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Zac(May 2014)

In this podcast Zac talks about identifying as non-binary gender.

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This podcast was made possible through generous support from the Rule Foundation


In a podcast recorded in Christchurch, Canterbury, the individual known as Zac discusses their experiences with gender identity, specifically identifying as non-binary. They express a complex relationship with gender, noting that while traditionally attracted to women, their romantic interests extend to transgender and genderqueer individuals. Zac chose the name as a form of self-identification that does not conform to the binary understanding of gender.

Zac reflects on the evolution of labels and language surrounding sexuality, noting how both have drastically changed over time. From a young age, Zac felt different from others and was open about their attraction to girls during their pre-teen years. Revealing their sexual orientation brought varying reactions from peers, from curiosity to disgust, and highlighted the lack of understanding and acceptance by some.

School experiences are a focal point of the conversation, illustrating the distressing levels of homophobic bullying Zac faced. In particular, their time at an all-girls school and a Christian institution brought daily death threats and a complete lack of support from the administration. Contrastingly, attending Hagley Community College marked a turning point where the environment was inclusive, and the student body and teachers fostered a safe and accepting atmosphere for all expressions of identity.

Zac also reflects on the impact of the 2011 Canterbury earthquake, which led to moving to Christchurch and changing schools, reshaping their social surroundings. They mention the stark difference of support—or lack thereof—received from educational institutions regarding their gender and sexuality.

With the aid of social media and online communities, Zac found the language and concepts to articulate their non-binary identity. The accessibility of stories and experiences from others online offered a way to connect and build community, providing vital support for those exploring their own identities.

Zac is critical of media representations of LGBTQ+ individuals, calling for more nuanced and humanizing portrayals rather than stereotypical and dramatized depictions. They emphasize the importance of witnessing authentic relationships and dynamics, like familial settings, in media narratives to improve understanding and acceptance.

Looking to the future, Zac aspires to a society where people are judged as human beings, rather than being segmented by labels and identities. They convey hope for a future where love and acceptance prevail and where freedom to express oneself without judgment is universal.

The podcast ends with advice to young people wrestling with their gender or sexuality: remain true to oneself, resist shame, and believe in a better future. Zac celebrates the freedoms they experience as a young person in New Zealand, such as public displays of affection without fear of persecution—a freedom not enjoyed universally.

This summary encapsulates Zac's journey through discrimination and toward self-acceptance, anchored in the broader contexts of societal evolution, the role of educational systems, the power of social media, and the importance of inclusive representation in the media.

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:12th May 2014
Interviewer:Tabby Besley
Location:Christchurch, Canterbury
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004312).