It all began when our good friend Dr John Fenaughty came to us hoping that we could work together to produce a set of video resources and lesson activities that educators and youth workers could use to give them the confidence to better support queer and trans young people. Of course we were eager to take on the challenge - but looking back, we really didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into!
With the goal of reducing homophobic and transphobic bullying, the project had a long gestation, as we came to increase our own understanding of sex, gender and sexuality diversity - and explore the best ways to share information and stories that will help in fostering positive relating to others.
Like all of our projects, we used a process of co-design. For Inside Out, this has meant that we’ve involved more than 100 people with the design process; right from naming through to framing the content, and understanding the best way to present information in engaging ways.
This has included people from NZ Aids Foundation, Human Rights Commission, Albert Eden Youth Board, UniQ, Rainbow Youth, Core Education, Mental Health Foundation, Affinity Services, PPTA, Ministry of Social Development and a number of students from Onehunga High and Albany Senior High.
Having so many voices involved in the development of Inside Out has really contributed to the strength of the final product. All of our workshops and interactions with people told us that the tone for the resources needed to be honest, educational, accessible, engaging and open. And as such, these are the principles that we followed creatively as we produced the Inside Out resources.
Inside Out - a familiar phrase - seemed a fitting name for this set of resources. Indicating that we can create change from the inside out, that we can help to give an inside look at being ‘out’, and even that we’re turning things inside out to see different perspectives.
Again, the name and brand itself helped to inform all of our creative development of the resources. But a name and a beautiful design system only gets us so far. The powerful piece of the Inside Out resources are the personal stories that have been shared by a diverse group of young people.
After a week of filming, we were left with more than 17 hours of footage - and the enormous task of codifying all of the rich interpretations of sex, gender and sexuality into a useful set of resources.
And now, after spending hours (months even) pouring over content, scripting, editing, cutting, re-cutting, animating, transcribing and polishing all of the content, we’ve produced a rich, beautiful and pedagogically sound set of resources, that are freely available at insideout.ry.org.nz
For us, it’s been a huge project. One that we’ve all been part of, and one that we’ve all learned from.
As we finally shared the end product at our launch event in Auckland, it was both exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Reflecting on all of the time, energy, understanding, relationships and aroha that we’ve poured into producing Inside Out is a little overwhelming, and of course the moment it’s public is the moment that you invite others to have an opinion on the work.
Having such strong project partners, and a robust development process does give us confidence that we’ve made the best decisions we could. The content knowledge of John (who just happens to have two PHD’s in this area) and the experience of the Rainbow Youth whanau have helped to shape Inside Out into a robust, well-considered set of resources, that really care for the people involved, and those who will use them.
Our hope is that Inside Out fosters truly powerful learning. That it promotes the idea that there are multiple ways of seeing the world, and that there are multiple truths. The Inside Out resources go to effort to communicate that this isn’t about laying down what you should think, but getting people to critically think about why they think the way they do.
And so now, it’s out there, and we look forward to seeing how people use it, and where it goes next.
We have such enormous gratitude for everyone who has been involved in making Inside Out - we’re excited that together we can create a world where we all belong.