whine and Wine Fridays: 6pm, City campus

Alliterations are hard. This is fairly straightforward. The wine is supplied, BYO whine. I hope this was an adequate depiction of how we exist to represent, advocate and empower RMIT students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, and those who are curious about or question their sexuality. If you’d like to get involved, if you’d like us to do more for you, or if you just want to check us out, then drop by the queer lounge or check out our fancy-schmancy social medias to stay up to date with everything we’re doing.

Michael Kean

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