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Kerry Brown profile

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in [00:00:05] So I'm here with Carrie, do you go from Washington que? [00:00:08] No. Enough Canterbury where cuckoo beach, which is a tiny little town, maybe half hour drive north of Christchurch. [00:00:17] And so what are the stereotypes about Christchurch and around North Canterbury and growing up the? [00:00:25] Well, I suppose when people hear that you're from a small town, and they assume that you've that you've experienced a little homophobia, and I suppose I did to a point. But because I wasn't, so it wasn't at then I I avoided all of it. In fact, my that the most [00:00:51] disturbing [00:00:55] was my experience that my most intense and experience of how phobia it was in Wellington, when a friend of mine was speaking up. So, yeah, and I guess that was because I will we were in a group that were an out and proud and so we were a target, whereas in worker or in rain euro, and I was desperately trying to go under the radar. [00:01:22] So, did you come out once you Lyft, North Canada, you're [00:01:28] coming to Wellington, for me was go [00:01:34] differently leading up to it, I was had envisioned that Wellington was a place I was going to come to and sort of find myself and come out. And I would discover my community or my people. And so with. With that in mind, I sort of knew that I was coming to Wellington to come out. And yeah. [00:02:00] When you were growing up in North Henry, did you know that you're queer or gay? Or how do you identify, [00:02:07] identify as gay, differently, I had come out to maybe, and my sixth form years one friend, and then at the end of that year, another friend event, I pasted a sort of friend at a time, until quite a few of my friends knew. But I hadn't had a conversation with my family or Yeah, about it. Until I moved to Wellington. And then I lived with my uncle for for about half a year. And that's when I [00:02:45] came out, [00:02:46] I guess. And were you friends reactions? Good? What was some of the responses? Oh, [00:02:55] my, my, my first friend that I came out to see, and this is the goes for a lot of my friends actually. And my parents and my mom especially made it very clear. We knew that career related news item came on the radio or the TV. She would make an opinion very clear in support of it. I think for my benefit. Try to open up a conversation that I never pounced on the opportunity. And my friend Holly who [00:03:28] was it helpful? Even though I kind of never pounced? Was it good to know what her opinions were? Or we like well [00:03:39] that was good. My mom's interesting because I always knew that it was never going to be an issue with her like that maybe she was one of the most difficult people to come out to in a way because I I'm very close to that right? I suppose. having that conversation with her would for me was finally addressing it fully for myself as well. So in that way, it was difficult but um there was not a doubt in my mind that she would this you know, she was going to just I don't know I knew she wasn't going to decide me or feel any differently about me or anything like that. [00:04:22] And you're the first when you came out to [00:04:26] say the same thing we never like she would always start conversations about queer stuff and and try to bait me but it took took quite a traumatic experience for me with I suppose a boyfriend where I was really really a native support Yeah, I took that for me to talk to her about it and we went we will always her and I will always find classes and we went to the end of the sports field and set behind this Roland [00:05:06] wall and [00:05:09] and my [00:05:14] story I guess [00:05:17] and poly and Hollywood and party [00:05:21] first came out with [00:05:24] an a similar circumstance she see realized I was really upset about something and wants to talk to me about it and so I invited her are they and had another really paint like laid out like talking to her that I think I said [00:05:45] Polly is the anything that I could [00:05:49] say to you that would make you like me lease or make you hate me and I which I suppose is what I was most paranoid about. She said if if you said something mean about my dad [00:06:06] I was like well I'm not gonna do that but I'm gay [00:06:11] and shit yeah she Polly is early wonderful for him because she's I'm so earnest and straight up and I knew I could rely on her to to not you know not tell anyone and same with Holly. I I chose my friends who I felt really really trusted initially. And then once I was more confident with it I was a bit more frivolous with her told him [00:06:47] see first came out to your first person I guess. And sex for Did you know before them? [00:06:55] Yes. Interesting because I'm sure [00:07:01] yeah, it's I have trouble and picturing or remembering when i when i first sort of knew, but I know that um, I do remember when I was very young. telling my mom I wish I was a girl so I could we had pink pajamas and and being like athlete obsessed with mermaids. Then Then it's sort of I don't know. I think I can remember thinking I can remember driving back from Christchurch one evening and and having heard some statistic about no one in teen me and I gay and I remember thinking it would just be my luck that I was that one. Guys and but but almost like, almost thinking that it would you know, like, [00:07:54] it just seems so. [00:07:56] So [00:07:59] unrealistic. That would even happen to me like I didn't? Yeah. And then then I guess when puberty hit, it was pretty a pretty hormonal time. So I was I was having fantasies about a woman and men. And then once I don't know once my hormones see it differently near I sort of tricked myself. Honestly, I was like, right, I think I'm some kind of basic so that I'll and maybe I'll experiment with me and but I'm definitely like I want I want a family. yada yada yada so I'm definitely still with a woman that is um, [00:08:42] it's I guess I was just easy myself into. [00:08:46] Yeah, I totally identify us. Okay. [00:08:55] Bye. And my family. [00:09:00] Aunty, for instance, identified is let's be entered in flipped, spotted. Apparently quite a few members of my family. So [00:09:10] who does? [00:09:13] There's a potential that you might have to come out to everybody is. [00:09:18] My, when I came out to my grandma, she [00:09:22] was really, really cute. She said to me that she had had passions for women as well. Yeah, there was actually a really lovely conversation to have to see and initiated it. [00:09:36] And [00:09:38] I was like, she came into my room and I was asleep. And she sat on my bed. And I knew that they wanted to talk about that. Luca, she was [00:09:48] she didn't pretend to be [00:09:50] as pretty girl either. Like, it's See, I can't remember how she spearheaded the conversation, but we were talking about it. She just says that she wanted me to make sure that I knew what I wanted. And that, I think probably if she was really concerned that I would have a hard life as a gay person, probably from what she experienced, or I haven't been given she said that. [00:10:21] She was bluffing. I'm gonna watch and then she [00:10:25] gave me $20 [00:10:29] Yeah, absolutely sweet. She cried a little bit, and then gave me the $20 [00:10:35] was like, coming out. If everyone was as lucrative as [00:10:41] 20 bucks everybody came out. [00:10:47] So you moved to Washington kind of was a bit like game maker or queen maker or something. And what did you find when you got here community was or people was? [00:10:58] Well, I [00:11:01] as I said, I wanted to be, I guess it was sort of a metamorphosis. I wanted to be gay from the get go, and which I suppose is unrealistic in some ways, and I decided I want to dress differently. I think I just jumped really wholeheartedly into I was wearing eyeliner. And what did [00:11:23] you know, Ken's Really? [00:11:30] Like? My dad's a bit of, you know, [00:11:35] we're a hunting family. Yeah, [00:11:42] he tried, you plan on shooting for smile, and [00:11:45] they'll follow bright colors. I think this T shirt that I'm wearing right now was one of the first things I bought, and I bought this purple jersey. And better. Actually, there is one that I sort of, for me, represented by coming out with this bright pink hoodie. It was stars all over it. And I like I was just in love with it. I was like, This is symbolic of metamorphosis. [00:12:14] Did you feel like a movie? Maybe? [00:12:19] Um, yeah. [00:12:21] Maybe a little bit like, anyway, this that I made a gay guy at messy where I was studying. And he invited me to a party and I knew I was going to make a party and they were going to be gay people there. And I knew I was going to be my buddy. That was really excited. And I went, I took a friend with me to this party, wearing a hoodie. And I was sort of like walked in with my friend who was a girl. And we were I was just sort of hovering and really an order of everything. And then this person, this guy came up to me and said, he said to me, were you a birthday cake and another life. And he like, he was like he's now it was so horrible. [00:13:11] And I was like, What do you mean? Like just sort of looked at me. And I was like my buddy, [00:13:17] Eddie just sort of like are all decided not to wait for me. And that was really, really disappointing. I sort of like, [00:13:25] it was a bit of a crisis point for me, because I was expecting this community and my people. And I, exactly, yeah, that was quite traumatizing. And I didn't I didn't I sort of [00:13:39] I will. I made friends with [00:13:43] queer friendly people in my studies, but not gay people. And I spent maybe a year and that sort of community of people to feel towards for Kerry Macy messy, sort of lots before I even really properly started going to gay bars and making good friends. And yeah, I suppose eventually, I did find my people that it wasn't as it wasn't as instantaneous as I thought it would be. I think I'm willing to. [00:14:18] So how do you feel about your people now the community or communities now wanting to [00:14:26] I'm, I'm really privileged in that I'm, I'm surrounded by a really incredible, incredible, strong, passionate, queer, queer people. And actually, this is so much variety. Like, there's so much to celebrate within our community. And I think that's the wonderful. Yeah. [00:14:52] So do you think that if, if a pain from North Canterbury into the fifth one of the Queen parties who gave How [00:15:01] do you think thank you? [00:15:04] Thank God, well, [00:15:06] potentially, I, I actually, I don't know if I'm friends with any other people that I met at that party or with that person. And I can't actually remember who I was. [00:15:21] I think like, any, [00:15:25] any circle of people or any sphere, you go into, you're gonna not like with people and probably experienced hostility for like, for a million reasons. [00:15:39] Maybe you had a traumatic experience with the color pink? Totally. Can you tell? [00:15:43] Yeah, totally. And I think, um, maybe, because it was. So flamboyantly gay, maybe he had an issue with it. What an honor. [00:15:57] People do. [00:15:59] What's maybe students from insecurities, which is, I guess, maybe just a place where we are at as a society, which is not very nice, but I'm, I'm sure. You know, this is what I'm trying to say. Can you [00:16:21] talk a little bit more about gay stereotypes? And how that does it impact on you or you kind of out there you know, it exists but it's affects me [00:16:30] and then I get really upset when [00:16:34] when particular stare at your cycle? I guess so. Um, is targeted with hostility? I think that really bugs me. I don't know, like, try. It is just a lot of negative. Maybe there's not a lot but you definitely hear negative talk about maybe drag queens or sometimes people I don't know, if it's meant to be in good humor, but check around I'm not very nice thing about drag queens at least be in so maybe even add the potty boys. So the look, I think, you know, there's some scorn around there. I, I what I think is that with drag queens in with people that are really outwardly queer that I really super admire that because they, it takes a lot of courage to be visible. And, and it's those people that are going to have the big be targeted with, with homophobia and with hostility. And it's Yeah, it's just takes a lot of courage to be visible. I think it's by doing that they're serving, I can tell community. I really admire that. Yeah, and I think it's just such a shame that when you see on maybe internet forums, or [00:18:12] anyway, really, [00:18:15] when within our community, is this hate speak? it? [00:18:20] Yeah. What do you think that comes from? [00:18:25] Maybe it's that, I know that I really struggled with a sense of identity growing up, and so [00:18:34] maybe when people [00:18:37] finally have the courage to be who they are, they see that is a really narrow [00:18:49] what's my word? [00:18:51] If you don't fit a certain and fit in a certain category, or you draw attention to yourself, or whatever. People might be hostile, and they don't say they feel that you're representing them. That's okay, just to get out. Yeah, I can understand, like, when, when I was struggling with my sense of identity, I was like, Well, why are they by behaving like that, like that? That's not doing me any favors by like, being socially important or whatever. And maybe it's just then more recently, when I've had the privilege of being involved in more like things like, like youth hallways, and forums or discussion have [00:19:45] had the opportunity to do a lot of learning and, and a lot of self reflection. And, yeah, [00:19:52] so this stuff about Wellington's quick communities or queer community that you'd like to see change your like to shuffle towards, or just happy doing its thing? [00:20:05] Yeah, I suppose I suppose. [00:20:10] I would like the, I would like to be a lot of more celebration of variety within our community, [00:20:20] and [00:20:22] more [00:20:26] tolerance of variety within a community. [00:20:33] Maybe [00:20:35] that just it has to do with the time [00:20:40] that we're in that. [00:20:43] Because I suppose it's in the last sort of 20 years that people [00:20:49] quit, people have been able to sort of [00:20:54] be more present and be more visible. So there's going to be some growing pains and we're as, as a people for working things out. And [00:21:09] how do you find other queer people gay people wanting to adjust around bars and nightclubs, or [00:21:19] we've just got a group of friends that kind of, yeah, it's [00:21:23] I, [00:21:25] the, the circle and in which I sort of operate now. I was introduced through a friend I went to [00:21:33] drama school with [00:21:36] and that I this [00:21:39] I'm sure there's lots of entry points. [00:21:43] Sure, it's the gay bars. I bet it's not everyone's sort of thing. It's not. I've really struggled with striking up conversations and Davis. And [00:21:57] yeah, I suppose there. [00:22:01] Once there are so many things actually going on in the community that maybe I can't even actually remember the name staff. You look at the gay newspapers or like, websites and things. So you can sort of these film festivals and stuff like that. [00:22:22] I'm yeah. [00:22:25] I just found my entry point through friendships. [00:22:29] So you socialize and you have your kind of circle of friends and stuff that you do and that kind of thing. Do you do other stuff, kind of community work within quick music? Yep, I've, [00:22:43] it's been quite important to me to sort of get involved. [00:22:47] And there's a lot of opportunity for that. [00:22:50] to volunteer for things. [00:22:54] I have I did face painting, and out on the screen. And I done really mundane things like red condoms, and [00:23:04] mundane but useful. Yeah, and important. [00:23:09] And that's really fun as well, because that was in the pudding, condoms and packets was and prep for out of the square as well. And it's, that was really fun. And that you got to sort of sit down and do repetitive tasks with people and just chat. And I've also been involved in EQ, which actually is a perfect way to meet people. Like I believe I overlooked that before. If you're a student, unique here, which is sort of, you know, Victoria based social group for queer people, and it's just an evening, maybe evenings or lots of [00:23:56] social events. [00:23:59] I got involved in some quick mentoring 30 unique years well, and some mentoring with PGI, which isn't queer related, but I did a lot of useful learning that has served me and other unclear areas as well through that. [00:24:25] So there's a lot of kind of, I guess, that would be called a supportive role play. And so he people today, and they say things like, Oh, well, you know, have a security reform was ages ago, blah, blah, is the as the still a need for quiz supporters is to homophobia, [00:24:42] totally. [00:24:46] Especially at the sort of youth level, like if you're supporting the youth, you're empowering them to, [00:24:54] to have well being and to be [00:25:00] bike in every area of your life, not just how they identify. But I just think it's so important that [00:25:09] when, with young people to make sure that they have it. [00:25:15] Yeah, they're just empowered to feel good about themselves and my matter, right? No matter what [00:25:25] you said a while back into that when you were going through puberty or hormonal you, like kind of liking liking boys and girls or minimal woman. And part of that was about with the woman at least was was about families. Do you still was it still relevant now? And you still think about families now? [00:25:45] Yeah, I, it's a [00:25:51] subject that I sort of thinking about. And I'm maybe [00:25:56] I don't struggle with it, but I'm always sort of [00:26:01] my opinions always sort of changing. I know that if, if I want a family, like I know, [00:26:07] I have a family. [00:26:08] I just [00:26:11] know that it, it'll be different. [00:26:16] There's a play called [00:26:19] cherish by, I can't remember his name, but it was a local writer, and it was this circle theater. And it's [00:26:31] it's sort of a bass. [00:26:36] That I think maybe with our generation, and particularly with my generation, there's a sense that you can get whatever you want. And and maybe with the older generations, there isn't a sense of like, you can't always get what you want, which is a lot of the flavors rolling starts out that and I think this is there's a balance with the end is I've after reading that play, I found found it quite a traumatic experience and I was really sees that, that I wouldn't be able to you know, and this might not be able to get exactly what I want. But on the the whole point of the play was that you should cherish the fees, maybe things that you don't have access to or that you're denied because they shape you and [00:27:31] and [00:27:34] that while I might not be able to have the the vision of a family that I am that I grew up wanting. I'm I can have something very similar to that. And which is [00:27:54] maybe I'm not [00:27:57] articulating myself here. Well, we're really special in its own way, I guess. Yeah. Yeah. [00:28:04] So what are your plans for the next [00:28:10] kind of plans for the future? Do you have to say a while and then continue kind of community stuff? or? [00:28:15] Yeah, totally, I'm [00:28:17] really to be go to Hollywood and be a movie. [00:28:22] Maybe that's something I should look into. And then if you to dress the opposite, loving each other. [00:28:32] I [00:28:33] am always wanting to be more and fault and queer stuff. Like [00:28:41] when I went when I sort of [00:28:45] got on with I was able to attend. And fire out was that 2008 [00:28:52] was a while ago, I remember when I was [00:28:55] that was [00:28:57] something that [00:28:59] that always remember, and [00:29:03] things like that, that they're just so empowering and so good for your spirit for your well being. I don't think I even if I [00:29:16] flip and become straight like [00:29:21] apparently, but I have the potential to [00:29:27] why I think [00:29:28] even if I am I'm always going to be queer, whether I'm a heterosexual relationship or not. And I even if I I did become decide I was wanted to be with someone, a woman, I think I would always want to be involved in there, really involved in the queer community and I would always identify as being queer. It's just, it's something that I that I really cherish. Something that I really try to celebrate in my life.

This page features computer generated text of the source audio. It is not a transcript, it has not been checked by humans and will contain many errors. However it is useful for searching on keywords and themes.