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Mike Bryant and Eba Clemens

In this podcast Mike Bryant and Eba Clemens from New Zealand talk about attending the human rights conference.

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This abstract summarizes an 11-minute interview recorded in Wellington Town Hall on March 16, 2011, where Eba Clemens and Mike Bryant share their experiences and reflections after attending a human rights conference. Interviewed by Jim Whitman, Clemens and Bryant discuss the intensity and emotional impact of the conference, as well as the importance and enjoyment they found in participating.

During the conference, they encountered heartfelt stories from various individuals, including a man from Fiji who suffered abuse for coming out. Bryant, from Invercargill, reflects on the challenge of being open in a community with scarce representation of the lesbian and gay population. They highlight the contrast seen at the conference, where openness and freedom in the community seemed remarkable. Bryant also considers shifting their world view upon realizing not everyone has had as easy a journey regarding their sexuality and identity.

Another point of discussion is the notion of safety and visibility in schools. Bryant shares their positive experience post-coming out, where the school environment surprisingly became more accepting. In contrast, Clemens indicates a struggle with school environments that lack support from administration and peers. They discuss the types of individuals in school settings that can make life difficult, such as conventional “jocks” and popular groups, who often perpetuate a non-inclusive hierarchy particularly challenging for those who may not conform to traditional gender norms.

The conversation moves on to intersections of gender and sexuality. Both interviewees acknowledge the complexity of gender identity and sexual orientation, noting that a person may change their sex without altering their orientation, demonstrating the separateness and yet interconnectedness of these aspects of identity. Clemens and Bryant find humor and understanding in navigating societal perceptions, as they share anecdotes about their personal journey and self-acceptance.

One key takeaway from the conference for the interviewees is a deeper understanding of human rights. They express enthusiasm for incorporating the knowledge they've gained into their everyday lives, with Bryant especially eager to remember every detail. They agree on human rights as a living principle, emphasizing the importance of continuously reassessing and evolving with societal changes.

The interviewees reflect on the idea that certain communities might have enjoyed more rights before the impact of external imperialism, criminal codes, and religious interventions. They compare this to New Zealand, where there is relative acceptance and progressiveness on LGBTQ+ matters, and Bryant stresses the uniqueness of New Zealand and the importance of grassroots activism.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:16th March 2011
Interviewer:Jim Whitman
Location:Wellington Town Hall, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004176).