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Wellington Fair co-organiser Jeff Montgomery

Sun 11 Apr 2004 In: Hall of Fame

Jeff Montgomery, Co-organiser of, and spokesperson for, the 2004 Wellington Gay and Lesbian Fair. “We somehow seem to have more fun and be more silly than similar aged straight people. Or may be that is just me ....' Who are you and what's your background? I am a 37-year old gay man living in Wellington city. I was brought up in North Canterbury and studied management at Lincoln University, where also became the Student President. I moved to Wellington in 1989 and have held a number of interesting jobs in the public service. I am currently the Operations Manager at the Office of Treaty Settlements - a job I love with lots of challenges. I live in Mt Victoria with my cat Calvin and hobbit/flatmate called Adam. One of my passions is travel and I try to get overseas as much as I can. I am a backpacker from way back, so tend to go off the beaten track - Laos, Vietnam, Egypt, Khazakstan to name a few. But the best place in the world is Rangiora where I can visit my three toddler nephews and show the family what a stable gayboy I am. Making a contribution to the wider community is something I feel is important. Before coming out I did this through involvement in politics, community arts and then working in Bosnian refugee camps during the balkan war. In the gay community this has been through the establishment of the Rainbow Network pubnights (every other Friday in a different bar), a period on the GAP Board, and now the Gay and Lesbian Fair. What have you hoped to achieve by your work with GAP and the Fair? A sense of community and belonging are important. Some people are happy keeping to themselves, moving in decreasing social circles and just getting on with their own life. But for me I want to be part of a vibrant and diverse community, and I hope that my work setting up the pubnights and now with the Fair helps contribute to that. I also loathe those who criticise without being willing to help - so here I am! What characterises the New Zealand GLBT community for you? Our community is a metropolis of many communities. I think I know lots of people - but every Outtakes Festival I marvel at the number people who I have never seen before. Everywhere has its gay bars and other venues, and these are a part of the community - but only a small part. In Wellington the real community also lies in the numerous informal groups of GLBT people that meet up to go to the movies every week, see each other at the gym, go cycling in the weekend, etc., etc. It as much about being able to smile to a fellow poof on the street and to have them smile back. What is the worst thing for you about being GLBT? Nothing major. We still have a way to go before reaching full legal equality and a bit further for full acceptance by the wider community, but it will come. We will have made it when I can walk along The Terrace holding a boyfriend's hand without it being seen as a 'statement'. What is the best thing about being GLBT? Freedom. We somehow seem to have more fun and be more silly than similar aged straight people. Or may be that is just me .... Relationship status? Single and taking applications at sexysuitboy@hotmail.com Favourite food    GayNZ.com - 11th April 2004

Credit: GayNZ.com

First published: Sunday, 11th April 2004 - 12:00pm

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