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About us

Queer friendships are powerful. They are generative. They are strong. They are built upon pushing through obstacles and getting the best for our communities. One such friendship between Cayathri and Vinod founded Adhikaar Aotearoa in 2020, built upon a desire to gain equity for our communities. The term Queer has been reclaimed by those marginalised and discriminated against due to their sexual and/or gender identities. It is now a word that reflects the mana and resolve of our communities.

Queerness and queer politics have been shaped by queer communities from all walks of life and are continually evolving. Adhikaar Aotearoa is a part of this process, one that is redefining what it means to be LGBTQIA+ persons in Aotearoa New Zealand. We also engage with other intersectional frameworks, including caste, class, differently abled/disabilities, neurodiverse, race, and ethnicity. Based on personal experiences of marginalisation, queerness and queer politics, we challenge misogyny and heteronormativity while fostering being and doing queer.

Adhikaar Aotearoa was registered as a charity in early 2021. Cayathri and Vinod are two cis-gendered, endosex queer persons from different backgrounds. They like to hike together. They exchanged experiences of being and doing queer with a critical awareness of socio-political and cultural backgrounds that shape their pasts and presents. A profound queer friendship evolved. 

Cayathri and Vinod’s conversations around making sense of their lives - one as a cis-gendered gay from a South Asian heritage and a fifth-generation Kiwi in Aotearoa and the other as a cis-gendered queer person from Lanka who has lived and navigated life in six different countries - shared a common language of queerness and queer politics. Both navigate this world as brown persons and often deal with racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia. Caste and ethnicity are two other facets of life that they navigate individually. Such intersecting factors affecting their lives and work constantly evolve based on geographical locations and time with specific their stories / her stories / his stories. 

As the friendship deepened, conversations on exploring queerness in Aotearoa New Zealand – as persons of colour, especially from a South Asian background – inspired them to cofound Adhikaar Aotearoa to foster ethnic LGBTQIA+ experiences and to collaborate with global LGBTQIA+ communities, especially those of colour. 

What we do


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