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Opinion: Brad Schmidt

Tue 26 Sep 2006 In: Books View at NDHA

Brad's a Wellington-based writer, performer, media analyst and now our new opinionater. We wanted his opinions on a variety of GayNZ topics, and he gave them to us all at once! BARTLETT, PATRICIA: When gay adoption is legalised, describe to your gaylings some rattled old witch called Partricia Bartlett in a fairy story gayer than even Carson Kressley could write. Champion of 1980's morals, Bartlett was a dog with a bone when Labour decriminalised homosexuality, with fish-eye-glasses and steelo hair to boot. BEYER, GEORGINA: A true heroine for her contribution to so many levels of society, Georgina Beyer has a heart of gold too, and damn! she's looking fine lately. CELEBRITY DRUG SCANDAL: Despite the fact that it is the gays who administer the lower levels of society with all its debauchery and sin, earlier this year such famous names as... well, such names as Lana ‘What did you ever do again?' CocKroft and Marc Why? Ellis were implicated in a drug scandal that rocked well, TVNZ, and Healtheries Inc. A good reminder that some text messages should be sent in code, people. CIVIL UNIONS: Well, that was a lot of fuss and bother over nothing, wasn't it, Brian Tamaki? I mean, how many gays do you know stay together that long anyway? CLARK, HELEN: Lets face it, she's not Miss Universe (whatever Dubai thinks) but Helen Clark has done more for GLBT equality, let alone social equality, than has been done in this country for a long time, and deserves to be commended. With the occasional dogged stare and demonstrative snub, the rumours about Clarks lesbianism refuse to go away, helped no doubt by the misleadingly-titled magazine Investigate (unless its an imperative to the reader, unlikely as it wouldn't help sales). Still, so long as that means Aunty Helen hasn't gone away, who really cares? And even if it was true, when isn't a marriage one of convenience? An inconvenient marriage would just be silly, really, wouldn't it? But that's right, leave it to the professionals (see the NATIONAL PARTY). COMMITMENT: Strangely big issue for a community so give-or-take with it. So what if I don't want to settle down? So what if I want to shop around? I never was your wholesale type. COMPARTMENTALISM: A phenomena which has resulted in otherwise straight or bisexual men in New Zealand who dare to raise their eyelids at the sight of a ballet shoe or proscenium arch to be subsequently labeled with a pink triangle and raised as a homosexual. COMPARTMENTALISM: The really good ones come and go, vary and save their appearances, others linger excruciatingly forever and think they're world famous, but at the end of the day, is it an art? Yes, boys, it is an accomplished art, so think about that next time you think its a good idea to go to a costume party looking like a prickly pear that was shot through a fabric store into a make-up bag. DRUGS: The ‘them and us' mentality has never before afforded so much protection. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Iconic New Zealand phrase issued at the height of coitus // a safe-phrase for bondage situations. EXPRESS: Tabloid rag that can't decide if it's a glossy magazine or a newspaper, variously edited by Aucklanders with mysteriously short tenures. Quality varies (see 2005), but its endurance is to be commended in a day and age where endurance is about as prized by gay men as it is likely. GAY BARS: They ebb and flow: Auckland seems to manage a couple at least at any given time, and as I write, Wellington has none. The city is so steeped in sex that it's almost OK, as you'll get what you want eventually. But word has it that the most gay bars at any one time is about to descend on the Capital and I cant wait for the options, even if I'm never entirely loyal. GAY MAFIA: Organisation that is alive and well across the country, otherwise known as public service. (See also LABOUR PARTY). GAY SCENE: When straights reclaimed the word gay in the early noughties, this common misnomer took on a whole new meaning. GAY COMMUNITY: Once out in New Zealand, the common garden homosexual becomes supported and weaned into full-blown gay love by a community of caring, elder survivors of a bygone era of prosecution. Its a loving rite of passage as the nubile young ones cavort and play and learn valuable lessons about who to watch out for and what not to take. GAY TELEVISION: Queer Nation must be the only programme in the history of television to run for twelve years without anybody noticing, although that is a particularly New Zealand phenomena (see SHORTLAND STREET) and likely due to the ridiculous graveyard slots TVNZ gives gay television. I don't know about you, but I don't hang from the rafters during the day only to watch television at night. I'm too busy swinging from the chandeliers. Kidding really the seminal Queer Nation paved the way for over a decade before TVNZ stopped it at a time of crucial legislative progress, then replaced it with two glass slipper versions that turned into pumpkins well before midnight. GEORGE, GARTH: Rambling columnist who likes to rake homophobic muck among the old and stupid. Perfect for The Herald, really, which must be the reason they keep printing his splurge. GLBT: Its not a sandwich, rather it stands for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender, with the occasional inclusion of an I for intersex, O for orgy, F for frottage, C for cottage, T for takataapui, and so on, until it becomes more like directions to a party in Alphabet City. Queer is a lot easier, and reclaims a word so hypocritically used by ignorants. Yes, your redneck ignorance is jolly queer in this day and age. IHIMAERA, WITI: From one of the many fine GLBT New Zealand writers, Ihimaeras "Nights in the Gardens of Spain" is compulsory reading for every gay man in the country. Unthinkingly, I read the novel on a bike at Les Mills in Auckland once, which, though strangely fitting, is not to be recommended (see also CRUISING). HOMOPHOBIA: Lets face it, New Zealand is inherently homophobic, thanks to the pre-occupation with grown men wrestling in skimpy, skin-tight clothes. If anything screams nation of man on man action, its rugby, but the straights reject it out of self-denial and the gays reject it out of sheer boredom and too much mud. Unfortunately, the rugby culture continues to encourage the truly insidious disdain of GLBT in this country, which is still alive and well. It's not? Oh OK. Next time you're alone and the surly internet technician comes to set up your computer, will you leave the picture of that French rugby player holding his crotch on your desktop or change it to a soothing blood-red nothing? I rest my case. HOMOSEXUAL LAW REFORM: Hard to believe I was alive when it was illegal to be homosexual in this country, which is an important reminder of why politics in NZ, however petty its image, is so important. Finding the Salvation Army petitions against it in the National Library made me want to rummage through them to see if my parents signed it to use it as argument ammunition. INDEFINITE ARTICLES/PROPER NOUNS/ETC: Gay is an adjective - tell that to your counsellor next time they insist on describing you as a gay. I don't want the label, I want the action. MCLEOD, ROSEMARY: Sporting a peculiar Lost in Space bob for what feels like nigh on decades, Rosemary McLeod once seemed in control of her opinions, informed even; now she takes the most extreme view and appeals to the lowest common denominator, which is a shame, but in keeping with the severity of her total(itarian) image. Her latest rants against gays and the Labour Party are informed by the obviously personal my grandfathers knee and a subsequent lack of subjectively; but, I suppose you wouldn't see much variety with your head up your ass. As such, instead of appealing across the board, she limits herself to hissing and spitting at the underdog, which is predictable for someone with so much influence but for so little reason. MIKA: Well, as if I'd dare mess with Mika! Check out the fabulous Mika show Sunday on Maori TV. MISS RIBENA: Auckland drag clown regularly seen shouting at twinks from the stage at Family. Can be found hanging around Dunkin' Donuts at all other times. Often threatens to run for Mayor, which would probably be welcome given the current state of affairs. NEW PLYMOUTH: New Plymouth was once home to a mental institution-cum-labour camp for reconditioning known homosexuals back in the Dark Ages. It seems to have worked. NZ DATING: see THE ELECTRONIC CLOSET PAUL, SUZANNE: Stand aside Judy Bailey – Suzanne's the real mother of the nation (with more TV airtime too, probably). QUEER: The Chomsky of monikers in New Zealand, queer is still a contentious label to opt for over gay, which is strange, because who cares anyway? Queer offers boundless possibility for your evening, and in New Zealand, that's a gift horse. RENT BOYS/PROSTITUTION: There are some lovely man-whores out there, with a lot to offer. Particularly in Auckland. In fact, you would be surprised at just who was out there working that thang. SHORTLAND STREET: Shortland Street has to be commended for tackling gay issues at all, given its likely demographic, but that demographic means whenever they have, its always been so fabulously scandalous. Recent lesbian civil union is on the rocks, and the last gay man ruined a glitzy wedding. Perhaps the gayest thing about the show is the set design, which means it always looks like its set in Parnell and Grey Lynn, and for a gay boy who grew up in Gonville and holidayed in Mt Roskill, I was never quite sold. TALL POPPY SYNDROME: Convenient excuse for gays who actually don't have any reason to stand above the rest of the community but who are convinced everyone is holding them down (see also HOMOPHOBIA) TAMIHERE, JOHN: Aw, he's such an angry teddy. Bad teddy! Nobody's listening! WANGANUI: Back in the 1920s, Wanganui had a gay mayor by the name of Charles McKay, who had a shootout in the main street with his boy love blackmailer, beginning a trend that continues unabated of lunatic mayors with issues about homosexuality. WELLS, PETER: Dashing gentleman writer of much well-deserved regard, Peter Wells is a filmmaker and novelist of consistent story-telling brilliance. WONG, PANSY: Right-wing politician who is named like a drag queen and befriends gay men, but who is well, still a right-wing politician. YOUR VIEW: Tell us what you think of this dictionary, and add your own entries, on our Message Board. Brad Schmidt - 26th September 2006    

Credit: Brad Schmidt

First published: Tuesday, 26th September 2006 - 12:00pm

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