‘Petty and Vindictive’: The Queer Group Protesting Auckland’s GLBT Community

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Levi Joule takes a look at Petty and Vindictive the fringe collective responsible for the pride protests and paint splattering of Auckland’s GayTMs and police stations.

What do they stand for?

To understand Petty and Vindictive one must understand their perception of Auckland’s GLBT community. According to them, the gay community is run by neoliberal “gaystreamers” who have no regard for the struggles of others. Member’s Twitter accounts state Auckland’s gay scene is full of ‘white gay bourgeois capitalists.’

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How were they formed?

‘Petty and Vindictive’ originated, as a group set up to ‘radicalise’ the University of Auckland’s inaugural pride week held last year. Subsequently some members went on to form the ‘No Pride in Prisons’, the group that invaded this year’s Pride Parade and “Queers Against Injustice” who claimed responsibility for the GayTM and police station vandalism.

Who are they?

Their members are well known to those who run GLBT youth spaces in Auckland such as Rainbow Youth and Queerspace. With ages ranging from 18 to 30, they are mostly students or receiving benefits.

The damage they cause:

University of Auckland Queer Rights Officer Tessa Naden who is responsible for Queerspace says, “this group have caused considerable emotional distress for a lot of people involved with rainbow activism.”

“They do nothing but cause trouble for organizations whom they’ve scarcely engaged with, perform melodramatic psychoanalysis of the various bigotries of their members, and then devote themselves to offensively flailing at anybody,” as highlighted by their recent protests.

The members have also caused considerable damage within Rainbow Youth, with their radical anti-cisgender attitudes making many young people feel uncomfortable in what was once considered a safe space.

Who influences them?

The group promoted American “academic” Ryan Conrad’s recent visit to Auckland to present a lecture. Ryan and his extremist group Against Equality are hostile to GLBT equality, instead arguing in favour of what they call a, “more radical queer politics,” in which they oppose marriage equality and hate crime legislation protecting GLBT people.

Who they oppose:

The group see Auckland’s GLBT community as white, middle class and oppressive and believe drag queens promote a culture of ‘transmisogyny.’

Petty and Vindictive are quick to label anybody with a dissenting view to theirs as anti-trans. A former member of Petty and Vindictive (who spoke to express on the condition of anonymity) said the group did not tolerate dissent. She was booted from the group because of a differing view on the GayTM vandalism. She tells us, “after I expressed my disagreement with the vandalism of the GayTMs, they immediately claimed I was racist and transphobic. They had no evidence of me being either of those things besides me openly disagreeing with one person that is trans and not white, as well as a cis white girl over [attacking] a GayTM.”

Article | Levi Joule. Photo | Dan Liu.

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