Rainbow Room interviews

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in z.com. [00:00:06] Tim Bonnie says Member of Parliament from 1996 to 2008. I guess I was the first guy who was openly gay before he got elected to Parliament and then the Rainbow Room now the revamped wonderful, simple but colourful Rainbow Room where we actually have the images of the queer MPs, which is one thing. Just 11 years ago, we thought it was too much to do and too complicated, but now it's a sign of progress, that the pictures are up, up and proud. And this is an emotional night and it's a really special time to be here. [00:00:43] And to me, you you had a hand in making the original Rainbow Room. [00:00:46] Yeah, because we're in a corridor apartment which has the the mortuary affairs room it has a room, dedicated women parliamentarians to Pacific Island, parliamentarians, evasion, parliamentarians, and my rationalities, everyone why we got a lot of Rainbow Room and persuaded the outgoing speaker in 2008. To actually agree to a room being dedicated It was pretty low key, but also quite a powerful event in here, a lot of tears. Remember, Marilyn wearing was here. And for her it was, I think, the first time should be back to the building for many years. So it was a quiet beginning for the whole thing I wrote, I was leaving Parliament that year, I wrote to all the the queer MP is elected election and said to them, just make sure you act as guardians. And I think they have done because it's taken time. But now. Now we have parliamentary leadership here came to celebrate these things. And that's simply wonderful. [00:01:43] And it's just been refurbished. And it's coming up to the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. [00:01:47] Yeah. And do you know what better? This is, this is really the story here of, of KPMG, 50 years, and when Marilyn first got into parliament, so this is our own 15 years of celebration, 50 years of political movements, but also with the six pieces of legislation on the wall is actually a room which isn't just about people, if someone said about real laws passed in this place, and that's what political legacy is all about. [00:02:17] So when you walk into this room now, what is the feeling you get? [00:02:21] The feeling is that we've not only arrived, or we're here to stay, this is an embedded part of this building to signify our collective contribution as queer MPs but also the fact that we're here on behalf of a big movements where that whips their legislation whenever a past and we rely on our our straight brothers and sisters in this space to promote progress. [00:02:47] Oh, hi, I'm Georgina buyer, currently was standing outside select committee room number 11 in our parliament, but it's got a new name now or a renewed name. It's the rainbow Rome. [00:03:01] And what an amazing event tonight. So we've had a book launch and also the relaunch of this Rainbow Room. [00:03:06] That's right, it's been a significant evening. And I have to say, the doula horrible sort of Select Committee functional room that was, is now alive with bright color, and our true reflection of our wonderfully diverse rainbow community, it is marvelous to see the honoring of the pieces of legislation, at least four or five of them, at least, have been framed properly, given a place of honor as one thing, and some rather fun photographs of all to date. 16 now KN piece of suit, the now New Zealand power. [00:03:43] Now during the launch, there were quite a number of accolades for you. What was that like receiving those those words? [00:03:50] Well, obviously, they're always very humbling to hear particularly minutes from people who are from overseas. And, you know, he had this tall poppies, one thing that goes on here, and visit and quite often where a humble people really quite modest in many ways, and but to hear reflected back that any impact I might have had by my activities and politics or anything else, had a profound effect for younger people who saw hope, and worth fighting to live, but only will the quality and fair enough to, and I'm just one of many I stand on the shoulders, obviously, that terms being used a lot of people who went before me, I came at a time that for the transgender community, it gave a boost to morale, internationally, and of course locally, to say that the art of the possible is attainable when it seems so impossible. So that's always good to leave that kind of hope. [00:04:56] When you walked into the Rainbow Room tonight, what was the feeling you got? [00:05:00] Oh, I got a feeling of heavy warmth descending upon me. It felt embracing actually very comfortable and at home for a place that's an institution like parliament, a space that represents and reflects us but celebrates us I get a sense of celebration. I mean, I'd have to say the Pacific Island room is vibrant, obviously with a focus on PI and culture and etc. The woman suffered from a simple similar multi Affairs Select Committee room, beautiful town, and there so our Rainbow Room is now a rainbow Tollner placed in our Parliament a very appropriate place. [00:05:42] It's also the 50th anniversary coming up of Stonewall in the United States. And I'm wondering what would you if I said to say something to somebody in 50 years time say something to like a an LGBT person and 50 years time what would that be? [00:05:57] That I hope you are living the freedom we all desire and largely achieved and that you can live your lives happy in your own skin. My advice would be still be vigilant, there will be elements of our wider society that will be haters, and we need to stand up to them I'm sure that won't change sadly, by the time this message gets to you. But nevertheless, I hope you live a future that we at this point in time dreamed of achieving [00:06:33] cuna Tata, its lowest of all here, mp4 Manila, leaves me into the top way and we're here outside the fabulous relaunch Rainbow Room at the New Zealand parliament. Can you [00:06:43] tell me what it was like to walk into the Rainbow Room tonight, [00:06:46] it was actually pretty sensational To be honest, as just a fabulous celebration of all the work that's happened in this parliament is specific to LGBT. So these amazing people smiling back at me as one of which was made about the fact that 16 of us embrace these hallowed walls and actually been involved in the parliamentary process and need to see Elizabeth dedicate his piece of art as a centerpiece with an array of our flags including our team in order to to tango flag to symbolize our indigenous audience today is incredibly special. [00:07:21] And also to see people like friend wild and Georgina by here [00:07:25] a lot friend, Georgina Catherine, I Reagan, Marilyn wearing, you know, these are our pioneers, joined by Chris Canada, Tim Barnett's child, so unfortunately wasn't here, Grant. I mean, there's just a lot of us. So actually, if you think about our contribution to the parliament, and his pain about issues today with social justice, human rights, but it's a wonderful feeling to be so celebrated, to be honest. And that was kind of my point, we've moved on beyond just a chronology of things that have happened in this place to the ability to tell our stories, ourselves, in our own words, and then to celebrate the identity that is LGBT IQ. Plus, that's pretty cool. I'm very, very proud of our Parliament's and our speaker, for his leadership and making this happen. [00:08:14] And why it's important to have a Rainbow Room within Parliament itself. [00:08:18] Because it is a specific identity that speaks to L support for, but also recognition and celebration of and that's, for me, one of the most important things we are being very clear as a parliament that LGBT IQ people contribute as in this house, and we deserve a specific space that celebrates and acknowledges our work here. And so I think to be honest, it's going to become a highlight of all the tours, I'm pretty certain if they do a bit of a survey lean and say which room was your favorite? I'm picking that l one is because it's so diverse in its own glow. And I think that's the other thing it speaks to me it's just so bright, vibrant and colorful and I hope that every single edgy BCI young person who walks into that room sees themselves and says Wow, I'm I belong I'm here and Parliament's, you know, I have a place I have a to dangle. Why Why? In some ways, this is that place and I want our young people to be able to use this facility. So I think as the other speakers, how can we promoters usage a bit more so that our community can have these celebrations. We've we've had young people previously with the Wellington pride festival, so we've hosted afternoon taste. But I think now we need to open the doors wider and allow more or less to come. And [00:09:44] so here we are at the relaunch of the Rainbow Room in Parliament. And we've just gone through a very moving opening ceremony [00:09:51] when it wasn't moving. Also the people surrounding who were involved and I stood next to frame while and while staying mixed. I had these visions of harvest station lower home, and her office and parliament and how active I was what was and also the the campaign and what we were doing. And we were putting posters up around the town every time we do it. Friends office was blasted with phone calls from the 80s. Now one guy used to come around for paint scraper and scrape them off. So the next night I would have a friend who helped out and we had letter so he put up way high. We waited and along came this so called Christian to scrape out posters though. And of course he stopped me he could not get to them. So there we are. But we did ever win friend was there I did have a flashback are quite a lot that happened during homosexual or form. It was a struggle. And there was things that were very hard to cope with at times. But I must say that bill Logan around 14 not here tonight was a person who saved lives. And I remember when when Tom was so down, and it was Bill Logan, who was the helper. [00:11:10] So there we are. So homosexual law reform. I mean, it's over 50 years ago, but to you just it just seemed like yesterday. [00:11:17] Will it did seem like yesterday when frameless standing next to me I had these visions of going up to their office and parliament. And those days, you didn't have to go through security, like you do now. So it was just roaring out the space and the friends office seeing what I could do. And then I was told, oh no, these phone calls all these posters up around the town again. And then there were other thing issues like we had a lot of printed material to put out. And I used to use the copy machines and Parliament don't tell anybody that. But it was the way to get this message across. And then we did lots of handouts and manners more. Which was great. The worst place during her Mr. Law Reform was high straight lower up, we actually was spent on by a group from the Assembly of God church, and our table tipped over. But manners more Wellington was wonderful. People were so supportive. And if you got someone up coming up to you who was at us soon, plenty of people around who were supportive. But some odd things that happened during that time. I remember some policemen coming up and with their wives, and they said, Well, you got Lesbians and Gays or can you just put a nice bit of a guy and there's no problem. And I remember a wife and one that's lunge them and said, Don't be so bloody stupid. [00:12:43] But anyway, that was lots of memories came back standing. That is the frame frame. While [00:12:48] and I mentioned it would have been a completely different atmosphere because back then it wasn't guaranteed. The ball would get past and we tonight we're celebrating but then it must have been incredibly scary. [00:13:00] Well, the thing with friend was she was worried about people like myself would come out at that period and become very public, because then we would have been targeted by the police. Now during the presentation of a homosexual or a form [00:13:18] at Parliament of the NT [00:13:22] protests, the what was that the petition, a petition with the petition on which was like a Nuremberg rally. Now, Paul noble, who was Maury and tattooed, was wet on the head and shoved into a paddy wagon. And I was doing more to read rabble rouser, the crowd, then pull an oval because I was white. And I remember that and thinking a portion never been treated like that. And then what I did was the police were lined up so we couldn't go near all these so called Christians and Salvation Army. And I had a hug badge. I don't know if you know about hug. But the hug hitter six was on the private guys I had. I had one pink triangle, and nine hug badges. And I said, Okay, I counted out 10 policeman, and I yelled out in the crowd, which one? Do we put the peg triangle on? Which of course, the crowd lambda. But I'll tell you what, when I look around at the faces of the police at that stage, because they was the 14, what was the law? When I looked around, and I saw, I thought, I'm for trouble. And I disappeared. But then tracing as it was at that time that john first noticed me, and I was collecting $5 off people, each person to put an ad in the DOM, on the papers in New Zealand, we're collecting money. What was at 16? or nothing, I was equality, because a lot were to vote for 21. And we were 16 or nothing. And so he wanted this Ed on the paper and I was collecting money. And that was the time that john and I first made contact. [00:15:17] And john is your husband. [00:15:19] That's right. We got married. And we had the first civil union in New Zealand. Well, I don't know if was the face of your name, but our civil union certificates. The license is CU one. And we were there to get up at the Rishi office. Right. I'll met Chris day, and we got CU one. And then we got our summer reunion. And that was in 2005 on the first of May. And then we had a waiting 10 years to the exact time 10 years later 2015 we had our reading where we hold events so India [00:16:01] in Grant Robertson see tonight's in his speech that john is 90 this year and a couple of weeks. [00:16:09] I'm Jonathan it I'm 86 makes us 170 now our win over gay rights and every other thing. I'm planting 170 native trees around nine. I like them the hills that reforestation and round Cummings Park hundred and 70 native trees to celebrate our anniversary. Well, birthdays. [00:16:35] Oh, that's so sweet. [00:16:37] So there we are. So not only on human rights, but I think environmental. Yeah, I know, we and it's not the environment got really, really start getting more people aware of the environment. [00:16:52] So it is would you like to give a very special birthday message to john via this recording? [00:16:58] Of course. Yeah, Joe, it's been a fabulous time with you. Right for 31 years of living together. And I just want to just say you're the greatest. And may we have more years of where we can really enjoy life. And we are going to New York. We're flying off to New York to help them all enjoy the celebrations on the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. So yeah, so john, yeah, you are very special. And you've kept me Yeah, faith. He's a good cook. [00:17:38] I don't know if you remember what the [00:17:41] what was it was a push for the marriage equality bill. And john and i gave a submission and it was the guy in Parliament. And he said Oh, if you get married who will be the MR and who will be the missive and I thought all stupid Christian but I said to me if any help to you, john does most of the cooking. It sort of broke the ice in the area. So the area but I do most of gardening john does most of the cooking but we don't pay Rollins No. Rhea to mean married and happy Yeah.

This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors.