Meet Imari, an international relations student and the 2023 @curtinguild Queer Officer. They’re bisexual and gender queer, which means they use any and all pronouns.
“The reason I like the term genderqueer is that in my mind it’s very much just gender question mark. I don’t know what my gender is, and I don’t expect other people to know what it is. My friends will be like, oh, you’ve got your water bottle, such a hydrated king. And I’m like, who are you talking to? Oh, me. I like that.”
Aside from keeping well hydrated, Imari is somewhat of a history buff – they love investigating the histories of how society ended up here, why countries work together the way they do and all sorts of interconnecting factors that lead to the world we live in today.
After studying history in high school, Imari fell into their degree. They have always been interested in how the world works and why people do what they do, but international relations didn’t even come to their mind. It was the underlying questions of “what is the reason for all this arguing that’s happening on an international scale?” where international relations lined up perfectly to answer questions like those.
Imari loves how much scope that international relations covers. From classes about the history of terrorism, insurgencies and politics, to the way everyone engages with the content differently, Imari finds their degree fascinating. But it’s not the only reason they love studying at uni. The biggest highlight for Imari is the people they’ve met and the opportunities that have popped up throughout their uni journey.
“At the end of the day, that’s what led me into getting involved with the Guild and becoming the Queer Officer – it’s such a cheesy answer, but it’s the people that make or break your uni experience.”
As the 2023 Guild Queer Officer, Imari is aiming to make campus a safe place for people to experiment and for people to transition. They are especially focussing on stamping out deadnaming, and are currently working on a campaign to fix the issue as much as possible while they’re in the role.
“They shouldn’t be constantly having to be saying, ‘by the way, this isn’t right’. Even just at the start of semester, people shouldn’t have to stress and worry about which name’s going to come up on the roll.”
Aside from tackling the bigger issues, Imari says being the Queer Officer is also about nurturing the vibrant queer community already on campus.
“We already have such an amazing queer community on campus. I want to keep that going and keep doing events – big and small – and welcome new people to just come and exist. If you’re worried that there’s not many places that you can be yourself, express yourself and experiment with things like pronouns, come to us, come to our things, come chill out with beanbags and snacks, or come to an event, meet people, bring your friends.”
Imari’s own journey to self-discovery wasn’t a quick one – they went to a Christian school for their entire schooling and it wasn’t until after graduation and having more freedom to be themselves, that they felt comfortable enough to cut off their hair and settle into their fully realised identity.
“I went to a Christian school for my entire schooling thing and towards the end there I was quite literally procrastinating even thinking about or considering my sexuality until I graduated.”
For Imari, Pride Month is both a time for celebration, learning and remembrance.
“This year, especially having Pride Month and having that sort of opportunity to say: you’re okay, you’re safe. Even if you’re in the closet and you don’t feel safe or can’t come out, that’s okay.”After graduation, Imari simply wants to do something they’re passionate about.”
“I’d love to keep doing similar stuff to this; keep helping people and keep doing similar things to what I’m doing now as Queer Officer – that would be amazing. I’d love to keep learning, about myself and the world around me.”
Supporting and celebrating the queer community doesn’t end with Pride Month. Learn more about LGBTQIA+ support available at Curtin, take part in Curtin’s Ally Training program or discover more about the Queer Department at the Guild.
Get involved with the Curtin Student Guild Queer Department
Keep in touch with the Curtin Student Guild Queer Department on Instagram.
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