Over Auckland Anniversary Weekend, SCM was part of the Wilderpeople Collective at Festival One, a Christian Music festival in Hamilton. The Wilderpeople are all about the hard questions in the wilderness, and the aim was to create a safer space for people to engage with faith, sexuality and identity.
The stall was decked out in activities, questions and conversation starters. The Living Library gave festival goers the chance to ‘borrow’ a person to hear their story. Documentaries played on a screen for people to put on some headphones for a listen. There was badge making, body art and continuums.
The first day was busy – people coming to talk, learn, talk and challenge. Such great feedback, so many people were so happy to see a stall about inclusivity – and people said they felt safe to ask the questions they have struggled with.
After the first half day, the Wilderpeople were asked to strip the stall of all LGBT+ references, in order to be more ‘family friendly.’ They tried to make it work – but it was no longer a space where people could safely explore these ideas. The Wilderpeople chose to leave when they were told they couldn’t restore the stall to it’s original state – and people noticed that the LGBT+ voice was silenced.
The Wilderpeople plan to keep having these conversations.