Article's 2012 New Year’s Dishonours
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Published on:31st December 2012 - 12:50 pm
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Story ID:12741
Text:Every year staffers look back on our year of reporting and reflecting on what's happened to New Zealand's glbti people and communities. With the help of a small band of informed advisers we choose a handful of people who have made a difference to their glbti brothers' and sisters' lives. People who have stood out as being exceptional. But before we announce them in our New Years Day Honours tomorrow we've picked out those who have been destructive, unpleasant, obstructive, vindictive or have otherwise fallen prey to the dark side of human nature. These, then, distilled from our comprehensive 2012 reporting, and minus the politicians who we covered yesterday, are our New Year's Dishonours: Colin Craig Knob of the Year. The best thing about the tail end of this year is that big mouth bigot and Conservative micro-party leader Colin Craig has faded from the media spotlight. It’s a relief: we were getting sick and tired of having to follow his anti-gay desperation to get into Parliament by using our lives as ammunition to attack his political opponents. Message to Colin: rights are not a gimmick to be used to feed your own self-agrandisement or narcissism. The family of the late Julianne Kramer For disrespect of her gender identity. The level of bigotry and bloody-mindedness transgender New Zealanders face has never been clearer than it was in the case of Julianne Kramer, who sadly died in a helicopter crash near Wanaka this year. From police our newsroom got mixed messages on her gender identity. When we asked why they explained that while she was transgender and had lived as a woman, her family wanted her referred to by her male name, and as a man. The mainstream media took the easy route and followed these wishes, and really shouldn’t have. We know losing a family member is heart-breaking. However, taking a dump on the very person Julianne really was was utterly unpardonable. Her life was her own, not her family's. Makes us all wonder what she had to put up with in family life while she was alive and through her struggle to be the woman she was born to eventually be. What were they saying behind her back or even to her face? Message to the Kramers: show some respect to your daughter, your sister! Right to Life For losing the plot entirely When an anti-abortion group starts raving about Starbucks “supporting sodomy” and making submissions against marriage equality, it has clearly totally gone off the rails. Or does this merely confirm that they are a bunch of conservative religious zealots determined to foist their own warped views on other people's lives, that the anti-abortion persona is just a tool to get kudos and funding in some quarters while you preach a mantra of wider intolerance and divisiveness. Message to Right to Life: Give it up. The Carmen Rupe Memorial Trust For disservice to Carmen’s memory The most disappointing story this year has been the bitchiness and bickering in the wake of Carmen Rupe’s death. Carmen did like a bit of drama, but this has just been disgraceful. A Sydney dominatrix has led the charge and tried to bully anyone who dares ask hard questions, and utterly disrespected Carmen’s friends on this side of the Tasman and a good few in Australia too. This group has also tried to make Carmen out to have been another Rosa Parks when, really, she was just Carmen, a transsexual hooker with massive boobs and a gloriously brazen attitude who was a trailblazer not by riding around in figurative buses standing up for for glbti rights, but just by being Carmen. And, despite their self-serving and insensitive post-mortem attempts to rebuild her as some sort of bejeweled and bewigged Mother Theresa, nobody could own Carmen in life and no one can in death either. She’d likely have told them that herself. Message to the CRMT: Take some time to get to know, and learn from, the real Carmen. Joe Moeono-Kolio For intollerable smugness From the moment this Chaplain of Auckland University, AUT and MIT took his seat on the podium at the Auckland University Marriage Equality debate he smirked and mugged through a sleazy, sanctimonious, smug and arrogant display of physical posture, attitude and everything short of actual sneering. A man so confirmed in his own sense of superiority that he didn't even bother to think up anything new and original like all the other debaters for or against the motion. He just trotted out the usual self-serving, anti-gay papal bullshit and expected us to lap it up. A lazy, condescending and self-absorbed presence in the face of people with passion and intellect. Message to Joe: You're not even half 'the man' most of the gay boys in your audience were. Justice and Corrections Departments For disservice to transgender prisoners Here is a new year’s resolution for the Departments of Justice and Corrections: clean out the cobwebs and wipe out your transphobic prisons policy while you do so. Despite a Government minister’s uninformed belief that a transwoman who hasn’t had genital surgery is still a man, the most marginalised in our prisons will tell you differently. And these women would probably love to have access to surgery – but have you heard how long the waiting lists are? The fact is they are in danger in male prisons and a solution is required and long overdue. Message to Justice and Corrections: Get it sorted. Family First For doing everything but putting families first Is anyone else sick of this group claiming to speak for the nation’s “families?” What about our two mum and two dad families? It may come as news to these voluble fanatics that, just like them, most of us have a mum and dad and brothers and sisters who love and accept us and our same-sex partners. We live in a society where glbti kids and parents are part of families too, yet Family First has once again done everything but put the good of New Zealand families first this year with its constant alarmist bullshit and obsession against marriage equality. What, exactly, are Family First trying to protect marriage from? People who love each other and want to be a family? Message to Family First: Build a bridge - get over it. The Edge and the Broadcasting Standards Authority For disservice to intelligent broadcasting At issue was the incredibly offensive: “Dom, your song was so gay I’m pretty sure I just got AIDS from listening to it.” How can clawing for ratings and the advertising dollar by dumping on gay men and those of our brothers suffering through HIV infection be ok? How can openly-gay host Mike Puru laugh along with this? And how could the Broadcasting Standards Authority rule that “the potential harm to listeners did not outweigh the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression”. The whole saga was unbelievably offensive from beginning to end. Message to The Edge and the BSA (and Mike): Grow some (gay) balls.     - 31st December 2012
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