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Geovana Peres

Boxer Geovana Peres talks to Benji Watt about winning the New Zealand National (NZNBF Version) Light Heavyweight title in April 2017. In winning the fight against Nailini Helu, Geovana became the first openly out person to win a New Zealand professional boxing title.

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This summary covers the insights and journey of professional boxer Geovana Peres, as shared in an interview with Benji Watt conducted on May 6th, 2017, in Auckland, New Zealand. The recording, which is 13 minutes in length, captures Peres' reflections on various aspects of their life, including their sexual orientation, the experience of coming out, and the significance of their achievements in the boxing world.

Peres, originally from Brazil, recounted their realization of being attracted to women during university at the age of 21. They described an initial period of confusion followed by acceptance, facilitated by a supportive friend's advice to "just enjoy it." Although Brazil is known for its religious diversity and Peres acknowledged the multitude of religions in the country, they chose to come out first to friends and later to family, emphasizing the need for respect over acceptance.

Describing their journey in boxing, Peres noted starting just two years before the interview and quickly moving from fight night activities to professional boxing. This rapid transition was due to both an age limitation in amateur boxing and the confidence their coach had in their abilities.

A groundbreaking achievement for Peres came with winning the New Zealand National (NZNBF Version) Light Heavyweight title in April 2017. This victory was notable not just within the sports community but also in the context of LGBTQ+ representation—it marked them as the first openly out person to win a New Zealand professional boxing title.

While Peres expressed pride in being a role model, they ensured to make clear that their sexual orientation is only a part of who they are, and not their defining characteristic. Their primary focus always remained on boxing and pushing personal boundaries.

The response from the community and media has been overwhelmingly positive. However, Peres indicated a lack of concern for any negative commentary, showing indifference towards detractors on social media. They emphasized confidence as their shield against negativity, distancing themselves from drama and maintaining focus on their goals.

Peres' partner offered their perspective as well, expressing pride in Peres' progression as an athlete and inspiration to others. When queried about experiences of discrimination due to their sexuality, Peres couldn't recall any significant incidents, crediting their confidence as a deterrent to potential abusers.

Looking ahead, Peres shared aspirations for future fights and achievements, though specific goals remained under consideration by their coach. While Brazil remains in their heart, Peres sees New Zealand as home and is open to competing internationally, including potentially in Brazil.

Lastly, Peres addressed fans and the community. They conveyed a message of self-belief and resilience in the face of criticism or mockery, encouraging individuals to be captains of their own lives and to focus on personal aspirations over external judgments.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:6th May 2017
Interviewer:Benji Watt
Copyright (image):Raw Photography
Location:Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004480).