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Queer Nation's Andrew Whiteside

Sat 1 Mar 2003 In: Hall of Fame

After eight years on our screens Andrew Whiteside is the familiar face of TV2's gay lifestyle programme Queer Nation. forwarded to him our searching (and shallow) At A Glance profile questionnaire... Who are you and what's your background? I was born in a small industrial town in the north of England, and emigrated to NZ at the age of 7. Spent my formative years in West Auckland, so in effect a "westie" by geography but not spirit. I am the youngest of four boys. Came out to my best friend when I was 16 and he turned out to be gay too. Told my family I was gay over a two year period and was fully out to them by the time I was 21. What do you hope to achieve by reporting at QN? My philosophy of the past eight years has been to show the gay community in all its glory, good and bad - to question who we are and to question prejudice both within and towards the queer community What characterises the New Zealand GLBT community for you? That's a very hard question. In some ways the community is a myth - we are all people who have lots of connections to many communities and we certainly are not a homogenous group of people. Sometimes I think we confuse "gay scene" with "gay community" however there does seem to be a sense of community in the way we organise and support events. It just isn't as structured as we may think. What is the worst thing for you about being GLBT? That everyone thinks I am supposed to have good fashion sense and I don't think I do. What is the best thing about being GLBT? That it affords the opportunity to build our lives the way we want to - not bounded by expectations of marriage or family structure. That if we use our difference and the fact we don't always fit into mainstream as a positive, then we can achieve an amazing amount of personal growth. And it also gives us a chance (to coin a gay cliché) to be Fabulous! Relationship status? Technically single but watch this space! Favourite food The Simpsons; and Family Guy Qualities you most appreciate in a GLBT person? Passion and a willingness to grow. What are you reading at the moment? The Hours - Michael Cunningham Who in the world including New Zealand would you most like to have coffee and a chat with? Actresses Cathy Bates and/or Julianne Moore Role models? Henare Te Ua from National Radio - for his grace, gentleness and humanity and for making everyone he speaks to feel important What is the most pressing issue currently facing the New Zealand GLBT community? Complacency to HIV and AIDS - we know how HIV is spread, we know how to stop it and we know there is no cure, yet gay men are still getting infected and in increasing numbers. If you could have one wish granted what would it be? That all the foods I like wouldn't add to my waist. - 1st March 2003


First published: Saturday, 1st March 2003 - 12:00pm

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