Teenage Years - Same Same But Different writers festival
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[00:00:00] This recording is brought to you by the same same but different Writers Festival in pride nz.com. [00:00:08] Good afternoon everyone. My name is Peter wells, and it's my pleasure to be chairing the session called teenage years. The teenage years, everyone remembers that passion and nx of this passage from childhood to adulthood. It's peculiar simmering power, and insight into the way the world is unjust and fear, and on the whole pretty ridiculous. As one gets older or less one gets more used to these qualities and tries to come to terms with it. But teenage years are usually when a sudden awareness of the gap between pretension and reality opens up vast as a chasm to talk about the strange and unsettling territory we have four experts with us this afternoon. Two of them were soldiers in the teenage years, those years along behind them, obviously. First of all, is Chris Brickell, associate professor of gender study. Sorry Associate Professor Chris Brickell, Gender Studies coordinator, Jim, gender and social work, University of Otago, and I'll introduce some more fully before he speaks. And beside him as Stephen older Greg, award winning author of spellbinding books, that are at times works of fiction at other times wide ranging and insightful glances deep into our past. And across the divide. We have Chris Jones, and her friend Alicia Parkinson, who will give us a sense of the power of teenage years by by opening this session, performing a power. But before this, please join with me in welcoming our guests. [00:02:01] Chris and Alicia, myself, I am sure [00:02:07] 10:03pm I love you already. I love you again. I love you. Strike boy for both our sakes. I hope your love is platonic. There's no way I can return it if given it so frequently for that I admire but straight boy, we only just met six hours ago and I'm a lesbian 10:04pm show in Japanese start boy that's twice with us. You are not taking my sin. He told me she take 10:33pm you said gorgeous You're so far and I want to study you You're so intriguing to me. Straight boy. The reason why I'm not like the other girls is because you only like the other girls. You can study me from a distance look but don't touch the masterpieces. 10:36pm you will start the age when you called me sweet. Hard to think the gates wandered off somewhere formed other words other sentences like homosexual like he is to the queers like hands off 10:55pm I mentioned that I'm a lady lover a gentle reminder to flirtatious straight boy he said Heck, then you by all hope is destroyed with one word lesbian 11:05pm for a glorious 10 minutes lesbian made the flirting stop. Then all caps GIRLY cranky face that's for I live in 12pm you can decide whether Coney Bay or not your work get too attached. You said so be so attractive release be and don't distract him. 1114 You said cute girly 1115 you said next Saturday girly? Oh even 16 you said Okay, go. Sunday. You blew me a kiss. You called me beauty. He called me beautiful. He called me girly. He called me girly. Again, that's nine. You call me girly one more time and I'll show you what it means to be treated like a woman. Later that night, you call them on the phone saying I want to get to know you better. Well, boy, you don't get to know me like that. Because I don't like boys like that. You said, Are you sure? Are you really? Sure. Straight boy. This is one of the things I'm very sure about. People like to ask when did you find out? The first time I used the word gay. I didn't know what it meant. I just knew it was bad. The first time I heard the word lesbian someone had said dirty before it. The first time I made the connection between how I felt. And the word homosexual was in a Bible. I spent the next eight years self inflicting conversion therapy you don't know the meaning of desperation until you spend that long trying to change everything about who you are. Because what you are is wrong. It's not forgivable, because you're so disgusting that I let him write me in the hopes that might turn me straight. That when it didn't let him do it again and again. And again. I stopped counting after 17 I thought I deserved it. My wrist will tell you that I am sure. I was sure when I tried to kill myself was still showing my friend asked why. And I came out to her. I was sure when I decided to love myself. I was sure when I got my first girlfriend. I was sure when this time finally felt right. I was sure when I told everyone else. I was sure when I told you. [00:05:34] Thank you, Chris. Thank you. [00:05:37] And we'll change gear here slightly by introducing our two main speakers in more detail. [00:05:45] Chris will be the first. That's great. Yeah. So [00:05:53] Chris Brickell, as well known as the award winning author of mates and lovers, which chronicle the gay, male homosexual and homeless social power another thing a whole hidden world and bringing it to light and contemporary analysis, through commentary and photographs. He has gone on to publish books which examine this rich vein of the past, which leads directly into the present. Some of these books are on sale in the foyer. His current concern, however, it's completely spot on with our subject this afternoon. He has spent the last few years researching the history of the teenage world of Arturo and New Zealand. And he'll begin the session by doing a presentation. So thank you. [00:06:36] Go. Well, thanks, everyone. I think we probably 10 seconds off the PowerPoint appear on the wall, [00:06:43] which has a couple of images out of my own family's photo albums which are not necessarily queer, but in some ways gesture, perhaps towards the possibilities. So today, I want to look at the idea that see, his historian suggests that bisexuality and adolescent experience have continuity and differences that are quite profound. What I want to do today is to have a look at three lives, one of which will be familiar to some of you and the other two, almost Susan Lee white. The Feast chair is free Gibbs who grew up in Nelson in the 1880s and Lyft, a diary, which lasted his lifetime, I haven't read all of it yet. The second is James carriage they came to be made who went on to be a well known New Zealand writer. And the last is surely surely l Boston who may have gone on to become a nun, but I'm slightly unsure about this. It there's a fourth traffic driven none week. So I'm going to look at Trevor last. So this material comes out of two places. The first is a shortish article that's coming out in New Zealand Journal of history in April. And the second is my 80,000 word book, which is coming out with Auckland University Press sometime late next year, depending on how organized I can get in actually getting the manuscript into shape. So let's start with Fred Gibbs, of whom I don't have an early photo. I've got a slightly later one. And Nelson late who chronicled his emotional life and diaries during the 1880s. So this was the period before the Oscar Wilde trial. It was a period when sexuality was both omnipresent and not particularly widely talked about in a public kind of discourse. Anyway, afraid stories that I think are fascinating and rich and interesting, really record the rhythm of his daily life, particularly his school life and his friends. The gene desegregation of New Zealand society in the 19th century has been very well discussed, debated and chronicled by historians, john Phillips, perhaps the most famously famous to do so. The romantic friendship, though a really intense in a sense of the non sexual kind of relationship and import from North America, in particular front frontier Society of North America, but also Europe, to some extent, really structured young people's relationships and some quite interesting ways young men as well as young women or young women as well as young men. And I want to start with a quote from 16 year old GIFs diary from a late winter's night in 1883. When he headed to a friend's place the day after he wrote two or three weeks ago, up to Jim galleys he alone spent glorious evening we are rather awkward with one another as he is extremely refined and I always feel a bore in his company. On the other hand, I much better read and a much better argue and T in a sensitive but to me, embarrassing way looks up to me for information. He professes to have no public feeling. But what I have seen leads me to think rather differently. On the evening referred to after Tommy got on a trick, I'm so enthusiastic but extremely reserved, and namely the influence of souls on one another mesmerizing beauties of art in secretiveness, soul and body, etc. Now, we don't know we're free, it's emotional life. And in the end, or at least I don't, because I haven't read all the diaries. But I think in some ways we can start to see that an emotional world but is congruent with the kind of world of young people who may well have been erotically attracted to others of their own six and I'm going to get onto a few more tantalizing pieces in just a moment. So these two carried out the discussion alone, and a an atmosphere of trust and mutual disclosure. Gibbs is interested in souls proof prophetic the next year which was at 94, and Nelson became extremely close to his schoolmate Fred Kelly, who tragically died soon after accidentally shot during school rifle practice. Gibbs told his diary of the friendship. Something so sad has happened. He began I dreaded putting it on paper. [00:11:19] He reminisces our friendship must have grown very fast. This was the time when I was so thick with RC I'm not sure who that is. He made more advances to me than I to him. We must have been very intimate in a way but he was not yet my chief friend. I was not free friendly with fried but show preference for see. I think RM into finding fried rather awkward coming home from school. As the awesome kicked me walking from as side by side water fall I was inside the scene civic kind of a friendship courtship kind of relationship. Between these too young men played out and Freed's diary after his friend had died. Advances were made intimacies exchanged and friendships ranked in importance. She had moments strengthen the bond, including rugby. These are really interesting unbeaten history of rugby to be returned. And New Zealand I think, who agrees? Yeah, it's really interesting. Rugby rugby matches were one venue through which this friendship was really kind of solidified. The swimming hole was another with Kelly and another lead joins the free Gibbs wrote about the formative moments and such spaces. We constantly start to talk now and again me raised and Kelly and I kept nearly abreast with giants far behind. As we got down. As we got close down by Hunter Brown's Hill, a beautiful sunset to sunset took place. Then suddenly remembering that the other two were in a greater hurry than myself to get home. I turned to the scene and Kelly in a simple way, expressed my description of the sunset and both declared I was a poet. We got down at dusk, hitting speed and most most delightful afternoon. In fact, it was the most breakfast time I ever had, and these intense kind of emotional kind of teenage moments interspersed with an intense kind of friendship. I really kind of strong in and gives this diary. I think he talks about him chasing his fiend friend. Also fried. I charged him with a tail as hard as I could go. But he but he dodged every time to suddenly I intercede, determined he rushed right into the head down and I caught his head between my knees by being chased him along the path. This is free gifts here a wee bit later, probably in his early 20s. On these walks in these spaces, he went to extraordinary lengths to avoid young women on one walk walking down Bullock superheroes nearly met girl party or rather feared doing so. So continued long and hard along the lines of an expert. So actually diverted is walking trick. And dances he there was one dance He attended and he said Are we into a dance to make it really hard to dance with a girl and just really like it much. So through these kind of interesting little hints, at least in his teenage years about where his kind of interests lie. A few years later, in 1987, he would have been about 18 or 19. He spent an evening with a colleague he wrote HN self necessarily interfere with one another. The most unfortunate result is that I get nervous and unnatural. And the concept of unnatural and 19th century life teens to refer to a kind of an erotic connection between me and gives neither married. I do know that much. So I think the 1880s are really interesting period Anyway, there's actually a more romantic kind of connection between young men than that we would say in the early 20th century by which point to kind of a more militaristic kind of masculinity really started to take over. James carriage who some of you will be familiar with Can you spot them here in the photos second from the left? began writing in 1920 some 40 years after GIFs This is significant because a lot had happened and met time. He was the son of a run holder he grew up in an Burley a town some of you will be familiar with and wrote a journal while he was a student at Christ college and cross judge [00:15:52] has increased the early years were introspective lyst about friends like glimpses and more about sense of difference from the norms of New Zealand masculinity and as far as expectations of having a son it would be a farmer. Courage focused on his artistic temperament he right of his love for music. What do I live for my music? Yes, he referred to the slight streak of the feminists see his love of dress to have nice clothes. He wrote and looks smart as one of my ambitions. I'm extraordinarily conceited. And I shall now put down my character as I see it by him fickle my numerous flirtations, show me about the cross that that out in his diary and physically is FP headed method too much. Maybe he had. Over the 40 years between Gibbs writing encouraged writing the romantic friendship Marblehead weekend, doctors and psychiatrists like headlock Ellison Sigmund Freud introduced the concept of sexual invasion and publicize this the can sit there kind of to human sexuality was first appeared in New Zealand about 1980 and coverage of the wild case. In 1927 carriage wrote about us, water repulsive shock one would case of a schoolboy HTC to one my father, one slate of Oscar Wilde didn't like the idea at all. He said sales England and really best fit can shift between an Antipodean colonial space in the center of Empire in the UK was a shift that enabled and allowed him to develop an identity as an NZH, which is one of the tunes he sort of took out. So wandering down the street in London, saw a sailor I think it was directly I saw him approaching up the road, something inside me switched on. I tried not to look at him. See vaping magnolias and the garden, that usually me roses. Then just as he passed, he looked into his face and saw a confident smile. My heart quivered like a hot light and the blood rush to my face. I felt lusty, but intensely embarrassed. I don't even know his name. And carriage actually rose about what he called his sexual nature and his diary diaries that were secretly suppressed until 2005 when the restrictions placed on the Rex's expired. is Peter discovered when trying to access carriages work the pre during the previous decade. There's a sister but want me to hear too much. So really, we kind of get to see the scenes of engaging with the ideas of his time. Conversations with his friends, were really really important and gave him pause for thought one mentioned on his day, challenge characters kinds of outside and as you listen normal than you think DC to be this evening, perhaps are applied, knowing perfectly well, he was speaking the truth and I was clinging to my differences. By the way, why is it that mean? D and I are alone together we talk about nothing other than six giving slightly heightened accounts of our own erotic experiences. Here's a piece of one of characters diaries. You can see he or his sister I don't know who they actually cut pieces out before they were deposited and the Hawking library difficult to know who that who it was who did this. Another friend, nine years in she had characters disquiet, he was upset because I see that a Picasso drawing of some naked Spartan us on horseback, which was about to buy for his room was an awful giveaway. He was scared stiff by the suggestion that it might be too outward and visible sign of his envision Good heavens is if the way he spoke to women wasn't a sufficient to give away. So this notion of the end of it the notion that one knows what an inverted is, and an invalid is obvious. You know, this is actually a long way from Nelson in the 1880s to London and New Zealand and the 1920s. [00:20:26] What about young women, the teenagers book is going to look at young women's and young Dean's lives and I've tried to get as much of a balance in there as I can get finding material on girls same six attachments is actually this is the field of characters sorry, slide is HD really quite tricky. And over about four years, I was reading the diary of surely l Boston, a student a wellingtonias girls college she began rising in 1934 at the age of 14 and is a page out of her diary. She was not interested in boys, in the least not even if her friend Valerie's john, who apparently had Willow eyelashes, you know as a dropping into, you know, flowing streams or some kind of description like that. She dismissed colon an alien boyfriend Valerie, she said it looks like a cabbage. So your column didn't appeal. There's this assault. There's so much to sort of thing I would have written in my diary when I was 13. I have that diary. I have not looked at it for this project. I sort of different and I feel slightly fraudulent because I'm now looking at other people's diaries but I'm not willing to put my own out there who sympathizes me with me on this. Okay, thank goodness, I should stop feeling quite so guilty anyway. Surely directed her affections to two young women. The first was Nancy, his school friend. friendship and a safe harbor with a way that surely wrote about Nancy. I've leaned on her all the time. She's been a kind of protection from for me from the outside world. She wrote it was like creeping inside a good hollow tree during storm, you know, you are safe the tree can never been. She knows that then. To a certain extent I Lisa influenced me this summer, incidentally, is not surely and it's not Nancy, and if it's not any of the friends and if it's not even in Wellington. It's from Methodist archives and Christchurch. And I just sort of like that kind of sense of intimacy. It is that the same era as 1980s emerge, and it was during a BB class camp, which is Alison Laurie writes, the thesis was one place where girls did meet in form close relationships. So Bible class is an interesting history of which I'm only barely starting to examine. The story also Chronicles Shelley's love and worship for road Gardner being in his 30s. And so she talked about how beautiful Rue was, how beautiful who dress was, I don't think I've ever seen her looking so lovely. The Dressmaker is such a lovely blue in the heat of the room at chick cheeks, so pink. So these kind of descriptions of here, adored teacher really kind of fill the diary and they really, really lovely and really interesting. Later surely we classify her attachment to rule as a childish adoration. But page after page of the diary, full of these kinds of descriptions of here at a duration for the teacher. The smash, or the crush or the parish was one form of relationship or attachment between girls at this kind of time, comes out of you in America in the late 19th century, and surely wrote about the Pesh. in her diary, she said that she said of a financing Olga, a Russian exchange student on exchange. Sorry, that's tautologies, a Russian student on exchange. Nancy was very thrilled to think that Olga hit such a pace on here, which you come from such an interesting country, but it's just the law of opposites. August so passionate, and Nancy, so resistant. So the kind of opposites and Miss scenes within the relationship between girls and young women. More about those wider ideas, thinking about the idea of envision is quite interesting. [00:24:45] There was sort of an idea that have or callous, popularized, as I mentioned it in that kind of sense that if you are a woman attracted to a man, then you must have some element of sorry a woman attracted to a woman, you must have some element of manliness in you and vice this. And there's one really intriguing pace in shoes diary when she sees Valerie white says that a particular teacher is neither feminine or masculine, which is rather horrid because it might insinuating anything. We know what it might insinuate. But there's no kind of point at which surely herself kind of worries or articulates this in terms of your own kind of attachment. She merely season laser diaries, his latest we have I really don't care about boys, I don't have any time for them. And his emotional energies are very much focused on other young women. wish there were more diaries like this, if anyone knows the unit, you know, I think they really gained start to map out the possibilities, the terrain, the languages, the influences, that young woman who did really want to to, you know, develop life around other women might sort of take up in a sort of a suggestive kind of way. Now, my last example, is another young man again, we could talk in the question time, I could talk for hours and hours about why it is that sources are harder to find, in terms of youth, young lesbian history, as opposed to queer history. Trevor Nunn week. I'm sort of vaguely we have a time so I'll just say a little bit about Trevor. of home I know a reasonable amount. I wanted to mention Trevor for two reasons. Firstly, because I sort of know a wee bit about his actual life and secondly, because he was holed up and Cortana charge. And I just want to talk a wee bit about the kind of circumstances in which a teenage boys might end up teamed up in the legal system. So your career and his friends, Trevor was an only child born in 26 grew up in Christ GHV to pepper new technical college. And with as a glove cutter, a window dresser, a ticket writer in a 1944 and listed for service in the Navy. But before he entered the Navy, Navy, here he is in his uniform here and here he is sitting on the things the face of the john Robert godly statue, the one that the heat fell off and that is quakes and crisis square here. So trader found himself in court in 1945. At the age of 18. We need gone to a pair ternary house to visit a friend teammate at St. Paul's church. He later told police he invited me inside and showed me to his bedroom in produced a number of photographs. He had taken those scenes in portrait studies. We were sitting on the beard, he undid the fly of my trousers and played with my private he didn't got me to do the same thing to him. And on another occasion, he returned to the house with four other chats with the appeared off of the different young men. So a fairly unnerving for pan kind of sexual expression now got them tangled up with a law. I can't tell from looking at the records how the police got involved. The probation officer recommended leniency this happened a lot and Christ judge in one particular circumstance. When the boys or young men were well connected from well off families, they would usually get laid off. So there's a real class issue here. One of the probation officer sees that see that none week had previously born an excellent reputation. He never been in any trouble in our meta count, I would wicked mean to be given another opportunity to re establish himself. All the youths were let go on probation in Trevor Lyft for certainly soon after, and eventually had some really interesting discussions with members of Trevor's family about his kind of Life to Live trajectory. They knew they knew of the arrest, they didn't know much about it. They didn't know too much about the circumstances that they did know that he had left for Sydney soon afterwards. There's another topic here of of trans Tasman queer migration, which I'm also kind of on the interest of being involved with the other young men they found themselves tangled up in [00:29:24] the lower with those [00:29:27] who were caught having sex with older mean. This again comes out of a Christ GH court file. I've looked through all the Christchurch CT files for the teens 20s 30s and most of the 1940s what went on here, this is cheating. This is not actually the Christ us keep it bad. So it's a photograph from the ward bars in Rotorua. But the basic setup is the same. These changing cubicles along one side, and youth and youth us and men would go into them in full around and unfortunately for them. Crisis tipa bows had one of the local newspaper editors was the moral police Nikita Dobbin everyone in and almost sort of a tractor made sort of wait outside the cubicles, they'd see every piece of fate they would see underneath. And then it shocked them to the source and stopped moving around the mic first a wandering microphone. Yeah, and so there's a whole sort of history here, which I've also written about and consumed the PDF to anyone who's interested off the kind of entanglement of young people and sexual relationships with older mean as well. So concluding [00:30:44] quickly, [00:30:46] social changes I think have influenced individualized quite profoundly are these include increasing access to secondary education during the late 19th century, particularly for working class young, sorry, middle class young people, with like, free groups we have social life has sort of emotional effect of life developed around secondary education. Most New Zealand young people did not have access to secondary education in the late 19th century. So there's that school boy network, school girl networks, the kind of world that surely opposite and moved on with scholars really central. and new ideas might be more including notions of sexual and vision, particularly James carriage, and to some extent, surely albertan young people talk with their friends about the sexuality, about the desires about who they liked, nothing's changed dear. Despite had an intimate interest, sometimes through school, and sometimes through this kind of regulatory kind of framework. And just sort of thinking about, you know, when the innocence one of the big questions with the project does the extent to which young people's lives have both changed profoundly, and also not still the process of working out who we are kind of negotiating with what's around us, you know, reading magazines, reading the internet, going to feed, all of those kinds of things that will reading Oscar Wilde plays, the influence is a change, but that process of kind of integrating ideas hasn't necessarily maybe it is Feel free to disagree course. And the kind of sense of negotiating and identity within the society that we live in, and the kind of tensions between the good bits in the shitty bits like trees, negotiating net relationship between the pleasure he had with his friends and being arrested and publicly humiliated. So you know, there's that will kind of thing between, yeah, really good birds and really shitty birds. I mean, I could go on, but I won't, I'm not allowed to anyway, fed. I think the electrodes are just about starting to get me under the desk here. Thinking No, I mean, in concluding conclusion, the past and the present, somehow foreign countries, but somehow also kind of not. And I think untangling the knot of how they are and how how they are not. That's too many knots, is really quite interesting to do. And I think that's one of the pleasures of doing history, including this kind of history is getting that kind of dialogue. And really careful kind of deliberate thinking through and not losing sight of the word for the trees, which is something I'm not always the beast it But anyway, I'll stop on that point. I think. [00:33:54] I've already mentioned articles and miracles as Stephen elder of Greg's remarkable novel much love novel. I'll just mention quickly, Shanghai boy, a work of gay fiction looking at what somewhat unflattering just unflatteringly described as the potato and rice relationship. But really, perhaps in terms of this session, I should concentrate on Stevens historical work. He started off of the remarkable book, pleasures of the flesh, looking at sex and drugs and colonial New Zealand, published when he for a long time ago, I mean, it was a fantastically early book. through two has some of his more recent books, diggers hatches and whores looking at the social and sexual anarchy of the gold mining fields and absolutely extraordinary kind of part of our social history. onto the great wrong war taking a decided tech against the received by now almost sacred version of our first one war past. David Hill, the novelist has said has said of Stephen, Stephen 100, Greg defies classification he can swap from the historical to the contemporary from lyric bulimic from fiction to fiction. He's unsettling as well as absorbing. Please welcome Stephen who will talk about the tormentor of the teenage years. Okay. [00:35:31] The 60s in many ways the 60s was the hinge. [00:35:37] They had been sexual revolutions before the 1920s for example, the 60s though, in many ways was a definitive opening up of mouths, people began to talk openly and publicly about sexual behavior that before had been talked about privately. I experienced this firsthand. I'm covering late 60s here. I was 12 in 1965. When I started at school. I was pleased that Chris referred so much to Christ Church, which is my hometown, the city. Okay, so surely brand new suburb spring out of paddocks. On the edge of Christchurch in the late 50s, early 60s, my family lived in a standard four bedroom bungalow. It was a rather dysfunctional family. So my experiences which were full of angst related, not just to being queer, but also being coming from a family with a cold distant father, and a bullying, angry, trapped mother. So it wasn't really very well set up to navigate the 60s. But it was an interesting journey, a bumpy ride as Betty Davis so bland, homogenous, orderly cross street. That was me in 67, my first Beatles here cut I'm still got the Beatles here, a bit, a few changes in between. And I was going to Shirley Boys High School, which had it's very clear place in the pecking order of Christ Church. Chris's also alluded to Christ, so to speak in order. We were very proud that surely Boys High School was not a coward school with the wrong kinds of kids Wait, but we were also very aware it was not Christ college, and not even Christ Church Boys High School. So it was an in betweens, which fitted Of course, I felt about my life. [00:37:43] The folk culture of the time. [00:37:48] verbally, the word pansy was used a lot. My mother would say, if I was singing a little song to myself while making my toast, that'd be a pen. I didn't know she actually meant in 1965. I did by 1969. I wrote about it in the shining city. My first novel to look at growing up in the 60s and in the 70s and Christchurch. It's based very closely on my own life experience in surely [00:38:25] the first thing that happened in [00:38:30] high school was, I was warned by by brothers, that I had to be careful that the big boys didn't pull my novel. I had no idea what they were talking about. We wore these kinds of caps to school, as we're royal Cambridge blue and gold. And it was a rite of passage when you started at UT was high the fourth, fourth and fifth formers would attack the third formers and pull the knobs of the Academy. But it had a sexual kind of undertone that I didn't quite understand, but it was scary, but also sort of secrecy somehow, and my knob got pulled off on the first day. [00:39:17] His takes from the shining city. [00:39:22] In my first year, there was a scandal in surely boys. Hi. [00:39:28] This ship, the Modi She sailed regularly from Littleton to Willington they were two ships it was at with the, what's called the inter-island theory. It was the customer in Christchurch schools, for school kids to be taken in parties in the care of teachers up to Wellington for a day trip, with an overnight passage on either the Molly or her sister ship the unit more. And one of those trips, a science master they were called masters of was not teachers. carlon Ferran was discovered to have been sexually interfering, as the phrase was in those days with some of the boys. He was taking him into his cabin and getting him drunk and they were having sex together. It opened up a can of worms, it was discovered that this teacher con fear, had been doing this for some time, he'd been teaching for two years, it surely Boys High. And all through those two years, they had been the sexual encounters with boys, sometimes willing, sometimes alcohol to lubricate it once or twice, close to right. But because he was a master, he wasn't actually prosecuted. He ran away to Sydney, where he got a job at a Catholic, he was Catholic. He got a job at a Catholic boys school, and through the rest of the 60s and the 70s continue to abuse boys. And the cases were actually blown in the 1990s. Finally, [00:41:01] I heard about this, my parents [00:41:05] were not particularly concerned about it. So it wasn't seen as especially scandalous. It was seen as sort of the kind of thing you expected masters and Vickers will well known for this kind of thing. It was part of the culture, and of course scoutmasters. Nothing you welcomed but you weren't particularly surprised by it. On the other hand, when a very popular radio broadcaster, Mary faughey in the same year 1965 was dragged through the courts for sexual encounters, voluntary sexual encounters, his name became a byword for discussing this in Christchurch. And I can still remember my mothers and fathers tone of voice when they were talking about Mary forget, they could almost not speak the name. It was so low so. So it was a curious double standard. It might have been because he was intimate with almost every household. He was a very popular broadcast, he was very good broadcaster, too. And he hosted a popular musical light music program that played through the day on three ZB, which was a very popular at probably the most popular radio station in Christ it. So my mom would have been listening to him while she was doing the baking and running the vacuum for Lux. Lux in the house. She'd be listening to column for it. So it was like an invasion of her space. I think that was perhaps why she was so shocked and worried about it. Anyway, he was handed over broadcasting for some years, although he later came back. Broadcasting itself, of course, was very tolerant of such sexual peccadilloes, it was understood that within the broadcasting world that people were gay or lesbian. And in fact, lesbianism was, of course, different from male homosexuality. We went often to swim at a place called tales mistake. And one of the institutions at Taylor's mistake, were two elderly ladies, they were probably about my age, actually, who will still remember them, they're seersucker, bathing costumes come from here to down here. And they were called the girls. And everybody knew the girls had been with each other for many, many years. And everybody was very friendly to the girls. It was understood without being spoken about explicitly. So again, it's it's nuanced. It's not. It's not a crude oppression of gay, lesbian and other kinds of people. [00:44:05] Lots of boys actually, boys, Hi, we're having it off with each other. We all knew that. I unfortunately, didn't have a chance to have it off with anybody. I was a bit naive. But I did get winked at by one of these boys. This was a group called Johnny Campbell and the detours. They were all boys. Two years older than me and surely boys, hi. And one of these boys gave me that wink. And I thought, Oh, I think he wants to do something but I was much too shy. So never happened. And Johnny and the details were very much in the mainstream they were they they became prefix. What they were up to was again, winked at. Not really noticed. Also, they were Queenie boys at school, as they were called. And Queenie boys who had a smart mouth, actually could pull it off without being bullied. It was the shy, queer boys who were bullied. One of my my one of my three or four best friends was one of these Queenie boys with smart mouth. And his nickname was BJ. Everybody called a bj. No problem. BJ was very popular. He was very camp and unexpected institution in our cohort all the way through. [00:45:28] But other boys, there was one boy [00:45:31] who wasn't a particular friend of mine, he would be chased by a mob of boys in the grounds of surely both high calling out clear, pansy puffed up in a third quarter, they would beat him up, and the Masters would never intervene. It was understood and surely it was high in the late 60s, that boys had to sort these things out among themselves. And it wasn't up to adults to to intervene. Also, within my family was a big family big out of controls for family. There were things going on below the radar, below my parents official radar anyway, that they must have guessed it, but didn't do anything about and know that it was very common and lots of other families. I wrote about it My most recent novel bangs, which is about my sister, essentially, I have a scene where she goes into a we had a back batch we had two batches in our garden for boys to sleep. And that's another thing about gender of course boys are understood to be able to tough it out little patches, goes Of course needed pampering of the main house. So my sister walks out into the back batch, and this is what it says in bangs Brent and steer in shorts, and nothing else. Align on the bottom bunk together, kissing I've never seen boy boys kiss. I stand bewildered for a few seconds, needing a few beats to understand. I stand for a few more beats fascinated by the way those two big strong jaws are working away at one another. While those four big strong hands are all over each other's bodies. Next, I turn on my heels. And that's how my family coped with anything that was a bit, you just pretend urgency walked away. In my family, in fact, I am one of six boys, four of us fooled around with each other sexually. And my father walked in on us once or twice my mother a couple of times each time, turn around, walk away. At the same time, there's also sexual abuse in the family, older brothers sexually abusing sisters, which is in fact one of the main themes of bangs. So this is the folk culture I was. So the family culture, the school culture, not formal culture. There was quite a lot of tolerance, in other words, quite a lot of room to maneuver. Regardless of the formal discourses that going on outside the home and the school. Yet at the same time, there was an atmosphere of persecution, it was a little bit like I often thought, living in a Nazi state. I later wrote a novel about living on the Nazi state. And I came across an expression called the German glance, people in Germany under the Nazis, coined this phrase, it means before you spoke confidentially to anybody, you graph over your bed, and that way to see who was listening, and that's what it was like being interested in your own six, at least for me, in the late 60s, in the folk culture, but they miss the commercial culture, for what some historian's comfortable popular culture but I think it's a part of capitalism rather than other people. So I call it commercial culture. And again, I go back to Johnny Campbell and mosquitos. Pop music was evolving really rapidly in the 60s, almost every year the sound changed dramatically. And teenagers were very alert to those changes and saw and the look of people changed almost every year to the changes in the presentation of the body of the here and so forth, very rapid change. Many of the groups began to experiment with an androgynous Look, this is a very popular Kiwi group the formula. This is the late 60s. So flared trousers, bell bottoms, they were called at first they were called flares in the 70s. Referring to the Navy with its well known queer kind of cultural legacy, and the frills, the pseudo Regency, look no longer here, of course. So that by 6768, my mother if she was driving our big shift, what's that advice to you can tell with girls or boys, everybody seems to be having long floppy here. Everybody was wearing bell bottoms. Everybody was wearing colored shirt or so it seemed. Although if you look at photographs, it looks much dreary picture but that's what it seemed to be [00:50:33] androgynous values were certainly spreading very widely. [00:50:39] And that was made in actually in the 60s. So the hair getting longer and longer. And this more dandy ish look spreading [00:50:52] very different from the masculinity that I you would have seen in the early 60s. And then I was also becoming exposed not just to commercial culture, but to high culture literature. Surely Boys High was actually very good academically. There was some very good teachers there. We had an excellent library, and I began to read texts that opened up things that I hadn't seen before. And a Kareena has a walk on role. I don't know if anybody has noticed it for two gay men, [00:51:31] who are portrayed by Tolstoy. [00:51:36] He ridicules them, but never Thea in a 19th century novel. They never appeared in 19th century English language novels, only in continental novels, and I found others in the novels I began to read OX. So this had a huge impact on me women in love, the famous scene where Gerald and for those that are wrestling naked, and where there's an attempt to fuse masculine energy and Lawrence goes on about the source of energy and male loins and that kind of thing, that will very powerful stuff. And that was taught at high school. [00:52:23] Actually, Boys High [00:52:28] on Aveda does up [00:52:32] in several of the novels in LA comedy You mean, he portrays a character called voter and voter is infringed HG way probably the of the 19th century the leading model of a strong, active, admirable clear man who is queer and proud of it and overt about in the novel. And in fringe course, we read pair. So again, we will be exposed through formal, higher education to worlds that were different from our suburban world. I was exploring new zealand literature to it wasn't taught at school, but I was getting to read music on the job was getting to seek it out and read it. And a few of them a few of our key writers gave me a strong queer vibe to James courage has already come up James carriage once I began to read his stuff, anyways became for me an alter ego of mine. His social background was very similar to my father's social background identified strongly with it. And this novel, was the first openly gay novel published by a New Zealand novelist, published in Britain, and infected with problems bringing is introducing them to first. By the late 60s, it was very easy to read it was in our school library. [00:54:10] I ended up writing about James courage in this [00:54:14] kind of quasi [00:54:17] autobiography. It's really a fiction masquerading as an autobiography, [00:54:22] identified so strongly with James courage in my teens and early 20s that I imagined scenes where he is with his father with his mother, I was predicting my own relationships with my own father and mother into that novel. I'll probably write more about James courage one, day two. [00:54:43] And then there was called flat by Bill Pearson. [00:54:48] I actually spent the first five years of my life in cold flat, the little town of black ball on the West Coast before we went back to our home province, Canterbury, and only much later discovered that the protagonist of Cole flat was originally a queer man, but that Pearson was persuaded to turn him into a straight man, in order to get the book published. I didn't know that at the time. But as I read that novel, I thought, there's something here, the protagonist is somehow he's not really interested in women, he seems more like me. And I got a very strong vibe and a strong affirmation from that novel. But all these writers were writing and code in many ways. And another thing that happened to me at shooting Boys High was I got exposed to classical literature, classical art and literature. And that, of course, is a very classical meaning ancient Roman and Greek. And that, of course, is a very different ball game. [00:55:58] This is one of the most well known [00:56:01] Roman, it's actually from a bowl of two men fucking. And I began to find images like this in the art books, not in our school library, but in the university library that I began to get access to by the late 60s. And I suddenly discovered that there were whole other cultures that had completely different approaches to sexuality. And then, in 69, I discovered capitalists, who was already come up, or I think is going to come up. In this room, I discovered this kind of poetry. [00:56:42] So as a result of the spread of Secondary Education in New Zealand, [00:56:48] and an education system that in theory endorsed the status quo, but actually gave you lots of ways of negotiating and other directions, I became aware of many other ways of seeing the world that weren't available in either commercial culture, or in the popular culture I was growing up with, but yet provided other avenues of exploration. By 1969 In fact, when I first discovered turtles, gay liberation, was beginning to be talked about piggybacking on women's on feminism, second wave feminism. And by 69, TV, documentaries, news, documentaries and commentaries, we're beginning to discuss male homosexuality and lesbianism openly on TV so you'd sit down with your cup of tea and Joe ANZAC biscuit and listen to a panel talking about with a male homosexuality was acceptable in New Zealand society. So it was a huge transition from 65 to married 40 scandal to 69. So very liberating, and lots of ways to have gone through the late 60s. But at the same time, in 1969, I was suicidal. So going back to that Nazi state, the concentration camp metaphor, I was wanting to kill myself because it all just seemed too hard. And in fact, in 1973, I did try to kill myself see four times. One way was with this magnificent machine, my first car Amaury minor, like lots of young men behind the wheel of a car, I would often think, I can't stand it anymore, nothing of driving into a tree or a lamp post. And several times I steered in towards one but never quite managed. In the end, I took the more pansy ish way, as my mother would have said method of popping pills. So, a mixed bag, late 60s, lots of good stuff. But at the same time, it was still really tough to be queer. So the main things I want to say it was still essentially in 69, a concentration camp that I was living. Thank you. [00:59:16] Okay, thank you, Steven. [00:59:19] wonderful opportunity to ask questions of these two writers, but we've actually run out of time and I think it's probably better for the authors go to the tables out there. And if you've got particular questions to ask them, a few actually asked them out there, but please join me in thanking both the palace earlier and two speakers. Thank you.
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