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Up magazine's Aaron Hailwood

Mon 13 Jun 2005 In: Hall of Fame View at NDHA

Aaron Hailwood Aaron Hailwood is one of the young creators of Wellington's UP magazine who intends to keep publishing as long as it's fun. Who are you and what's your background? I'm was a poor white trash boy from the Hutt Valley but I now live in Wellington City with a drag queen, a bird called Stanley and a cardboard cut-out of Kylie Minogue who's like the mother of the house. I'm also a Communications Advisor for Te Tari Taake and every month my good friend Andy and I put out a little magazine called UP. What have you hoped to achieve with UP? We originally started UP because the other gay media ignored Wellington or anything outside of Auckland, we hoped to change that but they pretty much still do. Also there was nothing that really appealed to the youth market. We wanted something that celebrated the good things about being gay rather than being hung up on "issues". However as we got further involved in the community we've become more politically active, etc. but we still try to keep it fun. In all honesty we started it up for fun and never thought it would progress as much as it has. We always said when it stops being fun we'll stop doing it but it's still fun. What characterises the NZ GLBT community for you? A bit lethargic around issues and despite trying to present a united front we seem to be our own worst enemies especially to other minorities in our community. What's the worst thing for you about being GLBT? I suppose I should say discrimination and all that but I've been very fortunate as to not really experience that. I suppose the worst thing is the small village-like size of the gay community sometimes, but that can also be a good thing. Best thing? The community sense of unity and solidarity around things like the CUB etc and my friends, who if I wasn't gay I probably would never have met. Relationship status? Living in the city of Delusia with my husband of 10 years, Ricky Martin. Favourite food and drink? Milk, in fact anything dairy except ice-cream. Worst habit? Blurting out what I'm thinking without thinking of the consequences. Most noble feature? Bluntness. Favourite TV show/movie? Korero Mai on Maori TV, highly addictive and educational, and Xena. Qualities you most appreciate in a GLBT person? Same as I appreciate in anyone, honesty, loyalty and an appreciation of the finer things in life (like Kylie Minogue and Spumante). What are you reading at the moment? Jack. Who in the world including NZ would you most like to have coffee and a chat with? My bestest friend in the whole-wide world Paul and La Toya Jackson — together we'd free the world with no drama. Role models? Melissa Etheridge; her public coming out at the height of her career, performing at the Grammies bald, speaking out for gay rights, being a gay mum and especially her music just make her such an inspiration. I've loved her for as long as I can remember. Anyone who hears her songs Scarecrow (about Matt Shepherd) and Tuesday Morning (about the gay guy on Flight 93) and isn't moved would have to be heartless. What is the most pressing issue currently facing the New Zealand GLBT community? The potential for Labour not to be returned to power. If you could have one wish granted what would it be? For followers of fundamentalist Christian religions to be diagnosed as mentally ill and carted away from the rest of society. - 13th June 2005


First published: Monday, 13th June 2005 - 12:00pm

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