Waikato Queer Youth - KAHA Youth Hui 2009
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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in zero.com. [00:00:08] Yeah, so tell us a little bit about yourself and where you're from. [00:00:13] My name is Simon and I'm from Hamilton, way up in the middle of the North Island. [00:00:18] And what group are you representing today? [00:00:20] Today I represent why colloquia you? Who we just got our very first office for ourselves. So yay, go gay. Yeah. [00:00:29] Yeah. And how you finding this, who he is this the first time big national quitting and be normal. You're a veteran. [00:00:36] I'm a veteran of the university saying, I work with a group. And I've been to unique q conferences, which is a union of questions associations, but this is the face of queer, specifically queer youth Hawaii that I've been to. And I was a bit worried about, like, the sleeping pins and stuff because I'm a weird one. But it's, it's pretty cold. There's some loud people, but sleeping pills really help. [00:01:06] And it just came out of a session or a couple of sessions this morning. What What have those sessions been? Like? What, what what have they been? [00:01:15] The first one? Gosh, what was it about? The first one was about identification of gay the differences between gays and straights, like certain names that are used to describe the queer community and terms that are used to describe the straight community. And it was a correlation of names that you had been called for being queer or identifying as queer. And the second one was more focused on what, which of us, and the groups were in which each individual person does and which group they work for and support and what works and what doesn't for a queer youth group. And also what I like real priorities for them as well. [00:01:59] And it's, yeah, that's around it. [00:02:01] And so you grew up in the Waikato? [00:02:04] Yep. Oh, 19 years old? Yes. I've been there almost 20 years. [00:02:09] Yeah. And how's it been? So, you've been few groups and, [00:02:17] and so it's coming ahead. [00:02:20] Um, it was the way that I came out. Um, I, I told you run us by because it seemed to be an easiest steeping ground. But I was outed to both my parents on two separate occasions. The first was at my mother's brother's wedding, I was outed, and I was also incredibly drunk. So that didn't help. And then my brother outed me to my father accidentally when he told my dad that I was in a queer relationship. And that didn't go down very well. But I'm bridges have been built and mended and they seem to be a bit more accepting of it. Now. Coming out to my friends, I didn't come out at high school because I went to an all boys school, which at the time, was very homophobic, there were a lot of slurs being pushed around there. And you know, the worst thing that you could say to someone was calling them gay, and I, it really hurt me when I had to study there. But um, but now, when I came out around 17, to a lot of my friends, I lost a lot of friends simply because they didn't want to know, they didn't want to be friends with a gay guy. Whether it was because of their religious beliefs, their personal beliefs, or the belief that just because I was a gay male, that my male friends automatically assumed that I wanted to sleep with them, which wasn't the case. So um, but yeah, I'm like, it was quite nice. It certainly has its ups and downs. Groups like Hamilton pride, why colloquia you, and the work that I do really help. But um, there's still like, anywhere, there's still a lot of homophobia. You know, I am quite unique in my in how I present myself and I take pride in my sexuality, I get a text for it quite often, I get [00:04:10] a text from home or Hello, how are you? [00:04:13] Well, when, when I walk down the street, I get people checking beer cans at me from the cars calling me if I get and when I was lining up for tickets once and I was sitting outside, and a woman will pass and spit on me. And she said, Well, I you know, I know you're a dirty, filthy faggot. And I don't believe I'm not advocating this, but I don't believe in putting up with abuse. So I abused her back. I've had my car door urinated on because I'm gay. But I promptly broke their back windscreen window. It's sort of things like that, I don't see why should be treated any less of an individual simply because of what I do and the confines of a bedroom. And I also don't, I also get frustrated that I to woman on the street Can you know, kiss each other? And not, you know, it's generally accepted. And also for men, it's, you know, a great thrill that for two gay guys to do it, as seen as perverse and dirty, and all others there needs to be equality between between the strike community and the queer community. And I find it very unfair. And at times, it gets really upsetting that we're persecuted for it. [00:05:33] Yeah. What does what what kind of advice or messages would you give to a young person? [00:05:41] Yeah, who's going to have a public voice? Go? What were you [00:05:46] try and talk to your counselors, counselors to keep things confidential. So that's always a bonus. Look for support groups in your area, or filing debt, try services like outline, which upright New Zealand one, or try and find friends somewhere, there are groups like on Bebo and MySpace said, you know, look at queer you look at them, and just generally get all the support you can because I know, being queer and being young is really difficult. And I know that for a lot of people, when you come out, it's a really hard decision, and a hard process. I mean, for you, and everyone thats related to you. And I know that it can be extremely detrimental to your mental health. So my best advice is get as much support as you can, if you need it. And yeah, and also choose when to come out. I mean, if you do go to a homophobic boys school, or you know, generally a religious school that may not be so accepting. Maybe it's not best to come out at high school, maybe it's best that you wait a while, because low your sexuality may or may not be important to you. For me, my sexuality is very important, but my personal safety is first. So never, ever put yourself into a compromising situation, to declare your sexuality. Always wait because you know, there's plenty more years ahead, and there's plenty more things that you will do. And hopefully you'll be in a more accepting environment. [00:07:14] Cool. Thank you very much. [00:07:16] Thank you. [00:07:18] This audio was brought to you by out there. For more information, visit www dot out there.org.nz
This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors.