Vee - Beyond Rainbows

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[00:00:00] This podcast is brought to you by pride nz.com and made possible through a generous grant from a retiree. [00:00:07] I am queer, Finn, fat, amazing person [00:00:13] who has a mental illness. Do you want to tell me a little bit more about what some of those identities mean? [00:00:22] So, for me [00:00:27] being Finn is about being able to be who I am, when I first sort of realized that I was really clear, I thought that that meant that I had to be super Butch and shave with my hair off. And I just had a lot of kind of, I had a really difficult time, and I moved to your day. And it was, it was amazing, it was also just horrible. And then I slowly kind of realize that actually, I can wear lipstick, and I can wear dresses. Also, if I don't want to, and I want to wear my plaid and my docs, it's also completely acceptable. And I think that was the biggest kind of moment for me was realizing that. That even though I liked, because at the time, I was identified as a lesbian, which I don't, anymore, but the biggest thing was realizing that I could be queer, and also fame. And that, even though [00:01:30] it sometimes knew that I was invisible, that was okay. [00:01:35] The biggest thing about being film is that I've discovered is that you go to the gay bar, and you're just seen as being a straight person who's there with a best friend, which is always really fun. It's not fun at all. [00:01:52] I've had people who I went to high school with who is openly queer, come up to me and be like, what are you doing here? And I'm like, well, this same thing, you are probably like [00:02:01] trying to [00:02:02] trying to make a vape. Like, no video? No, you don't. Okay. It's like, Well, actually, [00:02:10] I am a bit [00:02:14] in terms of being fat, it's also [00:02:18] been quite difficult, especially in terms of, I guess, like, gender identity kind of stuff, because I have days where I want to be really androgynous. And it took a long time for me to realize that you can be androgynous, without having to be super thin and wearing like, means clothes. And then now I'm just like, yeah, and the indigenous fame sometimes, which a lot of people don't really understand. And sometimes I don't understand that. I think that's the beauty of it. [00:02:53] How did you realize that it was okay, to be famous, and to be those things, [00:02:58] a lot of reading. I don't read books, I find it quite difficult to read books and to read like scholarly articles and things. So a lot of it was literally just probably Tumblr, to be honest, when I was really sick, and not going to university. Because I was super, mentally ill and crazy. I would just be online all the time on Tumblr, and Twitter and get linked to blog posts, and you see people discussing things. And that was really how I kind of went from being a tiny baby lesbian, who was a super white feminists to [00:03:39] an individual queer feminist. So it's taken a while and that I'm at a good space. I think right now. can be better though. I guess [00:03:54] when you were kind of growing up and just figuring out your six year living What did he feel like? They will miss it is all right here. Like I said that Quinn sleeping. He's been blessed to be, but tend to be Miss. [00:04:08] Yeah, yeah. So cuz I'm, I mean, I don't like admitting it, that I'm generally attracted to more masculine presenting people. And I was like, in order to be attracted to those people, I definitely have to present in a very thin way. And then I was like, No, I don't, I need to be really but and it was just you see on TV and in media, their presentations of like, the girl is always actually just, she's bisexual. But actually, she's not basic show. She's just, she's actually just straight. But she's like trying to impress men. Or the other side of it is the like shaved head really, but often, really Fett [00:04:50] likes Joan bush looking people. And so it's like one or the other is no kind of middle ground. So I think that definitely. [00:05:00] And I wanted to be saying, I didn't want to be invisible. I wanted people to know, I was queer, because I'd grown up in a sort of semi rural setting, and had just been teased for ages about being gay. And everyone kind of knew before I did. And so I was like, Well, now I'm in Wellington. I'm in this big city. And there are lots of queer people. And it's amazing and you can be yourself. So I'm going to make sure that everyone knows that I'm so Pacific. [00:05:30] How did you do that? [00:05:32] I did I do. I think I shaved off one side of my hair. I already had quite short hair, but I shaved off one side. And I started wearing Madden's because it was like everyone has to wear documents. [00:05:47] And I got some pledge. [00:05:51] And I sort of stopped wearing dresses and skirts, and generally kind of got a lot more like grungy. [00:06:00] Which was like it was a good aesthetic. Definitely. Not something that I think I truly kind of felt like I fit it in with or belonged with. [00:06:10] Yeah. And, and what was your journey from, from using the word lesbian to moving to queer feel. [00:06:21] I went from lesbian to bisexuals. When I first kind of came out, I was like, I'm bisexual. And it was really difficult. My mom, immediately when I came out as bisexual, she literally put me in the car and drove me to a psychiatrist. And we had a discussion. And my mom was really not okay with it. And she thought I was doing it to spite her. So I kind of just stay is bisexual because I kind of, that's what I thought it was. And then I was like, No, I'm actually a lesbian. And then I kind of realized that no, I was, I was interested in men. And then I kind of realized that there are other identities that fit outside of that. So I kind of toyed with the idea of 10 sexuality. and stuff to do with not being sort of model of sexual and things like that. But I realized that queer was a lot better because it fitted in with my sexuality, as well as my gender identity. And it also seems like a lot more of a political word. But at the time, I was very angry and political, [00:07:27] and feminist, and I thought that that was probably the right way to go about describing myself. [00:07:34] And it's reclaiming a word that people used to hurt people, like my parents are the age where that's an acceptable word to use to describe something that's not right. [00:07:47] I'm not right sometimes. So it fits quite well. [00:07:51] Yeah. And what about when you were first kind of realizing your sexuality was different to the norm? What was [00:07:58] that? Like? I remember embed this really vivid memory of being I must have been I was India nine, I think. So I must have been about 12 with maybe 13. And I remember talking to my friends about the idea of being biocurious. And they're all like, [00:08:13] Oh, that's, that's so gross. What do you made? And I was like, Well, no, you're not curious at all about what it's like to, like, kiss another go. And I actually got them all being like, [00:08:22] Oh, yeah, well, I guess I am. [00:08:26] So I think that was, I didn't really think much of it at the time. But looking back on it, there are definitely things that I'm like, oh, that probably was me kind of experimenting, and testing the waters and things like that. Um, and I know, my mom would watch Coronation Street, and there was a gay man on the show. And she was really, really sort of supportive of [00:08:53] him. And I think [00:08:55] I asked her once, what she would do if one of her kids was gay. And I think the sort of reaction was like, Oh, it's okay, if it's someone else's kid, but not mine. I don't think I could deal with that. And so it was something I didn't really kind of want to talk about for ages. And then I was really, really sick. And I decided that it was time to probably tell my mom because it had kind of been eating away at me. And so I told her, and that's when she kind of was not particularly impressed. And we literally never discussed it ever again, for a good couple of years until I got really mentally unwell again. And Hawaii, bringing it up, I was asking if I was depressed because of that thing we talked about a couple of years. So, I guess, for me, it's been like, there have been people that I'm really, really open about talking about gender and sexuality and stuff with and other people who I don't want to go anywhere near it with. I'm still not completely out. And it's still like a journey, that I know that someone who really helped me was and I don't think he necessarily I don't think he realizes what he did. But he was, he did theater with me. And he was quite a few years older than me, he was so gay. And he was so out. And he was just amazing, and the kindest dude ever. And I, as I starting to sort of realize my sexuality and stuff, I would text him about what it was like for him coming out. And we would discuss that like, late at night, like 12 at night when Ron was asleep, and it was all very secret. And I was kind of just sort of, yeah, it was over a secret for a very long time. Yeah. [00:10:50] And I came to Wellington look at. [00:10:57] And so has your experience of men illness has been intersected with you. Queer identity, [00:11:03] I think. I mean, a lot of a lot, a lot, a lot. Probably almost all I think statistically, I'm not sure if the statistics, but I mean, queer people have really, really high rates of mental illness. So 100%, I fully believe that probably part of it has to do with that, especially in terms of the reaction of people around me when I came out and not wanting to come out and things like that. My psychiatrist didn't help when she The first question she asked me it was, do I have dreams about girls and boys? And I had to answer that in front of my mom, which at 15 was like, I felt completely inappropriate. Um, so I've kind of it's definitely I think, impacted on that. But I think there are a lot of reasons why I have mental illness and various different mental illnesses. And I think part of it is genetics, part of it is being fat, had a lot of problems with that growing up. So always been fat. I was born fat, and I've stayed for. But it's, I've definitely found it sometimes I've really, really bad social anxiety. And it makes it difficult going to event sometimes I find that it's really hard to go to inclusive events because they don't really exist. And then sometimes the anxiety or being unwell and not being able to sort of get out of the house to actually go to them. And I found that a lot of the queer people I've met who I've wanted to stay friends with, I haven't been able to purely because I haven't been able to sort of leave the house sometimes to be able to maintain a friendship with them. So it's definitely kind of impacted a lot of places in my life that I think especially the queer part of my life as well. [00:12:59] Has there been times so you've been able to kind of find that, I guess, like community in real life? Or is that something that's important to you? Has that mean? That maybe the internet is like a place where you find a little bit kind of community? [00:13:16] Yeah, especially when I was sick, the internet was 100%. The only place that I would I had a community. Now that I'm reasonably well, I feel like I have that offline. But definitely, things like Tumblr and Twitter. Blogs were really important to me, maintaining a community and it wasn't, it wasn't just queer people, though a lot of them were queer. It was amazing feminists people. And I learned a lot about fat politics as well. And just kind of realizing that my body was okay being fat. And that, as someone who doesn't really feel Sis, but different LA, looks, Sis, it's been kind of good to realize that actually, I can be who I want to be. But also, I don't have [00:14:11] to look that way. [00:14:12] If that makes sense. Um, which has been, that was the most I think, important part, in a lot of ways was the internet. [00:14:21] Internet. Such a great adventure. [00:14:28] Yeah, I felt like I have a community not so much anymore. Now that I've got sort of a full time job. But I'm definitely I've made a lot of friends. Especially in the States, I have a best friend in Melbourne now. We met in real life for the first time after meeting online about three years ago. And I saw her over Christmas is amazing, beautiful, queer feminist. And it's just it's kind of, it's amazing to think that you can have these friendships that start out mine and then actually become real life friendships, queer people as well. It's really great. [00:15:07] Is it hard? and [00:15:09] not having those parts of your identity? Agreed? [00:15:15] Yeah, I think I was thinking about this earlier. And I think I'm, I don't mind it so much. I don't mind if I am cold. By I guess, like my best name because at work, that's something that has to happen. So I'm okay with that. At the moment, and I feel like it's okay at the moment being rid of sis by majority of people like at work and things. For instance, I think the hardest part is when people who you've already talked to her you've already said please don't call me this. You know, they continue to do that. And part of it is forgetting and part of it. I think it's just them being lazy. I don't know. Um, it's quite difficult sometimes. I think I don't identify as trends because I feel like I don't [00:16:09] I'm not trends enough, if that makes sense. But I don't I don't feel like I'm [00:16:17] so not feeling trends enough is a bit of a hard thing to deal with. Don't feel like I can partake in like trends, only events. Sometimes I feel like I read an article once and it was sort of said that it was a really bad adequate like a, I don't agree with it, but it's kind of stuck with me and that a lot of people these days don't feel comfortable being woman because they're such minorities and you know, so oppressed, that they decide that they want to be sort of even more oppressed. So they say they're not women, just so that they don't have to like deal with that. And I sort of feel like maybe that's how people read me sometimes as as just not wanting to say that I'm a woman because of all the baggage that comes with that. So [00:17:03] yeah, I try really hard not to let that get to me. That was a very bad article. So stick with me for the rest of my life. [00:17:11] Yeah. And how would you explain it to typical? [00:17:18] How would I don't know, because I can't even explain it to myself sometimes. [00:17:24] I don't know. It's just some days, I wake up, and I'm like, I definitely want to wear a dress today. But I wish that I didn't have boobs and that I had no hair today. But I mean, we can be completely inappropriate for me, and my job to shave all my gear off right now. And some days, I wake up, and I want the same thing. But I want to make sure that I'm wearing like, a pen search or something, I don't own a pencil that gosh, that would be so good. So it's it's kind of just I don't feel right sometimes in my body. I've had partners in the past who haven't really respected that. And it's been really shitty that someone who you think, because they're queer, and they're more likely to know these sorts of things. And they don't sort of respect that. And they just sort of read us this no matter how many times you say. And so I think that's the worst part is when it's its partners and people you're intimately involved with and things like that. [00:18:29] Would you like to talk about makeup, and definitely I want to talk about makeup. [00:18:34] I have also been thinking a lot about makeup for fame people because I know some trends due to a super feminine wear makeup, and like nail polish and things. And I've been thinking a lot about that. Because I guess as someone who I mean, I'm not a trans guy that I'm like gender non conforming, even though it looks like it conform to agenda and how wearing my cat like I can be the most famous Little Prince if, like I didn't have a full face of makeup. And I really liked the idea of [00:19:10] like film guys being able to wear makeup as well. [00:19:14] And having amazing red lipstick. And I have a friend and he was the best red lipstick ever. But I think that he is often Redis being sis assist, like woman will go like it. And I just like that must be really hard for him. And I guess I have [00:19:37] a lot of thoughts about that. But I guess [00:19:41] maybe I don't want to talk about that. Maybe that's something I need to think more about [00:19:48] how our clothes and makeup and put it to you and the way you express yourself in your [00:19:54] clothes used to be really, really important to me and makeup. I was looking at pictures of me from two years ago. And I would we like adult color afraid day and just like ridiculously crazy outfits. And especially when I was going to Union things, I could wear a lot more kind of ridiculous outfits. And I think a lot of it was that I wanted people to notice me still, but I also didn't want people to notice me. [00:20:23] And [00:20:25] clothes. Yeah, I've gotten a lot better over the past couple of months, and I no longer fit a lot of my clothes. And I'm finding it really difficult to have clothes that fit me in to be able to buy clothes, and so close to become a really important part of my life right now just because I'm constantly thinking about them, and wondering where I'm going to buy them from. And if I'm just going to continue to get fatter, that they're super important and makeup, as a trained makeup artist. Makeup is super important to me as well. I wish that I was able to wear makeup every day. But I don't have the time to do that. But sometimes my favorite thing to do when I'm feeling super duty is to just put on a full face of makeup. And it's almost like a game. And I've just become this other person. And it's great. And I like being able to change my clothes to show different parts of Helen different ways that I'm feeling different gender identities, all that kind of stuff. [00:21:28] is very important to me. How [00:21:31] do you feel with this? Well, there's different identities that talked about. [00:21:37] Obviously, um, I guess lots of them are kind of about being a minority within the biggest rainbow community. What are some ways that you can say you feel are experienced? [00:21:49] I think because of the people I surround myself with, surround myself with. Yes. I'm at the moment, I'm really into if someone doesn't speak to me, or speak my politics, or has just awful opinions, I'm really into removing them from my life because I don't have time for that shit anymore. And so I feel at the moment the people I surround myself with, I actually feel really comfortable with how I look and how I present being fit. And it's things like online dating and things like that. I've just had horrible experiences with online dating. And just yeah, I think I think my online profile possibly makes it seem like I'm maybe like a lot more Butch or something than I am and probably skinnier, cuz I've gotten a lot better, but just people seem to meet up in real life. And it's just, it's, it's not what they expect, I don't think. And so I think that's the hardest part is like people who I don't know what people who I sort of had online relationships with the name we've made up in real life. And it's kind of like, oh, that person doesn't really look like how I thought they would. But my people who I surround myself with and the rainbow community, at the moment, generally really good. They're obviously people who are not so great. I went to Big Gay out last year. I recall having a few words spoken to me, I find this game in particularly [00:23:28] particularly wonderful at being able, their vocabulary is very colorful, some of the things that they say. [00:23:37] Yeah, I think a lot of that, though, is that they have a lot of issues that they have to deal with to conform, and a lot of eating disorders in that in the community. And so they just project that onto other people, which is a bit crap. But in general, I actually feel a lot feel quite Okay, look where I am. [00:24:00] What advice would you give to, again, get you some experience, [00:24:04] I Nev, [00:24:12] or another person kind of experiencing some of the things [00:24:17] I think the main thing that I wish that I had kind of realized or know was that you need to just get rid of the people in your life. And maybe you can go back to them when they read a few books. So I learned a few things, but you don't want people in your life who are telling you that you're not worth it. Because no matter what it's about, whether it's to do with being queer, or whether it's to do with your being fat or whatever, like, it's just, it's not okay, I would that's my biggest kind of regret is just remaining friends for so long with people who constantly put me down. But I like to think that now I'm much better. And then definitely 100% a babe. And the ugly personalities make them an ugly person. These are my opinions. [00:25:14] What are some of the biggest challenges that you experience? Think part of this community or, or maybe issues that you see facing the wider community. [00:25:29] I feel like I don't have that many issues at the moment. I think transitions are really, really important. And also youth issues. But I think people people sort of see the rainbow community is being sis white people. And it's not, it's just so not, we need to care more about trans women, especially trans women of color, especially, like the things that happened at pride recently. [00:26:00] With me and the other people involved. [00:26:05] And I'm friends with trans women who have no money because they can't get jobs and all sorts of shit that happens to them. That doesn't happen to this woman. And you know, I know identify like as brown trans people and you know, the homeless and stuff like that, and it's awful. We need to absolutely care more about that. It's not just sis white people. [00:26:36] Can you tell me a little bit [00:26:37] more about what happened before your feelings of Atlanta. And so at price there were three people who decided that they wanted to protest a peaceful protest was my understanding and the inclusion of police officers and creation stuff being involved in the Pride Parade. Traditionally, pride parades have been protests that pride is slowly become more sort of cooperation, people giving money which I guess like I understand that I mean, pink rushing to get money from corporations but also just have a lot of feelings about that. Anyway, so they protested and they went over the barrier and and there were two white presenting people and then there was me who was a multi trans woman and the security guards went for her and not for the other white people and in the process broke and there's just been a literal shit storm of things that people have said and done and not done. And my understanding is that the leader of Gabba or someone really high up in Gabba, which is the gay business do you know what it stands for? Gay open. Hey, welcome Business Association grab someone's phone who was recording their wrist because he was arrested and filled it accidentally obviously in court my cuz I've seen the footage knows those about Zito and broke the phone. So there are people in high places who just don't give a shit. And it's disgusting. And I'm super appalled. And the fact that people were saying that you need to not protest you need to actually be involved in the parade. And then I had other friends who were involved in the parade and doing a silent protest in the parade walking through it. And people will hurling abuse at them for not being cherry and glittery. And you know, completely colorful. So, my feeling so that prize that ship [00:28:56] to be Yeah. [00:29:03] What's your favorite thing about thing again? Quite a few. [00:29:08] Um [00:29:11] I think my favorite thing is probably [00:29:13] the people I've met [00:29:16] the journey I've been through which has been awful it's been just I mean it's a wonder I'm still alive to be honest. [00:29:25] But [00:29:26] I don't know if it's necessarily like I've was all for the you know, for the great cause and now I'm it's amazing person I don't know like whether my life will still be great and another few years time who knows but [00:29:39] right now I think just the people I've kind of met through all of the things and [00:29:46] little quick family [00:29:49] that we all belong in the little community [00:29:52] is all very cute. And [00:29:55] basically, the people who I have in my in my life right now amazing. And I think most definitely the best part about it is having people that I can talk to if I need to people who feel like they can talk to me. We can all just cuddle together eating chips, [00:30:11] talking about babes. [00:30:15] The others definitely yeah

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.