Mike Bryant and Esme Oliver

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So I'm here with Mike and he's me, and a park with a piano. Hello, hello, this this prostitute Park. And then it was zeal, the youth club and now it's just kind of here with piano. Lovely. You both just come from a radio show. Tell me a bit about that. No. Um, well, we host a radio show called queer zone on Wellington axis, right? very inventive name. We chose it for its originality. And it's part of a group of shows called youth zone, which are about radio made by youth for youth. And they wanted a queer specific one, because there's lots of just general youth, the ones and so we we will you asked us, actually, you got to ask someone and you showed us? Yes, that's correct. Because we are pretty magnificent. Yeah. So Tommy, asked you. Well, you said would us guys like to do it? We're show and we said, Sure. And we did. And we've been doing it for I guess about a year now. I think so i'm not i'm not really sure about the dates. I've always. We've had various people come along and do it with us. We used to have Maria. She did it with us for several several months, and nearly ended up for a couple of days. Earlier this year, I had to stop doing it for a while because of school. But we've just recently changed the time slot. So now I met but we had Brendan for a while and he's still around. And I've basically been getting in Brandon's been my permanent fixture along with me. But we've also been getting a different person everywhere every week, just not even a special guest really just a random co facilitator. But we we do try and get interviews and guest spots from people who are kind of something to do with with the queer community or just saw something in support of the queer community or something was just of interest. Like like today, we had two people from a musical come along, and they weren't. You know, it's not a particularly queer focused, musical. But you know, you just like musical I love musicals. So I thought why the hell no, I mean, plenty of people like musicals. And those saying the musical has like a slightly Yeah, yeah, story to it anyway. So what else just have interviews or other stuff. We do, weekly segments that we have. And we do it every week, like we have celebrity crushes. And normally we have a boy and a girl, but that's sort of flexible to her desires, and Alice deviousness of the day. Today I had four crushes. She's great. She's great. A also we have a thing called dear Madonna, which we sort of talked about what's pissed off soft that week. And, and, and some humorous way. Yeah. And we have, there's something else top five, five, and we normally pick something, and we do a top five of it. Like we will have top five favorite Disney movies or top five favorite bands or something. And today, it was top five favorite pink things to tie in with Pink Shirt Day. Oh, and we also we play a lot of music and just kind of we just hang out and we just talk really and I'm, it's, we don't necessarily sit down and go, Okay, we're going to talk about this queer issue or whatever we talk about what is going on for us at the time. And because we're all queer, we all come from a creative perspective, that obviously plays a slide. And I mean, I don't think we want to make it overly clear. Because, I mean, we want everyone to be able to listen, we don't we don't want people to tune in and be like, are they talking about eight or six? Again, I don't want to listen to you. And plus, I mean, no, I mean, I can only talk from a personal point of view. But I mean, I'm queer, but it doesn't dictate my entire life. Yeah. I mean, it's like a lot of people say, a lot of bands who are classes like Christian bands, talk about how they come from a Christian life view. And so that obviously influences the music, but I don't classify themselves as a Christian band. I see that the same way with my sexuality. It's like I come from a creative perspective. But that doesn't mean that everything I do is, we're you know, I think that the point of it is more that we want the ability to sort of make talking about queer things. Okay. At rather than having to talk about queer Yeah, I think we want it to be a place where people can listen if they want to, for queer stuff, or, you know, it's just a really relaxed show. And I think that's one of the main attributes, not preachy. Yeah. And that's good, because so much stuff that's aimed at queer people is really preach. Yeah, that's like, we want marriage and children and we just like we want, you know, to tweet, we want to be able to bullshit for ality you think being queer today for us use both of you, as his changed. Well, I guess you were around these who will know. But yeah. I mean, a lot of stuff I've heard about, especially with, like, the the queer rights movements and stuff like that, you have to stand up and say, This is who I am. I am I am a gay man or lesbian woman. This is, this is old. I am and I have to stand completely behind that. And I think now because there is so much more acceptance. I mean, it's, it's no awful. There's still there's still a lot of problems. But I mean, I think it's, it's kind of it's more about what would be the problems. School, mainly, I think. I think that being quit and school is one of the hardest things. And I've heard that even from people of the older generation, or that you know, who have just come out recently, they're like, coming out at school, or being queer at school would be the hardest, or has been the hardest thing even in 2017. Oh, yeah. I mean, the thing that I always say is that a high school especially is like, it's a micro organism of what society is like, you know, it's, it's this tiny world, that's a tiny, enclosed little world with all these people who they're like a hyper version of everything, they would be in the outside world, you know, everything, everything so much more intense within High School, and there's so many more lines drawn, you know, you have to be this, or you're that, you know, or you have you can't be that, because then you can't be that, you know, like, because I kind of thought there was some, not a stereotype, but a perception that schools today or young people today were really, really open and really no boundaries. No, not really fluid. And they can't all environments are very judgmental. And they're very compartmentalised. You have to, what does it mean, in your school as well? Well, to an extent, but I still think that it's a hard thing to be out of scope, because they are so based on stereotype and everyone at school, everyone's a Boston, yeah, even though even just crew Yeah, even when it's still time, while you're still at school, you know, I'm at uni, you're young, I say, I didn't have I didn't have to bear the time. But I mean, I, I've always been one of those people who sort of like stood separate from the crowd and didn't really care. There are a lot of people who do care and take all that stuff to. I mean, just to go back to the previous point. I mean, a lot of people do think that school today is a lot easier, because they look at society. And they see that it's so much easier than when they were young. But no one understands what being a high schooler now is like, unless they are one. And I mean, society can be, you know, a lot more accepting or not openly opposed or anything but school is, you know, it's not going to change for a long time. And lyst a lot of stuff is done, you know, so it's a golden as being queer kind of not an issue anymore. Now that you're not at school as an issue. And I think it's some, it's, it's like, you know, homophobia is like racism, it's, it's always around, and you know, it's bad form to not get beaten up in the street, people, and then it's bad form to insult her and you know, everyone, everyone frowns upon it. But I think that everyone still has these little prejudices and little, yeah, you know, ideas of what things should be, and it's very hard to see it outside of what their ideas are. And I think that's the main problem. And I think it's almost I think it's almost worse now. Because I mean, when, when it was clear that you couldn't come out or else you get the crap beaten out of you, or whatever you knew where the boundaries were, you knew where the lines were, you knew how that work. But now because it's so pushed under the carpet, because you're not supposed to say, Hey, I hate gay people or whatever. I think it's a lot. It's a lot more vicious and a lot more poisonous, because it is it is, it is those secret whispers it is those those behaviors that you can't pinpoint and say that's homophobia. Because, you know, people don't want to show that they homophobic, you can still tell why it's still behavior that stems from homophobia, but I mean, no one does it blatantly enough as a look or people want when I came out, the thing I had a problem was with was suddenly I had a lot more friends, like when I came out, and I was sort of looking around. And also I'll sort of, you know, they still had they still were uncomfortable with a lot of queer things that I said. And I think that they suddenly sort of attach themselves to me so that they could look accepting it. They not necessarily were. Yeah, so was it kind of like they were because they were friends with you before they couldn't be home before. Yeah, yeah. And so the excuses all the behavior. Yeah, I think also the other side of the coin, is people sort of deciding not to be friends with you. And it's not it's not necessarily it's not necessarily outright see. That's because you're gay, but I mean, it's, it's kind of soon as it happened to you. Yeah, I've I've had a lot of a lot of the girls at my school wouldn't be friends with me or would sort of avoid me because I came I came out really young, I came out and your team, you know, 14, but yeah, for me, I was I was 13. But um, and and sort of, yeah, so that sort of coloureds, Hawaii was all through school. And there were girls who were just not get to know me. Even those friends with their friends. They would purposefully not get to know me if we're hanging out in the group, they would avoid me because they just didn't want to know, you know, another thing for me was it was like, I have I had people who were like, well, I'm fine with gay people, but he rubs it in my face. So I don't want to have to deal with them. And I'm like, I you know, I have a right to talk about my boyfriend occasionally. I think I think that's it they if you talk about who you're with, or if if I said to someone, I have a crush on this guy, and I think he's really cute. They say that is rubbing in your face. Yes. I'd rather than talking about Yeah, that's a that is me sort of dancing semi naked, going. I'm gay. I'm gay. I like it up. The other thing is like, um, I would find if I would ever admit to having a crush on a straight girl a friend would be like, but she strike can have a crush on it as like, you know, I mean, I've had a crush on guys have later found that to be gay. You know, that doesn't doesn't stop me from having a crush on them, but and people just kind of know, they just want you to stick to your own kind of not really talk about it. Like, they're okay with it as a in theory, but when it's in practice, and and then there's also the I'm gay, or do you have a crush on me? No. Well, why not? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's a major double standard. I remember very clearly when I was all this is like, I think it was for form. I think it was. Yeah. We're having a posse. We're all hanging out at my friend's place. And we're playing joking. Gay chicken. Yes, yeah. You saw someone's like, you start like, touching them. Yeah. Like, you can either start up a foot and work your way out. Or you can get close to like kiss or whatever. And the person who pulls away first is the Gator. For some reason I always want. You don't want someone of the same gender. Yeah. And I'm me. And this girl who's actually quite a good friend of mine, were picked to go. And I remember really clearly, we're getting really close. And then she's like, No, no, I can't do it, you'll get off on it. And I was like, excuse me? I already have. Like, she's one of my best friends. I mean, I don't see her sexually at all. But she couldn't separate that line. I mean, she had really close guy friends. And she couldn't understand that was the same thing for me. You know? And I think that's, that's kind of that assumption. That's kind of really, yeah, it's like assumption that you'll immediately like a free guy or a free girl, you know? Which is ridiculous. And then there are some of us who actually do like, the kind of things that you'd like to change in society, if you have not given a magic wand or something. I think I would have even the expectations for for creative people on strike people, you know, like, I sorry, precedent isn't always expected to have a boyfriend or to always be talking about, you know, like, change those expectations. It also changed the sort of, yeah, I don't know how to phrase this. Okay, I'll talk out of my house now. I think what he's trying to say is that, like, oh, what, what I'm trying to say, I don't know, I'm not gonna speak for me, if you want go for it. No, I won't, because I'll be wrong. And you'll tell me, you know, I think for me, it's I sort of don't want to lose the difference, or the quirkiness that gave us the seniors because I kind of like that. I like the fact that we're sort of our own thing. Lots and lots of people, like we want to just be enter normal society. And I'm so like, Well, no, I want to be seen as a sub. Something of society, I want to be seen as the queer community because I like the gay community. And I like it. Being as it as it would be nice to see it. Yeah, as I was saying, accepted and like, like, so if I can have someone they wouldn't think I would instantly like them then. And then it wouldn't be like, Oh, I have a cousin who's gay. Would you like me to see you up? You know, and it's like, you know, all gay people have six so they don't think that you know, I'm going to go out and have sex every night and you know, I don't you know, I'd like to be seen as gay but I don't want to be seen as fishing a stereotype. I don't want them to go out he's gay because he acts like this and he looks like this. I want to be known as he's gay because he likes guys. Yeah, I think that's sort of the I think I should also be turned on like straight guys who are a little bit cape shouldn't be immediately assumed. Yeah, you know, I think just coming back to what you're saying about keeping the community I think coming back to what you're saying so I think it's like well, you tell us about the way there is. My name is Sunny showers there there are a lot of ethnic groups who are a part of society but they also have their own community and their own celebrations and their own so thing I think it should be like that like I mean, it's perfectly okay to be German and then New Zealand society but you might also go and you know, we are lay that leader house and and you know, do strange dances with your family and that's okay. I think it should be like that if a gay people like it's okay to be gay, at work or wherever but you can still go and you know, dance with a bunch of guys or girls or whatever, and it'll be fun. You're not your mother's to because you're from Malaysia. Is that Malaysia? Yeah. And you know, you're you identify as Malaysia, New Zealand and as a as a queer woman. And you know, being Malaysia, New Zealand has its own thing. You're not just a person, you're a person who is also a thing. I'm a person who is also gay. Yeah. How do you involve yourself with the queer community? Lots of sex and drugs? Yeah, of course. Yeah. So we we go to high schools and we recruit as well. That's a big part of our job. We're big site. Do you do? Yeah, we do the radio show. Um, I were technically on the committee for Wellington gay welfare group. Yeah. Wellington. Yeah, we need to go. Yeah, we're on the committee. And I, we both we both volunteer at atmosphere every time I do, I do stage managing for it. And I've done stage managing fabric. We're the h and s stuff. I think, for me more than being a I'm a part of this committee, and this committee, and I do this this. I think that's good, too. I'm not I'm absolutely not just saying that. Because that's, that's a really powerful thing to be using those those tools to, you know, work for all the things that we would love to have. But I think for me more part of being part of the queer community is going to things like School's out, which is socializing you support group with it, we Apollo, and just sort of, yeah, I think it's just about socializing with other people who identify as queer people who sort of get that part of your life, you know, it's totally a social thing. It's like, you know, if you're a pregnant woman, you want to go to pregnant woman groups and meet up with other pregnant woman so that you can connect, I don't know why I'm using pregnant woman. But you know, medical condition, like being I'm trying to be serious for once in my life, and you're ruining, I'm sorry, serious. But it is like being German, you would want to go within a certain group, and we lead a horse and all day socializing thing and media people, there is also the charity aspect, like, if you if you are honoring important for you, totally. So I think it's, for me, it's important, but not as a queer person. But as a humanitarian, you know, I do it because it's fun. And it's a way to meet new people I go out and I clicked for AIDS Day is man, I both do it. And you know, you get in the room and you meet all these people you've never met before. And you can use it as a socializing tool, as well as doing good for other people. That's sort of how it in the queer community just by just by being ourselves. And like being and I don't think you have to, like, you don't have to go to gay bars, or you don't have to volunteer aids, or whatever to be perfectly acceptable. But those aren't, those aren't requirements for it. But it's just, it's, it's things you can do to sort of be a part of the community. But you do have to take a test, where you get a report card and a license. And it tells you you know, wow, whether you like the color lavender is a big one, my skills and pop music. You've got to be able to, you know, be able to see someone with a big deck from 10 miles away. I can't do that. If you're a gay woman, you can't shave your legs. And if you're a gay man, you have to shave your legs. Do you think they still exist? I mean, you know. But do we have it within? Yeah, yeah, yeahs as well. And how's it different from what mainstream? Like Like, you know, you'll see all all the light, you see, lots of people in the light are, she's, she's trans, you know, she'll I don't like her because she's trans and she freaks me out or, or, you know, he's a drag queen, so he must be a bottom and he must, you know, do all this stuff, right? He must not be a proper man. And, and, you know, so it's so prone to a lot of the same. And then also, because because I am, I am fat, I'm a bigger, bigger bills, I'm full bodied male. And I'm instantly put into the beer category. And it's like, I'm not a beer. I'm not a walking carpet, you know, it's still there. There's still the bears and the twins and the end the films and whatever they may I come from? I just find myself as queer but I do I am attracted to males and females and I date both males and females. And I think the reedy I think the the strike community think queer girl who is docks, immediately, I'm a lesbian, you know? And if a guy ever does want to date me, it's just because I'll have sex with girls in front of him. What's up, like, you know, I've actually had that experience of people expecting that of me, and I'm, in the queer community, as I always get called a fag hag. I've had I've had that quite a lot. I'm straight, but pretending or I'm just experimenting a little bit like that. And that's like, actually, no, I've I've known I've liked go since I was a kid. But I do like boys as well, you know, up with it. What do you think that was kind of all the judgments or the assumptions, I think that people just bought from a community, I think, because a lot of us feel that we've been judged our whole life, I think that we sort of feel it gives us a right to judge others. And that extends to people in our community. I think that a lot of people who judge in the, in the gay community. So like, say, is my and I were really judgmental. And, you know, we were like, all this person has, yeah. But you know, if we were like, stereotypical, and like, Oh, this person has to be a beer or this person has to be a tank. If we will like that, then I think we would be judging straight people just as much as we judge gay people. I think it is sort of a, I think it is a defense mechanism. I think, especially from the queer community, a lot of the feeling I've got is that it was so hard to get acceptance, and you had to stand up. And you had to say, I am a man who loves me, I'm a woman who loves women, you know. And I think that battle was so hard, so hard for so many years. I think someone coming along who could fit into the norm of society or could go the other way. It's sort of like, you don't you don't deserve to be a part of this community, because we fought so hard to form this community, and we want to keep it safe. You know, and I think there's a lot of a lot of that, worried that it's going to stop breaking down the integrity of what they fought so hard for. And I mean, I kind of understand that. But at the same time, I really don't. When I first came out, I came out as bisexual. Because I thought that when I came out the first time when I when I told myself when I was 11 that I was bisexual and quotation marks. And I came out to most of my school when I was out, and I came out to my friends when I was a living as bisexual. And then when I was 15, I came out to all my schools bisexual. And then when I was 16, I realized that I was gay, and I came out as gay. So when I came out as bisexual, I thought I'd do that because I thought it would be easier because that way I would at least be perceived as half normal, you know, not that normal, blah, blah, blah, blah, you know. And, but also, when I was bisexual, I found out about schools out. And I was like, Well, I don't need to go to the because I'm not actually gay. And I'm not I sort of felt like I wasn't worthy enough to go to it because I was bisexual, not gay. And it was a gay group. So this is like a big ranking system. Yeah. Excuse me, I am not one tiny thing when I was I'll forget, when I first came to school that I was scared about saying I was bisexual. Because for that same thing. So you were Did you meet gay people before hood said, No, I was just I was just, yeah. So I thought it would be easier. And then when I came out as gay, and I was like, I'm gay, I realized that it was actually a hell of a lot more difficult to be bisexual because you sort of get fired it from the gay community and the straight community and I said, the straight community, like you're not one of us, we don't want you in the gay community. You're like, you're not one of us. We don't want you and then and then you're like, well, maybe I'm trans and the friends right now. And I wanted puppy, I I definitely find that as well. Like, wouldn't be because I just I just say Korea, part of why I just say clear is because if I say sexual little pansy Trello it, but there is the attitude. And when people find out hear me talking about hot guys, or whatever, they just like, Ah, there's this moment where they like, Oh, so you're not one of us, you know, and, um, I will, I won't I won't name any names, but I was working. It was me. I'm sorry. I was I was working on this project was a bunch of other queer people. And I I never said I was a lesbian to anyone, you know, they just assumed because I say queer. And when the President is in charge of this project, found out that I wasn't a lesbian, but was attracted to all genders. And he kind of went a bit funny about that. And then he talked to Brendan, my youth worker about that and was and was asking him questions and asking him what he thought about it behind my back. And I was like, so there was an education. But I was like, how is that even relevant? I'm here working in a semi professional capacity. I'm I'm definitely queer. I'm definitely proud of the community. I mean, it's not even relevant. It wouldn't even be any of this business, even if it doesn't give you a right to question a little bit more of kind of, Wow, I've never met anybody who didn't identify as gay or straight or was it? Wow, how new and I think it was a boy that's really work. I don't believe you. And I think a lot of it is also when they do believe you you're also perceived as great a lot just didn't do it. You know, I think as a young person thing is and Oh, you're so young, you wouldn't know you ever made up your mind? Do you think it's a differently a bisexual transsexual or queer? I think I think it's more prejudice against people who do like, who aren't just gay, you know, I think it's this this perception of of being fake, or being indecisive or being or just experimenting? Yeah. How did the rest of your friends when you came out to them? How did they or Mars my most of my friends were really good one at one of them when a bit funny for a while. Cuz he was like, and I've known him all my all my life. And he was, I think, man, he was like, Well, why didn't you actually say anything before. And I think a lot of it was he was hurt that he wasn't the first to know or, because I didn't tell him first because he was my best mate. And it would, it was going to be a hell of a lot harder to to tell him this. So I think a lot of it was the hurt, but mainly from my friends and close group of friends. They knew that I was sort of thinking about it. And I think most of them were okay. Some of them, I think, are still uncomfortable with it. And they try to hide it with sort of humor. But they at least put up the front of being accepting and you know, but you know, they get to make it. Yeah, they're not there. They're not sort of I hate gays, they're just sort of uncomfortable, and they don't know how to deal with it. Even though I've been out for years, and they're starting to come up, you know, be fine with it. But it was like, they're like, well, you're gay. And they sort of mask it with humor. And they'll, you know, if I say something attractive about a girl, and they're like, but you're gay, she doesn't have a penis. Haha, yeah, you know, I just wish that like that. And that's, that's fine. By trying. I think for me, I, I was the second in my group of friends to come out as bisexual. And I was quite new to the group of friends. And this other girl who come out was she'd been friends with these girls since she was like, five, you know? And so whatever. She said they were going to have to accept her. And when I came out, it was like, they understood they would have been hypocritical if they weren't okay with it with me. But I think that's, it's one of the things that always has always kept me a little bit distant from that group of friends is them not knowing how to deal with that, you know, I'm not the friend of melons. So five, so they don't know me well enough. And that's kind of, it's always been sort of, yeah, a slight a slight thing that sort of gotten between the friendships. But I mean, I've, I've, I never really had, I had really close friends when I was a kid. But all through high school, I didn't really have really close friends until I can't disclose that because I just I, apart from one girl, I just never really clicked with people on that level, I think a lot of that was the queer thing was that people immediately sort of got this idea about me and kick the distance, I think that one of the hardest things for a lot of straight people is sort of the feeling that, that that they have to accept it as just like, you know, they'll, I have to accept it. And I don't really get time to actually think about it and come to terms with them themselves. They're just cuz, you know, homophobia is seen as wrong in most circles. So a lot of people, they may feel uncomfortable about it, and they may have natural prejudice. And they're like, well, I actually feel this, but I have to act like I'm totally cool with it. And I think that can be a hard for a lot of people. And also when they bottle it up and push it down that it becomes more toxic. They have to they have to come to terms with that. So do you think they should be looking straight people group? I think straight people support group for their groups, their groups, apparently. Yeah. So why can't they be groups for friends? Yeah, I think it is such a it's a huge bombshell to drop on anyone. I mean, no matter how we feel that it shouldn't be, because it shouldn't be. Everybody still assumes that everybody's straight. Yeah. And he told otherwise, or, and it shouldn't be this big bombshell. But the fact is that it is and I think a lot of queer people get defensive when they come out, because it's such a hard thing to do. Yeah. And you know, if anyone doesn't immediately like, Oh, my God, you're gay. That's so fantastic. It's, it's, it's a hard thing to deal with. And I think when people have to fight that, it's really hard for them to do any of you. Did either guys struggle with yourselves with coming up? I think for me, the hardest thing was I always knew that I was attracted to both genders. And I think for me, there was this there was this attitude, coming from somewhere that you had to be straight or gay. And that was was the thing I struggled with for a few years was like, I can't just be lazy, and I can't just be straight. I can't I can't fit into those and that that was hard. And then actually in six, eight classes, the idea of bisexuality got introduced and then I was like, Okay, I have a label now I'm okay. And after that, I was I was fine with myself. It was it was that not knowing that it was an option that was hardest for me? Yeah, I I came out as bisexual because I thought it would be normal. I didn't want to be seen as fully gay. But apart from that, and it was only a very vague, vague, vague notion in my head that I didn't want to be seen as fully gay, you know, because it wasn't like, it wasn't a decision going I don't want to be gay because I didn't click that I was gay until later. I think it was a subconscious thing. I was going I don't want to be seen as gay. Yeah. But really apart from that minor vague sort of notion in the back of my head. I was I was fine with it within myself. I'm too arrogant. I love myself too much too. Healthy one word for it is so the things that make us so confident and able to do things like the radio show and and be so welcoming at schools out which we are and that's what makes us big such great friends as well. Yeah. As because we've always just had this confidence about about that. I mean, we've we've both had minor struggles but that's never been a huge thing. I mean, I absolutely have sympathy for people who for whom it is a huge thing and I really empathize and you can totally understand everything that they're going through it's just yeah affected us as badly and a lot of ways well I've had similar struggles with different issues in my life so i can i can empathize with that and it's fantastic that you are both kind of out there with an all these committees and on the radio and everything so that you know that's kind of that whole role model things that people can see Wow, I don't know which button have to be saved created. We can be happy guy eggs bed. Yes. Every day film it's like okay, ah Actually, this this this movie I was on the radio today all over the guy has no anger about being gay. The all the eggs is about the fact that these two guys just can't seem to make it work. And one of them's an alcoholic, and it says relationship. So tell us where we can listen to cuisine at don't we always throw up. Wellington if we'd like to listen to you and laugh at you, Wellington access radio, seven 8:30am, Mondays 330 till five as quick as ours and we're also you can find various stuff about us on the website. We're on Facebook, our Wellington access radio, dash quiz, learn and we also have an email address that you can email us at, which is queer youth on access@gmail.com. That's all lowercase a case with no symbols as a queer youth on axis@gmail.com I Mike. Thank you for listening. Stay cool New Zealand.

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