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Stephen(February 2012)

In this podcast Stephen talks about being young and gay in 2012.

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In the podcast titled "Stephen - Q12," recorded on the 7th of February, 2012 in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, the speaker shares personal experiences and thoughts on being young and gay in the early 2010s. Throughout the approximately 14-minute recording, Stephen discusses the gradual realization of their sexual orientation, the reactions from family and friends to their coming out, and the importance of personal strength and community support.

Stephen explains that recognizing their attraction to the same sex wasn't a sudden epiphany. Instead, it was a subconscious awareness that slowly crystallized as they learned more about the gay community and distanced themselves from a slightly bigoted background. Contrary to having a moment of sudden realization, the speaker mentions that the opposite gender was never particularly appealing to them, signifying an intrinsic knowledge of their own orientation.

When discussing the emotional landscape around their identity, Stephen expresses contentment, feeling emotionally secure with being gay. They highlight the sadness not for themselves but for those who harbor negative attitudes. In terms of revealing their sexuality, Stephen took a reserved approach, sharing personal details only with individuals they felt comfortable with, rather than declaring it openly without discretion.

Upon coming out, Stephen received varied responses, ranging from joyful affirmations to less enthusiastic reactions, which were somewhat disappointing. They believe their sexual orientation shouldn't dictate social interactions. Reacting to being labeled as the "special child" due to their orientation, Stephen dismisses the notion of being special and instead emphasizes their capacity to express emotions and thoughts openly.

Regarding relationships, the speaker mentions that introduction to family presented more anxiety than other aspects, suggesting that any familial negativity could burden their partner. Despite some strained family dynamics, Stephen recognizes that their relationships have generally remained positive.

Regarding community involvement, Stephen identifies as a part-time volunteer and participates in social events with friends within the LGBTQ+ community. They view these interactions not as scene-oriented but rather as friendly gatherings with people with whom they share certain commonalities.

In their personal life, Stephen is actively pursuing career goals and has a passion for the arts. As part of their message to others, they emphasize the availability of support for anyone struggling with oppression or abuse, reinforcing that emotional and physical safety are rights everyone should possess.

To conclude, Stephen encourages embracing one's activities and interests irrespective of societal stereotypes, noting the comfort and liberation they've found since being open about their sexuality. Their testimony reflects a journey toward acceptance, the value of personal integrity, and the importance of community awareness and breaking down prejudices.

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:7th February 2012
Interviewer:Benji Watt
Location:Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-003920).