Jan and Ruth profile

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride nz.com. [00:00:06] Okay, I'm because this is about aging, I guess that's where I decided to start 68 on be 69 in June, and I'm a Keeley of many, many generations, but a party have Kiwi. And my other roots go back to Yorkshire in Scotland. But no, but for over 100 years, and times for 200 years, my family have been here in New Zealand. And that's a whole other issue about how comfortable I feel about being a colonial Paki in them in a country that doesn't belong. But I am of the generation I guess of women, we're, when I started out from school, when I finished in the for having started with 120 equally boys and girls as a school, we finished up with 20 and 18 of those were boys. And so a place where women were not expected to stay. And I went to university, which was also relatively unusual, though my mother had also done there and became a teacher that's evolved over the years into my being a counselor. And now at 68. I'm still working in that area training new counselors, I've spent most of my life in hit sexual relationships. In my long lasting marriage ended in 2000. And I had known throughout all that time that I couldn't create a forum in love with men or women, but I hadn't actually had any same sex relationship, any relationship with a woman, when my marriage ended in 2000, I had kind of made the decision that if I ever did get into another relationship, and that was my late 50s. And I guess that's part of the aging thing, I wasn't really expecting that that would happen, then it would probably be with a woman. And two or three years later, I mean, Ruth, and that [00:02:29] we've been together now for 10 years this weekend. And so that's been quite [00:02:37] dramatic and wonderful, a lovely part of my grown older psyche said, When I think about growing older, I've got three lovely kids, I've got grandkids, I've had a lovely, a very happy childhood. And I've had a very fulfilling sort of working career. But for me, personally, because I moved into the lesbian world and open and part of the way I got into a relationship was Ruth, and have in the last three years got a job, that's probably the ideal job in my life has made growing older, also far more exciting and quite different for me. So that changes my whole feeling about growing older, there's a whole newness here for newness. So I guess, if over to you. [00:03:36] Well, so [00:03:39] I'm 69 now just turned 69 in February, and I still think of 70 years old. So I'm going to have to psychologically bring myself into some kind of, I don't know, cheerio day, Jane. [00:04:01] I'm, I'm sort of semi retired. [00:04:05] And in that year, I just wasn't [00:04:10] an end, I was too much of a grasshopper, you know, in my whole life, I didn't save enough money for the word friends. And so I think for me, as opposed to Jay and I probably would like to start but I just can't because I've got a million things, I've wanted to still do lots of trips. And I don't know, it was a big lots fit, certainly too big trip, so receives and that I'd like to do and just you know, we have a lifestyle that involves going to the theater going to the opera, and we say but I needed a certain amount of cash in my life. And so yes, I'm still in that I think that's coming to an end, I'll do it this year. Because it's a family thing has happened to me, like I don't like to be in charge. And the more I don't like to lead the charge anymore. One point I was more than happy to do that and kind of pull back. Man, I think it's part of my aging about five years ago. So I had a temporary a Tia, they call it a stroke, kind of minor stroke. And I think it really eroded some of my confidence. I used to travel overseas all the time, and by myself, and I thought Oh, geez, what would happen if I get stuck in LA airport, unable to speak? You know, like, be terrible. So I think ever since then I've, I've been creating new boundaries for myself in terms of like, not traveling very much. I know, I mean, overseas by myself and things like that, which that was a part of my life. So I'm just changing. So I think more than Jay and I probably feel older, you know, like I'm aging but but I had, like I ruptured my Achilles tendon trying to get fit this year, and I had to have an operation. And that really to you know, like I did couldn't use crutches. I don't have the upper body strength. And so it all worked out. But it's it's, I'm much more aware of aging, you know, and then my body is kind of parts are falling off, as I watch it either, like, so, yeah, I'm just not as, but I think I still have a lot of enthusiasm and go getter nurse. So probably compared to other people. I do more. Randy. [00:06:47] Were you on Jan in terms of kind of coming up later in life? No, [00:06:52] I will be here. But I [00:06:55] I came out in my I came out twice. I can when I was I didn't come out. Then I had an affair with a young woman when I was 16 at university. But the penalties were so high. I was at university on a scholarship. We saw people kicked out of school no lyst their scholarships taken away. And so you know, I went looking for other lesbians at 16. But of course, all of my stereotypes about whether lesbian was all I could see at the most and Greenwich Village where you know, mustachioed diesel dykes, you know, with the tattoos. I didn't know who to look for. And I had no kind of concept and I just thought my family would murder me. So I, I went back into the closet for another 17 years. And during that time, I married and had three children. And, and then came out again, after my younger son, Jeremy was about three or four. And so I came out in the in Vancouver in 1978. And which was, you know, a time of tremendous optimism and coming out, everybody I knew was coming out. And we were all part of the women's movement, the feminist movement, and it was just a very idealistic time. And to tell you how idealistic it was, all we ever talked about in my home were lesbian, lesbian, lesbian, gay men said one time my mother came back from Florida to Vancouver. And she as Jeremy was about four than what he wanted to be when you grow up, and he said he wanted to be a lesbian unary was just everything that was being said, People like lesbians were, you know, it was just like, new world, you know, what the top two insane the paradise cnet's it was a very idealistic time for me and and I and, you know, I went through kind of serially monogamous Leah, as several relationships until I finally found about a decade ago, Jan. And so here we are. [00:09:26] Just looking at your kind of earlier relationships. And I'm just wondering, can you describe for me what it was like, knowing that you could have a relationship with a man or woman, but not having one with a woman? what that was like, how did that affect you? [00:09:43] I was curious, I was a very loyal, monogamous person. So once I was in a relationship, I stayed in that relationship, and I didn't have a face with anybody else. I've hit. I know this sounds sort of cliche, but it's actually true. They've been these been people in my life since I was very small, like my first babysitter. Now, neither. Back in the 40s was my buddy Scott, who is known this bill who wrote plays for New Zealand radio, and I've got her book now. And she was a very, a bit like Bruce, he describes the people who, when it's for those, like civil suits, and the system, the late 40s, and she hadn't, she had a very male voice and way of being. And she had a woman friend who used to come over and stay with it from time to time. And I've, I never put language to it. But I've talked to my parents, since dealing with a pig with these people doesn't seem like a big deal, you know, but she babysat for us. And she was part of our life. And likewise, that was two women who just up the hill from us at work, close friends, my mother's together for even, they never claimed to be lesbians, perfect, really, CBS nothing. So there was that kind of acceptance. And then I had friends throughout the cliched, but who I had failed to we're both day at this been. So sometimes I looked at some of the woman and thought [00:11:27] if I wasn't involved with I could really enjoy being in a relationship with you. [00:11:37] So how does it feel I sometimes in return that, that for me, my kids were really important. And I was in a relationship that at least for the first, my lengthy relationship, for the first few years was, okay, well, good things about the friendship and the relationship, the sexual part of the relationship was never good. And I think that wasn't yet that's been an issue for either in a way, maybe if I look back, that would have been, I would have had a better sexual life throughout my life had I been with? [00:12:20] I didn't, I wasn't aware or not, didn't think about that at the time. [00:12:25] It's interesting, what you said about not putting language to particular things like, well, it's been awesome. And I'm wondering, can you describe what your experience of kind of New Zealand was like in the 50s and 60s, you know, in terms of these fields, and guys, I mean, with a outward, [00:12:43] I wasn't we're not, we didn't ever use those words. I left when I was 19. And went to Australia, married very young, went to Australia and belong to Britain and didn't come back to 1977. So huge amount of things changed between 1964 1977 but in those years till I was 19. The unsure I'm here, I guess the most important thing is that the people that I'm really we're now we're in these relationships, particularly because they the people I remember more and more we're have [00:13:25] were had to be secretive choice. I mean, we're in as in with secrets of a bad wasn't talked about it was covered up itself, flatmates or [00:13:36] see on site on the wall kind of thing. And that involves the teachers of the law session. [00:13:43] So very, not spoken. Absolutely. That was an Auckland and have done [00:13:50] before the tweet over. So it was sort of that rural. [00:13:56] I had never heard the words guy in these, [00:14:00] believe till I went to Australia. And then I heard a bit more, but we're talking about the sort of mid 60s and I think was a lot more towards everywhere. And I was reading James Baldwin and I was reading other things that really probably through literature was when I first with a wheel. So no, in New Zealand. When I think back and reframe my memories, there were lots of particularly lesbian women that I knew and couples that were part of our world [00:14:36] that my parents didn't know that neither talked about, and it filters into the sort of circle, but the words were never spoken. And [00:14:46] so you both got married, and I'm wondering was marriage at that time? You know, just the dumb thing? It was the expectation that you would get married? Or? Or was a marriage for love? Or what? Why did you guys get married? [00:15:00] Well, so I finished Jay University in 64. And at least in my group, to understand what it was like here in New Zealand, but you know, here we'd all lived in dorms and kind of on their own. But there was a sense that in my family's belief system, that if you weren't married, you get to go home, you know, you had to move back with your parents and, like, young women didn't live in apartments in the city is in New York City as as far as I knew, you know. So in some ways you had to get married because it's the only way you could avoid moving home you know, I'm sure I didn't see it quite that utilitarian Lee at the top, but it was like that, because I just wouldn't have been able to live in your partner with other young women, my parents would have forbidden me and so there was a lot of and also like, I was a scholarship kid at this very fancy University in [00:16:15] I didn't have the kind of money or the man [00:16:22] to exist there. But [00:16:25] this guy that I was dating and eventually became my husband was a Harvard man, you know, and he gave me a lot of kudos. I can't know how how he equivalent braided my existence at this flash plays by going to Harvard and you know, kind of wearing sweaters and courting is Aaron aside, it was just the image that you had this kind of the end. So I held on to him for dear My D was he and he was he was my ticket into a lot of things. Even though the marriage itself, you know, my kids would say, you know, how we fought all the time. But he he introduced me into a world of a kind of intellectual world that I would never been a part of, because he had an access to that. And he was up around Harvard Square and I we were up there together. And so I there was something I really wanted. And so the sexuality thing, it was just too dangerous for me. I couldn't. And I came from a home where there was a lot of physical abuse, and it to get thrown out of university for being a lesbian, I think, I don't know, literally by what is it? I did, I just they will I mean, they were terrible things going on at my house as it was. So I always look for ticket out and Peter was a ticket out. And even though I I, I think at the time, I certainly thought I'd loved him. He always bored me a bit. He was very pedantic and I was always much more of a juvenile delinquent than he was server that were all of that was a problem. I mean, I, I had trouble staying within the traces of what was respectable, even better. [00:18:19] I, on the other hand, very respectable. And I guess that's how I came to get married, it was different, it was differently because I never left home to go to university. Most people either went to Geneva, or they stayed at home and community University, the vast number of people in Oakland that our new style living at home. And I am sure that I got married, because that was a mark of success as a girl. And right through high school, I've been [00:18:54] much more interested in playing cricket, cricket team and [00:19:00] being a tomboy all the way through that didn't have boyfriends all the way through school. But it was clear to me that to be successful. Socially, I needed to have a boyfriend. So when I did get boyfriend, and he wanted to get married, it was probably what would have been a student remains years later, but he got a scholarship to do a doctors in Sydney. And the only way that I could go with them. Like you're saying the only way you could leave was to get married, I couldn't have gone as well, I couldn't have gone on my own to Sydney, both. within myself, I don't think I felt I could either, though, done a lot more independent things that made sense. So yeah, it was that sort of feeling and that and that was sort of we didn't have children, we were together for seven years, it was what would have been a student romance. But it moved me out of home and gave me that status of being in a relationship, which I felt was important at the time. [00:20:04] I don't know what it was like here. But to give you an example of how important it was to have a guy or a date, least like so I was in dorms for three years. And if you didn't have a date on Saturday night, you know, it wasn't like you went out with your friends like you were shame that nobody to ask you. Actually, they had to ask you by Wednesday, you know, somebody asked you on Friday, what are you doing tomorrow? It was like give her a third choice. And, you know, you you know, there was all of this. I would say, Misha, God's craziness about being selected, you know, you had to be selected by a man who invited you out. And it just, there wasn't a sense that tell you that all the young women in my dorm room didn't have a date with the movie together. No, you had to hide out because you you had to somehow you weren't chosen for that week. And you know, it was all very kind of second remember, boys asking me out and at one given movie, and I'd say what playing and now that seems like a very harsh comment. Girls just couldn't go out. They needed a guy to take them out. I don't know, at least in them. in the Bronx, like I still have this funny thing on New Year's Eve. Especially New Year's Eve, like, if you didn't have a date or New Year's Eve, you know, you might as well slit your wrists for the rest of the year. It was just it, you know, impossible. It was like, you know, bigger than shame. It was like you were just zero. And so now, you know, a lot of people don't like to go on New Year's Eve, but I have to write because even though I am JN, she's my date, and she's going to be around for the whole year. It's like a total failure. It looks like garden date and something kept playing for New Year's Eve. So I bother all invite friends to organize his stupid New Year's Eve things when condemning them like [00:22:15] they did with me. [00:22:18] So the kind of time we talking about this is in the 60s, can you recall around that time kind of women that were kind of independent or didn't kind of go along with that kind of way? Well, [00:22:34] we're at my university, we had an art teacher. Needless to say, they didn't last very long. But in one time, she was meeting with one of the students in the library, like I'm kind of front steps of the library there was like, you know, incredible, but I mean, they immediately, you know, and another thing I can recall walking in on two women, I was going to get something from their dorm, I knocked on the door and I went in, I knocked, and I went in and they were in bed. And I think they must have been terrible, then I was gonna tell and then they would have this. I mean, you know, the amazing thing to me is how people came out, despite how high they set the penalties. You know, like, they were tremendous penalties, and you always knew what you were going to lose long before you could even know what you would gain, you know, you long before you'd made love with a woman, you'd know that your reputation was going to be, you know, shredded, you would just be some dirty die, you know. So I think that those things were they certainly forced me not to come out as a teenager, and I used to be jealous because the Vancouver, they were these women and they said they had special kind of triangles on their lifeline. And it meant they were virgin dykes, which meant that they never slept the map. And I was at a very, I can see that group of women really were suspicious of me. And you know, we had all of that garbage that when we first came out, because I have two sons. And so there was that whole thing about whether boys could be acceptable within our community. And that was, but that was a little later that was in the 70s. But there were real issues. If you on the one hand, there were lots of dives who thought that you had heterosexual privilege. And that was certainly a view in New Zealand in that magazine circle and old, you know, a lot of condemning of heterosexual women who, who were now in the community for having such privilege. And now, but on the other other hand, it was really a, it was we were cobbling together a way to be mothers and, and, and lesbians. And for me, like a sexually, you know, avoid alive lesbian at the same time, I was raising three children. And it doesn't feel to me that there were any role models for us. I mean, those women were there, but they were secret. And we didn't know about them. And I think for a lot of women, still, there had been a generation of women who'd been intellectuals, or gone to university, and they hadn't had children, you know, the kind of Jane Eyre kind of, you know, woman and married who'd given up. And that isn't what I wanted, either. You know, I wanted it all. And now it seems that you can have it but for us, we were cobbling together. And I think a lot of women made choices. For instance, when I was really coming out in 78, a therapist that I went to and spent money on, said to me, I couldn't possibly be a lesbian, because I cared for my children too much. I mean, that was seen as you know, I chose to go to somebody who had that belief subsequently, when she came out, I never went back, you know, herself. I never went back and said, Well, you know, are you still loving your job, you've given it up, you know, like, but they were like truce. That didn't make any sense. But that made our lives really complicated, I think. And then when I found out my children were being teased, sometimes at school, I felt very guilty, because I hadn't expected that they would get [00:26:50] caught up, I really was so naive, I didn't think that the consequences of my choice to come out would be meted out on my children. On some level, they were [00:27:04] sticking with an independent woman were in my second year at university, when I had gotten engaged, and he had gone to Australia. So I had a year when I was in a relationship, but I didn't have to live with the relationship because he was in Sydney, and I was in, walk them. And I bet because I was of the world and a timid and not very confident in some ways I didn't get into a relationship with anyone else. But as I became part of a group of women at the university, most of whom are a year ahead of me. And we meet around the table that twice as long as this and the thing called the women's common room, which was in the old stone arts building, and which was half the size of this room. So the men had a huge carbon room downstairs with a pride 500, we went to the battle with a women's common room upstairs, which between the cafeteria and the women's toilets, and there was a bunch of us who used to meet the most days and sit around and talk about ASCII things and philosophical things and eat violence. Actually, people bought no balances of violence, and I don't know what they're eating violence so bad. But when I think back to those women amongst those women were Charmaine, powerfully and Jill bride, and that they were women who I think very early on, although we didn't discuss being the spirit or having relationships with women around that table, they may well have discussed those things after I went on to Milford. [00:28:42] back, I was part of that group. And I love being part of that group at the university in maybe they had other social things they did later, which I wasn't part of. [00:28:54] But they were independent women have been told to be independent women are neither. Sorry, I, yeah. [00:29:01] They were a very attractive, interesting group of women that I couldn't do to be more than just paddling Pat off. I mean, I went off at the end of the year and got married, which was like, [00:29:14] I have a similar story. I was already married. And I was in Peters at Yale during his PhD, and this was 1968. And they was the first, [00:29:26] the first 63 Bible [00:29:29] said mines five years later, and I was, I was, I was in New Haven, and they were these women's lib evenings, let's say on a Wednesday night, and, and there was a group, they call themselves lesbians at this women's Live Meeting, so I'd be liberated from the children, he would babysit for the children. Now, I would go like from seven to 10, you know, to have to into this world of women. And I would stand as close to these five women who call themselves lesbians as I possibly could without, but I didn't talk to them. And I'm sure that they had a whole spot the diabetic going out on me, you know, I didn't know anything about that. And I would stand really close to them and try to listen to what they said. And just really, I was totally enamored with them. And then I go home, and people would say, you know, I'd be like, I hated him for a lot of reasons. But really, this was so unfair, you'd say RJ have a good time, you know what I'd say? Shut up in fucking Frankie. Go on, it was so angry to have to move from that world that really I found so just like you're saying attractive, those women were so attractive to me. And so exciting. And then I go back to my life and equality was the way it was trying to do with be friendly, glad we could go allowed me to go. And, you know, I just to fit back in that box after I'd seen them. And now I think that sometimes now with the heterosexual women of our age, like 69 I look at them and I think look so borscht out I mean, and so, you know, when's the last time you went to a dance you know, never right? Not for whatever use words, we still do that we still dance We still it just feels so much freer life. And I think all along I was drawn to that freedom in that sense that well, and [00:31:42] I feel like to my, the people I had crushes on when I was in school with them were the single women teachers to probably also were closeted, misfits. I know. [00:31:56] I had [00:31:58] a wonderful woman, [00:32:00] I had made your precious at university, I gave all my books away to one woman I you know, I mean, I had whole major crushes, and even spoke to a friend of mine, who was the only one I trusted, and asked her whether she thought I was a lesbian, but I just, it was so improbable. [00:32:20] In terms of the baggage that it carried, it just was, [00:32:24] I hadn't even thought that far and 63 I didn't happen. But the [00:32:30] women, a lot of women here talk about how you know those, the Christchurch murders, whatever, you know, that that David, that was the first time that they ever heard and lesbian was when you know, even the creatures that yet and Mary stuff that that that the first time they ever heard lesbian was during that trial. And it was associated with killing the mother and things like that. [00:32:58] I don't remember, I don't get XE not with or when most of [00:33:03] us when we must have been protected from us, I think [00:33:08] that was certainly a lot of women a very talk about. And that's how I miss the first time that you heard the word lesbian. [00:33:18] And it was in a negative context [00:33:20] where she would take the killers. Which would [00:33:28] sell for I'm all right. [00:33:35] So Jim, did you have a similar experience to Ruth in terms of how the lesbian community here in New Zealand read to someone with children. [00:33:48] By the time I became an out lesbian, my kids were all overseas, they will need to tease and actually the people that I was, had been fin de was within the lesbian community for many years through my work and through mostly her children themselves. So I think I came into the community pass the time when that was so. [00:34:17] Such a strong feeling. I [00:34:23] know, I never experienced it. And I didn't experience it from my own family. I had a cousin who been out this been since the late 70s. In my parents head who and who female partner stay in touch dinner. Thanks. It was some? Yeah, it's just No, I didn't have any effect. And sometimes I felt when I did come out and in early part of the century, that I didn't deserve to be part of the community because I hadn't gone through the hard times, because it wasn't really causes of fine thing to be in many ways. amongst my own kids, my parents, my dad, my mama died by the [00:35:11] year it was [00:35:13] it. I didn't have any of that negativity. And at work, I actually worked in a [00:35:20] team of counselors where the were [00:35:26] will actually in the end that the greatest the word [00:35:31] five counselors, there were two lesbians, two gay men and a married woman. It wasn't even designed to be that way. It was supposed to be in general counseling service at university put that out was, so I felt reasonably [00:35:47] part of the in group in some ways, your personal quite [00:35:51] a privileged position in terms of you seen life, kind of both sides in terms of, you know, sexual privilege. And [00:36:01] Joni Mitchell. [00:36:05] I'm wondering, can you comment on it? Can you comment on what it's like seeing things from kind of both sides, [00:36:12] I still feel that I came in at a time when I didn't experience so much of the negativity of being disobedient. So I haven't seen the part of it that Ruthie and many others live through in the 70s and 80s. Because they they had done the work to make things more possible. And more acceptable by the time I joined the community in the Indus last 10 years, so I [00:36:41] I've probably ahead [00:36:45] the piece of path of both worlds in some ways, like I can sit on the gay pride, float the hero pride couple of weeks instacart and feel very happy and meet up with my students been feel very fortunate to be in that position. [00:37:05] I had I, I think there's a lot you know, I don't know why, but like my sense of being a lesbian they were, when I first came out, it was just a joy. You know, I mean, I didn't, I don't think we all were certainly Vancouver was a different place, there was so many lesbians and so many gay guys used to say that 40% of Vancouver was gay and lesbian. So it was a very ideal place to come out into. And it was, there were lots of dances, lots of fun. And you know, even though I think later on, I could certainly point to a million things like a, I ran a custody case in my head about keeping my children are almost every day. And with a gay guy that I Richard Braille that I practice law with, we we decide who we would call as witnesses and how we would handle so here, I had that fear. And then I heard that the kids are being teased, and I was really furious. But on the other hand, like the lesbian community I came out to was a lot of fun, I think, to emphasize, when people did about the struggle, maybe there was [00:38:20] a lot of fun, you know, and we said outrageous things, you know, like, I went to sex with, you know, conferences on sex, and just things that were really a Mariah that people, you know, [00:38:36] it just was a wonderful place to come out to, and it was part of that whole lesbian feminist thing. So we thought we were changing the world. And, you know, and we, we were very earnest and very sometimes politically correct, but I, I never had a sense of that femininity stuff that people talk about, I think the only thing I felt like I sort of was, you know, he had the people I knew in the late 70s, were named feather, you know, like, I mean, there were these names, and, you know, people out there, you know, and in fact, they did that there was went to a musical, they put together a lesbian musical, and they, they sang, once met, a woman named said, you know, suddenly, my name will never be the same, you know, old everybody had really without names. And, you know, like, I remember having a friend who, she decided she could only wear white cotton, that was, you know, and so she gave away everything, including her dog wasn't white, like she gave away. And in the beginning, we wants to do this in advance, and we realized she was giving away some good stuff, and she was giving it away, we should take it, you know, there was a lot of that kind of really think, and I think the only problem I really had was this whole idea could put, you know, did six month old boys really sad Leonard, lesbian energy, if these babies attended our meetings, you know, like, I had a hard time with the, you know, I thought that they were, I guess you can be a Jew and believe in biological determinism, I just could never see. Or me know, you know, or somehow these little babies have, you had to change your diapers, it wasn't such a big thing. They were there in meetings, they certainly didn't SAP lesbian energy. But here, there was a whole, we were inventing ourselves. And that was really fun. You know, and the only sad thing is people who were just coming out had real commitments to your relationships continuing, you know, everybody wanted there to be these, you know, and we didn't really know those people who met subsequently found that a little bit about them. But you know, who'd gone on 15 years, like, in when I first came, added people together for two leaders at what's in the door. [00:41:07] Right. And so, I think we tried to cobble together ways to have relationships, and then it was all quite creative, it was fun. [00:41:16] Whereas I think when I came out, one of the things I missed and that sort of resistance of the older people was that the wasn't part of the the flip side of being this being acceptable was being part in my, my dad can't stand you, that's fun. Look forward to meeting with, you know, was the wasn't a community to come into, in a way that you couldn't the wasn't the dance, there wasn't something happening. And so that's in a way how I got involved, first of all, in a lesbian Queen group, which was interesting, in laughter, you know, but in the lesbian elders village thing, because I thought here is the group that I then of lesbian said I can be part of, because by that time, there was not a particularly distinctive lesbian culture, there was so many people and so in Auckland, there wasn't a meeting place that we went to Wellington at one stage. And we there was still Friday afternoon drinks went up every week or, and there was some basically radio station. So there were those things in Wellington. But there was nothing here that you could, Alba, that you could kind of rock up to, if you were at least been want to make people before I meet Lucy, you know, where did you go to go and meet people, there wasn't any weird, particularly. And so the that whole sense of excitement and sisterhood and things, which I've had some of just by being a feminist, the 70s had just wasn't the year. That's, and I don't, you know, to some extent, you can find out but much more to a case that you used to say that, if there was any speed having a party, everyone knew about it, and we will, it's not the case that people know, [00:43:19] you know, they weren't like, cliques of people, like it was very, especially in Hamilton, you can imagine, you know, like, there, we we, we all needed each other and hung on to each other and met, there was also Hamilton and when I got there in the late in the beginning of the 80s, I guess, was a very exciting place, because there were very few progressive people there. So there, there was a real connection between modern women and party of women. And Marty, women were just beginning to say they were lesbian. And that whole thing was very exciting. You know, and they were getting a lot of garbage, especially if their parents were Jacobs and stuff like that, you know, Jehovah's Witnesses, a lot of the modern women that I knew Chris, we've worked on Violence Against Women together. So it's a it's a group, and they'd be wonderful parties. Everyone would sing the whole, the end smoke a lot of dope, you know, the whole the whole night away till two three in the morning, you know, and that was a part of my life. That was very exciting. Because I've never had that involvement, like with, certainly with Molly, but even really working up an NGO together, stuff like that, because, and I don't think it was exactly that way here. Because there were enough loud who, and the communities were somewhat distinct. I mean, there was, you know, I don't know, we have to find out really from Marty right. But, but Hamilton was a place where we all needed each other. And we and we had a job to do like work on violence. And in fact, there was a whole lot of socializing that went on to that was lesbian socializing. We had a group called lesbians inside the system lists. And we tried to figure out in the Chris, By the mid 80s, we had with the late 80s, I guess we had reasonable jobs. When I first come to New Zealand, almost all the types I knew were on the DPP, or they were they were studying, right. And so by the late 80s, people had careers that were more they were more diverse at the university, for instance, clearly and things. And so we used to have this group that met unreal every couple of weeks talk about how do you survive inside the system? And it was really a great group because like, what do you wear? I remember one of those questions, what do you wear to be a die? What do you had you discuss what you did on the weekend, all of those things, because you were confronting this, this kind of implicitly homophobic environment, and you had to survive within that world. So we were lesbians inside the system. My funniest thing was when my son mark and married, and I was teaching Women's Studies at the time, women in the Lord something and Waikato University and my class, at the problem I set for them was, you know, what does the world dress like were to be the mother of the groom, like this was he was getting married. [00:46:55] Heavy, keep your integrity and, you know, as a person, pull off being the mother of the groom. And so that was something I said, for the students, she [00:47:05] actually wore an identical outfit, [00:47:08] to the second wedding or [00:47:10] not. Because I was gonna say, we finished up with me as a heterosexual woman, and Ruthie as a lesbian woman on her states and me here, as mothers of the groom could wear the same dream or the same dream. [00:47:30] That was my second wedding. The first wedding was tied diverse self as I recall. [00:47:37] But in fact, they all want to see the photograph. So it was, I guess it was exciting for them to I mean, nobody never thought about being the mother of the group. There was, you know, like, what is a lesbian way to be that and, and I think that was some of what was fun about it, because there were all of these kinds of real, you know, kind of loggerheads that you Twin Rivers, you know, like, my mother was terrified, and then what I wouldn't turn up [00:48:11] casino bc diesel died. [00:48:16] She didn't know what to look for. But I turned up and I had my hair cut, like, you know, cut him had to dress with high heels. She just she probably never loved [00:48:28] it. [00:48:31] But anyway, so there were these issues, which I guess, had somewhat, Ellen had already kissed that woman. By the time you came out, that was a big difference. I think that those things [00:48:44] will I've had a gay boss for the previous 10 years, my closest friends were at least being couples, I used to hang out with him their house he free [00:48:56] two or three times a week was it was a very easy place to be [00:49:06] looking back at your previous heterosexual relationships, and then looking at your relationship now what are the differences between a heterosexual and homosexual relationship? [00:49:20] I'm a lot more honest in this relationship. It's very hard to disentangle what some that these business offers and what's the routine. That's an art. [00:49:32] And the business offers I you know, I found [00:49:39] freakin spot clouds. [00:49:46] But in fact, there is some things that you might expect, I hope you don't mind by saying this. But you know, all my other relationships, I've been with a partner who was who cooked as much as I did. But Ruth is not a cook. So I didn't want to cooking that I ever did in a relationship. I do all the driving because if he doesn't drive so in some ways, the things that you might expect that would be different in the practical kind of way of doing things. I can be my bookshelf and be the one that hammers nails. And but I've always been there anyway. [00:50:23] But it's, it's more about? [00:50:27] Yeah, I don't know. What do you think? I just think it's more about [00:50:33] loving of one another in a way that's open. And maybe I've just learned from many long years of Lucy crucial relationships. [00:50:49] What do you think? [00:50:50] Well, I think that there are different times of your life. So when you have young children, they just take over your life. And really, like, I mean, that was one of the hardest things I tried to do, which was to be very kind of still looking for lovers and kind of whatever. And being a good mother at the same time that it's a lot to me also a career woman in their career with it been very few women, you know, like Jen was mentioning something about your men's common room at Oakland University, but we had something similar, which was at a low school I went to there was a like a student room with a coffee around and everything. And only the men were led to sit in it, the women had what they called easements to the coffee or and you were allowed to walk in, get your coffee and walk out, you know, you were in the red to sit there. And Peter went to this place in a month library and Harvard. And I wouldn't walk over with him and women weren't even allowed into the foyer, it be fucking free, easy. And I would have to wait outside while he went in some of those books were only at Lamont library and no woman could go into it. I jokingly said, but not so joking either. Now, we just burned down the place. But then we just, it was like cap in hand that they let us in there. You know, like we were, you know, grateful. I didn't know how grateful we were even at the moment, but somewhat grateful. Like I was just so a typical, you know, I had eight them more than 50% of loyal women and in my law school graduating because there were eight women out of 200 you know, 50 some odd guys. It made it very hard. And there were no daycare centers. So there was a whole thing about your life just got taken over with kind of if you had, like you had three kids, I have three kids, it takes time, you know, and so and I think for the children, there's no question that my kids would have preferred if I'd been a sexual and just kind of geared around them, you know, course because I had X amount of time, and I have a lot more to shove in than I am dying for it. So this [00:53:20] is really how I live my married life. Mostly a sexual and for the children. Yeah. So [00:53:26] that I limited sexually and wanting to go to dances and wanting to have relationships and fell in love. And we're so there was a lot to juggle. And so as you get older and the kids got older, less of that, they just took less time and freed up a bit of time. You know, our relationship [00:53:45] is the relationship of grandparents. [00:53:47] Yeah, we had grandparents, you were grandparents and, and that's different. We don't have that, you know, every day grind of it. I mean, there's a lot of wonderful things about having children, but it's a a tremendous grind on a daily basis. Just It's like my senses. You can feel very differently than this. But you know, there are holidays and birthdays, you can look back and say, Oh yeah, it's been great. But a lot of it is just juggle. I mean, somebody I knew wrote a book about how women juggle I juggled a lot and lots of times I dropped the ball. [00:54:25] No, I'm I love being a mother in [00:54:29] I didn't love being a mother. [00:54:33] It was easier because I will say I've worked in secondary schools in university. So I was hit more holidays, I had my own mom and dad who were great support. year. I did a lot of studying and I did it surprise prioritized job study, parenting, relationship. And that's what's different. [00:55:07] So as Rick was saying, How kind of relationships change depending on the kind of age of people, what does a relationship mean to you both now in your late 60s. [00:55:19] It feels very precise to have these dreams of walking hand in hand. There's an old piece along the beats with a lover and Ruthie and I do like walking hand in hand along the beach. And it's very nice, amongst others. So I think we can definitely look this is the polyamory me which I am, that we can definitely look ahead. And we've done some wonderful work, you know, for the Old Testament and the green salads and branching criteria. And I hope we do a lot more of that. So having companionship rather than loneliness moving into us, we're our health is really steady. I have been very lucky with my health throughout our relationship really, I haven't been there before I hit my face with health in my 30s. [00:56:10] So it's, it's involves mutual caring, which is in a way, [00:56:21] like, I guess, because we see the director these teams and then because she had his stroke I've been very aware that it's really great. We have a friend at the moment who's just had an excellent and is living on their own, to be to have someone loving it. And together so to look ahead and to be able to make some plans together for what we want to do over the next 20 years we talk about that feels really good. I think for me, it's a it's a really interesting thing for me to be my mouth aware of being a sexual being in my 16th in debt, some [00:57:09] unexpected in [00:57:13] sometimes challenging, because it's a whole new way of being. And [00:57:20] it's lovely to be looking at having more time to do a lot of I'd never did any overseas travel till I mean, I lived overseas, but I didn't travel under six. I never did any travel till I met Ruthie and we've done quite a bit and plan to do some more. So I think we look, we can plan together to summit Steve, what we would do, when we're not both our professional incomes or a fraction of them, we're lucky to have a lovely place to live, we've had to look at what we'll do when we can't live in next anymore. Being part of this being the oldest village group has helped us to focus to have discussions about what we want in community. And I've certainly pulled away from that idea of a purpose built this being village to wanting something much more like a virtual community of close people. Meaning that not all of whom would be lesbian. [00:58:30] And that idea of how one can support [00:58:35] other people when you have health crisis or when you become disabled to do things. And that feels like a very companionable in collaborative thing that we're doing together. So look ahead. [00:58:49] Yeah, I think I think like, [00:58:52] the nice thing really is, like, it's taken us years to get to this place, because we're totally different people. And I think that [00:59:06] you know, like, we had similar friends for a long time, and not one of them sort of introducing us to each other. [00:59:15] never dreamt of us being together. And in fact, when Jan first got together with me, her friends wander off me, [00:59:23] you know, it's a lovely person, but she's not, you [00:59:27] know, and and they sort of tried to come up with kind of dates for her. And you know, again, they were so an interesting the women they came up with the gym did notice, right, you know, they've been, they've been pushing they so he was much more respectable, I think and much more traditional and so, [00:59:47] myself it right, [00:59:48] yeah, but I've been able to good thing that I drag me into [00:59:53] his gym, I think has in a wonderful way, like, my life, is it just much more together than it ever was. And, and, and kind of fun, you know, like, Oh, no, you know, I, I used to have, you know, giant love and then depression and you know, never So, you know, I was always the kind of person who stayed too long. And then to mistake and relationships because by the time I would leave, I really hate the person I'd left you know, like, two or three years earlier, I you know, it didn't have to go on that sort of empty, empty empty thing, which just makes you really dislike people. So, uh, yeah, I seen Jenna me has been much more friends. And, you know, and I mean, as well as lovers, right? Like, in the end, we kind of have worked out a way of living together. So we're both comfortable, but we're still really different. But I'm still the kind of dancer or something you've come along with dancing. It wasn't something that was a part of your life, or, you know, [01:01:05] I'm not a party girl. Like for [01:01:09] the better. And I've realized I'm not as much of a party girl as I want. So right. I mean, maybe the NA, and I like those, like, this is the first relationship I think in my life that I didn't have to keep going out. Like I it was like I never trusted [01:01:27] sometimes we stay [01:01:33] in the home I grew up in as a kid, it was too dangerous to stay at home, you never knew what was going to happen right? And if that kind of continued in my life where there could be these things and so I'm much more trusting that life just goes along and is okay and yeah and and and that's perfect. I mean I can't tell you how wonderful that is and we have some wonderful man with stain criticizes except for being a poly in [01:02:00] Pollyanna Tony NM even read Polly [01:02:06] we had totally different things about though, I have to say the kids grew up similarly. I mean, the yoga read stories, right? Just different ones. I mean, you know, we have various six quite successful children. So they will got that kind of classing privilege to that year, I think I think we were not unlikely couple and it took us a while to to be able to smooth out some of those seven critical inches you grow into and and I think we're both satisfied with their lives now. And [01:02:48] if you look at growing old gave them you know, you don't want it because 70s mixed on but [01:02:55] the divorces to me, my daughter, she says here but my look at the [01:03:00] if you don't get it, you die, right? Don't want [01:03:07] because I'm afraid of that. Anyway, UICO says kind of always keeping a really vital. [01:03:17] Like I like our lives. [01:03:19] Like where we live I like [01:03:22] but if we have to move out of here will be room. And [01:03:25] the reason will be for the steps of whether we could manage up the steps because when I have my operation, you know, to push myself up 14 steps, I knew exactly how many steps. And it was say it's worked out following but I wouldn't want to have to go back to [01:03:43] if it was a permanent thing of having to always go up the stairs, on your knees and down on your bottom wouldn't work because to move [01:03:52] just under me. [01:03:55] And I guess I've realized now to that I don't have to live in a lesbian community, there was something that may we'd always joked about a kind of a lesbian friends, old age showman people that always talked about that and things but it you know, having worked with them, kind of on looking at it, we just send him the money. Like we don't, there's just no way to get together in many ways. We don't have a lot of money and and the money that we have, are in our already existing houses. And so how do you raise money, you know, we're too old to it have to have a group. I think this idea that some of the gay men in town have of getting an apartment building that kind of can have a critical mass of gays is a very good idea. [01:04:44] Because really, you [01:04:46] wouldn't have that money and you would be selling moving in. But what what led was abandoned, I think, because we had an architect is the prime mover and and that was a way to begin was always a bit building a sustainable community. And, you know, we're talking millions and millions and millions of dollars and there's no excess money. So it came down to people needing a fairy godmother? Well, it's hard to believe when when you know, like somebody having all that money, then we had to realize that even if we had all the money we might not live might not be the first thing on our list anyway. Because I I think it's I think it's really different to live with a critical mass, rather than everybody being I think you need to have enough people to make it a legitimate option and one that you can, you know, that's just accepted, you know, and that doesn't mean everyone and it certainly doesn't exclude men, either, like gay men, or even potentially straight, [01:05:54] straight woman. I mean, I'm just thinking like yesterday, because of the fact that she's been in hospital. Books and food and water washing and things now, I'd be perfectly happy for her to as a straight woman should be part of a community that we were living in, as we grew older, I don't think it is only about [01:06:14] the fancy cars that you get, like, I'm a great believer in Adrian Richards lesbian continuum, I think that, you know, we're when it's not like we're either lesbian or not lesbian, or and now, I've been criticized by somebody who says, I have to say transsexual and everything to me, can even that binary is certainly being thrown away too. But, but in in general, I think that what Adrian rich said is that a lot of women's lives in general, are long the lesbian community, like, for most women, their best friend will be a woman, not a man, not the husband, seven women, yes, but they'll often have women friends, who were the major, [01:07:02] I absolutely did right through my heterosexual living relationships hit the streets, we were women, [01:07:09] here. And so you know, there. So you could see those women alone, the lesbian continuum, I think, I think the hardest thing for being a lesbian, sometimes is that your best friend is often your lover. And so when the relationship breaks, you really lose a tremendous amount. Whereas if you have separate friends from you, it's not all your eggs in one basket or something like that, you know, and I didn't know what it's like for gay men. And, you know, like, yeah, like, I think Jane is my best friend, you know, and I think as well as my lover was that invests a tremendous amount in her much more than I ever had, when I was in a relationship with a man, my husband was never my best friend. Even when we were together, he was never my best friend. [01:08:06] I was thinking though, about them living in community, like we've been away on holiday, with at least being couple who are friends of ours. And just the ease of living in the same household was people where you don't even have to think twice about a single sitting with your arm around each other, [01:08:29] or [01:08:30] it's just very, very easy. And that's partly because of the people they are. And partly because the the spin, I think, no, I think it's been the would be it would be different if we were away on holiday with a straight couple and I think the same about living in close proximity and sharing bathrooms and [01:08:57] so [01:08:59] if you will live in a community with she'd communal things, which is not my ideal at all, I bought that independence of a separate dwelling. I don't know how it would be I've thought about a song. As a community, we there are some of these principles, but Sydney heterosexual couples and families at least at some [01:09:21] eco village here. [01:09:26] Yeah, I don't know, as we look ahead, when you become independent, and I'm involved in some research around [01:09:34] here. [01:09:37] full day's been a guy people in Kenya in [01:09:43] HK facilities. [01:09:46] And I, if we ever had to move into a place where we needed that kind of level of care, I would want to have sussed out real before places where was acceptable and okay for the staff and for the other residents and for everyone to be part of a same sex relationship. And I believe there are one or two places with it might be okay. But mostly, I think it would be quite difficult being the whole issue of people being in a sexual relationship in HQ is a major issue anyway, [01:10:27] that I was really annoyed that at this lesbian play in the in the thing just from not at the play, the play was great, but we stayed for what I thought means a really fun thing, which was discussion. And the woman who was the author of the place said, Well, really, I don't see it as a lesbian play. I see it as a play about human beings. And it's like, the woman next to me, then we went where she just, she just had to take a deep breath. Because the only reason any of this happened was record several lesbians kissing in the supermarket, you know, I mean, sure they were human beings, but what do we have can really take it empty human beings as if it is no, kind of, you know, none of the issues that they've raised would have mattered unless things would remember. And certainly gay, at least if not lesbian, then Sarah, you know, they're they're all designed to preach it to, you know, it's all about human beings. I find it tedious. Because it isn't, you know, like, we don't have to make everybody feel comfortable. As the flip side to them making us feel uncomfortable. You know, like, well, I said something recently that people didn't like, but I, like I have a lot of my friends have worked on lots of heterosexual women's issues. I mean, I spent my life working around violence against women, even though I know some lesbians are in abusive relationships, no question. The vast majority of women in this country revisit relationships or a piece of relationships with their partners, sexual men. And, you know, I, I've worked a lot of abortion rights, I've worked a lot on abortion rights and keeping women's choices to control their sexuality at times that I would never become pregnant, because I was already a lesbian, you know, I would like to see some of that reciprocation from straight women. I don't see it as much as I would like, to the support for lesbian issues. Like, whatever people think about marriage and marriage equality thing, I think it's a clear cut example. You know, I get disappointed, that's when that's the only reason I sometimes, you know, I've heard women say, Oh, you're so lucky, straight women, you're so lucky to be lesbian. You know, I wish I could be attracted to a woman. But of course, I can do you know, like this kind of, you know, and you just want to put your fingers down his throat and throw up, you know, because it's like, a total lack of vision on their part, rather than anything else, you know, like, IN this is really different, I think, for gay men to like, maybe we talked about this, like, I have a, I had a PhD student, Nigel Christie, and he believed that he was born gay. And that he his coming out was his acceptance of his gayness in his adult life, for his teenage life, like that acceptance of what he was, I never thought I was born a lesbian. And I just, you know, the sky was the limit that's for and I could get into it, I could see evident that I could be involved with women, I could be involved with guys, but I, and I prefer being involved with women sexually. And I prefer being involved with them. Because Because I already had three children, and then a lot of men you take care of, you know, like, Joanna Ross has a very funny thing. When she writes about women, she says, The object of a woman when her husband comes home from work, is to hate about on the topic that he wants to discuss for the evening. And then you don't have to say anything more, he'll just talk, you know, like, so, you know, in doing that, and whether or not to believe that I had known a lot of men like that, you know, where, and certainly sexually I've known a lot of men who just went into overdrive by themselves. And for God, you were even there just could have been an inflatable doll, you know, when so? You know, at some point, they just went into their own places. So one of the things I like best about being a lesbian is I think there is more talking there is more caring, and three children was enough. I didn't need another kid. And even if he was a breadwinner, you know, like, and so, yeah, I mean, I think that's it wasn't that I was born a lesbian, but just the way people are socialized and what they expect and what male privilege is often, and I just really didn't want to keep doing that. [01:15:30] I'm really interested in the whole kind of HQ, area. And one of the comments I have from people in the past is that it's not so much the staff who are not supportive, but it's [01:15:47] the acceptance, that's what we heard, to [01:15:53] subsidize church groups to run [01:15:58] age care homes, saying looking social services. [01:16:03] What can we expect the whole institution is homophobic? How can we expect that having that that's the problem, right? That they kind of, you know, like, [01:16:16] I'm don't think that I mean, that may be a problem, that that's not what you're talking about, you're talking about the people that come in from the world where they've been. And a lot of the HTC places now are run by big business, not by to, I mean, sure, so and so that it's run by big Anglicans, but increasingly, the run by the insurance companies and big businesses, but the issue seems to be about the people that come from the world, our peers, and don't expect us to be in relationship with the same seats. It's not so much the caregivers, or the management as the other residents and the heart, [01:17:00] you see item, I don't know how anyone knows that. I don't even believe that. I think there is a pre selected thing that comes especially in these church dominated things where you're likely to get people who've come out of those environment to have some connection with those institutions. I don't know. And so I'm not saying everyone but you know, I don't think, you know, a Catholic service thing is going to produce an open environment, it's just not positive there. I mean, I find that really say it with some of the guides, I played bridge with some of these men who really want to stay in the church, you know, any way that they can stay in, and I can see why it's part of their background and something that gave them a lot of energy. I mean, they have a really long house road. Oh, don't I because I mean, the actual church doesn't, many of the people within that church and the church institutional doesn't move them. And so it's, it's kind of, you know, it's almost like a nostalgia, I guess, because I think it's, it's really hard. I, you know, we've always thought that younger dogs would take care of older dogs, and then we'd have employment for them and, and stuff like that, whether that will happen. And I think lesbians are over represented in care in professions anyway, so year, so you know, there are those people who would be and that's why we wanted something, there would be like a lesbian space within within them, which I think, but we just don't have the money. You know, like, I think if the money were there, it would be and you know, like, I wanted to apply for government grants, very hard to get government grants, even when provisioning Marion in a myriad Street, when she was the housing minister, we went and talked to her, we thought, okay, let's be a housing minister at this, there's very little money available and very, so we can have to do it some other way. And so that I think James idea of a virtual community where we, like, for instance, this community where we live. And Lisa Prager, who owns Garnet station, which is upon corner road, so she did a party, one to one K, one k Club, which was an all the lesbians from one K, around garnered stage, it was a resilience. And, you know, like, we really there, and so, we could work out ways that we [01:19:52] were reversed in this little tiny streets there. It just off the top of my head, there are three names in capitals, and to you guys, couples in, you know, a streak of 30 houses, and there's probably more that we don't know about. So [01:20:06] we could work out something where we live separately, but we kind of like, you know, called each other make sure we've woken up already, you know, stuff this, this stuff that that that's going to have to be organized and not think it will have to thank you, because hardly anybody goes into those age, Gareth. Something [01:20:27] very smooth, [01:20:28] over at, you know, and intense. [01:20:32] But I think they have, they must have had to change, Chris Viagra has changed a lot of those men, straight men, I don't know, gay men, in these places where they become very much more sexually active and then than they had been before, you know. So I think that that whole thing of see, you know, like, there's a, I went to look at a model of a house here in Oakland, where you rented you didn't own your apartment, but, and it was purpose filled. But it was always single rooms, that there was not the ability for a couple to live in that state. So [01:21:14] there was no, if you're not supposed to be coupled, when you all [01:21:21] we are [01:21:22] becoming toppling means more than [01:21:25] me not to. So you might want to have some some walls that might kind of protect you from the neighbors. from, you know, them hearing you you're in them. I mean, it can mean that, of course, I mean, even blessings, you know, the big joke in the 80s was always about what they call LBD, you know, lesbian bed death. That was the big thing that everyone worried about, and worried if they suffered from OBD. You know, and, and certainly, I know a lot of couples who were never a sexual with each other, but very loving of each other, very caring and massaging on each other, and lots of touching lots of everything. And it was, you know, they simply weren't genital to genital. And even now we know, several women who they tell you, their relationship is over, but they continue to live together, they continue to take care of each other, travel together, you know, incredible. So there are we're going to, I mean, that's one of the things we're going to have to do. Just like when we came out for those of us who came out in the lake, and those of us who came out in the 60s that already wrote MacLeod or something in her book that's even different. But there was, like I came out in late 70s, where we had to kind of make up our there were no role models, and I didn't think there are role models for getting old. And now in the lesbian, either. I mean, we have some women getting old, but we don't have any sense of how it's done as a community, because the community, probably less than the gay community, but has always been on youth, you know, young women and powers know. Or, or then there's the upper middle class lesbians like we are who have house parties or dinners or something like that, and don't go to the bars. And you know, like some of the really good things are the pride things. We're [01:23:36] different ages come together in a way. [01:23:41] One of the things they've been having at the Charlotte received, which is the lesbian Museum in Oakland, are these what they're calling intergenerational discussions and i think that's that's really important because I really now believe that that group of us UK matters as when feminists we thought we were part of the revolution and that's the way it was going. Like we are really a vestige approved. And the lot of women are really don't [01:24:13] regard [01:24:15] that group that we were as liberating the Vinci it is too politically correct. I like that. That's [01:24:22] not how I saw what we encountered definitely damage the Human Rights conference. [01:24:29] Yeah, like a real it's a real objection to their being [01:24:34] just a lesbian podcast, you know, like, a lot of queer women didn't identify as lesbian didn't want to go to itself. They spent the whole lesbian corvids are doing that, by the way, and other co workers, as you know, like, JN, poor Alice and Lori looking totally dismayed, you know, like, because it hadn't been an issue. When she organized that she'd even thought about it. We're seeing a lot more women in transition than you ever saw. before. I mean, that wasn't, you know, like, in the 70s. People talked about roles and things, but they, they didn't talk about transitioning, they talked about where they are in hormone, em butcher families and Emily Murphy for like, what's it I'm, Leslie, you know, stone, Butch blues. You know, who were writing about having had a mastectomy and things for, you know, as part of a sex change kind of thing. But it really wasn't much s&m was a much hotter discussion. And secondly, was a big discussion in Vancouver, there was a collective called the SAM war collective from San Francisco. And they used to do proselytizing missions, you know, and they came up to Vancouver once and then run through [01:25:58] it. kinds of people with bruises, discuss [01:26:03] different forms. [01:26:06] Like, they've always been things. [01:26:11] You've mentioned a couple times about kind of finances, and I'm just wondering, the disparity of pay between men and women. How does that affect you kind of later in life, and especially as always being couple? [01:26:29] I think it's more the children's don't take money, and you give it to them. And I mean, either have a nice still not in the way that once I did, but I sit and I mean, my kids still need money. And, and, and I have some discretionary cash. So I think I was quite lucky in terms of my job. Well, no, there was a guy who was just a schmuck at the lower school, and he never published anything. And subsequently, I already got paid a lot more than me that we didn't know those things, right. But I was lucky I, I seem to have a good job. And I didn't experience the even though I'm probably did get paid less. I didn't really experience much there. But like, for instance, I never even bought into a superannuation plan, until my youngest child finished university because they went to school, from here in to Canada. And so that's expensive, you know. And so, I, to me, it's not so much the wage disparity between men and women as my ongoing role. As a supportive mother. [01:27:42] I'd say that, for me to that I'm really aware that Fallout generation would be a lot of women who hadn't in the same by that means. And yeah, because I've been teaching and education, this been equal pay for quite a long time, though, there hasn't been the opportunity to advance this company through different careers. It's been it's been okay. But I totally agree with Ruth, it's like, if [01:28:22] I've made decisions and given [01:28:28] here to support my kids in various ways. [01:28:34] And also, in the early days that it wasn't, didn't seem like a sensible, it didn't seem like a possibility to join a superannuation fund until I was in my 40s. So what I get now is, from half a career, not a whole career, even though I've worked. [01:28:54] All my life has not worked. [01:28:57] Yeah. And me, too. I couldn't buy into the 52. I'm Jim finish. So, you know, there were those things that and you know, if they moved, my son moved from a little place in Canada to Washington, DC, if they needed a house? Well, you know, they needed a down payment. They were, there were things he just kind of pay it was your and it's funny, sometimes it's funny, and it still comes up. I have a friend who has a lot of money, she's a diamond, she has a lot of money. She never had any children. She never married. And she had a very good career as an academic, throughout her whole time. And one time we were at somebody else's house, and we're here Island, and she's, I said, Oh, I hear you've retired. You know, and yeah, I wish I could retire. But last thing I'm, you know, handcuffed to my computer for the rest of my life. And she said, Oh, she said, Well, I made choices in my life, you know, and by that, you know, men made choices, not to have children and things that I just selected. As I said, You know, I can remember ever making choices in my life. That's not a lie. I mean, one just have those children. You know, I mean, in some ways you I didn't know, that was something that one day, you know, I did, and I certainly, you know, I wasn't begrudging have the money, but there was no question if you didn't kind of keep giving your income, you know, to help support a family and I was a single mother for very long on, then you. You didn't, you just couldn't accumulate very much cash because kids, three kids, you know, I had a fun time I left a bitter restaurant. I was so angry at him. I was I was making hardly anything good. He wanted these hockey skates. He played hockey, you know, Brett hockey in Canada, and they were going to be easy feat was still growing, you know, and there was to be a really great hockey player. You needed these technologically lowered skates, you know, and they were, I don't know, $600 in skate. I don't know, you know, and [01:31:13] I was so furious. You know, I just couldn't believe it. I mean, like, this is what he wanted. This is his bottom line. This is a you know, it's like get alive. You know, I just don't have that kind of money. And I think that was a problem. My kids [01:31:29] also grew up thinking they were really upper middle class kids and I was at one banquet over in bed and and it got quite expensive. Sometimes, you know, my son mark, especially always like brand name to me like this. And then at some point, you just go, No, I'm not gonna spend money on fancies. The logical skated your girl out of it eight months. Now, I'm not doing this, like you were a bit, you know, because that's what everybody had. You know, [01:32:00] speaking of families, what about things like, wills and powers of attorney? I mean, as you age one, what are your thoughts on those kind of things? [01:32:08] I should have done a lot more than I've done. I haven't actually even gone through with getting a divorce. So I'm feeling very [01:32:19] guilty. I feel there's a lot of things I should have done that I haven't done. Ideally, I think that I should have a divorce, that we should have some kind of a legal contract, if not, maybe a marriage and the time that will come. I do have a will. [01:32:40] But I haven't updated it for some time. [01:32:43] I think those things are really important. And I haven't done them. [01:32:49] I believe that my [01:32:53] I don't think that would be a problem with my family and Mickey dicing booty as my time in the wonderful decide. One of the things if I were to try, and we've got a verbal agreement about what the tape was in writing. [01:33:10] Yeah, we don't really. [01:33:13] A lot of people are getting agreements and things we haven't done. [01:33:19] We know what would be in as if we haters, I think, pretty well, we talked about it, but we just take it down. [01:33:26] It's just not been a top priority. [01:33:29] Maybe that's avoiding the growing old thing. [01:33:34] I think the living wills stuff, and it's really important. [01:33:40] We recently had someone quite close within my family who's deteriorating quite badly without timers. And we were just, we had a long discussion about this the other night that power of attorney individuals and choice to die on [01:33:57] something we need to work on, I find is that because we own I mean, that's a problem with words, we know this village to everybody wants to pass money on to their children, you know, and so if you have children, but if any of you have children, like you just don't want to put all of it into, let's say, a property because you actually realize your kids money over lifetimes. So I think that was the whole issue of your children, like one of the things we we've had to do, which will have to put into things is how long does the other one get to stay? Like, neither of us could buy the other one out. [01:34:48] And legally, we are in half of a more poetry house each year. That is perhaps legal. [01:34:55] I mean, we have other debts. But that that is so neither of us could afford to buy the other one share our brain. So that means in some ways, because we're leaving, let's say, our have shared to the children, that there has to be some agreement about how long the and then the non half sharing owners survivor, one gets to stay in the house. And clearly to me, that changes over time. Like the older you are, the more you might need to or might need to be pleased Rio simply said, so the whole issue of how much should the kids get up front? How long will they wait? All of those are things I think that have been too hard for us to work out really, we haven't done it, you know, like, [01:35:48] interesting. [01:35:51] And I think that's partly because we've come together in our 50s. And we took a completely separate family. [01:36:02] And we've made at least we agree over there that we will leave to our children not to one another, ultimately. [01:36:12] But it's here they get so there's a lot of agreement in this year. And I think that, [01:36:17] you know, lots of couples broke up over these agreements, it and a lot of gay men must have to win the property relationships that came in and they had, I mean, I think they're good things, you have to talk about these things, but it's like we both juggle, we're still juggling trying to keep up with work, and family responsibilities that we don't, this is never a priority for us. But it's gonna have to be I guess, [01:36:45] it reminds me very much of that cloud boost film, we've got the two older women and some other family members don't recognize or don't know, 16 the relationship between the two woman so interesting all that, which is what ratings or whatever. So I mean, does that concern you that that actually your family, some of your family members might not know the extent of your relationship? Yeah, [01:37:11] that doesn't extend I mean, they all know that we're together. [01:37:18] I think my sons have been who don't live here, my daughter's wonderful and when she loves KPMG, but my son's not. So I it's not clear to me that a nice, I feel very close to to my grandson and granddaughter mates and more. He's got four kids, but two younger ones, I don't really know. But the two older ones, and like I Facebook with them. And I've got a photo of me on Facebook, at pride with a friend of Afro DN things but nobody's ever said to them, I'm a lesbian. I mean, it's very strange. And I don't know what's going on. So but I But you see, now I'm going to Skype with him on his own. So he can talk about anything, you know, I mean, you parents, great parents can be real gatekeepers for the kinds of conversations you can have. And they may be anyway, [01:38:18] certainly, I think with the kids that are here in New Zealand, which in eastern says my three kids and your daughter. I mean, we have stayed with them, all the WB they've given us they've stayed with us, our house, they We are the grannies, that's our identity for the grandchildren, for all of them. And [01:38:42] we're a couple in here. And there's no question about that in mind. [01:38:49] It seems to me that one of the potential safeguards of making sure that you know, family members like coming on, it was not so much a relationship is that kind of demonstrative, you know, both kind of physically and verbally and wondering, in terms of like, holding hands, or kissing and stuff like that. Can you talk to me about being demonstrative, because I think for a lot of people in New Zealand, a lot of certainly game in, it's pretty hard to like, hold hands walking down the street. [01:39:22] We're just so old that people don't see us as sexual beings. So [01:39:27] hand in the street, they probably think I'm limping. And [01:39:32] you know, we get to a certain age where we're just the whole idea of that you might be sexual is so far beyond their can, you know, that we can do anything in the street don't adult up was another [01:39:51] house, simply, you know, the presidency, there has to be carried down the street by this moment holding. [01:40:00] And I think that that's how it is. But you think, [01:40:04] I think, because of who Ruth is, I think I'm more demonstrative in public in this relationship than I've been in the other relationship. And that's about me being a recent person. And Ruth not being [01:40:19] so I can remember very early in our relationship when we were in Sydney and Ruthie wanted us to dance together in front of the, in front of a basket down on the wharf in Sydney. And I resisted the edge. And I pulled that off the surface. And but I think I would have resisted the reason we were a same sex couple or a heterosexual couple, because I don't dance in public. No, not when nobody else's dogs. And so there are all sorts of things around there. There's that that might be demonstrative, I think around all our family here that we in interact with our reasonable we have, don't even think about sitting with our arms around each other or kissing each other in front of some more having a hug, or I don't think the sir. [01:41:17] Do you know, know, [01:41:19] that I think you know, it's the same old garbage. I mean, homophobia is still alive and well. So, I mean, one of the worst things about having children is to warn them, and not to get hurt by other people. So to warn them what they can say and what they can say. And so that happened to my going, son, Jacob, which somebody in class when he was in room two or something or other said, boys married girls and girls married boys, and that's the way life is. And he said, No, that's not true. My granny JM Israel married to my granny Ruth and, and and so of course, then he became a fag and somebody that they could laugh at. So you know, say you set kids up, right? I mean, that's always the balances. So do we really let him know that the rest of the world isn't going to accept that? GU? You know, what do you tell them? I have a friend who has a kid with autism. And she, I've heard him say, Oh, those other boys and close, they're so mature, one day they'll grow up to you know, that's his comfort when they get them right. So I don't know what what do we offer as compared you know, those people are just idiots, you know, that's what you offer. But you realize that like, you make a decision for yourself to be a dyke, right? And you don't realize that your children's children by just things spontaneous. They just stepped into shit that they couldn't take it for for no reason whatsoever. And the same can be true, you just don't have Finn can go and say something needs were right. And he could say something and get it. So then you have to, you have to be ready to cuddle them and and help them you know, it's it's, it's it's not accepted. And they were kids, like, Jacob tells me that one of the kids is playing with it schools is really Christian is I mean, you know, very religious, I think that would be a problem. And really do. I mean, how was the except our relationship we can't, you know, like, it may have told you I want us to have when I lived in Hamilton, I used to have this wonderful poster. And it was it had all these words Kant's flag a lot more everything. And then it said, We are the women men have warned us about you know, and, and Jeremy had this friend and the father dropped him off, you know, and, and the thought, you know how you have these poses? You don't even remember they're on your wall. Right? And he said, Is that true? I don't know. I said, I guess I never saw that kid again. Never. He was never allowed to come to my house again. So, you know, I I have more of a feeling of that as a Jew, I think then, you know, because I mean, those things happen in that environment too. So you just can't. So I'm more sensitive. My mother was very sensitive about things like that people calling people directly Jews, me, she told me I should never marry anyone not Jewish because someone would turn around and call me of duty to otherwise say so. I have those feelings. But I think it's a shame if you think about this, you know, seven year old with this bright faces and my granny was married to my granny GM. You don't really want to close them down and say actually, Jagan Would you say that man, they can pull you a fag, you know, like, you know, and all of that stuff, that cassettes that they did to Jeremy when he words element, I forced him to wear a helmet before it was against them. Law not to wear a helmet on his bike. And some kid knew that I was a lesbian at his school. And if he was wearing his helmet, and that's what they did, they just really took them out in terms of air all of these things. Just because he was wearing a helmet when you know, I mean, and that meant he was somehow less than them, you know, I could have murdered them all for doing that. I've never shot a weapon. So that's good. I don't know how to ya know, your kids were older was really different opinion. buzzer time James kids came into this. It was groovy to have a lesbian for nothing like that was the only thing they were missing, you know, in their life. [01:46:11] Well, and we went and stayed in London last January for six months. looking after my youngest stranger off he was six months old at the time and take me. And I mean, there was no repercussions because they took little than the wife and the Jacob sick. But we were introduced at the daycare, we had to drop them off and pick them up. This is [01:46:37] sad sentence granny Jane and her partner Ruth. [01:46:42] Just kind of wrapping up now what what do you think are the biggest concerns around aging as you age? [01:46:50] specifically about being a lesbian couple? I mean, the biggest concern to stay healthy and balanced. So in my right mind. [01:46:59] I think they're [01:47:02] here to stay healthy. And [01:47:05] so far, spring, Lee's been scrubbing all [01:47:08] we want honey, we have to win lotto. And then we could go around the world. [01:47:19] I guess I guess, as we raise all of those little things, I realized we need to believe [01:47:24] on really, we're [01:47:26] coming back. And like, that's where my I stopped them this conversation. Because I mean, I don't know what if I fell out with one of your kids, for some reason, you know, just gives them too much power. And I guess [01:47:42] I'm thinking back about the least one thing, like when Ruthie was in hospital, and I was there supporting her a lot of the time public hospital last year. I mean, there was no issue really, with the end of the hospital stuff that I was a partner. When I when we were getting Hartley to go home, and I said, Well, I'm gonna have to do the bar thing. So partner, you know, they still thank goodness for this and took me to the bathroom and taught me I mean, nobody today here mostly, did they nobody. They were what she say we are only two delighted to have someone who's here for a second able to do the clearing. It just wasn't an issue. I didn't and I was allowed to go into the room and hold your hand and you had the anesthetic took on? And [01:48:34] we just assumed we could do that. And nobody raised an eyebrow. At any point. [01:48:39] Yeah, I think it was fine. We just assume, you know, a certain way. So [01:48:47] it might it would possibly be different in property in residential care. [01:48:54] But certainly, as far as the public hospital system, we've been very focused about when we talk to you about being a couple, and we've been treated with respect. See, [01:49:08] he was doing the plaster on your day. Do you remember this? The whole issue about marriage came up and she [01:49:17] she was really against with a solution. I [01:49:25] mean, very valuable VC was totally against, you know, gays being able to adopt, you know, [01:49:31] especially today is just a good friend. [01:49:35] To kick you have a certain age, they don't even think of you as a couple of the doctors [01:49:40] and nurses when I learned to backfield. And they knew we were a couple [01:49:44] here, but they also you could just as well be in business in January. And then you know, I'd say it's a funny thing, I think you get to an age where you're seen as a sexual regardless of whether you are or not. [01:49:57] But it must be really, along with kind of bristling because you're in such a vulnerable position and hospital, like, you know, you feel the extreme plastic in, and you're getting that kind of conversation and you think I don't need this right now. Me really don't need this. [01:50:14] Well, I she was a black woman from Africa. And I said to her, I guess you don't know. But in 1968, blacks couldn't marry until then they couldn't blacks couldn't marry whites in America, I guess. And they used all those arguments about God, you know, the same exact arguments. So shallow, you know, like, I mean, you know, your kid, I mean, for cheap, certainly didn't feel that. And they all agreed with her and the other stick around, there's no, you know, so it would be much harder, right? I mean, I had much more stuff with ageism in that operation, then I end with that, like, they told me that, even like, in one point, the guy said, Well, if you were 25 years old, I tell you what you can do. But you know, you're not going to do anything anyway, right? Or, I had to beg for the operation in certain point, because I was like, Oh, you're going to do is sit on a couch right here, you know, like, I walk kink a teddy bear, you know, and it was just that, appearing on that very upper middle class thing to a doctor and obviously just been to Italy to he went, Okay, that's the operation, we're doing it, you know, like, and it was simply that ability because of say, you know, well, you just kind of old woman, you don't know what it was? Would you be meeting this, you know, work anyway, they did it and everything, but it was the ages of members, there was really a lot, you know, it's, you just don't expected and if you couldn't advocate for yourself, or you to never friend or partner there, then you really wouldn't get most of the things that you couldn't, you would deserve? Because they wouldn't. They just think you get around the neighborhood meant it? Yeah, I don't know. I think that our lesbians things are pretty, we're very privileged. Couple of we have money, we have health. [01:52:31] We have supportive family supportive. [01:52:34] It's hard to you know, I mean, [01:52:38] it's really come a long way really, since [01:52:44] I first came out, you know, like, I mean, really, for any of us, who came out in the 70s I think we would find it hard to believe that marriage was a possibility, you know, and, and it is. And really interesting that the top, what to me, you know, Linda got attacked for, you know, by or, you know, was told that, therefore, she was proving none of us needed marriage. I mean, we're having a year and I didn't know why they did a civil union them but I, you know, I I think it's shows how far that Christian writers come that they're not even questioning that her right to have some sort of civil union. But really, to me, I never wanted a civil union because I never wanted to collude with my own oppression. You know, I just, I just felt separate but equal was an oppressive position. And it wasn't equal anyway, because we knew about adoption, and things like that. But as you know, the way gay men especially now were creatively making their own children in India, and things and then bringing them back, the whole thing of international surrogacy is become [01:54:01] a giant issue in this country. And really, and I think it's, [01:54:08] you know, I mean, Mike, just recently, you may know them, that's gay couple, he seems to be a psychiatrist through Waikato Hospital. And they had a surrogate from the States, a friend of theirs. But the women carry twins, and they were each the biological, each of the men was a biological parent of one of the twins. And so they, they, they were born twins, and the whole idea of adopting them, you know, and, and, and we have a friend, they've used the gay brothers sperm of the non biological mother, so two women and, and so there's been total Dion, from the grandparents and everything, because of course, it's there. If they want to say it that way they the child is biologically related to I think, similarly, we're fine. Look, we found them with AIDS Didn't we have more a different way to grieve? Like with the quilt and with the jet, there was the need. And then we grieve differently, and now they were rules about children and, and our community wants to have children. So lesbians have have to go through that, but gay men do, and they are, and they are finding amazingly creative ways to make children you know, like, what, you know, within the law. So I think it's really, really interesting. It's like it like, as an academic lawyer, the law has stayed so far behind, it's really that the community has forced these changes, they will never been given. You know, like, what we've taken them and in the end, just so much has happened, that there was no way to stop it, don't you think? So? I mean, the recognition of our families, because so much of the coverage, you know, there'd be these really, I remember a guy who he was this closeted gay guy, and he would write things about cohabiting contracts. And this and that, you know, and never once said he was and then would go cruise places at night, you know, it was just, lives aren't like that as much anymore. They I mean, those those lives of total secrecy. It, you know, Max lease. I mean, it can be just as hard to come out in any given family, I'm sure. [01:56:55] Just wondering, what do you think, some of the benefits of aging? [01:57:01] Well, my super card that we could avoid? [01:57:07] Yea, [01:57:09] yea, [01:57:11] that's a benefit. So I never thought I'd say Winston Peters as a benefit, I think, yeah. [01:57:19] I think [01:57:22] the possibility of actually the reality of, because I've always worked full time, and [01:57:31] really, very long as [01:57:36] to have the possibility of more leisure time. Like, I now have trouble thinking today is Saturday, because my weekend start on Friday. And that's, that's nice. That's different from how it's ever been. So the possibility of more leisure time is a real [01:57:56] advantage, I think. [01:58:02] Not feeling so [01:58:05] pressured to actually [01:58:09] do things after the blue, but being able to actually just make sure out of it feels good here. [01:58:20] And I think [01:58:25] I didn't want to say too much about this. But the something that I'm, I think that as I grow older, I'm more reflective, and I'm more ready to kind of think about how my life fits into the world and, [01:58:45] and let's go to be a bit more contemplative and a bit more [01:58:50] mindful about [01:58:54] what sort of meaning My life has in his head? [01:58:59] Well, this is it's been a journey I've been on for now a while of making meaning, at the same time, and cutting back on work, and wanting to do that, and yet at the same time, being afraid, because we're structures may like, and I have a certain number of groupies that are quite fun to have, and it's going to, it has already changed in terms of my and so what am I looking forward to, I'm looking to year to do, I hope I do that. And I mean, one of the troubles for me with working, the way I'm working is I haven't freed myself from that to do those things that I say I'm going to do, if I ever get there, you know, so but then [01:59:51] yeah, I like the idea of not being responsible so much anymore. I just really given that away, [02:00:01] not on a day to day level, of course, responsible for dinner or something, but I don't feel like I no longer feel it's my fault. If we don't get the revolution, you know, I used to feel I had to do more, you know, just keep going. So those limitations can be freeing, you know, not feeling that I have to lead the charge. I really, you know, like, I'll tell you one thing I've done and I've done it, which is if somebody proposes that I do something, and my initial sense is dread. I say no. years ago, I used to say, of course and then steal myself and work up to it, you know, to have a whole battle to deal with it, you know, channel all of my resources, you know, that? I just couldn't say no, I had to draw eyes to it and do it. Now. It's like, [02:01:00] you know, because like, we've lived long enough to realize that virtually any given thing isn't going to make any difference in their life. So for you to suffer with it, you know, so I, if I feel dread fed said finish know, what is the [02:01:16] I think it's been good for me, actually. Give it away, give some of that away, but you have to make sure you're not left with nothing. [02:01:28] I think what we have is now it's time in our lives is the possibility of an equal relationship. I've I have to say I never had that before. And that was always the dream I had of a lesbian feminist future. And I think that that that's really here. It takes work and everything but it's worth it. I never had that kind of equality of relationship before and it's joy

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