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David Hindley images

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in [00:00:05] I'm David Henley and in 1985 86, as part of the pink triangle magazine collective. And I was photographer so I took a lot of photographs really from the start of the campaign until after homosexual law reform bill was passed. [00:00:20] What was pink triangle? [00:00:21] Pink triangle with the two gay lesbian publications at that period out magazine and pink triangle and pink triangle was a slightly more activist one, it was a community based nonprofit publication. And we really covered a lot of the key news from the law reform period [00:00:39] was that Willington base was a national magazine, [00:00:41] pink triangle was Wellington base. But we did have people in Auckland and other centers providing information and it was distributed around the country. [00:00:49] And so during law reform, did you go to events around the country? [00:00:54] I did. And most of the photographs are from Wellington, and most of my activities, were in Wellington. But I did spend some time in welcome as well. [00:01:01] So why would they take them? [00:01:05] They were taken, I think, as for several reasons, one to illustrate the new stories that were covered in pink triangle. But also, we knew that this was really a historical event, this was really groundbreaking event for our community. And they were taken as a record of all the different things that were going on during that time. [00:01:26] You seem to have very good access to the events in terms of like photographing from the stage and into the crowd. How was that arranged? How did you get such good access? [00:01:37] I think probably the thing with the photographs is that I, I'm a journalist by training. And so I'm just used to doing what journalists do matters, you simply go where you want to do go to get the story. So if there's a big public event, and you want to take photographs from the stage, you simply go up onto the stage to do it. And in some cases, you might arrange that in advance, but generally just do it and nobody stopped to [00:02:05] was there much media interest in these events. [00:02:08] There was huge media interest in the campaign itself, partly just because of the nature of of decriminalization of homosexuality, partly because of the huge political battle that developed over several years, the involvement of things like the Salvation Army, the development of the petition, which the people against the bill launched, and that had huge coverage around the country. It was really something that a lot of people were talking about, [00:02:36] at the events themselves with the mainstream media, or was it more kind of community based [00:02:42] at some of the events that were well flagged in advance? They were mainstream media. So for example, they for the anti bill, people, the presentation of the petition at Parliament that got huge coverage, because they've done a lot of work to arrange that. For a lot of the other events, the smaller events in particular, there wasn't particularly much media coverage. [00:03:04] But there was some community access radio coverage wasn't me. [00:03:07] That's right. I mean, most of the most of the really good coverage and the substantial coverage was provided by community organizations like the the collective that works on the access radio program, and pink triangle. [00:03:22] I've got to say these these shots that you've taken, a beautifully composed, and I'm wondering how do you how do you compose shots in such a fluid situation as for our protests, or rallies, [00:03:35] I think that the key is really just being prepared to, to [00:03:42] take the photograph when you when that the absolute moment is right. And so you just have to be primed and ready to just kind of click whenever you need to. I think that one of the other things is being in the middle of things, and just getting a sense of how activities are developed, seeing how things might develop looking two protagonists walking towards each other and thinking, right, there's going to be something happen here. So I'll get ready to take the photograph. [00:04:08] What kind of equipment are you using? [00:04:11] I was this this was obviously in the days of film, and most of it was black and white. So it's using a Canon, a one SLR camera. And I developed all the film myself, in a laundry of a gay, flattened puppeteer straight. [00:04:27] When you shot particularly close up on people, how did they react, and I'm thinking both in terms of the kind of anti reform people and also that the performance, [00:04:39] people [00:04:40] were generally accepting of the fact that they were being photographed, I think they knew that they were involved in something which was very, very newsworthy, which was quite a big historical event. And so generally, people accepted that some people were very, very happy to be photographed, other people were quite uncomfortable. And occasionally, you had to really size up how you're going to take a photograph, and then grab it when the opportunity came, because you knew that the person wouldn't otherwise allow you to do it. [00:05:12] And I guess at this time, when the homosexuality was illegal to actually have a published photo of yourself in a gay magazine, that must have been quite challenging for some people. [00:05:23] Well, it absolutely was because of course, this is before the discredited the days of discriminate anti discrimination legislation and things like that. So people could potentially be thrown out of their jobs thrown out of their flights and things like that. And that did happen from time to time. This was also the days of police entrapment of police going around and hassling people and gay bars and that type of thing. So there were definitely the potential for repercussions for people who were photographed. If we could perhaps look through the the images that are on the website, and in maybe just gone two weeks bit more detail about what the events were and maybe describing some the atmosphere around the events. The first one we're looking at is, looks like the Salvation Army. Where's this? This isn't Vivian street in Wellington, this is the old Salvation Army building. It's It's It's being pulled down or replaced with a big new flash one. But this was very early on in the campaign, when the Salvation Army just announced that they were going to take an active role in opposing border form. And so we had a group come together on a Sunday morning to have a demonstration outside the Salvation Army. And to be honest, a lot of the Salvation Army people who came along I think were quite surprised and quite bemused to see us. Some of them were quite hostile, others really wanted to have a conversation about things. And I think a lot of people in the Salvation Army had the feeling that the opposition that the army had to the bill was something that was led by the hierarchy at the top and they really didn't have much say in that. And quite a few people in salvation army were very uncomfortable about the role that the army played. [00:07:12] This was also one of the [00:07:15] first demonstrations when we had a had a real inkling of the the nature of the sorts of things that would be carried out throughout the whole campaign, one of the elements was an element of humor. So Tiggy in stone, for example, in one of the photographs, is carrying a banner that says band the bonnet, which is a classic TV, I mean, bringing a sense of humor to it, because there's a there's a real message behind what she's doing. But there's also a sense of just just lightening the mood. And, and that was a very important part of the campaign. But there's also the real confrontational stuff in that when people said something that's particularly nasty, particularly objectionable. [00:08:02] We we challenge that [00:08:05] you've got an image here of the police being involved in this demonstration, how would they set the stage [00:08:13] the police had a bit of a difficult role, they the police, where did put a submission in about low the law reform and the police opposed homosexual law reform. So unnecessary. The police had a long history up until this point of entrapment of gay men of going into gay bars and going into gay bathhouses and so on, and really making life difficult for gay men in particular. They were very careful around this, I think, because they knew that it was a high profile event that they were being photographed, and they were being watched. [00:08:57] But they definitely didn't. [00:09:03] didn't hesitate to to pull people back or to get a little physical, if they felt it was warranted. [00:09:11] The next couple of photos are of a gay Task Force store. Where's this? [00:09:18] That was, that was in a show. Wellington used to have in the show buildings used to have a big show each year, which was, had all sorts of different stores. And they were typically for different types of community organizations and businesses, and so on. And they weren't, weren't generally political. But the gay Task Force, had a store and handed out some information. It was a little bit controversial. A few people were very surprised to see us there. But that was part of just reaching out and getting our message across [00:09:50] was that the store that was almost banned, because it wasn't meant to be a political [00:09:56] trade feat? That's right. That's one of the occasions when we got foot in the door, and then people try to close the door. But we kept our foot there. And we just said, No, we have a right to be here. And we're going to be here. [00:10:09] And what was the public reaction? [00:10:13] generally quite good. I think one of the things over this period is that a lot of the people supported law reform, I think one of the reasons that law reform went through was that there had been a change in the mood. And the general public, a lot of people looked at the idea of seven years imprisonment for consenting, adult activity and thought that that was crazy. And, of course, you got some opposition, but there was a lot of support as well. [00:10:41] The next series of photos highlights a fire what what is this off? [00:10:47] This was the lesbian gay rights Resource Center in in a building and ball Court Street. And this was a this was a the forerunner of like, ends of the archives. It was where records were kept, magazines and documents were kept. It was where the pink triangle collective came together to have meetings and put the magazine together. There was an arson attack on the center, and there was quite a lot of damage caused. And we had no doubt at all that it was related to the campaign and but it was a it was a anti gay event. [00:11:21] And and one of the photos I see was a fig is was kind of written on the What is that? [00:11:26] That's right. It was almost funny, you know, in a way somebody had had scrolled the word fag on the floor, but they'd actually found a bottle of Twinkies on the desk. And they had tweaked the letter fag on the floorboards, which was in one way, it's, it's insulting. But in the other way, it's just so funny that someone had done it. In Twinkie, it's a very, very, very, very odd thing to have done. [00:11:55] The awesome How did that impact on on the like the pink triangle collective and also the the other members, [00:12:03] it was something that a few people took particularly hard because the the lesbian gay archives reflected a lot of work over a lot of years by set by some individuals, Phil Parkinson in particular, but others as well. And so it was there was a real sense of shock and anger that that had happened. It didn't stop anything at all. It didn't didn't really dent the campaign, and it didn't stop pink triangle from going out. And in fact, it just spurred on a lot of people to to become even more active. [00:12:42] And then the photograph with three people standing, can you just identify who those people are? [00:12:47] Yes, the person on the left hand side is Phil Parkinson, who is a curator and has very, very long an extraordinary commitment to to lesbian or gay archives, Bill Logan in the middle, Bill Logan was a coordinator of the lesbian gay Task Force One of the key players over the period, and then fill Peter Noland on the right hand side. And Peter was amongst other things, one of the key players behind the access radio program gay BC. [00:13:19] And out of this fire, as we're the lesbian gay icons of New Zealand came from [00:13:25] it's part of it that the the, the Resource Center was certainly the forerunner. And lot of the material that went from the Resource Center went into the logins and effect I think, again, through probably still a few documents, which have a little bit of centering around the edges, which date from the fire. [00:13:44] The next series of photographs, is a street March, can you tell me where this is? [00:13:53] Yes, this is a street March and Wellington. [00:13:57] There was some mixed feelings political about this. A few of the parliamentary supporters didn't particularly want gay people to have a high profile in the campaign. But within the community, we thought it was incredibly important to have a high profile, just to give that give ourselves the visibility, but also to support each other. And in fact, we knew that we get support for a street March and we did people turned out in their thousands and marched from Bonnie straight outside the railway station around to Courtney place to pigeon Park. [00:14:32] What was the response from from bystanders? [00:14:35] Again, the response was very supportive. Quite a few of the people who marched where we're heterosexual people who just supported law reform. And in the kind people watching us as we marched along, there were a lot of supporters and of course, the odd opposition person. But the march was generally a very sell as well as a demonstration support for wonderful there was there was the always elements of celebration and these sorts of things, the fact that we were changing history that we were all together, and that we were we were visible, we were standing up and making ourselves visible and saying this is going to happen. [00:15:17] How was something like this organized? I'm thinking pre cell phone, pre internet? How did you kind of rally this amount of people? [00:15:25] Well, it's interesting, because it was before all of those sorts of things. And we just did it the old fashioned way of just putting posters around the place, phoning people up. And just basically getting on the grapevine and just talking to as many people as we could. [00:15:44] It looks a very diverse crowd as well. [00:15:46] Oh, absolutely. It was extraordinarily diverse. There were people who, though there were gay and lesbian couples who've been together since before the Second World War, there were teenagers, there were heterosexual families with children. There were lesbians with their children, that were just all sorts of people. That's fantastic. [00:16:12] The next couple of photos show some kind of gathering, I'm guessing after a match and kind of performance was that was that a big part of, of this whole thing as well. [00:16:23] It was one of the things that we did after the match concluded in pigeon Park was to have some events to have a few speeches, but also have some entertainment. And that was great again, that that lifted the spirits of people because it was an incredibly difficult, challenging time. It gave us a few things to laugh about, [00:16:50] really helped to, to bring people together. [00:16:55] We want to the next series of photos which appear to be as an anti reform meeting. [00:17:00] It was this was in the Knox church hall in lower heart. It was a camp, it was a meeting that was organized by opponents of law reform and Jeff Bray Brooke, and all the key opponents of Law Reform were there. But there was also a very strong contingent of lesbians and gay men, who were determined not to let the sort of rubbish that was going on go on and challenged. And so there were lots of challenges from the floor. And Norman Jones and some of the other speakers made the mistake of saying, look, we've paid for this church whole, you haven't, it's our right to speak. And we said, Well, how about if we pay half? And so they agreed. And so there was lots of money collected from, from the lesbians and gay man there. We came up with half of the rental of the whole. And then below that Allison Lori went on to the stage to, to speak. So it was an absolutely extraordinary event. [00:18:08] And amazingly chronicled in these images, especially, you know, I'm looking at the This is Bill Logan standing up and talking to the stage. [00:18:19] That's right. So Bill really stood up and just said, just really fought for the right to have our speakers there. And there was this long discussion with the anti gay MPs and various other people. But eventually, the outcome was that we had our people speaking from the stage as well. [00:18:43] Can we just identify the people on the stage on for instance, there was a shot of Bill Logan pointing up to the stage. And you've got Who's that? [00:18:54] The MPs, Norman Jones, Jeff Bry, Brooke, and [00:19:01] Mr. Young, I forget his first name. [00:19:04] And there's a fantastic shot of counting the money on the stage floor. [00:19:10] That's right. I mean, this was an extraordinary drama, that obviously the people who organized the meeting weren't expecting at all. And we just couldn't believe that this was happening. But the money was all collected. It was counted up. We had to find a couple of hundred dollars to pay for half of the whole hire for that night. We came up with more than that. And then we we had Allison and bill on the stage speaking of reform, and some of the people who was sitting in the audience were just, I think, gobsmacked by the whole thing. [00:19:45] What was the atmosphere like? [00:19:48] It was absolutely extraordinary. Really, we had we couldn't believe how we've really taken over this meeting. And I don't think this was planned at all, but we just really planned not to let them say the sort of rubbish they were they were coming up with. And it was just a meeting of just a sense of amazement, and again, almost of, of joy, that it's a turned out this way, and that we could listen to Allison and Bill speaking from the stage and cheer them on. [00:20:22] Who was the chap with his hands overseas. [00:20:25] He was just a an opponent of the bill who obviously was not happy to, to listen to to our speakers. And I have to say there were quite a few people in the audience, Patricia Bartlett, famous leader in society of the promotion of community standards, she was a very staunch opponent of pornography, as well as lesbian gay rights. And there were quite a few very shocked people in the audience. [00:20:54] The next series of photos show as a kind of dance by party at the Wellington temple. [00:21:04] Yes, this is there were several events held at the Wellington Town Hall, there were a couple of rallies where we basically just got a lot of people together and entertainment, really to lift spirits to keep people going during the campaign. And then at the end of the campaign, there was a celebratory party in the Old Town Hall as well, because this party, the party at the end, I think I think what we have here is is the the final party after the bill had passed. [00:21:38] And then we have a shot of friend wild on stage as the bucket busters really, [00:21:43] this Yes, this is from a series of photographs taken. Lloyd Scott, I think is probably emceeing. He's on stage there. There's a photograph of the top twins, singing and entertaining the crowd [00:22:02] and then a number of speakers. So we had [00:22:07] some key speakers came to these things on the stage. Lloyd Gering was one of the people who spoke at the rally at the Old Town Hall, Sonia Davies. We also got a message of support from overseas and from people around the country that we read out [00:22:26] in the champ on stage wearing a kind of a hunting head Who was he? [00:22:32] Or that that was Michael Wilson, the chat with their kind of a pith helmet. And he was really taking off Norman Jones. Norman Jones was an extraordinary character who [00:22:43] came out with extraordinary statements. [00:22:47] He was speaking in Parliament once against the bill. And I think Fran or someone else yelled out, you're obsessed? And he said, Yes, I am. But it's a magnificent obsession. He had he was said some some horrific things. There was almost a clownish element to a lot of how he presented himself. And this is what Michael Wilson was taking off. [00:23:08] It's a very large crowd at this rally. [00:23:12] It is we felt we filled the Old Town Hall. [00:23:17] And these things were incredibly important because there was real uncertainty at this stage about whether the bill was would pass. There was a huge campaign against the bill passing not only the Salvation Army, but some very high profile people like Keith Hey of Keith Holmes was putting money into this. And number of other high profile business people. A lot of churches around the country, particularly fundamentalist churches were really working hard against the bill. Some of them were bringing in people from overseas to speak against the bill. There was some horrific violence against lesbians or gay men during the campaign, some with very serious consequences. And so we really needed events that would lift people's spirits give us an opportunity to get together and support each other. [00:24:14] There's a sequence of shots here. One is [00:24:18] a sequence with Ian Scott, who was a very early out gay member of candidate I should say for parliament, Fran wild and Allison Lori. Other shots include grant moldy, wearing it's a bigot busters t shirt, and the bigot busters logo was a cartoon of Norman Jones really as a kind of an old fashioned clown really without with a pith helmet. And of course, that was based on the Ghostbusters idea which was around the time. And there's a photograph there of [00:25:00] three people blowing out candles [00:25:03] on a birthday cake with a with 16 on it. This reflects the fact that the age of consent was a real area of of battle. A lot of people were pushing for us to lift the age of consent or put particularly pushing Fran to accept the higher age of consent, then 16. Because they said that the more likelihood of the bill passing if it was higher age of consent. And of course, from our point of view, they wanted an equal age of consent. So we were working very, very hard to make sure that there was no pulling back on that and that we went for an equal age of consent. [00:25:45] The next series of shots appears to be another anti Law Reform rally in town hall, again, quite populated isn't [00:25:54] it says this, this was another [00:25:58] rally, say up to oppose the bill. After a while they stopped advertising anti gay rallies because they were worried that we would turn up and disrupt them. So it definitely, we definitely had a tactic that paid off and just not letting them get away with the sort of thing. But again, the speakers started saying things which were quite objectionable and so lesbians or gay men in the audience just started standing up and challenging it. And in fact, it turned out to be a little bit of a circus, particularly towards the end. And there were police there and they hold a few people out. But there was a lot of argument really between pro and anti bill people. [00:26:47] Did the police actions get more strident as as the campaign went on? [00:26:53] I think the police were aware that there was [00:26:58] violence going on against gay men, but they hadn't particularly taken that sort of thing seriously. I know personally, that I was involved in a in an incident at the railway Tavern where a group, I was with a group of gay men and we were beaten up and one was some concussed and had to be taken to hospital. And it was very, very difficult to get the police to accept a complaint and to get them to investigate that and effectively they didn't, nothing happened. [00:27:31] And the police were [00:27:35] active in [00:27:38] trying to trying to shut some people up [00:27:42] at some of these campaigns, and again, at the at the protest the presentation of the bill outside parliament. [00:27:51] There were just two shots in this next sequence. We're it's almost as a review that's going on. [00:27:58] Yes, this is a [00:28:01] this was this was one of the rallies that we had at the town hall just to lift spirits. And one of the photographs is Tiki and stone. And address. Tiki was fantastic. She played a number of characters [00:28:16] and did a quick change and then came through sort of emceeing [00:28:22] with Linda ravens, helping her do the quick changes backstage took he also went to some demonstrations in various guises with dress, this has kind of outrageous characters, and in some cases was was taken at face value by Bill opponents, which was just extraordinary. And she could get into a meeting and just be be amazed that that that really no one had sort of saw that that she was she was taking the personal. [00:28:57] The final sequence of images is Fred Wilde. And were these taken, [00:29:03] these are taken in the foyer of Parliament. The bill was discussed in Parliament over a long period of time, the different readings and so on. And so we spent a lot of time listening to the speakers in Parliament. And this is a friend just explaining to lesbians, a gay man what was going to happen, what the procedure was, [00:29:29] was going to be and this is towards the end of the campaign. [00:29:32] So it was the quite a turnout of gay and lesbians during the parliamentary debates [00:29:37] are there absolutely was I mean, that was a real focus for activity just to see what was going on and what was happening. And it was it was a focus for the opponents of the bill as well, there were a group of conservative people who would come and sort of set up and outside Parma buildings and pray and light candles and things like that, praying for the for the defeat of the bill. But particularly at the end, when the final vote came, there were a lot of us there. And it was just an extraordinary day because we really had no guarantee that the bill was going to pass. We suspected that the with the numbers in favor of it, but we knew it will be incredibly close. We knew that you could probably count on the fingers of one hand that the majority that it will get. So it was very very nailbiting. [00:30:32] In the final image of the sequence as of [00:30:36] the final image in the sequence is Ruth Dyson from wild and Trevor Mallard. And this was taken at the Victoria club in oriental by the Victoria club was a club, lesbian gay club, which had premises on the first floor of the building, right in the heart of Oriental Bay and members went up there to have drinks and dinner and so on. After the break, passed, a lot of people went back there to celebrate and Fran and Trevor and Ruth came up as well. [00:31:09] So what kind of life of these images had after after pink triangle. [00:31:15] A lot of these images didn't really appear in pink triangle, a few of them did. But there were an awful lot that sat as negatives for quite a while without being printed. And then faith first came together for an exhibition that was put together to mark the 20 years of the passage of the bill. And there's an exhibition held in Alexander tumble house in Wellington. And that was all that subsequently went to Christchurch. It was shown in Christchurch and also Auckland, and then they've gradually been picked up since then it's really the most complete record, particularly of events through the campaign in Wellington. [00:32:00] Do you have any final thoughts about the images. [00:32:04] Um, I really just wants to express appreciation to all the people who were in front of the camera during this and the the support that I got. It was very important to to document this because it was an incredible struggle. It was something that we achieved ourselves, we can be incredibly proud. We weren't given law reform. It's something that we stood up and we demanded and we fought for. And so I think it's incredibly important that we know what happened and that we have this record of it. I'd also like to urge anyone who's taking photographs now, to store them very carefully. And to print them out. One of the advantages I had of taking photographs with film is that I have the negatives and logins will have the negatives. And so there's a record, there's a permanent record there. One of the great dangers with digital photography is people take a great photograph, but don't print it out, don't store it properly, it gets deleted. And there are some events which have actually been very well covered with photographs, but there aren't any photographs left because they were all taken digitally and they've since been raised. So if you're taking images of something which may have value in the future, then for goodness sake, save it

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