Mark - South

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[00:00:00] This podcast is brought to you by pride enza.com with their support from the rule foundation. [00:00:07] How would you describe your identity? Okay, male [00:00:12] student, I don't know what [00:00:16] the language is about to describe sex orientations change much every time. [00:00:23] I think so probably [00:00:28] wear a position where we can use the word queer, probably more. [00:00:34] Like appropriately. [00:00:37] Even though I know in the UK, it still hasn't been sort of, like it's still an offensive word. But I also know a few friends who they identify as like homosexual women, but they don't identify as lesbian. They just don't like the word. And so I guess we are in a bit of a different place now. [00:00:55] Yeah. When did you first become aware of your sixth plantation? [00:01:00] I think about the age of 15 ish. [00:01:06] It's kind of hard, though, because [00:01:10] I come from a really very liberal family. And we've had like quite a lot of gay people around. Like in my upbringing, my gay friends, my parents and things like that, and they always stress that it's fine. And so for a really long time, I wasn't sure if, because I was so accepting of gay culture, I guess, that I never really thought about it. I just kind of was like, Guys, okay, straddles. Okay. [00:01:44] And, and then I? [00:01:49] Yeah, I guess I remember, [00:01:51] sort of, [00:01:54] funnily enough, I was watching porn. And I remember thinking, I'm more attracted to the guy and the girl. That took me a really long time to sort of, you know, properly understand that. And for a really long time, I genuinely thought I was bisexual. I know that a lot of people consider or used by sexuality as a stepping stone. Not to say it like, obviously bisexuality is, you know, by generally thought I was only because I suddenly had this interest in the other sex, but I think because, you know, heterosexuality it's just everywhere. And it's not as much shoved down your throat, but it is very much like the norm. And so for a really long time, I just thought, you know, I was both should have gotten on that I wasn't interested in any of the girls in my school. But, and then I think I properly sort of accepted that I was, I was gay, not interested in girls [00:03:04] around the age of 18. [00:03:07] And when did you have a coming out? [00:03:11] Kind of [00:03:14] I came out to my, I think I came out to my friends first, a few of my really close friends. No, sorry, I came out to a friend in high school who was by identified as by and I remember talking to him about it. Actually nice. I'm gonna rewind once again, there was someone, a friend of a friend who lived in to meet him, and he was openly gay. And I remember I was just talking to him on Facebook. And I was just like, Hey, I think I might be gay. And I felt like I didn't really know this guy. And so I felt like a kind of console in him. Because he would just sort of, you know, he didn't know much about my life, I could just talk about it to someone who was openly gay. And we just kind of chatted about it. And then that made me go and talk to that friend who's in my school who identified as by, and I talked to him about it as well. And he just kind of told me what it was like for him. And then I guess it's kind of that snowball effect of the more people I told the easier it kind of got, especially once I told my closest friends, because that was, you know, those are the people that meant the most to me, in terms of my friend group. And then, my first family member I told was my sister, my parents had gone away for a few weeks, somewhere, and we were eating dinner, lasagna, and I was telling about a story about this guy who he was sort of like, he on the rugby team. Very, like straight, and really lovely guy, and like a good friend. And we were all quite intoxicated as a party. And he just got like, quite close, and not inappropriate things. But he was he was, you know, crossing the line of what you just do to like another guy, Fred, and if you were straight, maybe in the other, you know. So I remember thinking, I wasn't quite as strong as he was. And I remember thinking, I'll tell him to stop now, because he's gonna severely regret this in the morning, just, I knew his other friends, they weren't going to be particularly accepting if he suddenly was outed, or anything like that. So I just thought this wasn't particularly a good idea. Maybe I'd hit him up about it the next day. So I did. He was like, I, I think I'm by I don't really know what to do. And he was really stressed out about it. And so I was telling my sister the story. But as I was, the reason he sort of like started coming on to me is because at this point, I was relatively known to be openly outta High School. And I was telling my sister the story, but because I hadn't told her that I was out there was sort of this like missing link in the story of why he'd be coming up to me. And then I sort of got to the point where the link was just going to be way too obvious. And so I pause and was like, Is this about to happen? And then I was like, entirely, I think I'm, I think I'm attracted to guys as well. And then my sister and I really close with, I consider her one of my best friends. She's four and a half years older than me. So she's kind of always like being my, like, older sister, [00:06:56] in a protective kind of way. [00:07:00] And we must like kind of looked at each other. And then both of us just started crying. [00:07:06] And then both of us started laughing, because we were like, [00:07:09] why are we cry? I knew that I could come out, it was more of just sucking it up and sort of doing it. I remember, Alan was talking to Ellen Page. Generous was talking to Ellen Page. And there's, they were just discussing how you think for a really long time, you've kind of accepted in yourself, but you actually carry around a lot of shame. And you can't really pin what that shame is about. But when you come out, it's sort of like all of it goes away. And I don't really know the mechanisms behind that is, but I feel like it's just some sort of, I don't know, by not being able to, to openly say it, there is some sort of like that something is holding you back from it. Like why would you why would you not if you weren't somewhat ashamed about it. And so I think that maybe that's why I just started crying because I knew she'd be okay with it. And I don't know why I hadn't told her first or even, you know, when the idea first pops into my head a few years back. And so I think it was just kind of that release of finally being able to tell someone who's really, really close to me, and who would understand the whole time and be really supportive. And so we talked about it for a while. And it was really lovely. And it was just felt very natural. And then I didn't come out to my parents for ages afterwards, with a year and a half or so. But I, I'm also really close to my mom. So I was like, Well, I'm not going to go to uni without telling her beforehand. So I went and she was reading a book, and I sat down next to her. And I just sat there for like an hour in silence. And then she looked up and she was like, Mark, you literally just been sitting there just nothing just next to it. What are you doing? And I was like, I kind of got it. I want to talk to you about something, which was like, what's up? And I just told her after another long pause. [00:09:13] I was like, I, I think I said, How would you feel if I [00:09:18] brought a guy on rather than a girl? [00:09:22] And she was like, Well, you know, I wouldn't mind at all. And I was like, okay, because I think I'm bisexual. And she was like, cool. And it was a very sort of, [00:09:38] I don't know, I think she didn't want to do the whole. [00:09:43] We love you anyway, because that almost implies that there was sort of something wrong with that in the first place. I think that by know, mom's very stubborn and very opinionated person. She's so lovely. But I can just, I just knew what she meant by being so called about him. Because that's the thing is, that's how she raised me and my sister to see homosexuality is like, absolutely no, there's no difference between your sexual orientation, who you are and where you fit in the world. So there was that. And then I didn't come out of my dad for a really long time. Mostly because my relationship with my dad was a little bit [00:10:32] was fine. It was more just that. [00:10:36] I [00:10:37] he's a very typical bloke, he loves his sports. And he's like a bit of a builder. And I don't know, I think we just look very different people. The thing we bonded over was like action movies that we'd go and see at the cinema. And that was that felt almost like that was just about it. And there was kind of a lot of pent up hostility. And inside of me towards him, we used to argue a lot of the time about nothing in particular. And I think I can now pin that back to not being out to him. because ever since coming out to him, it's been fine. And I just don't feel like there's this pressure behind. At night. I used to just snap at him for no apparent reason. I think it's almost like I was this close. Just be like, I'm gay. And you won't understand. But that's just not the case. But it turns out, when I think when I came out to my mom, she was like, have you told Dad? And I said no. And she said, Do you want me to tell him or like how do you are you going to tell him? And I said, I don't know if I'm ready? And she said that's fine. But I don't lie. And if he asks me for whatever reason, he would ask me, I can't tell him No, because it's not going to feel right. And I said, Well, that's fine. And then so apparently, like a few like I don't know, six months late or something like that. Dad did ask mom and mom said yes. But then dad didn't come to me about it because he was waiting for me to come to him. And mom didn't tell me that he had come even though she swore she did. So I was talking to mom on on one night, and I told her I think I am gay. I don't think I'm by. She was like to be honest, I thought that the whole time I like you don't show any particular interest in girls. And I was like, cool. I feel like I need to tell dad in the foot like that. I'm anything and she was like he knows. To which I freaked out. I was like, watch [00:12:35] how long hand and she was like, for like, eight months now. [00:12:40] He's like, you kidding me? I told you. You definitely did. I don't know if you told me. [00:12:49] But no, it was really nice. And then I remember coming home after that. And it just was so it was like the ad completely clear. I don't know if mom had talked to dad after the phone call. Because my dad and I never like talked about the whole like coming out thing I just came home and just gave them both a massive hug. And it just felt really different. And I was just like, I haven't really argued with my dad since in you know maybe about like small because but nothing is as it used to be. [00:13:26] I know just talk about things, [00:13:30] you know, very comfortably about him and got my I had my first boyfriend and he came and met my parents and it was all just really natural. But that was my coming out process. It was very long and sort of stretched out. I think just because I just think because I was in a liberal family. It was a very it's almost a weird situation to be in because obviously it's lovely. And I'm so thankful about his how my family is because I know that that's not the case for so many other people. [00:14:07] But I think just [00:14:09] it's almost like I wasn't pushed to do it because it was just sort of like Oh, well. [00:14:15] I'm glad I'm here now. So [00:14:18] well, that's the demographic good. [00:14:21] So I'm from London originally. I went to Hempstead parochial school. And then when I was seven going on eight, we moved to New Zealand. So that was in 2000. And we move straight to Queenstown. And that's where I lived up until going to uni and maiden. [00:14:42] So yeah, just grew up in Israel. [00:14:46] Do you think it's harder or different growing up in the South Island, like Queenstown computer. [00:14:55] The thing is, I kind of see Queen sounds like a little bit of a jewel in the South Island, I [00:15:03] my experience [00:15:06] was pretty, pretty great. And I'm, I'm the Yankee committee here, and I've gone and talk to people. And I do gender studies. As my I'm in my honors year gender studies. And so we've done a lot of talk about sexuality. And I think in first year, we did a bit about education systems and sexuality. And I remember we all had to sort of, well, we didn't have to, but in the tutorial, we talked about what our experiences were like in high school, and my high school was very supportive, they encouraged you to take same sex partners to the formal if you wanted to. In year seven, so like first year of high school, Sky came around and took us all to the library. And he just sort of explained that homosexuality is fine. Statistically, three of you guys, there was like 30 of us. Three of you guys will be gay, which is really funny. Because the, to the the rugby guy and the guy who was identified as bisexual. What both like sitting there. None of us were out at this point. So it's quite funny. But yeah. So it was, you know, it was awesome High School. [00:16:23] Absolutely [00:16:24] amazing. And then I figured out Well, I discovered from other people telling me what their experiences were like in Christ Church, or in Chicago, that it was not the same, and it wasn't great at all. And it was actually quiet, like, terrible. Which was so, so upsetting to hear about. And it just made me really, really grateful for what I had to like I happen to experience I think it might be just because Queenstown has this massive influx of people from all over the world and you can't really be reserved about anything in particular you get people of all religions, all rights and will sexual orientations coming and go and we have gay ski week. It is just a very liberal sort of town in the middle of other towns that might not the [00:17:20] city experience kind of, did you see any differences and that when you move to [00:17:26] a different country? [00:17:28] I think the CI, increase down there's only one high school so it brings people it brings sort of everyone isn't the same high school, you've got people of every [00:17:45] sort of income bracket and [00:17:50] everyone, you know, any religion or anything like that, once again, it's all just in the same high school. And so I did actually have a group of people who, not nice way, and they did bully me and I, you know, they would yell faggot down, you know, the street or whatever. But it was drastically outnumbered by close friends, or just people who are very poor, you know, had positive attitudes towards homosexuality. [00:18:22] And [00:18:25] yeah, so that was fine. But then moving to Geneva, and I felt like that gap wasn't as drastic as to need and brings people from Wellington and Auckland to which I think are in general, probably a little bit more liberal in terms of this. In terms of, you know, LGBT Q. culture, and also people from places that aren't so except saying, and my experience of my whole, for example, there was a lot of homophobia. Turns out, like, I didn't expect to ever go back in the closet, but I did in the first semester of going to my whole, it was really surprising, because I was very, like in high school, I was so vocal about like, if anyone even was slightly bigoted, I'd be like, tear trying to tear him down and was very, you know, and I did, I didn't expect it, but I was suddenly just felt so it just didn't feel right. There was another gay guy at the whole that I was in, and he was constantly bullied. But because he, [00:19:36] he didn't. [00:19:38] He didn't make any efforts to socialize with anyone, he would stay in his room. And then he had his own separate friends outside of the whole kind of thing. And so it's almost like they kind of dehumanized him. And they used him just as like a, you know, they just targeted him because it was easy. But then it turns out that people didn't know about my sexuality, and no one cared. And I just was mistake, but that's I guess the problem with homophobia is that you don't know sometimes if saying all that's gay, talking about something, you know, you trying to equate it with, with the word lame. You just don't know. Especially if you're closeted. It was kind of eye opening, because I was always check back in the closet and sort of saw what it was like to see homophobia around you. And I don't know, it was it was it suck. But I did have also a bunch of really good friends there who are super liberal and really lovely, and very supportive. So but yeah, and now I have got a really large group of, you know, I found that the good people, Indonesia, [00:20:43] is it important to have kind of like a sense of community belonging? [00:20:49] I think so I don't think it has to be people who identify the same as me, personally, I just think it's people who are supportive, and who I know who I very sort of stable, they know what their opinions are. I need to know that if someone was, you know, if someone yelled back down the street that that friend, regardless of what their intention was, would be like, that's not okay. And even yell out. Some, you know, I don't want I just like that sense of sort of support, knowing that there is support, even if you don't particularly need it at that time, just to know that it's there is really important to me. [00:21:32] Yeah. And, and you feel like there's lots of support and hear [00:21:36] me, I think so. Yeah, I I think it's great. I mean, there's great support, and there's unique you and [00:21:45] yeah, I think it's, it's really good. [00:21:49] And do say you're feeling part of social media as a way that Korean people are connecting about their sexuality initiatives today. [00:22:02] I mean, like, I'm on the EQ page, which I post on frequently, there's also this Dinesen LGBT Q, sort of blog type thing on Facebook. They I'm constantly just on my own newsfeed and posting things. I don't know about news around the world or something that's to do with it. So I guess I'm relatively active in terms of that. And I see it, obviously come back from people who are interested in the same thing as well. So yeah, I guess I do see it. Especially with the especially with Facebook, to be honest, only with Facebook. Really? I mean, I see on Tumblr that I don't know how you want to describe your social media sites. But that's sort of more international, rather than I mean, Facebook is as well, but because I only know people nationally. [00:22:53] Yeah. And what do you think about how krim trans people represented in the media? And if we think of meteors, today? [00:23:03] I think [00:23:07] it's getting better in terms of a more like it's being represented more, essentially. And it's starting to feel a little less like, like, obviously, it is still a minority, but it's starting to feel less like a tiny hole. that people are, you know, considering that, yes, there are gay people walking around the three, it's not just sort of this, like, they'll be part of this community. That's somewhere, you know. So I guess that's good. I think trans people are still severely underrepresented. It's kind of hard, because I surround myself with people who are very active with with spreading this, like queer and trans news. on my Tumblr, I follow things that stuff is always coming up, but then for other people, because they are interested in it as to the degree that I am. It's hard to judge where, because I'm seeing it everywhere. But that's because I'm choosing to find it. But I still think it is very underrepresented, trans in particular. And I think transphobia is still a massive area that needs tackling, because I don't know, I [00:24:31] just think it's people are very ignorant when it comes to that stuff. So [00:24:36] solutions today, [00:24:38] I think [00:24:42] it's hard to know what the most effective solution is, but just to make people more aware. [00:24:48] In turn, I don't know, maybe it's just because I [00:24:53] don't know how to like, I don't know, what would be the most effective way of talking about it without sounding preachy, [00:24:58] or, you know, just under, [00:25:01] I want, in my ideal world, everything would be kind of normalized that they would, it wouldn't be a surprise to be like, this is you know, a trans female trans male, or queer or just anything it can it, there shouldn't be any, like surprise or shock factor to it. And we're getting there, I feel with sort of the LGV. side, but the Tate still needs, maybe more exposure or something [00:25:27] like that. [00:25:30] I it's hard to say, [00:25:33] and what do you want to do after university or kind of hooked? [00:25:39] Well, I've got my undergrad degree in psychology and Gender Studies, my post grad currently is my honors and Gender Studies. And next year, I hope to do personal trainers course. So somewhere in the future, I'd love to somehow combine mental, social and physical in one sort of, area, I don't know, I'd love to, like, have kind of like a wellness center that had a gym, but it would also have sort of support, and be very welcoming to everyone. And I don't know, it's obviously so far in the future. But I definitely have a really high interest in fitness as well as sort of like, social thing. [00:26:25] Yeah, somehow I want to combine them. But yeah, we'll see [00:26:29] how you feel about the magical the person who said something? [00:26:33] Yeah, definitely I was in [00:26:35] the room watching it being talked about was very important to me, I want to know that I can get married here, and I want that for other people. And I think that that's just sort of a reflection on the country's attitudes towards this in the first place. [00:26:54] You know, just I think by putting it in the open that, you know, [00:27:00] there were all these people who wanted to have the ability to marry each other really brought it to the surface. And for those people who just don't, you know, they're not unless they're not homophobic, but they don't involve themselves in LGBT q stuff. It really brought to light the issues that they might not have considered before. And [00:27:21] I think it just reflected that there are a lot more of us [00:27:27] than some people might have expected, and that it is actually, you know, human rights that were being sort of taken away. And I think that's awesome. And it's almost like a snowball effect. Because you just, you know, and then there was England, I mean, the UK that was doing it as well. And I just, it's, it's just awesome to see who's, like on the right side of history kind of thing. So, [00:27:52] yeah. And I think again, the message to other young people who are struggling with it, I didn't see you coming out, what would it be? [00:28:00] This is so hard. Because I think just everyone's experiences are so different. But [00:28:08] just the thing that helped me the most was having the support [00:28:11] of you, like just a few people and just to just to be able to trust them completely made all the difference to me, it just add, you know, talk to talk to someone you trust. [00:28:29] And it just, just that first step [00:28:31] will make it so much easier. [00:28:36] It's just I don't know, everyone's been such different situations. So it's so hard, because I hate to say the wrong thing. But for me, it was just taking it slowly. [00:28:48] And yeah, just [00:28:49] coming out to the people you trust the most is makes the whole world of difference. [00:28:56] And yeah, that's, that's all I can. [00:28:59] And maybe what's up, what's your favorite thing about being a great actress and living this up? [00:29:05] Um, I think the, it's quite exciting to be a part of something that's changing. Like right now. [00:29:18] Sort of the [00:29:21] LGBT q stuff is very topical at the moment. And it's really exciting to have the opportunity to really involve yourself in something you believe in so strongly. [00:29:33] I just, yeah, [00:29:34] I love that I can also be in a position where I'm comfortable with myself and I have my really close friends and hopefully, through that I can [00:29:45] offer some support [00:29:46] to people who might not be at the [00:29:48] position that I'm in. [00:29:51] Because I think that that's, [00:29:53] that's a really, really high sense of responsibility. And you can either choose to [00:29:57] take it on or not. And I think [00:30:00] what I like is just to be able to be there. And for everyone else who's in my position to be this beacon of war. [00:30:09] That it's okay and that it gets better and [00:30:13] that you can just be that [00:30:15] what I was talking about with that person that can support you, you can be that person for someone else. [00:30:21] And I think that's probably a

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