Max Tweedie - Director of Auckland Pride

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride [00:00:05] My name is Mike sweetie and I have just been appointed the new director of prize for the open pride festival Incorporated. And I've grown from Wellington and moved to Oakland about a year and a half ago, have been highly involved in kind of community work and rainbow communities. And so really excited to take this role on [00:00:24] what does the role involve. [00:00:25] So the role is essentially, that takes all of the responsibility of the operational aspects of the open pride festival from the board, and kind of puts it all into one roll. So that's, you know, around funding around media around planning the festival, and stakeholders and sponsorships and all of the kind of all of that stuff that makes that festival so good. What comes into my role so it's all the operational aspects. So what drew you to this role I loved they are comprised Festival this year 2019 pride festival I the the more kind of grassroots nature that it took, the form that that took really resonated with me and my, the way that I see pride. And so to me, it was a fantastic opportunity to be able to kind of continue to support will comprise and the and the amazing work that they do, and kind of bring my own skills and values and and why that I see pride to ensure that we create an amazing local pride festival in 2020. And beyond that really recognizes and reflects the diversity of our communities and it looks to kind of empower them. And, and also and celebrate where we come from and showcase and artists and all that sort of stuff. So [00:01:47] yeah. So then [00:01:48] what does pride mean to you? I mean, I guess pride for me, has its fundamental roots, going all the way back to Stonewall. You know, in 1969, and, and looking at the kind of the queer liberation movement and the kind of the fight that it was against the status quo. pride to me as political. Its kind of represents and challenges that hatred normative sis normative status quo that has structurally disadvantaged us throughout history. So pride is about celebrating our community. It's about celebrating our uniqueness of what makes us queer, and why that's so important. And actually what we have to offer to, to the world to society and our different perspectives. So for me, pride is a celebration of who we are. Now, it's also a celebration of how far we've come. But I believe it should also be a platform of where we get to go and I think that's still especially relevant. And Altidore. [00:02:51] So 2019, the Oakland communities seem to have fractured around the kind of pride festival and pride parade, particularly, how are you going to bring those communities back together? [00:03:05] Yeah, and it's a it's a difficult one and a question that I think not only myself, but the pride board and our kind of community as a whole have has kind of returning with at the moment. But for me, I think we have to return to our really core values and our shared experiences of what it is to be queer and understanding it really going back to those fundamental roots of why is why what makes us queer. Why is that so important? And what are those values of what we all believe pride should be actually look like, and kind of have those discussions from a value space perspective, I think we got caught up. And a lot of the details, were potentially people needed to take a step back and look at it and look at it actually a bigger picture on both sides of the argument. So I'm really looking forward to having some really, really in depth discussions with the community and hearing their ideas about what that you know what that festival looks like, from that values, perspectives. So this is more than the pride itself as [00:04:10] the festival behind you. [00:04:12] Yeah, absolutely. Um, the, I mean, the Oakland pride festival has always been more than just the pride. The pride has been a fantastic showcase, historically. But also, we've had some amazing queer artists, activists, all sorts of people who have been able to put events on I'm during the festival and kind of share the the wonderfulness of the equator. So certainly the discussions about about the essence of what it is to be queer and the community and and what does the pride festival represents that I think takes place across the whole festival, and not just the not just the parade. [00:04:48] So what are your initial thoughts in terms of bringing communities back together or building those bridges again? [00:04:55] Yeah, I think it's the community hallways that have been heads. Well, you know, the pride would have already started having those conversations. Again, the board held a couple of Hawaii's earlier in the year to go, what does that actually 2020 look like? So I think it's, I think it's very easy for those discussions to be held online and not such a healthy and constructive way. So I'm really interested in and bringing people together and spaces and having a well facilitated area where we can really flesh these ideas out and and understand from that values perspective, what does pride mean to people? And therefore, what does that actually look like? So [00:05:33] I think it's about [00:05:34] I think it's about conversations. I think it's about looking at it from a values based perspective, and making sure that everyone feels heard and values in that discussion. [00:05:44] Do you think the Oakland pride board should have done anything differently this year, from how they how they [00:05:50] acted reacted? I think looking back on it as not essentially helpful, and I don't think, like What's done is done and what we have to do as we we have to ensure that the festival represents our community. And I would I would say that it did this year. And I'm definitely looking forward to delivering one that does it this year. [00:06:12] So what do you think the biggest challenges for the 2020 festival? [00:06:16] I think, I think we've probably touched on them already, I think the the challenges about that, as a more full community by him getting that back. That's a challenge. And I think also, obviously, with the setup of a of an organization that says that they're going to deliver a pride parade as well. Remember, pride, Oakland, that, you know, ensuring that working with them and the relationship with them, that's constructive and serves actually in the best interest of our community. So I think those are the kind of two key challenges that certainly look for, and that spreads that goes, you know, that's a role so for not just [00:06:50] for myself as director, but also for [00:06:54] that elected, you know, board that sets above me, as well as a mixed government governance and operational type to deal but we certainly work together to ensure the breast cancer community. [00:07:04] So some of the issues that cropped up this year were things like, corporate sponsorship, corporate participation, and also things like police and corrections, wearing uniforms. Do you have any thoughts on that? [00:07:16] I think, Avi, I think there's a role for corporations. Because they, you know, and I, but I think there's a, it doesn't need to play out the way that necessarily we've seen it play out. I really like the examples of organizations such as spark really backing outlined. And obviously saying a synergy in the work and, you know, outline, being able to you know, spot providing outline with a whole bunch of resources and actually really supporting them in the work they do. And, you know, with with ice be the way that they want to run by youth and in a behind rainbow youth on a whole bunch of their activities, that to me as a much better synergy for corporates to [00:07:53] actually invest in our community. [00:07:57] So I guess that that would be where my thinking I would I would kind of hope for a more meaningful engagement from from businesses in that space. But I mean, you know, in on the on the police coming into this, that's no secret. I've been a I was a supporter of the Board's decision to to ask police to just March and T shirts. [00:08:22] But you know, that conversation [00:08:23] going forward as one that we're having going to have constructively with the New Zealand police. And ultimately, it's a decision for the pride board about their involvement going forward. [00:08:33] In this year, so the kind of Auckland parade as we kind of knew what over the previous years didn't happen, but a march did happen and you marched on it, how was that? [00:08:44] It was fantastic. I loved it, it was it felt really seem to them community. It felt centered and light and more of those queer words that I was talking about, you know, they were there were people that were celebrating half hour come there were people especially from our trans non binary and six communities that were looking at how far we get to go and using this march through Watkins busiest straight as a platform to be able to show people that we have work to do and that to me, as you know, quite cool to what writers they were roughly I think the summit was three and a half thousand people. And they did that match from from Albert Park to miles Park. And and the feeling the vibe was was it was so it was so beautifully queer. It was so full of pride and celebration and happiness. And it was it was truly fantastic. Certainly a different feeling. It's a different feeling. I'm not saying that, you know, like in a pride parade, you know, I was in the Oakland pride, pride of being the Wellington one and also over in Sydney at Mardi Gras. And being in the parade. The feelings are all different. And the vibes are different. But I certainly love the community, grassroots queer feeling of the March. So and I think a lot of the community. [00:09:59] So looking forward to the pride festival in 2020, What will a successful festival look like? What for you? [00:10:06] successful festival for me, I don't want to kind [00:10:08] of quantify it at the moment. Obviously, I'm not in the row yet. So I haven't looked at how you know, like actually those numbers in terms of maybe fiscal registrations or audience numbers. But what I am keen on as delivering a festival that celebrates how far we've come and celebrates those pioneers that have brought us so we we've come that showcases the diversity and the brilliance of our communities, and whatever form that takes art, performance, drag, all those sorts of things. I'm from a really community speak perspective and empowering those that maybe haven't been able to participate in the festival before to be able to do that. But also provide a platform where we're able to look at and kind of fight for the rights that we're still yet to gain. You know, and these things are as simple as bending conversion therapy or, you know, the birthday difficult legislation so that trans people can self identify or protections for intersex people Human Rights Act like there's a brief there's so many areas in which we've got work to do. And and so I think that that pride is a fantastic platform for us to look at where we have to go. And I certainly am keen to ensure that that is a platform that we empower those people within the communities [00:11:24] that may have felt about shut out of pride before [00:11:26] to have their voices heard.

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.