Who We Are | Ko Wai Tātou

who we are

This campaign was supported by these fantastic youth: 

Max Loh

I was raised in a country where being gay wasn’t legal and frowned upon, moving to New Zealand liberated me and freed me from the oppression and allowed me to be my true self. I am training to be a chef, I go to Botany Downs Secondary College in Auckland and have joined their QSA to make sure our school and community is well protected and heard.


Tena koutou katoa! I am of the iwi, Ngati Kuia, Rangitane ki Wairau, Ngati Apa ki te Ra To, Ngati Porou, Nga Puhi, Ngati Tuwharetoa. I am a Takataapui person who lives in Nelson, I am also a volunteer and board of trustees member of Qyouth in Nelson. When I attended college I created and led the QSA there which is still going today! Naaku iti noa.

Shaneel Lal

Shaneel Lal

As a young iTaukei, it is significantly important for me to decolonise and indigenise the spaces I belong to in order to restore the rights of queer people. I have sat on the Minister of Education’s youth advisory group for 2 years advocating for a equitable education system for queer people and co-founded the Conversion Therapy Action Group to achieve a ban on conversion therapy.

Fatima Hael Martin (They/Them)

I have been a silent yet passionate supporter for people in the LGBTQIA+ community but have started to reach out to people and be more open of my position in the community since the end of 2018.  I have helped spread queer awareness at my school by hosting the Day of Silence and other pride related activities during Pride month this year. A group of girls and I are working towards opening a QSA/GSA group at our school which is a bit of a challenge at the moment but we will get there. 

Katie Sears

Hi y’all, I am an out and proud bisexual. My current goals are to be a part of something bigger than myself, and create a positive difference to the community. I’m part of my school’s Spectrum group which is QSA-like but not quite there; last year we tried to organise a Pride week for our school, but we ended up giving up. By joining this organisation, I aspire to find fulfillment by giving individuals a chance to be proud of who they are so they can inspire others within their schools and communities. 


Shannae Phelan

Shannae Phelan

I have always been a proud supporter of the LGBT+ community. Growing up around a group of strong queer women, I was attending pride events in my city and seeing the behind the scenes work from a young age. I began to recognise my place in the community at 13 but didn’t begin come out as a lesbian until I was 15. Now, two years later, I am going into my last year of high school and am co-leading my schools LGBT+ group with one of my closest friends. As I’m getting more involved with the community, I have made so many amazing friends and am excited to make many more!


Growing up in a chaothlic school and community was extremely hard as an LGBT person. I faced many problems, myself being one of them due to internalised homophobia. Throughout the years I’ve learned to love and support myself as a Queer individual , through the support of Rainbow youth, friends and family. I hope to do the same for the closeted people around me, my goal is to be the person I wanted to see at my school. The person who spoke for the ones that could not be heard. The person who inspires others to share their story. The person who is authentically themselves and challenges others to do the same. Through amazing opportunities like this, I hope to achieve that goal, and inspire and spark hope in the lives of others.


This campaign was organised by:

InsideOUT is a national organisation which works with youth, whānau, schools and communities to make Aotearoa a safer place for all rainbow young people to live and be in.

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Chloe Kay (They/Them) 
National Schools Pride Week Coordinator 
 Emmett Roberts (They/Them)
Schools Network and Manawatū Coordinator for InsideOUT
Tabby Besley (She/Her)
Managing Director of InsideOUT
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Schools Pride Week was made possible thanks to the generous support of:

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