Katija Vlatkovich profile

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[00:00:00] This program was funded by a generous grant from the gay Oakland Business Association charitable trust. For more information, visit gabba.org.nz said. [00:00:11] I'm cashier, and I am raised in Oakland. And I come from a Croatian background. Sorry, I have a very big, loud, amazing family came out, I guess, a party so I kind of when I was in high school, I was dating a girl, which was pretty cool, which is amazing woman. So friends there now, but I guess it wasn't till a few couple years ago, really, I kind of really admitted to myself that I was differently, at least me. And so it took me it took me a few years of kind of tossing and turning and coming from a Catholic background as well. And all that kind of installation of those kind of morals and mindsets that kind of took me a while to break down those walls and kind of realize that you can have a family with a partner at the same time. And yes, I was. Yeah, it was pretty cool when I kind of came to that realization. And yeah, I made some really good friends and support network around me that kind of allowed me to do that. So [00:01:11] how was homosexuality seen in Croatian culture? [00:01:17] Good question. It's not really something that is expected. Really? I'd say it's a very, very, very strong Catholic culture. I guess in terms of my family network, I really don't think that it's already something as bought up if you're not a man, it's just kind of don't really mentioned that my immediate family that quite accepting, so that's fine. It took them a little bit, but they got there. So in the day, they don't really have a choice, I guess. But um, yeah, it's definitely something that's not accepted in the in the foreground, I guess. [00:01:54] And did you pick up on that when you were when you were in high school and alien? [00:01:58] Oh, when I was younger, it wasn't really something that I hadn't thought about because I didn't know any any out gay people, I guess. Yeah. So it was kind of and I don't really think it's much of the culture I think it's more of the it was more the religion side of it, I guess, so differently. And I went to Catholic primary school and all that kind of stuff. So it was very much kind of your typical nuclear family was your Mother, the Father, married and, and then they had the children. So that was definitely something that's instilled in me, I think on that. [00:02:34] So how did you feel when you were having a girlfriend in high school? [00:02:38] I was very secretive. Various, my parents didn't know about date or anything when I was that age, but I'm, how can I? It just happens is I meet killers at school with and yeah, it just happened. So I was very, very sick rid of that. And I guess a few people at school new I think that there's a lot of bullying, a lot of kind of teasing and stuff around it as well. So it wasn't really something I was out and proud of. I think a lot of the teasing bullying I received at high school, and kind of made me a bit wary of coming out in the future years. I guess so. [00:03:20] So when did you first realize that you were attracted to women? [00:03:24] I guess when I meet the skill at school, I I wasn't really nice. I wouldn't really date prior to that. I didn't have boyfriends or girlfriends or anything like that. So um, yeah, I just I've always kind of thought, I thought when I was younger, that I could admire the beauty of a woman or so that renderer really kind of clicked that it was [00:03:49] more, it was more to it than just admiring my case. So if I look back now I can definitely see. [00:03:56] times we're Yeah, God I played, played soccer at it all the time. Things I look back in it now. Yeah, I guess it kind of fully came to fruition when I make it. [00:04:08] So that must have been a bit of a mind shift in your own heat was? [00:04:11] Yeah, I think. I don't know. I've always kind of a person that I didn't like anything a guy went so it wasn't, I wasn't kind of I'm gonna not give it a go. It was very confusing. I think just when you that I started is everything's confusing, you know, finding out you know, your body getting to know and we we're out in the world. And that's just it's just another thing. I guess. So. Yeah, it was pretty. It was pretty mind melting. It was pretty fun. [00:04:41] And so how did that affect you after that kind of first experience in terms of you know, being out of school while you're mentioning we've been bullying? [00:04:51] Yeah, it's it's, um, [00:04:54] it was quite a bit of bullying and somebody a lot of Brad was quite a quite a while ago was I guess I was quite forthcoming in the city. I thought you had a few getting bullied you fought back? I guess so. I am. Yeah, I had it was I remember some pretty pretty nasty comments and stuff. My there was anybody any kind any physical bullying, and it was just more more verbal, but I guess it kind of stuck with me. It still sticks with me now. I guess. So. Um, it made me kind of stay definitely in the closet for a few years after that, after that kind of experience after I left school. Yeah, I was pretty, pretty clear. If I was, it was just more of that thing that just, you know, if what's the point of getting that much abuse and ridicule if you're going to, I just wasn't really, I guess, strong within myself strong enough at within myself to deal with it. That's what kind of school was, it was a pretty, it was a pretty orphaned school. And it was. Yeah, it's quite hard to explain with that kind of. [00:05:56] It is amazing teachers here. [00:06:00] We're so supportive and brilliant. That was just I guess, [00:06:05] there was a code school. So it was a lot of the guys that gave us a lot of grief definitely, [00:06:10] will be any completely out students or teachers or support in the school. [00:06:16] There are a couple of gay boys, I was quite good friends with a couple of them. But they weren't, they didn't have partners or anything. They were just kind of quite quiet. Was the kitchen staff. And not at teachers, but very supportive. Teachers are amazing, and deputy principal at the time, and she was very, very, very supportive. So I remember her everything she did there. But um, yeah, that was kind of the RNA really, it wasn't really a quick support group or anything like that at school, when I was so yeah, it wasn't really much in terms of sex education, or anything. There was, it was it was sex education, but it was pretty much that you're speaking with a guy and a girl, this is what happens. And this is how you protect Stuff and Being pregnant pretty much. So it wasn't anything in terms of queer certification at all. Yeah, that was pretty much the basis of it you kind of just learned from, from what people told you and getting involved. [00:07:14] So you're saying it was a couple of years after that until before you actually kind of came out [00:07:18] differently differently? probably five or six years after that. So [00:07:22] yeah, so what happened in that period? What [00:07:24] I was dating guys was really unhappy. I was drinking a lot. I was just, yeah, kind of biding my time. I don't know. I wasn't I wasn't in a good headspace. I just didn't. I wasn't happy with myself and I. Yeah, tried to live a life that wasn't me. So yeah, it's pretty, pretty tough time that got thrown in the end. How did you get through, um, I was kind of a process I kind of got to this. I wasn't the last relationship I was with women with a guy was pretty horrific. I was pretty abusive relationship. So it kind of Yeah, that kind of put me off people in general for a while. And then I was very lucky. I've got amazing, amazing friends who just kind of helped me through. And then I met someone one night and yeah, so pretty cool woman. And yeah, I just kind of guess I was ready to give that avenue ago, and I had amazing friends. I knew that I could, if I could tell me anything. And I wouldn't judge me or to me away or anything. And yeah, I think just having that support around me, allowed me to kind of be true to myself. I guess. So. [00:08:36] Yeah. What the hell was that? [00:08:38] Amazing. [00:08:40] thousand bytes of data flow of my shoulders. It was just yeah. So much time. But I was just yeah, it's too wrapped up in societal ideals that I assumed were the correct ones and things like that. So yeah, I was finally I decided I was going to be trading myself. And yeah, that was pretty cold. [00:09:00] So what age were you then [00:09:02] 2221 [00:09:05] to 30? And you talk about societal ideals? What I mean, what were the things that you were kind of receiving from society in terms of what what should you have been, [00:09:13] um, differently? Well, as I said, earlier, I was raised in a Catholic kind of environment. So the idea is where you got married to a man and you had children after you're married. And the whole nuclear family ideal that I hit was my probably my biggest thing to deal with. Because I always I've always wanted children always wanted to be a mother and all that kind of stuff. So it's, that was something that I kind of struggled with for a while. And then I guess I, after getting more education and learning things, I realized, it's actually pretty easy to do if you are in a relationship with us on the same seat. So it was definitely my biggest obstacle, I guess, to overcome. [00:09:54] So with this newfound kind of just openness and freedom, how did that impact on you? [00:10:01] I guess, a lot heavier. [00:10:04] I kind of got involved in and work was that kind of? I guess I've been, I felt like I'd been under a blanket, I guess for so long that I wanted to help others in their, in their success in a situation and kind of, yes, people who are going through similar processes and celebrate that you can't just be who you are. And don't be ashamed of it. It's just waste too much time. thing too scared. But yes, I want us to kind of get into that environment. And I did. So I was actually at the time, I was at uni. And then I saw my post graduate and PR and communications. And I got assigned to do some work with maker and couldn't have been a better, Mitch. And he was amazing. Absolutely amazing. And I'm with him. And another another gentleman, Julian cook. We work together and does the half Easter, which was so exciting. And something I just completely, completely fell in love with when I was working doing it. So it's really exciting. And yeah, so [00:11:13] is this part of the Omega haka foundation? Yes. [00:11:15] So I was at the mechanic foundation at the time. And basically, when I was when I sat there, he does a lot of work with underprivileged youth and things that are out there and South Auckland kind of area. And through that, we wanted to do something that was kind of a youth inspired festival, but also a peaceful, that's basically it was celebrating diversity. So it wasn't just a queer festival, I had obviously quit elements and different cultures, different six days, different beliefs and everything. So it kind of just encompassed that and because obviously, we're in such an amazing city, that here that is certainly different. Diversity is pretty much it's, it's K. So you want to celebrate that and explore that. So it was really exciting, really exciting. [00:11:59] So what were some of the things that you were doing as part of that [00:12:02] I was even coordinator. So we had something like 50 something against it was it wasn't that far. But I kind of I mainly oversaw majority of them. But I'm the main ones had my most involvement. And were the things like the ladies event. So we did a couple of the one which was singer songwriter night, so it was quite cool. And then we had another like, kind of a dance party thing. And yeah, there's lots going on. So I kind of took over that that aspect. Yes, it was very exciting. [00:12:34] So much. Can you use the word? queer? What? What word would you use to describe yourself? [00:12:39] I'd probably say queer. Yeah, [00:12:41] it's slipping for you. [00:12:42] Um, I guess it's a reclaimed, [00:12:46] reclaimed word. And obviously, it's had its negative connotations in the past, but um, I guess it's just kind of it's a quiet place to find is not having a typical straight sexuality. So I see six, six really has been quite fluid, with people's, especially with myself, like, I know that. There was times where I wasn't identified as just a blocking woman, but you know, it taught me a process. So it's quiz kind of, I guess, an umbrella term for all? Well, then I guess so. Yeah. [00:13:21] So with the fewest order, were a number of kind of queer elements. Are there any different issues than doing like a mainstream event? [00:13:30] Um, yeah, I guess so. Um, in terms of things, like, getting sponsorship and stuff, it's [00:13:41] a lot of marketing things, you have to [00:13:43] I guess you can't you can't live better, but you got to kind of play the play the carrot of the quick had because of what's in their marketing plan to, you know, that said demographic, then obviously going to do it. So I guess that's not just say, for example, a dance party, you know, just like any of you, that's the kind of page says a queer dance party or dance party. And you do really well get sponsorship with people who are obviously trying to hit that demographic. So there are, but it's not so different, I guess like this. At the end of the day, if you're organizing something and a venue, I think I've never come across any any place, it's been homophobic or anything. But then again, I have mainly focused on my kind of work around the Kairos kind of area. So obviously, that's kind of more of a, an area that's more accepting of gay people, but I've never really had anything, any kind of homophobic response to the news, or any people that are going to be working evidence just as majority of time in pretty positive. So yeah. [00:14:46] What about in terms of attracting audiences? Do you find there are specific things that will attract a queer audience and or repel a queer audience? [00:14:55] Definitely. [00:14:58] And definitely, and I'm sincere of the lot of women's event siren. It's, I've has an actual premiere, which is kind of a female. Musical, nice. And I've definitely come up with head size of head of head skater, like a male sound guy or some other and there's been a few kind of what's a guy doing here kind of thing. It's generally I've found older generation have more problems, but it's, I completely ever speak to understand what they went through in their time. So I can I can say that. But yeah, it's an when, when advertising stuff, you're going to get a queer. I'm talking in terms of the girls, and it exists for me what I've done. And if you have queer performers of stuff, you're more likely for them to come in, because they can relate they can identify with these people. So um, yeah, that's kind of how I've attracted that kind of audience. Now I have the amount so [00:15:57] and is it wrong with me to to try and identify things is like quite a show, isn't it? I mean, do you when you're putting on events? Do you say okay, well, this is actually a quite specific event? Or do you say, Well, actually, anybody can come to this. [00:16:10] I'm aware, I've always believed that I don't, might be open to anyone. So you can come along, as long as you respect the environment, and you don't hold me. Judgment. So reservations and equals travel, you have to leave, obviously. But I don't see why if you're, if you're out, you can, you can't go to event with the girlfriend and your brother can't come along who's supportive of you? This is ridiculous stuff that can happen. So I'm always made a stance on that. It's, it's a queer space where you can bring like minded individuals as well. So people and people who support cuz it's all about having your support. And you know, it shouldn't be have those lines that you can't be the same as saying that queer people can't come to a straight bar. I guess that's how I see it. So yeah. [00:16:56] So what are the biggest things that you've learned working with the maker hacker Foundation, I'm [00:17:01] gonna let so much there. It's not funny. [00:17:05] I was extremely lucky to be working with maker and Julian and their phenomenally talented and wonderful individuals who taught me a lot. I yeah, I learned pretty much a lot in a small amount of time I was doing things I wasn't budgeting, I was doing a lot of events, stuff I was lucky to have. I guess there were a lot of frameworks in place from previous things I've done. So they could teach me a lot. I learned how to set up a lot of meetings. And I've made a lot of networks are there as well, which is brilliant. Yes, they'll come to the main main kind of things, but also how to how to approach the quick community as well, because there are different it's not just I guess, an umbrella as quickly as approaching the the trans community approaching the community approaching that. To be a community that is a lot of different kind of protocols and things as well. So I learned all that through through those guys. I was very lucky. [00:17:56] So what are some of those protocols? [00:17:57] I guess? Well, for I'm going to, I'm going to make the Beasley's at Tim, I'm going to urge you can't just walk in as a woman I wouldn't have known it's kind of a space and things that just little things like that little rules of the venues and things are Yeah, it's quite. It's cool. It's really exciting. And I'm I got to meet people I probably wouldn't have met through if not so, yes, great. [00:18:26] So actually must be quite easy to kind of put your coordinates. If you're not careful and tight. [00:18:30] I guess it's just being I guess, it's keep in mind here to be respectful at all times. And you got to be clear what you say. Because not everyone has obviously the same users you and especially when we were doing a festival that was pretty provocative and provocative. And I guess we could have students not even agree with everything that we're doing and saw how to please everyone, I guess so. [00:18:51] So why was it provocative? There are a lot of [00:18:55] this is not just quickly, I guess I and you know, there are a lot of quiet, exciting, kind of sexualized kind of things as well. So we had beautiful dancers from Malaysia and stuff. And we had drag performances on a lot of nights and things like that. So it wasn't everyone's cup of tea. And some of the events were but out there. But I guess not every man this dog would kind of enjoy it as [00:19:22] Yeah. So did you actually get complaints from from the community about what was in the festival? [00:19:28] No, no, not really nothing. [00:19:32] Nothing kind of formal. I just get set up a lot of time of the events I've organized, been involved in this. With it with all the positive criticism, you're going to get negative as well. So not everyone's gonna agree with what you're doing or how you just it's just little things that how you go about. We have been used to how to wear, what time of day things. It's just little subtle things. So but at the end of the day, it was Porter and it was fantastic. And it's gonna happen again this year. I think that's really exciting to see. Yeah, yeah. [00:20:02] So in doing that work, did you feel that you were giving back or helping younger queer people? Was that one of the driving things for you [00:20:11] differently? I think it was we had a lot of youth elements in it as well. And Jay, to Rachid kind of glengoyne. It's called blind boys showcase. So a lot of the great thing I loved about his show was it was strike heads and drag queens and Quick, Quick Hits all together during this most amazing talented shot. And they were kids, anywhere from eight to 16 I guess. So it was phenomenal. And it really just blew my mind. It was so cool seeing them all working together and doing things so it wasn't just kind of you having one night which is drag night one night, it's kind of all encompassing together and all kind of wishing it was I get goosebumps now thinking that was so cool. But um, yeah, it was just great. Being able to provide platforms for kids to actually express themselves and be who they are. I guess that was really cool. [00:20:56] Because it must be quite easy to get a wise or put into a nice like safe. This is a queer fist all What are you learning? And I guess that's fine if you're out and about but actually is as kids growing up, that may be armed and they're looking for stuff [00:21:10] different I completely agree it is. You I think if you're so Christian, and you're a lot more likely obviously to go to something that's not just label this as a gay have been. So it's, and it's great. And it just it opens kids might as I say, you could have a no couple, three, three straight girls doing a dance at this event and their boyfriends or cousins come along to watch it. And then they get exposed to kind of you know, some drag queens or other kind of quick as an a kind of depends normalize, I guess it's not it's not it's both limits, kind of they've seen it and I can relate and kind of cool to expose those kids to different people in different cultures and stuff as well. It's cool. [00:21:51] So it was around this time that you started working with rainbow you. [00:21:55] Um, it was just a little bit before that I was doing obviously a lot of a lot of work was our heart It was quite heavily involved with and the guy who at the time, and I heard that they were looking for a new board member Yes. Because someone had Lyft. So I am applied and got voted on, which is really cool. And yeah, I'm really glad I did it. Yes. [00:22:21] So what is rainbow? [00:22:22] Rainbow? Yes. [00:22:24] Wow. It's an organization for for quite us pretty much that provides ports and your printer support for Christian and youth and family and friends. And its youth. Its youth please run yet completely youth run. [00:22:45] All boards 27. And under [00:22:51] all the all the facilities and everything Oh, I am yours. Yep. 27 under as well. And we have the executive director host isn't that he's amazing. It wasn't me. I don't know, half the time. But um, yeah, we've got a couple of advisors who come in and basically give give the wonderful world of knowledge that they have on certain issues and things so but yes, pretty much a nice run. Patient organization source. Yes. Awesome. [00:23:23] So what did you want to be on the board? [00:23:24] I guess I wanted so I've always wanted to remember linear a couple years ago, and I thought was a really really, really cool organization that is so vital. And, and this country, and I just kind of want to see I've always wanted to get involved. And I never really knew how and I saw the opportunity. And I knew that I had skills that I could offer. And yeah, I guess that's kind of why I want to get I really wanted to help and be involved in such a cool community. Thanks for not, that's every day I guys amazing. I just love it, [00:23:58] what's the most amazing things, [00:24:00] saying cancer comes for a need and, and they'll sit there and they'll tell you if you're in the scenes and you'll get stories of you know, I've got my first girlfriend and my first boyfriend and that telling stories about how, you know, I would just go today and I'll get bullied once and you know, I did what you do what you guys seem to me to do. And I you know, and also stories, there was a one last year of around the school board time there were a girl was at an all girls school in Oakland, and Wasn't she wasn't able to take her girlfriend to the deny his account. So she decided to take it to the Human Rights Commission and things like that. And these are kids that have who have been a source of revenue, and you know, I've got the support. They're just like, this is like 1516 Oh, it's fascinating. And it's so cool that these kids have got a resource and in getting the information that allows them to know that for one it's not right that you can be quick be out of scope. That's that's that's just ridiculous. I said that basically, you're just educating them. And we've got a an Education Officer now who a young lady who goes through high schools and as basically doing queer education so so yeah, well, that's, that's in the, in the stages. So getting through a few schools, but obviously, there's still a bit of walls up as a little boy schools want internet that would try. But it's just it's cool things that you know, I I could only dream of handsome I didn't High School, you know, I've been taught that. What the difference of, you know, gay, lesbian, bi trans transgender is and how things work. And it's okay to have those feelings, people and yeah, it's really exciting. [00:25:34] So when you were in high school, did you have any knowledge of wrangle youth? [00:25:38] Um, not really, I have I had, I mean, we're a couple of things. But it wasn't I didn't really have the resources, I guess to, to go through there. That's why it's like this thing of having going into high schools actually talking to kids is amazing, because it basically outlines exactly what they offer. And I guess when I was it out, as well, as you kind of put thing, if you go to someone out there, just automatically someone sees the day, they're gonna think you're gay or whatever. And it's quite a big, big deal at the time. So yeah, I just didn't have the information or the Yeah, the knowledge of what it was. So I think we're starting to happen more presence now. And it's not the scary as it isn't like that today, sometimes. [00:26:20] So when you're sitting in the center, what are the issues that kind of coming through now with one of the things what are the big things for me? [00:26:32] Personally, I probably am not the best person to talk to I'm kind of the overview about what we have done recently is, um, we did a undertook a research thing over museum was putting research that did nothing for us. So basically, we asked what queer youth need, what, what they what they want, and if there's a need for more work through to the countries that are there, and pretty much thought it was education voice, stuff pretty much with it, I've heard or spoken to out at Tommy and senior and things, and it's kids coming for that, you know, dealing with family dealing with friends, it's the same kind of I don't think it's really changed too much over time. But, um, that's on the kind of ground on the ground here. But when it comes to more of a high level, I think what we're trying to do is give queer youth a voice and, and bring it to a higher level. So they actually get kind of respect within, you know, policy changing and laws and things. So because there's a lot of work to be done, and we're trying to work towards x at the moment, it's all about fragmented throughout the country. So [00:27:37] but profile raising must have had a huge energy behind it. When was it was comedy coffee was dancing with the stars? And he donated all his he does, yeah, proceeds to remember, you know, what, what impact did that have on the organization? [00:27:53] Huge. And it allowed us to basically [00:27:57] do what we're doing now. And that is to undertake this point research study, which we did. And we've now got, I employed a person who is basically an International Youth Court coordinator, I guess. So I'm, basically his role is to go through the country and go talk to all these these queer youth groups throughout New Zealand and see how we can build these amazing support groups and networks and get us as one voice together. Because if we have one natural national power, then we can actually do some change, which is so exciting. It's really cool. So I guess because wherever you is, at the moment, just outcome based organizations are having their money allowed us to basically reach out to a national level and get support to pay people in small town stuff that needed the most probably out of, you know, so it's, it's really exciting. It's just allowed us to do so much work, which is really cool. There's a lot more to go though. It's good, though. It's good little stepping stone. [00:28:59] What what are the next big things for for your Remember, you? [00:29:03] Definitely the biggest thing is the we're trying to get ahead scalar, around the Queen's Birthday weekend. And that's we're trying to get accessible and affordable for any queer youth that want to come along and be part of this. So it's basically getting everyone together to go right? How can we move forward? What do you guys want? What's what he wants you guys for safe queries in the future and work towards making things happen. So yeah, it's really exciting, it's going to be pretty cool. I think. [00:29:29] It's really interesting that you say that it's the similar issues, you know, from maybe 20 years ago, still currently, in terms of like, you know, coming up to family and stuff. How do I mean, how do you develop resources that actually, I mean, do you think you'll ever get beyond those issues? Will they always be there? [00:29:45] I hope so. I really do. I think it obviously does depend on our families that you were brought up and and how every case is different. But um, it's definitely a cultural things are hopefully was with more, more education and through all, it's not just educating us, it's educating parents and schools and getting into those kind of things. If they have the foundation set to change, then obviously people's thinking was set to change. So just educating people is going to take a while I think and but what happened in my generation I don't think might happen tomorrow time, maybe but it's just all about changing education, how people think and making being game and, and majority of terms not a not a bad thing or not a nor frowned upon thing. It's just another thing you know, just make it so it's the same as you know, everything else in the world it's not a it's not an issue. It should be I'm have prejudice against so yeah, we're working towards it. [00:30:46] So we did you get your kind of worldview From where does that come from? [00:30:51] My view? Um, I guess I I've got a pretty open minded family and make it family I've always I was always I was brought up to me, but even judge anyone or not have any reservations about anyone because of the race, color, gender, whatever. That's not not i'm not something I was raised to believe and always treat people how you want to be treated. So I guess it was quite goes to have a foundation for that. So I don't Yeah, and I guess I've done I've always kind of attracted just interesting people into my life. I don't know how I do it. But I yeah, I've got some pretty cool friends. But they're all very different. And they've all got um, yeah, I wouldn't say a typical mainstream line people, but it Gotta love them all. So I don't know, I just, I guess I've always been, I've allowed myself to be exposed to a lot of different areas of the world. And yeah, I just kind of take everything in and, yeah, don't really [00:31:48] keep it on a judgment level, the lowest point. [00:31:52] Yeah, definitely. Definitely. [00:31:55] So what do you hope to achieve with rainbow youth? [00:31:58] And pretty much them youth I I really want to see it go to a national level, I really want to see things happening. So we can do policy changes. And GM I can I really want to see that. I think I think it can I really do. I just want to say, I can I do really want to this national network happening. So there's just one voice that we can all put together. So these were the kind of changes that needed because there's so many changes that have been made, and especially things like in high school, like, actually, it should have been the curriculum that, especially with sex education, stuff, that it's not just, you know, straight education, it should be. Because we're asking, you know, schools that most one of those four places for Bill, that's where they learn some interesting things that needs to be put into place and things like, you know, you shouldn't, if you're if you're out there, you should be able to take your partner to the ball if you want and things like that. So it's all those little things that we're trying to, I really want to see start to happen. We're getting there and doing baby steps. [00:32:57] Hey, so this series of interviews is all kind of making a difference in the community, and also kind of personal development. And I guess, would you have any advice? If somebody was sitting there listening to this thinking, I want to get involved? I want to do something, but I'm not sure. Where to start? [00:33:12] Yeah. What would you say? Wow, there's so many things that you can do. If you want to get involved in things like with youth, queer youth, differently, if you're an Oakland, I just get bring us up for me is we've got events happening all the time when you volunteer, or if you want to get involved, and we do so many things I would we've got groups that have and it's about eight or nine groups happen every week. We're always open for ideas and volunteers and things like that. Also, definitely things if you're giving out on a call and places like that, they're always looking for how anywhere just just call up and and ask on the website and have a look. I'm sure this context is after all these organizations need as much help as I can get and even just if people volunteer for one day and help out giving out flyers or something, I guess it's every every little bit counts. So [00:34:06] yeah. And I guess even just turning up to queer event. Exactly. Just being out there, I guess Exactly. [00:34:12] And supporting em. Obviously, there's no people at these events that aren't that aren't last. So I'm here just supporting current initiatives and things that are really important as well. So we actually do have a voice and we can continue. [00:34:28] This program was funded by a generous grant from the gay Oakland Business Association charitable trust. For more information, visit gabba.org.nz id

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