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Brushing with Destiny Pt2: Taking the heat

Sat 28 Jun 2014 In: Features View at Wayback View at NDHA

Brushing with Destiny Pt 1: Making friends Carmen and Goulter on the eve of the An Evening of Glamour fundraiser Jevan Goulter, Mana party Parliamentary staffer and self-professed friend of Destiny Church's leaders, says their friendship is underpinned by the Tamakis' warmth towards him, something he says he has rarely experienced from the glbti community. “I myself have received in the community unjust – and [GayNZ.com] probably wrote some of the stories – unjust things towards me as well. Do I get upset about it? No. Do I care? Nah. Why? Because at the end of the day, like Brian and Hannah, all the Carmen stuff that went down with me, I don’t care what anyone thinks.” Goulter is referring primarily to the October, 2009 celebration and fundraiser An Evening of Glamour he put on for the increasingly frail trans goddess Carmen Rupe. The Wellington event was billed as raising cash to buy her a new and much-needed mobility scooter. It was not a financial success and there was much criticism blaming Goulter's lack of organisational skills and suggestions he was coat-tailing on Carmen's mana. “But when people said ‘he ripped Carmen off,’ what a load of crap," Goulter exclaims. "But you just take it as it comes and then everything afterwards, the negativity and all the rest of it, after the Carmen thing nothing could hurt me after that. Cause it was all bullshit. It never happened. And that was the only thing that upset me at the time. So after that happened I thought nothing else can be worse than that.” Carmen died two and a half years ago and as Goulter tells it she was "fine" with him before she passed away. He says a message was passed on to him from her carers, which he will not share. When asked whether that event was the worst point, for someone who has polarised people in the gay community on a number of issues, he says it hardened him up. “I learnt after the Carmen stuff went down that this is the worst thing that could be said about me, something that’s completely and utterly untrue, about someone I genuinely love. And it happened and it was said and it was printed. And you’ve just got to deal with that. You can’t get too upset about that. You’ve just got to take it as it comes and deal with it. “But it does mean that anything that happens after that, you’re just prepared for it. There’s going to be detractors. But the thing is, the worst thing that ever happened is something that didn’t happen about someone I love. So everything else... fuck, say what you want. Because you’ve already said the worst of it.” While he has plenty to say about the gay community, Goulter says he also has good gay friends, laughing “do you want a list of them?” He reflects on his ten years of being out and the twists and turns his life has taken - often publicly. “I look at my counterparts ten years ago and I look at them now. And I look at what they’ve become and you know, people have this view of me that I’m this horrible, like mentally deranged, person, blah blah. I kid you not, they do. And I am more relaxed and happier than probably all of them. “I was with Mika for five years and I saw a lot being with him as well. But you know what, Georgina [Beyer] is one of my close friends and yet Brian and Hannah are my close friends. People are people.” He alludes to there being a number of young gay guys who attend Destiny Church. “After the first time I went out [to Destiny] I went to Family Bar the next week or the week after, I had a lot of young guys come up to me – and when I say a lot that’s six or seven: ‘Oh my gosh we didn’t know you were part of Destiny Church’ … ‘Oh no I’m not, was just out there,’ ‘Oh, because we go to Destiny Church as well’. “The next time I was out there I looked more closely around for familiar faces. And they’re there. I am certainly not the only person who is out there, if you go out there to have a look you would probably recognise a few faces. Whether they are open about their sexuality in that church or not, maybe some of them are I don’t know. Regardless of whether they are or they aren’t or whatever, they all choose to go there and there’s a reason they choose to go there. And whatever that reason is, is I guess for them. But I mean I wasn’t shocked by it.” He says they “remember the march and stuff” but are still comfortable enough to go to Destiny Church. When asked whether he agrees with the view of many churches that gay people should abstain from sex, he laughs. “They do [it] anyway,” adding: “what’s it matter what I think? It’s not going to stop anyone. “Look, my father said to me... I mean, is he ecstatic that I’m gay? Who knows, probably not. But he said to me: ‘You’ve made a lot of choices in your life that me and your mother would never consider making, but we love you just as much all the same’. I guess that’s similar. And do gay people have a right to have sex? That just happens anyway.” Tomorrow, in the final part of this feature interview, Jevan Goulter gives his views on same-sex marriage, gay adoption and "sleazy" older gay men. Jay Bennie - 28th June 2014    

Credit: Jay Bennie

First published: Saturday, 28th June 2014 - 5:51am

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