Rex Halliday profile

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[00:00:00] This podcast is brought to you by pride in a.com. With generous support from the rule foundation. [00:00:07] My name is Rex Halladay I came I was born in New Plymouth way back in 1950. And I grew up. I became we're very early on that. When I grew up, I was going to love boys and girls. by five, I had this consciousness. But I didn't really do much about it through being a New Plymouth boy, I don't think there's much Rebecca. And then went on, then I went to university, first of all down to Victoria, then up here and open them back down to Victoria ended up doing a degree primarily in music. And in the various jobs. This was this was the 1960s 70s. And I was a hippie by nature. And I work for one of the most reborn affairs as a teacher then I became involved in meditation. Things I lived in an ashram for five, six years, maybe. [00:01:09] And then after that I did some various jobs, I fell in love with a man [00:01:15] and [00:01:17] eventually ended up winning the foundation. [00:01:23] I want to just rewind just a wee bit because I want to know what it was like New Plymouth 1950s, you've got a consciousness of being homosexual at the age of five, what was that? Like? [00:01:34] There was so much interesting thing that when I was conscious of I don't think it was a conscious of being homosexual. That word I certainly did become aware of though, when I was still in primary school. Because I can remember walking home from maternal Primary School up the house and repeating the word over and over and over homosexual, homosexual homosexual. So it was it was a fascinating, really, but very early on. I was I was aware that there were quite big restrictions socially on what should be. And I was aware that I shouldn't have told anyone else about what my predictions were, I was very aware that I was in love that I'm really fancy, my friend's brother, he was very, very cute. And I'd heard that he had done something naughty with another boys and what a terrible person he was. And I was I was hoping he would do something like that to me, but he never did. We had a into German national Sunday school down the bottom of the drive that was run by the neat people next door, and I ended up becoming a Sunday school teacher, and the various all sorts of other things going on, you know. But I sort of think that the way that it was to be a young boy living in New Zealand is pretty much very standardized more so than it is now probably know, the the options for who and how you could be with the pretty limited was a narrow range, and I never really thought I was gonna fit into that very well. [00:03:08] What kind of options? What were the things that you could be? [00:03:11] Well, you could be you know, you could be a foot bloke, you could be a man, you could do anything that was a good proper man's job, you could only have a girlfriend, and, and in a wife and children, and you should probably have a house with three or four kids, two, maybe three or four is a good number. And you had to be pretty straightforward and no fancy stuff. And you know, you didn't want to be to it because that was pretty suspect. So these are all things that surrounded me as I was growing up and [00:03:48] how it looked to me. [00:03:51] And probably, you know, you're a good Christian, too. We are Christian family and neighbors were Christian. [00:04:00] Can you recall any other homosexuals and your father at that time? [00:04:05] Not sure. Although, by the time I was 14, I was discovering other boys who were interested in playing around and exploring. And so there was one to at least three other boys who I used to have exciting encounters with one in particular who was two years older than me, who we had quite a long term, play time with each other really, you would call it until my mother saw us Monday through the fence. And that the internet. And it was it was it was quite that was quite good. What did she do? I will, it was actually the day before my 14th birthday in the sky. And I had been you know, fiddling about with each other for a long time, probably two years by the stage. And we were going to stay overnight in our heart that we had done the back. Mom had bought me a new pair of pants and she came out the back and yelled down racks come up, I've got something for you. You know, she was really excited. And so we came climb down the tree out of our tree hard. putting our clothes on. The other guy put his arms around me and gave me a big hug and put his hands down sort of touched my tender parts and non soul that normally we wouldn't have thought she would call and I should go back inside. But she was excited about this new things that she thought to me. So her reaction was that this terrible, terrible things that happened. The guy who got all the blame because he was two years older than me, although if anyone was responsible was me. And that was the juice time really, because two years ago, and [00:05:53] I think we're allowed to play with them again. [00:05:56] So instead of because that night, we could be talking about that not only the he was going to try corn hauling new I'd found this thing called corn old and a book that I'd read, which is like, you know, man, fucking guy fucking another guy. So he was going to try corn on you for the first time. My initiation to manhood was completely delayed by my mother having seen me until I got along my fist long for trousers and stared because availability I'm really. So the next story, [00:06:27] which is the word qualifier. And [00:06:30] I think it's a Midwest sort of new American Midwest. So I really don't have some cowboy. But there was a young another young guy. It was quite strange. I don't know where I got this wrong, but there were, there were intimations of homosexuality all over the place in the culture. It's just wasn't. I mean, it must have been a book in the library. I wouldn't have Sydney [00:06:52] there's no internet for me to access. So yeah, around that period, and I'm thinking in the 60s we had the Charles over heart killing in Christ Church. That was quite a big media sensation. Did you know anything about the chance ever had [00:07:09] a conscious memory on what has to do with since then? And possibly more to do with when I became bored with go live in the light blade run? 70s. So yes, at the time, I don't know I don't know that I was really conscious of it. the only the only things I became really conscious of tended to be things like that happened in New polis. Like the hazing rituals, what do they call it? We call it a museum not isn't. So American term, but you know what? They all look like the older boys did the younger boys a new pants Boys High School, and there was a lot of homosexual homosexual carry ons going on near. So there was huge scandal about that. How disgusting. It was no worries. [00:07:56] Yeah. Can you recall what kind of year that was? [00:08:00] No, but I know that I was still at home. So it was certainly before 1968. Yeah, that's really all I can remember. Sure. I love you. And even signaling net that came up more than once, I think. The terrible things that the boys are doing to each other new plans, Boys High School. [00:08:26] You mentioned just before gay liberation. And I'm wondering what what what involvement Did you have [00:08:31] gala? Well, initially when I can't talk them, because this was 1969 1970, I guess this was very soon after the fires it started from Stonewall. And at university, I met Nigel bounder and know who you've all calling. So I can remember sort of being involved with the dogs. Talking with him about things being bold and 10, we had marches and like, I didn't get involved at that stage in much an organizational way. So it was just going along and doing stuff and being involved in terms of you know, as a participant. [00:09:13] So what kind of things were happening in gay liberation, what kind of actions and stuff we're being undertaken in the 70s? [00:09:21] You know, I don't remember to I don't remember too much about that. I remember going on marches on Queen Street, [00:09:32] at least twice. And that was all very exciting. And [00:09:41] I remember talking a lot with people, [00:09:44] particularly people, other people who are involved with scalar ation, but I don't have a huge amount of memory about and we are talking more than a quarter of a century ago. Yeah. [00:09:58] Can you describe what the club it was? Like? [00:10:01] It was it was conflicts, actually. I mean, on the one hand, you had the fact that homosexuality was illegal. And there was there was a caution and, and a slight paranoia about being found out on what would happen to you and, or what right what people could do to you, if they chose to. On the other hand, there was sort of like an almost striving determination that we were going to be who we wanted to be. And it was about time for the world to change. And don't get in our way, because it's going to change whether you live or not. And we've felt pretty good. I felt pretty confident about that. And I think other people felt confident it was like our time has come, we're going to push your head from here on. So and I also remember that, that as probably always absolutely regeneration, there was a slight live this not distasteful, but this favor towards the way guy had been expressed in the past, like the the adoption of female names, which just seem to be totally endless. want someone to be a drag? to just get every game and a female name does seem to me absurd and silly and irritating, really? And, yeah, it was like, Okay, now we can be men. And we can be gay, too. So it was a lot going on. And it was all tied in with the general liberation, because the liberation wasn't just a gay liberation. It was just this general, liberation feeling that was coming through that whole time was hippies, and was music plant, The Beatles, I mean, all those people through that time, and Woodstock happened, and the Black Panthers and gay power, like all of this big movement was an anti Vietnam and all of this thing was moving towards a bigger, brighter future. So yeah, [00:12:04] it was optimism. What do you think drew you to the hippie movement? [00:12:08] Well, I don't know if I was really a total hippie. But you know, there were drugs around in those days, and I did partake of some clothes, and had some pretty extraordinary experiences. And also, there was a part of me that was very much looking for truth with the biggest possible T. [00:12:31] Solo. [00:12:33] And I think that I think that this is what quote, hippie hippie ness was about was, the answers that we had been given, we could see weren't really adequate. And we wanted to find our own. And we were going to do alternative things to do that. And, you know, so all of that film very much was who I was a person who I felt I wasn't where I wanted to carry that time. Yeah. [00:13:02] We come into the early 80s. And the starts to be this emergence of HIV and AIDS. Can you tell me when you first were aware of HIV and AIDS? [00:13:12] Well, I guess it was probably around about 1984. So I remember, at that time I was in relationship. I remember being quite shocked about the implications of what we heard what was happening in New York, and America generally, and the speed with which it was going and feeling almost a paranoia. And a certain angered God, because even though I didn't believe in God anymore, I just reserved them for being very, very angry with whenever things weren't going, right. And I was very angry. But as we were emerging into a sense of freedom for the first song, our lives, this tidal wave of damage was also coming in the opposite direction. Because it did look like it could be an incredibly dangerous thing for us as gay people, and also as afraid of what might happen to us socially, if we became pariahs within, you know, within our culture. And I have to give credit to, I think a lot of the activists, particularly in America, who managed to control [00:14:26] dialogue around HIV AIDS very, very well. [00:14:30] And played it very much to our, to our benefit, which is, should have been [00:14:37] wondering how you first heard about because, as you said earlier, that we didn't have the internet then what kind of communication with like America? We did you have? [00:14:49] I think that for me, that probably was just in the newspaper, maybe on TV. My boyfriend and I were not strong involves the gay community, we had lots of friends. On occasion, we go out to clubs and pubs but we weren't strong involved in the community, per se. And so he's just going to be in the in the general news, or maybe other gay people told us about it. [00:15:18] As far as I remember. [00:15:21] Can you describe for me what the kind of like a sense of community there was in the 80s? And kind of gay culture? Is it a strong sense? [00:15:32] I guess different people gives up different answers with it. For me, it wasn't as strong as well, it's complex, isn't it? It wasn't it was, I mean, most of my friends, most of my closest friends were gay. And I was also very aware that there was a consciousness or sensibility that say, if you had Pepe around for dinner, or whatever, that only gay people could share, and gay people seem to pick up on it automatically. Whereas other people would sort of like others to a or not understand. Or maybe try and go along with it. But it could be a little bit embarrassing. So there was there was, there was? No, I think that's net, I think that's natural throughout the ages, that gay people do have an understanding that they can do that. That automatically evolved and developed between them. But in terms of the organized gay community as a solid entity, that really didn't exist to facilities at the pubs and clubs and out magazine, various owners, and those exist people going from from those people going from from those magazine, he had to get out magazine credit out magazine, at that time. Probably played the most significant roles in here in Auckland, in terms of giving people a sense of identity, whether whether people would debate whether it was a good one or not. This is another question. But they are very important for us. I think at that time, you know, [00:17:07] what affected homosexual Law Reform they have on you? And that was an 8586? [00:17:14] I don't know. I don't know. I mean, we were passionately involved and in it being passed. And so is it was a very, very great and friend while became an immediate culture hero for gay people. And, you know, and it changed the world for me at the time, not particularly. But I was very, very pleased. And when I went home, back down to New Plaza, my younger brother told me he had signed a petition against gay law reform, I was able to give him the most sound telling off that you could possibly imagine imagine. And he about six months later apologized profusely for Have you ever done that. So it was it was a great consciousness raising for people in New Zealand, as I think the marriage issue is now, but even people who fought against homosexuality, they had to deal with the issue and, and as an after the event, they've had to realize, hey, Well, look, here they are, and the world hasn't fallen apart, and all their children aren't being seduced. And [00:18:25] actually, some of these people seem quite nice. So. [00:18:30] So have you told your family [00:18:32] prior to that, that that you'll get you told me when I was 21, I came home from university because it was a matter of huge anxiety to me. Every time I came home from University on the way home, I get a cold, and I'm sure it was anxiety that created this. And so when I was 2021. So this was to be not to train in college. Anyway, when I was 21. I went back home from from Victoria. And normally the foreigner Sit down, sit among the something I have to tell you. And she said, Oh, what? And I said, I'm a homosexual. And I think she was completely taken aback. She found it very, very hard to deal with. But, you know, she was a very loving mother, she loved me. I mean, she was the sort of person who, no matter what I did, her love for me would have been impacted. That's what she said. She said, I'll love you, no matter what you've done. But, you know, I was happy. But I came out the inevitable did never talk to dad about it. But three months after that, that who had just got a franchise to sell motorbikes if he was going to buy me a finale motorbike. And I think that the intention of this was to make a real man have a sort of I had a real piece of machinery between my legs. I might not be homosexual anymore. I refuse because my heavy face. I said, No, I don't want worldly things. So he went for a trip to America and stared. So yeah, yeah. And then, when I did meet my first long term, my first long term relationship, Steve, Dad treated him when I went home to visit with dead trees. I'm like a son, he was quite fantastic. He could never, he and I could never have talked about my sexuality would have been impossible for him. But he was able to treat us with respect and care and [00:20:38] never worked out. [00:20:40] Just thinking back on the homosexual law reform, what impact do you think HIV and AIDS had on the way that that kind of played out? [00:20:50] will become part of the debate? Because the argument was that [00:20:59] people had to feel [00:21:01] safe enough to be able to deal with these issues. And that was also very, very true. So I think I think the I think the outcome would have been the same with the without HIV. [00:21:15] But it did, it certainly did in terms of the debate and, and entered into the base, [00:21:21] both with arguments for the pros and cons to [00:21:28] how did you come to the AIDS Foundation? [00:21:31] Initially, because I was working in those wrong, Rob and gone, names gone. But who set up the stop aids group. And they were there a couple of fantastic guys, and I joined that group was probably I don't know, eight of us may be working on it. And [00:21:55] then that was [00:21:58] and it was, was a project based on a San Francisco project, where it was like, tougher, we're on HIV, we would get people to host a party or an evening in their house, invite maybe a dozen friends, two of us would go along with this big presentation on HIV AIDS, what we have to do to keep yourself safe. So I was waiting. And then as a volunteer maybe for a year, I don't know, I was also on the AIDS hotline as a volunteer, they had a corn thing and you know, you'd give advice on that. And then a job came up for prevention coordinator for Oakland, applied for that. What year was the stop AIDS? I am not sure my guess is around about 1986 87. It was around that time. [00:22:50] It was that part of the egg support network. [00:22:52] It was part of it support new the open night support network with runners at the time is? [00:23:00] So did you work with Bruce Benny? No. [00:23:04] Bruce, by the time I got involved in the AIDS Foundation, Bruce had already passed away. So yeah, I didn't know you never knew him. Although someone who came over with Bruce and who was also very instrumental on sitting on the foundation in New Zealand. He's still alive down in Christchurch man living with HIV all of this time is Ray Taylor, who's a remarkable Rise, rise, rise a remarkable man. Yeah. [00:23:36] Can you describe for me, I guess the community response to HIV and AIDS in New Zealand. And, you know, when we talk about things like the AIDS support network or stop aids, is that being driven from the community or from the government in in what kind of people are behind that? [00:23:57] Know, the initial responses were very, very much coming from the in the community, stop aids was a community response. It was from people who were people who were community members who were not paid representatives, who were no way associated with government trying to do something to keep their community, their people, their people safe. And you know, that's, that's really where, where it came from, [00:24:28] initially. [00:24:31] And there's quite a lot of work done and trying to get the government involved. And of course, the government did become involved in and provide the funding for this thing became the foundation of into me. [00:24:43] Can you recall what it was like in those stop aids, kind of Tupperware party type situations, but you know, what the kind of response from people was, [00:24:51] the people who came along was very, you know, a very positive, everyone was, everyone was aware, this is a big issue. This is changing the way I mean, back in those days, game condoms not part of their existence. Because we didn't need them because we didn't get people pregnant, or anything that we could pick up one jab and you were fine. You know, you might get gonorrhea rose, or syphilis will be the worst, that was rare. And all you needed was a jab, and it was done. So here, it was something that was accidental mo and Ben was like, you're going to be dead within three or four years was the the apparent story. So it was pretty scary and pretty, pretty big issue. So if people would come along, and we will discuss this in some detail, and most people were really interested in knowing what they needed to do, how to be compliant, your questions will be asked. And only once or twice Was there anything that was a little bit off the wall? No, people remember one thing, and then saying, I'm okay, if I only seduced young boys, and they, you know, they're never going to have it. Oh, we had to go soon talking to that guy. Otherwise, it was pretty good stuff. [00:26:10] In terms of the makeup of the people attending, was it predominantly men or [00:26:15] I mean, we're we're just men just mean this was this was for gaming by gaming? And who were the complete target research group at that time? [00:26:28] Yeah, so no people turning up. I mean, [00:26:32] they would tend to be if I looking back between 1865, maybe the quite wide range of ages, but certainly with the bulking being in the 20s to the mid 40s. Yeah. [00:26:46] So what was the job with the AIDS Foundation, [00:26:49] the job was Auckland, but for the community support network. At first, it was [00:26:57] HIV prevention manager was the. [00:27:03] And so that was a job really to make. This This was again, a job specifically targeted of gaming, to raise awareness about HIV and to encourage safe practices. [00:27:17] And how did you do that? [00:27:19] Well, initially, we carried on with things like stop aids, we would have workshops, bigger workshops, that we will invite lots of people to be promotions, information out in the venues, lots and lots of lots and lots of different things. Using the current facilities are available advertising and art magazine. One thing I became aware of as I was doing that is that this is all very well it was actually working, it was doing some good stuff. But nevertheless, we're targeting a small proportion really, or Alyssa proportion of the number of people who need to be not need to know this stuff. And so this was always an issue on my mind, like, how do we get out to all the people who are out there having sex with men, it's a big group of people. And this includes a lot of men who don't identify as being gay, or a lot of men who would would identify being gay if they thought it was a safe thing to do. And also, research was showing that identity was gay community was one so good. So obviously, an identity was with the gay community because of identity was the gay community with two other really big important factors for people to successfully men safe six being safe. And so this began, it became an issue for me to like, how do we create that environment? Very early on, I organized to one Auckland, and one international once I national, gay lesbian conference, suddenly to start to work on making stronger community, I guess. And then a little bit later on to those and the initiative, which, which I've been working on for a long time. But we actually set up a community center, which I thought was a really fun thing to do. And it worked fantastically for while I mean, we had a 1234 story building down on Wall Street at one stage that eventually collapsed under the rise of community politics, I'm afraid. Suddenly. Yeah. [00:29:34] Talk to me a wee bit about how you design campaigns that target specific groups. And I'm thinking in terms of things like imagery and language, you know, the idea of being really forward with the language you use or being a bit more reserved, if you want to get to a different population, what were some of the considerations that you had to go through? [00:29:57] Well, there's, there's a lot of things because you've got, you've got, you know, within within the government, you have six have been, you've actually got a lot of different target groups. But then there isn't an annual case that the people who are most at risk, other people are out there, going to the news, having regular seats was was lots of other guys, and who are quite sexualized them their attitudes. So certainly there's, there's a need to, on a core level, address those guys in a language that actually suits them. So I mean, a lot of the adverts were very sexualized, gay positive. There was always there was always an issue for me, which I don't think we ever really addressed very well, because we also, this was one of the things about HIV arriving. At the same time, as gay liberation, on the one hand, here, we were up, we're free, we can do what we want all the restrictions of the past gone, when you can have sex with as many people as often as you want, whenever we want, however we want and there's nothing wrong with fat. You know, that attitude doesn't sit very well with the fact that we have this thing called HIV, it's a little bit like what Eminem Venus in the 716 1716 1700s we've been a suddenly became this city of, of sexual pleasure for the whole of Europe. And then syphilis developed and Venus and decimated Venus disarray and spread throughout the whole of Europe. Very similar story, in a way, it was like this incredible freedom gets undermined by the consequences of that freedom. And I'm not talking on moral on a moral issue here. This is just a simple reality. So years, but there was a real, there was a real question around relationships. And what do we do? I mean, if two guys for them love and decided to go into a monogamous relationship, so I'm going to be pretty safe. And maybe they don't even need to wear condoms. But to say, to even talk about not wearing condoms in those days was like, here's the really, it was like, condoms are so here you like to talk about, you know, not wearing condoms. And monogamy was also a little bit heretical terrorism, the gay community. So there were these big issues that were being thrown around, you know, I did this very interesting survey. This was actually after I litigators Foundation, and I was asked to do a speech down the town hall about how the gay community is dealing with HIV AIDS. And to do this, I decided to do a very unscientific survey. And I asked 30, I think was 30 million. And I asked them two questions, and I specifically chose, then I slanted my head, my target group, which makes it even more surprising the result I got, I specifically chose men who I knew were having a lot of men who I knew having a lot of seats going up, you know, really enjoying having a lot of sexual relationships or sexual encounters. And I asked this question, I said, if you had the choice, when you were born of having a lifetime, where you would meet one partner, who you would stay with for the whole of your life, you would never have sex with him would be good. And you never six anyone else, but you would have a good relationship that would always last. [00:33:40] Or [00:33:42] you can have sex with anyone you like, anytime you want. And the six always be fantastic. What would you choose? I was expecting that, you know, then I thought the bulk, there'll be more people choosing the relationship. But that would be a lot that would choose the six every time. What amazes me as though is 30 Min, only one, only one said he would rather have the six. So somehow, somehow a second, you know, deep down in our psyche, deep down inside who we are as gay men, maybe the community, mainly this, this community that we're developing and showing is not feeding what our deepest desires are, maybe we need to address this issue of supporting relationships. So that's a bit of a sidetrack on. But yeah, that was a big issue for me. [00:34:35] Describe for me some of the campaigns that you undertook as a prevention manager. [00:34:39] Well, there was one that I did a series of workshops that ran over a period of about three months. And there were I've had other people involved in running workshops, which were aimed at looking at all sorts of things like self esteem, managing safe sex, erotic messages, looking alternative ways to enjoy yourself sexually, as a large does a large number of them. I mean, that those things like that worked really well for the people that got involved in them. And there was some obviously, you know, people would hear about it know about and talk about it. But you still had this problem that they weren't getting out to lots and lots and lots and lots of people. And then. And then also, there was the big publicity campaigns, like the AIDS Foundation, not just me, but this was the foundation as a whole national level, in 1990, did have a very hard hitting campaign, which was really based on the notion of AIDS is dangerous, it can kill you, it's here. Every time you do something new, you're at risk, you know, don't fuck around. So speak. And this had a number of steps. And it had a very broad publicity. I mean, we've had some stuff on TV, and brightly and seven in the newspapers, and, and all throughout the gay, [00:36:16] gay venues, and the gay press. [00:36:20] And this was this was, I guess, the point where I started to think about, okay, this is this is all very well, people need to take this really, really seriously. But I think they are too, but really do need to. But there's something else we need to be out to celebrate who we are. [00:36:41] As gay men. No. [00:36:45] HIV is this horrible, horrible thing that's happened. And yet, we should we should be just joyous about who we are. And our sexuality should be an incredibly joyful, wonderful thing. So I'll be interesting about how what we could do about that, and then then also ties into that thing of like, with the imperatives that its inherent, it's really important that people have a really strong sense of community. research is showing very, very clearly that people have a strong sense of community managing Step six, be better. People have good self esteem about who they are, and then being safe, safe six weeks later. And so this eventually, my first idea was like, why don't we have a festival at the end of this campaign that says, okay, yes, it's serious. Yes, it's bad. But we are great, we can actually merge us, we're fantastic. And we can actually be lovers of each other in a way that is safe and wonderful. So this is, this is what eventually evolved into the hero party, really. [00:37:51] And it was quite amazing. But [00:37:54] you know, it's always different strains that come to give it and build the concept of hero and to into a very strong idea of the time. And it took the community imagination, which is great. I mean, I can remember, a lot of opposition to having a party a lot, a lot of opposition within the community. Now you ridiculous, this is totally the wrong thing to do. We will oppose it, from some groups from the community, lots of gay groups, but community. Yeah. And within a year, those people were just completely behind it, because, because at work, and one of the things, one of the things that I think would really well was just the very concept of hero, because we all our lives have been told that we're now when we when I had this group of volunteers, and I have to say that even though you know, I was the central organizer for this, I had this group of volunteers who were fantastic. And all these people were just like it. All kudos goes to all them, you know. But anyway, we were brainstorming about what are we going to call this thing and the things cannot sleep? No, that's not the right idea at all. Pride? No, that's that cliched and not not not quite heading where we want to go. You know, various various ideas came up in the monitors and on Batman solicit hero. And I was I really wanted. Because I mean, you know, the first thing you hear of a hero at that time was sort of like the muscle brain muscle bound, action man who's shooting a whole lot of people, which is about as long heroic as you could possibly get on live. You know, I remember riding driving home that night and thinking about that hero. And thinking, My God, gay people, gay people need to acknowledge they are their own heroes. And we are, you know, we grew up in this environment that has completely negative around us, we survived. We learn to stand up and be who we are. For most of us, we spend our childhood coming up so much in his is against us. And we managed to come through that that's not heroic, what is little kids growing up into for human beings who are able to eventually stand on the side, this is a YNY federal lumber security bag at that time, we were facing this incredibly disgusting epidemic. And we're doing it was great heroism. You know, I mean, the more I thought about that term hero, the more I thought, we are heroes, and we need to acknowledge it. And that by acknowledging our heroes, it's that we can heroes and we can start to acknowledge your own self esteem as well. You know, we can we can start to feel good, we really are. And then it was like, Okay, let's, let's make this not just into a party onto a whole festival, get more and more people involved, get involved, tears involved. And so I put a lot of energy into just talking, talking, publicizing, writing, talking, talking, talking, giving the idea at the end of the night, just snowball. And yeah, I was very happy with that way. In fact, it's quite interesting, I'm getting quite emotional organizers have ruined the summer. [00:41:26] Because I can remember [00:41:28] on the night of his hero party down the railways, and it'd been a hell of a lot of work putting it together. And, you know, this, the group of people put up together were just fantastic. And that one was that the first year I was tired again, and again, we had some of the women, some of the women from the lesbian community coming, feels incredible support for that. And I can remember, after all the effort, and all the work and everything, and this wonderful part of heaven, it was really, really good, right? And just standing there, my job had stopped. I mean, I was gonna have to close up my the worries and stopped. And just looking out at this group of people dancing and [00:42:17] and just feeling incredibly proud. [00:42:23] just incredibly proud of my people at that time. [00:42:30] It was a big emotions. [00:42:35] And yeah, I mean, I guess those those big emotions or emotions of love, really, it's just like, I love these people. I love my people. Yeah. And, of course, through all of that, I mean, we're using hero as a vehicle for the promotion of say CX and promotion. It was just was just really, really part of it. But more important than that was just this, like, realizing that you're over prison, realizing that you're a person who's who's worth keeping safe. [00:43:10] I think I think that's a very fundamental issue. [00:43:14] And so after, after the success of that, and not the group guys that I work with, they're fantastic. But I mean, you know, I had a job to do, right, but they were just all volunteers. And they put on a huge amount of effort and energy. And everyone was quite motivated by how successful it was. And we had made $5,000 profit as well. So not only had we had a very, very successful HIV program, wellness program, prevention program, but we've made $5,000 for there was a some might have been two times $5,000. But now it's $5,000 2500 meters prevention in 2002, later to a support coordinates works. So we decided to do another one. And it grew. And the second one, the second one was even more fantastic, though, incredible. [00:44:12] I'm wondering, I just want to rewind just a wee bit. And prior to the first one happening, why do you think some groups were NT having a festival or a party, [00:44:24] I think that they felt it was be would be a waste of money, that it's money that could be spent on support and prevention programs. And I think that was really what they thought, I think, I thought it that they thought it would be a failure and a waste of money. I think that's what it was about. And I'm having made a profit that were able to disperse even though it's meant to sell two and a half grand each is a very small amount now, but for us who are expect, you know, who have been told we're going to lose a whole lot of money on this venture to have made them profit was really good. And, and the groups that were skeptical for their own good reasons. I guess, they became really, really supportive for the next year. So [00:45:18] I suppose also putting it in context, because HIV and AIDS have progressed from the late 80s, to where you've actually got people, quite a lot of people dying now, in the early 90s, what was the kind of prognosis and what was the kind of the prognosis somebody with with HIV AIDS in the early 90s. [00:45:41] I'm trying to remember how easy it was to be around by then. [00:45:45] I'm trying to remember when, you know, the drug cartels really started and we're, it became like, a long term living with the virus. But I don't I don't remember, but I'm certainly then we felt that people could go pretty soon. I mean, I remember one person that he gave me on who I was given that in fact, I was given that picture as as a community thank you for doing hero to as a photo taken by [00:46:23] Neil troop of it. [00:46:27] And Neil, [00:46:30] about time we doing hero to him, you know, he was he was living with HIV. And I remember him telling me I might get a bit sob it's telling you this but to but and in hero to which was done, Francis was he had done a lot of stuff for us. And I remember him telling me how he went up somewhere and was watching you know, everyone, and just feeling so sad because he was not going to be part of this anymore very soon. Which is pretty [00:47:02] siren devastating. [00:47:05] Because he wasn't he was like Slipknot, they were just wonderful, wonderful men. Now the person was telling you about me it was no hurry and Nigel gamba. And night was one of the first person I knew who died of AIDS. And suddenly, I can sort of live in Sydney. And he was he turned into this little [00:47:25] shrunken [00:47:28] things, there was this incredible sense of humor, as incredible sense of irony and not enough. [00:47:37] Science. Yes, I think at that stage, it was so [00:47:41] different from the last one was a general feeling. [00:47:47] That must be such a hard kind of thing to deal with. Just the idea that, you know, it might only be a couple of years for for most of these, these people to live in indirectly is no hope on the horizon at that stage near [00:48:06] you. I mean, you on the other hand, you had people like I'm Ray, who, if I remember rightly, way back from 1984 was, you know, it was like, he was still going strong, up to six years. And it just seemed like, he almost seemed like a miracle, you know, by contract comparison to what was happening. So yes, it was very hard watching him was, and other people who had to deal with it themselves. But his wonderful thing called life and it's going to be taken away from me very, very sad, sad, sad thing. [00:48:44] So trying to garner support for the first hero, what was that like in terms of getting volunteers and getting the message out? [00:48:53] I had this team, I think about 12. And my AIDS prevention group, who were just fantastic. As I've already said, you know, they really, they had energy and enthusiasm, and we would meet once a week or so. And I remember, you know, we'd have a need for something we'd get someone else in, and someone else would come. And then when it got time that we had to start doing lots of, because really, the only really big thing we did the first year was the party, that was a very big party. But that's when we just began to actually put the party into place that somebody had to start drawing more and more people and they just seem to I don't I don't remember. I mean, it was probably just word of mouth from people. I don't remember putting a huge amount of energy into myself advertising or asking for volunteers. So I think it was just that enthusiasm, snowball, and, you know, groups of P was it all come along and help? Yeah, I guess. And hero, too. I mean, that had just grown so much that we put a lot of energy into making a volunteer group. And we ended up having over 400 registered volunteers, Leroy to just people in the community pulling the energy and it was fantastically great. I think. I think that what hero did for the community. And the community sense of itself, at that time was very, very good. Very good. And very important. Yeah. [00:50:32] I don't remember Dina son, pals ideas, Denison Stewart of [00:50:38] who would run the clubs and pubs here and open for ages and Dina's came up to me and said, You know, this has been the most fantastic night of my life. And that, just that that was a pretty incredible moment, you know, just to hear that from him. was like, Dennis arms, glad to be able to give that to you, you know, just quit. [00:51:07] So it was here actually, based on nothing to say from overseas, how the idea came up? [00:51:12] No, not really. I mean, the obviously there was a thing, you know, and suddenly they had Mardi Gras. And so the community visible, that notion was there. But in terms of in terms of what hero was trying to do, neither was nothing that I was aware of, anywhere else in the world like that. And the notions of, of the hero, as has been significant, I notice that actually began to be taken up for a while, for a while afterwards by it overseas by gay magazines in the way that it was pretty much a home run, you know, but from the, the idea of apart in the physical, just the event apart from that it was pretty much 100 idea. [00:52:03] You've mentioned research a couple of times and one of the people that's kind of been with the AIDS Foundation from the kind of doctors Tony Hughes, can you talk to me about the importance of like, kind of facing stuff on research in Tony's work? [00:52:16] Well, I'm Tony and I didn't really have too much to do with each other in my work with research was my knowledge of research was through my own reading. To a certain extent, it was a very strange situation. Back then, there had been a lot of conflict between the support networks throughout the country, and the national organization called the AIDS Foundation, which was the overall governing body and we were both the support networks were in a sense strangled through a period of time, including this Hangout, which caused a lot of resentment. So a lot of what I do was actually off on the bet that I can't intern Tony's, what Tony was doing, was more than more than more than any other level that I was aware of, at a governmental level, official level. So he was he was he in the South Asian working to change policies and politics, which is really, really important stuff. But it doesn't seem to be a great connection between that work at the governmental level and our work at the community level. To me, I didn't I didn't feel it. [00:53:41] So did the first here I have a theme? [00:53:44] Well, yeah, just I mean, just really, that hero might be the hero that be that recognize your own heroism. I think we had a slogan, something that come as the hero you something. Remember, actually, you know, there was this quite nice group who, who was a psychotherapist, he worked with a lot of people with HIV. And I was speaking to her we went, we had lunch together one day, that's been driving back to Dallas it, you know, this whole thing about hero, it's really important. And you must find, when you're working with many of us see the heroes and the allies. And she came out with what became a seminal for me, and I'm not going to get it right. But I'm going to do my best. And it was something like for someone to go through what not gonna get anywhere near it was so good, what you said. But she said, for someone to go through all the difficulties that, you know, gay people go through and people with HIV people go through to have the whole world seeming to tell you that No, you're wrong. And then to stand up and say, This is the truth of who I am. She said, that is the truth, Rosen. [00:55:02] It was I thought, [00:55:06] What a beautiful expression of what I was trying to get, you know, trying to do so. It was it was the same, like, recognize your own heroism. Only yourself love yourself. Yeah. [00:55:21] Have you ever organized something like this before? Not like that? No. No. [00:55:29] I'll organize community events before. And, you know, my ashram days, I was doing different, but nothing of this type of magnitude. And the irony of it is I'm not actually into parties. I don't like parties. I don't like gay clubs. I never, you know, I've been in suddenly twice for Mardi Gras on never been to the party. So I want to I'm not interested. So [00:55:56] there you go. [00:55:58] Describe for me the, the kind of setup, what kind of space did you use, and how's it kind of degraded, degraded if it was degraded? [00:56:09] So the first one, the second one, first one, the first one was the, the rushes, they're not, they're not there anymore. But I think the monastery very soon after the old rail shuts down, on Beach Road is over even the name of the road. And it was this wonderful shared was two railways coming in, with a platform in the middle of the platform, and I'll aside, but Harry Potter is really, and this big mess of space. And we managed to get an old steam engine to be parked there for as you know, part of our decor. And we built this bridge, this bridge of flowers and joy sort of overlap between the two platforms that people would walk across. And I think most of you, we did lots of lighting. We had john Draper who, you know, as a matter of he died Not long after that, but he was, he was fantastic. You know, there are so many people who are fantastic. I mean, there's just so many, you know, I could spend the whole time just giving names and still going, [00:57:25] you know, [00:57:28] and we had a stage over there for this show. And [00:57:34] different things we had different. I think the one side was sort of light for the dance for and the other side was more for prominent sort of area with food and drink. And they're like, yeah, it was really it was, it was good. And lots of enthusiastic people. I mean, that's the thing that I remember not so much. Not so much the place. But the people you made it happen. Let's see if we does it. Yeah. People were there. [00:58:11] The hero hero to developed and do here, here, it was an extraordinary event. Just again, look at the people, the people, the people, the people are really, really great. And work broadhead, who has been, you know, fantastic, really came and he sort of did the overall direction of the party show. And we have a very clear theme in that which was the theme of the hero's journey. Joseph Campbell, this was another thing part of mine. So research and doing this was Joseph Campbell had written about how our own personal development is, is what the hero's journey is all about all these heroes stories from Star Wars to the Grimm Fairy Tales, all of these heroes stories are reflections or analogies of our own personal development. And so what I wanted to do was create this whole space that would reflect the hero's journey, the journey from darkness into into empowerment and life and, you know, living happily ever after of for gay men. And also this stage, we had decided that a lot of discussion about it, we decided to make this again is being event, because it's like, okay, we're going with, you know, we want to set this up as a broad community, the women have been fantastic. The community is going to be much stronger if we see it as a game as being community because they are part of that community. You know, I mean, there's issues always always, but yeah, so it became a gay and lesbian. Bianca has been through the head, and the hero's journey we had today, Martha and Michael Palmer, play the hero, the archetype of hero, and he had to go, he had to start from a place of darkness, and go through lots of challenges and things that gave me in phase, you know, people calling him failure and queer know, the dangerous things and they meet some good people on the way. And there's a journey to come right around the inside of this massive venue that was sort of about three stories tall inside and, and, you know, saw that he was up in the air. So it was, at one stage you he was walking across people's IDs. And at one stage he was on the swing underneath the water fountain, and projected by laser as the founder all these words like queer faggot, you know, that does it and the really negative words that gets around that go people and he just sort of like the characters became cow between the these all these things like the damage that those words dude was the concepts. And then, and then he's just sort of like, came out like, No, no, no, that is not that is not who I am. And I think that that say he did a Freddie Mercury song. Suddenly, it was one of those songs with filmmaker, he says, I'm going to classical music. So I don't even know what the song is. Anyway, it was one of those sort of like heroic, you know, big sort of like, wow, that's fantastic. So the songs, and then hey, and today I met I've came from opposite end up walking on plants across the head of the audience that were being carried by people. So they seem to be walking across the sea of all the game in town, I had these big wings on because he was like the angel of love. And they met them in the middle, and then sort of hoisted up into the light together, as you know, people just want over there. It was just it was fantastic. Really, really well. [01:02:05] So yeah, that was that was the thing that [01:02:08] in that secondary was it held, [01:02:11] there was a princess Wharf. And what's now that big hotel ship sort of thing. me so we hit that along being there. [01:02:20] We haven't really talked about crowd sizes for the first couple on the first one, how big was the crowd? [01:02:26] I think [01:02:28] it was about 1500 1500. between 1500 and 2000. I think we got for the second one went up to 5000 people go. So it was a big party was fantastic. And how [01:02:45] thinking back to the first hero, how supportive was the foundation in doing something like this, because of it had never been done before? What was the thinking in terms of what you were trying to achieve? [01:02:59] Well, of course, a nice foundation employee. But nevertheless, as, as an Oakland community person, my experience with the eyes Foundation, right from the beginning, had been that every project that I or the community group Brynn was run under duress, and with a lot of difficulty. We had to fight for support. And same for me quite often, sometimes it was not enough support. And there were times that I got into trouble for going ahead with projects. Before I got approval, because approval was not coming repeatedly repeated, repeated. And then I realized they weren't aren't going to approve this. So I'm just gonna go ahead and do it. I don't I know that I know that there have been statements somewhere. Someone has said some stuff about this quite controversial about his family, lack of support and what we had to do in order to go ahead with it. I don't remember that specifically. And I'm sure that person would have told the truth. I don't remember that specifically. All I know is that it was actually quite a fight. It was politically politically fraught, as always, but I mean, once it became as, and I guess it from their point of view, they were just really concerned with protecting what needed, you know, they had, they saw things the way that they saw things. And it seemed the right way for them to be acting to them. But, um, yeah, in the end, I mean, for the second year, they were very supportive. And what happened here, I became the flavor of the month. And it was seemed it was saying that it worked. And it worked very, very successfully. So after that [01:04:51] my organization became very supportive of that. [01:04:55] Box would the differences between the first hero and the second hero? [01:04:59] Well, I'm, I think the big differences were [01:05:03] that the first the first year, I had set a foundation. So we built on that foundation. The first year, I had been singularly targeted a game in the second year, I became much more broad, it's targeted at lesbians and, and bisexual transgender people to to an extent. So it was sort of growing outwards, becoming more embracing. So it became not just an AIDS prevention target, but it became a community often community building for you know, those who chose to see yourself as queer in some way or another. The party itself became much, much bigger it was it was a much bigger production and it had some pretty amazing things going on in it [01:05:55] and [01:05:57] also, more things began to happen I've been around it like this and the festival like I think here at garden started that year. Maybe that was the year that the hero rugby team got going. But there were more there are more events building to happen around the the party itself and what about the parade when did the parade start hitting the parade size of the following year. So at the end of that year after hero two I became quite a little which I thought was just which I thought was just Bernard that turned out to be chronic fatigue whatever that is. I still don't seem to have it and but I did I did realize that I wasn't gonna be able to carry on this job was a huge job. And I had Scott Johnson who had been the party coordinator the before and Bruce Kilmer so who have been treasure they the train them pretty much took it all with the support of other people and I saw played a part on the side but was it definitely sort of pulled it into the future and it was it was them who were responsible for bringing making the parade happen and I mean what was really great about the praise because i think that i think that hero to had been fantastic within our community but the prayed actually forced this issue out into the wider public in a very brazen blazing proud excellent way it was very very good. And I think that you know, what was what's the name haze wandering around with is the whole city can taking photographs of men and butt naked bombs and chats so that you know what isn't this just i right here as this man good Christian city councilor so outraged by the fact that we have get that we have men's was naked bottoms and their chest and public view that are all you have a few say in the private How much do you see them in the bottom open passengers? Not very much. He took really close up shots gave the TV so these naked pictures could be plastered into every TV loud lounge in the whole of the country and much bigger view than you'll ever ever see in a braid just so that people could be outraged idiots [01:08:28] morons anyway [01:08:33] Do you have a practice good practice good [01:08:37] and that the second year I did a float and I had the energy to do a flight and again great group of volunteers and it was just great fun just working you know this time I was a volunteer in from the you know the stop it sighs all the way through here. I'd been a paid person but now here I was just another community volunteer again. That was great. I really loved it. I really love just being in there working with a group of people and doing it for nothing but love [01:09:08] those first parades with a three constantly [01:09:11] know the first two were through Green Street. And it was great going down Queen Street. In fact, if you asked me to vote I'd say saying Queen Street but I think the city council didn't really want us in there and got all his medals. And we will move that to quantum we are also people on the hero committee at this he favored quantum be right to satellites, our space. You know, I remember going to have a meeting with Les Mills, it was near the time. Now he allocated Cortana for me to discuss issues about my camera was was it was about it was about hero. Then it was about his involvement, the council involvement council support, and he had expressed his reluctance and negativity about it. If I were to go down and talk to them was really interesting that I went in there and I sat and talked with him. He's allocated quarter an hour, I ended up having about an hour and a half which astonish me that he gave me that much time. And I didn't manage as far as I know, to budge his opinion one little jot, that he didn't trench mine. So yeah. [01:10:34] That was interesting. [01:10:37] What was the council's response or support for the first couple of [01:10:42] years are the first one and the second one non existent? You know, we approached them it was just like, you know, get out of your favorites. I mean, it was like they'll say here or, you know, I think it was not until 92. And I remember her arguing with Israel, the Herald about the so they would not use the word gay. Anything that we did, it was a homosexual within a homosexual This is a big gay people use the word we will not use the word gay, gaming's happy and blind. And Mary? I said No, it doesn't. Anyway, telling people you know, we did yeah, it was just hard work. We can sometimes with these people. So use the council was not very, very supportive at all, at the time that it was very conservative council with Liz Mills, and what's his name? Hey, who was this Doug? Doug, hey, was it I can't remember whose father had been the one when homosexual war form was happening. This is so good. This is YB for the first time since World War Two form. And his father who's got a house overlooking the sewer ponds in Hillsboro. And he said he was sitting there his house one night, in his this isn't the hero. I mean, it's all that articles still searchable and the hero, and he heard this voice calling out. And he got up from his chair, and he ran out of the guard and above the serpent and extremely sounds Why is it I Lord, what does that want? And the LORD said unto him, Keith, I have got want you to lead this fight against homosexuality, you are going to stop the homosexual or form. And the man was a lunatic. There's just absolutely nothing, nothing, nothing. Nothing. Just extraordinary. Anyway, it was the son, who was the one does he photographing bottoms. And his son duck, I'm so pretty sure was dying. Whether his whatever his name was, he was a man in his late 50s, at least by that stage just opens to solo. [01:13:00] So there you go. What was the the media attitude at the time, I mean, to hear I get on TV, [01:13:08] it was we did get this. I mean, there are people in the media who are really supportive. And individuals and groups within the media, we've got reasonably got the physio parties and get media coverage that I'm aware of, but I'm not even sure we look for it. We look for that, to promote it, but I don't think we wanted. You know, it wasn't an issue of trying to make it a public issue, instead of probably wasn't all heroes three, that the idea of being a, you know, a public issue became out there. But I remember the hero to that I was interviewed on the wharves, about about for TV. And you know, the interview went on. So yeah, I think the media, the hero, the hero 10 was incredibly conservative. I mean, it still is, to an extent, but a lot better. So we didn't get afraid on up from the hero. But then the first two years, plus two or three years, you know, these things gradually change, like gay marriage, eventually it has to happen. [01:14:19] What was the feeling you got out of the secondary party? [01:14:24] For me, it was astonishing. For me, it was astonishing, that so many people had such a great time. And it was astonishing that so many people came up to me and said, this has just been the most amazing time. And, and I think that what what it did was it just it just made you feel really good about being gay. And for me, it was like, being gay doesn't have to be this. I mean, you know, I don't know whether this is true or not. But I like to think that that the first two parties didn't have much door open dope and booze. And, you know, I'm a victim service. And so out of those good foods. I mean, I've done my fair share of drugs when I was a youngster. So, you know, don't be a hypocrite, but I really don't think they do a great deal of good. And I did not get the feeling that there was much, you know, you know, I mean, how the gay circuit parties sort of, in the late 90s, and the early two, hundreds became just fueled by ecstasy, all sorts of other things. I'm not aware of that happening at all much superhero parties. And I think that was part of what made them work. So well. [01:15:44] One thing we haven't talked about is the hero newspaper, special magazines that you will write to tell me about those? [01:15:53] Well, they were they were sort of, I guess, the way the vehicle to carry some of the messages sermon. For the first one, I can really printed thousands and thousands to first one, what probably had 32 pages or something in it. And it was all really about was all it was, it was built, it was written around the idea of reframing who we are as gay people, focusing on this idea of our heroes, and that you know, that we weren't victims. We weren't, we weren't [01:16:28] nasty people. [01:16:31] We were people who just had we actually arrived, you know, we're wonderful. We, you know, and so it had lots of stories of gay heroes in the past. And it had a central section of New Zealand gay heroes. And there was myself and another guy who retired who actually did most of the work on that. I think I and no, that was the second one. Steve, we've done. Steve, Steven. So you want to start then. And then it becomes very difficult because it was so many people who put so much energy into this. So the name one means to miss out to me. So yeah. And then for the second hero paper. Just again, it was it was made with the intention of enhancing and consolidating and strengthening, making that message resonate even more strongly. Which is, you know, self esteem, safe six, heroism all tied in together. [01:17:36] Yeah. Where did you find the time to actually put something like that together when you're also kind of organizing? [01:17:45] No, I didn't. That was that was sort of part of that was part of that was part of my life. And I didn't find the time, I had been told that at the time that I was going to be given clerical support, I had gone ahead and plan this whole party, based on this notion from the beginning, I'm a full time at least hardline political support, and never have enjoyed it. So I actually found myself really struggling, because so much have been said in motion. And I wasn't gonna let these balls job. So the only thing and during the day, I just didn't have time to stop. I mean, it was just constantly stuff going on all the time. So anytime I had to do the paper was overnight. And so for two weeks, I am the two weeks I worked every single night on the paper, and only sit do we alternate night. And at the time, I mean, I was enjoying it, I felt good, as it was exhausting. But [01:18:44] I was a driven man at that time. Yeah. [01:18:48] And at the end, I was a [01:18:53] reasonable amount of anxiety about my head. Fantastic person helping with the design of it. Steve Stevens, new economy on the end, on time. [01:19:07] Hero continued on for quite a number of years after that, I'm wondering, would I mean, would you like to comment on how our hero progressed, some, you know, after your kind of involvement, diminish the lever? [01:19:17] Well, I think, you know, I mean, [01:19:21] ever said to some people then that [01:19:24] everyone's gonna have their own ideas about what something should be and how it should develop and what it should do. And so it did develop in slightly different ways. I think that one of the first things that happened was the addition of the pride, which was just, you know, wonderful bonus. [01:19:41] One of the things are done and setting up the [01:19:45] organization to run hero and I was very, [01:19:51] in my mind was very clear about what needs to happen, it was you needed to have this group of people who I see that was like a board the hero board that self appointing but and the job, their job is to protect is to is to look after the hero notion. But the people running it should be it should be community. So the job is to appoint a director and into assistant director giving us his group of people to run it. So each year, the running of the festival becomes community empowered, but the ownership of it and the sense of the protection, the guardianship of it belongs with people who have been appointed because they have the skills to do that. And the reason I did that was because I thought the moment that top level becomes a community, your own thing, it'll be undermined by community politics. And it sure enough, it was eventually, you know, people began to the care that that group, the ball began to get more and more pressure to have community representatives on which they succumb to which eventually, you know, weekend, mother's my view, we can the vision and genomic know things happen. Like, it seemed to me that more and more people got paid and listen is people volunteering, which also doesn't help. And when that happens, commercial issues become more important and ideals. But I shouldn't even say all this stuff, because because on on the most basic level, everyone who did it, everyone who had a part to plan at the did what they believe was the best possible. [01:21:40] This is a wonderful time and wonderful to us [01:21:43] through that. Yeah. So when you look back at your time, in those early heroes, what are your proudest moments? [01:21:54] You know, my proudest moment is is actually that one time on hero one. Looking at all the people looking at what the you know, feeling pride for the people who had been involved the group of volunteers and feeling pride in being one of these people being one again, man in this group of people. That is the one that immediately springs to mind. For me. Um, but in talking about, you know, there are a lot of other things like, I guess that there are moments of prior to like, going to the first Memorial first aids Memorial that happened in Auckland, and I can remember the person who was a vicar who spoke, he spoke he gave a reasonably long sermon acknowledging HIV and how to wasn't always look, the whole set and he never wants, even intimated that this was an issue affecting gay men, even though the only people just about having the disease at that stage of gaming, which I found really confronting. So when we got to speak, I got up straight away and talked about Nigel, who had been beyond said that one of my first lovers Nigel Ballmer had died from HIV and how proud I was of him and everything that he had done. He had been the first sides excellent activist I've known in New Zealand. So I felt very attracted to [01:23:45] and I mean, pride, I guess those I can't, you know, those two do stand up as one that's a pride. There's not many more than I'll actually say moments of pride. It's a pleasure or joy, or satisfaction or, you know, a sense of achievement. But I guess those two, those two amounts of pride, one being, I'm proud of it to be in this community. I'm proud of these people that I work with. And the other being, I'm proud of this one man who died of HIV and I'm proud of myself for having the guts to stand up and say, Hey, this is about this is about gaming. Don't Don't leave us out.

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