Some friends and I went out dancing at one of K Road’s queer nightclubs. I was pretty quickly approached by a cute girl who started dancing with me. I couldn’t help but think how young she looked. From her non-ironic low-rise flared jeans and crop top, I could tell she wasn’t a millennial, as the trauma of 2000s fashion still haunts us daily.

I lent in and asked how old she was. She says 18. After some quick math, which was a great challenge considering the tequila shots my friend kept passing me, I told her “That’s a 16-year age gap!”

This gay baby looked me dead in the eyes and, without hesitation, said: “That’s hot. I like a silver daddy!”


At that moment, I almost went into a full boomer spiral. I wanted to snatch the phone out of her hand, call her mum, and be like, “Yeah, hi Barbara, you gotta come get your daughter!”

After many more drinks, I was thoroughly laughed at by my friends, some of which were kind enough to reassure me that I’m not going that grey. I reflected that this queer baby was not out of line here. Gen Z or ‘Zoomers’ are the appropriate age for nightclubs; I was in her space. My group of thirty-somethings are meant to be married with cats by now. But if there is one thing Zoomers are – it’s bold!

In my job, I work with Zoomers every day. I’m very lucky that I get to see all the talented young queer people that are going to be improving the world for generations of queer people to come.

My fellow Millennials, do you remember how we spent years establishing labels that were umbrella terms that had subcategories so that you could, in one word, with extreme detail and nuance, describe your romantic, sexual, and/or gender identity? Yeah well, that’s pretty much all gone now. Zoomers rightly decided that that was confusing and too restricting. ‘Queer’ is the most common label now. Nice and vague!

My generation is so programmed to be people-pleasers that every single one of us either has depression or anxiety (some of us get both). Zoomers, however, have never been promised a better life than generations before them, so they embrace a cheerful cynicism that I find downright charming. Maybe being born during a terrible financial crisis has something to do with it?

Boomers have their capitalism, Gen X has their sarcasm, us Millennials are still earnestly working at trying to own property, and Gen Z are laughing at all of us on TikTok, as they should.

There has been some anxiety from older generations around the world’s future, but I’m very optimistic. Gen Z will not crumble at the challenge of the dumpster fire of a planet we have handed them.

For my Gen Z readers, I’ll say it in a way you will understand. ‘Y’all litty fam, no cap.’

JESSIE LEWTHWAITE (she/her) is the Rainbow Inclusion Manager at Auckland University of Technology (AUT). She is also the Technology Manager on the Rainbow NZ Charitable Trust Board. Jessie splits her time between trying to complete a Masters Degree in Human Rights and playing video games. She loves all things nerdy and can be easily bribed with gin.