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International AIDS Candlelight Memorial (2014) [AI Text]

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Cannot [00:00:30] HIV a I DS [00:01:00] welcome. Yeah, [00:01:30] Yeah, [00:02:00] just a few, um, things just to, um give a brief synopsis of what I will be saying for the one or two of you who don't speak the I will actually do it in I'd say a little something in English First, The first is to acknowledge body positive [00:02:30] for organising this and also to talk about the people who have passed on to mention the LBGT community, but also those who are of who are born into sex having both sexual organs when they are born. And I'd also like you to remember that while we celebrate [00:03:00] today, people in Uganda people in Saudi Arabia are being murdered for something that is very natural to them and to their minds. But we are a celebration here today of 30 years. And so I will also acknowledge the from Waikato. And of course, because [00:03:30] it is Waikato, we, of course will acknowledge the King and his family. Then we will, um, just say something with with a bit of peace and then we'll get on with the rest of the thing, OK? And these people are going to sing something great a Oh, lovely. It's gonna be lovely. OK, [00:04:00] What? I thought thought you want to eat for a for a go out to fight [00:04:30] [00:05:00] [00:05:30] everyone? [00:06:00] No, to turn them the fuck up. They not go talk with the I. No. [00:06:30] Yeah, OK. Yeah, OK, Yeah. [00:07:00] Not yeah. Mhm. Yeah. [00:07:30] You on Michael. I rang you, Milana, On behalf of all here present, I thank you for the warmth and a of your And it is the gift of being [00:08:00] an MC firstly chosen to come from and to stand before you to be given instructions as I walked up changes to the programme. So don't follow it at all. It is a tap [00:08:30] place to which we have brought out this afternoon both in our hearts and in the symbolism that the quilt here present offers us. Te Papa is now their their home [00:09:00] to papa are the guardians we greet te papa. The curators here present all our distinguished visitors and guests who will in due course speak to you and be introduced at that time on behalf on your behalf. I also thank um Jose from the Indonesian [00:09:30] Embassy who is also here present with us today. But may I suggest to you that in the presence of those that we might call our distinguished guests, that the most distinguished for us today are those we bring in memory those people who have walked the journey, [00:10:00] the journey with HIV and AIDS related causes and who, sadly, have left us. We've come to honour and to remember them in this place, especially because the New Zealand AIDS Memorial quilt now rests here. And I think it appropriate to acknowledge [00:10:30] just one person on that quilt as we begin. Peter Cuthbert passed away in October 1988 and for whom the very first panel was made, invite you to look at that quilt after the ceremony and I'm not sure if I've got it correct. From Papa in Northland, [00:11:00] Nicky, Edie is here present with some of her whanau. And she, along with many others, were some of the very first people in Auckland to create the quilts as we know it today. Welcome. After all that, my name is Michael Bancroft, and it's my honour and privilege to lead us through this special time together. We remember [00:11:30] those from among us and our brothers and sisters throughout the world who have succumbed to this virus. This year, we've been asked to keep the light on HIV and AIDS. In 1988 a man approached me outside Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Auckland. I was at that time a priest, he said to me, [00:12:00] My name is Peter Ryan. I'm 44. I'm Catholic. I haven't been to church for 25 years. I'm gay. I have AIDS. Will you help me to die? Next Sunday will be 25 years since Peter's journey ended and thus began. My very privileged journey with those [00:12:30] living and dying from HIV and AIDS causes a journey of countless precious moments with which I wish had never begun, but for which I will be ever grateful and am still touched by the scores of lives and deaths. And that is how I became involved with the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt not quite from the beginning, but close to it. [00:13:00] And for most of the last 10 years, I have been the guardian of the Quilt Senate Committee in more recent years. We recognise the need for these precious memorials to be cared for so that future generations would be helped to remember and hopefully awaiting that day when the AIDS pandemic is no more. It was in May 2012 that [00:13:30] after some years of discussion, Te Papa said it would be an honour and a privilege for te papa to welcome and house the New Zealand AIDS quilts as a national Tonga. So te Papa are now the guardians of the quilt to be held in posterity for all the peoples of a New Zealand and beyond. [00:14:00] So invite you now in this moment when we seek to keep the light on HIV to bring to this place and this moment all who have lived and all who are living with the virus take a moment of silence as we commence. [00:14:30] I now call upon Claudette who will give the message from His Excellency the Governor General Sir Jerry Matara. First mistake. Narita Perry Nahi Kia The AIDS Candlelight memorial brings together people in communities all over the world to remember those who have died [00:15:00] from HIV A. I DS particularly the many who succumbed to the effects of the virus before effective treatment was developed. We can be thankful for the work of researchers who have made miraculous advances in science and medicine, allowing those with HIV AIDS to lead healthy and productive lives. At the same time, we must recognise that there is much to be done before there is equality. Sorry, Equity of treatment [00:15:30] across across the globe. The theme of this year's candlelight memorial. Let's Skip the Light on HIV reminds us that there is no place for complacency. The worldwide death toll has continued to rise and now stands at over 36 36 million men, women and Children. Keeping the spotlight on HIV A I DS means continuing to educate people about HIV, how [00:16:00] HIV is transmitted, advocating for safe sexual practises and encouraging people in high risk groups to get tested. It means continuing to support research into treatment and assisting those living with HIV A. I DS the alternative. Taking the spotlight of HIV is unacceptable. Ignorance and complacency will only result in increased transmission of HIV AIDS, enlightened lives [00:16:30] and communities in New Zealand. Our health agencies are working effectively and over 80% of people living with HIV AIDS are receiving treatment. However, we may we have not made the same inroads with regard to discrimination and prejudice in the community in recognition of the fact various stakeholders stakeholder groups are joining together to launch an anti stigma campaign [00:17:00] this year as governor general and patron of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. I hope those attending candlelight memorial ceremonies organised by body positive New Zealand will support this worthy campaign. We thank you no. Formerly [00:17:30] from Papua New Guinea who's lived among us for nearly 30 years for honouring us with a message from the Governor General, I now call upon her worship Mayor Wade Brown to speak on behalf of the greater Wellington community. Thank you, Michael. [00:18:00] I'd like to acknowledge the MP S. The organisers friends, welcome to the coolest little capital of what is said to be the most socially progressive country in the world. [00:18:30] And thanks to te Papa for hosting us and for hosting the quilt and may we share that warmth, I'd like to, um note you're welcome and thank you for it. It is good to share this occasion both as a memorial to our friends and who have struggled with HIV aids and also a celebration of who we [00:19:00] are in this room today. We do have cause to celebrate, and I was just thinking of a couple of people that really put the fun into anti discrimination. Think of Conchita Worst. The bearded transvestite who created said she created her persona to show the world you can do whatever you want. And Michael Sam, the standout college American football [00:19:30] player who is the first openly gay player to be selected for an NFL team. Both of them define themselves by their passion, their skills, their entertainment, not by who they choose to hold hands with. Wellington is defined by our people, our diversity and our tolerance. We may be smart, but we're not binary. [00:20:00] So Wellington's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and communities make important contributions to our city's culture. Economic and social well being provide an essential element of our identity that we could all feel collectively proud of. And, of course, there are some absolutely, positively fabulous pink tourism opportunities. It was a delight that Trent and Paul, [00:20:30] who I think were married right here, um made the journey to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. I think there's a lot of opportunity, and it's great for Wellington that we're one of the few places that you can get married, but it's not great for the world. I did a little tiny bit of research on the Net last night and saw What is it? 76 or 78 countries where there are laws against who you love, [00:21:00] what you do with another consenting adult that you love or think you might just quite like from time to time. So you know, we've done I looked back and saw that wonderful, um, celebration in Parliament, and it is great that there's marriage equality here. Um, but regardless of your inclinations, let's face it, a monogamous life is actually not [00:21:30] the only way to enjoy life on this planet. And our city strives to make people welcome to celebrate fairness, equality and freedom. And, you know, looking at those numbers on the Net, it's bad enough that there are laws on the books that are out of date. And look, we've probably still got some laws in this country that are a bit out of date, and I'd like to acknowledge while I'm the Wellington mayor, I yet or maybe [00:22:00] who knows represent the greater Wellington community, and I'd like to acknowledge Fran Ward, who's chair of the regional council for her work in homosexual law reform. So, you know, I just think I better make sure that nobody thinks that I'm imitating Fran standing up here, you know, just in case anyone was getting the two of us mixed up. Um, so But when I was on the Net last night, what really horrified me was not just the laws, but the amount of [00:22:30] hate, the lack of love, the lack of understanding And, let's face it, the complete lack of science and the bigotry that takes little pieces out of science or a variety of religious books or people's own experience or the fact that actually, there are the occasional lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender or intersex people who yeah, they might once upon a time have done something wrong, like everybody [00:23:00] else. And generalises that So now I just I was actually quite horrified about the level of attack and bitterness, so it was a really good reminder to me, and I think that this city and the candles that are lit tonight Well, this afternoon will be a bit of a beacon of hope. And, um, Claudette just said to me, is that the wind out there. So I thought there was a rather nice, um, metaphor. We could have that the winds [00:23:30] of Wellington are dispelling the clouds of discrimination. So thank you. Thank you, Celia. Not only for the words of reflection but the challenge you give each one of us, but also our whole nation. We will now [00:24:00] hear from the various members of Parliament here, present and in some cases, absent. I first of all, call upon national MP correctly this time our, um Claudette, who will also share a message from the right honourable the Prime Minister John Key [00:24:30] [00:25:00] from the prime minister. Best wishes for the 2014 International [00:25:30] AIDS Candlelight Memorial. Tonight's memorial is about paying tribute to and Commemorating those who have tragically died of AIDS and HIV AIDS and HIV has a significant impact on many New Zealand communities. Let me take this opportunity to acknowledge those those of you at tonight's memorial who are living with AIDS, AIDS or know someone close to you who is? I would [00:26:00] also like to acknowledge and thank all of you who help and support New Zealanders who are affected by AIDS organisations such as the AIDS Foundation body. Positive and positive women work tireless tirelessly to support those brave New Zealanders. My thoughts are with you this evening. Best wishes the right honourable John Key, Prime Minister. And for myself, as we gather here it is to commemorate our loved our beloved [00:26:30] our lovers no longer with us and body but in spirit still strongly felt in our hearts. And it is to celebrate those who today are living with HIV and AIDS. And we are here to offer the touched by AIDS and HIV. I would like to and acknowledge along with the Prime Minister, the done by body positive and Bruce Kister your advocacy work. Implementing strategic and government decisions [00:27:00] of your trust board and fundraising initiatives is extraordinary. I'd like to echo the sentiments again of our Prime Minister and saying thank you on a very personal note. There is not a day that goes by where myself and my beautiful wife Nadine, and our Children, where we do not see sights or hear sounds or feel emotions that remind us of our brothers gone from this earthly realm [00:27:30] like Boss Man, No departed to play bit of netball games on gold and paved courts with rainbow coloured balls. Or like departed in search of a to entertain elemental deities. Or like our very beautiful Jason composing to inspire our mercy for gods. This evening I would like to commemorate [00:28:00] and celebrate my brothers and to tell them and to tell all our brothers and sisters our that you will never be lost You are a seed born of greatness descended from a line of chiefs You are ornaments of grace, your pride You did show us all so that we may know who you are You are warriors our loved, our beloved Our lovers our cherish our treasured our ornaments [00:28:30] of grace And you can never be lost You are seeds of greatness descended from a line of But you know you go, you go [00:29:00] It will be Yeah, he got all the way Hello? Yeah, no, you that. But, uh, [00:29:30] watching my it. Yeah, you. [00:30:00] Not far. You and W. Oh, no, Be think. Hi. [00:30:30] Thank you, Claudette. And thank you for the on behalf of the Labour Party, Grant Robertson. Welcome. I have [00:31:00] a message today from the leader of the Labour Party, David Cliff, But I'm going to ask your indulgence. If anyone ever asks. I read it out in full, so not not not because it's not a wonderful message. And it is. But because on the today of all days, I hope you'll beg my indulgence to speak personally. Uh, on this issue today. And if anyone's worried, Kevin's [00:31:30] got a stop watch. So he's going to stop me when he needs to. When I first told my mother that I was gay, the first words that came out of her mouth were, Don't get AIDS. My mother is one of the most liberal, compassionate, loving people you will ever meet. But this was 1990 and she, like most people in our community, thought that AIDS, HIV and AIDS were a death sentence [00:32:00] because they were because they were for so many in our community and as someone who came out into that environment. Some of my first interactions were with people who were dying, and it frightened me, and it frightened my generation of rainbow community members. And in some ways I feel myself falling between two communities. The community of people who through the 19 eighties and into the 19 nineties watched [00:32:30] their friends and their family pass away, and I saw that partly from a bit of a distance. And then I look at here, the generation in front of me or half a generation and and the gay world. Generations are very short five years a generation in front of me to see the complacency about HIV, and I feel myself in the middle of those two communities. Yet experience teaches me that that's not the case [00:33:00] around the turn of the century into the year 4000, and one a man named and I'll call him a different name today for a reason. You'll understand in a moment a man named Jacob who I knew died having hidden the fact that he was HIV positive from everyone in his life. For more than a decade, he had at a time when we would all think the stigma had passed, [00:33:30] we'd moved on. There was medication, there was treatment, but the stigma remained for him, and he died alone and without the support that he should have had. So while I might feel that I fall between those two communities, the reality is the experience. All the way through has been one of hope and triumph mixed with despair and loss. And today we come to celebrate the lives of all [00:34:00] of those from our community who have passed on and who live with the virus today and all of those who have supported and been there and lived through that time. And I want to make a special reference, Um, today to those who cared for people as they died, who held the hands who've moistened the brow, who did the things that made those days, those last days, days of dignity. I [00:34:30] want to acknowledge all of those carers today, and I want to acknowledge the carers of today and in particular body positive and the tremendous work that body positive does in our community, along with the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. Because everybody is entitled to a life of dignity, no one should face stigma for being HIV positive. No one and every single day. All of us can continue to ensure that those [00:35:00] in our community who live with the virus live lives of dignity. We can do that, and we do that by upholding the theme of this year's International Day to keep the light on HIV. We keep the light of hope. We keep the light of care and we always remember those who have lived. I want to finish on on one small point. It is also the International Day of Action Against Homophobia and Transphobia around [00:35:30] the world yesterday here today in other parts of the world we cannot stand by when people in countries around the world are criminalised and killed for who they are. It is all of our job to not only keep the light on HIV and the more than 30 million people who carry the virus, but also to keep the light on discrimination. To keep the light on those who will not allow people to live lives of dignity. Every single [00:36:00] one of us must take that stand every single day. Thank you so much. Grant is one of our own for speaking so frankly, another one of our MP S who is so well known to so many of us on behalf of the Green Party, I welcome [00:36:30] Kevin Hague. Um um uh [00:37:00] I. I bring a message which I am going to read out because I wrote it from the Co-leaders of our party, Um, Russell, Russell Norman and the AIDS Candlelight Memorial provides every year a special opportunity to pause and [00:37:30] together with others from around aotearoa. Remember those we have lost to the HIV A. I DS pandemic. The Green Party joins with you all in this community act of collective remembrance. Thanks to the improved treatments, we can rejoice nowadays that so many of our friends living with HIV and AIDS are alive and well long. May that continue. But let us also take this time to remember the many fabulous lives that touched ours [00:38:00] and were forever stilled by this terrible virus. We promise them that we will never forget. There's There's a song from the musical Lea, um, chairs and empty tables that's been donated around the world, um, to be used for HIV charities and for HIV remembrance events. For me, that song is not quite right. [00:38:30] One of the reasons I hate the AIDS Candlelight Memorial is that every year it causes me to be surrounded by ghosts, and rather than empty chairs and empty tables, I'm surrounded by people that I recognise in the street and then look a second time and it's not that person, after all. And because they're gone. So that reliving of all of that pain, all of those scabs ripped off once [00:39:00] again is a painful, painful time for me. And I think, is this Is this what it's like, um, to to be old? Is this what it's like to be a soldier in wartime, to be surrounded by the ghosts of so many that we've lost who were actually just like me? I'm not one of them purely by chance. So I hate the AIDS Candlelight memorial. [00:39:30] But I also love the AIDS Candlelight memorial. And I love it because it is the opportunity for us once again to to celebrate. And here we are 30 years on celebrate our victory, our refusal to to be crushed by this epidemic, our refusal to to to be stalled by it, to dance on, to actually fight against the repression [00:40:00] that that this terrible virus has wrought. So I love the AIDS Candlelight memorial. For that reason, I want to finish in the way that I should have begun come in here more. No, [00:40:30] [00:41:00] thank you, Kevin, for the personal message that you have shared with us all one of the gifts that so many of our sisters and brothers in the community who have gone before us have been part of is that they can sing and they did sing and they will sing. [00:41:30] And you here in Wellington absolutely positive or precious. Whatever you're calling yourselves today, I wasn't blown in yesterday. But you are blessed here in Wellington with the glamour phones as we are blessed in Auckland with the gals. So I invite them now to share their part of the tribute. And I will, [00:42:00] um, just say at this stage that this song is beloved and when they sing a little bit later on, I will explain what they are actually singing. Thank you. [00:42:30] [00:43:00] [00:43:30] Thank you. GMO phones Jane for that gift you have shared with us. Our community has so many gifted people. And as you looked upon those images on [00:44:00] the screen, I think it's appropriate at this point, no doubt to his embarrassment that we acknowledge the great work that Gareth Watkins has done in our community. He photographed every single one of the AIDS court panels every block of the panel helped with putting the history together and of course at [00:44:30] the moment, as I hope most of you are aware. Exhibition 30 is on at the film archives. All of those are gifts that we are offering today is possibly one person in New Zealand has who's had more to do with positive men and women than most of us put together through his work as the [00:45:00] CEO of body positive. And that is Bruce Kilmister. And in case any of you are concerned, um, he has not become Dame Margaret Sparrow. But we do send our to Dame Margaret, whose sister had very major surgery during the week. And she is with her sister at this time where I'm sure we know she belongs. [00:45:30] So Bruce will share what Dame Margaret would have shared and also his own journey. Thank you, Bruce. Um thank you, Michael. And first of all, I want to acknowledge this house that we stand in. I want to acknowledge all those that we come here today to remember and to pay respect to. And [00:46:00] whilst Dane Margaret Sparrow can't be here today, you've got a consolation prize of me. Perhaps one of the oldest chooks living with HIV today. We thought we'd ask a Margaret to talk about the the history of AIDS in New Zealand because we thought it would be quite a neutral position to have her speak. And when she couldn't be here and I was told at the last minute I was going to have to do it, I thought, Oh my God, it's like being handed a poisoned chalice And there are just too many politics [00:46:30] for me to embroil myself in in more politics and today. But I, I want to give you perhaps a few personal reflections on my history with HIV and AIDS today. Every person here, I think, has some connection. Either is living with HIV knows somebody living with HIV or is in support of the fight that we do fight today. [00:47:00] I grew up in the fifties. In fact, I'm 63 and lived almost half my life with HIV and in the fifties we were a criminalised community. The homosexual community were a criminalised community, and on top of that, we started to hear this thing about our brothers in foreign parts, particularly in America, were dying from this disease. We had no idea what it was we just knew these [00:47:30] horrible stories were coming out down to us in New Zealand. It had different names in a in in Africa. They called it the slimming disease or the skinny disease and all sorts of names. But one of the names I hated most was it was called God's Vengeance on Queers. So we had to live in those very dark times with that stigma that persecution and all of our friends, family lovers, partners [00:48:00] seemed to be getting ill and dying around us. In fact, in New Zealand, over 700 New Zealanders have died from AIDS AIDS related conditions. It's probably more because back in those dark days you would not identify AIDS as the cause of death because funeral directors refused to take care of the body. They were dark days and back then we were a criminalised community [00:48:30] for the love that we expressed between each other to support each other. There were what we call regional networks aid support networks in the main cities in Auckland, the support network was the initial formation of what today is body positive, and from those networks we brought into being the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, that, um, [00:49:00] Constitution for the AIDS Foundation was signed in 1985. I was one of the early trustees on there, and I want to acknowledge also those who were at the very beginning. I see Bill Logan amongst us here today, too. So I acknowledge to Bill and the contributions he's made my part in, this is a very small part. It's one of many one of many, and there are so many that have [00:49:30] made the contribution and the final contribution of their lives for this part of the early work of the AIDS Foundation was to support Fran Wild's legislation, the Amendment to the Crimes Act, and that was passed in July, Uh, the following year, 1986. I think that was a good start. That was a good start after law reform. I thought we needed social reform. We needed to debunk [00:50:00] the myth that being a homosexual was another term for paedophilia or or or freak or creep or whatever we needed to adjust people's minds. So when a friend of mine, Rick's Halliday, got involved with starting the hero project, I came on board with them and for 10 years almost I was chair of what was called the Hero Project and started the hero parade and got that running. It was fantastic. It was great to be able to perhaps portray some of the innocence [00:50:30] of our community, some of the humanness of our community and alongside all of that, to continue the fight against HIV and a ID in the late nineties, I then finally retired as the chair of hero because I was going through a bad time with AIDS. My partner, Victoria he had died. [00:51:00] Not everybody lives comfortably with the antiretrovirals that are prescribed. In fact, in the very early days, they weren't sufficient. If you saw the film the Dallas Buyers Club, you'd recognise that, uh, the very early diagnosis and the prescriptions of AC. T, in fact, was killing people quicker than the virus, and people were turning to other therapies. And I can remember I used to travel across to Australia to smuggle HIV drugs back [00:51:30] into New Zealand. Only once did I get stopped and caught by customs. And when they opened my bag and saw about 75 bottles of antiretroviral medication, the young customs officer thought she'd probably caught the biggest drug smuggler in the world, and I was just wishing that they would bring a prosecution to to highlight what we were suffering from. Instead, about a week later, the then minister of health announced a $5 [00:52:00] million grant to pharmac budget to buy antiretroviral medication for us today, body positive advocates for people living with HIV and we work across all fields, particularly to keep New Zealand up to par with what's going on in the rest of the world. And for the most part, what medication is available anywhere in the world is is available here. People now live healthy long lives, uh, with HIV and science has made remarkable [00:52:30] advances in the last 30 years for medicine. But sadly for stigma and discrimination, we have not seen much in the advancement of that at all. Our colleagues, the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, our colleagues and women positive women, uh, in the in Maori and Pacific Island AIDS Foundation. The needle exchange, the New Zealand prostitutes collective have all come together to try and put together a working party [00:53:00] to mount a campaign against the stigma and discrimination that people living with HIV still face today. And it is demonstrated in so many ways. Body positive does a range of rapid testing for people who want to check that they are free from the virus. And we also take that test to sex on site venues. And I go across to a sauna, a gay sauna in Auckland and in a gay sauna. You'd expect it to [00:53:30] be gay friendly because everyone is wanting to have sex with each other. And it's a place for gay men to relax and be comfortable, and we have a very small form to fill out for them before we give them the test. One of the questions that there's a tick box besides, are you homosexual? Are you heterosexual? Over 80% identify as heterosexual. They still feel the stigma of what it is today in New Zealand of living with [00:54:00] HIV and to avoid that prospect. And they won't identify as being gay either. So again today, I just want to acknowledge all of those people amongst you today who have made contributions for where we have come to today. But the theme of the candlelight memorial today is Let's keep the light on HIV aids, and we still have a lot of work to do so again. I'd like to reflect [00:54:30] on that personally and also to thank all those who've made a contribution today, particularly to Ron, my Wellington manager, Leslie, his staff member and all of those who have made today possible. Tato, Thank you very much. Thank you for the privilege [00:55:00] of listening to you, Bruce. Bye. The energy, the time that Bruce puts into his role could fill volumes not of praise of Bruce, but of the caring that he's given and through him, all those in the various pos body positive and wellness groups that have existed and still exist. Thank you, Bruce. [00:55:30] As time has gone on, we've also become so aware of the fact that among us now, there are so many people from our African communities. And Rodney Maza is now going to share with us something of the response to HIV here in Greater Wellington. Thank you. Good afternoon to you all. [00:56:00] Uh, thank you. Body body Positive, uh, for giving me a few minutes to talk and take part in this movement against HIV A I DS It is certainly heartwarming to join the rest of the world in remembering those who lost their lives from HIV and A I DS I'm from Zimbabwe, where the rates of infection have steadily decreased over the years. However, there is still a lot of work to be done in supporting people living with HIV and A I DS. It is encouraging [00:56:30] to hear that attitudes and behaviours have changed towards having the virus. But however stigma is still a monster many African countries are battling to deal with today one of the causes of lower numbers of new infections, particularly in Zimbabwe and many other African countries. Combating the virus is a result of HIV awareness programmes and campaigns that highlight the dangers of the virus. Free voluntary testing [00:57:00] and condom distribution also contributed to the down trend. The programme I work for Love, Cover Protect and New Zealand AIDS Foundation aims to support um aims to do the same for African people living in New Zealand. We do this by holding HIV workshops sponsoring African sporting and cultural events plus any other means of engaging in the African community. [00:57:30] We also offer free pre counselling and free confidential testing with, with the support system put in place to follow up and support those new diagnoses. Love Cover Protect promotes condom culture in New Zealand with almost 2000 condoms distributed in the Wellington region, particularly in the African communities for 2013. We collaborate with other organisations, uh like [00:58:00] youth centres and refugee organisations and refugee programmes and that gives us access to our target audience. The success and progress of the African programme in New Zealand since it became in uh since it began began in 2004 can be measured by the latest stats which indicate that they are close to no new infections in the African community in the past year in 2013. So that is, um very positive. I think our work is really being, um, seen through the [00:58:30] results of those. I know how painful it is to experience the loss of a loved one because I've lived through it 14 years. Today I watched a close relative die a long and painful death due to advanced stages of of aids. It is that experience that motivated me to stand up for people affected and infected by the virus and it is organisations like body positive NZAF in and positive woman that keeps that spirit [00:59:00] alive. Let's stand up and support friends and families who have been affected by the virus. We will. We will not let us beat Beat us. Let's get down to zero and get rid of stigma for people living with HIV aids. Thank you very much. [00:59:30] Night. Oh. Oh, [01:00:00] OK, right. So yeah, like to she got right. Yeah, right. Like to Bye. You got it. You back. Sorry [01:00:30] or so. Thank you for uplifting our spirits. Thank you for rousing the spirits of all who have gone before us. And if they were asleep before, they're not now. Thank you. [01:01:00] The fact that we are gathered here this afternoon and that this gathering has been so beautifully arranged is in no small way, thanks to body positive. And Paul Bolan, board member of body positive, will now address you. Thank you, Paul. Man in [01:01:30] a no. Then I then I Then I go to I'm afraid that's as far as my Maori goes. I've been nine months in New Zealand only, and I apologise for being from that little island on [01:02:00] the left called the Oz. And, um, Ron asked me to speak today. nine months ago, I've sort of had a gestation period. Perhaps today is my birthday. But in that nine months, it felt like nine years because Wellington has welcomed me. And I think it is the most amazing coolest city in the world. [01:02:30] And you don't need me to tell you that because I think you do all know it. However, in good Australian fashion, I'd like to pay my respects to the original inhabitants of these beautiful islands those past and those here today. And now let's talk about sex. [01:03:00] Yeah, that was the reason that I was going to be here today to talk about sex. Ron wanted me to get young people up on the stage because the future is in their hands. I didn't mean a pun there, but no, no, I've got your interest. We'll get on to the other part of the story. They were too busy texting, by the way the young people could not get here today. [01:03:30] But I'd like the those who are here and who have young people in their lives to pass on some of the words that they've heard today because the future is in their hands. You know we are all has beens, although I must say I feel younger every day. I'm in Wellington and Tina has played a role in that too. Thank you. Yesterday I saw two movies. I must confess I'm a movie tragic and Wellington [01:04:00] has got a fantastic film culture here. As you all know, one of them was at the film archives, courtesy of Gareth Watkins, and we must thank very much for what he's given us today. And the other was a movie from the Brazilian Film Festival. You know what's on at the moment? Tomorrow's the last day or today's the last day. I believe they've had fantastic movies there. The one [01:04:30] I saw was called Who Cares? And I'll talk about it a bit later, but it was a very, very important movie. It was a couple of years old that had been brought back, especially for this festival. But why we're here today is because we care. We care for those who have gone before us and those who are with us today. [01:05:00] Ron also asked me to tell my story because, like Bruce, I'm a long-term positive person. 31 years ago, in 1983. I was infected in Melbourne with HIV, and my life has been a great run ever since. Then I must say, I mean, if HIV can enrich your [01:05:30] life, it certainly has enriched my life like everybody. Um here does their overseas experience your OE. I did my OE. In 1968 I worked on a cargo ship leaving Sydney for the big US of A And with me were two young Kiwi Maori boys. My first friends from New Zealand were young Maori boys working in the engine room with [01:06:00] me for 30 days wiping the grease of the engine going to America, not a country that I really wanted to go to. But that's where the ship went to. And I disembarked as soon as I got to the first port of call, which was Vancouver, the beautiful city of Vancouver, which I'm going to speak to our Lady mayor later because it is a most amazing sister [01:06:30] city of Wellington. Anyway, I arrived in, uh, Vancouver. I didn't see my two Maori friends after that. I don't know what happened to them, but as far as I was concerned, I hitchhiked across America and settled in New York for about nine months, and I was there in 1969. And do you know what happened in New York in 1969 a little event called Stonewall. [01:07:00] For six days, the drag queens rioted in the Stonewall Inn in Christopher Street, and the night of their first rioting, I was at a bar around the corner because I was discovering my real true identity as a gay man. And what better place to do it than in New York? But I was at a bar called Julius Bar in the village, not far away from Stonewall. [01:07:30] But the next day we heard in the news what was going on. The story about Stonewall is very important because all of gay liberation started from that week in 1969 in May. I think it was May. It might have been June, but it was drag queens and, um, transvestites Trannies, who refused [01:08:00] to be told that they couldn't drink at a bar in Christopher Street, and they fought the police. New York was in the hands of the Mafia and the police. At that stage, the Mafia owned the gay bars. They had to pay the police. It was the drag queens that fought the police on Stonewall. And that's not just that gay bar that many of you may know in Oxford Street called Stonewall. It was the Stonewall Inn in New York, [01:08:30] and it's on the back of these fabulous, strong transgender drag queens in New York that gay liberation is built. And in New Zealand we have the likes of the recently departed Carmen Rupe, rest in peace and our fantastic Georgina BAA, whom I don't think is here in the audience today, is she? I mean, these are the people [01:09:00] that have changed the law in New Zealand. I'm only learning about it now what's gone on here before, But I find it each day of my life here in New Zealand as a as a new adventure, and learning about what's gone on before me is part of the thrill of becoming less of a kangaroo and more of a Kiwi. The other movie I saw was at the film archives, and it was the story of [01:09:30] Lou Prime. Now I know he's an Auckland man. Bruce knows him. I'm sure. Do any of you have you any of you heard of a rock and roll star born in Taran Taranaki that called Luke Pryor? Well, it was his story, and he and his partner both died of AIDS a week apart. It was a beautiful love story, but the postscript [01:10:00] to that movie was that they were in the closet. This only happened in the 19 nineties, and they couldn't come out because the climate didn't welcome them. And yet he was the manager of the Auckland Rugby Union Club. He brought them out of the doldrums. I think they won six premierships. They died within a week of each other. And he said, This movie that was filmed [01:10:30] was an amazing film, a documentary, he said, Only on my desk can this film be released and I recommend it to everybody. It was an amazing, um, truthful example of what these two boys, one of them very high high profile in Auckland, had to live through because of the stigma and the moral case of we don't want to know about [01:11:00] it. But things are changing anyway, back to my story. After I left New York, I went to live in Europe and for six years I lived the high life in Europe, squander a lot of my all of my money and came back a bit later to pick up the virus The welcome virus in Melbourne in 1983. However, [01:11:30] I want my story is a little bit different because I decided that I wasn't going to die. I never, ever thought that I was So I After I left Melbourne about five years into the, uh, virus, I was burnt out actually for looking after people who are dying. I moved back to the central coast where I came [01:12:00] from and in Newcastle, a bit north of Sydney. I got a job with the new the New South Wales AIDS Council A and I was the, um HIV education officer there and it was 1993. I was discovering the Internet. I did a lot of research and I discovered that there were people who thought like I did, that the virus was not lethal, [01:12:30] that it was not going to kill you because I knew that I wasn't going to die. I knew in my heart and soul that I would never die. But I had changed my life around. I was leading a pretty healthy life, and I discovered this English magazine called Continuum, a London produced magazine where people like me have been positive for many years and were still asymptomatic as we were called. Well, I love what they said, and I went to New York. [01:13:00] I spoke in New York. I went to London. I spoke there Continuum, the name of the magazine, which has died, Unfortunately, because, like all of my friends who believe that HIWV wasn't lethal, not like all of them. But most of them did die. I was one of the exceptions who didn't and I accept the fact that I was possibly naive. But it was my naivety that probably allows me to stand [01:13:30] healthy before you today, I even wrote an article for continuing in 1997 called Lust for Life, and it's still on the Internet under my name, and I'm a little bit embarrassed, so please don't look up. Yeah, but President Mbeki, I must quote Africa here as well as South Africa. He followed the same belief system that I had, and unfortunately, he [01:14:00] hasn't gone down well in history because he refused the medications for the people who were dying in Africa, and it was not a good thing. In my case, I refused the medications also a little like in, um, the Dallas Buyers Club. I did not want to take a ZT because I had great disrespect for the multinational drug companies, and I knew that a ZT was a lethal [01:14:30] injection, as it was for so many people who, after only a few weeks of taking it, were wheeled out of the hospital dead. But after 22 years at that stage, I was looking after my mother, who was in her nineties. I started to lose weight and the virus kicked in. It is an ugly virus. It's a wasting virus. I looked skinnier than a supermodel, [01:15:00] and it was not a good look. My Kiwi doctor, Interestingly, in Gosford at that stage, I finally went to her and I said, I think you better give me some medication and this was, um, eight years ago and I took medications and I bounced back, and I'm here today fit and strong and well and available and [01:15:30] and I'd like to get Bruce Kilter's endorsement that as my viral load is undetectable, I am noninfectious. OK, somebody asked me why we still have this memorial. Well, I think it's clear from the other speakers why we have the memorial. It's a very important day for everybody [01:16:00] to remember what has gone on before. The other movie that I saw, thanks to Gareth Watkins again was called a Death in the Family at the film archives. Have any of you seen a death in the family? I can't believe it in a way, because it was such a great movie by Peter Wells, one of your great filmmakers who lives in Napier. [01:16:30] And it was about one of the very early deaths from AIDS in Auckland, and it was a a drama acted. I could not believe. It wasn't a documentary. It was so well done. It was a brilliant movie. It should go all around the world. Peter Well, Wells has since retired from making movies, I think because it's too difficult to get movies made now, but he is one of the icons in this country. I think a death in [01:17:00] the family is a movie that everybody really who's interested in what went on in the early days should see because we have to remain vigilant. And as somebody said earlier, complacency only brings laziness. Laziness brings lack of condom use. Lack of condom use brings HIV Now I just caught somebody's [01:17:30] eye in the audience who was at the movie with me yesterday, who lost her brother from HIV eight or nine years ago, and we had a discussion after the movie and the word self esteem came up. And I'm a great believer that self esteem is the answer to so many of the world's problems, especially [01:18:00] the gay world problems, because history has shown that we haven't been accepted history. The laws are changing. But society, unfortunately, is changing much slower. And it's this lack of self esteem that many of the gay people, transgender and intersex people can easily have. That is the source of so many problems. And [01:18:30] this is where I link it up with the movie, the Brazilian movie Who cares? Which is about a bunch of people all around the world who are making changes in the world. They are called social entrepreneurs. We have a lot of entrepreneurs in New Zealand social entrepreneurs. It's a new term. It's people who want to see change in society change like standing up, proud to be HIV positive. [01:19:00] And these stories in this movie were part of the message that I'd like to leave with you today is that the young people who are very creative need to institute change. We can give them that opportunity to do that. But there are opportunities for change even in this fantastic, progressive, exciting city of Wellington and [01:19:30] country of New Zealand which has adopted me and which I have very happily adopted. I know you all want to have your afternoon tea, so I'm going to finish with a quote from Nelson Mandela, who in January 2006 announced to his country the great iconic leader of South Africa and to the world. I'll read out [01:20:00] what he said. My son has died of AIDS. Let us give publicity to HIV AIDS and not hide it because the only way to make it appear normal is to come out and say someone has died of HIV. Then people will stop regarding it as extraordinary. I would go further and say that we need to be proud that we're HIV positive. [01:20:30] There is nothing to be ashamed of. There is so much to be proud of. Look at our history. I am proud. We should all be proud that we have HIV and are still alive and still working against this virus. So finally I would like to say [01:21:00] Let us be proud and strong enough to tell our family and friends without fear or consequence that we are HIV positive. Thank you. [01:21:30] Ron Irvine, the manager of body positive. Wellington has asked me to give some acknowledgements for people who have helped us bring this together today. And first and foremost is te papa the for their help with all the logistics and to access this fantastic venue also body positive. Michael. Thank you, [01:22:00] Michael. All the guest speakers who have come along and of course, to Michael Bancroft, who came down from Auckland to look after us as well. Gareth Watkins from the film archives who did all the screenings leading up to today and also the candle light rainbow Wellington, for their help with sponsorship. The Chrissy Wait Memorial Trust through me and [01:22:30] who sponsored the afternoon tea coming up afterwards, and the New Zealand AIDS Foundation of With Don and Lee, who are great. Help. Also, Carl Greenwood, the New Zealand PC, the prostitutes collective. Thank you to them and Peter Stob audio visual services for filming us here today. So I think that's everybody. And now Michael is going to finish the proceedings. [01:23:00] Thank you. Thank you. To everyone who has contributed. I'm just going to beg your indulgence for hopefully only a minute and a half or thereabouts. Don't time me. Nearly 10 minutes 10 years ago, [01:23:30] a young man was dying. His name was Carl Daniels, and he was at Bay House in Auckland. He was better known in the Auckland community as Courtney Cartier and we sat down. She told me everything that she wanted for her funeral. One of the requests was Anyone who's ever worn a dress is to be in a dress [01:24:00] that includes you, Michael. You may not be a priest now, but you used to dress up. Then we had the decoration of the casket and then Courtney appeared and all her finery? Absolutely. If I remember sparkling blue lay down in the casket and had them put the lid on. Not [01:24:30] to see what it was like with a lid over view but in her own words to make sure my boobs don't get crushed. We held an amazing funeral, which some of you were at at Saint Matthew in the city, and everyone was given a balloon. Now, if you don't know Saint Matthew and the city, it's right on the Hobson Street, which is a [01:25:00] 5 to 6 lane road that takes you up onto the southern motorway of Auckland. At the end of the service, everyone in a dress literally blocked off the whole of the road, and this was at about this time of the day. The most busy traffic time in Auckland ever stopped everyone so [01:25:30] that the hearse could go up the road on its own with balloons flying. Now the people in their cars may not have known what was happening, but I'll tell you what was really moving. There was the honking of horns, but it wasn't a honking. That said, What are you lot doing? Get out of our way. It was kind of on your way, whoever you are, and I want to finish with that as MC to remind [01:26:00] all of us that while some of the things we've heard today remind us that it's been a horrible 30 plus years in the sense we've lost a lot of our loved ones that it's still with us in the sense that there are so many living with the virus and still hidden that our sisters and brothers would want us to celebrate their lives. And what better [01:26:30] as kiwis do We do that by remembering and eating? I am told that if you wish to spend the night here, still be on the premises at six o'clock. That means get out of here before six. So the only request from the staff is that by [01:27:00] 5. 45 at the latest that people will be heading out of the building. Please. I now hand over to a to close this ceremony. Makai will be served over to our right there. Take your time. Celebrate. Thank you all. Thank you. [01:27:30] Do Yeah, Yeah, [01:28:00] Yeah. The good Good. [01:28:30] Yeah. And to OK, [01:29:00] [01:29:30] there you go. Yeah, yeah, yeah. [01:30:00] Ladies and gentlemen, Clay or, uh, refreshments are going to be served at the back, Just through in the kitchens over there. And then you see, the [01:30:30] first call goes to the people. But if you're not there, the second call goes out to the dogs. No, no. Better.

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AI Text:September 2023