Keith King profile

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[00:00:00] This podcast is brought to you by pride in, with generous support from the rule foundation. [00:00:07] Well, I was born in England, I was wondering, we were done in England. I'm, I'm one of four children. And I have an older brother, four years older, and I have them my parents had a second family. So I have a sister who's 16 years younger, and another brother who is 18 years younger, maybe 19 years, 18 years younger. So there's a quite a big gap. So it's like two families. I and I was we we moved into a I mean, I come from a sort of a fairly, I guess you call it middle class, fairly wealthy background. We we moved into the country, my parents ran a business. And so I grew up just outside sandwich World's Most of my growing life. At the age of 17, I decided to, to come. The short story is just decided to come to New Zealand and stayed with some, some friends of my mother and Pepitone. And at but then prior to that, I had had some surgery and I'm I met my wife to be and we corresponded for a year, I went back to England got married in 1970. And then, and then came back here permanently, with my entire Well, my mom and dad, and my younger family, all came over together. So we settled in, on the North Shore, we started the business here. We had, we had two children, [00:01:41] then, and then about 1972, I guess it was [00:01:50] my wife's parents came out from the UK, to stay with us. And we were to around the South Island hadn't had a motor accident, my wife's mother was killed in that I had to identify her body. And that was my first encounter with death. And that really set me off on a quest, I guess for the meaning of life. That would be my thing. And and, I mean, again, the short story from that was that I entered into the Anglican ministry, or the ministry. And, and I was ordained in about [00:02:22] up to like 1970s [00:02:25] as a priest, and I was initially cured at some actual error. And I was Vicar up on the Coromandel Peninsula. And, and then, and then I'm not sure how far to go with this, because you may need to go back a bit since of my gay discovery. But, but I, as I say, I was big on the commenter Peninsula, and that was a fairly community base. There's a whole lot of communes and stuff up there, and that I was really interested in exploring Christianity from a human perspective. So, again, the short story is that we formed the trust, and the peacemakers trust, and we had 10 1010 acres of property up in Palestine. And we formed a community Christian community. And, and but that that was a hugely stressful, I mean, I was there for about eight years, and I burnt out. Then I went back into the, into the parish ministry again. But I mean, by that stage, I had this I mean, my journey had moved a whole long way. I was recruited so greatly for a while, and then from from an Australian from glynneath, I should say, and from from Glen eaten, I actually came out there. And, and that was, that really was the end of parish ministry for me. I then I formed then formed a company of my own, and I started selling my services as a minister. So I contracted so I ended up doing contract i was i was the chaplain at the Mercy Hospital for time. And I did some other chapters is that HK facilities, and I started doing celebrants the work. And and I mean, that just sort of blossomed from there. So that's a potted bit up to there. So So if I go back, in terms of my gay journey, when I look back, that there were definitely signs I didn't recognize them. I was basically ignorance about sexuality. In my teenage years, I always say if my mother wouldn't, I mean, my father didn't play the role in our lives. My mother, I mean, for heard, any, any discussion about sex and sexuality would have been an absolute anathema to her. And I always say, even if I asked her now, about, you know, Where do babies come from, she said, Tell me, I'll tell you later. I mean, that's the sort of person she is. And, and I mean, back then I had no clothes at all, but when I look back, I mean, I did have crushes on guys at school, and I can remember guy going up to London, and going into, you know, pawn shops and looking at magazines, and it wasn't, it was the men that I was attracted to, not the women. And, and it was, but but it I had no, I had no clue at all. And I, you know, as I say, really just followed what was expected of me. And, and I got married, and we had a very successful marriage, I mean, there was nothing wrong with our marriage at all. But when I was at, well, when, [00:05:33] when I was at St. John's College, he got very close to another Borden end there. And, and he made a pass at me. And, and I, and it just completely threw me off, it was just something that I never encountered before. And I never thought, you know, we, as I say, we got quite, I mean, we did get quite deep together. And, and, and I did say that we started talking about our attraction, so say, my deposit manner, and it was something that I mean, it completely threw me at but but from the other side, we can curate at maximum rim aware. And that was back in the 1970s. And there was a, there was a movement then called group lifelock, bar actress. And, and they were sort of week long residential programs, if you know about them, and they they involved, you know, forming these very close little groups, doing experiments and good laugh about doing some work in a group and then exploring it as, as, you know, sort of, like a laboratory. And but in the process of that, I came to really realize that I did have a strong attraction to people of the same gentleman. And I actually went back to my wife and I said, hey, guess what, no, I, you really attracted to men, but that worries, I mean, it's not something you know, you need to worry about, it's just a part of me and, and, and I, but of course, I mean, it wasn't just a part of me. And as, as time went on, it became more Well, as I said, in my, you know, in my, on my spiritual journey, of course, spirituality and sexuality at a totally intertwined. And, and so on my, as I, as I worked on my spiritual life, of course, I had to come to terms with my sexuality. And, however, being married, being a priest, having children, it was the last thing that I wanted in my life. So I tried everything not to be gay. And, and I joined Exodus International, and I was, I was part of the Exodus movement for a number of years, I used to write the newsletter. And, and I went across the Melbourne to a conference. And, and I mean, it was, it was a a bit bizarre when I, you know, when I think about it, it's really bizarre. And, and they, they decided that I needed to be properly baptized, because it was, dumped me in the Yellow River, so that my sins could be washed away. [00:08:13] And, [00:08:15] but I mean, it just, but that was actually, I mean, it became clear to me, that, that, that a lot of the people within that movement, who claimed healing in inverted commas, were in fact, just repressing their sexual energy. And, and it was an end, and in the group that I was part of here in Oakland, I mean, guys, were just getting it off with one another. And, and so as I say, it became clearer and clearer to me that, you know, that that I had to come to terms with my sexuality, that was the you know, and I had to acknowledge the fact that I was gay. And I mean, it took a number of years. And it was a quite a painful process. We actually had a sort of a crisis in the family. And, and we had to sort of identify my wife, and I had to identify our bottom lines. And my wife's bottom line was that I was her husband and the children's father. But my bottom line actually was the lab was a gay man. And we decided at that point that we needed to part company. And and it was, it was the most difficult, painful thing I've ever done in my life. As I say it was it was absolutely, I mean, it just destroyed her. And [00:09:36] I am way that I society, but it just had to happen, just had to happen. So that would have been in that would have been in the 1990s. [00:09:49] And as I say, I went and saw the bishop. And we said, we parted company in YE was absolutely useless. I mean, he said to us, [00:10:03] he's, we were bawling our eyes out. And, and and he said, he said, [00:10:12] he said, That's not what I wanted to say, That's not what I wanted to. He said, I know these things happen, but it's not what I wanted to hear. And that was the last we ever heard from him. And as I say, we I mean, it was, you know, we, and from there, of course, I mean, you know, the whole parish thing became just untenable, really. And, and as I left the church and and moved on, and I actually ended up there was, there was a guy that I met, and ended up moving in with him, which was an absolute disaster disastrous thing to do. And, and, and that sort of fell apart fairly quickly. And I actually moved back with my wife for a while, but we, I mean, just in the house, so that, and then as a side within, you know, sort of moved on from there. Some months later, I met some Hilton, who, who is the current partner, and we've been together for the last, what, 15 years or so. And I think that, as I say, Hilton, if you're well, we've, we've we ended up with Well, we've, we've, we've done a lot of business stuff together. We ran a we ran a restaurants and wedding venue. He's a DJ. So we did. We had a restaurant, and I've got two and a half acre garden down in Hamilton. And we ran that for seven years. And and then we've been back here in Oakland for the last, what, three or four years. But yeah, so we had a civil union down there. And we're going to get, we've decided now that the marriage amendment bills gone through that we're going to get married on the same date. November the 10th. Yeah. [00:11:55] So in the same settled settled in on the phone, yeah. [00:11:59] I'm really interested in spirituality and sexuality, and how they kind of work together. What are your thoughts on that? That's a [00:12:11] big question, isn't that I mean, I think it mean that any, any, every person has to come has to integrate, I mean, spiritual, spiritual, it's all about integration, it's all about integration. And every person has to integrate their sexuality and whether it be gay, straight, and a lot of even straight people often don't come to terms with their own sexuality. And, and, and I think it's it, you know, it's, it's, that's part of the process of growth of, you know, is, is discovering who one of my stop things is, who is your God, and, and it's discovering who your own God is. And of course, your God is the God that is, that is in your own being in your heart, and you're not some God out there, awesome. It's the, and of course, my sexuality is exactly the same. It's, it's, it's nothing out there. It's to do with who I am, and what dwells within me. And so those two, in that sense, are inseparable. And, and if I, if, if I don't come to terms with who my god is, I will never come to terms with my sexuality. And vice versa. If I don't come to terms with my sexuality, and I'm not absolutely comfortable with that, then I will actually will not know who my god is. And I will not actually go on the journey that I'm called to go on, all of us could go on, you know, that that spiritual journey, what, however it takes us. Does that make sense? [00:13:44] It does. But I'm wondering, did you start out thinking like that? No, [00:13:47] not at all. That's been an evolution. I mean, you know, I say initially in my, you know, back when Biddle I mean, my wife's family, but quite churchy people. And so we, you know, we did the church thing, and Anglican Church thing. And then when, when my wife's mother was killed, I mean, that really was a, sort of, like a kick in the pants really. And I always describe it, like, it was like an orange and the peel, this orange just fell away. And I was left with the juicy core. And, and it was, from that, it was in that context of that juicy call that that I had an encounter with God. And I went through the whole charismatic thing, you know, all the speaking in tongues, but I mean, that was all part and parcel of that, of that era of that part of my spiritual journey. I was, I was never, I've always been reasonably liberal and progressive in my theology, and in my understanding of it all. But But, but I would have called myself an evangelical about an evangelical, charismatic, liberal, really, I mean, it's a mixture. But but then it has been an unfolding journey. I mean, I wouldn't call myself more contemplative. And, you know, that's that my spirituality certainly is far, I mean, my concepts of God, of the Divine have very, very different to what they were, all those years ago. And so it has been an evolving discovery. And I mean, as I say, even, you know, working with Exodus, I mean, that was part of that, you know, recognizing that, you know, that people used religion as a, as a crop, you know, a sort of a proper crock. And, and, and, you know, I really do differentiate between religion and spirituality, I think that's a very different things, that religion is more organized spirituality has to do with your journey and, and how you perceive yourself as the world around you, and other people. And it's, um, yeah, so my concepts of being an adult, it's been an evolving process. Really. [00:16:09] Can you describe a bit more about the repercussions of of your wife's mother's death? What, what it actually mean to you? And, I mean, I'm trying to get an idea of, you know, what was it was the fear for God to be kind of [00:16:27] No, I think it was a realization, what happened there was that I realized my finiteness, you know, I realized then that I wasn't going to live forever, that ever that I was going to die, and that it could have been me, it was a road accident, and I could have been the one that was killed. So I think it was it was a realization, that that that the time on life here is finite. And that that says a say, and that sent me off on this quest for meaning to it all. I mean, it's finite. What am I here for? What's it all about? What do I need to be doing? So yeah, so it was, it wasn't a fearful thing at all? No, no, no, not at all. I mean, it was it was, as I say, it was it was a, it was like, just like I said, it was like the hard the hard skin fell away. And you were left with an up with a soft core. And the sweet, soft core, the juices soft core, which, which, which, which was the essence of, you know, it's actually starting to delve into that. And to, you know, to taste it and to, and to and to work with it. Yeah. So it was no, it wasn't wasn't fearful. It was. Yeah, it was more an awakening. [00:17:38] Yeah, definitely an awakening [00:17:41] into the same thing happened to your wife was [00:17:42] no, not at all. Not at all. [00:17:46] It was quite different for her. Quite different for her. And I mean, but that's Yeah, I mean, I can't say comfortable for her, but it was quite different for Yeah. [00:17:56] Can you talk to me a wee bit more about Exodus? Because I don't. [00:18:02] All right. [00:18:03] First of all, can you describe what it was and how you came? [00:18:06] Okay. Well, I came, I came to it through that there was a magazine called grapevine that was doing the rounds back then. And a grapevine was a sort of a reasonably evangelical if not more, it was it was an evangelical Christian based community magazine, if you have come across it, but it it was, and it was, it was pretty widely distributed. And they had some interesting stuff in there. But some of it was quite good, but, and they had an article on homosexuality, and of course, and this the fact of this group Exodus, that and, and so I decided I'd make contact with the they had fun on this there and I made contact with them. There was a guy who was, he was the [00:18:54] he was a, I'm not sure what denomination, but he was a minister of three kings. [00:18:59] And I met with him. And I started doing some, I mean, and his whole thing was, well, [00:19:09] they there was, but it wasn't, there's a number of aspects to it. So I mean, it sort of emanated from America. And there was a group called homosexuals anonymous, and they that they use the 12 step program as a means to be to, to, to, to find healing for your sexuality, in the same way you will find healing for alcoholism or any other addiction. And that, and I think they, most people in that sort of area would, at that time, would have, would have thought of homosexuality as an addiction or as a spiritual possession. And, and, and so, yes, I actually, as I was, I was pretty desperate, really, because, I mean, I realized, I mean, there were lots of things going on. I mean, I was being becoming exposed to other guys. And, [00:20:08] and, and I was quite scared. I mean, I was really scared. It was, you know, I can't remember how much how much these hoes you want on here. [00:20:19] I can remember going down that there used to be some toilets and how Street. And I can remember going down into the toilets there one day and, and I thought, it's funny. These guys are just hanging around and hear what's going on, what are they doing, and I sort of stayed. And of course, I started witnessing some of the stuff that went on in the toilets down there. But But and I can remember I used to go back to my car, and I shook, I literally was paralyzed. And I shook for at least half and I did that several times, for half an hour or something till I got my equilibrium back. It was I mean, it was pretty scary stuff. I have to say it was really really difficult stuff. For me, as a side, I was married, I was a priest, you know, it's the last thing I wanted in a bank, then, of course, it was, I mean, it was still illegal, you know, that there's just a whole mess of stuff that we're just I just found it terrifying. And as I say, and I and I approached Exodus because I really did want to find a way to deal with it. And and they an SSI into the me to the credit that they were that there was that there was the thing homosexuals anonymous, but then there was this other there was a research psychologist called Elizabeth Moberly who wrote a book called homosexuality a new Christian ethic. And she had a thesis about the the origins of homosexuality. And her thesis was that everybody in the psychosexual development needs a same sex bonding. And that's you usually done with one's father. However, if, if that if that's pre puberty, however, if if that bonding doesn't happen, and you journey through puberty, and you haven't bonded same sexually, and about to a sense, to somebody of the same sex and a non sexual way, then then her thing was, is the post puberty that need become sexualized. So you are then drawn sexually to some of the same sex because so and her and her again, her thesis was that you could revisit your, that pre puberty part of your psyche, and, and work through it with somebody. And I actually, I actually explored that. So as I say, we actually moved into a, into a community peacemakers. And, and the other family we moved into, they all knew this was going on. And so we actually wrote to with a lizard with mobile, and we set up a contract. to, to, to do this work, whatever, of course, it was disastrous. [00:23:04] It was absolutely disastrous. And, [00:23:09] but, and, as I say, and all that, as I say, all that went together, to help me to realize that, hey, you know, you're gay. being gay is just who you are. It's not a part of you. It's not something you can get rid of. It's not something you can find healing from. It's, you know, as I say, it's, it's just part of your essence of who you are. And of course, as I move, as I move through that and move through my, my spiritual life, all that sort of started to move together. So I mean, so Exodus, as I say, it was just it was just part of the part of the process, really, of my coming out. [00:23:50] And you said earlier about some of the members and experts, and there were kind of just hopping up? Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, how does that work? In terms of I mean, do I feel guilty after doing it was the I'm [00:24:00] huge. Lots of guilt. Huge amount of guilt. Yeah. Huge amount of guilt. I mean, I'm still I still made up with a lot of those people now. And of course, that's that they've all come to terms with themselves and the rollouts. And yeah, so yeah, of course, yes, there was all that, that. And there was there was guilt. And they mean that because it, that's what they did, I mean, it laid that guilt trip on you. Because they say, you know, the sinful, I mean, you got no idea what I've been through really, Bill spirits give us another one. I mean, he exercised from the spirit of homosexuality, but he actually came to talk to the group one day to this to a group. And I've always been, I mean, I, as I've always been a little bit talkative, and push it. And, and, and I started to ask him, because he, you know, I mean, I started to ask him questions, which he didn't like, and he suddenly turned on me said, You've got to spirit of cynicism brother. Never forget that. And, but everything was a spirits and everything. I mean, if you, you know, if it didn't fit into his, his framework, then it was a spirit of something or other. So but yeah, but he, I mean, he delivered it. I mean, I've had prayers for deliverance. I, there was another, there was a couple, there was a, an F, an American Indian that came over here as well once. And his thing was, I mean, you've got no idea. This is sounds crazy, but this is what I went through. His thing was that that that, you know, you had the in every person there is that there was a male power and a female Paul and in, in, in normal people, they are separated, but in gay people they crossed over. And so that the essence is to uncross them and have them independent. So, and again, I went through all this stuff as American I mean, I mean, it's the was anything that could be done, I tried it not to be. And, and it was really well, it wasn't ridiculous, it was it was just part of that. I mean, it was just part of the growing awareness. And, and it's, and it took me it took me a long time. But, you know, I mean, it took me over 40 years. And, and that, and I do I regret that not at all, I mean, I'm glad that I was married like that. I mean, I regret, you know, what I did to my wife, and how damaging it was for her. [00:26:33] But like, Don't regret having children, grandchildren now. [00:26:37] And, and, and I mean, and the experience of life as a whole. But I mean, but an all that's come together to make me a much more compassionate, empathetic, understand understanding, man, I mean, I don't know. I mean, I don't judge anybody else for what they for where they are, what they do, it's, I mean, everybody is made me realize that they're all our journey is individual, and unique to us. And we have to do that, whatever, you know, that's part of what why we're here is to do that work. And, and the, and we and we each need to do it in our own way. Until we come to a place where I don't know that it ever ends. I know that even and again, I think to myself, well, you know, I'm 64 now, and I've done it all, but I haven't, you know I'm in I'm just in the process now of going through another sort of, well, I'm I am 64 and I'm dealing with with aging, and I've actually befriended a guy of or befriended on it. It's a long story. That's another long story, guys. 3029. And he's my last youth is absolutely my last year. And, and it's an it's and again, it's just um, and that's I've been doing some work with a psychotherapist just to work through that. Because it's a it's part of, I will never, it will never ever stop, I will, I will forever be I will never be a complete person. Because we're not. And the journey is to keep aiming for completeness, wholeness, whatever that is, and and enter that inner core of my own divinity. And [00:28:27] yeah, and I and I'm, I'm pretty convinced that's an eternal journey. [00:28:32] What do you mean by the last youth? [00:28:35] Well, my last use when I was when I was about 16, I can remember going to Carnaby Street. This is back in the 60s. Carnaby Street was the sort of the, [00:28:48] the fashion center of the time. And I can remember buying myself these outrageous clothes, which I would never, ever have thought of wearing outside anywhere. And I used to, I used to dress up in my bedroom, I used to put these tight sort of trunks on. I mean, you know, it was outrageous. And I always I mean, I'm you can see, and I'm a pretty solid silver guy and always happy. And that I always I mean, you always wanted to be the sort of the Charles Atlas, the sort of the, you know, the nice body and all the rest of it. And back back then. And of course, it was crazy. But But I actually ended up. I mean, I got married at 21. So, I mean, I actually lost, I didn't do all that stuff that I should have done back then I you know. And so there was there was a sense where my use was lost. I didn't I just didn't do didn't do what I should what I needed to do back then. And I and I'm, you know, in my journey, I mean, I've done a lot of psycho therapeutic work. And and, you know, my psychotherapist have said to me, you know, everybody has to deal with their teenagers. And if you if you're trying to deal with a bunch of past 40, it's actually quite difficult because you make such a fool of yourself. And it's true. You do make a fool of yourself, because you go back, and you're like, Here I am at 64. I fall in love with a 13 year old. And it's not actually and I'm already in a very strong committed relationship. And it's not that that's going to affect that in any way. It's that I'm still having to deal with stuff that that is not, you know, that is not appropriately dealt with. [00:30:33] Can you describe for me your perception of gay people over 40 years span from from being kind of married in the church to now being an openly gay men? I mean, have your thoughts changed on [00:30:48] gaming? Have they changed? In what way? [00:30:51] Well, I guess like 40 years ago, when you saw somebody gay in the community? What did you think? [00:31:03] I mean, I think if you'd asked me if I did, if I knew and he gave i was i don't know any I've never seen any. And it wasn't, it wasn't. And as I say, it wasn't till much later that I became aware. And then I think I, I think initially I of course, I was frightened of them of gay of gay people. And, and I and I didn't. I would never have wanted to be framed a gay person. Because I would have been too scared. I think. If I was honest with myself, yeah. back then. And ISIS, I can honestly say that. I don't know. I certainly didn't. I mean, if I did, you know, I would certainly have I certainly kept anything of a gay nature at an arm's length. [00:31:55] Can you talk about the church, the Anglican Church and how relates to gay people? [00:32:04] the Anglican Church is a I mean, I, I have a love hate relationship with the church. And and I mean, it's more hate than love. And I, and it's been [00:32:19] think the church, the Anglican Church in particular, has this. [00:32:26] I mean, it was what it's like, was like the American army, it, you know, you it's, it was a question of, you know, the dovetail and it doesn't matter. And it's hugely hypocritical, hugely hypocritical. And I mean, there's huge number of gay people in the closet in the church, huge number. And, and, and it's, I think it's just [00:32:47] Well, I mean, for me, [00:32:51] the church is supposed to be the embrace or of life of people. And there are segments of it, which is him to do that. But But on the whole, I mean, the bishop at the time, and I came out, said to me, he said to me, if anybody if anybody lays a complaint against you in any way whatsoever about your sexuality, or what have to be the bishop, that's what he said. So in other words, in private, he was it was wasn't uncomfortable with the fact that was gay, but the fact that he was the bishop, he would have to, he would have to tow the church line. And with he would have to essentially, in whatever way he thought that was appropriate. Well, I mean, that that to me enormously. And as I say, the church has never offered me, all my family, any pastoral care whatsoever in terms of the pain that we went through. And, and the journey we've all taken. And even now, as I say, I mean, I'm out on a limb. I mean, I had on a limb and a lot of ways because our society, I mean, I, I basically, I mean, I I contract even now, I do some work at grey, Linda, that's contractual. And it's quite outside the normal parameters of the, of the of the way people operate within the church. So yeah, I don't and I mean, all the debate at the moment about, you know, about the marriage amendment bill, and I mean, it's just, I mean, I just think it's, like, well, I don't know what to say. I say, it hurts me, it makes me and I have no time for it whatsoever. So as I say, I differentiate between spirituality and religion. I think all that stuff's religion. And I just think it's unhelpful, quite frankly, just unhelpful, I think its destructive. I think it and its destructive in so many ways, because, you know, there is the church talking about enabling people to, to discover the ability to, to move towards wholeness, but in actual fact, that then becomes the barriers of that. [00:34:48] And it's, you know, in its intransigent in terms of accepting gay people. [00:34:54] So, what was your coming out in terms of coming up to the church, like, [00:35:02] very difficult? Very difficult. I mean, we, because we didn't, initially, I mean, we, we just parted company, and we didn't tell the church why, and I always remember, we had some quite good friends in the, in the parish at the time. And, and they just couldn't understand what was going on. Because, I mean, we seem to be the, you know, the ideal. Caffeine and family. And, and, and, in the end, actually, it was General wife that she actually went and spoke to this couple under, and told them what was happening. And, and, and he came straight down, he came, he just walked out the house came straight down to where I was to where I was living. And he said to me, why didn't you tell me? He said, I thought you'd run off with another world. And I was, I would have hitch said, Oh, but you're going so let's get, which was really lovely. I mean, you know, of course, there were people. I mean, what's the course I did come out completely in the past, there were those that were, you know, I mean, completely homophobic and when just would not accept that whatsoever? unnecessary. That was, that was really, as I say, the end of my journey in the church as a paid employee. And because, I mean, yeah. I mean, I'm, it's fine, as long as you don't, if you don't talk about it, and it's, and that's the way the church basically operates. And I think most most gay people that are openly gay, either either feign celibacy, which is another crap, or they, or the Move aside from paid employment in the church, and so, you know, sort of have some more flexibility. I guess. [00:36:45] You mentioned earlier about kind of aging, and I'm wondering, is, gay men now are the differences between aging as a gay man, and he has a statement and your view? [00:36:57] But aging is aging? Right. But I think that there, I think it is, I think there are differences in that there are that there are not the facilities or resources to I mean, being gay, gay and straight, that it's like being lesbian or gay. I mean, they're all very different. Communities are very different ethos is in terms of the way that people live and operate. And, and I think that certainly, it's, like, one of the, one of the chaplains, as I did in a residential care facility, there was there was a guy there, who, who he needed, you know, full time residential care. And, and he was clearly gay, but he was unable at that stage to be able to express himself as as a gay man. And, and I think that had he attempted to do so that it would have been extraordinarily difficult for him. for the, for this particular facility. You know, I mean, it's okay for guys to put up, you know, girlie pictures in their rooms. But it's not okay for guys to put up guy guy pitches. And, you know, and I, and he was a huge press man. And, and that stuck with me a lot. I mean, that, and I realized there isn't there isn't, you know, it might be getting better. Now, I'm actually starting some new, I'm starting working on new facility. Just In fact, I've just started. And, and certainly, their attitude is far more accepting and open than it was back then. But But nevertheless, it you know, the staff, there's a lot of fairly conservative staff, and who much I mean, and I don't know, quite, but it'll be interesting to see how it all pans out. As I move on, and they all know that I'm gay, I'm in I'm openly gay there. And there are there are clearly other openly gay people on the staff, but they're also, as I say, a lot of very conservative Christian people on the staff. And it'll be interesting, but I mean, the management itself is very accepting and inclusive. And, and made it very clear that that, you know, if I'm working there, they expect my family to to be part of that as well. And they have no problem with that. But it but as I say, in terms of residents, it'll be interesting to see how much has changed, as I've been out of the working in HK facilities for some years now. So it'll be interesting how it's changed. But, but I still think that, you know, it's not set up for gay people off, you know, I mean, it's set up basically for straight people. And, and there is a difference [00:39:55] with an example of the priests chat. Do you think it was because of how the staff treated him? Or how I treated him? [00:40:05] I think, I think it was, I think it was the he didn't, he was a square peg in a round hole. He just didn't fit there. And he knew he didn't fit in. He didn't. I mean, he just didn't fit there. And he knew that. And it was he, I mean, he never actually openly, you know, you never openly declare that he was gay, but it was clear that he was and, and even as I reflect now, more so I can definitely was, but some. But I mean, yeah, I think it was more It was not not really the attitude was more that he couldn't be himself, because he was as a square peg in a round hole. [00:40:42] So what do you think could be done differently? [00:40:46] There's been a lot of conversation about, you know, having residential care facilities for just gay people. But I think that I mean, [00:40:54] can you imagine a gaggle of guys together, man, it [00:40:58] would be incredibly fun. [00:41:03] Yeah, I mean, there has been talk about that. And I know that there was there was a the Methodist Church actually did explore in one of their villages in mad at a cottage for gay people. And I think, and I think with a degree of success, but I mean, it didn't go any further. But But yeah, I mean, I think there just needs to be. And I think that there is there is, there is a growing acceptance in the community and in society at large about gay people. And I think that will inevitably filter down. However, as I say that the, you know, HK facilities tend to employ Pacific Island people, and they tend to have very strong, conservative religious views. And I think, you know, that there are I mean, you know, there are things that will need to be attended to in terms of, of enabling staff to accept people of different differing sexual illnesses, and there's a lot of work to be done there. So, yeah, I mean, whether whether an exclusive guy or facility is feasible or not, I really don't know. But But certainly, there has to be some work. And there is I mean, I know there is work being done. I think there's just recently I was reading that it, you know, across aged care facilities, they've actually there is some there is a group that is putting out some information and and trying to assist, educate facilities to be more inclusive and an understanding of people of varying sexualities. It's not just gay. I mean, it's transgender. I mean, all that stuff. I mean, it's, you know, it's it's huge, difficult. [00:42:46] When you're working in those facilities, you're working as an openly gay man. Absolutely. [00:42:50] Yeah, absolutely. I don't hide my sexual, I don't hide my sexuality at all. [00:42:56] And has that proved useful and terms of dealing with residents? [00:43:02] Well, yes, I think that I think generally speaking as people age they'd be do it? Well, no. Yeah. Difficult steps that make it less a bit of a generalization. Really. I mean, the hope, one would hope that as people age, they become more accepting, and I think there's there is some, I think there is a truth in there. And conversely, I think the younger generation, our far more accepting inclusive of different different cultures and different sexualities. I think that's, that is definitely happening in society at large. So yeah, I mean, I think being openly gay, I think actually helps people. I mean, I'm human. I'm, you know, and and I think if I, if I start hiding behind saying, if I start hiding in any way whatsoever, then I am not true to myself, I can't do my job properly. And, you know, and people need to take me as they find me as I as I take them as I find them. And I think that's a helpful. So yeah, so so being openly gay, I think is a helpful thing. Because it makes people realize that you're human and normal. And there's, you know, this, you're not gonna know what they expect, what other people expect, but that's just part of being human part of the human spectrum. [00:44:19] In terms of your own aging, are the things you think about in terms of like, financial security? Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Legacy. [00:44:27] Absolutely. And legacy is not important. But financial security is. And as I say, it might my, my journey has, has not, I mean, I've never, I mean, I've gone through some I mean, a whole lot of stuff that I've done in my life has not been financially work. Yeah, rewarding. It's been rewarding as taxes otherwise, but I've never, I've never accumulated a lot of money. So and so that's the concern for me now, is, you know, as I is thinking about, what, how am I going to, you know, what am I going to do to support myself as I move into my latter years? And I, and that's, and it is an issue, and I haven't resolved that property yet. But yeah, I mean, it will. I have. [00:45:15] I have faith. [00:45:18] I've never, I mean, right. Through my life, I've really never, I've, I've always lived on the edge. And I've never gone without it. So it's been quite remarkable. And really, and I'm, and I'm so with what I have. I'm generous. And and people are generous with me and I think that some Yeah, but But yeah, I am concerned, you know, you listen to all this stuff on the radio is just just effect just as I parked my car, there was a an article on the radio, and they said the the commissioner for the whatever it is. For the superannuation said something about, you know, people will need to have at least 333, a two to $400,000 you know, in capital to be able to have a comfortable retirement, if they're going to live, you know, including the superannuation. Well, I haven't got two to three. I haven't got that sort of money. Anyway. And I think you know, God, you know, what's going to happen, so I'll be living on the breadline. But I won't be I mean, I guess I'll continue to things will evolve. I mean, we'll be fine. But it is a concern. So I do I mean it. I mean, [00:46:29] it is a concern. Yes. [00:46:31] One thing you didn't seem too concerned about was legacy. And. [00:46:38] Because, because my my children and anybody else, I mean, they have to live their own lives. And and I, you know, I don't expect I don't expect my parents to. I mean, it would be nice if they left me something, but it doesn't mean it. I mean, I'd rather they spend their money on themselves and did what they wanted to do, rather than, you know, leave it for their children. And it's the same already. I mean, my kids, they don't, I don't there's nothing in here. But it doesn't, it doesn't, it's not really an issue. I mean, I don't think leaving legacies is a big thing for me at all. I mean, when I'm gone, I'm gone, you know, people. So I mean, some people, I mean, I hopefully the legacy I leave is, is an influence, on on, on the way that I've lived my life. And, and that, and the way that I've interacted with other people, and hopefully, you know, that that will be the legacy that I leave rather than anything financial. And I mean, I'm when I'm dead and gone. Well, I always remember as a say, even in the ministry, you know, when I was, you know, working like a Trojan, and people said, People used to say to me, you know, look, if you drop dead now the say, Oh, look, he's dead, he's going to be the next speaker. And I mean, and that's exactly how it is, you know, life goes on. And so when it when it comes to legacy, if if the only legacy that I would hope someday was that I would have left an imprint, and of course, we've all left an imprint. And we've all contributed one, hopefully, that's a positive imprint that I leave, and that I've managed to assist or enable others, you know, in their, in their journey through life. [00:48:34] Shortly, you're coming up to your marriage, and I'm wondering, can you tell me why things like civil union in marriage are important to you, and the difference and what those differences are for you. [00:48:48] When, when the when the civil union legislation came through, I mean, I've been 100%, supportive of the Union legislation, and I was not really overly fazed about it being marriage or not. I think that civil union legislation actually enable people to have exactly the same legal rights of the stranger guy. And that civil union actually gave people an option. Not to be an evil for straight couples, not to, to buy into, you know, all the historical trappings of marriage. So but but, and so I know, and I've always thought that having a civil union was a was a way of, of entering into a sort of more mainstream societal thing. And, you know, it was quite funny. I mean, again, when the unit when the Civic I mean, when we were down the YK, as well, that legislation came through and, and I was on the front page of the YK at times, and there was a picture of him and I almost kissing, and it costs up fraud, and it was absolutely unbelievable. And, and we had we had threatening letters and phone calls and, and people rising, canceling their subscriptions of the walkout at times, because the thought was disgusting that these two men were kissing on the front page. And it was really quite funny. But But under that, actually, what happened was that when, because when we moved down there, it was the it was the year before the legislation went through. And I knew one of the reporters on the on the walk at a time. So she said I'm doing an article on on, you know, same sex couples, or civil union. And could I interview you and she and so she came and took a picture. And she did an interview. And she did this magazine article one, like at the time, which was written quite but really balanced. And she had, it was really good. But then a society that the year later when the legislation was do they rang and said, seeing as we did this article a year ago, can I ask for your comment after you know it tomorrow morning? Because once it was late at night that they were voting? So I said, you know, give me right. So they gave me a ring. And then they said, and they asked me some questions. And I commented and and they said and the reporter said to me are you get the you and your partner going to have this Venus, and he hadn't asked him when he got off the phone. And I said all that was to help them. That was the volcanic times. And I got down on my knees and said, I said and he asked I you know, I said and he asked if we were going to have a civil union site. So I got down on my knees them there. And they said, will you civil union is what you see. And he said, Well, anyhow, half an hour later, the reporter rang back and said, Oh, should I call you the Reverend or Mr. And I said, Look, you can call me what you like, I don't care. So anyhow. And so he said, Oh, I think I'll call you the Reverend to say that because he was obviously again, the steward of it. And I said on that's fine. Doesn't matter to me. And anyway, the and I said to her what I just said, you did asked if we're going to have a civil union on I said, well, as it happens, you know, when I got off the phone, I got down on my knees and proposed to see what and he said, Oh, wonderful, wonderful. So and the headline with this picture of us almost kissing was [00:52:11] clergyman gets down on these the boyfriend that was the headline. [00:52:17] With all its innuendo. [00:52:21] It was hilarious, really. But but yes. So I, and I'm an artist, I've been a great fan, and I wasn't really kicked for pushing the marriage thing. I thought, well, that's fine. It's great when they get married, that's fine. You know, civil union does provide an opportunity to be recognized by society, and, you know, and and to have some legal recognition. So that was it was good. We had a wonderful civil union. It was a great, great, great day. But then when the marriage when, you know, when the marriage amendment bill went through? Well, I mean, civil union sort of becomes defunct in a way. I mean, some, I mean, it's, and, and it's sort of them, it's sort of shifted the shift of the dynamic. So that now, I mean, the dynamic is back to marriage again. So and I think that it's, and we're, and we're doing it, because, yeah, it's, again, it's a way of moving the gay community into the mainstream. And, and I think it's really important that, you know, that we do that. I mean, we were people and we are part of society. And, and, you know, and now that, that legislation is recognizing that more and more, I think it's, it's, it's just right and proper, that we should actually stand up. And, and, and, and enter into that. I mean, my view of marriage, in my view of relationships is, you know, I mean, I mean, we're complex people were compact company, creatures. And, and, and we have multiple relationships at multiple levels. And so, I mean, both of them, I hold that similar sort of view. So, you know, what, I mean, I'm, I'm certainly, [00:54:16] I mean, Hilton, I totally committed to one another. [00:54:20] And with that, as well, as I say, we we, we also the quite comfortable for one another, to have other other relationships really add all sorts of levels. And I think it's, for me, I know, some people find that really difficult. But that's, but for me, I think, you know, I think I will never be able to fulfill myself with a single individual. I certainly, you know, I'm committed to the single individual in terms of partnership, but I will never be able to find Mike, no complete fulfillment in Hilton, and he comes involved with me. So you know, what, I think it's, it's actually useful to explore oneself with other people, and all sorts of levels. [00:55:12] I'm wondering, moving gay people more into mainstream doesn't match have a possibility of reducing some of the kind of identity of getting this movie? [00:55:25] No, I don't think so at all. And I think I mean, if even if you look at other cultures, you know, we have a variety of cultures here. Now, Indian, Chinese, and they're the amalgamated. I mean, they become their assimilated into into society as a whole, but they still they maintain their own sense of identity language, Molly, people are there, you know, and the culture, however, it's, it's actually it, and that enriches the civilized society. And I think the whole guy kick butt, you know, the gay community does things as well, I think that, you know, I, I don't think I don't think we need to lose a cultural identity at all. But I do think that we need to, we need to take advantage of those opportunities that we have, that enable us to be able to stand up and to be counted as as, as equal members, but everybody else in the in the community and in society at large. And I think, you know, marriage does as part of that process. [00:56:31] The photograph in the Waikato times you say, you were just kissing What is this article? Is we made the decision with the UK, US or don't kiss [00:56:41] in the picture? Oh, wait, I don't know. I'm not actually sure what I mean, it was just it was just, I mean, perhaps we were just going to kiss. But the photographer obviously took the picture, and decided to use that picture in the YK. The times we had no choice. We didn't didn't know which one they put in there. They just came it took a whole mess of pictures and the gun. That was one day. [00:57:00] So it wasn't necessarily a conscious decision to have a nice song [00:57:05] not not not felt like no, no, it wasn't it wasn't at all it was that that was a newspaper decision. And to sensationalize it. It was I mean, it was it was funny. I mean, it got me into a lot of trouble. I mean, with the church and the white color. I mean, I've had lots and lots of problems with it. I mean, yeah, I mean, with the bishop and the they were he was the Archbishop. And when I first went down there, I mean, within the church, I mean, I'm a priest in good standing in the church, and, and, and your license to your local bishop. And, and it's just and I changed dicey. So I was in New York and dices and moved to the other side, I just went to see him and said, I've moved into your diocese. And it's, it's, you know, it's probably proper that I have a license to you rather than to the Bishop of Auckland, because I'm living here now. And he said, Well, with the YK, the diocese has a policy of not issuing new licenses to to openly gay people. So I bought it there. And I said, hey, that's not that's not acceptable. I said, I'm, I'm not a priest of the diocese. I'm the priest of the province of the whole of the Church of New Zealand. And I said, it's just a question of licensing. And it's not, it's not that I'm new into the ministry, it's that I'm just shifted my place of residence and say, that reflect refuse, so I went to the Human Rights Commission. And, and, and they were going to take up my case, my calls, and going back to the bishop, I service, the Human Rights Commission, I'm under, you know, will be putting a case against you. So he said, Don't Don't do anything hasty. Don't think so. And then they and, and, and they, and I course, I got busy with the business down there. And they accommodated me by maintaining my license to the vision of Auckland. But but but associating me with a parish, church, Anglican organization, the YK, which was absolutely ridiculous. But then, [00:59:07] a [00:59:08] little A little while later, I discovered that there was a guy that was going to be ordained in the cathedral, who I knew had been Mr. Georg from the year before. So I went and confronted the bishop. And, and he's, and he insisted that he didn't know that this guy was gay. And I said to him, how can how can you put somebody through a whole process of psychological testing of background checks? And, you know, have a theological, hot conversation and not know that he was gay? When all I had to do was make one phone call and discovered he was Mr. Gallagher last year, and Laliberte blah. And I said to them, I said to him, you're either you're either very stupid or very naive. And he said to me, I prefer the latter. So I just got up Motown, last conversation I've had with him. [01:00:04] Just getting back to your marriage, do you think your upcoming marriage? Do you think taking vows will change your relationship with anyone? [01:00:13] When we did our civil union? It did. I think what it did, but by actually, and that's what marriage is all about? It's I mean, marriage is the is the decree. I mean, I mean, in, in spiritual terms, I mean, it's sacramental. I mean, it's, it's an it's an outward expression of something that's internal, in terms of one's love for one another. And, and society recognizes that and it and it's an it's quite potent, then when two people share their commitment to one another, and they love one another in the public arena. And I must say that when we when we did that, in our Soviet Union, it did, it actually made our, it made our relationship stronger. It's no doubt about that. And made out and it made our relationship deeper, that it was good, it was a really, really good and right thing to do. This time around, we're not going through nearly the same hoo ha. And we're going to have a we're doing a joint there's, there's a couple that I did the civil union for. So they're joining us so so we're going to do a solo like a foursome. So and so both of us are converting now on, you know, converting our civil unions into marriages. So the say that wonder who's doing our sister, she's going to sort of oversee it. And she'll, she'll do our legal bit, and I'll do this. So it'll be quite fun. But it's going to be far less formal, but I'm not sure. I think. I'm not sure that it will change anything. I think the civil union definitely did. It took us into a different level. And, and I, and I know that marriage does do that. I mean, you know, commitments, public commitments do do that for people, whether there was a real, I'm not sure that this medicine will do that in the same way, because I think we've already done it. And I think the whole we're doing is we're shifting was shifting the language that we use from civil union to marriage, and, and, and I and it, an even civil union people talked about being married when in actual fact, they weren't. They were in the civil union. And I think it's nice to be up. I mean, I think it's good to be nice to be able to say, Hey, we're married, you know, and we're not just in a civil union, we're married. And we can call ourself husband husband. [01:02:33] And that's just talking about that this morning. And, and I mean, it'll be fun, but it will end it. And it is and it is an acknowledgement of the relationship that we have. [01:02:44] So whether it'll change it any further, I doubt I doubt this time around, because I think it did for the civil union. But I think we're just shifting the language and we're shifting the legal not not even the legal thing with your shift in the language [01:02:58] which is important to decide.

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