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NYE opinion divided on glbti safety on K' Rd

Tue 1 Jan 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News

Just over half of the gay and lesbian folk polled on New Zealand's gayest street say they feel reasonably safe there, including one young man who says he has been attacked in the past. Of the twenty people spoken to last night by a GayNZ.com reporter, in the wake of yet another assault on a gay man in the Karangahape Road area, twelve said they mostly felt safe, the remainder saying they felt unsafe some or most of the time. "I think you just have to be careful of what's happening around you," says Craig, a New Year's Eve reveler who sometimes feels unsafe. "I mean, in a place like this there's always drunks around and you always have to play it cool when there's guys like that who can be spoiling for a fight." On balance he mostly feels safe and doesn't back off having a good time on K' Rd. Nic, Ross and Liz all felt it was best to be with a group when out on the street. "We party together all the time so we've got each others' back," said Nic. "We've read the stories about the attacks and it's a worry but you can't hide at home every night!" Kyle Kyle, drinking with friends at Family and counting down to the New Year, said he was once "smacked down" in a homophobic incident but he never the less generally feels safe as a gay man on K' Road. Most of those who offered an opinion on whether K' Rd has become safer or less safe in recent years felt it has probably got less safe. "But that's the same for anywhere in town," said Richard. "When you get idiots from the suburbs coming in to get tanked there's always going to be trouble." In an interesting footnote, when GayNZ.com's reporter smilingly turned down an offer of NYE kisses from a group of drunken straight women ambling down K Rd they turned ugly, shouting "fukking shitfukker!" at him as he walked on.    

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News

First published: Tuesday, 1st January 2013 - 8:44pm

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