Recently, we raised the pride flag at both Petone and Porirua campuses in celebration of Wellington’s two-week Pride festival. We were honoured to have Rainbow Rendezvous, an LGBTQI+ group at Whitireia and WelTec, join us for the occasion. We spoke to third-year paramedic student Max, a member since 2020, about the group and what they get up to.
“I've been a part of Rainbow Rendezvous since I did my foundation course in 2020, I joined after talking to one of the student leaders of the group and loved the idea of being a part of a community like that.”
Rainbow Rendezvous is an inclusive social group for the LGBTQI+ community at Whitireia and WelTec, which extends its support to not just ākonga (students) and kaimahi (staff), but affiliates, friends, whānau and ‘aiga (family) of members too.
The group promotes local events like Wellington Pride and offers support in the community. They’re also connected to a number of external agencies that provide appropriate support, networking, and referrals.
“I love the emphasis on inclusion but also privacy. The fact that there is a safe space for us whether or not we're "out" necessarily is really important.”
Some of the groups values include being kind, courteous, and treating everyone with respect. They’re also big on respecting privacy, stating on their Facebook page that “authentic, expressive discussion make groups great, but may also be sensitive and private.”
Max’s experience with the group has been mostly during COVID, so interactions have been mainly online, but they've still been able to stay well connected.
“It's been really good to have a group of people to talk to about various gender/sexual identity crises I've had over my time studying. Just having people to fall back on has made my time at Whitireia and WelTec much easier.”