Time to start! get onto our facebook event to stay in the loop: facebook.com/events/118468884994953
This Wednesday 14/8/13 we are holding a stall at the UTS Pride Week Fair Day. Come and say hi!
There is a conversation online about changing the format of the group. If you would like to get involved in the discussion, let us know!
Our next event is on a regularly scheduled meeting night, but in a different place. In addition to our meeting, we will be watching Inherit the Wind, a movie about the Scopes monkey trial. 6pm on July 3 at the Crown Hotel Sydney, corner of Elizabeth and Goulburn Streets, upstairs. All welcome!
Queer Collaborations runs July 8-14 and we may be running a Queer Atheism workshop. More details to follow!
Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to express interest or find out anything particular, and check out queercollaborations2013.wordpress.com for more details about the conference in general.
Hi everyone, here are all the details you need for Mardi Gras night! Please read the whole email carefully; it contains all the information you need, and you'll be expected to know about it.
First thing: our float is G10. Please remember this; if you get lost, if you're late, if anything happens, you'll be able to get help finding G10 when you'll be completely lost looking for 'the one with the particles'. G10. G10 G10 G10!
also, if you need to call someone, try me on 0417450802 or Colin on 0468384229. keep in mind that it'll be a noisy environment.
Mardi Gras is on this Saturday, March 2. We will be meeting outside the New Windsor Hotel on the corner of Park Rd and Castlereagh St at 4.30pm. We're taking a bit of a risk in not dragging you in earlier, so don't let us down. If you can't make it that early, or if you might be late, arrange it with me beforehand. Otherwise you won't get in because I won't be able to get a wristband to you. If you're later than 7pm, though, you won't get in anyway - the gates will be locked.
WHAT TO WEAR
We expect to have one-size-fits-all disposable lab coats for everyone. Unfortunately they're not quite as nice as real labcoats, and besides, they haven't yet arrived. So if you have your own (or spares), please bring them along!
Under the labcoats we suggest you wear an atheist tshirt, though you're welcome to dress up however you like if you have a better idea!
We've printed a run of tshirts, which we're selling for $15, so if you'd like one, let me know what you want and I can bring it for you on the day. We have two designs - one is a brain with wings, which says 'freethinker'; the other says 'Sydney Queer Atheists' in a heart-shaped border made of people holding hands. You can see that design at queeratheists.org/tshirts
WHAT TO BRING
This year there will be more food vendors inside the start area, so you won't starve. Still I'd recommend bringing food, water, something warm to wear while we wait and something to keep you dry - rain is forecast for sometime that day, but we'll march whatever the conditions! We have a ute this year, which means there's somewhere to put our bags while we march, but please remember space is limited.
Also, Mardi Gras is a dry space, so if you're caught with alcohol it will be tipped out. Drugs, glass bottles, toy weapons and animals are also not allowed.
AT THE END
When we get to the end, those of us who aren't holding particles or needing to collect bags, will veer off to the left at the first pedestrian exit, then head right to the last big tree. The rest of us stay with the ute until the second exit, and this shouldn't be too many people so it would be great if people could coordinate about who's doing what, beforehand.
At the tree we can make sure everyone's ok and has their belongings. Once we've all checked in, we can loop around to watch the end of the parade, or people can go home or go to dinner or whatever, but please don't wander off before this and make us worry!
And after we've all gotten home and had a good sleep, come to the debrief and see the photos and videos that were taken, tell the others what they missed out on and throw some ideas around for next year, while we're still excited! It's on the Wednesday, March 6, 6pm at the Crown Hotel which is on the corner of Elizabeth and Goulburn Streets.
And finally: at this stage, we still have room for more people, so tell your friends and get them to fill out the registration form.
See you all on Saturday!
Come and help make the props and costumes for the "Higgs Boson: The godless particle" Mardi Gras float. No particular expertise required - all hands welcome!
We're meeting at Ian's house in Rozelle - from the city, take a 500 series bus down Victoria Rd.
email email@example.com to find out the address.
The working be will go all day, so come when you can.
Since everyone loved the food at Habibi's for last year's dinner, we're going back to do it again!
February 21, 7pm at Rowda Ya Habibi, 101 King St, Newtown.
Enjoy a delicious banquet and entertainment while helping Sydney Queer Atheists raise funds for our 2013 Mardi Gras float - Higgs Boson: The godless particle!
$40 full and $30 concession, it would be very helpful if you prepay us at Account Name: Sydney Queer Atheists BSB: 633 000, Account Number:146790951. Write 'dinner' and your name in the details, and send a confirmation to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are currently running a competition for tshirt designs. Winner(s) get printed!
Submit your screen-printable designs to email@example.com by February 5.
Members will choose which design(s) will get printed at the meeting the next day.
Some points to remember when designing:
Sydney Queer Atheists will invite all Queer-Atheist-friendly people to join us for a Bah Humbug dinner on December 21, 2012, to fortify us for the coming holiday season and all its rampant religionormativity, consumerism, family drama and/or loneliness.
Here's the text of the article that I submitted to Querelle 2012:
Atheism and religion in queer communities
As I was thinking about writing this article, by chance I came across a word that summed up exactly why I care about atheism: religionormativity.
Just as we’re familiar with heteronormativity, roughly the privileging of heterosexuality, religionormativity is the privileging of religion, religious views of the world and religious interests.
Religionormativity, and specifically christonormativity, is rampant in Australia. It’s why our atheist Prime Minister spends tax money for catholics to visit the Vatican and says that she doesn’t think society is ‘ready’ for marriage equality. It’s why we see churches and billboards displaying crosses like gallows in the town square, and dub it ‘freedom of speech’. It’s why cuts to cities’ christmas budgets generate more outcry than cuts to the country’s welfare budget, and even minority religions feel the need to vocally perform their acceptance of the all-pervasive decorations.
It’s why we accept religious private schools and the fact that they often get more funding than public schools, while even the ‘secular, compulsory and free’ public schools teach christmas as curriculum for three months of the year and allow scripture teachers in to openly teach dogma every week. Primary Ethics has fought hard to run ethics classes in NSW schools for the non-scripture students who are often neglected and discriminated against, but even they dare not touch the religions’ regular access to school students, nor acknowledge any link to atheism. Now our government now upholds the right to put untrained religious ‘chaplains’ into state schools despite the High Court’s ruling against the program. Our government which still has prayers in parliament. It’s all religionormativity, and it’s dangerous. Secular people regularly accept that queerness and nonbelief are matters for adults only, which allows religions to stereotype us as the dangerous ones, who shouldn’t be around kids. Certainly not all religions commit these travesties, but they all support the religionormativity which is why we have to fight for adoption, insemination and even the right to teach. Not only do religions get tax breaks because dissemination of religion is still categorised as charitable in our law, but they also get permanent exemptions to the anti-discrimination laws that keep us out of their schools, adoption agencies and crisis shelters.
The census doesn’t give us data on atheists, as the question is framed religionormatively. However the number of people who marked ‘no religion’ has grown in this latest census to 22.3% of the population, counting us at nearly a quarter of the country, and bigger than any single religious group except catholicism, even without the 8.6% of the population who didn’t answer the question, those who answered ‘jedi’ or ‘pastafarian’ and all the people who put down their family’s religion instead of their own beliefs. Yet people still say ‘but we all believe in the same god anyway’ and really believe they’re being inclusive. And we let them get away with it.
In queer communities, we often think we’re better than that! We can analyse the effects of religious lobby groups on politics and the media, and we’re certainly clued in to the marriage debate and the motives of the players. A high proportion of us are nonbelievers, and an understanding of the destructiveness of intolerant churches and conservative religious families resonates through us, whether or not we’ve experienced the effects personally. Indeed, I’m glad to live within such an astute crowd.
However, all is not perfect. We have our own subtle forms of religionormativity that we often hold dear. In communities so full of atheists and other nonbelievers, we often let this aspect of ourselves remain closeted. We don’t want to recognise this, because we still fall prey to the idea that outing ourselves, declaring our belief structures, is oppressive to those of us who still are religious. Even while we find some people’s beliefs to often be pretty odd, we underestimate them by placing our assumptions about their sensibilities above our own freedom to be out and proud atheists, agnostics, secular humanists or whatever else we want to be.
We need to come out about our beliefs just as much as we need to come out about our sexualities. To name ourselves allows us to build communities where we can openly express ourselves and stand together for what we need. We already know this. So examine your own internalised religionormativity and come out, so that everyone else can too.
Join the Queer Atheists at firstname.lastname@example.org