Evin Wood

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[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. [00:00:09] I'm Evan Boyd. And I've come to the conference [00:00:11] this time because I live in a small town of Blaine and in the northern part of the South Island, and I worked with UN Human Rights, and I still work with young people coming out in association with a woman at family planning and a woman in public health and a police person. And so we have a little queer group over there, and it's a passion of mine. [00:00:40] What are the main things that you get out of conferences like this? I felt [00:00:45] very emotional was morning and I felt for war. And Linda also felt a little emotional, [00:00:50] because it is so empowering. [00:00:52] Coming from a small town where [00:00:57] I don't get together with other gay family very, and it's we're such a lovely, wonderfully diverse and supportive family [00:01:07] with a specific moments this morning that that you felt stronger than others. [00:01:14] Kevin Hague said he, he felt very strongly and followed Marion Waring's progress over the years. And when I saw her name on the list, I thought I have to come because she's been a hero of mine. One of the quotes I often make that Maryland is quoted as saying when she was 25. And in Parliament, she said, she was asked how it felt getting older. And she said, wonderful. The older I am, the more eccentric I can be. So I've tried to live up to that as I get older to. [00:01:44] It sounds to me like it's been a huge day for you [00:01:48] is it has been, it's been very stimulating and [00:01:52] empowering. I just feel like going back and [00:01:57] forth, but to but over the years, I've known that that doesn't get anywhere really. You have to take one little step at a time. And sometimes you have to take a step backwards occasionally. [00:02:08] Is this because the place where you're where you're living as a homophobe, because I [00:02:15] know I've seemed to have been quite accepted. I'm openly out without having to wave a flag all the time. But there are things that come up here that irritate me too. And I take a stand on political issues, not just on homophobic, homesick homophobic ones as well. [00:02:34] Do you have examples of what's come up? [00:02:37] In one discussion group was it? We would we were talking about the current events, and one of the people said and talking about the previous Labour government and saying, you know, far too liberal social editors, including, you know, same sex marriages and so forth, and I got to talk to him what I thought about that, too. So, yeah. [00:02:57] And how did that go down? He? Yeah. So in Berlin them. Do you think gay and lesbian people are tolerated or accepted? [00:03:11] It very much depends really. I came out when I was teaching at school. And in associated with my coming out, I put down to that my back fell apart. So that was my major medical misadventure, midlife crisis, and so forth. And I had caused to wear overalls at school because I couldn't wear a belt or trousers. [00:03:31] And I just had to wear pink ones. [00:03:34] And many of the parents accepted that very well. Others chose not to talk about it and try to ignore it perhaps. [00:03:42] And, [00:03:44] and, and I alternated those pink ones with no one's on the off of weeks. So it's tolerated, perhaps so long as you're not scaring the horses. Yeah. But the last day of my school teaching, I was just given one class, more young class to look after, just to keep me off the playground properly. And I told them that they didn't, they wanted to know what I'm going to do when I retired. And so I said I was going to be a pirate. And so I asked them as maybe seven year olds to help me know what I had to do as being a pirate. So we all did things around being a pirate all that day. And it's a time when the the film of Peter Pan had just come out. And I had, if I was like Captain Hook, I had to use lose a hand and lose an eye. And so we went through that day. And then we had a final assembly. And I got up in my pirate outfit and spoke at the assembly and said how much I enjoyed my teaching there. But I've learned something from my class that day that I thought I was going to be a part in my future retirement. But I've decided it's better to be who I am. I think seeing a lot of people from diverse cultures around the Pacific, it's just so empowering, really. And I've just, there's a lot of guy was working in Asia and China and the different pressures that are on Chinese mean, who happened to [00:05:16] identify as guy really much [00:05:19] more difficult than ours because of the expectation to get married. And it's just so lovely that they were able to come and spoken to someone from Hong Kong. And also, I have friends over in Marlborough, who are working with the IRC scheme from Vanuatu. And there was a Vanuatu man here too. So it's lovely to talk with him about how the culture is accepted and fanatic. [00:05:42] So that cultural diversity is what appealed to me to come to been any surprises. [00:05:49] A couple of emissions on the program list of Chris Carter and Georgina by or I've been disappointed that Georgina hasn't been here because I work with her when I was working with HIV. She's such a charismatic person. [00:06:04] One of the things I find amazing about this conference is thinking that 25 years ago, we were just embarking on will reform. Well, law reform, it just happened. And now 25 years later, we've got 300 people as diverse as you can get. [00:06:19] Well, I came out just before law reform was passed through Parliament and I just friend while it was just so amazing at that time, and, and I got to know a lot of people active within the Wellington community. And just downstairs, I was speaking to a young police person, one of the diversity police person and and we have one and Alberto who's out as a lesbian within the police force. And that's just such a huge change. [00:06:44] In previous decades, I've ordered the places. [00:06:48] Yeah, because it was just too scary being a being a gay man and a school and I felt a lot of pressure within the teaching, because I was teaching young children and came out I was doing that and felt the pressure of the Peter Ellis affair. And am I hoping something might be discussed about there and supporting him and trying to get his conviction and all that whatever you do with convictions like that. But the opportunity hasn't come up for me to arrange that as yet. But I certainly felt that pressure and it caused me to retire when I was 50. from school teaching, [00:07:24] which I say it was a good career move really because it [00:07:27] opened up the doors. [00:07:30] And so living in Berlin and which was quite a small population. Is isolation, a big issue for you. [00:07:38] When I first came out, I listened to ABC totally religiously every Saturday morning. And I found that was very strengthening and empowering because I didn't know any other game and I first came out when I went to a men's gathering around the Foxton era area. And it was the first time at my age of 14 that I MIT, an out gay man, and, and the man who helped me through that weekend was a Quaker, and first time I'd met someone who was out as a Quaker and out as a gay man. And so I went back to Melbourne, I thought, there must be Quakers here. They must be gay men here. And I found the Quakers. [00:08:21] And what about now? How do you feel living and blame them now? [00:08:25] I have friends and family and Lynam. So I live the mainly sometimes I wonder why it's the climate that keeps me there. And it's very accessible being Central. And usually you can get to Wellington relatively easily. And, and there are other family around to most of them stick together and, you know, just blend in with the community really. But I'd like to stand up and wave the flag or corrections occasionally. Yeah, I do both. [00:08:57] So with this conference, one of the things that you really want take away from us [00:09:03] to be re empowered to go back and do more work and the mob recommend you with the support that I have. And maybe think of Peter Ellis before we go and see if there's something that we can do and acknowledge the United Nations paper that we've been asked to look at and indoors to I think that would be important, but it's strengthening my own [00:09:26] energies, I guess. [00:09:29] This is the thing I had 30 years and if somebody's listening to this tape in 30 years time, what do you think you would want to say to them? [00:09:39] I think it's important to acknowledge who you are. [00:09:42] Despite everything really you just acknowledge who you are.

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