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Louisa Wall - Rainbow Politicians

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in zero.com. So, [00:00:05] how long have you been up? I've been an MP on and off might sound funny, on and off since 2008. So I came in, under the last tune of government is a labor listing paid for eight months. And in 2008, I stood for labor and the seat of Tamaki Makoto. I wasn't successful. And then I wasn't high enough on the list to come back. And so in 2011, excuse me, I reinvented performant again, as a live eliciting pain when the honorable Darren Hughes lift. And so the first lyst set standard was eight months, then I had a seven month stint as a MP had to cancel even better at the 2011 general election, I was ladies Canada and the ton of material and I was successful. So first time I've entered a gym. And obviously, I've got a different responsibility now. So I'm the mp4 Manila. [00:01:12] And have you been out the whole time you've been involved in politics? [00:01:14] Yes, I have. I came out, in fact, [00:01:21] trying to get my dates right, and 1998 when I was a member of the black fields, and that year, we had the first IRB sanctioned Women's Rugby World Cup. And so I was a member of the black things, and I had a profile on the revenues of the bit page profile. And under partner, I got my new partners named Michelle, and Michelle, I came out. [00:01:47] And so you've been in a pub in the public eye for quite some time? [00:01:52] And do you think that being in the public eye means that you will have been treated differently because of your sexuality that you might not have been? Otherwise? [00:02:00] I think there's been a lot of interest in terms of my sexuality. If I look back to 1998, it did cause a bit of a knots do but there was interest because there weren't many people at that time, who were out in society. And I guess, in the domain of sport, is aunt Minnie still, when you look at out All Blacks, black themes and sort of things, representatives who out and proud and so yeah, I've kind of always said that point, being seen as somebody who, [00:02:37] you know, is a recognized member of MMO community. [00:02:41] And when I did it, I was just answering Christian. So for me being being part of the rainbow community, as a really normal and natural thing to be inside leave ahead and who I am, and I'm, repeat myself and my partners, I would never hide that. And I've kind of found that, because I've had such an open, honest regard for my sexuality. I've not had much problems with it To be honest, not not to my face, and obviously may have caused problems to other people. But I've not been the recipient of any negative behavior towards me, because of my sexuality. [00:03:16] Do you think your sexuality affected whether or not people voted for you? [00:03:21] Well, it's interesting, because I guess, when I look at the suit that I stood on, many of you are those, some would say, conservative by virtue of the demography. So it's 32%, Pacific 28%, Marty 17%, Asian, mostly Indian New Zealanders, so a lot of new migrant communities, obviously, high density of church groups. But I [00:03:50] just was myself through the whole campaign, whether or not people knew or not, and whether affected into the inviting for me, but obviously, in their lives, I do have to acknowledge that Labor has got a strong brand. And so you know, the biggest challenge for me was, in fact, securing the nomination for the seat and I was one of seven candidates. So [00:04:14] I don't believe it plays a role. Some people may think it does, I didn't stand on the left either. So I basically said to the community of men anywhere, if you want me to vote for me, and I will do that, again. Actually, in 2014, I will say to the community, if you want me if to vote for me, and obviously the context will be different because I am the member who's introduced the marriage equality or the marriage definition of marriage amendment, though. So there will be now a lot more potential focus on my sexuality because of the profile around the bill. And what inspired you to start with the bill? Oh, what inspired me as a community and young, Rainbow members, I think it's really a incumbent on people like myself, who have ended up in the decision making position to continue to build on the legacy of legislative reform. For us as a country, we've come from homosexual law reform in 1986, to recognizing that we can't discriminate based on sexual orientation, which was added to Section 21, our Human Rights Act in 1993. We then had a period during the mid to late 90s, where our community wanted recognition of relationships through the ability to marry, which then led to the development of the civil unions legislation in so what I'm trying to do is to continue to advance what for me is an issue of equality and non discrimination. So as citizens of New Zealand and a modern democratic society, our sexuality should limit our ability to be free and equal citizens. And for example, within the context of marriage equality, we should have equality of opportunity, like any other New Zealander. So, it's really what drives me. And it is about creating a legacy, and continuing to build on the legacy from those who have come before us so that the people who come in front of us all in the future, don't have to endure what other generations have, which is discrimination, which is hatred, which has degradation of our identity, which is, I believe, feed into [00:06:37] Eloqua led suicide phenomenon, in some ways. So, yeah, we are going somewhere, and it's some way for me as just a quality. [00:06:47] And can you think of any other ways to potentially decrease the amount of youth suicide that exists in communities? [00:06:53] Um, well, I think that this film will make a difference, because what it will say is that state recognizes and values and respects our homosexual community, and our non heterosexual community is identical as ordinary citizens, actually, we don't need any special privileges, we just want to be treated like everybody else. So I think if we have a macro environment, we have a status saying, we might discriminate against any citizen use that will have some foreign effects. And what those will be will be interesting, but you know, what I'm hoping is that young people who will be supported much more, and the sexual self determination, that young people will be able to go to the disco ball with their partner, like, it might be a big deal that young people will be able to talk about, in a very natural way, the fact that they are attracted to somebody of the same gender, and it's not going to be all them provide a focus point for them to be bullied in her rest. [00:08:01] So that's what I'm hoping. [00:08:02] What do you think of the wording of the current Human Rights Act and with regards to gender and gender identity? [00:08:07] Yeah, it's really interesting, because when Georgina Baya was a member of parliament, he is she did propose that in addition to sex and sexual orientation, we should a gender identity to the list of areas that you can't discriminated against. And there was a crown law opinion, in fact that seeks and the broader definition of six actually included gender identity. But you would have seen from my bill that I have been very clear that marriage is between two people, regardless of the six six orientation or gender identity. So in fact, my bill has broadened it to specifically include gender identity. And I've done that because I think there is recognition Well, certainly from from me, that this isn't a same sex marriage bill. [00:08:58] Because in fact, it's about people. And it's about the person in the full person not being confined to two sixes. And it's always been the point from some of that, and to six trains community members that they are really vulnerable, because we kind of have this binary view of sexuality. And then that doesn't, that doesn't fit how they think about themselves, it doesn't set, I guess, in a modern world, where I think people are a lot more willing now to share and who they are, which means you kind of have a range and people like Manny, there, I've seen documentaries about her being [00:09:38] made for diet. But it's, you know, that whole binary agenda. [00:09:44] And it's kind of like you're ascribed at birth to evening, one or the other. But my bill was always about being incredibly inclusive and not excluding anybody. And I think that's why when people want to say that my bill is about gay marriage, actually, it isn't. It is about marriage equality in its purest form, because it's about two people who want to love each other who want to commit into form a family, which for me, is the basic unit in society. [00:10:11] And do you think that the word of the human rights that needs to change in order to be more inclusive of people that again, [00:10:19] I'm [00:10:22] I guess we're we have to come to as a community as an appreciation that [00:10:30] I use, our world evolves all the time, and, you know, as gender identity going to be that, that satisfies all their community. But I'm really happy to continue to have the conversation with our community about whether or not does need to be added, because we do have six and six orientation. And gender identity is something that our community [00:10:49] think that we should be pushing for. [00:10:52] Yeah, then we should be having discussions about their I'm not sure where the community is. And after Katrina proposed, and there was the crown law opinion, it was almost like our maybe we don't have to, but it'll be really interesting. Yeah, to get the Human Rights Commission position on it. And in fact, whether they think that it needs to be specifically included, and from my perspective, I really want to know whether our communities still wanted because the motivation for Georgina putting that member's bill is [00:11:27] as legislative change came from the fact that she was reflecting some of that gender identity community and the want or desire to have to make it specific end [00:11:42] of it. In terms of the ground, so yeah, but do you DNI Have you talked to some groups? Do you think it is something that our community want? [00:11:51] Um, I think personally, knowing a lot of transgender people there, there's quite a quite a big deal to occur on previous situations. [00:11:59] Split split some really important. So yeah, we need to listen to their community. [00:12:05] And you said before that, are you have a same sex partner? Do you find yourself treated differently at public engagements because of that? Or are people surprised? [00:12:13] And we're not really anymore. I've been in the public [00:12:17] now for a few years. In so most people know. And in fact, what's become really lovely is probably the best way to describe it. I've just recently been invited to the Stein like a reg the awards, which are happening in December, and they've invited me and my partner, and you know, and it's really lovely. So I think, you know, people aren't surprised. And in fact, it's not a big deal. You know, I just think that, [00:12:47] yeah, there is no reason for us to be treated any differently to the couple. And in fact, you know, I don't I don't think it's a big deal and modern New Zealand. I mean, the reality is because we're 26 years post homosexual law reform, people are able to live open free lives. We do in the community is responded by embracing and accepting in So yeah, I think we're in a really good space. And I am personally, but I wouldn't know if I'm not haven't been invited to events because I am will be bringing my female partner to say, but the ones that are hit they know and when they do know, they have completely embraced who I am, which is fantastic. So who are your [00:13:35] heroes? [00:13:36] Um, when I was growing up in the first police being that just thought she was awesome as Martina Navratilova because I love sport. You know, I grew up in a household where my dad and I would get up to watch Wimbledon. And yeah, she was amazing. So I got the spark in finance, she was at least be in. And I think when I did that, I didn't realize I was leaving. But she was my face these being role model. And [00:14:08] I don't really have many least being role models other than [00:14:14] for me personally, I've I've been through messy and obviously I and I ended up doing our master philosophy in social policy and maritime wearing was my master's supervisor. And she's kept in touch. And actually, she's a really good person for me to talk to. And so I would consider her a mentor. So I would, I would highlight that Marilyn on Professor Marion awareness, somebody who I will always have something to do with and so I respect her and the work that she's done, specifically advancing the rights of women, but also our LGBT community. Yeah. [00:14:56] So do you think that it is harder to be in the under represented the minority that is queer people in Parliament or the underrepresented group that is women and partner, [00:15:06] although really, really interesting and good Christians? Because I do think that being a minority and being marginalized means that sometimes you experience generic discrimination, but then near a specific discrimination based on other dimensions of who you are they the same, not always. But fundamentally, they're underlined by pal relationships. [00:15:36] I guess from the people who are perpetuating the discrimination, they have power, and it is abusive. And it's unacceptable, as one worse than the other. I think it depends on the context. Because sometimes I think minority groups can marginalize each other, [00:15:56] which is an irony in itself. But sometimes it's the way kind of sit up like that. It's almost like I would call it a primal instinct, but you kind of have competition always. And so you're always going to have white men at the top and current societies and how cap societies are ordered, in the in, I guess, a hierarchy sometimes, but not always, because it changes in different context. So I'll just talk about one briefly. I went over to ganda earlier this year as a member of the International parliamentary union, gathering, and I was one of three representatives from New Zealand to meet. And there's a concerted effort now internationally within those international political context for a concept called gender mainstreaming. And so in that context, I think that there's a global recognition that women [00:16:48] are underrepresented, and they're doing stuff about it. But they're not doing anything about rainbow parliamentarians or indigenous parliamentarians. And so I do think at the moment, these kind of a global consensus that we have to address the underrepresentation democratically everyone, which is good, so I probably would say that, yeah, Rainbow LGBT is but also indigenous peoples, and then you have other people, or ethnic groups who are marginalized, and context like Poundland. And you can look at the numbers for that, you know, we've got 32% representation of women. I think there's 17% representation of Marty and then you've got to look at one out if not, [00:17:31] yeah, if that Pacific, in in LGBT I representation as [00:17:38] So what was your high school experience life and life in terms of being queer? [00:17:43] Well, that's probably where I had a really different experience. Because you know, if, if I reflect back, I probably knew that I was attracted to I didn't know I was attracted to women when I was 12. But I got in the New Zealand legal team when I was 17. And I started playing senior nipple when I was 14, in so my sexuality in a way was not my priority. My priority was to play football and become a silver spoon. And so I didn't come out at high school. [00:18:18] I came out when I was 21. And I came out. And for me, it was a process of consciously being not one consciously knowing and then acknowledging my sexuality, if it makes it so I didn't have role models who release being end to be feared the whole Martina Navratilova thing, as I didn't realize she was least being when I first had the crush, or whatever you want to call it with her. She was just this amazing tennis player who I aspired, because I love sport. And so intellectually, when I realized, oh, my goodness, I'm lesbian, the how I figured out my sexuality was by buying a book, and I read this book about sexuality. And it was kind of all the different stages of life and the biology and then this, there was a chapter in it called lesbian ism. And I was reading it, and I was thinking, Oh, my God, it's Monday. [00:19:18] So it was kind of more of an intellectual recognition. And then once I knew, because up to the United boyfriends, but when I knew, you know, you can't really go back. And for me, because sports, this incredibly honest domain, like sports, I believe, is the most honest context in the world. Because if you don't put in the work, you get caught out on the sports field, because you might win, because you haven't prepared enough in so once I knew then that was episode just without pretty much and got my first female partner when I was 21. And my face relationship lasted for we were in our 10th year when we broke up. So [00:20:01] are you glad you came out publicly? [00:20:02] Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I wouldn't have had it any other way. I couldn't live any other way. I mean, I had a good coming out experience. So my parents, when I told them, my mom cried, my dad says, I love you. But do you understand you're choosing this identity, that will mean that the people who will discriminate against you and I pretty much said no date, I'm not choosing it, this is who I am. But discrimination, I guess I'll have to deal with that Africans. He thought I worked for in the same breath. He was saying he seems to be a lot more people who are out these days, lawyers, doctors are fickle, and the community that have made the identity has been made straight. That makes sense. And in fact, for today, and in young people of today, I love Modern Family. You know, I love Grey's Anatomy. I love Calliope in Arizona. And actually a lot of people who watch that show well, and so I think for this generation of, of New Zealand, and probably right across the globe, with being normalized and indices being normalized. And so yeah, that's, and I do think, too, that it's kind of cool to be gay. In a way, I don't know what you feel like you're a young person today. But I think if you can get past high school where it might not be so cool. When you get to university, or if you're a young adult, I think it's much easier. And I don't know if [00:21:27] it's right or not. [00:21:27] But can you think of any reasons that anyone would choose not to come out in the public life? [00:21:34] Oh, absolutely. And it's usually related to family and community. But it also could relate to another valuable belief system that they've grown up on, whether it be church or some other group where they're made to feel like their identity was somehow compromised their religious belief, and I hope that [00:21:57] whatever context people around, they are supported. And there are people in there who will care enough for them, to allow them to determining all of themselves, which includes the sexual identity in a really positive, nurturing respectful way. But I think a lot of suicide of young people happens because a young people just don't see a way out. Can't tell the parents can't tell any one within the circle because they might compromise or disappoint or [00:22:33] Yeah, so [00:22:36] I can I can totally understand that. I don't think anyone should ever be [00:22:39] outed. I mean, people need to make those decisions themselves because they live with us. And they understand the community that they live on but I'm hoping through my bill though, because it has been so much talk about it that it will create spaces for people to even say I don't even know but I'm a little bit confused. what my options and then it will be about on an amazing somebody in the chemistry happens and you know, so yeah.

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.