IN CONVERSATION WITH POOJA SUBRAMANIAN
Proudly LGBTQI+ owned and operated by creative duo and Deadly Ponies’ Founders, Steve Boyd and Liam Bowden; Pride is a cause we embrace wholeheartedly, encouraging conversation and community. In 2021, we took our passion further, by partnering with RainbowYOUTH NZ, to help foster a safe space and empower youth to be truly themselves. In celebration of Pooja Subramanian’s appointment as the new Executive Director, we delve into the importance of Pride, bringing awareness to their work and fostering safe spaces.
As the new Executive Director, tell us a little more about your role at RainbowYOUTH.
PS: I’ve been practising my elevator pitch! I’m responsible for the operational, financial, strategic, stakeholder and staff management in the organisation. Basically, I’m the person that holds and develops relationships with key stakeholders, including the Executive Board, staff, funding bodies, community leaders, and RainbowYOUTH members.
What do you love most about working with our LGBTQI+ community and the work you do?
PS: Where do I start! Apart from the fact that this is a community I belong to and feel accountable to, every day I’m reminded of the fact that our communities are strong, resourceful, powerful, and so much more. Rainbow communities have a rich history in Aotearoa, and I feel grateful to be in a leadership role during this period of growth and change.
What does Pride mean to you?
PS: Pride to me looks like knowing who you are, and being who you are (not to be cheesy and quote the RY motto, but it’s true). I’d like to see more people from our communities being able to be themselves authentically and unapologetically.
How can we ensure we are facilitating open and supportive conversation with the community, and those who are struggling with their identity?
PS: For me, the first thing to remember is that rainbow communities aren’t a homogenous community, we are just as diverse as the general population. My advice is always to do your research, be clear about your kaupapa and who your audience is, and be ready to meet people where they are.
What advice would you give your younger self?
PS: Honestly, I’d say, you do you, boo. Don’t listen to anybody’s idea of which box you fit into - you can make your own box!
What are you reading, listening to, and watching at the moment?
PS: Confession time - I’m a huge fan of terrible and trashy TV, anything that lets me tune out of all the very real stuff happening around the world. At the moment I’ve been watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta.. And reading Hirini Moko Mead’s book on Tīkanga Māori.