Rainbow elders panel (2018)
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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride and z.com. [00:00:33] menarche, China. [00:00:37] Tina. Tina. [00:00:40] dumb idea. [00:00:43] He didn't catch [00:00:46] 22 mana with a [00:00:49] toy today, Molly. [00:00:53] To to come. [00:00:56] Sina Sina Sina. [00:01:06] So [00:01:07] yeah, thank you everyone for coming. We're relatively [00:01:10] new at this. So just bear with us. [00:01:15] Yeah. So [00:01:17] panel, the panel in today's just [00:01:20] in regards to the owners about community and some of the experiences that I've had [00:01:28] with [00:01:31] more for [00:01:33] paving the way for the rest we have today. [00:01:37] So yeah, we just kind of want to hear from them. Yeah, [00:01:40] there is. Yeah, how [00:01:42] they feel the kind of landscape culturally has changed over [00:01:46] time for [00:01:48] everyone in the rainbow community. And, you know, just to speak to certain issues that they may face being rainbow elders specifically. And if there's any campaigns that they're involved in, more detail about that. History is really important for us to remember now. [00:02:08] So we're just going to be doing introductions, introductions, name pronouns and what you do. [00:02:16] So my name is Maggie. I use a them pronouns. [00:02:21] I'm a phone counselor with youth line. I'm also a youth worker with inside out and soon to be a [00:02:32] youth worker with School's out. [00:02:35] Cool. [00:02:36] My name is Rosie is she her pronouns? And I do some volunteering with inside out such as this event, and yeah, do work in the healthcare sector. [00:02:52] My name is Georgina buyer, mas Georgina buyer. So the next night [00:03:01] former politician formers six worker [00:03:05] and a community worker and a whole range of things which I won't go into now, because there are more interesting people and I on the panel, [00:03:15] Gilda Cotto, [00:03:17] my name is column. You can call me column. [00:03:21] America with he is [00:03:23] as well and [00:03:25] my background is in education. I spent many years in education now sort of semi retired, but doing a lot of work particularly among the faith communities in the LGBT community and trying to just do a lot of the reconciliation of bridging, you know that because of the divides that have taken place, so that's my purpose. [00:03:48] Kara K. Jones, I'm [00:03:53] I facilitator of many online groups, like Wellington, bisexual women's group willing an interfaith community Willington Unitarians group, I help run hackathons in the tech sector. I'm a member of more groups than I can name and the time we have available and also, fifth generation New Zealander third generation will in turn Ian and my grandmother used to babysit Don precious father. [00:04:19] Sorry. I'm Pru Hyman. I describe myself as a lesbian feminist economist amongst other things, alternative economies. But I'm now retired in inverted commas. And within lesbian community since I've done them, I've done a variety of things, my current main activities, lesbian radio, which is on excess on Sunday mornings, and is [00:04:57] try [00:04:58] it's got border and appeals to the whole community. [00:05:02] Curious, I know my name very spiritual, thank you so much for organizing the event this afternoon. And then they is pronouns. And I were a number of hats. But the two main mind is I'm a counselor, psycho therapist. With that I work part time and I'm the executive director and co chair of it and and six trust at zero and New Zealand. And it's wonderful being here this afternoon. [00:05:34] Everyone, I'm Amanda Hall. [00:05:37] My occupation basically primarily as a junior illusionist. So I create the illusion of gender, and an entertainment entertainment forum. And like money I'm I'm really happy with the elders the right word for me. But I mean, grateful to have this opportunity to be part of this project. Thank you. [00:06:01] And I forgot to show you [00:06:06] some of this Christian, just open it up, as Could you speak about your coming out experience, specifically how you identified when you came out, or whether there's been sort of changes in that over time and how you feel that was influenced by your surroundings. [00:06:26] I came out I suppose, Georgina, speaking [00:06:32] out at the age of 16. I was around 1975. When I did come out and assume and mess began my transition that was very different as I knew exactly what I wanted. Once I had learned and discovered that I could be because back in those days, you were homosexual, you will lose be on. And you had drag queens, but there was no sort of trains, gender distinctions or anything like that. And those times before I was more educated and understood, I thought I might be homosexual. The manifestations of my transsexuality, which is the which is a similar story from many, if not all of us. As that manifested itself before the age of five, the displays of its still remained with me until I was 789. The social and parental disapproval was a means and and very overpowering. So one team to tie this until I rest of myself away from the establishment, including family and order to go out and discover that I was able to achieve what I always wanted to achieve, and nothing and no one ever since then has ever been able to change that I have been utterly certain and who I am and fact I was liberated the day, I burned everything that was mailed about me. Mount Melbourne, got Scott emails will tell you that story because he was there, my contact with the rainbow community seriously began and Wellington in about 1976 when I met people like Melbourne and flattered with we will flatter together and they are guided me and to what was to be my transitional period, I think and thank God for that Commons coffee lounge that we're safe places where you could be but we are still ultra marginalized. Absolutely. Even within our own rainbow community. Gaming didn't want to be seen out with drag queens on the street because I'm hot spring them. This is the sort of culture that we tend to exist and are not be sprang amongst yourselves. We can be cold, but not outwardly and public. I'll finish there as my coming out experience and pass on to others. [00:08:50] Thank you. [00:08:52] So I was a product of the mid 50s, which meant that by the time we got to the end of the 60s, I was discovering and attraction two boys didn't understand it. I was brought up in a conservative evangelical church, my parents were ministers. And we'll talk a bit about that in a moment. [00:09:11] However, when I was about 16, as a result of them retiring, moving away, I was sent to board with another family and the dynamics changed. And I discovered the gay subculture that existed in Christchurch in the early 70s. I discovered [00:09:31] that [00:09:32] Well, I didn't think there any other people like me, I found there were a lot of married men who actually wanted to know people like me. And I discovered a lot of interesting people article, she didn't talk about it. And you know, you, you always try to be the best little boy you could you know, getting the best grade you couldn't school and being focused on that. [00:09:50] When I was about [00:09:51] 20, I remember one time now, you'll understand that, you know, bars, and clubs didn't really exist that far. And the place gaming would meet was be out doing the beat. In other words, you cruising public toilets, and I do recall the police or modification, discovering me there and wonder and making a very trained statement that you know what we do with boys like you, we lock you up. [00:10:17] It sent me into trying to lock down and I wanted to sort of I you know, I don't want to be like this anymore. But the church couldn't help my church were totally in it. [00:10:28] I drifted on and sort of keep being that jewel personality I 2% owner [00:10:34] until 1986. Now I'd started coming out slowly defamed it was an ongoing process. But maybe 1985 Law Reform my church, the Salvation Army, of which I was a member and proud to be, you may remember, made a statement. They were going to visit every house with a petition. And we had some horrendous stuff that happened. [00:11:01] And I could no longer remain silent. [00:11:04] And as a member of the Salvation Army, I knew what it would mean. I spoke out and I kicked on speaking up. And the more I spoke out others joining just one thing before I move on what happened in 1985 a lot of people didn't believe then you came in or gay or gay people are any people that we were invisible. You didn't you know, but actually there were several colleagues they were people into school with and a 1985. Suddenly, people were saying, I will not be quiet anymore. I am going to come up and you discovered that you had gay workmates, you have gay friends. And you could see a lot of people struggling with it. [00:11:50] Thank you that [00:11:54] a lot of what you're Gina said I can relate to. Because I think at one stage We even went to the same high school. [00:12:01] Yeah. [00:12:05] So there was that thing of I've been saying to people since Primary School even. I like boys, I like girls. So I didn't have a name for it. By the time I was 15, I was contacting lesbian line and finding out what sort of is there and went along to a coffee meeting and the MIT some wonderful women, but they weren't exactly the same as me. And there was also the thing I didn't really relate to a lot of feminism and stuff identified as a woman because I didn't feel that was me. I didn't think I was a man. But again, big sort of gaps where they weren't the names, the labels the information. My name is Kay and my book edit. So I started reading and going online. I remember reading homosexuality by Dina Saltman when I was 16, and sort of contacting sort of other people. But in terms of the anything more than saying, I like these people. Yes, I started telling friends at high school by the time I was 15, or 16, that this is who I'm attracted to all all like, and doing my own thing, going off to book shops looking at Playboy's and in second 10 book shops and thinking yeah, they look pretty cool. And signing a petition and handing over some money to support homosexual law reform. asking my cousin, are you gay? And he said, No. But yeah, was he left New Zealand to go to Australia, this was before homosexual law reform, because he couldn't feel safe living in New Zealand, in case he got picked up or family got to find out. And by the time I was at university, I was joining any of the groups that I could. So when it comes to what names I might have caught myself or the processes, I can now be fully out ahead of job interview last week, they asked in the Is there anything else you want to tell me? Oh, I've been a co facilitator of the Wellington bisexual women's group for over 25 years. Yeah, and that's now okay to say in an interview, but it certainly wasn't when I started at work. So but it is that also that thing over the years, it's like, you tell something to a person I'm by I know that doesn't exist, you're really this or that. And so it's on going over and over? Yes, I still in Yeah. 30 plus 40 years later. Yeah, still here. [00:14:37] I was born in 1943 74, [00:14:40] one of the older ones here and I don't like the term Elva [00:14:45] good mode. [00:14:49] And I was born in London. I did say to people, I saw the inside out people maybe I shouldn't be on this panel. Because I was wasn't brought up here. I was 25 when I I arrived in New Zealand, but they insisted so that's right. [00:15:06] I wasn't aware of being any different from anyone else. When I was young, looking back, I can I can see some things. I'm not heavily into the weather were born or made or choose or anything else. I think it's different for different people, which I think is absolutely fine. And I completely accept that a lot of lesbians game in chance, all sorts of people think they will assure they were born that way. And that's fine. I'm sure if they were if they think that way, but I don't know whether I was born and lesbian. I have no idea. I don't care. Choose to be a lesbian. I live as a lesbian have done for very many years. And I was 23 before I had that realization, which came with a bump [00:15:54] with another woman who was a New Zealand, which is how I ended up back here. [00:16:00] Good friends. [00:16:03] And in coming out in in London, I guess I was what would have been called in those days a sports like cricket, cricket. Cricket has always been heavily lesbian and probably still is, although it's not as overt I think as it used to be as it's got more professional and so on. Probably, it always hit it to some extent probably hides it more. And there's plenty of other sports that I mean, attract lesbians as well. And they're all over the place. That's great. Um, so I didn't. And I probably wasn't anything like is out as I thought I was. I mean, I adapted quite quickly and was very happy about being involved with a woman I didn't get involved in England in a very heavily lesbian scene apart from my, my friend who is more experienced than me, my partner at the time, saying that one isn't that one is that one might be. [00:17:03] And I gradually got my direct spotting mechanism, more developed myself. But you can be terribly wrong because that we are everywhere we look like everything and so so do the whole queer community. And I think that's great. And doesn't matter that much. But there was certainly some safety particularly, we're talking about the mid 60s 1960s, [00:17:28] which is well pre stone wall or any anything else public. And it certainly was not easy the gateways club with some of you may have heard of existed in London. And I did go there a couple of times, but we weren't, we weren't in a predominantly lesbian scene. I wasn't out at work, it didn't occur to me whether I didn't even think about whether I was out or not that was in a relationship that was fine. [00:17:53] That started change particularly came to New Zealand's so 1969 [00:18:00] still pre very much community activity. Of course, if loads of lesbian gay men around, I'm sure there are also loads of bisexual, trans and intersex but they weren't even those terms. And thinking that way wasn't very heavily part of it. In those days, it was Lesbians and Gays mainly as far as community was concerned. To the extent it was community and the walls, I mean, they were, of course groups of people, there was mostly too much drinking and bar scenes and those days because there was no real much else to meet, perhaps in your own homes. [00:18:36] Cricket here was this lesbianism. [00:18:40] And we used to go to the pub after after games and sometimes [00:18:48] people's homes and so on. And that was the sort of scene in those days. [00:18:54] I gradually as the 70s came on, and [00:18:59] second wife feminism and lesbian gay activity both got going in a much more organized fashion and got more confident and could start developing community. [00:19:13] I still a sports like better resource. So becoming a lesbian feminist, a lefty I was teaching economics at Vic. And I was pretty, I stood out like a sore thumb there as I was, I was out to staff and often to students, there was times when I came out that every class [00:19:35] tarragon didn't always do it. [00:19:38] I opened it and [00:19:42] and but the process of coming out goes on forever. It's as I'm sure you all know, I mean, it I hate came to New Zealand part is run away from my mother who was not at all happy [00:19:52] about it actually wasn't going [00:19:54] to have Jewish grandchildren for me. [00:19:58] In those days, lesbians didn't just towards the end of my childbearing years, they might have just started having choosing to have kids, but it was just a bit late for me. [00:20:09] So I gradually became more and more out, but you go on, I mean, in June of homosexual or form built so much later, in the mid 80s. [00:20:21] A group of us [00:20:22] got splashed all over the middle pages of Dominion post. And that was, you know, more out to more people than before. And then you start discussing with your squash club people, you might have talked too much about it before and so on. So it's an ongoing process. [00:20:42] Thanks, bro. And yes, coming out for me has been a process and the journey, mostly because the reality that I have is under six non binary basin, the images, the languages, the words weren't there at all, when I was a growing up when I was a teenager. So I grew up in the center of the North Island, it was conservative, intensely homophobic. I recently met someone that I went to high school with, and we were talking about that. So there was a group of us who were high school friends, we used to call ourselves the freaks, simply because we saw ourselves as being different, that certainly we didn't talk about being queer, though, it turned out that 90% of that group, probably we're so my first coming out was as a queer identified person. And it was important to me, I was living and falling away at the time, and the group was primarily gaming. And then my journey has just continued since then. But like you pre so I didn't come out as an intersex person until two 22 years ago. And I came out on Paul homes TV, so it was like, I'd had media training, if you're going to do this, you do it sort of want some quite loud, so that was reasonably effective. And then, you know, I wouldn't be back to the youth in this room because the non binary language has come from you. And that has been profoundly impactful on on my life and uni, and watching the development of our community in terms of deepening who we are is been a magical part of the last 10 years. [00:22:41] Hi, everyone, this is really interesting. Like you hear a lot of cope up on top of that shade with you and, and for me, we've just lost a very important person was officially in my life down into Milo. And for for her whole journey here last Bye bye, Georgina. Was it what miss it? [00:23:01] I learned so much tea cola and so much history. And now listening to this call it or I'm learning even more history. So I'm just wondering what's going on with me at the moment while I'm getting one of us. In terms of my coming out story. I don't have one. I never came out job because I was never in. [00:23:21] You know, people say I came out girl I never was in. I grew up in a family. My father is French and my mother is Modi. So we grew up speaking French and Maria no family. I have nine sisters and seven brothers. And we grew up in took it all which is the roughest town in the center of the North Island. I was always loved. And you know, I would wear my sister's dresses and my mom would say now that she's not good for you Do you know and then I'm wearing my dad's gum boots and I put a detail on my head because I like the way Paki girls headlong here. So I try and get a white tail so that it looked blonde. And I'd walk down the back of the farm and I was a child that was sensitive and when someone who I cried I was the child that had natural instinct to since when there was something [00:24:22] happening. So my grandmother took me as as a very young child away from my brothers and sisters. So I thought that that my sisters are much older. When my sister would come and visit nanny. I thought she was nanny sprained. My sister's a very fear. If you look at this girl here but the volunteer. That is what my sister's look like how boys come up very doc with very light colored eyes and black here and our girls will come out white blonde. So when this white lady would come to nanny says, I thought she was a friend of mine. He's from church. I had no idea that that was actually my system. And I didn't realize I had nephews and nieces that were older than me, because they were born before me. And fact, the year I was born, my mother's three daughters were pregnant at the same time. So we are all born six weeks apart. So when my sisters went back to work, my mother took the children. So these four people I thought were my brothers and sisters, and the other people, the ladies, because mom couldn't handle the children. These white ladies used to come and pick up my brothers and sisters and take them home. I had no idea. That was actually my sister's picking up my nephews and nieces. So I grew up in a very loving, sheltered, nurturing environment. And my mother was very earthy. You know, we had because we had so many children, we lived on a farm. If you were given the job of tomatoes, and there are no tomatoes for the family, you are taking behind the chicken pitch and best or if your chicken died because you didn't look after you got fish, not by parents by the president sisters. So I live very much that it was a community everything that you did was nothing was your own addresses your shoes. I think I had my first pair of shoes. So I was 14 because we could just couldn't afford it. And I remember one story when I was in high school. I couldn't fit any of my brothers jump into the hospital champions the uniform. And we couldn't afford to buy one. So mom took me to a hook over shop, which is an opportunity show. And I thought it was something like Harrods because I'd never seen so many clothes on hangers before. And I had $2 and that to me was like $2,000 and I was a 13 year old child. And I picked this jumper and are so proud. And I walked to school on my first day. And john Jameson saw the jumper and he goes hey, you've got my jumper on [00:26:54] people to fuck up. My mother took me to heritage to buy the champagne it costs $2 Thanks. They said no, that's my jump on my mom never that notion, your life. And he said no look at the tag team. And I lifted up fatigue and it had john Jensen's name, sauna. And I realized in we were different. I was different. Not only was a different, I always had acceptance for my family, but going into a school. Then people saying what do you walk that way? I'm walking. What do you talk that way? I had no idea. But because I had all this apathy and all this nurture from my family. Those people I don't care about you people because you're not part of my life. My people with my family and my brothers and my sisters, and my history, my people my mother I that's what I held fast to. So hearing these coming out stories. I don't remember ever being and I don't remember ever being frightened. I understood that I was different. And I'd sit in that. And I never made excuses. I never tried to fit in, you know you either like a person or you don't and that's your call it or let your privilege. I'm who I am. And I present who I choose to when I choose. And when people say how do you identify yourself? I didn't my find myself as a living being that breathes and loves and kids. However you want to pop up me as up to you. So for me, I like money seed I congratulate her use. Because, you know, I'm learning so much like our elders, how ground people I'm learning so much from from the children. And it makes gives me hope. And I have grandchildren, I have three grandchildren. [00:28:49] And I look at them. And I I teach them that no one can pocket you anywhere. No one, they call me grammar. But I said to them, no one pocket you can you can do that to you. And no one can love you as much as you can have you. So in terms of my coming out story, I wasn't even out. I was always in. Thank you [00:29:19] so much. I would describe myself as very, very young. Thank you so very much. [00:29:25] When I read your queries on your email, how do you feel about being an elder how know how No, Jesus Lord, you know, as long as Thailand exists, and they have surgery for your eyes, and they can take away half your stomach, honey, I will always be young. And it makes and you know what, what is a really, I think at my age that I might know more than this young lady here because she's young, that an hour world is not true. This young lady might have read the end to weep. [00:30:00] Thank you so much. You're so clever. [00:30:04] You know, young people have access to the end 10 eight, I'm only just learning it. So my my history my fuck up on my model is mine. And I have no way to judge o gauge how intellectual she is or what here experiences. And we may be different and age, but we may have the exact same knowledge base purely because of their age. When you get to a certain age, you have to squint a little but not that I don't mind you. You have to squint a little bit trade. And I i digest so much information from listening to younger people, because I'm learning so much about our history, who we are and where we can go, you know, with the youth are leading us. And I think that's exciting. So in terms of being called an alpha? [00:30:55] No, thank you, [00:31:00] Kira and FA sort of tool that I'm an older person in the community. And we operate and most of our groups on a basis of delegated leadership. So what we're talking about as elders, I think as leaders. So I see leaders in this room around me, I mean, tip is one of the young leaders award, I mean, you know, great sort of there. But and then that's not to say, you know, she's not in case he's not and, and James Norton, you know, because we are, we have got lots of leaders in the room. But also, we tend to take a lot when we need somebody to help us with something like Craig was leading a process and had great support, but everybody in a way as a leader, and so whether you're older or younger, and we're learning from each other all the time. So yeah, I'm old, I'm counting down to retirement getting it and conditional sort of, you know, benefit income from the government. Sure, but [00:31:57] not elder. [00:32:02] Yeah, I guess for me, it's something that's more being bestowed rather than self identified. [00:32:10] I would have been probably my late 40s, when I started noticing, noticing a phenomenon, particularly through some of my connection through faith communities where I said I would have conversations with, with [00:32:23] younger folk who were coming in and asking questions. [00:32:27] As a result of that, I got very involved in an international organization, which was the gay Christian network. And as I started traveling a lot that I found a lot of the younger, a lot of the young folk and we, you know, 18 through June 30, would be gravitating. And it was, but like, you know, sitting around your story, tell us your story. And I used to find it intriguing, because they had bestowed that [00:32:55] responsible responsibility and roll on me. But not only that, there was a great deal of for speak that came with it. So to honor the respect, I was happy to say yes, all embrace that which has been given. But not only do I see myself an elder and net responsive in that, in that respect, I've mentioned that I had my background was Salvation Army. What I've also found us within the church, who are very homophobic, who were very close to being responsive to what our stories were about, and now also starting to say, Tell us more of your story, help us understand, help us learn. [00:33:37] And I again, take that role. And if I'm given that opportunity, and sin as an elder to do that, then so be it. Because if, as I dialogue with focus, I share, and as we listen, and as we, you know, we go through the pains and the joys, if in a person, they can look and say, because of this conversation because of this person, I am grateful that I'm no longer needing to be afraid, I'm grateful that I no longer need to be worried about who I am. And that is happening not only in the LGBT community, it's happening in our supportive community, in our advocates, what's happening in our schools, it's happening in our churches. So for me, [00:34:23] you can call me what you like, but I will be if you want to say, you know, Papa, Daddy, or whatever it is. [00:34:30] Yeah, so be it would like it next? Well, as I said, I don't like the term elder. I don't know what it kind of takes, but it does kind of take anything positive to me. [00:34:42] I don't mind the fact that I'm distinctly older than I used to be. And people want to call me an old lesbian, that, okay. I, but in terms of [00:34:56] the [00:34:56] difference it makes by being older, [00:35:00] it's not as huge as all that if you're lucky enough to have good health. And I mean, health is a crucial thing, both for older people and for others. I mean, there are people who have disabling conditions or who have really serious illnesses very young. And often it's, it's that that that is distinguishing if you're lucky enough to be reasonably reasonable health, which I am lucky enough to be, then things aren't too bad. You can go on doing things, but you have a bit less energy. I've noticed that my age group, tend to have lunch parties or early evening classes, we don't have parties that started eight o'clock and go up to midnight, either come to your art, your dance is it will start at nine or 10. At night, this doesn't work for me anymore. [00:35:50] And those sorts of things change as you get older, of do not for everybody, some people may have the energy to go on being up at four in the morning. [00:36:00] 90 but up. [00:36:02] So there there are things that that do change. But I think you're as old as you feel. As far as what you know, it was being if you're thinking more in terms of being respected for having knowledge, as people who talked about well, I have some things about which I know. And often if I get asked to talk about the month on two different groups, then that's absolutely fine. But [00:36:29] I, Tim personally to have the that I don't have as much as I would like to, to do with really much younger age groups, you tend to have your main friendship networks amongst people you've known a while who are a lot of them is your own age, or maybe within 10 or 15 years, at least, I don't have much to do with people in the 10s and 20s. And even 30s, because I didn't have children, and a lot of my lesbian friends do have children, and I like to have as much contact as I can with the next generation and the one after. But you have to make an effort to do so if you haven't had your own offspring. And that's one important thing that's really nice to have things to do with with groups such as this to the very mixed age. [00:37:16] I happily accept the term rainbow elder, I take it as a mark of an undetermined and as mark of respect. for however many years one may have been longer than new, and experiencing I believe we have wisdom to impart from our experience. And I would expect that most of us on this panel, if not all of us are very open to your question and which I think is more important than asking a few sort of set up questions to go on with that's going to be the interesting part of this forum. [00:37:53] I'll accept the rainbow elder fun as long as it has no connotation towards the Church of the latter day saints well in the other religious, but that has elders and the congregation. [00:38:07] codify I'm also comfortable with the term elder. I've spent a lot of time Marty community. So understand that and the responsibilities that that go with the title and the intersex community. As I look around. [00:38:26] There are not very many people around the world who are activists at the front line. And it's a hard place to be so we have terrible burnout. And the other thing is I look around each year, we seem to lose disproportionately more people than the base population. So there's not a lot of us that are making old bones. And so that's another thing to think about as well. But it's a privilege to be here. And again. Thank you for the invitation. [00:39:01] Yeah, I guess just with this next question. Yeah, it's just we just kind of want you to maybe talk more about a specific campaign that you've been involved in, and how you feel that campaign sort of changed the landscape, culturally for rainbow people, whether a homosexual or form, or any anything of that kind of Yeah. elk that you want to talk about. [00:39:29] Yeah, Christian sex. Yeah, sure. So [00:39:35] my involvement with homosexual law reform was relatively superficial. I was in my 20s, I was living in Auckland. I moved up there from Wellington and 1984 and I was working at Alfie's nightclub, a gay nightclub, very well known nightclub, and often that that time and a drag show. But the owners of our club owned a magazine called out to magazine, which was one I think I may be corrected about I need to at the time that had a national coverage, there was pink triangle, and it was out magazine. So that was one of the few journalistic avenues by which we could get the message of protests etc. and support obviously, for homosexual performers that was coming along. So that was sort of an important element. And 1995 I got to make a short film, called jewels down with a guy filmmaker called Peter Wells was about a story on the day of the life of a transsexual, and a transvestite. And very simple no sex, no, nothing controversial, but it did get banned from going on TV when the series we were powerful was about to screen. Because the sensor of the day decided the subject matter of jewels style was contrary to the public school taste. We got a new director of television I think came and then Julian mountain, and he sort of just must fit rolling on that so they could get this whole series about face on the screen. It would have been one of the first films regarding our particular transgender issues told in a dramatic story years, but a more realistic reflection of our lives through this particular couple, and then being the character chewers or the Danny law ruse, or the tiny Tina's sort of mocking of transgender and away and I don't want to disparage the entertainment value of some of some of that that went down. But a jewel style was a little bit pioneering for our stories to be told healthfully. And in fact, I was an Auckland last week and Lexi Matheson looked at me and sight of the fact that she saw Jules dial in 1986, or whenever it aired on TV was a profound life changing experience for her to be who she is today. So that was a huge compliment. And, and an example, at the end of that film, during that film, [00:42:02] we were writing the venal argument of homosexual law reform. And while we were shooting a scene one night and Queen Street, Wilmington It was a son of Oakland rather, it was a Sunday night and every Sunday night, the Salvation Army match down Queen Street to have a prayer meeting and Victoria Street of Queen Street. And as that absolute [00:42:26] improvisation if I can put it that way. Peter, the director would finish filming what we had to suddenly said, Look, we're just going to get this we've done over to be film worthy, or whatever, to be in the final cut. But would you and my coaster, Richard Hanna who was playing the role of Mandy, I was jewel, we were asked to just as the Salvation Army Canada with a tambourines going and the trumpets and the singing and all of that ladder coming down Queen Street, would we just run out in front of them, and sort of mockingly my front of them, which we happily didn't follow is about a fun, and all of this, and then they will round them to Victoria Street to establish themselves for the prayer meeting. And Peter said, Could you just do one more thing and go and rush up and stand beside them as sort of, again, in a slightly mockingly way, which we did, we got it all on film and a dead end up on the film. And, and that was sort of, you know, on celluloid to record this contribution, the film crew of Jules Tao could make to, you know, pro homosexual, or form we will do and to also take a swipe at the Salvation Army, who has has been mentioned with venal against the whole thing, you know, at the time. And so the final line that I had, and the final shot of the film, and we were just again, told to improvise this conversation, because we were walking away from the camera. Richard and I, and I just dreamed up this line out of the top of my head chatting away to Mandy character going, do you remember this guy called norm Jones, when I ran into him one night down on Vivian streets, and, and norm Jones, for those of you who may not be aware, was a National Party MP who, to me coins the most, the most vain or public display of outrage the gay community by announcing on stage at the Oakland town hall to a huge pro gay rally that was happening on there that night, get back to the Gospels from where you came. And that was the kind of attitude and who won. [00:44:44] I'm so [00:44:45] glad Georgina's mentioned that story, because I certainly remember the movie, I remember that scene. And I also was very much aware of the cognitive dissonance that came particularly with we have the Salvation Army. So you see, a lot of my friends in the Salvation Army did not necessarily want to align themselves with any form of negative thinking that we had three people at the top who took it upon themselves to make a national statement. Now, I had to bribe I'd been overseas came back to Wellington, a little bit about 1982. And I had I sort of had to persona, you know, go to church on Sunday, go to the victim. Some of you may remember we used to have a club rounds [00:45:32] are going to be called, if you remember the Victoria clubs, somebody may [00:45:36] as well. The Victoria club was a place [00:45:39] where you could meet and you couldn't get a license to have a gay club. So what they did they they purchased a restaurant, which was a level below and it had it happen attached bar upstairs. And the old drinks would be served to the pain customers in the restaurant, which lift the upstairs bar which was covered by the restaurant, for people to be able to meet and enjoy. And I got to meet people from the Victoria club and they were eligible people I like their company. And so this was a way we worked around, being able to get a license to run a gay club. And so I had this dual persona. I do remember writing to every MP and you know, those were the days where you just about had to go through and photocopy there was no writing and telling them with this was this was wrong. [00:46:32] I made some interesting connections. Some of you may remember the name, full Parkinson. Now, I remember on one particular Friday morning, it was in March 1985. Phil rang me at work. And he said, Colin, I need to ask you a question. There is a rumor that is going around that the Salvation Army is just about to put out a statement that they're going to do this. And I thought himself they're not that stupid. They wouldn't do it. Yeah, they're not, you know, we are more mature than it they wouldn't do it. So I rang the head of our put our human relations, the chapter the name of Rodney night now and told them look, there's a rumor you need to know the so that, you know when it comes out you you already really prepared to be able to dispel it. And I received a very cold. [00:47:25] It was just as if to say I've pushed some buttons here. So I said to Rodney, tell me, Is this true? And the response was, the Salvation Army is doing what the Salvation Army has to do. And I said, You know what, you had just made the biggest stuff up in life, this will come back and haunt us for years in years to come. That was 1985. I had no idea how prophetic that would be. [00:47:55] But what was interesting was as an as history has now proven as Yeah, there were only two or three people at the top. And they banded together and had a bit of power. They didn't talk to London, the advice that came from the International Salvation Army in London was, we wouldn't have done that. That's not, that's not the image we want. So, you know, it's something that has taken a second time, what I did do that I'm like, you know, we talked a bit about the communities, what I found, I have done, I had two options, basically turn around and say look, stuff up church stuff, face stuff, all the stuff, you know, you're not nice to know. And I sort of sense you know, if change is going to come, change is going to come from a growth of people inside, who you know, we share our stories, as we as we let people see the real us. And it was hard, but I chose that path rather than the other. And I look back over the last 30 years, I'm grateful. Because I still hold on to a very strong faith. I hold on to a faith that is actually allowed me to share stories I'm involved. For me online ministries. Now I do a lot of we started a small group of people online Silva salvation is for a more inclusive church, we now have over that 2200 people in our community, and they sharing resources and stories. And it's spread internationally. The same with the Christian Fellowship, which I just started for me as a group that could be a part of, and to actually watch it grow and what what stories, one of the year, [00:49:32] we hand on just a brief thing. I wanted to say hummus, sexual oral form was 400 climate when HIV and AIDS had just heard the world. And that was a hugely and potentially damaging thing to have happen at that time, you have no idea what it was like to be gay or anything. At that time in HIV came out and all the misrepresentation, the misunderstanding the not actually knowing exactly what HIV and AIDS was bout at that time worldwide. And so, for friend to lead, homosexual law reform, under that climate was very difficult. It was very easy for the main sales to supporting Hummer sexual law reform, to now be confronted with us at that time and completely discredited what was termed a gay disease. [00:50:20] Yeah. [00:50:22] I was just [00:50:22] wondering if you could [00:50:24] talk a little bit more about your involvement and like, where the kind of trans community was during the time of [00:50:31] homosexual, Laura von, [00:50:32] Lord, the trans community, and a more sort of distant to him of the male to female or female to male, are were present. At that time, we weren't necessarily hugely high profile activists, but we attended the protests, we were there to support I think, in that way. And we have to remember that that gay community itself was coming to terms with the new coalition that was mentioned before between each other lesbians gaming or whatever, then we had been for the trans community, I have to say, with scary to some, even within our own rainbow community was very easy for our trains, it's like common to be out, or whatever like that. And you could spring someone who was guy who was not wanting to be quite yet out, those kinds of situations would occur. I use the term it's a bit dramatic. But we were scum of the earth, in many ways, the trans community. And yet we couldn't hide ourselves, because we dressed and behaved as we felt and it was blatantly obvious, and death would engender some very negative stuff towards us. But we were there, we were supportive because of the principle that we put aside our particular differences, we have a common goal in mind that we must aim for, and there's going to be a stepping stone towards the Human Rights amendments and 93, etc, to civil unions to marriage equality. It's a marathon, it's not a sprint, that's for sure. [00:52:12] Thanks. [00:52:14] Who would you consider to be your elders? I really like hearing [00:52:21] that you feel that something that's bestowed upon you so interested to know who you would bestow that on from your own time, especially talking about how visibility and the ability to make records is something that's quite recent things like magazines, radio, film, and tonight and so on is something that's grown throughout your lifetime. But what about people that you knew when you're in your 20s? Or in your teens who were born and died before being able to have even half the openness that we have? Because we don't have the records? But you do? Because you remember them? That's not a specific question. But I'm really interested to know just from anyone if you have a wiener, absolutely, who I want to talk about, please do. I, [00:53:08] as a youngster, I didn't know what changed India was until I saw to Gina buyer. And, and I saw the integrity, the decency that she represented here honesty, to me was incredible. And I remember distinctly having conversations with my grandmother, [00:53:29] the fact that she was Modi, and that she wasn't afraid to talk about her mother tongue as she wasn't afraid to be who she was. So for me, not only did Regina because I look upon her as an elder, but I also look upon her as [00:53:47] a leader in terms of our community, a community, she was never afraid to speak your truth, and to challenge people and the beliefs. And I think as a young person, that's what we will need someone who's going to challenge the general populace, not a not an inexpensive way, because she was never offensive. She was honest. Not in a confronting way. She was honest. And I think when you're looking at a leader, as someone that's going to guide you, you need somebody that has a sense of honesty and integrity to the ourselves to themselves, but also an appreciation of the truth. And we they sit in the community. And to me, Georgina buys always had that she's always had that simplicity and elegance that I aspire to, hints wearing here do today. [00:54:47] I want to mention a few people, not just because of who they were, as individuals and still are, but because of what they did. So pink triangle was the other magazine that came out and I was on the collective for all your new woman and nine men. And so Stephen Denby, who was the editor at the time, always trying to get the stories and trying to sort of get things. And so as putting the word out there, the women who ran lesbian line, and through whom I sort of had had context, and I don't always know their names, because that wasn't set up. Tim Bennett, who did a lot of behind the scenes work for, for legal representation, and he's still part of museums, and he was an MP. And again, yes, he was asked him gay, and he had been involved in the UK and setting up Stonewall. But part of his thing was to bring other people together into the space, and in our local community, Melbourne and Scotty who have run so many, perhaps and open spaces that and provide financial support and, and charity to enable events to happen in their community. So there's those people who have supported things in an open way. They're there. And you know, I totally off either, [00:55:58] I guess it was very few people I would identify, but I remember people like the river, Troy Perry, from the United States, who in 1970s, set up the Metropolitan Community Church, because they were not ministering to the, you know, the spiritual needs of people, and basically made made it known You are welcome at our church, we will love you, we will demonstrate what it means to be. And I use the Christian Tim here, you know, a follower of Christ. And that church took off night as a person's right around the other part of the world, starting to listen and say, you know, you can actually have faith and the same sex. When I came during 1985. One of the things that was a real struggle was that as a gay men, a lot of my gay friends did not want to know me, because I was a member of the Salvation Army. But in the same way, a lot of my salvation army, for instance, want to know me, because I was a gay men. And there was a very narrow road that you could stay there, that there were people and I look, also, I think of some names 919. That just comes to mind. I'm sure cable remember? Do you remember case? COACH? [00:57:19] Yes, yes. Well, I mentioned case by case was someone Of course, I met through the Victoria club. We celebrated his life on Friday, [00:57:30] Judas, Dallas, and other person, I think, I think people like oh, and shapes, who for many years lived as a man, you know, with, with HIV, but just was such a strong person, and very much out, you know, just giving the message, you don't have to be frightened of us. You've got you know, we are we are here. And what was also particularly noticeable, was what we will we as a community, particularly game in and the LGBT community can be can be quite determined in their views. And they can be, you know, [00:58:08] the people that have signed our look up to those who demonstrated grace, who allowed space for, you know, we may have different views. But we in this together, let us work towards a common goal. And while we're doing it, if we can find the common language, if we can find a way in which we can love each other, respect each other, that that's even a good thing. [00:58:36] For the first time in our history, we've actually got a very visible, aging, queer population. [00:58:45] So my question is, is, what challenges have you faced in recent years as you've gotten older? And what can I say younger ones do to support you? And given that so much of your lives was actually given up fighting for the first we have today? [00:59:04] What can we do? Allow truly one of the things and it breaks my heart. I've seen this time and time again. I saw this again in mid January, where we feel world famous Collinson. Now Fergus was a man if you knew me was a very visible person, great artist about very, if you met him in the street, you knew you weren't going to get away without a hug. And you know, something really quite knew that fear this passed away in his apartment. And it was four days before they found his body. Now I had this real fear of getting old and in, people aren't even there to know that you've gone. [00:59:47] So what can we do? I guess we'll part of it is just building communities. Looking after those who you know, your new friend staying in touch on trying to make an effect now I've got a few holes, the fringe. And I've said to them, you know, give me a ring every, you know, every couple of days, just, you know, even if you've got nothing to say, except Hello, I miss you. I want to talk with you. [01:00:12] We also think about held how do we look at as we age, and going out to excess residential care. I was talking to a couple yesterday at the park. And I hadn't seen him for some time. And I said, Where are you living because every time I knew them never selling the house, we are now living in now which Scott home and put Tony's at Ron's [01:00:38] got or Tom's got [01:00:40] that. Residential Hi, Bob Scott, we're living in the Bob's got home and but Tony, and we love it, we've got our own apartment with we can have our flowers. And we're the first openly gay couple there. And people love us. So So I guess you know, there's still opportunity. [01:01:00] Just a little one. [01:01:03] As I've got older, and it'll happen to most of you to my hearing Scott worse. So I live with tinnitus and the background noise becomes sort of a bit intrusive, and it's sometimes hard to see people in a way and I can't see the face while they're talking with me. It's also mean that I've become more aware of other people who are disabled who haven't payment and challenges to get to things. So my friends who are in wheelchairs, wouldn't be able to get over the lift to get into this place necessarily. So when I'm running an event, I try and think about accessibility issues to try and think, are the people who I'd like to invite who would really sort of add something? And can I make sure that the venue and everything about it is going to make it easy enough for him to get there? Is it the right time of day, what's the public transport, like, you know, when I had my car accident last year, and characters enough, I was using public transport in if I couldn't get to something in a place. caught by that way, I wouldn't go. And so it's that thing of like, as, you know, hearing people still want to be part of communities and have the options. But it may just be that little bit of wraparound thinking, one in four people in New Zealand living with a disability within 30 years, it's going to be one and three. So that's just something and it's not just older people, but there are young people living with these issues about, you know, trying to find, you know, thinking about that will include us will be good. [01:02:28] In some ways, I don't think it's any different for us than it is for anybody else who's aging. There are aging issues for everyone. And some will have [01:02:38] support networks that are stronger than others, some will have have children and so on. But you can't live through them either. You've some will have communities and and local people, I think it is very important that that you do have a community and I think as you If you lose, the ability to talk to the shops and song things become really serious. And our health system is not particularly good at supporting it's it's not bad, but it's not that good. Certainly the business of if you need to go into a retirement village or then into residential care and so on, it's really important to attack the homophobia to there there is increasing sensitivity. In some cases, we've got resources, we've developed resources ourselves to make sure that next of kin issues with that if you you have a partners to can demonstrate your love for each other, just the same as any heterosexual couple good. But you're going to have encountered the old homophobic staff member anywhere. And all that needs needs tackling. But certainly I mean, my age group start talking to each other a lot about these issues. I mean, I don't have a single blood relation in New Zealand, I don't have children, I'm bet my partner drop dead three years ago after we did 20 years together. [01:04:07] It's something that I do have to think about these days, I'm lucky because I'm healthy. But I do try and keep in contact with friends and so on. And I think you know, the business of having mixed age [01:04:26] contacts is important to for everyone I've been reading the other day about rest home, nothing to do with lesbian gay community but where young people go in and make friends with some of the people living there all those sorts of things, the things we can, we can do. And it's good both for the older people and for the younger people picks a good, my dogs term important. But you know, all these things are things we need to think about. [01:04:57] Lovely question lots and lots of issues. A few years ago, I [01:05:01] did a video with [01:05:03] Julie Watson up in Oakland is part of the silver rainbow project. And at the moment I can in money, so I'm okay. But I'm part of the community that has no resources, that idea of growing old and then being incapacitated terrifies me, because our elder community is binary. And there is no place at the moment for someone like me. So yeah, there's a big piece of work to do there. It's a beautiful question. And thank you for asking it. [01:05:39] And most recent years for me, I've had renal failure and sort of been hugely hit by that health issue for the last four or five years until I got my kidney transplant. [01:05:51] And the kidney I received from a gay man I might head [01:05:54] and [01:05:55] hey, happily I'm probably so just happened like that. Hugely. Jim, us How do you say thank you for something as amazing as that. So this is a health challenge. And that was the first time I'd really been knocked by an I couldn't control it just happened and we had to deal in have come out the other side dodged a bullet. They're going along the lines of some of the words that have been said already we have a future before us where I think we are probably under service certainly under funded and resource to actually take care of our of our very elderly who are now going into peps hospice situations and risk time situations. And that kind of thing. To my knowledge, and I may stand to be corrected, there is no particularly dedicated facility that can treat us with the dignity. I'll give you the example of one of my icons if we were talking about that before. And again, I'm sorry, I have to mention that met him common [01:06:57] when she died and Sydney [01:07:00] sorry. [01:07:04] While she had huge support from those who are close to her over there, at the time, the hospital facility to didn't read out with a dignity he deserved. [01:07:16] That we couldn't bring her back here to New Zealand, which really was [01:07:21] she lives lonely in a cemetery, somewhere out of Sydney, and we can go to and this happened to be there. It's those kinds of things that matter [01:07:35] is knocking [01:07:36] such a fingers like [01:07:41] she [01:07:43] provided the safety. She provided friendliness, hosts hugely high [01:07:48] profile in this country broke down attitudinal barriers. And [01:07:56] girls who worked for her even common itself when I got home up in front of cool things, little law changes that occurred because of the some of those appearances with the small steps that lead us to more equality, respect and recognition for our particular special [01:08:14] place in our society. [01:08:16] I think of international people like Christine Jorgensen, who had to suffer the IR as a mother regarded as the fist sexually reassigned, transgender woman in the world back in the 1950s. Can you imagine the she was dead days, Caitlyn Jenner, if I can put it that way. Jen Morris, a renowned internationally acclaimed author, who when she was still male, climbed Everest with Hillary to report on that. People like this who, who have done April actually a famous Vogue model. The visibility mentioned before starts with people like that, who step out from the crowd, make themselves vulnerable to that out there, for the sake that we begin that we can hit something as we grow on, be proud of, I think for you, the younger generation today, think of how we care for each other, we may dispute with each other often over particular things. But at the end of the day, collectively, we've got to look after each other. At the end of the day, it's vital. And continue to remember as the AIDS quilt shows us [01:09:30] to celebrate the shoulders, who we all stand upon, who made us able to get the star. And we've got further to go. Sorry. [01:09:46] That was one of the things that the most I could not go to my beloved's funeral. [01:09:55] out both of us [01:10:00] questions. [01:10:04] I had a bunch of questions that now I can barely hold it together. So thanks. And no, it was so moving to hear speak. I wanted to say because I grew up in the wind it up. I kind of wanted, this is more comment to you. And your name in my household was treated with such respect and with such love. And I think that you had such a profound impact on the community and how they responded to LGBT. So that shows but I wanted to he reflect a little bit on what it was like when you're going into politics. And you were sort of embracing the idea, embrace your identity. And like, what thought she had about going into politics or do you have any major reservations or you always just all and [01:10:50] thank you for that question. [01:10:53] Politics had never been on my radar either. I like I said I may have participated in the approaches, but didn't we all become Vietnam War days and, and and certainly for a law reform and any other sort of human rights I think my lifters leanings, manifested themselves before I even understood what left and right and politics even mean, that was just the way I, I sort of went, the first of all, I had never thought that I would find myself living on the wire rapper. But through various circumstances there I was in 1990, and had a job at the world. I went on a government funded training scheme, actually for the tops program at the Carlton community center. And with my involvement in that arena of community work and things like that, I became more aware than I ever had been before as an individual of community issues beyond my own queer rushes, if you know what I mean, always having to prove myself is you can be Best Actress nominee, yes, you can get on TV, but as it enough, you know, doing dramas, which I have to say were important in their own little right. But they progress to our social history of more than that, man, I was fortunate enough to be one among a few who are able to have that opportunity. [01:12:07] At that time, it wasn't all me politics, essentially started because of Ruth Richardson's mother of all budgets, which essentially took about 25% off the theme benefit right across the board, throughout the whole nation. And if you didn't think that there was going to be some kind of social consequence, certainly, after that, well, the walls and in a place like Carlton at that time, we had homelessness in character. I mean, excuse me, they were sleeping on the fort down at the local park. They were sneaking around people's backyards. So community members, especially elderly, we're getting a bit concerned about all of us going on. And I think we had one or two police who worked in Carrollton at that time to try and cover those sorts of things as a community center, we took on board this temporary homeless situation got people sorted with the benefits of seem to be getting exactly what their entire too much of like what happens a lot these days. And we approached the local council, because we had been donated a caravan, a decent one, which we could use as very temporary housing that was children warm and etc. And we went to the council to ask them if they would provide us the community seems which ran on the smell of an oily rag [01:13:24] for a pallet caravan site at the local council owned caravan park and they turned us down flesh and the excuse was all those are social issues. We don't deal with that stuff here. That's a central government metal. So backpacks and we'll stop for powered care of insight for a very temporary period of time, so that we could put a person in there that was safer and better than sleeping on the beach. You know, all of that. Well, we got wrapped up about it. The 92 local body elections came along and somebody in the scene suggested that I should run to the council. And I said what the hell did I do? Actually, you know, I'm no one gave me the handbook on how this all works or whatever. [01:14:05] So [01:14:07] jokingly, but to use that as a platform and the campaign to highlight our social issues and that particular town and district that's what we were going to use it for I ran on a ticket with a retired the cut the rebrand William Wadley happy he was about 80 something at the time, but he was strongly supportive of some of the stuff that we were doing. And so there were lots of you know, actress and the bishop jokes going on about him and me running on that ticket filed in that very first election attempt. And I was the highest polling unsuccessful candidate and I thought I had done done well for our training that turned up in town a year or two before head and now wants to sit on the holy cow of the Council. Are you kidding me? But I've missed out by 14 votes and thought damn good result for first time out. And given all my history, which was completely out there. My life has always been an open book. I haven't had any anything. You expect people to vote you into public office, they need to know exactly who it is. They are considering to vote for worship team or politicians would do this. [01:15:11] But anyhow, that was that. I was terrified. When I got elected in 1993 and a by election, I walked into a council chamber knowing that a majority if not all of them, were found my transgenderism to be a parent. And what the hell is that doing sitting at this council table, the only woman on the council at the time Dorothy Booth was just happy a skirt walked into the room. She because she had been totally dominated by the most majority male members around that Council. My credibility wasn't taken seriously at all. I was sidelined and not involved and more crucial council things. And remember, no one handed me the book I had to be resourceful enough to find out about what it is we do here. [01:15:59] Results management acted come into effect. Part of the resource management requirements for a council at that time was to set up a consultative procedure with local EV [01:16:11] I was the first married to be elected to the caption District Council Gacy they all tend to to run away and get draft policy together on all of it me. I'm about as steeped in T kind of Marty is killed as the extent of my court era. I say that, but time and chicken much more informed and, and, and about that now but really, I was a pack if I'd marry if I can put it live date. And, and so I really shouldn't have been taking on this really important policy that we were trying to drop but I did because I saw it as an opportunity one to prove myself to learn, you know how to go through this process. Long story short capture you today except for a few moments to move with the times that consultative procedure where the we're in the cabinet and the strict still exists today. So you know we did something right establish credibility, Parliament Oh, sorry mayoralty. Next, when it was suggested that I should run for the meal because I was just grateful that I was on the council. Now the majority, you've got to be kidding, this is rural redneck New Zealand, you could well understand running for the mayoralty. And, [01:17:23] of course, history will note that I won that election and 95 and then these will thirsts things being thrown at me, I've modified the and I'm proud of them, New Zealand should be proud of them. That's certainly not as proud of being the first training to be you know, serving and those sorts of things as they are outside of women getting the vote, for example, which I think that's pretty equal kind of thing with this time, this country, you know, does these kinds of things which become world leading and highly respected. [01:17:55] parliament, I was not, I thought I was fine being the Mira Calton. I love the job. It was community, you know, just sort of everything that I've done beforehand, had nothing to do with being transgender and fits the people of the wire end of character, the new story, you think that just take me out like they're not at all that spot a fake at 50 paces, I tell you. And if I thought for a moment, you're being insincere, not genuine at all, telling lies, obfuscating or whatever, like that. thousand two, if you like that, that straight up people, and whatever particular way they want to, sort of fit you into, into it. Sony Davis is based on the GA guild documentary about me, when an old National Party store Ward farmer up in the Denver area turned around when he was questioned about whether or not who he was considering to vote into power unto the local sales, and the two major choices where myself and pulled Henry, and [01:19:00] they turn around and he said, [01:19:02] I've added national normal life, but I think I might vote for that Georgina buyer, because she's a damn good check. [01:19:13] So okay, I could be offended by that. But I wasn't, I thought, Oh, I want everyone you can put that to rights in your own head. As long as I've got your vote, baby, that's all I care about. And I did and will even fix the rest of your national park. [01:19:28] With all of that, and perhaps he did, and effect for labor person to win net seats, you have to win over National Party, [01:19:33] but [01:19:35] parliament, [01:19:37] boy, oh, boy, it was a [01:19:44] it was odd. I mean, at least I had the background of local government to assist me what now what kind of political environment I was. [01:19:53] I want a general seat unusual for a multi to do I was one of only two Marley and the power at the time that held the general seek myself and Winston Peters. And that's changed Of course sense. And and rightfully so. [01:20:08] The learning curve is huge, just to understand how that facility works, the immense amount of resource at your fingertips that took me a year or more to really fully understand. And all of that. And then term, of course, was Bob to ban it was bubbling along with a couple of issues. And the first one up was prostitution reform coming up first readings and our fears to him. And same with civil unions. And I of course got drawn into those. And so while I was achieving things for my electorate, this huge demand because of my profile as a trans person, member of the rainbow community, the pressure from the gay community, to also be out of everything for them, and so on and so forth. And I had to make some unpleasant decisions sometimes on just where I was going to put my time and resources. And that wasn't always for the gay community. Because I had to ask myself, who's put me here, that people are the wider rapper, they must be my first priority in the party, of course, is quite demanding on your attention and things like that. And then I could work on rainbow issues, which I did and belong to the rainbow sector, etc. And they were only made Tim Bennett and Chris Carter, who were out in gay empowerment at the time. And so to achieve what I created, Tim was driving. civil unions certainly from the parliamentary and unknown took a huge network from out of Parliament to help that happen. against the odds we were facing. I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the ups and downs, the horrors, the waiver of that campaign and harden the app, as far as politics was concerned, a scary place for transgender person, you're the only one on the world, everyone has a demand out there for you. Happily say that not long after bloody me luck, Syria got elected on to the Italian parliament. So from New Zealand and with me the sort of cascade of other people who had always wanted to be in that kind of political arena could do it. Because me and New Zealand and the wire rata broke the mold and push that forward, and people can say, well, we can move forward in our heads, and some jurisdictions and, and other areas, and it's a positive thing. Out stop now, because he's gonna be killing a bit bored with dollars. If you really want to read some of it, you can read up to my life to 1998 and a book called a change for the better, which is in the library here in Wellington, I haven't even got a copy. [01:22:44] Oh, really, really. [01:22:46] At the Wellington City Council would carry print the car and everything are fantastic. I give great credit to the people of the wire wrap up for showing other rural conservative areas of New Zealand. Don't be afraid of people like us. She's done good by us. And I can't see why anybody else that wants to follow on those shoes come to the same. [01:23:15] So we might just yeah, wrap up the the Christian segment. Just with one more question. So yeah, we kind of just wanted you guys to share any sort of humorous experience you've had, as you know, being part of the rainbow community or your interactions with others outside of the rainbow community. So genius about the Salvation Army was obviously a good one. But yeah, anything sort of that nature that you want to share as a memory. [01:23:49] Liquid to start. [01:23:51] I look back on listen sort of to pick up. Okay. It's been quite clear of my colors out there. I'm very much involved in the Salvation Army. Now. My heritage is also playing in the Salvation Army Band, the band that Georgina was able to go and join an Auckland. Now, it's an interesting group to play with sir. Yes, you could call them homophobic, but they don't actually want to be seen as being excluding people. So they sort of have these little games they play, you know, oh, yes, we love you. You're welcome. And they'll never tell you to go away. Because that's not what Christians do. But what they'll say is, you know, and so I sort of dealt with us for some years. Well, one of the things my Salvation Army Band that I'm involved in here in Wellington, it's actually the premier event. We do a lot of [01:24:45] ministry in international travel. And in 2007, we had been invited to return to Japan for a ministry to and let me concerts, and you know, church, staff and outdoors. And that was the third time that was the first time I went with him. And I thought, I don't know if I want to travel 14 days with all these guys. And I don't think any woman in the group, the pretty homophobic group, but look, I'll do it. I mean, they knew they knew I was gay, but you just didn't rub the notion of one evening, the Japanese host came to us and they work this pretty hard. And they said to us, we have a special treat for you tonight, we're going to give you a night off. And tonight we are going to have you have a chance to heaven on sin. Now. If you know Japanese culture, and unseen is the environment where you know, you go in and you scrub yourself, you get naked, you scrub yourself down and house itself off and then jump in a very hot tub. And it's all done as God created us. And I'm thinking to myself, well, they know I'm gay. I've been invited, but probably not a good idea to go. Probably. So I sit in the Hey, guys, look. It's okay, you go and enjoy your shelf. I'll see you in the morning. I was thinking you know, if I was a woman, certainly I wouldn't have been going and jumping in the tub with all these guys. And I said so. It's okay, I won't I'll see in the morning. I had four guys country Oh, don't be ridiculous. You're a part of us. You're important was a Marlin can come Come on this get naked together. [01:26:26] And they're in that point, I think any pretense of these guys saying you know, it might have been homophobic, it dropped. And that's a story I remind them all [01:26:41] capitals little one one more, I've probably been the Battle of the joke more often than telling the joke. [01:26:49] So I one workplace I was in one of the women at the Tea Room says Oh, you're bisexual? Does that mean you have to buy six? Now? [01:27:00] I didn't instantly think of the you know the rejoinder about are just as well I'm independently wealthy, you know, so I took it seriously. Later on that day, I got called into the boss's office and told off her speaking and appropriately about my six life and the room. [01:27:20] I wasn't gonna take that and I explained the situation to her glaring at the same time that I knew that she was bisexual and it was not owning to it. I got to back down from the boss and who then spoke to the other coworker about that thing, [01:27:35] but it's that thing of like [01:27:38] and just one last image as a little a younger child going through family photos I came across this one oh that's really interesting. My father dressed in drag for rec big club do never spoke of it but it was like it's always nice to have that as a look at somebody who [01:27:58] just went over there my mother [01:28:01] lovely Christian woman. godly woman loved me dearly but really couldn't get a head around what it meant to be a game in [01:28:09] few weeks or months before she passed on. [01:28:13] She gave me a birthday card now [01:28:15] To this day I do not know with she actually understood what that card seed or not but on the outside that said I wish you peace I wish you joy he turned over I wish you'd find a nice toy boy [01:28:35] I could have a number of funny little anecdotes about things and [01:28:41] I will talk about I've been elected the mirror of cotton A month later I was had received an invitation to a team Government House for the the Queen was there Dan kit so that was our Governor General the time and secretly and quietly before I became a link to those the mayor here and to do Judith doesn't seem me a $50 donation ah for my campaign just quietly Don't tell anyone and which was lovely of them and I had never meet either of them before now I met a month later I'm hitting off down to Government House and Willington to attend this garden party and who honor and and I'm just in the crowd with everyone else I saw the end of zeal for the first time there and she remembers this this occurrence [01:29:29] and and [01:29:31] and I googled over Damien loader who was a bad time Olympic swimming personally and this is 1995 I'm too I'm talking about and [01:29:42] so when the Queen came out and was great you know and all sort of form formalities happening and you know the people pass or because then kettlebell sport in the Queen down the front lawn through the people and introducing to her to people whose names don't care if could remember [01:30:00] no doubt, [01:30:02] and I hitting for a VIP teams at the bottom of the garden. Down there. We're all good on the great of Parliament and the diplomatic corps and Marty dumb so Tiffany O'Regan, etc etc. People like that but in a roped off area so we the 600 played standing behind the right or not to go no further kind of thing. I rushed to the sort of line moral stand see the Queen I've never seen the Queen on the flesh before and so you know, and I was there and don't care comes down towards us over the other side, which is introducing people kit clocks me over the other side and I'm standing next to these two very bluesy ladies who then prepared themselves from using the Queen's they saw kids eating and our general direction with the queen. And they even disposed of the champagne glasses that they were holding on behind them without sort of thinking and prepare themselves for the introduction to the claim to abstain can turn around and look me straight in the eyes interested Your Majesty, I'd like to introduce you to the first to the newly elected mayor of Carlton Georgina buyer. The two ladies next to me just about fell apart that the Queen should be risk at such an embarrassment to be meeting someone like me because I was a bit high profile at the time. And, and all of that and started to chat with the Queen which you heard the main keratin. She said, Oh is Carlton where we have one in Oxfordshire. And I said, [01:31:31] You know, I said Oh, that's wonderful. I said I must get in touch with the local mirror and then makes us facilities out of us or something like that is yes, we find out of the air base, there's an ox in kaftan rocks for sure, quite often. And so yes, I know you mean and that was sort of there's an option to drill down to the VIP tent with case the two ladies had to go and get another glass of champagne to display what that saying this training had been? Well, I'm looking at all the people in the VIP area thinking now that would be handy to make a connection with Ellesmere of Canada and the connection with the Prime Minister Bolger, it was at the time. And I just thought, I wonder what would happen if I just walked in there. You know what the people who were sort of guarding the entrance to it sort of stopped me or whatever. So I looked confident and stood up and actually as I'm walking towards them, as in Hello, Hello, good afternoon. Thank you for what you're doing. Thank you, and just walk past them and mixing on our [01:32:28] candidates. You know, I'm in there. So I'm chatting away, introduce myself to Tiffany, oh, Reagan. Get acknowledged by Mr. Bolger and all of that. And that's sort of a non having, again, with john Bolger, who's there, and she said, Oh, I see. You were introduced to the queen and I said, Yes, first real Queen I've ever met. [01:32:48] Without [01:32:48] thinking what I was saying, I said, it wasn't straight advisors came out of my mouth was it was true with Phil crane Aviva me. [01:32:58] And all of that enjoyment edited. And I suddenly realized what I said, I said, Oh, my goodness as it just as well. There's no reporters. And here, she points to a Dominion Post reporter standing with an earshot who called everything goes was the headline on the dominion, [01:33:15] and all of that, so that was sort of rather funny, I met the Queen several times after, since that particular time in 95, I met her at the [01:33:25] receiving line at the airport when she came for the Silver Jubilee. And now in 2000, 2002, [01:33:33] or something like that. And [01:33:36] the scandal on that one was, and the big picture was of me and the Queen, shaking hands, because it was the first public sort of thing. You know, when we're out in the public and the priests pits the and I took a photo of her and I amazing because people's bought all to be a headline on this. And there was in the British newspapers The following day, I sort of had headlines like, by George, it's the queen, and then a rather sort of nice, possibly unsalted butter, nice, you know, sort of friendly article, Helen Clark as prime minister with evening trousers to the state dinner, and a Dale, Dale to after, and she was ridiculed and pilloried through every publication in the UK, because she will trousers, not our grace, you know, if you've got done with the queen, and all of that, you know, where the proper thing a ridiculous to have it hit them. And, you know, and all of that. So, there's just one more, there's quite a few, I could write a book, I found myself at a conference of 100 parliamentarian woman from around the world, who amazing to discuss children who are put on the front line of war around the world and, and to sex trafficking, and human trafficking and things like that. So we were amazing. And Rome, we had our conference. And the last thing on the agenda. For the for the week that we were there was to go to the Vatican. And we thought Oh, great, you know, and we'll be there will be able to sit at the pope will come out and do was Friday time or whatever he doesn't. And I was all excited looking forward to seeing the Sistine Chapel and some pieces, we get there. And we got escorted, not towards some pieces, but to the people apartments. And we were taken up to this chamber. And I kept on thinking, oh, gosh, I wonder who's walk these steps and all that sort of thing. And we get up to this chamber, we could see where the Pope was going to come in. And all of that society, everybody sewage down the front of the room, particularly some of the agents Filipinos, for example, and South American devoutly Catholic people, you know, who didn't expect that we were going to have this intimacy with the pope that it was with us, and not the thousands of others outside, or whatever like that. So they were beside themselves. In fact, I was really taken by the feeling that came over them, and then you'd ever going to get those I must on getting anywhere near the front to get a good view, or whatever like that. So in the three rows from the bank, but on the island. [01:35:56] Well, the pope actually arrived [01:35:58] from behind does not up the front coming out of some side was from behind us. And when he was almost john paul, the second he was wheelchair bound at that time, and his assistants helped them and get them lined up at the, you know, beginning of the passage way down to where his people thrown was going to be in he would address us and everything from there. And before they sort of, you know, they didn't get the daughters gowns and things all sort of what he's sitting, he's standing right next to me, it was sitting right next to me, and I'm looking straight at them. And so when he was together, he looks up at me and that way did embraces me. And this cultural rain for me. So I am the vice versa person and online Catholic person in this room. And I'm getting blessed by the Pope. [01:36:45] When I came back to New Zealand, I had gone to bed or Brian Tamaki on the TV. And I made some disparaging remark as he had made against me at that time, or whatever. And then I turn around, I said, at least at the end of the day, Brian, I've been blessed by poke. [01:37:13] I don't think any of us can compete with it. [01:37:17] I don't have lots of funny and six stories. But what I do have as my dad stupid sense of humor, and it saved me Well, this is Fado. As you know from pitch in America there and the six has been around forever. And fit. We know there's under six dinosaurs. And I'm very proud that the largest dinosaur that was on planet Earth was hearing at Aurora. And it was a vegetarian. So [01:37:49] Fado, [01:37:50] because of read here and New Zealand like Americans symbolically, that's roughly how many under six people there are. So same as people with read here [01:38:08] for the formal segment, but yeah, feel free to stick around and do some mingling and things. But yeah, we just kind of want to [01:38:16] express our thanks to you guys. And yeah, you a little, little something as they're talking about, I mean, appreciation for coming here today and sharing your wealth of stories and experience with us. And there's such a great broad spectrum of your life experience yesterday. So it was a complete honor to have you here to the side, you know, [01:38:39] thank you. I'd like [01:38:40] to tell people what's been said violence before that. I really appreciate [01:38:46] that you've [01:38:46] made this form available. I think we do have things to share with you if you want to feel them and if you want to know them. And for heaven's sake, don't be afraid able to approach us over some metal or washy about women be able to help you know by sharing some wisdom. So thank you for the southern that's impossible for a younger generation, that [01:39:12] same discussion around and allies [01:39:14] one way or another to have this youth who we feel confident that the future is secure, for activism to continue. And [01:39:25] until it's not necessary anymore.
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