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Paul Diamond profile

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in [00:00:04] Paul diamond historian Raja and Julius yubikey. Some very very busy. [00:00:10] Yeah, yeah, I working freelance on all sorts of different projects now. So yeah, it is kind of busy. It's an interesting, it's interesting not I finished working full time last February, February 2009, as an oral historian, but since then I'm doing all sorts of different writing, journalism, oral history, different all sorts of different projects. So yeah, it's a good mix. [00:00:33] So man, a man of many talents, and do they fit into each other quite well? [00:00:37] Yeah, they I guess when you're freelance, you've got the opportunity to do things that you're interested in that suit you different things you're passionate about. Yeah. So they do with you know, a lot of them have to do with reading and writing. So, you know, I help out with assessing you know, applications from the free stuff. help with Writers Festival, which is part of the International Arts Festival. Also, doing line writing, doing oral history doing all history abstracting and then a few little Yeah, and there's a bit of queer queer research there as well. [00:01:13] Yeah, Have you always been into writing and reading and that kind of thing from a from a were you one more [00:01:18] year I think I've been interested in reading for a long time. And I remember you know, growing up in Stokes Valley and being growled at by the librarian for taking out too many nonfiction books, she was worried about me that I should be not just doing nonfiction, but I should be reading fiction as well. And from like, a lot of kids, you know, you just get interested, obsessed, really with with a thing, a topic. So it was, you know, I had a dinosaur phase, like a lot of people don't Egyptology phase like a lot of people do. But that's kind of continued with, I sort of just get interested in the topics. I've been lucky to have jobs where that's been encouraged and been part of it, you know, so I was a journalist and worked as a producer and radio. And I was lucky enough and radio to do long form documentaries. So let me long interviews. And that was sort of how I ended up getting involved in oral history, because that's very similar stuff I was doing was sort of social history. I did a documentary series that was a history of the tomato party script. Because it was the 30th anniversary of the first party state, right. So I went around and talked to some of the old members about what they thought about, you know, the protesting, and now and then combined it with archival stuff. [00:02:30] Yes. And your family was being really supportive of what you've done kind of reading and writing while we kind of we considered geeky or [00:02:38] read. And, [00:02:40] you know, both my parents were teachers. So [00:02:44] you know, so reading wasn't sort of an odd thing to be doing. And protecting my mom's family, it was a thing to be encouraged that they encouraged. And, in fact, you know, now I hardly watch any TV because I just, there's just so much I'm needing to read from it can infer, book reviewing it, I'm doing and just, it's just something I do for leisure as well. I'm also a judge for this year's, New Zealand post Book Awards, as well. So reading 160 books, what I was reading [00:03:13] a lot, it's quite a lot. So you grew up in the States, really. [00:03:17] I was born in Pritam editor, which is a little place in the south Waikato. And the reason I was born there was because my father's family were living in a mill town called to fit to which was really small, built around a timber mill. And that's where my father's family lived when my parents got married. So my father actually decided to teach he ran, he was in the school, Tony, we school there, and my mother actually taught there as well. So until I was about four, we loved it. And I guess it was a bit strange for my mother going back to where you know her in laws live. But you know, that's probably why she's so close to my dad's, she was so close to my dad's brothers and sisters. And but we came down here. I don't know why my father applied for a job down here. But he applied for a job in stocks Valley. And so he was a primary teacher, and we lived in stocks Valley, so I've lived here for since then. So that was in the early 70s. moved down here some Valley boiler welling, Tony. [00:04:18] And coming out, did you know and we've family right about it, uh, when did you know we've always known or [00:04:26] I probably like a lot of people, you know, knew fairly early on, but didn't come out of school. And it was a different environment. So you know, I was at school, I was at intermediate, sort of 7980. And then I was at school from know, Sydney, Sydney nine, a few minutes at secondary school from 81 to 85. So you're talking just before long form. So I remember the Lord form protests. And we actually weren't allowed to go to those because our parents were anxious because of the Springbok tour, you see, because I think people would sort of say, you know, that was a new thing. The violence of those protests. Yeah. And I think was the law reform things. You know, we were just teenagers, and we were sort of pretty protected. I think. I mean, not many of us could drive. So we use trains and buses and stuff away appearance who fearless round. So we may be winners and opinion. I mean, we had a few of us who had licenses and we love them. [00:05:28] They could do things like take us to the penthouse. [00:05:31] Completely exotic. So I think I, you know, and I remember devotions going on, but didn't go to them, you know, and, and it was also, you know, AIDS was, you know, the, those are the plague us. So, there was all that anxiety as well, because, you know, the virus was in a very different space to what it is now. [00:05:53] So, [00:05:54] so with all that stuff going on, what were your parents just like, hey, but sheltered from it, kick kick you out of it? [00:06:03] Was it Come on lots of messages around? [00:06:06] No, it didn't come up, you know, this is the thing because I didn't raise it, because I just channeled my energy into, you know, doing quite well at school, working hard doing all the other stuff at school, like drama, and debating and playing hockey. And, you know, so did really well had a great, great time at school. And I also had a group of friends who are none of them are gay, but but they were all quite bright, we had streaming and we were all in the same stream at school. And they, they weren't really into relationships. So see, there wasn't that pressure to be in a relationship. So it sort of didn't come up. And we just had these very intense friendships with each other. So we sort of hanging out with each other, we saw each other in the holidays, and we were all lab assistants here is kind of geeky. [00:06:49] See, being a lab assistant, those [00:06:50] white coats. [00:06:53] Being a lab assistant was great, because it means you could you could be in the science labs at lunchtime. And you see that protected us a lot because you know, even being tall would get bullied and [00:07:06] wow. [00:07:07] Wow, this is old. And I don't know, it could zero in on anything that's different. Yeah. And so I was told which and I then hated being told now I love it. But then it was because it was like, you know, you were singled out. And I may have been a bit, you know, they might have been a, I might have been a bit feminine, I don't know, was probably just a bit neat. And so that sort of Max you're out of but so but but we could sort of hide from them. And I know my mother said she thought that we had not really had a very typical education because we actually hadn't had to mix with a broad cross section of kids like my brother, I have one brother who's three years younger than me. And the oldest Yeah. And there's just two of us. And he had a very different experience of school and did really well but and different things like he was the captain 15. And he was a boy, nice things. So we've done different things at school. But she's probably right that in the sense that kind of I'm grateful for it, because it's sort of meant that I just got through that whole experience and didn't really wasn't sort of too fearful, you know, which I think you could end it. And it certainly never left me and I didn't really have to address the sexuality thing. I just basically and even through university, I didn't didn't either. But it was kind of becoming a bit obvious. Especially so [00:08:21] you didn't you didn't bring it up. But with the kind of messages I guess, because of you know, the age thing, and obviously short form news was a lot of stuff kind of flying around in the public around what gaming will need to be like, or did you hear any of that? Or you see it just in your science lab? Anything in any sort [00:08:38] of an? Yeah, it's funny. It's not that I actually I sort of was aware, and I think if I probably you know, I probably knew I was gay, but I was sort of wasn't doing anything about it. And then I I do remember, flattering. So it's it's after I graduated from university, so you'd be talking about the world through the Yeah, I mean, it's the early 90s. I mean, it didn't really come out until I was in my mid 20s. And but I [00:09:03] kind of felt the need to know Yeah, [00:09:05] no, I think was sort of repressing it in retrospect, because I remember doing a video for flatmate, we had a flatmate who was in Zimbabwe, and we all got together and did a video for him. And I remember looking at the video of me, and it's always hard seeing yourself on video, but I that's what I thought, oh, that guy's not at ease in his own skin. And that's when I think I sort of thought, No, I need to do something. So yeah, I started reading. I remember reading dangerous desires, Peter Peter wells, his book, I've got a really close friend who is the same age as me, but he came out 10 years before me. And so once I did come out, he was really like my fairy godmother, really, and so he and I knew of him, we both grown up in LA half. But he'd spent some time at school overseas in Canada, and I think coming up Dean, but, and I'd heard about him when I was at university, because I knew some friends. And he was pretty notorious, you know, because it was, it was a radical thing, because, you know, law reforms, and he just going through it, and the whole notion of gay teachers was pretty radical. And now, you know, being the child of teachers, I remember my mother sort of saying, you know, that would be tricky, you know, and, you know, it could be a tricky thing for someone to be out. So that's just shows how things have changed. [00:10:22] Yeah, I've always thought about how weird it must be for something to be considered, like, it's my prostitution was on there. But something or appear a group of people to be considered illegal, or whatever. And if you know, anything, not illegal, and because I was been five or something when that happened. Yeah, there's an adult. [00:10:40] I guess another lesson is that things can flip both ways. Yes, I suppose as one of the lessons that I guess you do have to keep, you know, being aware and vigilant. But I can't believe how much it's changed in such a short space of time. Because see, all these things followed on once you've had the criminalisation, then the teacher and another guy, Shane town, I don't, I don't really know him very well, he might have been a little bit older than me, who was, you know, Gliese gays and lesbians in education everywhere. And I just remember how brave they were because they were talking about being out as gay teachers, you know, before law reform, I think, [00:11:15] wow. Because even now, I know, lots of teachers find a bit rough. [00:11:19] That's much easier. I'm sure. It's much easier. Now. I'm in and now there are now there are school groups, you know, have been go for a while now. I mean, now, it's the same as it is, for straight teachers that you've got to observe professional ethical rules and boundaries. So it really is no different. I mean, it's, you know, there was always that issue with, you know, straight men and young girls, right. So it's now it's just like that. I mean, it's, you just have to observe the same ethical rules. So yeah. And so when I finally did, you know, come out, it was kind of most people were saying, Oh, no, we want a BCI case, I'm lucky that the climate change, because if it been 10 years earlier, it would have been a different sort of thing, I suppose. Because I felt it still being illegal. It would have been different. But it was sort of like, well, 10 years on from law reform, or what's the big deal? Yeah. [00:12:11] So it's a bit of a normal thing. And if people like, [00:12:14] my mother was some, but we, you know, but she was, well, no, just learned about. I've seen this and other families, you know, where people are just concerned about their kids getting hurt. Yeah. And that they might be leaving themselves in for a hard life, a harder life than I might. She never talked about the green children thing. It was a great relief from my brother, Heather, [00:12:36] takes the pressure off. [00:12:38] And that is incredibly special. And my mother died in 2008. And that's one of the odd things about the grief from that is it makes you think about, you know, legacy stuff and grandkids and all that sort of stuff. It's interesting. You don't, I didn't expect to start thinking about all that again. But no, they were they were really good and really supportive. And then it says sort of another coming out when you get into relationships, as well. So and partner, I mean, goes back 616 17 years ago, they both got on really well with he's he's older than me. He's 17 years older than me. So he's closer to being a peer of this. So perhaps that might have been a reason why I got on, but you know, they found it easy to get on with them. But I've been pretty lucky. And then I my extended family have been really, really good. Yeah. And I've got all sorts of gay relatives on my dad's side, the melodic side, which is really cool as well. And yeah, I've got a gay uncle and Sydney and his partner said years ago that he loved coming back to New Zealand because the family extended family was so warm and welcoming. He said it was that you could feel the love coming out of the walls and I phrase Yeah, and I saw them a few months ago, last year. And you know, so I'm very lucky to have come from there's never really been any not you know, any original. [00:14:02] So you don't readers and writers, and I know that you you've written a few books for and published by Korea, and you've done lots of oral history stuff. Um, Has it always been around kind of LGBT I, you know, queer communities, or just kind of flux [00:14:18] in and out or overlaps? Or I think it's, it's just like one of those things that you know, you, for me the things I get drawn to LinkedIn with bits of my background. So, you know, I did a biography of a woman called market at who had a English father and mother and was a, she became a very famous guide at Russia, and went to Oxford and married an Englishman over there, and then divorced him and then went to study at Oxford. And, and I can't I really think the reason I was drawn to that story for me was that it's the biracial thing being half past as ever known name. I'm working on a story at the moment about a man who was the Nirvana know, in 1920, and was being blackmailed, because he was gay. And he shot someone who was blackmailing him, and went to prison, and then went to England became a journalist, and then he got shot covering arrived in Germany. So, and people have said to me, you know, why you're interested in that story? And it's, and it's not your family? It's not, you know. And I think there is something to do, it could be something about the journalist thing, but I think it's to do with the gay thing, I think it's just about a curiosity about other guy lives. I think you have to be curious to do the things I've done. But I think sometimes gay people are often curious about what's it like for other people to be gay? And what's it been like, and other times to be gay? And, you know, we were talking about how things have changed and our memory? Well, see, I'm trying to understand what it was like in the early 20th century, and I think you completely invisible. And I think there's no notion of this binary Gay Straight thing, I think, you know, mean, had sex with men, but they may not have identified anything like how we identify. [00:16:10] So that's more kind of a behavior something you doing, as opposed to and I didn't see this as [00:16:14] well, there is that theory isn't there about your orientation, your behavior and training, not all necessarily the same. So I've been in touch a lot with CRISPR. Cool, who did the nature lovers the history of male homosexuality, and it's been great talking to him. And it's great that he did that work, because it's like, you know, the work that people like Gareth Watkins and Mac beer doing, it's wonderful base to build on, you know, and I think there's lots of stuff that's possible because of that, that based stuff that these guys are doing, that I did a book on mighty leadership for a year. And that was tied in with a radio series about mighty leadership. Then another thing that I did for for you, there was a BCI, in a book on indigenous sexuality, and was a article looking at how a story that I spotted when I was researching the woman a mere story about a mighty man who been taken to court because he dressed up as a woman to work as a housemaid, and family and open and how that was reported. So it's amazing when you research, you know, you find a research, you know, you find all these other stories that are interesting to follow up. So what I did was I sort of tried to contrast how that was covered, and then looked at the top we show that was on multi TV, and just contrasting the two sort of things, you know, of the two time periods. It's interesting, isn't it that that took a top was not happening. So sometimes we have these things, and they are just sort of moments in time, and then they go in, and now we don't have an indigenous queer presence in the media, like we did. So you know, it's like when Dame Sylvia was a cat, right was asked about having a New Zealand, you know, I said, Gosh, New Zealand's got a woman Chief Justice. It's going women, Prime Ministers for women coming in, she said, You know, these are just moments in time, we shouldn't get complacent. And you know, and she's right. I mean, we don't have a woman Prime Minister. I mean, we don't have a woman got an agenda, and we still have a chief justice. But she's right, these things, you know, and not necessarily you shouldn't really get complacent. [00:18:18] So what's kind of changed? Or for better, for worse or and, you know, for one of LGBT communities, or we would you? Would you like to see stuff heated? Well, what are the moments in time? Would you like to see [00:18:30] this the spring of a really good friend of mine who's the same age, but we came up 10 years apart. I learned a lot by talking to him about what things were like, those years, you know, and I was really just busy at school and university and stuff and not really involved in the community match. And I think we've lost there are things we've gained, you know, there's a lot more openness, I mean, we've got the legal protections. Now, we've got things like civil unions, but you listen to some older gay people talk and it's, you know, that was, it was like, things were like a secret society. You know, he noted, though, who used to work with Gareth and I, right, in New Zealand, you know, so an older guy, a mighty man used to talk about a place on Corona happy, right, and used to used to have a special knock on the door. And, you know, they looked at Unity un and I, I wonder if we sort of missed it, because I it makes it easier to find people. And, and, and it's sort of a, you know, it's a it's a you're a pet, your identity is different, whereas in Wellington, things are so integrated and diffuse. Because people go to, we've had the speakers at the outtakes and they go, Oh, here's where you all are, you know. So where are you all the rest of the year? I do wonder about what is one of the things that bring us together. So I admire the people who do things like the devious dance party in the out in the square and, and that's why to fund a funder that we've been part of as a great thing. I think things like that are really special. Because Yeah, I mean, otherwise, you mean things like for gay welfare group of men have come out of, you know, other the push for law reform and AIDS, I mean, was a big rallying thing. But I do sort of wonder, you know, what is it that, that brings us together, and sometimes in managing you feel that, you know, everybody is queer, and then you find the whole pocket pocket? different age groups, different ethnicities, different backgrounds, and I think that's quite exciting, really. But But yes, think that something was sort of lost as it's [00:20:32] like a double whammy. So my psyche, you know, you considered a minority or, you know, living on the margins, or whatever, and, and in this, or that, we're just like, you kind of stuff and then when laws changes, and attitudes change, on all the time, people are just like everybody else. And so they go to, you know, whatever. And and I've heard people say also about Wellington, that year, that quick people, how would you BCI people's just go anywhere, you know, they go that way, Boss don't necessarily go to the gay bars and that kind of thing. So it's kind of can be more kind of spread out. And then you ever, I guess that loss of a loss, maybe but the lack of of a real hub or real kind of coming together thing, which is you find it really interesting as well, [00:21:15] which is why things are great. And winter, in a lot of people are getting behind the games thing at the moment, which is, which is a great thing, the lions group, I mean, I I just wonder how I think it must be easier for for young people now. Because they're growing up in this completely different environment. I always wonder, you know, what would I be doing if I was at title college now? And you know, what, I'd be trotting off to the queer group and happily high or whatever? Or would it be just the same as I was? I don't know, it would be interesting to know, because it's such a different sort of context. In a way, I'm sort of relieved that I didn't. Because, you know, by the time I did, I was a lot older and more serious oven. Because there's always that worry that, you know, with those being the US that, you know, you were pretty vulnerable. And if you had sort of got into a, you know, unsafe situations and stuff, and, you know, different partners, you were very vulnerable, especially if you were younger, and not, you know, that assertive. And so, I guess that's how you do have to listen to him, and you can't, you can't really regret the way things have turned out. But on balance, I think, I think it's really good, where we're at now. And I think it's really good that we've got, you know, you've got green, it's bit like Marty, I mean, you can be green, you can be right wing, you can be live, when you can be into workers rights, you can be you know, so. And that's probably what we've always been like, [00:22:42] a multiplicity and that kind [00:22:43] of thing. I always used to say that if you listen to gay people talk, you can hear either them saying, I'm fighting for the right to be different, or I'm fighting for the right to be like everyone else. [00:22:55] mainstreaming, I suppose is the sort of thing. [00:23:00] It I think it is a I think that there are different things. You know, there are cultural differences. I reckon I really do, I think, between queer people and non queer people, I think it changes your outlook on the world. And there's a mark doty, who's a fantastic American poet. And so memoirs, who's sending a quote, you know, that has been queer. I think this whole outlook of the fix the way he engages with the world, and I, I think that's right, actually. And so that's why I sort of, you know, part of me sort of things aren't what it would have been, like, you know, to have the Dorian club and all these things that have gone now. But I, you know, I've just signed up for a Gay Men's book group. [00:23:46] And if I could sing, I'd be trotting along to the choir. And yeah. [00:23:49] So these things are around. I mean, we can make our own communities and I suppose we don't have to do it covertly. [00:23:57] So I suppose on balance, you know, we're in a good space. [00:24:01] What would I like to see more of? [00:24:04] I don't know. I just don't. You? That's, that's a hard question. I mean, I just think it's Wellington is unusual, I think, because you've just got so many options here, and so many. [00:24:18] That's why I think I'd struggled living anywhere else. [00:24:22] Now, I can't think of anything that [00:24:26] I think you just have to be, you have to be vigilant, I think you have to not be complacent. And so that's why I think it's great that rainbow Wellington have been convening that discussion about the blood donations. You know, and, and it's really great that we've got in peace all over. And most of the parties now, you know, who, you know, can be openly gay. And we've got that sort of presence there as well. And that link into policymaking and stuff. Yeah, I guess I would just be the main thing is really just not not being complacent, and also looking for the opportunities for us to tell our own stories and our own way. [00:25:06] Yeah, that's really important. Because I think a lot of it for me, it's really interesting how much I guess knowledge or history can get lost. And, you know, not even one generation, but five years or 10 years or something. And so I know that School's out, which is a quick, quick youth group. We have we've had speakers along you know, you before you were born kind of forgot the young people I'm a sexuality was illegal and pay me nice people in prison and given the bottom is an electric shock treatments. And it's really interesting. Now, when I do education in schools, for guys, predominantly straight kids, they're like, Whoa, was it really illegal? They could, you know, can't even fathom a time like maybe don't like gay people, or whatever, and say mean things, but couldn't kind of fathom a time when it was actually illegal. And so you're like, wow, that's actually that's actually fairly recent. You know, that's not 15 years ago, or 100 years ago. Yeah, this is any recent stuff that [00:26:01] yeah, that means easy to forget this younger generations got different things to deal with, like this thing about gay become looking the meaning of gay changing among younger people. The guy just spending all this really stinks awful. And no, we really shouldn't be complaining because I think there are still it's still not necessarily easy for people to be themselves. And, and there was still a bit of a bit of hunger fo you know, homophobia around and the way people talk and stuff. Yeah, definitely. And I think that I've had a peps an easier time. Because people don't always know that I'm gas buys. that awful phrase, straight acting, which is not actually used that much anymore. It always used to be used in the fuselage and [00:26:47] the story is on the person where [00:26:50] you don't go on those sides. Do you [00:26:53] know that I think about it. I haven't seen that phrase for years. And yet when I was coming out, that was a very much see. But now what does that mean? You don't know now and I like that. But it's like when people look at me, they don't know that I murder you that always. Mario Packer. So that is interesting, as well. It's about this whole thing of passing, you know, passing you know, people and I kind of like that, that people don't prejudge you. But I do know of other people who maybe don't get taken as seriously because people might think, you know, you silly Queen, whatever. So [00:27:28] whatever women's [00:27:32] comb so you've got you've got lots of judging and book reading up for the readers and writers, you're going to enter anything in the, in the games. Do you play any sports and hobbies? [00:27:42] Well, I, I run with front runners, and I really love a little front runners group. It's sort of started. It's wonderful, Jules is the name she, we started this over 10 years ago, she started. And what's really funny is that I think she just seemed to know around saying how does he normally run out. So front runners group, and we didn't, and then she sort of left you know, and I think she's still around, but she's not involved in the group. But but the rest of us have sort of carried on. And here we run every Sunday morning, from Friday from Friday pole, and then have brunch afterwards. And it's a really nice social group. And we run all different distances, and people come and go, you know, the most we have a sort of get as team for run. We have more and more people running in summer. The winter, I'm here. So I did the marathon at the Sydney games, [00:28:33] which probably was a very well done thing, [00:28:35] because it was so high long distance long distance, and it was really hot. And you know, it's like, like today very hot. Well, no, it was actually in the 30s running it. You can't really train for that and New Zealand. So and we had to [00:28:49] run with all your wallet and when I close on [00:28:53] the spot in the solar, but it was um, it was the last event so you know, you had to sort of behave yourself awake. And then you know, fella and pastor. I don't know. I just end up being so busy with all these things and Wellington, I certainly will be doing something about games. That's if I'm not marshalling or [00:29:12] judging, judging something. [00:29:15] But the runnings a big thing, I have done a bit of yoga, which I sort of liked [00:29:21] that that might not be in the [00:29:24] bridges in the bridge was at the Games in Sydney. Wow. Very diverse. And that some yoga school because it counteracts You know, when you sit at a desk. And I do quite a bit of skiing and winter, and my partners and instructor so and and Scott Hayes got involved in teaching disabled people to ski so and he lives at the ski field and it will How can you have for three months of the year, so you know that and so then I go off and do masters skiing every second week in this part of you know, and also to see him. So that's my winter sport. And I yeah, I love I love I've really, really come to love skiing. I'm not really that good, but I but I enjoy it. So yeah, those things all sort of complement each other. But um, yeah, I'm just starting to figure out some more swimming and tennis. [00:30:13] Wow. So you might be a major competitor in the out game. I think he's Pullman for having me on to us and good luck with all your historic sizing writing journalism and and judging

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