Closing comments - AsiaPacific Outgames

This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors. If you would like to help create a transcript, please volunteer to listen to the audio and correct the AI Text - get in contact for more details.

[00:00:00] This recording was made up a second the Asia Pacific out games human rights conference held in Wellington, New Zealand in March 2011. [00:00:08] I'd like to now introduce we're going to our three commentators and the first of them as far as that trip, and again, you will have missed him over the last two and a half days. He's another lawyer, I sometimes say, you know, the law is important, but it's not enough in human rights. But we certainly need the lawyers who forged so much in so many places, and was a district court judge in the Netherlands, he was elected member of parliament for the social Liberal Party and, and became a leader of the party, which he served a role he served until 2006. But also, he's one of the first openly gay Members of Parliament, he sponsored the bill on the opening of civil marriage, the same sex couples and the bill on adoption by gay couples in both laws came into effect in 2001. Wonder why we're still having difficulty with adoption here in New Zealand, it's really no excuse. And he was awarded rewarded with the gay newspaper award in 2004, as the most influential Dutch gay man, none of which stopped and being knighted in recognition of his public service in 2006. So bars, it's my great pleasure to introduce you and give you the platform. [00:01:33] Thank you very much. It's so difficult after John's speech to come back to the conference and reading my notes in my notebook, because I was asked to give my impressions on how I thought the conference went and what the problems are that lay ahead of us. And john finish on such a wonderful note that I feel that it's difficult to really go back to the last couple of days and highlight some of the things that I think we still need to talk about. And we still need to explore a little bit further. But let me start out by saying that I think this conference was organized extremely well, I've been in my life. I've been to many, many conferences. But this conference really beats it all. And Barry, you're standing now way in the back, you did a marvelous job. But not only you There is, of course, also a whole group of nameless people who haven't been here on stage, but who took care of us who took care of the session, starting on time ending on time, taking us to lunch, cleaning up the things that we are strong. And it proved to be the case because of the wonderful outcome. And hopefully, next month, or at the end of April, when Supreme Court will render its decision, let's hope it will be the same decision. But at least the groups proved to work together and to forget their internal differences, and to join forces. And I think that is also something very important. And I will come back to that. Because yesterday, we had a meeting and Susan Hawthorne was the speaker, I was chairing that. And I was listening to her. And she also said something i thought was very true. And she said, we have all these pillars in the LGBT community. But we should take care that each pillar has enough space, to share its stories, to grow, to develop and to, to unite with the people in that pillar. And she was talking about the lesbians dl from the LGBT I. And she said, Actually, there haven't been any lesbian campaigns in recent years, and in her opinion, is a good thing to have. But she said, I don't want to feel pressure from the other pillars from the other groups, because we should be able to develop ourselves and to have enough space without being criticized by others. And of course, this also goes for other pillars, for instance, the trends groups. So for us, it should be a challenge, to restrict respect each other's space, to allow each other to grow. But to always keep in mind this common goal of we together want to move forward and to achieve something because we're all here actually, for the important vision that human rights are universal for everybody. But unfortunately, in daily life, it appears to be that they're not really for the LGBT community, always in in the extended they should be. So we should really keep in mind that we should work together. This common denominator is very important. Yesterday, we had a session about spirituality. And we started with a meditation, which was wonderful, actually, because there's so much information during such a conference, that sometimes your head just goes crazy. So it was wonderful, to sit in a circle to close your eyes and to breathe deeply. And to really go back to your inner self. And the person who led the group said, I would love to talk about career union. And for me, that was also something very important to realize that each other, we all have our differences. And we all have our own narrative. But still, we are here for this queer union, we are here to to be together and to be forced together to improve the world, not only for us, and our brothers and sisters, but also for future generations. Now, some of the challenges that need to be mentioned is are, for instance, the funding issue. [00:06:27] Because it's, it's very painful to see how some groups are able to attend conferences, or some individuals are and others are not. So funding is going to be an important issue also for future conferences. And in that respect, it's quite painful to hear that the New Zealand government has cut down on funding. Because from this wonderful conference, we can take so much with us also for future meetings and gatherings. But if people are not able to come and join and share their experiences, that is very problematic. So that is something we should find a strategy for how to address that problem to be effective. On the United Nations level is another thing that puzzles me a little bit. JOHN Fisher told about the Dr. Carter principles and about the joint statement and about the side event in December where Secretary General Ban Ki Moon spoke those wonderful words, which are really inspiring. But to be effective on un level, we here should realize that we actually communicate there with diplomats who never speak about sexuality, or homosexuality and don't know the acronym LGBT. I don't know what it stands for, let alone when I was listening to Felicia brown actin, when she said the LGBT I label doesn't fit us in the Pacific, I completely understand that. And I thought it was a very important message. And I really think it's a challenge for all of us to find new language new narrative so that everybody will feel included, and that what we talk about is relevant also for the people on the Pacific Islands. Having said that, I see the challenge in going to the UN in Geneva or the UN in New York and talking to people who do not know what homosexuality is and mix it up with paedophilia, for instance. And sometimes they just pretend they don't know that. But so then in that context, it's very difficult to talk about all the denomination, so we should find language that is persuasive for other groups, and not belonging to us not belonging to our family in order to persuade them to be on our side. And we should find that language while recognizing how important it is to feel that the words we use reflect on our situation. So that's really a very big challenge. And the conference here really made me think about that, and I hope that in the future will, we will find a way to address that issue. We are here together. Because we all know what we want and what we talk about what hasn't been stressed yet. And I find a very important. And I heard that in the session about article 377 is that we should also reach out to groups beyond our spectrum. And examples could be the trade unions or liberal religious groups, other groups that are not really part of our community, but we need them to work together with them, because we need allies to have a majority behind the ideals we want to achieve. So I think also, for future gatherings, it might be interesting to see how we can include those other groups into a conference like this and let them let them give the opportunity to, to listen to the wealth of our stories, and of what we have to say because they can learn so much from us. So it would be wonderful if they could be here. Next time. You're here. Okay, great. I wish I would have heard more from you here on stage, for instance, but it's wonderful that you're here. Really glad for that. [00:11:09] There is one issue that really needs to be talked about. And that's the influence the negative influence of religion. We were supposed to have a session this morning about the influence of religion. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. But throughout the two and a half days, I've heard a lot about the negative aspects of religion, for instance, in the Pacific, with its own culture, that actually when the Christian churches became very vocal and influential, it really changed the way people look at our lives there. In the film, clip, Grace showed we so fundamentalists in Indonesia, surrounding the hotel where LGBT groups were gathering in order to talk about our issues. And so we also saw the aggressiveness of fundamentalist groups. What we see in other parts of the world in Ghana, for instance, is American Conservative ministers. Going into the country, teaching courses about the danger of gay life too dangerous that the danger that homosexuals are taking over our society, and people are unfortunately receptive to that. The last example in that respect I can give is that this American minister called Scott lively, came to Moldova only a few weeks ago, there was a wonderful conference organized by co see the Netherlands to Dutch LGBT group, and Olga Europe was a wonderful conference in conclusion of five years project with groups from the whole region. And we were there for about four days and having interesting discussions, we were able to have meetings with members of the government of the Parliament there. And after the conference was over religious groups in Moldova invited Scott lively to come to that country. And there was one week after our conference was over. And he spoke there. And he was saying, you should be very careful about the gays because the gays have a secret agenda. And before you know it, they are recruiting children at school, and they are introducing same sex marriage bills and things like that. And unfortunately, unfortunately, while we were having this wonderful conference, and we're engaging government officials of Moldova, he reached out to members of parliament there. And they all of a sudden started to become very hesitant about the anti discrimination bill, which was tabled in Parliament. And the discussions were supposed to take place in April. One of the num grounds for non discrimination in the anti discrimination bill is sexual orientation. And many of those members of parliament became afraid and said, Well, if we are supporting that, then maybe they will introduce same sex marriage or our children this or that. So now there is a new situation and negative situation in Moldova, simply because the religious groups are also organized. [00:14:54] And not now come to my last point. [00:14:58] When Grace was speaking, good, raise poor this morning, she also talked about the use of social media. And I think it's a wonderful challenge for us, you know, to use Facebook, Twitter, and all the other internet possibilities. But grace said a thing, which is really true, and that is that the enemy is also using those same tools. And we've seen that in Moldova, that the religious groups immediately share the information from our conference amongst each other, were able to get him out to the country and immediately had an action plan. We know that in the United States in Arizona, there was a meeting where religious groups invited 40 missions to the UN in New York, 44, zero, to come to Arizona to a big conference organized by family groups, as it's called. And there they were talking about the dangers of the joke Jakarta principle, the danger of join statements, and they were talking about our agenda, where john Fisher, so eloquently talks about, they know that too, and they are strategizing how to counter what we want to achieve. So I would like to end, unfortunately, it's not a very positive note. But I would like to end by asking you to be alert to that. And maybe when we organize new conferences, that we should really try to devote time how to strategize in order to be very effective in the future, because it's so wonderful, to be here together to feel the energy. And to see that what we are striving for is right and just and it would be awful if the enemy would be so well organized, that they can have a detrimental effect on what we want to achieve. So we should be strong, united, but don't lose our own identity and our own cultural heritage. Thank you very much. And [00:17:08] it was really a pleasure for me [00:17:10] to be in your midst. Thank you. [00:17:20] Thank you very much for that bars. And I think we certainly need to be remembered about what we face in order to get to the next stage. And but I just want to acknowledge that with you in New York, and john and Geneva. We've got powerful links, and really an incredible source of support and also information. Because once again, it's almost like a circle, we need things happening internationally. But at least we're doing things on the ground in our own communities, in our own neighborhoods, and with our own governments. Nothing will change international late. But what happens internationally also puts a little bit of pressure and effect, I have no idea when you were talking that perhaps you could persuade the Netherlands government to challenge the New Zealand government to match dollar for dollar on its human rights in them. [00:18:24] Anyway, so we've got two more great discussions to go. And the first of these is set here right now, Paul, who founded and continues to facilitate an Indian trans network called Sam corner. In addition to creating a safe space for trans people, their families and friends, Sam coordinate builds bridges with the medical and legal fraternities in India, very much evidence of that reaching out to other communities. [00:18:59] Welcome, I had prepared a little speech initially, and I'm almost beginning to change it now after hearing everything that has gone before me. And I wanted to acknowledge the entire experience that I've had in the last more than three days now, which is an absolute contrast to what one experiences daily back home, where one sense of transmits. And one sense of greatness is something that you can't live with on a daily basis. But I guess it begins with the, with the idea of visibility. And I really felt that I was visible in these last three days. And I felt that I was amongst those who know me, who understand me who can see where I'm coming from, and who are able to answer and the language and the words that I'm using. Actually, the first two days was really, I was at another at another level, I didn't think that I was attending something which was real. And and then something happened on third day. And in a sense, the bubble broke a little. And it made me sort of start thinking about what probably Jamison green was writing in his book about becoming a visible man. [00:20:33] And [00:20:35] at us at a health panel that jack was facilitating, we walked out of that. And somebody came up to me and said, [00:20:46] I all I thought you were only a trans activist. [00:20:51] And then it started. [00:20:55] I started thinking about it. And I was wondering, why is it that this person felt that this way? And very quickly, she could do the processing. And she said, but it's really interesting, because you know, somebody who is somebody after who if you look at that person, you can tell. And when you get to know it kind of challenges us in a certain way. And I was just beginning to think if this is somebody who has spent so many years within the community, and in activism, and in academia could go through this experience of reading me in a certain way. I was just wondering that, am I going back to the experience of what is our daily experience back home? And how much would it really take to shift some very ingrained ideas about who we are, and how we should be whether there is an image of trans woman and an expectation out of that, whether there is an image of a trans man, and there is an expectation out of that. And I went back to feeling a little invisible. [00:22:21] invisible to me. [00:22:26] I'm a transgender in Hong Kong, [00:22:28] I love for women enhancement. And now [00:22:55] process by [00:22:58] very beautiful. [00:23:07] I will either [00:23:08] cosmetic and on the next. I love this number. [00:23:24] And I want to [00:23:27] ready my [00:23:42] so friends, and brothers and sisters in arms, we are standing amongst you and we want all of you who are in support of us to stand with us. [00:24:09] Thank you, everybody. Thank you and all of us from the f2 em Asia delegate here. delegation here would like to thank jack Byrne for this because our visibility has been possible because of him. A big thank you to jack [00:24:31] Thank you. [00:24:36] Our last discussing this is the wonderful Chanel hottie who is an outreach worker with the New Zealand prostitutes collective. [00:24:55] Thank you my friend. Go ahead, he taught that [00:25:01] first of all, okay. [00:25:07] First of all, being [00:25:11] an indigenous person of the slain [00:25:15] I must follow protocol. And [00:25:20] the feast protocol is that you must always acknowledge give the power, give the acknowledgement to the high power to the Lord because he is pleased. That gives us life [00:25:36] and energy and love. [00:25:40] The second acknowledgement [00:25:42] goes to the fatty which is the house that hosts you because it is the house that protects you [00:25:54] from Ryan. [00:25:56] And when [00:25:58] it's the house that features [00:26:01] and associated health the key together. [00:26:06] And the third acknowledgement, [00:26:08] of course goes to everybody has might have made things possible. Alpha sitters [00:26:18] are organized the organizers [00:26:22] like for the A Chelsea who Jake burn [00:26:29] the people, the people that feed us [00:26:35] Kayla, thanks, Kayla, she's not here. But see, see, see the train train so and she did such a wonderful job. And we need to thank you, it's all those the real people, all the people in the background that make the magic happen. And, and it's people like us are the ones that just need to sit back and enjoy it. [00:27:04] And I would just like to say [00:27:09] to send out a big [00:27:12] mushy acknowledgement to to to our visitors, visitors that are that came from, from around the world. And I would like to say that, you know, I could say like from the Pacific. But, you know, it's, I don't want to say that I want to say thank you to starting from the top, from the rocket Polynesia, somewhat tongue, featuring Melanie Asia. And if I forget any party, I apologize. And we move across the Dutch to Australia. And from Australia, we move to the east, [00:27:56] to Thailand, [00:27:59] to Indonesia, [00:28:02] to India, to China, Korea, Japan, [00:28:09] across to Europe, to the Netherlands, to Germany, to England, America, Africa. And wherever else f5. Like I said, if I forgotten Forgive me, [00:28:21] but it's [00:28:22] a big movie, me here to kowtow cuts or [00:28:29] use we hate I [00:28:33] excuse me, I have never seen so many trans people in one room myself. And especially from different parts of the world. And it's, it was really interesting. The workshop with the Athena that I went to was absolutely, absolutely wonderful. They, they seem to be very, they they valued and they and they go out and they and they, they that they make it the world and, and they seem very, very, very, very happy. And they sort of like to me, they they work hard and they give to the big give they give to the people in the people love them and let some to me that's absolutely wonderful. And I was quite touched by by the, by those skills and meeting the girls from Asia, from the Philippines from India. It was just a wonderful experience. I I work as a liaison for the transgender community to that work in the sixth district. In the six industry as there are a lot of training skills that we can destroy, and you know, it's these no shame in it, it's just there. It's just the way it has, not only in New Zealand, but around the whole world. And there are still some issues around that they need to be needs to be talked about. And we New Zealand, here for those skills and to show unwavering support for the [00:30:32] also is is the tradition of our people. When we in a row, we must always end [00:30:46] with a wiretap or a song. And [00:30:49] the song that I've chosen is a song. It's actually like a New Zealand anthem. It's not the Newseum night, but it's like the New Zealand anthem. And I think it's quite appropriate for our visitors. It's cold, now is the hour and I think most New Zealand people would know the English version and there is a motivation and the motivation is very poetic. And and and the scene state. It says, As I lay here in the moonlight, I'm dreaming about you [00:31:24] because you're going away. [00:31:26] But while you're away, please remember. So we knew we turn I will be waiting, weeping. And I'd like to ask him some of the molecules. Lizabeth What am I? Cool. Okay. So this is this is we're going to sing the motivation first, and then we're going to sing the English, the United English, you can sit there and you can sing as well. Just nice. [00:32:06] fo [00:32:11] mo [00:32:24] qui key. [00:33:02] The [00:33:05] pho me say? [00:33:16] Nice. [00:33:24] See, [00:33:35] please? [00:33:38] The way [00:33:45] we [00:33:47] feel [00:33:49] me [00:33:56] when you read. [00:34:00] You [00:34:05] see? [00:34:08] Right Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia. Just [00:34:26] Just before I give the rest of you a chance to have some final words, on your behalf. I'd like to give the people have contributed to this wonderful session, a small token about here on New Zealand to take away with them. [00:35:16] As a New Zealander working internationally, one of the things that I most missed was the dimension that Marty have added to the way we do things and welcoming and saying goodbye. And late last year, there was a regional Asia Pacific United Nations workshop in Auckland, on the Rights of Indigenous peoples. And after it was completed, I was asking the UN people who participated, you know, what their, how they found it. And they said, we've never been to you in meeting like it. We've never been to a un meeting where there was so many songs sang in stories told and I know and they've told lots of people that back in Geneva, so it is something that Thank you, Chantelle for bringing us back to the music and the emotion of this ending of this wonderful conference. But just before I hand over to Barry, for the porter Porter Lackey, I just like to give other people a chance to say to have a few make a few last comments. I there are microphones, so which Yeah, I'd ask everyone to use because for those of us who are getting on [00:36:50] camera capture, and K Jones here, and I just wanted to Firstly, thank our many transgender and intersex people for visibility and for sharing this stories with us because of really appreciate that because so often the T is invisible. And so for our Pacifica people, I'd also like to share one little thing. As a bisexual woman, I was really looking forward to the presentation on the invisible be by the sisters from the Philippines. And unfortunately, that workshop disappeared. So the workshop on invisible bees became totally invisible. And so I'm just sitting here sort of saying, yes, we're here in the alphabet. And maybe next time, we could be there more on the program. [00:37:49] Just down immediately in front of the previous speaker. [00:38:02] They came right around [00:38:05] the event today. And discrimination in [00:38:09] in pressure is always been something that allows people often wonder what your comments should be about [00:38:17] how we can improve that. [00:38:21] She's it's a very pertinent question. And I think the thing about human rights is they don't just happen, they happen everywhere, or they don't, or they can be abused everywhere. And last year, the Human Rights Commission started started to do some work on internet human rights and responsibilities, that I'm told that the internet community doesn't like the addition of that word responsibilities. But nonetheless, and if you and and some of the our initial thinking around that is reflected in the 2010 human rights and users in 2010, the review of the comprehensive review of human rights that we published on International Human Rights Day, last year, and which is on our website. So the the chapter on freedom of expression and belief. And yes, Jake has some are in your pics, you've got the summary. But actually the issues are teased out and obviously in a lot more detail in the full chapter on the website. So there's some we're starting to do some thinking, we've started to engage with the internet community and with people, you know, who have an active interest in the issues and would very much like, you know, any comments and feedback and engagement on those issues. But it's certainly something that there needs to be a lot of community discussion about, because sometimes internet rights are presented as only in relation to freedom of expression. And the question is, you know, how do the protections that are also required? How do those How are they can they be reflected in the internet? [00:40:08] Thank you, Eileen, Brand New Zealand Council of trade unions, I'm with the art of work the quick and just bars, we were ahead of you, because I just want to lay out what we pay for the union members to put up their hands in this audience. So [00:40:24] so we are we are [00:40:26] we are really well, we are human rights, a union rights a queer rights. You know, we are proud and I often the union and we have loved being here. We've had a fabulous meeting this morning of our own. And we passed some resolutions about human rights in the Pacific and our absolute commitment. And we had taco colleague from Fiji, especially about the need to be very aware of the human rights abuses, including trade union EU abuses towards trade unionist, ha. And last or second. Lastly, we've got a leaflet. So I'm going to give these out to anybody who wants one about often crowd in the workplace. And the other thing that we need to do is about the Occupy principles, we pass to a solution to go to our own trade union organization, the council trade unions and New Zealand. But I think internationally to because though we think unions is trade union, we think of unions as human rights defenders, we know this work to do the Thank you. [00:41:42] I am looking over the side, but I'm not seeing many hands on that side. So [00:41:47] I'm Ruth bush. I'm with a group called lesbian elders village. I want to stress that there is no even analysis of the needs of older LGBT I, citizens of this country that the Yogyakarta Principles stand for equal access to housing, the best possible medical care. And yet all of the reports recently done on aging in New Zealand, have it omitted even any reference to the LGBT communities. And I would ask you Roz as a gray haired woman just like I am. And in fact, I'd ask every gray haired person in this room to stand up, where is it that there is where when will there be at least from the Human Rights Commission? If not, in fact, from our government, and a concern? We came out of the closet in the 70s 80s and 90s. And we don't expect to be driven back into that closet in her seven days. It's tough for aged dykes, gay men, bisexuals, transgendered intersex people to stand together Don't make us go back into the closet in our old days. [00:43:31] He I think that that's [00:43:34] powerful challenge and the response to it is probably absolutely the right point for me to hand back to Barry. [00:43:52] Thank you very much. And just to please accept it. [00:43:58] Now, your work. [00:44:05] I also just make to say before one of the things that I've had several comments and I'll pass it on individually, but the the power of having the internet in HR is here and I just want to acknowledge the tremendous work of the New Zealand commission and getting those people here it's been commented on his son has been to many of the other games and other get humanized the first time that seen people like that, so kick haha for that. Thank you very much.

This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors.