Ruth Busch and Jan Wilson (1)

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[00:00:00] This recording was made up a second the Asia Pacific Outgames human rights conference, held in Wellington, New Zealand in March 2011. [00:00:08] Well, I'm Jane. And we came to the conference as part of a group of women from the Lisbon elders village group in Auckland. And we came to run a workshop, which we did this morning, which was actually already been archived talking about some of those issues. So and also, what's the first chance I've had to come to a lesbian games even though I wasn't here for the guy? So yeah. So to be around other guy in this few people to enjoy the conference, and yeah. [00:00:44] What are the issues with aging, queer populations, [00:00:48] visibility, no services, lack of safety, shall I camp the ways [00:00:58] mainstreaming to the point to have utterly not acknowledging that lesbians, gays or anyone, LGBT, I could have anything outside of what your hetero normative population and needs would be, and impossibility of getting a double bed in a retirement. [00:01:20] For you and your lover to go they [00:01:22] are two things, I think it's hard enough for a six week couple to get a double beat but I made this year, it would be impossible for them [00:01:30] to keep running as a lesbian in a kind of lesbian positive way. Like, for many of us, we came out, you know, like, I came in about 1979, we fought all those battles, and intend to go back into the closet in my old age. I'm 67 years old. now know that those services exist. Now. One of the things we reported on was that the government has done many reports on the aging in this country, not one of them has made any reference to the LGBT communities. [00:02:07] This all sounds very scary. [00:02:09] It is very scary. I think it's very scary thought to, like a number of people in our group have had personal experiences of having a partner portion to having to go into an HQ facility and did not even at all being recognized as a significant person in their life when they'd lived together for years and love together. So attached a [00:02:32] birth family then gets to control like in one of the cases, the family was really homophobic she wasn't even contacted when her lover of many years died like immediate, you know, that day. Because right then they buried she was invited to the funeral either. And those are the stories that existed in our Taro in the 70s. You know, but this happens. This happens three or four years ago. So you know. So that's what I'm saying. We fought those battles as younger women, and we don't want to, it's so clear, we are going to get old, we need to have places that are of lesbian positive and safe. And one of the things we mentioned at our workshop is if you just a month ago were less. Juliette Lee and Lindsay Kerner were burnt out and magnify heads, and so on aging lesbians, isolated aging lesbians are really at risk, unless we have community and [00:03:41] to me, that's one of the things that really sticks out as the whole isolation thing and actually going back into the closet. In this day and age now, how do people cope with that? [00:03:55] Well, with great difficulty, [00:03:58] if you have to, if you're in the unfortunate position, we have to find yourself in an institution in an institution that will manage us. And one of our members of academic diversity at gerontology. And there's a survey that is given to everybody who's wanting to go into HQ, and they're absolutely no questions and this highly regarded to about 260 questions that ask about anything that would allow person to say that they have a same sex partner. [00:04:34] Nothing about sexual orientation, nothing about family of choice, nothing 260 questions internationally recognized instrument [00:04:44] that they have now much on the toast in the morning. [00:04:49] So why is that? Because I mean, [00:04:52] invincibility? [00:04:56] Well, I mean, someone was saying this morning, you know, the john Keith, we should be grateful to him, because he's not rolling back. What I see as discrimination that we sustain under the Labour government, and I'm going to talk tomorrow about how I think the civil unions act is totally discriminatory and a booby prize. And we wouldn't accept any other group being placed in the position that the LGBT community is placed in, in civil union cycle. I'm a Jewish lesbian. Imagine if we said, everyone in this country can get married, but Jews and Jews have to take civil unions. I would hope maybe I'm wrong. Yeah, I would hope that people would really be upset about that. So what allows us to be the only ones you know, Marilyn, we talked about separate, particularly, those of us who've come from the States know, you know, that we said that segregation was separate but equal, but when you looked at the reality, there is nothing equal about it. And there is nothing equal about civil unions in this country. As a matter of fact, my belief is the only reason they've given us any of this is almost like a neoconservative thing they want to, you know, instead of us looking to the state for a benefit, we have to look to our partners with belts and maintenance. Instead of looking to the state, we look to our partners to divide up property. Okay, you know, we look to our partners to pay child support. There's nothing wrong with that, but give us full equality don't give us you know, the parts that are the responsibility ports, don't give us any of the rights. You know, and I think that that's the premise. And I really, like I resent that the Human Rights Commission supported the civil unions act of all of the groups that should have stood for human rights for LGBT communities. It was the Human Rights Commission. And, you know, I look, I mean, the wonderful thing about gay men in 1986, prior to 1986, is there was a refusal to accept a differential in the age of consent. I said, No, we're not taking incrementalism. This is our right as human beings. And we should have learned something from that civil unions is a kind of incremental thing. And but guess what, nobody's gonna really look at it again. So and it made some sense when no other countries married, but we have the most perverse situation, which is people can marry in Canada now. And when they come home, they relationships are treated as civil union, so they get less, whereas I don't know if you realize but if you marry as a polygamous couple, in a country where polygamy is allowed, your polygamous marriage is recognized in New Zealand. But if you may, and Canada we're same sex marriages are legal, your same sex marriage is recognized as a civil union that is a marriage. So I mean, I'm not against I mean, just look at the disparity in men. And strangely enough, and I'm not saying they shouldn't be allowed to at all but transsexuals can marry in the sex of their nominated as long as they hold themselves as heterosexual couples, you know, and that's the grace of the Lord whole themselves have to be heterosexual couples, well, I was trying to sabotage that kind of bond. [00:08:38] So I guess some years to come when they will be either civil union or married gay and lesbian couples, aging age Kip, principles will need to address that issue. At some point doing [00:08:51] it already. It's not [00:08:54] just not addressing it. But as we confront ageism, as well as homophobia, because people don't want to acknowledge that anyone who's old might have any sort of sexual life, little own someone with a, with a same sex partner. So I think it's some, not only actually, someone said to me, after our presentation this morning, you know, one of the issues is that it costs more for them to make room big enough for a double bed. [00:09:25] So, you know, the Safe Harbor, she was of ages and [00:09:29] ages, in the LGBT community to that has to be confronted, I think, [00:09:36] I guess though, like with sexuality, it's not just about six. And for some people, it's, it's about their whole being so [00:09:45] yeah. But you know, like we were hearing from this woman who presented after us in Australia. And I would, I'm not quite sure how it's done there. But like 30, or 40%, of all Australia, nine, I think it's true here as well, or church based retired places. And so you're absolutely opting in to, like, I would rather know that they didn't pay those people that they actually gave to more secular based, more inclusive retirement places. It's like, if we had money, we would put this together we could, it's the lesbians or poor lesbians are invincible. Nobody wants to be old, you know, in even the gay or lesbian community, and [00:10:29] will actually and I apologize for cutting you off. Before we were about to talk about ageism, and lesbian and gay community. Tell me about that. [00:10:38] Well, I mean, youth culture, and you see it all the time. And and, you know, the lesbian community, just because of the kind of economics, the gender economics tends to earn less money, and especially many of us have children to, you know, that we, there's a kind of difference now, for many of us older lessons, we brought our children in to our community. And so there's all of that, I just think that it's here, I think there is a lot of ageism, and in our communities, a lot of I don't know, extolling at the young and beautiful. [00:11:18] So be brief part of the conversation after the workshop this morning, then, one of our group said, How many of you feel old, don't believe would label yourself as old and nobody wanted to say that they were all even though they might be in the 60s or even 70s? Nobody wanted to say that they were all death to video. And so yeah, I think it does exist the and I think when we've been at the Big Gay out and had a strong people have, who have come to talk and look at some of the stuff we're doing. And some of the planning, which is really based, if people look at forming a community, probably from the 40s and 50s onward, people just are afraid to look at that whole [00:12:10] time of their life. [00:12:11] But to give an example, like we put in this abstract at the conference, and they put us on a screen called other. So we said to them, bad enough to be invisible in the straight world, really, you know, when expects for your coming to LGBT human rights, that you might not be other immediately. And I pointed at I said, you know, it's not just drug and alcohol and HIV that are the big issues in in our communities. But so then we got the rearrange of will be well being too. So we feel, you know, but, but that's just an example like a student, you know, I mean, we're all good at age, it's not actually a others situation. It's like an every person could have age, right. But [00:13:07] if we're lucky, [00:13:08] and you see the government calls for the government reports, or call for people staying within the community, well, we want to stay within the community. And we think their analogies are really developed in Tara, this public kinda housing, there's Okay, we can't even give money to get a needs assessment together. Worse than that there are gay and lesbian gerontologist, and it just isn't the flavor of the month even for them to do this work. And so, or there's no money in it, you know, for [00:13:39] for that, that's a problem. [00:13:41] So who's preventing it from happening? [00:13:43] Well, I think I think this is a human rights issue, bingo card, two principles, make it really clear that affordable housing access to affordable housing for us and access to, you know, quality health care, these are big human rights. These are basic human rights principles. So So first and foremost, it's a government that could fund this or at least make a commitment to margin having a consultation with our communities. But no, they haven't done anything like that. So I think it, I mean, we could start on individual levels, but let's take it up to really a place where maybe this, they should be, you know, because we want affordable housing too. So not, you know, there were a lot of listening to won't have the money to buy, integrated in, right. And, and so it needs to be open to to all women with every class. [00:14:42] So on a positive note, the collective Tell me about that. [00:14:47] Well, we [00:14:49] we've been meeting for four or five years, we have plans, we have quite an active core group and more than 100 other people who are on this, we have a website, and Corporation and incorporation. And [00:15:06] so patrons, [00:15:08] so the reality in the possibility of the year, we really are a community who support one another, but we live scattered throughout orphaned and a few further north. And we are really actively trying to work towards having a sustainable community in which we can live. So having the bricks and mortar and the land as well. But really, we have a community which is trying to virtual community. [00:15:39] And the innovate is positive us bringing this to the conference. And beginning a conversation which must happen is a really positive steps of we're feeling really pleased that this is course, we had a lot of people at the workshop, and [00:15:52] they were people who were interested from other parts of the country who will stay in touch and some possible seeds of maybe giving some move towards the needs assessment. So yeah, I think just because the TED talk and beginning to [00:16:08] make the unspeakable speakable. [00:16:11] Yeah. And I think that's what we thought if, if that could happen, if we could even begin to, you know, we were talking about this, what is the function of the state, it's to enhance citizens dignity, we are the citizens just like the rest of them. And you know, that's the state should take steps to enhance our dignity. That's the whole human rights take on Law and the function in the state. So [00:16:42] and I think it's good. We didn't actually say this at the workshop. But it's good for us to know that as this community and collective of old lesbians. However, we wish but I'd like to describe us that way. We go on hikes, Google festival, the Tongariro Crossing, we do things together, that are not all old focus things in the traditional sense of the word. So we do things together, and we enjoy things together. And we live near. [00:17:14] Just one final question before the caucuses begin. If we skip forward 30 years, and somebody's listening back to this recording in 50 years time, what would you say to them? [00:17:25] I hope that in every sizable community in New Zealand, apart from us here, apart from anywhere else, there is a real village may be a mud brick a bricks and mortar, we're Ward, affordable, affordable, where lesbians can live together and support one another when they are old. [00:17:51] Be safe. And I'd like people 30 years from now to ask themselves. Once each to take make this happen. Did you envision that we could have this kind of reality, and what and what was done to make it happen? And if it never happened, you know, it was so sad to hear Maryland today say she hopes she that she is she hopes she live that long. where, you know, I intend to live that long. And I would like people to be accountable for what is the next step. I want to ask you 30 years from now, did you drag us back into the closet? Or did you revel in our old age? inherited teaching help us celebrate old age? Or did we go to we have to go hide? I don't know how I didn't work. You know, it was so bloody hard coming out in 1978. I don't tend to go hide anymore, you know, and we did all of that stuff. And I hope that people will still respect us and Nancy has just been to labels. Now I hope that those labels of lesbian and gay don't just evaporate away. You know, it's a postmodern world, but some of it you know, they have to honor those people who went before

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