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Quotations

Quotations relating to rainbow LGBTI communities in Aotearoa New Zealand:

Amy Adams

  • "Today we are putting on the record that this house deeply regrets the hurt and stigma suffered by the many hundreds of New Zealand men who were turned into criminals by a law that was profoundly wrong, and for that, we are sorry."
    [As Minister of Justice, source: audio at 40s, 6/7/2017]

Anonymous

  • "I seek to be judged for who I am, for my work and for my successes and my failures, not on the basis of prejudice."
    [An unnamed gay man writing to MP Katherine O'Regan in the early 1990s, source: audio at 59m50s, 30/11/2012]

Ngahuia Te Awekotuku

  • "It was open-mic day in the university quad and I grabbed the microphone and yelled out what had happened. I said, Let’s start a revolution!"
    [Describing what happened after Ngahuia was refused entry into the United States in 1972 because she was a known lesbian, source: text, 19/9/2018]
  • "You realise we haven't made it, and that's why we need to keep fighting."
    [Source: text, 19/9/2018]

Richard Benge

  • "There was a very strong sense of urgency, emergency, guilt, shame, fear, shock, loss, and grief... When there's no cure, when there's no answers, when there’s nothing else to do - you hold on to one another."
    [Reflecting on the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New Zealand, source: audio at 22m14s, 26/5/2018]

Georgina Beyer

  • "I was so angry I suppose, I marched across the forecourt of Parliament yelling out loudly ‘Why do you hate us so much? What is this, that you're teaching your our children - this hatred towards us?’ That ended up on the news that night, and many of our rainbow people around the country went Hallelujah, our voice is there to stare down this great adversity that we were facing from these people – one of the proudest moments of my parliamentary life."
    [Describing the moment she confronted thousands of members of Destiny Church on the steps of Parliament at the Enough is Enough rally, source: video at 4m36s, 7/3/2019]

Charles Brasch

  • "Only men so draw me that I want to be part of them, to lose myself in them, to become them."
    [Journal entry, source: text, 1969]

Chris Carter

  • "In 2007 I met a beautiful young Māori woman in Melbourne who told me that as a 15-year-old she had been seriously contemplating suicide because of her sexuality. I had come to her school prize-giving, and my presence, she said, convinced her that being gay was not a barrier to personal success. She told me tearfully that I had saved her life. That story alone made it all worthwhile."
    [MP valedictory speech, source: text, 6/9/2011]

Sumithra Chand

  • "Life is a joyful journey and that joyful journey always has, and will have obstacles. What is important is a spirit to not be defeated by obstacles and to continue struggling. The opportunities that struggles provide – to live a fulfilling life - should not be missed. And we should tackle our obstacles head-on and fight and survive."
    [Source: audio at 13m52s, 17/3/2011]

Tāmati Coffey

  • "Hurihia to aroaro ki te ra, tukuna to ātārangi ki muri i a koe. Turn and face the sun and let the shadows fall behind you."
    [While an MP, source: supplied to PrideNZ.com, 21/12/2021]

Congregation of St Andrews

  • "In this place all are welcome, the tall, the thin, the shy and the out there. In this place all are accepted, cis and trans, gay, lesbian, straight and bisexual. In this place all are loved simply because we are all human beings. In this place all are honoured, for the struggle between commemoration and celebration goes on for all of us, all of the time"
    [The congregation of St Andrews on the Terrace, led by Rev Dr Susan Jones, source: audio at 0m24s, 18/11/2018]

Jason Epps-Eades

  • "Came out at 13 when it was illegal to be gay. Now, my sexuality isn't an issue. We all human."
    [Source: supplied to PrideNZ.com, 20/12/2021]

Meng Foon

  • "It is a human right to be who you are."
    [While Race Relations Commissioner; during the opening of Gisborne's Rainbow Pride crossing, source: video at 1m46s, 21/12/2021]

Shanan Halbert

  • "Last year Parliament passed legislation making it easy to change documents of identity so they reflect correct gender identity and gender expression – a big win for our trans and non-binary communities. I’d like us now to do more work on ensuring all schools are consistently inclusive, including gender neutral bathrooms and visible Rainbow role models."
    [While an MP, source: supplied to PrideNZ.com, 22/12/2021]

Will Hansen

  • "People have been tearing down my [smile if you’re trans] stickers, I stick them right back up!"
    [Source: audio at 12m30s, 2/10/20]

Jordan Harris

  • "We have emerged from the darkness of oppression and from the efforts of the early brave survivors paving the way, to standing with hope and pride on the Marae."
    [While with the NZ AIDS Foundation, source: text, 28/6/2016]

Kevin Haunui

  • "Disputing reality is fundamental."
    [Source: supplied to PrideNZ.com, 25/12/21]

Frances Hodgkins

  • "She is the dearest woman with the most beautiful face and expression I think I have ever seen."
    [Describing Dorothy Richmond, source: letter, 27/8/1901]

Darren Horn

  • "All the quilts speak of love, compassion and memories. Each is composed of recollection, sadness, acceptance and letting go. The quilts help us to learn and accept."
    [An early organiser of the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt, source: text, 1992]

Welby Ings

  • "A cop in a gay sauna is a screw!"
    [Sign held up by Welby Ings, source: image, 4/8/1981]

Elizabeth Kerekere

  • "Our whakawāhine, tangata ira tāne, trans, intersex and non-binary whānau have always had our backs. Time for cis and endosex Rainbow people to show we have theirs."
    [While an MP, source: supplied to PrideNZ.com, 22/12/2021]
  • "Every day is a good day to start again."
    [While an MP, source: supplied to PrideNZ.com, 22/12/2021]
  • "From a very young age, I've just thought activism isn't a thing I do in my spare time - it is my life and everything I do folds into that... What do we get up for in the morning if not to change the world."
    [Source: audio at 4m20s, 9/12/2015]

Kevin

  • "A lot of people who knew me, did not know me"
    [Source: audio at 31m20s, 10/11/2021]

Jan Logie

  • "The work of creating a truly inclusive society that embraces all of our diversities is challenging, joyful work that we can all participate in."
    [While an MP, source: supplied to PrideNZ.com, 22/12/2021]
  • "At the heart of the Green Party vision is Te Tiriti, ecological wisdom, and social responsibility. That requires us to work to restore and embrace our diversity and ensure power is shared to the benefit of all. Our work is by no means done."
    [While an MP, source: supplied to PrideNZ.com, 22/12/2021]
  • "My silences have not protected me."
    [The words of Audre Lorde which Jan Logie got tattooed on her leg before becoming an MP in 2011, source: text, 15/2/2012]

Katherine Mansfield

  • "Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth."
    [Journal entry, source: text, 14/10/1922]

Ricardo Menéndez March

  • "Our freedom is intrinsically tied to tearing down an immigration system that has denied queer people's experiences."
    [While an MP, source: supplied to PrideNZ.com, 22/12/2021]

Sarah McBride

  • "One of the many, many legacies of Stonewall is the power of an individual act to reverberate around the world. And at a time when LGBTQ people find themselves under attack and far too many corners of this globe, including in my home country of the United States. The actions and the work here in the New Zealand Parliament have never been more important. Because for the last several decades, you all have been at the forefront of the movement for the rights and dignity of LGBTQ people around the world. From marriage equality to the globally historic election of Georgina Beyer, you all have not just made change for people here in New Zealand, you have set the bar and challenged the world to live up to our highest ideals and to be our best selves."
    [At the re-opening of the Rainbow Room at Parliament, source: audio at 37m40s, 28/5/2019]

Mani Bruce Mitchell

  • "In the winter of your life hold onto the rainbows and believe that change is possible. It has been working with others that’s has brought the transformations in my life, my father instinctively knew this, was a community minded kind and generous person. Now I stand on the edge of my 7th decade it’s the core of who I have become. Change is a process, it is also about a clear vision, it’s a collective process, it's about carrying us all intentionally forward in a way the benefits everyone. It is also about doing the work, our self work, being prepared to go into the deepest corners of our being and deal to the ‘muck’ that sits in many of our lives. As an intersex person I was taught by society to be ashamed, to lie about who I was, to be afraid. To have found a place, an international activist community to have been able to transform that narrative has been the alchemy that intersex activism embodies."
    [Source: supplied to PrideNZ.com, 22/12/2021]
  • "I believe with a passion that every person has the right to live and authentic life. Respected and valued with the skills and knowledge to live a life with meaning, dignity, love and purpose."
    [Source: website, 2011]

Ciara O'Callaghan

  • "What I see in my own life... is queer joy, queer dancing, queer partying and smiling and fun and love... We should talk about that just as much as we talk about suffering and oppression because that is what queer people are as well. Y'know we don’t just die at the end of movies."
    [Source: audio at 14m14s, 2/10/2020]

Philip Patston

  • "In my 54 years, I've gone from being a fierce gay activist, to hardly identifying as gay at all, apart from enjoying masculinity in my bed, but more often on Netflix. I've seen law reform, human rights reform, civil union and marriage reform. I've seen the widening of awareness of sexual identity, trans identity, sexuality. We were a few communities often working together; now we are many communities, often disengaged from each other. So while I embrace the amazing intersectionality and diversity that has evolved, sadly I see a lot of conflict amongst our "rainbow" communities. We come from an intergenerational history of fighting for rights, recognition and belonging. There's more to do, but we no longer need to fight like we used to (and I am overwhelmingly proud about fighting, by the way, for where we've ended up, even though it's imperfect). Let's keep the fight alive to continue social improvement. But we don't need to fight each other. Instead let's appreciate the uniqueness and commonalities of the rainbow: different colours, same shape, different sizes, same beauty. Arohanui kia tatou."
    [Source: supplied to PrideNZ.com, 24/12/2021]
  • "We don't need to label ourselves anymore because we recognise each other without the labels."
    [Source: audio, 16/3/2011]

George Phillips

  • "Being gay doesn't define me as a person, but [is] an important part of my structural characteristics as a human being."
    [Source: supplied to PrideNZ.com, 23/12/2021]

Henarata Kohere-Pishief

  • "I think this gesture is monumental. It is not just a colourful piece of road, it is a symbol and a sign. It is representative of who we are."
    [At the opening of Gisborne's Rainbow Pride crossing, source: video at 2m42s, 21/12/2021]

Carmen Rupe

  • "At 9.30am sharp I had a black, chauffeur-driven limousine pick me up from Carmen's International Coffee lounge and convey me to Parliament... I've always thought that black made a woman of my complexion and stature look so dignified. If I say it myself, my overall appearance that day was stunning."
    [MP Tariana Turia quoting Carmen Rupe (possibly from Carmen's biography), source: text, 1980s]
  • "Do you want a fuck or a fight because I can give you both."
    [Source: attributed but not confirmed, 1970s]
  • "I've been in the army, I've been prison, I've stood for the Mayor of Wellington and I have no regrets. What I like about myself is that I have always been honest."
    [Source: text, p.52 December 1984]

Deborah Russell

  • "I will not listen politely to hate."
    [While an MP, source: audio at 11m28s, 9/12/2021]

Alan Seymour

  • "We will not just go away, back into our closets to lead an oppressed existence. We refuse to put up with the humiliation of the pallid tokens of liberal tolerance any longer. We demand acceptance, to be allowed to live our lives the way we choose, to be allowed to fulfil ourselves as human beings."
    [Source: text, 6/9/1976]

Des Smith and John Jolliff

  • "We always say the two V's are important: Vigilance and Visibility. You have those who would like to turn back the clock. When times are tough they look for scapegoats. Visibility, Gay Pride and be out and proud."
    [Source: supplied to PrideNZ.com, 21/12/2021]
  • "[To] continue to love you in good times and bad, give all that I have to give, and all that I feel inside, in the only way I know how - completely, and forever."
    [Part of their civil union vows, source: text, 4/5/2005]

Roger Smith

  • "Look back with forgiveness, look ahead with hope, and look around you with wonder and gratitude."
    [Source: supplied to PrideNZ.com, 25/12/2021]

Maryan Street

  • "As a lesbian, I have often been the subject of other people's efforts to push me to the margins, to erode my legitimacy as a citizen, and to belittle my efforts and achievements. I have never accepted marginalisation; it is a construct of others who wish me to be marginalised. It is not where I see myself or the many others like me. But it has always required courage, and I have not come into this House to be less than brave about the human rights of those whom some would seek to marginalise.."
    [Inaugural speech in Parliament, source: text, 16/11/2005]

Tristan-Cordelia

  • "I am proud to be trans. I am proud to be a part of this beautiful community... I am here today to assert our right to exist."
    [Source: audio at 21m10s, 5/7/2021]

Fran Wilde

  • "It's a bit like parenthood, You don't understand what's involved until you're into it ... and once you are there, despite the discomfort it's worthwhile."
    [Source: text p.52, Jan 1986]