Fighting Homophobia - Marriage Equality Conference

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[00:00:00] This podcast is brought to you by marriage equality campaign Wellington [00:00:03] and province ID. com. [00:00:07] curator foreigner and welcome to the marriage equality conference. We're here tonight to talk about fighting homophobia, workplaces, schools family and elsewhere. It's my privilege to be here as the chair for tonight I am the conference chair My name is Raul character and we have a few pretty decent people on the panel tonight [00:00:28] not pretty decent they are decent people [00:00:32] we've got [00:00:39] well and it is my job to try [00:00:41] to control this load is going to be quite entertaining. Okay, we have Nigel started at the MTS come all the way from Northland so please a round of applause for now [00:00:55] we've got Steve Pharaoh from PPT a rainbow network [00:01:03] we have Eileen brown from alpha at work [00:01:10] login longtime queer activists, Fred especially from 1986 and having with the conference so round of applause for his [00:01:24] and we do hope to have Jane lonely sometime tonight is running she just basically we're going to go through these guys will be there the panel will get them over done with them, you know, you can move on. But basically, you know, the it is a really serious issue is one of the major campaigns that I personally think is important. I was fortunate enough to be in Australia to launch the anti homophobia campaign recently. Well, you guys were here rallying for this for this campaign. [00:01:54] So it's a privilege to be welcoming you all here tonight. With head great time so far conference last night we had so in saying that he could potentially get married and Middle Earth, which is quite exciting. And the hit international media coverage, which I'm very proud of we in France, Paris, which is quite exciting. So you know our messages are getting out there. And what and far as a headset into and support us has been fantastic actually. [00:02:28] And each of the panel members will be talking about their experiences, you obviously know the different connections. But for those who don't know, you have to just wait a bit tired to introduce a little bit, but that's okay. But we will have them to go through. And then there will be questions and comments at the end. Just know that we are being recorded at the moment. So if you don't want to be recorded, please say so or come and see us at the end. The technicians at the back will catch your comments out if you wanted to ask question. And we'll have a chance for final remarks and gentlemen, it says at the end. Now Welcome to speak. [00:03:15] Mostly I want to talk about queer dangerous, [00:03:20] which is really one of the more amazing organizations I've ever had anything to do with [00:03:26] if only for the rather incredibly diverse range of people involved in it, the widest range of age and gender identity and Mariela kind of thing that you can think of. [00:03:48] It started, really, I think, with around the rather nasty gay bashings in Wellington, what was it only last year, early last year. And we had this big demonstration queer the night. [00:04:05] And out of that was a determination not to let it go on. And not to leave it at a single demonstration, but to give it a continuing existence. And so we set up us this little organization. [00:04:26] And we sat around for quite a long time simply talking about what our priorities would be. And so we kind of developed Well, there's this old myth that the world rests on three whales. And I see queer Avengers as having three whales that it sits on the question of homophobia, schools, [00:05:02] the question of the oppression of trans folk and the question of homophobia in relation to, to all age, Jaan [00:05:35] high schools, I believe the worst place in New Zealand to not be straight. [00:05:43] The I mean, I suppose teenagers are, by their nature, trying to work out who they are and a bit difficult about it. And some of that difficulty in the context of New Zealand turns out to be hurting one another if they don't fit the proper gender stereotype very often. [00:06:06] And that is often supported. Moral is actively sometimes not so actively by the staff of the schools. So you have an environment where there's bullying in many places. And that's pretty nasty. It's, it's reinforced by uniform codes and other like bathrooms and so on, which make it difficult to, to decide to be neutral to be to change your mind. And there's nowhere to go that center six in many, many cases. [00:06:54] We need teacher education. [00:06:58] We need systematic intervention against bullying. We need queer student ally queer straight alliances or similar institutions. In every school, we need the arrow the Education Review authority to check in every school in ordinary in every report they do on whether there is bullying at a school, whether there is a phobia that should be routine, it can be done very, very easily just by a signature from a minister doesn't not a big, big reform to ask. [00:07:36] But that's slow. [00:07:40] And it would make a huge difference. Actually just that little change [00:07:46] that every school was reported on in relation to bullying and homophobia and problems in that school. [00:07:58] And we also need mechanisms to support kids are identified at school as having problems from their families. Because we in queer support organizations very often find that there's kids kicked out of their families. And there's got to be some way of catching lyst. Up, you know, 1516 year olds kicked out of their families. And we actually have no way of dealing with this. As a society. [00:08:32] It's extraordinarily difficult to get the independent youth benefit for these kids. [00:08:39] And they are universally suicidal. Like I don't know, exceptions. [00:08:45] There must be exceptions. But I don't know of exceptions to kids getting kicked out of home [00:08:53] and being suicidal. [00:08:58] So there's a huge set of problems that [00:09:01] and queer Avengers sees this as one of its main priorities. [00:09:09] We also see support for trends struggles as a priority. We tend to be guided by trans organizations are active on these issues. [00:09:23] We wish to support access to decent health care, and medical attention. And we want to support extension of the human rights legislation for trans folk. And the third thing is queer old people. Because queer old people like other old people get forgotten. And if you get forgotten, in the context of being heterosexual, the forgetting [00:09:54] it can be unfortunate that it isn't quite as alienating. [00:10:01] And the general the sexualization of the old is much more severe in our society, for queer people. [00:10:17] We haven't got very far with that sort of project. We're an organization that does a lot of talking a lot of working out of what we should do. [00:10:27] We have an ethos, and we haven't got very far with the talking in relation to old age queer issues, the ethos of talking, thinking about family structures, etiology, politics, is pretty unusual I find [00:10:49] in this organization. At this time, at this historical period, there is not much talk among young people in particular, in New Zealand, about these kinds of issues. And one of the exceptions to that lack of tool is in queer Avengers. So as a group that is dominated by young people, grappling these issues, and giving attention to the wider community and not their own narrow concerns, is pretty impressive. I think. It's an organization which gives a place for thought, a place for discussion, a place for completely unrestricted sexualities, and identities, and the place for a lot of laughter. [00:11:41] One of the things which is unusual, I go to a lot of meetings, [00:11:47] a lot of meetings. And I must say that one of the differences about queer Avengers, is it there's an awful lot of laughter at those meetings. So I think, on those grounds alone, that's an organization, which should be taken pretty seriously. [00:12:11] The Politics [00:12:13] of members of queer of ages ranges from not much at all, [00:12:19] to liberal [00:12:22] to [00:12:25] Raven, commie. [00:12:30] I'm at one end of that spectrum, I want to tell you what chin. [00:12:37] But the interesting thing about it is that there's a huge tolerance and openness to each other's opinions. And so there's a tends to be a bit of a ferment of ideas, and a productive tension of ideas in the organization. [00:13:03] So I think that we've got to, I was asked to get up and talk about the organization. I'm very proud to have been asked to do that. Because I think that it's an organization which offers more to our communities than any other single organization. There is. Thanks. [00:13:33] Thank you, though. [00:13:35] Thanks that we're going to have I think Brandon safe Pharaoh to talk about out at work in PPC, a in the room anyway. [00:13:43] I've had the great pleasure to work with Eileen and a recent campaign, and it was a great experience. Thank you for that. But thank you for coming along tonight as [00:13:50] well. [00:13:59] Thanks. Thanks very much, [00:14:02] Steve, and it stays my union brother, and we're one tonight. So [00:14:08] I know what you call us. But I'm going to talk a bit about the network network, which is the CT us New Zealand Council, trade unions network. And Steve is from the post calamity Association. And that's an affiliate of the CTO, and that union has its own network too. But let me tell you a little bit about our network and it was great to follow bill. I love the comment that you made about a lot of laughter, because I'm involved in quite a lot of CDU groups. And I have to say, she the keeper sex sales campaign had a lot of laughter to and if but certainly at work, we have a lot of laughter and do a lot of creativity. So it sounded work for a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transgender, intersex and Pfaff, Athena a union members, and any member of a union affiliated with the city, you can belong to the word quick. So some unions like the PTA, primary Teachers Association like the public service, and I recognize a couple of people from the PSA here or who have been members of the PSA at it with network. here tonight, some unions like those unions, as well as the service and food Workers Union have got it works of their own. But it does mean when we have a city unique work that any member of a union who is affiliated to the city you can be part of a network. And many unions don't have networks [00:15:49] to [00:15:50] tackle taboo, lesbian, gay, trans transgenders, intersex and five for female workers. And from now on, I'll just use the word queer because that's what we get stuck with acronyms. And that's the word that we chose to use, so that queer workers are a sizable group and the New Zealand workforce and our significant employment issues and I'm sure we'll hear some of them tonight, the disc, the Human Rights Commission inquiry to be who I am, found that work discrimination was the most common discrimination faced by transgender workers, and discrimination as one of the most common forms of discrimination in the workplace as one of the most common forms of discrimination experienced by queer workers. So and it works committed to exploit exposing the employment issues that queer workers face and to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. highlighting those issues is a fundamental objectives for us. But it's not only a fight about discrimination and the workforce, we also have a challenge in the union movement to while diversity is seen as one of the strengths of the union movement. And many cases the concept of diversity and trade unions falls well short of celebrating and acceptance, sexual diversity. So we organize an hour network Fight Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and a number of different ways. We, I just want to recognize the work of Jake Boone from the Human Rights Commission who has been very involved in our network and educates us lot about transphobia. A critical event for us is our by a new campaign camps spelt k MP. We're queer union members get together with speakers, workshops and training events, which have a focus on union employment issues, like the kind of issues that workers are facing now with the reduction of employment lights. But we also play in it we play in an organized about the fight against homophobia, un transphobia, and make a plan about things that we're going to do and the following two years. Manny, Bruce Mitchell has been a speaker at our camp a number of times and lead workshops on transgender awareness and training. And they are so she is they are so [00:18:20] that they are very, very important, and they're such a life changing. I think that's certainly the feedback that we've had. We've had some pretty amazing speakers that have inspired us over the five camps. What's been most powerful is people telling their personal stories and challenging us is as a network and guiding Karl Popper, and helping us recognize and challenge our own internal homophobia and transphobia. So it's really important for us to be a constitutional part of the CDU with we are in the Constitution, I can't remember what number but this part of part of being [00:19:02] being part of Constitution gives us a standing at enables us to respond on issues of significant importance. This week, we made a quick statement, followed by the International Trade Union Confederation suppress statement about the current bill before the Ugandan parliament, which brings the death penalty for certain homosexual acts. And I'm sure people here know about it. And we can find out some information you can find out some information if you want. Further, we wrote to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marie McCully urging him to take a stand on the [00:19:40] and [00:19:40] urging the Commonwealth latest form should take a stand against Uganda on the spill. [00:19:46] The CCU has endorsed the Montreal Declaration on the Rights of LGBT workers, and people and supports the argue car to principles. So we actually have established policy for standing out on standing up and speaking out against gay and human rights abuses when we need to speak out publicly. [00:20:07] So finally, in relation to the marriage equality bill, the network was quite well prepared with a position on marriage equality before the bill was even drawn. After we witnessed a fiasco on the other side of the couch, with the position of the trade union movement on marriage equality, our youth network and our stand, we stand, sorry, our work network developed a paper last the end of last year, which place the reasons why the CPU and our unions should support marriage equality in same sex marriage, insane six adoption. And that paper was unanimously supported by our affiliates in February 2012. The basis and our position paper was firmly on equality. And how can you How can trade unionists not vote for equality? So no wonder we were unanimously you know, we got a unanimous endorsement, because equality as a as a fundamental trade union value. We see the net paper the trade unions need to be on the right side of history and New Zealand at least on this issue. So we acknowledge that the CPU leadership on Kelly and political my completely supportive of our our work network, and including we get some financial support. But that support exists because of the hard work leadership and commitment of people in the network. We fly the flag every day in the unions and in their workplaces. And I totally committed to a fight against homophobia and transphobia. So and it is we're going to go to the select committee and will be represented by Kareena Brown, from the network comes from Christ Church and Helen Kelly, who will represent the CTO and will inform the New Zealand Parliament that CTO supports marriage equality, because trading because a core trade union value is a quality. So thanks very much. I've got a couple of promos, we've got that little [00:22:06] pamphlet on on on our network. And one thing I didn't mention. [00:22:14] Lastly is the public service Association had done some very interesting work on a paper called sexual orientation and gender minorities and the New Zealand workplace. And it is online. [00:22:27] So if you are interested, just speak to me speak to Sarah. I'm sure she'll hit you in the right direction. But that's quite an interesting looking at the experience of New Zealand, public sector workers in the workplace today. Sorry, thank you. I'll pass it to Steve. [00:22:57] DVD I post from a Teacher Association has had a rainbow network Originally, it was called the Safe Schools Task Force. Lovely mouthful. And that was established in the light in the mid 1990s. And [00:23:16] it was [00:23:18] constituted as a result of a vote at PPI annual conference. And its original brief was to prepare materials that could be used in educating teachers, and raising the issues of homophobia, and equality and all those sorts of things. And those things were written in a roundabout platoon of century. And since then, the group has continued and about 18 months ago changed its name to the rainbow network. And one of the things that has, there wasn't a lot of uptake, I must say, of the materials that were originally written. [00:24:03] And there is a safe school [00:24:06] to get that on the PTA website. And anybody I think actually can get to it from the public side. [00:24:13] But about 18 months, two years ago, one of the members of the task force was actually sent to a seminar thing in Ozzie that was run by some educators from the National Education Association, which is one of the big American teacher unions. And they actually have dedicated govt I educators for what was in the Union. And the children hasn't managed to get that far yet really, but and these people running workshops on the sorts of courses that could be delivered, personally went for us came back and rework the material says a heavy Zealand fighters, and [00:24:59] when now trying to run and run it out across the country. [00:25:05] And the first one is about language. And the idea is that it would be a an after school professional development session of about an hour to an hour and a quarter, that would be run with the whole staff. And naturally enough for that to happen. You've actually got to be invited in. And as come into my bag bill before, schools can be very difficult places in terms of believing that actually the problem exists. And the number of times we've heard that statement, there are no gays in this school. [00:25:41] Right. [00:25:43] I'm [00:25:45] actually talking about homophobia. And I do have some personal experience of it. And not put up some sleeves and stuff. But [00:25:56] having [00:25:59] been put in the situation, I only because I moved to a small town which I actually liked the town, bicycle whispered, where I was teaching at the high school there. And not long after I arrived, I met a very nice man, who was a long term resident had been born there. And he said to me, you've only got to be seen down, you been seeing them straight with me once. If you seen down the street with me twice. [00:26:25] I chose to be seen plus. Now by then I've been teaching for 20 years, I didn't have too many problems in with class discipline. [00:26:35] All of a sudden, every and [00:26:39] respect for the building, maybe. But every asshole kid now had a reason why they could act up in my room. [00:26:51] And it did become absolutely if I'd been 23. The idea was when I started teaching instead of 42, I actually probably would have died over the harassment that happened. And that was despite the fact that and it was 2000 sorry, 1996. Despite the fact that three years earlier, the Human Rights Act have been passed, which outlawed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. And my boss's view, when a colleague of mine asked him about that was that he neither condemned nor can die. [00:27:31] And I couldn't leave my room during intervals and lunchtime and locked. Because if I did, I'd come back and find turned upside down. Now the the founder, whose kids work, but that actually does happen in New Zealand schools. I also know since he was born in 2003. And, [00:27:55] and our Lyft, regretfully, and not to the highest quality, right is the number of kids who have contacted me from that school. Since then, who I wouldn't have had a clue what the sexual orientation was. I mean, as a teacher, it's not really a thing of much interest to me, about the pupils in front of me, but have come to me afterwards and said that I appreciated what I'd had to put up with us, but also, that it was actually worth having visible, gay, lesbian, [00:28:31] transgender people working in the education system, in terms of role modeling and normalization of our condition within society. So [00:28:44] working towards that jumping now for that to the rainbow Task Force, the materials that were brought back have been reworked. And it's good to staff to examine. First of all, which is why you need examiner looks at pedagogy of high, we're going to look after the safety of all kids. And if we don't look after this safety, first, I'll never learn [00:29:12] hierarchy of needs all that garbage. [00:29:16] And then have a look at the understanding of what the word govt I and then exactly what it meant. And then look at why it might be needed to address language in schools across the board. And we use the US health 2002 was it and 2007. And there's a new man of information just about to arrive and have the one done last year, and highlight the terrible statistics [00:29:53] demonstrated there of what happens to gay and lesbian students, and intersex and transcendental. [00:30:01] And then interspersed that was a few of those lovely public service announcement advertisements that happen in America, none of which happened in New Zealand. Things like it's our guy, and people being challenged over that. And then [00:30:20] get them to talk about how they might challenge that sort of, and we keep it really simple. In talking about language, in the end, what we want them to challenge is any student who says that's guy. [00:30:35] And just doing that, in every classroom, [00:30:39] every time. [00:30:41] I remember I used to say, when kids in my class who knew I was gay, he would shy about something else. I'd say, no, [00:30:50] it's nipple. [00:30:52] And that girl won't miss the film, you know, but [00:30:58] teachers who don't realize a problem, our problem. [00:31:03] Now, what we have done with this program, I am co facilitate co facilitated It was a member of executive to the BPI National Executive this year, so that they could see what the hell we were talking about. And then a pilot program was established where we, well, we tried to get to teen two dozen schools across the country, single six, rural, you know, a whole night, and the program has been delivered, the evaluation hasn't yet happened. But if you know anybody who's attached to a high school, [00:31:38] get them to contact the video, and we will have the program taken to them. So that's what an individual unions doing to try and combat that problem within the education sector. Going back to something you said, Bill, actually, there was a change, and Chris Carter, he wasn't a very good Minister of Education, unfortunately. But he did get added in the inspection of schools. The thing about looking at homophobic roles and rates within the school. And, unfortunately, government since then, [00:32:14] you know, its leadership and insistence. And that's why [00:32:21] getting buy in, it was in school, it takes the principal and getting a buy in for the ministry or hero. Actually, they need to be hounded by the political masters. There were some that will at the moment, unfortunately. [00:32:39] I do know that as PVA and lots of other organizations, rather Wellington, for example, have lobbied successive governments that are actually just addressing bullying isn't enough. homophobic bullying is actually quite a secret beast. And is partly the reason for the difficulties that are particular group of students are going to school faces. [00:33:04] Look what's happening in some places. [00:33:14] Thank you, Eileen, and Steve. And after today's discussion, we had teli talk about [00:33:21] essays and organizing in school. So I'm sure there's going to be a lot of discussion, if not a Christian time. But after that, networks, like I said earlier, [00:33:32] it's my privilege to introduce a phenomenal star. I've been watching this person for a very long time, since I found out about us. [00:33:44] And I've been quite inspired by the work that she continues to do on an everyday basis. Jen, as a fellow colleague, I'm fortunate enough to work with her sometimes. But I meet Jane, Jane the national elections last year. Fortunately, I did something a bit silly, but she's forgiven me, since I hope she doesn't even know about that. [00:34:10] But, um, Jen [00:34:12] has done an amazing amount of work, not only for the queer community, but for women's rights. And I really do look forward to seeing her career develop over time. And I'm very happy to see the work that you do do in Parliament and outside parliament. And so welcome to the stage. [00:34:39] Various [00:34:41] things. [00:34:43] And [00:34:44] so tonight, and it's great, I see Mary rich in the audience here. And I'm going to talk quite a bit about your research Murray, actually. [00:34:51] And [00:34:53] so while not being the experts, and it's your work that kind of gives the basis for lot of my thinking about where things are at the moment, and which was a report that was sponsored by Kevin Hague, that Mary researched and wrote last year called, How do we make it better. And it's about the safety of queer youth. And I think gives us a lot of really, really good pointers about what we need to be doing in this country. [00:35:21] And I [00:35:22] also want to talk a bit about, I guess, the community and voluntary sector because that's where I come from, and share a kind of, I think, a story that's a bit of a contrast, or a bit of an example, I think of what we could be doing, which is kind of a personal story, my coming out story as well. [00:35:44] Because Mary's research shows that for young queer youth, one of the biggest problems is just the assumption of heterosexuality and affects that, you know, we're living in a world that's just asleep, everyone's straight. And when you're [00:36:07] trying to work out your place in the world, and work out who you are, and you're surrounded by all these images that are telling you what it is to be is to be straight, and what you're feeling, and what you're noticing in yourself doesn't match that [00:36:27] it's a problem. And it causes a lot of problem. And I think for myself, you know, I have now identify as a lesbian. When I was at school, you know, I tried having boyfriends, my first boyfriend, thought as a lesbian. [00:36:45] I didn't [00:36:46] get it. [00:36:48] Although, you know, my walls were girls. [00:36:52] I didn't [00:36:53] know what he was talking about. [00:36:56] Because it just wasn't [00:36:57] an option, [00:36:58] I just had no seems that that was [00:37:04] any kind of reality. [00:37:06] I was just, you know, you were straight. [00:37:09] So I was trying my best, [00:37:11] quite working, [00:37:12] but I was trying. And, [00:37:15] and let's psych. And there were a lot of problems for me that went along with that, you know, I was really, really unhappy, had mental health issues, made no connection to any of that stuff. It just didn't, they weren't related. In my head, I had no understanding that it was about sexuality at all. It was just, I didn't get the world. [00:37:39] And been interesting, my I moved to Wellington, so that was kind of going all through University and University being really the same. Like theory, in fact, possibly, as you know, living in hospitals and universities. And I know, Sarah is doing research on it. And I'm really interested in the outcomes of that, because, for me, it was a very, very heterosexual environment and incredibly difficult to, [00:38:09] to try and be straighten [00:38:10] when you weren't really, [00:38:13] which I can now say reflecting back on, and then moved to Wellington and worked for women's refuge. And women's refuge is a really interesting organization. Because there are four Cornerstone values within refuge. And one of those is feminism and others by cultural ism, and another's collectivism. And the fourth one is lesbian visibility. [00:38:41] And on my [00:38:41] very first day at work, and the weekend, actually, [00:38:46] I had to go and pick up some donations, and I was going to be working with a volunteer and I had to go in the door and knock on the door and figure out and open the door was that. [00:39:00] You know, like, and I'm sure there's a whole lot more to it than that. [00:39:06] But he was incredibly hard. [00:39:09] But [00:39:11] there was something about the being in that environment in that organization, a clear naming have a space to be [00:39:23] that I do think influenced my ability to be. [00:39:29] And [00:39:31] I think it's quite profound. And it's something that is a very, very, very real space. And, [00:39:41] and in that space, you know, the lesbian, and within and I think, you know, obviously, there's issues with the naming of that, that it's these being visibility, it's not any wider net. [00:39:55] But it was for me, luckily being lesbian, incredibly [00:40:02] free. And, and the clicks are there was a collective. So there was the lesbian collective and or caucus, and the rest of the collective. And all the cool kids were in the lesbian caucus, which also really helped because it was, you know, that was this kind of group that you would draw to, and if you weren't, and I resisted coming up publicly for a while, because it was I wanted to, and I loved being able to, with this newfound knowledge be able to challenge homophobia as a straight woman. [00:40:36] You know, [00:40:36] so it did take me a while. [00:40:39] But, um, [00:40:42] but [00:40:43] yeah, I think community organizations, we have a lot of them in this country. [00:40:48] And [00:40:51] they play really important roles in our society. And I think it's really important that we actually look at the potential of those spaces for developing our society, and also how we can take some of the models that they are using into other spaces, like I imagined, you know, the queer straight alliances and schools [00:41:13] and affect the same thing as the me that lesbian visibility, that lesbian caucus, and just by being there, enable people to be able to be [00:41:26] there. [00:41:30] And I think so, yeah. So that's that point I wanted to make. Also, I works in youth health for a while. And because another thing in Mary's report is looking around services for young people, and the importance of the professionals having the right knowledge. And it was, you know, youth health services, that was the second one in the country, the one I set up, but now that even though of course, they're having funding struggles, increasingly, but they there are quite a few of them around the country. And they are a very important space that their confidential, non judgmental services with peer support programs. However, you can assume that even within that space, people are gonna get it that people are going to understand, we are realities, that [00:42:27] I had ongoing dramas when I was there with [00:42:32] tragically with our Manifesto, a representative who, every time she came to the center would rip down the queer visibility posters, and that suddenly be gone. [00:42:44] When I went and looked around, so I had to continually replace them. [00:42:49] Thank you AIDS Foundation. And, [00:42:51] and so that was a real tension. And in those those posters were part of providing that space. So saying, Yes, we know, you're here. You came talk to us. And another, the peer support workers would quite often we had quite early on the discussions about Is it okay to say that so gay. [00:43:18] And they were like, what, you know, it's just language, it doesn't mean anything. I was like, Okay. So, so right now, you're telling me, you're straight. And I'm walking in here questioning my sexuality, and I hear you say that, am I welcome. [00:43:37] And I got it. [00:43:39] But unless somebody's got that analysis to have that conversation, they can't, you know, it would just keep going. And those safe spaces would not be safe. As I can imagine, many schools are not safe. And many youth organizations are not safe. Because they are, you can't guarantee at the moment that there is the training for the social workers or for the nurses or for the doctors or for the school teachers to ensure and to know what is safe and what isn't. [00:44:13] Which was another point in various research. Okay, handling. [00:44:18] And another point that [00:44:21] he's making, which is around you know, bullying is one factor, isolation is another, and visibility is another. And I can speak to that too, from my experience of, also of having come out and then going and living in a culture [00:44:41] where [00:44:42] I didn't have a community and I wasn't out and how, for the with the first time I left that culture after being there for a year, and I saw somebody and they spotted me. [00:44:55] And like I honestly I skipped for about 100 meters, I that spotted me because it was so amazing to be seen, after a year of not being seen. [00:45:11] And these things that they sound like, you know that one word in a report, [00:45:16] or execute wrote a few paragraphs. [00:45:19] But um, but you know, like, you can just say invisibility is a problem. But actually, at least we think about what that means and how profound that is not to see yourself reflected, or not to see a diversity reflected to give you a space of choice of being, then we're not going to be able to make a difference, and our young people are going to continue to really struggle. [00:45:50] Another point, which is linking to that is that the struggle over diversity within our own communities. [00:46:01] And we see that on many levels, we see that around the attention of ethnicity, [00:46:09] and sexuality and people being us still struggling, I think, at times to have spaces where people are able to be themselves and fully in their cultural identity and fully within the sexual orientation or gender identity. And that for me, as a space that I have spaces that I hope we can work much harder to create, because they're going to be beautiful, beautiful spaces. But I'm yet [00:46:41] to see them very often. And I and I think it's a tragic, tragic thing, if people feel as if they have to choose. And I don't think that's just the [00:46:52] fault. If you take [00:46:55] the example of the Pacific groups that were marching and protesting and marriage equality, I don't think it's just the adult. [00:47:05] But there's that tension. [00:47:08] I think [00:47:08] that is something and I say this as a pallone Paki a woman who has a responsibility around this. [00:47:16] So I think and also obviously, in terms of, I certainly think from when I first came out to now we've made progress. And that's for me, not as the group affected, but in terms of integration and understanding of inclusion of gender diversity, and intersects analysis and understanding within the, you know, the dominant gay and lesbian cultures. [00:47:44] But we still need to acknowledge, I think that the gay lesbian cultures are still dominant. And we need to give up a bit of that power and a bit of that space, to allow others to be and create more spaces. [00:48:00] So [00:48:00] that we have the full beauty of our communities more really at hand. [00:48:07] I [00:48:08] feel like I'm so in terms of [00:48:10] my job now and parliament. Obviously, there's, I think that's a really key space in terms of legislative change that needs to be done. Not being in government, we don't have the power to impact directly around policy. And there's a lot of policy work, I think that needs to be done, particularly in relation to schools. But I also think within the health sector, and supporting community organizations and net diversity, understanding and awareness. [00:48:40] Kevin Hague and I are looking at trying to audit arrows, reviews of schools, because they do need to be ensuring that schools have anti gay bullying policies, and that taking them off, but we wanting to make sure that they check that people know they've got those policies, not just that the policy exists, as we suspect, may be the case. And there's a huge, obviously, amount of work to be done in terms of changing the Human Rights Act to ensure that gender identity as a basis for non discrimination, we need to be ensuring that our health system actually enables people to transition. [00:49:27] And I would love to see us do what's happened in Argentina, where people, and though we do need to acknowledge that yesterday, the passport office made a world leading change in terms of people being able to change the gene writing today, which is amazing and great progress. But we could do what Argentina did, and the parliament voted unanimously to enable people to choose themselves. [00:49:57] Ridiculous. [00:50:00] The gender identity is no doctors, no lawyers involved, none of them needed, actually, trusting people may know themselves. [00:50:09] Crazy concept, and how fabulous that would be to see and our laws. And I would also personally like to see quite intrigued by the law that went through in the us this year, and making it illegal for religious groups to try and re educate people out of being gay. [00:50:34] Because I know that's happening here. I had a friend who's been through one of those courses, thankfully, me to girlfriend, and the course. [00:50:46] But those kind of courses cost lives. And they I do not believe they should be allowed. So that is a huge amount of work to do. And one of the other I think, final points to make before I go too long. That's in Mary's report, as also, I think to be really mindful of which is why I'm so pleased this panel is happening, that there's a temptation that as we make progress in terms of law reform, for people then to assume that everything's okay. [00:51:18] And to think that homophobia has suddenly gone because we've got the legal changes. And well, you know, x societies accepted that. So [00:51:29] we don't need to be conscious, we don't need to change our systems or our policies anymore. And that is very clearly an absolutely not true. So it's really great to be able to be having these two conversations at once. And I'm really, so pleased that queer Avengers has organized this. Thank you. [00:52:01] We've got to do this money thing again. So I'm going to hand around these things some of you have given as much as you can, and that's fine. But that we still have only paid probably a third of the cost of the conference, I think so I'm just gonna pass these [00:52:32] you serving conference has been very cheap, we've tried to do this as as cheap as possible to make it as accessible as possible. And so I just like to take the opportunity now to thank all the volunteers for doing all the work, you know, the exhausting amount of hours, sleepless nights, and all of the volunteer work that we've managed to pull all of us together and have such a fabulous event. So thank you all for that. So round of applause for the one please, please. [00:53:11] Alright, our last panel speaker is Nigel Nigel's come here this weekend and joined us in the conference. We brought him down from Northland. So [00:53:24] Nigel is a teacher who's been saved from Northlands propeller college, for standing up against homophobia. Now, I think it's add up as well, for me, especially as a queer person to stand up and support people like Nigel and the other panel members and even yourselves, you know, we do need to stand up and look after each other, especially when we're the ones that are being attacked. And we are the ones that need to be leading the the fight for acceptance and equality. And I am absolutely privileged that I being able to help in some regard to that. But I really do want to thank all of you to be able to have been a part of it as not just us that are doing the work. It's you that are doing the work. It's the discourse that you are having with your family, your friends and your finances, and getting that out into the community that is really making the difference. It's not just us. So please don't take what we're doing as the work you're doing the work. So, [00:54:26] but we do need to make sure we are standing up and supporting people like Nigel [00:54:32] Nigel said at the time, obviously he felt really upset that he'd lost his job, but he couldn't have done anything. [00:54:41] And every time he gets another message or really confirms what he did was the right thing. The amount of support people had put him behind Nigel was phenomenal. And the discussions I've had with Nigel has been really a true testament to who we are as people who are we are his New Zealanders. And here we are to make sure that we do support these people. So it's my privilege to have him as our honored guests during conference. And for me to introduce Nigel started. [00:55:16] Thanks for all over. It's lovely to be here. And thank you all so much for all the support that you've given to me. I think what's really important here is homophobia is not a gay, lesbian transgender problem. It's everybody's problem. It's prejudice. Prejudice is everybody's problem. Now, I'm a straight guy. I've got four kids are married. My partner is a wonderful lady. She's a midwife. She works with families that are going through challenges. [00:55:50] What I see in schools, I was really shocked that a competitor Catholic college really shocked, I didn't really think there was a problem. As a teacher, I thought my students were safe. I thought they were happy. That was certainly the impression that I was getting until we get a polarizing event. Now what polarize the students in that school was a newsletter that was written by the principal. That newsletter was entitled keeping marriage sacred non sure some of you will have read that. As everybody read that then we seen that newsletter, I'd encourage you to read through it. It was a newsletter entitled keeping marriage sacred. It's Catholic school. I understand it's Catholic school. I'm not a Catholic. I'm a Christian. I teach in Catholic school used to teach in a Catholic school. [00:56:40] That newsletter went one step beyond what is accepted Catholic doctrine, accepted Catholic doctrine is the gay marriage is not acceptable. That newsletter went one step beyond that. It went to a step that I found the first time I read it to just be offensive. I knew something was wrong, but I couldn't put my finger on it. My daughters could when they read it. What it said was that it contended that gay parents would be more possessive and in some way lesser parents than heterosexual parents. That meant that students in my classroom would be less the parents if they were gay. It meant that if they had parents that were gay, in some way, they were lesser parents. Now I knew that to be an absolute untruth and fundamentally wrong. I knew that because I'd say already seen the research on this, that research is evident in proving that it's absolutely untrue. [00:57:41] gay parents are equally as good if not [00:57:43] better than heterosexual parents. There is no evidence to prove the contrary that I've seen and I'm a scientist, it's my background. So I think it's really important that we establish that is a fact. And I think what you're doing with this conference, and what you're doing in supporting the marriage amendment bill is really vital to New Zealand. Something else that I think is really important in terms of looking at homophobia and what's going on, is when we see the adverts on TV now I'm fairly new to New Zealand, I've been here for five years. lovely country really enjoying it. I see adverts on TV that talk about man troll. [00:58:25] I don't know what that is, [00:58:27] is that different to go troll? [00:58:30] What sort of trouble? Are we talking about? You know, really, there is such a narrow definition of what a bloke is in New Zealand, I think any it needs to be broadened. You know, speaking again, from a scientific perspective, there are not two genders. There is a whole spectrum right across the board of gender identity. And every gender identity is just as valid as [00:58:55] any other. And that is [00:58:57] something that needs to be accepted by society it and certainly something that should never be prejudiced against. So that was the one thing that really got my go. As a family, we sit down over breakfast, we sit down over dinner, we talk about things. So my wife and I sat down with our two daughters, and we were talking about the school newsletter. Now the school newsletter, I don't know about you, but I sort of expect to see things like George did really well, hockey or you know, whoever did great at getting a scholarship to Victoria University. Yeah, well done. I don't really expect to see keeping marriage sacred in a school newsletter. Perhaps I should in Catholic school newsletter. I certainly don't expect to see prejudice in a school newsletter. I certainly don't, in a school that I teach wants somebody representing that school. All right, they're saying it's their own opinion. But when you put it on school letterhead, and you bash it out to every parent, what you're saying is this is the school community. And this is the attitude of the school community. As a teacher, I was really offended by that. My daughters and my wife were really offended by that. Because that is not the way that we feel. And that is not the way the majority of the teachers in that school fail. [01:00:24] I talked to many of the teachers after I suspended, many of them contacted me with support. Most of them were really worried about coming forward and saying anything. And I think something that really needs to be worked on by the PTA and I'd [01:00:41] ask the PTA to really look at [01:00:43] this. And arrow as well, is that the atmosphere in schools and the authoritarian atmosphere, we talk a lot about the divide between teachers and students, and how we must maintain a power dimension between the two. Yeah, I'm the teacher, I stand up front, you guys down there, I tell you the way the world works, it doesn't work like that. I learned as much from all of my students, probably more than I teach them. When I teach I walk around the classroom, it seems really odd to be standing at the front of a building, I'm much more comfortable wandering around and talking to people. I think that mutual respect is what needs to happen in schools. Schools need to become open places, not just in terms of sexual identity, but in terms of valuing the students opinions, giving them the right to have those opinions. Now, in the email that I got back from the principal, after I wrote, I wrote him an email pretty much as soon as I've read the newsletter and had a chat with it with my family. And I said, You know, I think you need to withdraw this, this will offend an awful lot of the national tolerant community, let alone the gala, transgender community. He came back to me and said, This is my opinion. And I want to encourage people to debate the issues around marriage. We encourage debate, didn't we? [01:02:15] Unfortunately, I don't think it encouraged the sort of debate that he was looking for. [01:02:21] In terms of what he's done to me, and the board that supported it, what they tried to do is shut down that debate. And the reason that I stood behind the students, when the students wanted to have a protest and wear rainbow ribbons, we're not talking about throwing rocks here. We're not talking about burning the school down, we're talking about wearing a rainbow ribbon. Yeah. [01:02:42] But like wearing a daffodil, [01:02:44] wearing a poppy wearing a conscience ribbon for breast cancer. I support that I think kids that have a social conscience are the future of any country, and you shut that down at your peril. [01:03:00] We need to encourage our kids to have a conscience. We need to encourage our kids to debate to form their own opinions, not just go with what we tell them. Because we're not always right. So the we need to have that debate, we need to encourage our children to debate and our students debate. And we should expect that that's what teachers do in a classroom. Even when I'm teaching science, I don't teach it as an absolute fact. Because I don't have you will remember when you're at school, but science has changed. But the facts are not the same anymore. Facts are the world as we understand it now, in 20 years, that world is very different. So I think it's very important that we encourage debate, I think it's very important that schools are places that encourage debate. Now, there's been a lot of talk about professional development for teachers. [01:03:54] I'd like to go one step before that, above that. [01:03:57] And I'd like to [01:03:58] propose professional development for principals and for senior management teams. [01:04:04] My experience of teachers is they're pretty good, actually, you know, if you're a good teacher, you enjoy teaching, you stay in the classroom, because you've got great behavior control, and you're going really well with the kids. And you take great pleasure in seeing the development of those students. If you're not such a good teacher, you're probably going to go off. And I'm not trying to insult everybody who does it. But you're going to go off and you're going to do higher degrees, and you're going to get senior management positions. And you might end up a principal. [01:04:34] I'm not saying all of them who've got bad behavior management, and they don't have that mutual relationship with kids. But certainly some of them possibly have a few problems, in my opinion. I think we need to get in there at the top. And I think arrow needs to get in there at the top of schools and the senior management team, and it needs to make damn sure that those schools are safe everybody. Certainly in my classroom, I would not really ever look around the classroom and think sciences, Mallory sciences, packing hard sciences, Pacifica, ah, he might be gay, she might be a lesbian. I just taught kids. Yeah, they were all the same. My classrooms were emotionally safe places for people to be, they could say what they liked. I would cut students some slack. You know, we don't sweat the small stuff. We're there to actually help students to help them form their own opinions. And I think the one message that I'd like everybody to take home from this is homophobia does exist in New Zealand. It's out there, I was really shocked when I saw it. I spent most of my life a little bit about me. I started life as a cardiac research associate, doing a PhD in Liverpool. [01:05:54] Build boat took off the sea for 25 years. [01:05:57] I decided Academy academia wasn't for me. I then retired and then went into teaching because I needed to keep my brain active, wasn't good for me to be doing nothing. [01:06:10] I thought, [01:06:12] homophobia and those sort of prejudices were gone. But you know, I'm a straight guy, I lead a fairly normal life. And it's a bit like when people say to me are you know, [01:06:23] Nigel, do you know, there's [01:06:25] lots of drugs and everything going on here, because I'm not involved in I don't see it. When you become involved in it, the messages that I've had from other students and other teachers, saying thank you for just saying something. Because we're all too afraid to stand up and say something. those messages are heartfelt. And it is so vital, what you're doing. So vital that you stand up and say something, because there are so many people out there that need to hear it. [01:06:53] Thank you very much. [01:07:25] Wow. [01:07:28] I'm quite emotional he about a little bit. And thank you very much for coming down. And joining us, Nigel. [01:07:35] And the next phase is really handing over to you and asking the questions of the panelists. We do ask that your questions, concise and to the point. And we do ask that you're polite and respectful of other people. After all, that's what we're here for is to be respectful and to be asking for equality. So we needed do that within our own brains as well. [01:08:03] So I have moved down here, he's got the microphone, and I'll do the staining. I'll do the [01:08:10] making sure [01:08:10] that you guys are doing your job. And these guys are doing the job. We've got a microphone for the panelists here. So Hand it over. [01:08:23] And I will just speak in order as well. So [01:08:30] yeah, thanks for that. Iran. I just have a question for Nigel. I liked what you said about that. The problem is at the top at like, you know, with curve and as we've got the crystal skulls [01:08:40] campaign, there are other similar [01:08:42] related things around like the skills skills out and the quest right alliances. And I think tomorrow, be good to have some discussion about how to move forward with scope stuff. So it'd be good to have have your input bomb. I just wanted to ask about I know there's still [01:08:56] you're still going during the grievance process [01:09:00] with boats. I want to ask about that. And [01:09:02] if there's anything we can do to support that. [01:09:06] First of all, I just like to say thanks for all the support you've done again, it's just been amazing. You know, I mean, there was a point there. I was lying in bed when I got back from the Mossad, you know, and we were sort of my wife and I were lying there at one or two o'clock in the morning. So driven back from Oakland. And obviously, [01:09:21] what I done, [01:09:22] right? How did we end up doing this? And then, you know, as soon as I'm glad I did. And that night, [01:09:30] I worked till about [01:09:32] 330 in the morning, I got up, and I sat down on my computer, and I answered all the messages of support, I could buy 330, I was sort of running out of steam. So many messages were coming in on Facebook, from everybody in support. So what you've been doing is fantastic, first of all, and I would say that to you to Tammy to everybody that's really got involved with those Facebook groups. You know, now with social media, things happen so much faster. The time frame has gone from a press date to maybe a week or two, you know, and things that when things happen to four or five minutes, as things explode. And I think that continued presence is really important. So I thank you very much for that. What more can you do, where I'm at with the process. Now, just to sort of bring you up to date, we have a mediation hearings scheduled for the 12th. When hopefully, I'll be able to get a few more answers out of board. I mean, those of you that have seen my Facebook page have been following it, you'll see that even when the Catholic media has asked the school questions and ask the board questions, they refused to answer them. So they basically sticking their head in the sand and they're not coming back with an answer. And I'd encourage all journalists to go to the school and trying it the other side of the story because I'd love to hear it, I really would. So I would love to have the school. I'm looking forward to the school that mediation hearing. [01:10:57] Unfortunately, that mediation hearing is absolutely confidential. So I cannot give any form of release out about that hearing. And the results of those mediation hearings generally are confidential as well. If it goes beyond that stage, then and I will be seeking reinstatement at that hearing. If it goes beyond that stage, it goes to the employment tribunal. And then it's not confidential, then I can actually hopefully get some answers to the questions. But I think the next stage is mediation, and then we'll go on from there. But I think keeping up the pressure on the board is really important. those letters, I mean, the number of parents who've written letters to the board, I've requested all of that information and information so that I can read that and the minutes of the board meeting. But what you've done so far, Brynn, please just keep it up. Let's get the pressure on [01:11:48] my oven just over here to your left, just [01:11:50] right behind you. [01:12:00] I think popular culture is really [01:12:04] influential, among other things. [01:12:07] So just for example, to the teachers [01:12:12] doing so the evidence, anecdotal evidence of them, influence programs like Glee, having characters and [01:12:18] other programs like [01:12:21] to help gay couples. [01:12:30] And by saying that, you know, there has been societal change of the last X number of years, but the behaviors are still the behaviors to buy. [01:12:42] And that's what we're talking about here. And why actually, the need for going back to zero and you know, all of that garbage [01:12:52] needs to happen. That is coaches need to be changed from the top [01:12:58] was a nice organization. [01:13:02] Was your question directed in terms of has the attitude of the students changed? Or the teachers and the staff? [01:13:12] students? Absolutely. Yeah, I mean, one thing I'd say about the students at the school when I was teaching it upon failure, is there was not really, that I saw at all I believe that was also from Zach trap. Or if you saw the close up, Zach was also on their next student. And, yes, you're going to get issues in a school, as with any difference in any teenager, you'll get it. But in general, I think what's happening with popular culture, and the fact that now you see a lot of our individuals in popular culture, I think it's much more accepted. And certainly, the support I've received from all the students in the school has been amazing. And they really do support. I mean, I had a message from a gay student in the school. And what she said to me was, you know, I just feel so, so supported by everybody here, it's wonderful, except for a certain individual. So it's pretty cool. I think it is working. But it's not changing the 5560 year old people at the top who really are probably not watching it either. [01:14:18] Kevin, [01:14:23] I got a half question half comment about the impact of your struggle, Nigel. And thank you for pursuing this and making a big deal out of it. And not just like taking it lying down, in terms of [01:14:37] all these other schools [01:14:38] and principals and the senior staff that have these incredibly backwards views that as a result of your ability or your willingness to stand up and be seen and be heard, and to fight. [01:14:53] dismissal on the basis of I refuse to accept discrimination. [01:15:00] Other schools like [01:15:02] for being, will they now? Do you think [01:15:06] will they [01:15:06] will there be schools now you think that will be too afraid to be openly bigoted [01:15:12] as a result of your challenge? [01:15:14] And I know, that's a tough question I asked. I was involved a few years ago in a campaign Indonesian [01:15:20] about schools, they refused to allow same sex couples to attend the school balls. [01:15:24] And [01:15:26] yes, ridiculous and openly overt about it, like [01:15:29] really [01:15:30] quite absurd. We made a big deal. We picked a couple of schools, and we put them through the papers, and we put it on the streets, and we put it in Janine TV. [01:15:41] And we openly shamed them. And the next year, we got no complaints. [01:15:48] And I just wanted to know, your [01:15:49] feelings on that. [01:15:56] Start? I do. I do think, yeah, it's certainly made a difference. I have a feeling that we've got different schools where we've got different issues. Okay. I think if you're in a large school, where you've got a larger community, and probably you've already got more pressure on those senior staff to be more inclusive, I think where you've got a faith based school, I mean, remember, I was teaching in a Catholic school, you mountain of Catholic dot that is sitting there, but I'm not an athletic, surprisingly enough, even after all this, I'm not anti Catholic. [01:16:35] I think that the values if they're espoused by Catholic schools, those Marist values, one of them is tolerance. Well, come on, guys show it. And I think they need to be held up to their own value system and made to obey that value system. Don't forget these Catholic schools are integrated schools. My salary is a teacher was Piper you guys, not by the Catholic Church? Okay. Yes, I agree to uphold the special character of that school when I go and work there. That means that I don't openly oppose the Catholic churches, viewpoints. In other words, I would not as a teacher on sac now I can, I would not, as a teacher stand up and say, or support gay marriage, you know, come on, let's get it. Let's get sorted. That would not be appropriate. But there is nothing that I have read in Catholic doctrine that says that gay parents are lesser parents and the other parent. What amazes me was when one response I did read from the school, where it said that, you know, the school always welcomes gay parents and gay students. They're like, any other student in school, we welcome them into the school, it's not an exact quote. So please read the exact quote, you want to quote it. But at the same time, we're saying some, you know, the principal is saying, so in my interpretation, again, parents or lesser parents, well, that's a bit like me inviting you around for dinner, I sit down and have dinner with all my friends in the living room, and I kick you out in the kitchen and say, here's your play, you know, it's not inclusiveness has it made a difference? I hope so. Because this is 2012. We still need to be fighting these battles. [01:18:23] But [01:18:24] I thought we eliminated a lot of this 50 years ago. And I'm shocked that we're fighting these battles. Now. One good thing I would say about New Zealand, and I've seen so far, and I thought it was really significant where we met last night to be meeting in the upper chamber that doesn't exist, right? Isn't that fantastic? You know, means you guys can change things. And you can change them quite quickly. And I take my hat off to everybody who was speaking last night, who sticking their own neck out. And that's huge. And that's everybody speaking last night to do that. And Lisa, as well, it's amazing, because they are sticking their neck out, they continue to need your support, you know, it's a Well done guys. [01:19:05] Remembering, remembering, [01:19:09] going. [01:19:11] And [01:19:13] going back to the big schools, which have diversity already a hell of a lot of schools, in one school towns in rural New Zealand, which are very unsafe places, for many, anybody who is different. [01:19:33] And [01:19:36] talking about the one that I was at, actually 90% of the kids were great, it wasn't an issue. For 90% of the parents, having an outside teacher in the town was not an issue. But 13% can make it really unhealthy, and really straightening. And, [01:20:00] ah, and also to places, you know, even today, people who are thought to be gay or known to be gay, still get a hard time. [01:20:12] I just, you know, not to be too depressing, but also to note that the homophobic bullying that happened at hack Valley High, which was absolutely [01:20:25] extreme [01:20:27] raping of students, and homophobic bullying happened incredibly recently. And the Ombudsman's [01:20:35] report [01:20:36] of that violence did not even consider homophobia. [01:20:44] So actually, there's also part of the picture that we're dealing with. [01:20:51] And unless you're connected and listening to the issues on or knowing it being actually, if it doesn't come into people's minds, that's the Ombudsman. It was a, you know, it was clearly homophobic to anyone [01:21:07] who might have any understanding. [01:21:10] And of course, that wasn't the only case a few years ago, up in the east, East Coast. And it was exactly the same sort of situation of rape of a student by other students. [01:21:25] Can't be anything else. But what it was. [01:21:30] But I think that these, these conflicts and struggles do have an impact. And I'm confident that what Nigel's is having the that impact of making other schools a bit more careful, I have no doubt at all, that being public, and making a fuss has a huge impact. And I think it's that impact that you can see appreciate to [01:22:01] We Don't underestimate, the courage that that takes. But we also got to make a fast and make a struggle. It's not, it's not actually enough to have sensible opinions. And to talk to opinion leaders, it's not enough to argue with politicians, it's enough to change laws. [01:22:29] We have got to, in different ways, duplicate the kinds of public struggles, but my job has, that won't be the same way because we're not going to lose our job on this one problem. But, you know, it's a matter of demonstrations, it's a matter of pickets, it's a matter of seeing abuses, and standing up against them a minute bus, it's a matter of making it too embarrassing to fuck is over. [01:23:02] Okay, I've got [01:23:03] five people on the list at the moment. So I've got 12345. And we'll probably wrap up questions about not long after, [01:23:13] I just add one thing to that role, which we finished, I think there's two things that needs to be done. First of all, I think what the queer Avengers are doing is vital. And I think in those small rural towns, as we were talking the other day on Facebook, I think what's really critical is that you get an organization if you can't get it into the school. And believe me, Sydney, tried with portfolio and he didn't get a lot of success, it's difficult to get into the school, get it into the town, around the school, so that you can actually do it for two or three schools in that area. That's one thing that needs to be done. Because those kids need that support. They need to know somebody there for them, you know, I wish I was back on earlier, because the kids would know they could come talk to me, it's not going to happen, I doubt very much. But that's what it needs, it needs somebody they can go to. The second thing we need to do is we need to get people going around the schools and talking about it, going to the staff meetings, talking to the staff explaining this as a problem getting over that issue. You know, I mean, I'm Johnny said, there's no homosexual challenge in this school. You know, come on guys, a serious in this day and age, are you really going with that belief. People need educating, they need to understand that staff and the senior management, especially the senior management needs to take that on board. [01:24:40] Yeah, I was [01:24:45] just gonna say this, because when it's kind of segue nicely, obviously took place quickly, I really have enjoyed listening to six of the people I'm working with with teachers. And I've stopped humbling means that all the time that we don't hear much about success, we also are going to change that we actually know it is true. And very selfless in my services. I know I wasn't really doing this the other night, she is the center [01:25:19] of excellence. Sometimes it's easy to just don't see the horses in the shoe. So I'm really happy that when you do this to enjoy the song, but my question is really in regards to this. Because I'm a little bit on Facebook x is one example of Nigeria, I do feel like sometimes, I really precious this richness and the capital and I feel like I will go [01:25:43] good. And it was a [01:25:44] problem for me and transforming. This is one of the most difficult things to do something really obvious about something as basic as a seed, and you can also go the other way you can go into something that isn't [01:25:57] that is an attack and some people so well, I'm really interested in [01:26:03] the ideas about how to take down and listen for the forgiveness of bonuses. So taking advice of your schema people, and if you're peddling experiences, sorry. [01:26:18] I think you that's [01:26:21] a really interesting question. And the my response to that would be about education, really. And that's the kind of [01:26:31] it's about education of us, in the extent of us, you know, looking at our own, [01:26:38] our own homophobia, and transphobia. But I, one of the things that we are doing is developing a diversity training, when a number of people have talked about that. So we're doing that for our own delegates and our union organizers, because they don't realize they're that are being I'm a phobic, and that may be you covert, or it's what's underneath, you know, people just is not very clear. So I think you really have to keep on and and Jen made the point that just don't accept that we've, we've got, [01:27:13] you know, we [01:27:14] just because we're good items signed off that, you know, we've done everything, we just have to keep on with this education. And that's why I think people like that, I mean, grant money voiceprint, your stuff that she's doing is fantastic. And it really does push the boundaries. [01:27:34] Also, echoing that around the education and it's one of another thing within refuge, that part of the training of the people working in refuges around homophobia. And, and for me, it's also about a human rights analysis. And actually, I think we need to do more work in the country in terms of actually [01:28:00] encouraging and giving people the opportunity to think about what I human rights. And what does that mean, because I believe, you know, oppressions are linked in. But people there aren't many spaces in our society for people to get to think about this. And think about how they are an experience of the world is impacted by oppression that affects them directly, or the oppression of other people, and what that means for them. And so I think there's that, but there's I mean, obviously activism. Another thing, you know, education is one thing, but we also need structural change, and we need to be [01:28:46] organizing, and let's stop only happens with organizing. So yay, clearly. [01:28:54] And it really is a structural thing. And [01:28:58] at the moment, we're having creepy settlements and me just read the newspaper letters, the absolute vein of racist, very thinly veiled, you don't have to go very far out to society to find misogynists, who are happy to parade the prejudices all the time. That is there's a whole heap [01:29:25] of groups [01:29:27] who are not your white heterosexual male, who actually suffer varying forms, despite the fact that discrimination on all the grounds has been outlawed. [01:29:41] And when we look at the American elections of recently, you know, they had voter registration years ago, look what's happening. [01:29:49] I think [01:29:49] there's one thing we should expect from schools in terms of what you're saying to make sure that doesn't happen. And that is that school leadership should be standing up and making damage, it doesn't happen. And modeling behavior, that shows that it doesn't happen. We should not expect that any form of school leadership encourages the other side of that viewpoint. So the role models that our kids see in schools should be role models that are tolerant, should be role models that are open to diversity. And I think that's something in terms of teacher education that really needs to be there, we need to stop really thinking of it just in terms of culture, we need to think about it in a much broader scope. But we need to make sure that and I would call on arrow to do this in the Ministry of Education, they should be making sure our kids are safe in school. And that means that Educational Leadership should be modeling that and making sure that their schools are safe [01:31:00] close [01:31:02] case of Catholic school [01:31:08] and [01:31:12] worship coach [01:31:16] and it was hot, very hot, and crashers chapter five, your [01:31:24] second Star Wars [01:31:28] content has been very useful for seniors. [01:31:35] sideshow. [01:31:40] I do get down to the side. And that's some of you may have a picture of yourself and [01:31:51] your virtual [01:31:55] face. [01:31:56] I do feel the same. And that's even better. [01:32:05] Theory. [01:32:13] Now [01:32:19] Should we check out after she's a psychologist. And first off with this US national media and property icon in the face of this property attack attack as unfortunately killed? [01:32:36] As I should we try. [01:32:41] And we try, we force us [01:32:45] to produce us to ban apple. [01:32:50] We already have your ass. [01:32:58] And we can sip of water or coffee through and everybody in the society wonderful Well, at least and why does anybody seem like any kind of [01:33:15] insanity is backstage, especially with our Human Rights Day. [01:33:20] We can pass muster. [01:33:24] But [01:33:26] as [01:33:27] we words and responsibility, [01:33:32] and we can escape politicians to solve [01:33:37] our struggles. [01:33:39] We have grown up responsible. [01:33:45] We have experienced with the children [01:33:48] that have come to us to manage pain, this is back to the issue. It's not just schools that the show is you may be asking yourself, who's about to get back to your responsibilities. [01:34:06] Actually the last [01:34:09] capital side bar, and we don't do it as well. [01:34:25] I would agree with you there surely I think really what's important, you know, you would feel really comfortable with the kids upon better Catholic college. They're lovely kids, the kids that were really supporting this. And I think that's something we need to understand. In many cases, it's not the kids that are the issue. And it's that sort of middle ground, the middle age to a certain extent. And they're the people we need to be addressing. Yes, we do get homophobia with kids, and the bullying. But if they're in an atmosphere where that's unacceptable. And their peers see that as a acceptable, it isn't going to happen. If it's seen as an where it's acceptable. I mean, there was a comment that I read on the report that was written all about me, which was I left it to the school leadership to sort out this problem about the demonstration, you know, the student leadership. So that's effectively saying that the student leadership is going to encourage this to go away. And you know, one of the students had a go at the girl that said at the protest. Now, it's that sort of modeling that does the damage, what we really need is to be encouraging those kids and saying, you know what you are as a teenager, as a year 10 as a year 11 student, by doing something like this, you have my respect, you're an admirable individual, you may already be 14 1516, [01:35:50] but hey, you've got a social conscience that belongs to somebody should be in Parliament. So well done. [01:36:01] Thomas, [01:36:03] we are asking maybe if you can speak into the microphone, because some of us can hear. [01:36:09] So hi, I'm at Twitter as well. [01:36:12] And something I've noticed with my young [01:36:14] people is that a lot of them are still really, [01:36:16] really scared. And so while that the issue has kind of gotten better, the big problem I see is that [01:36:23] even though the issue is going to get [01:36:25] the majority, the majority, which is all [01:36:27] good, as silent, and that's the loud minority, [01:36:31] which is hating on everyone [01:36:33] that they hear. [01:36:33] And so I have a youth, you know, [01:36:36] a gay identifying youth [01:36:38] and candidate who's really scared to come out, even though [01:36:41] no reason to be that way. You know, he's got such a positive support system. [01:36:46] But it's that site, that really loud minority that really scares him. And he, he's worried that it's going to ruin his chances of getting through high school. So it's just [01:36:57] being, you know, [01:36:58] the loud majority, rather than the silent majority supporting real quietly, we've gotta like, actually say, Hey, you know, this is an issue, and we're going to talk about it. So just kind of offering that because rooms. [01:37:16] Okay, [01:37:17] over here. [01:37:24] As a teacher, I'm quite used to projecting how barely High School has a queen has a bit of a history of this, because in the 90s, they had a number of teachers who were attacked, I believe, by if my memory serves me correctly, by principal, and effect, the PTA Nigel ought to have that information. And you will be able to look at what actually happened, I worked in a school further up the valley, with a Salvation Army principal, who had been opposed to homosexual law reform bill, but in fact, was a number of gay staff, we had a number of gay staff at the school, and the staff was solidly behind and demanded that a statement was put out by the school supporting the teachers who were being penalized at Hot Valley High School. And I think that's something that probably needs to be able to be done, in your case, to have other schools, other principals, the Board of Trustees about the schools to come out and make a statement and say, This is unacceptable. And I think it's really important not to put all schools into the same category, that our liberal schools in New Zealand who are supportive, and do provide as not a totally safe, but a much, much safer school. And it's not just country schools, or schools and small regions that suffer from this. in Wellington, there are a number of schools who had probably an anti prejudice policies, anti bullying. And yet, a number of those students find the way to the school, I currently teach it because they are bullied, they don't stay at their school. So it's not good enough PTA for arrow to tech boxes, that there's a policy, it's not good enough for [01:39:21] it for a school to be passed, because it's got a policy, it's actually got to look at real practice. And that's much harder to do it means they've really got to talk to the students and the staff as to what really goes on because the often is a mismatch between the leadership and of the school and the teachers and the students. And I also want to make a point to Nigel that I don't know what the sta, the [01:39:55] Board of Trustees organization, you are a staff rep on your board, what have they pulled in court in the sta, they should be looking at that, because I think it's important to challenge that. And I think we need to be aware that charter schools are partnership schools that called are a real threat for New Zealand. It's a policy of this government. And they are schools who don't have to follow the curriculum don't have to employ qualified teachers are able to they won't require be required to have anti bullying policies, they're not going to be inspected, I suspect by arrow. So what's going to happen there, and the thing is that we need to fight the establishment of those schools now before they're in place, rather than try and do a rearguard fight after they're in place. And I don't care if it's a church school, or a non church, charter school that's being set up, they should be stopped. We want quality state education, not this other nonsense. [01:41:11] I still [01:41:12] have a few hands up, but I will have to cut off a diversity. So I will try to get through your so if you can be quick. Yeah, sorry. I get Thank you. [01:41:33] I just have a quick statement. I'm an early childhood teacher. And [01:41:37] I often see children [01:41:40] having [01:41:41] some interesting views on sexuality. And their view of sexuality is formed quite [01:41:46] early, as young as sort of two years old. And I, [01:41:50] I believe, personally, that this is Junior media, and other things that I see in society, I don't think that [01:41:59] the Quicken unity is visible enough to children, and they don't see other forms of sexuality enough. And so they form these views of society that are male and female, and then that evolves into homophobia. So [01:42:15] I suppose what I'm saying is that high school is a great place to be doing education about [01:42:20] sexuality. [01:42:22] But also, primary in your childhood, you probably had that too, as well as [01:42:27] I don't know what you would do about the media, but restricting or altering advertisements to not be so header normative, and damaging to children's views of sexuality. [01:42:39] I played Disney. [01:42:42] My little sister seen photos of me, my partner. And she said when you kissing the other man, you know, she's so used to princes and princesses. So yeah. [01:42:55] But [01:42:58] we have right here. [01:43:07] Hi, um, I was trying to think in terms of structural solutions for these things. Because I mean, what we need is a kind of education about queer sexuality, institutionalized in schools, and, you know, stuff institutionalized in healthcare. I mean, we're not going to get it with this government, you've got the National Party who's downright hostile to some queer issues, and in the Labour Party, who, you know, their their accounts, um, but largely indifferent on others. I mean, I've admired the work that parties like the greens have done over the past couple of years. Although I kind of wonder what would happen if the greens became a dominant party a space, that would be kind of more smooth. [01:43:52] So under the system of EMP, I don't really think that getting change is going to work. [01:44:00] I was kind of wondering what people thought about potential for more further electoral reform, so we can get a more proportional system and enable, you know, queer positive policy. [01:44:19] I like that idea. [01:44:22] Actually, I'm just I don't know about that. [01:44:25] But, but I don't [01:44:27] I think politicians do what people make them do. [01:44:31] So, you know, not to fob it off and say, no, we're not responsible, because we we need to be. And and I certainly will, you know, do what I can try and do what I can to claim it. But it is I mean, I think regardless of the system, it comes back to community organizing, it comes back to the stuff that you're good at. doing more of it, I this. [01:44:57] Yeah. And I'm just going to pick the up the response to that, about charter schools, because I think it's actually about noise. And I think there is an opportunity to make noise, that we have to make it and respond on charter schools, which is such a dangerous thing. So there are submissions. And even though the parliamentary process, we feel very disillusioned by at the moment, noise is really important, and activism, and it does make a difference. So I haven't answered your question. But I did want to pick up the point about the charter schools and responding on that. [01:45:38] And below me empty isn't perfect. I think the visibility of gay and lesbian MP, the number of women in Parliament, now in terms of society, changing the face of who rules us [01:45:52] is changing. And [01:45:56] to actually get any of them to do anything, is what we've got them, I couldn't do it. [01:46:02] I'd actually say it's moving quite quickly in New Zealand, you know, I take my hat off to New Zealand in terms of what it's achieved. I know it's never going to move fast enough. And it's a shame that we can't make it move quicker. But I do think you've got some incredible progress going on. I think what's really important is to celebrate that progress, normalize that progress, so that the general population Zealand, which I think is very largely supportive, sees it as progress, that's thing, and then gets on board and moves with it. If you emphasize the positive people will follow you. And I think if you can do that in the communities, you'll go a long way with it. So I think it's going well, and I would keep pushing hard. So good luck with it. [01:46:44] And final question. [01:46:51] Hey, I'll try and make it quick. So we've talked a lot about [01:46:54] language tonight, and [01:46:56] either recession compensation analysis. [01:46:58] So I think language is really important. [01:47:02] One, safe space rule is [01:47:06] using gender neutral language. [01:47:09] So I was wondering [01:47:10] if the PVT I could push [01:47:12] having that kind of rule institutionalized, like having a teacher [01:47:18] having to use my partner, even if they're straight person? [01:47:23] Yeah. [01:47:26] You I don't think I can speak for the union on both. [01:47:32] Because I haven't got that brief. [01:47:33] But I mean, you should be talking about is one of the quality of initial teacher education. The sort of issue you're talking about is the sort of school leadership that happens. And as trying to get into school to say you need to challenge that guy. [01:47:55] A number of schools are welcoming. But, you know, resent view of what the hell you bleeding on about. There's nothing wrong with our place. [01:48:06] I'm teachers, I'm not racist. I'm not. [01:48:11] I just talk about my wife and kids all the time. [01:48:15] And [01:48:17] but it happens amongst your colleagues. I mean, I remember talking to someone, it was a teaching colleague A while ago, about. [01:48:28] He said, Have you got a partner and she gave Dominic, and he said, Dominic. And I said tonight, and he said, Oh, you got [01:48:40] assumptions or assumptions. [01:48:44] I [01:48:44] think, certainly, from my perspective, and the way that I would talk to my students, I think if you show your students respect, you get that risk back. And it's not going again, I would say, don't sweat the small stuff. You know, I know, I understand where you're coming from in terms of language. But I think what's really important is that respect, and if they feel safe in your classroom and they feel respected, then the language becomes far less of an issue. Because it's it's an it's a warm, encompassing feeling. I think that's what we're trying to generate in classrooms. I think another issue is hard to deal with. And I think it's another one that the government will need to look at, I don't doubt very much over this government is the whole local boards thing, where basically, you've got a board controlling the school. And certainly when I saw where you've got, [01:49:37] basically a board that has very little power, because we've got four proprietors, representatives from the Catholic Church, we've got four parent representatives, who don't want to jeopardize their own kids in the school. So whilst I think it's a terrific initiative to have local control, I'm very much involved government, it's great idea, you need actually put structures in place to make sure that it's got some teeth, because otherwise it just becomes a puppet that can be moved by the principal or by somebody else. So I think it's a few things to consider there. [01:50:13] And I [01:50:13] really liked your question, I just kind of respond by saying, somebody see that, that we need to live by assume, assume nothing, which is the words of Rebecca Swan, and that book, called assume nothing. And so that's a challenge to us all. But it's a challenge, we can cry out to others to live by, assume nothing. [01:50:41] Okay, thank you panel, I guess, we'll just maybe give you the opportunity to have any final remarks. [01:50:53] I just want to say that I think that [01:50:59] society and institutions, there aren't even there are pockets which are more homophobic, and pockets for children. [01:51:07] But on the whole government, [01:51:13] schools, at culture reflects us, [01:51:19] reflects the population. [01:51:22] And it's only by changing that, [01:51:28] that we can change the institutions that ultimately, the little fiddling [01:51:34] is necessary. But on its own, it's not the point. [01:51:39] It's the question of using the little deadline as a lever for massive change. The example that I use all the time, is that the 8586, homosexual law reform that the decriminalization of homosexuality was not really [01:51:55] about the decriminalization of homosexuality [01:51:57] at all, was an avenue about a minor, little cultural revolution in New Zealand. [01:52:06] And that little reform was the opportunity for what was important was the screaming range of thousands of game men and women in New Zealand, and their supporters. That said, Enough, we've got to change things. [01:52:23] It was the radical activism, which people who work very radical very activist felt necessary to do and all circumstances. [01:52:35] And what we've got to do is try to influence this board, or that board or this decision or that decision, as much as possible, use those opportunities. As leaders, for a much larger cultural change, which is necessary. [01:52:55] I think I'm gonna leave you just with a couple of words, make noise, and keep making noise, the squeaky hinge gets the oil, just get out there and make that noise. [01:53:07] And it's also a very evident that there are a number of organizations across the whole of society who are working for the change, even if they're not visible. [01:53:21] Ditto. [01:53:24] Nice. [01:53:25] Yeah, for me, that obviously tonight, I've heard, you know, that change, we've made progress in certain areas. And at the base, there's a certain kind of change happening, but it's not fast enough. There's a lot more to be done, and, and thinking it's all done, [01:53:47] is actually just going to allow what's wrong to fade and grow. So I've been really thankful for this conversation in terms of, I guess, sharpening my thinking, and focus. And I look forward to hopefully having a chance to be able to respond to your rage, enter when I came in the place where I work, [01:54:12] but loving the work that you're all doing to, you know, to push more to happen. [01:54:23] And I guess my final remarks on this issue is I'm very glad that we've actually had this discussion, it's really important. It was actually a touching story that we had, at the start of our public meetings over towards the beginning, was really said, moving and touching them, really drove home that we really needed to make sure we had this discussion, because marriage equality has raised this discussion. There are people out there at home, who are reading the forums, the blogs, and all of that, and who was struggling with the homophobia that this naturally occurs. And we need to make sure that for them as well, you know, these people are behind the screen, they're not here. So we need to make sure that we when we are blogging, that we're doing it in a responsible way, and we're doing it in a positive way, especially Facebook, too many of the young people are seeing that and feeling so bashed up about their gender identity, that we need to make sure that we are doing what we can do in a positive and accepting way. [01:55:27] And that is really, why are we having this discussion. Every press release? We do we try to have that sort of inclusiveness that if they need help, they can go to these avenues to make sure that they can get their help. [01:55:41] And I guess my thoughts on this issue was, you know, one of the things that I'm most proud of, and when I walk down the street, and I'm with my partner who's over here, he's been such a great support. And we walk down the street holding hands, you know, and people come up to us and yes, like, you know, thank you. You're so brave. You know, we've never had one negative comment. So making it normal for everybody, you know, making it so that it's accepting, you know, seeing us, me and my partner on the street holding hands. There's one thing that is giving other people's strengths. And that for me has been great as being a leader in that change. Yeah, pity is not done enough. [01:56:27] Thank you to our house, St. Andrews on the terrace. Thank you, Margaret, for leaving us as this venue is a great venue to have these discussions inside of a church is something incredible, I would never have thought about 10 years ago. [01:56:44] And thankfully, finally, thank you for tuning on, you know otherwise would be talking to ourselves. [01:56:50] But thank you again to the panelists a round of applause.

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