Thursday, December 27, 2007

Some NZ gay online diversions

Looking for short book to read then check out Eve and Adam in Suburbia

A novel about love, friendship and infidelity. Covering a period of 2.5 years, it follows the comical and dramatic events that lead neighbors Eve and Julien to an important decision: should they leave their cheating partners, Adam and Romeo, or not? The story shows suburbia as a modern-day Garden of Eden, where men, rather than women, are enticed to be naughty. Romeo’s temptation comes from bisexual bus driver Nick, whose wife Cynthia seduces Adam.When Eve and Julien discover these indiscretions, they initially attempt to hide them, until they realize they need each other’s help to make up their minds about the future. In the background, Eve’s single sister Dawn takes her religious devotion to, literally, insane levels. This is a problem, since Eve appointed Dawn in her will as guardians to her twins.

Planet Franck:

For another Auckland gay blog check out Uroskin's blog - Put 'em all on an island

Friday, December 21, 2007

PC or not?

BBC Radio 1 found it at the centre of a controversy over the censoring of the words "faggot" and "slut" from the words of "Fairytale of New York" and then reinstating them.

As reported in The Independent.

"Embarrassed BBC bosses have climbed down over attempts to ban words it deemed offensive in the Christmas hit song "Fairytale of New York".

The emotionally gritty song boils over as the late Kirsty MacColl and The Pogues' Shane MacGowan engage in a vocal domestic that rings bells in households across the world every year."

So what do you think it is offensive to use the word "Faggot" in a derogatory manner. This is bound to divide between those who think the BBC was been politically correct and those who think the words should be changed to be less offensive.

This on top of this weeks "gay" comment does make you wonder about language and how it changes over time.

So is it offensive or not? The only test I can apply is to replace it with other words which refer to other ethnic groups.

It is an interesting debate and there is no right or wrong answer other than listening to what is been said. One thing is clear is that if someone attempts to go for the PC gone mad respond then they are not listening and fail to understand why some people might be offended.

Sometimes of course there can be no resolution other than agreeing to disagree.

So what do people think - should the words be changed in this song? Comments welcome below.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Deena Pawson you are the weakest link

Not only was Deena Pawson not smart to post critical comments about her workplace on her Bebo profile as follows:

“well work sucks, guyfawkes are coming up, and we have to close @ midnight, which is totally gay.. like the frickn management there! and OMG the GOSSIPS! zOmG, i dnt nO eNgLISh1!!!oneoneexclamationmark!!!! LOL LOL
An employment lawyer commented that reading the comment that the word gay = crappy.

OUTLine NZ's general manager Neil Denney was reported in as saying:
Although the user does not recognise any sexual connection to the word [gay], it is still there and the word is still as harmful when commonly used as a tool against a minority,"
"As an organisation, OUTLine NZ cannot agree that the word 'gay' has a meaning of "crappy" under any circumstance."
Of course it is nothing new the word "gay" is continuing to move and the saying "Oh that so gay" crept into use during the late 90s to mean that is so stupid as opposed to really gay.

Still an insult though but does it offend?

What about young people struggling with their sexuality. Does it make it harder for them.

So put some comments below.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Beware of the Lavendar Mafia

Christopher Pearson latest opinion piece on moves for Civil Unions in the ACT would be laughable if he didn't believe what he wrote.

With the headline "Arrest this abomination" he makes some sweeping statements as follows.

The first misconception to nail is that the opposition to gay marriage is a homophobic response. Insisting that, in terms of universal human values, the marital union of a woman and a man is qualitatively different from other intimate relationships cannot sensibly be construed as anti-homosexual. Resisting the libertarian rhetorical assertion of moral equivalence between straight and gay relationships is not the same as condemning the latter.
Funny how those who oppose gay marriage and civil unions always claim that they are not homophobic but marriage is only available to heterosexual couples.

He then goes on:
From a conservative Christian perspective, the survival of our civilisation depends on societies where stable, fruitful marriages are the norm and the state intervenes proactively in their support.
Again the classic argument against gay marriage. If he really believed this then those who cannot have children should be banned from marriage. And of course lets not forget a lot of gay and lesbian couples have children.

The next statement is the funniest

When the law allows civil unions and ceremonies that, as the ALP's pre-election undertaking puts it, "mimic marriage", it sends out all the wrong signals, especially to the young and impressionable, and to people whose sexuality is at its most fluid.

There are lessons to be learned here from the hardball tactics gay activists engaged in, playing the politics of identity. Think of all the boys and girls who would once have been understood to be "going through a phase" in late adolescence, and who were as often as not given tea and sympathy and time to sort things out.

By the late 1960s the lavender mafia was on hand, looking for new recruits and dispensing a one-size-fits-all, ready-made gay identity to anyone remotely interested. Who knows how many of the denizens of Sydney's Oxford Street really belong there and how many were encouraged to reach premature conclusions about their nature and their needs?

This has to be the funniest statement I have read. Firstly he ignores the fact that a lot of gay and lesbian's were married and leading a double life (and a number of people still do). The second he associates gay life with Oxford Street which is only a small part of the gay and lesbian spectrum of people.

Oh and I love the "lavendar mafia" statement!

As for Christopher Pearson read his profile at SourceWatch and you will discover who he really is

US Democrats work to end HIV+ Visitor ban

While the Bush regime is moving to "streamline" entry for HIV positive visitors 30 Democrats have called for the ban to be lifted.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (Oakland, CA) led Members of Congress to sign on to a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to oppose a proposed rule, prompted by the Bush administration, to impose a travel ban on certain individuals afflicted with the HIV infection who wish to come into the United States.

This is welcome news and while it may not lead to an immediately lifting of the ban following the departure of Bush at the end of 2008 this ban may actually get lifted leaving just a handful of countries which ban HIV positive visitors.

Friday, December 07, 2007

ACT Civil Union get the green light

Kevin Rudd has stated that he won't veto the ACT government's move to implement Civil Union legislation.

This is good news for same sex couples in Australia and the first step to removing discrimination and is a nice change to the Howard legacy.

It should also mean the same sex civil unions entered into overseas will be recognised by ACT.

The pressure will now go on the other Australian states to introduce similar legislation.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Australia shows movement on civil unions

During the Australian election campaign a lot was made that there was no difference between the Labor Party and the National/Liberal coalition.

What is becoming clearer is there is a fundamental shift occurring on the social and environmental issues and a new direction for Australia.

The decision to proceed with ratifying Kyoto is the most visible sign of this.

For the gay and lesbian population the signs are encouraging that same sex relationships will no longer be discriminated against.

It is also appearing that changes at the state level will bring about some form of civil union legislation.

The ACT plans for civil unions have now been revived with the exit of the conservative Howard Government in Australia which blocked the legislation last time.

In addition Victoria has announced plans to introduce a register to allow same sex relationships to be recognised.

The Federal government has indicated it will not support gay marriage, but has said it will remove discrimination against same sex couples in areas such as superannuation, taxation and other areas.

All these are positive signs.

There is still a long way to go before Australia catches up with New Zealand but it is heading in the right direction.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Penny Wong now a Minister

The changes keep coming in Australia with Senator Penny Wong been appointed to the Australian cabinet and becomes Australia's first openly lesbian federal Minister.

She has been appointed as Minister for Climate Change and Water.

While the lead up to the election there didn't seem much difference between the Liberal/National coalition and Labor, Kevin Rudd's announcement of the new cabinet and this appointment highlights the real change that has occurred with the defeat of the conservative Howard government.

Gays and feminists to blame for society ills!

I really should stop reading this stuff. Today I read a opinion piece by Garth George in the New Zealand Herald titled:

Garth George: A nation festering in a moral cesspit

His first point I agree with but not necessarily the conclusion (Yes there are issues but it is hard to know if it is really any worse than previous generations where much of the bad things were hidden and swept under the carpet):
The measure of a society's soul is the way it treats its most vulnerable members - children, the elderly, the poor and the disabled - and on this measure we fail miserably.

His reasons however I disagree with as with his conclusion we should all get back to been good "Christians". The underlying theme is that "feminists" and "homosexuals" are to blame for society's downfall. In it he blames:
  • No fault divorce
  • Birth control pill
  • Abortion - which he considers the number one evil
  • Homosexual law reform
His solution:
Perhaps a good start would be for parents to send their kids to Sunday school - any Sunday school. Then our next generations might at least resurrect their spiritual dimension, without which life is largely meaningless, and learn the timeless virtues and values that have throughout history make communities and nations great. It's not much, but it would be a start.

Then this wonderful piece from "Femi-Nazis & Homo-Nazis Condemned By Silence" where Sandra Ashworth lays into "Feminists" and "Homosexuals" for not speaking out about the current rape case in Saudi Arabi

What of course is interesting is how they selectively quote part of Helen Clark's press release:

In a recent media release addressing this situation with "dismay," Helen Clark declared that "New Zealand fully respects the judicial system of Saudi Arabia."

The original press release went on as follows:
Prime Minister Helen Clark said today that she has asked New Zealand diplomats to raise dismay over the sentencing of a 19-year-old Saudi rape victim.

“New Zealand fully respects the judicial system of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and notes that the case is still working its way through the courts,” Helen Clark said.

“Nonetheless I hope that justice will prevail and that the young woman, who is the victim in this case, will be shown leniency by the Saudi judiciary.

One will note the different feel between the two quotes. Interesting New Zealand's dismay has been very similiar to diplomatic responses from other Western countries.

The SOLO people again use the "Nazi" tag and from the soft touchy side one has to wonder what "evil" has occured to them to so dislike certain groups of people.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Gay Hood

With the sudden closure of the Newtown Hotel in Sydney and the temporary closure of the Imperial Hotel it feels like a part of the gay community in Sydney has gone.

Along with some of the recent issues in Oxford St as straight clubs open up and bring more straight people into Oxford St one gets a feeling that Darlinghurst and Newtown aren't as gay as they used to be.

Having lived in Auckland of course one is used to not having a gay district and those gay bars which do appear come and go around New Zealand.

As Franc noted while visitor the Vancouver gay district

Auckland has no gay village. There is a part of K-Road, about half a block long (or short) that has a gay bar, and a couple of shops with rainbow stickers on the door, and that's about it.
So does it matter that Oxford St isn't as gay as it used to be?

Probably not but what does matter is the rise of homophobic violence in Oxford St. Of course when people have been out drinking all night some violence is bound to occur but it looks like it is on the rise again and directed against gay men and women.

This is partially been countered by opening a safe space in Oxford St.

It is times like this that you realise that maybe there is still a need for a gay district and gay space where been queer is the norm.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bye Bye Howard

The Liberal/National coalition lost the election yesterday and looks likely that John Howard also lost his seat.

Howard's claim to fame was that the economic boom but the real reason for the boom is the Chinese economy and the consequent mineral boom.

Howard rejected gay marriage and all attempts to provide equal rights for same sex couples. Labor under Rudd will be an improvement and probably more in line with the National Party in New Zealand.

Other changes are the Greens look like they will hold the balance of power in the Senate.

Hopefully the change in government will finally get some improvement in the treatment of same sex couples in Australian law and maybe open the way for some form of Civil Union at least at a state level.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

My kind of Homo: Dan Matthews

Dan Matthews was recently on ABC National Radio Morning Breakfast and then the next day on National Radio Saturday Morning with Kim Hill.

Dan Matthews is vice-president of animal rights activist organisation PETA. While you may not always agree with some of his comments he came accross as a committed, thoughtful and concerned person.

He was promoting his book Committed but also explored some interesting and thought provoking discussion around animal rights and some of the events that PETA have organised.

The Radio New Zealand broadcast can be heard here (not sure how long it will be there for) .

His most controversial point is around animal testing for an HIV Vaccine and medications. He is opposed to it and sees it as money misdirected. Instead he wants money spent on education on how to prevent HIV spreading. Of course given the American lack of spending on HIV Prevention it is more understand his comments though many would disagree with them.

Listening to the interview he came across as a provocative, thought provoking and committed individual and while not agreeing with all his views I came to the conclusion he is my type of "Homo"!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Faster HIV Test for NZ but still none in OZ

Wellington in New Zealand is about to get the 20 minute HIV test from 1 November but in Australia the situation remains that the test isn't available.

ACON in August in SSO said that the rapid test wasn't needed here as most gay men tested.

If the response in New Zealand is anything to go by then it would suggest the rapid test would be welcomed by men in Australia. One has to think there must be guys who live outside the major centres (and in the major centres) who would like to be able to tested in a major city and find it easier to test when visiting than having the test in a small rural town or trying to get back to get the test results.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Time up for Homosexual Panic Defence

The New Zealand Law Commission is recommending the removal of the "Homosexual Panic Defence" in murder cases.

The murder of gay men has been happening for too long and it is time this ridiculous defence was removed.

In New Zealand the beat a queer and you will get it off was not helped by the 1964 murder of Aberhart.

Unfortunately their is still people who just want to bash/kill a queer as can be seen by the increased level of violence against gay men in Oxford St in Sydney recently.

Equal rights for gays

Australia is in the middle of the federal election campaign and what is interesting is how neither major party actually is going to do anything to fix up the unequal situation that gay and lesbian's find in Australia.

The following two youtube clips show the real difference that exists between New Zealand and Australia when it comes to gay rights. It is hard to believe that in the 70s women had to fly to Sydney for abortions but now gay and lesbian couples have to fly to New Zealand for a civil union.

Kevin Rudd ABC: Rudd raises eyebrows with gay marriage comments

John Howard of course has never supported gay marriage and unlike his National Party colleagues in New Zealand has never sent a letter of support to Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, unlike previous National Prime Ministers who have written letters of support to the equivalent Auckland Hero Festival event - including attending the Hero Parade.

John Howard Gay Marriage Scapegoat Kevin Rudd

NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark at the Big Gay Out 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

HIV Research Breakthrough

An interesting item on the ABC on HIV research in Australia.

The research at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne is focused on uncovering HIV and how it replicates and the implications of latent cells.

The director of infectious diseases at the Alfred, Professor Sharon Lewin, says one of the problems with HIV is that it hides from the immune system, but the team has found a new way of investigating this.

"[HIV] actually is quite clever in that in addition to actually infecting and killing a cell, it can also hide within a cell, and it does that because it's able to integrate, or enter into the person's DNA," she said.

"There's not many viruses that can do that. Once it's in the DNA of the cell, the cell can no longer spit it out, basically, and it will stay there for the life of the cell."

Professor Lewin says these "latent" cells, which carry the HIV code, are the reason HIV cannot be cured.

"The minute you stop the drugs, those cells that carry the pieces of HIV genetics in its own DNA can then in effect refuel the fire of HIV replication," she said.

"People initially thought that if you were on treatment long enough, you'd just wait until those infected cells die off, and then perhaps you could be on treatment for 10 years.

"But once we developed ways of measuring those latently infected cells, the calculations now are you'd need to be on treatment for 60 years, so effectively lifelong treatment, unless we develop ways to target those latently infected cells."

Read the whole article here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Have to love the language

I just came across Lindsay Perigo's press release.

Nothing unusual about it but you have to love the language. Some select quotes:

  • Homosexuals, once the victims of Nazism, are now among its foremost advocates.
  • The gay movement is infested by faggot-maggots with totalitarian intent.
  • All freedom-lovers, gay and straight, should unite in resistance to this 21st Century Hitlerism.
Anytime anyone uses the Hitler and Nazi cards instead of arguing their argument you have to wonder why.

I noticed Christopher Biggin's comments, in comparison to Perigo's, were informative and contributed to the ongoing debate around hate speech laws.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

John Banks back

You would think Aucklander's would have learnt there lesson last time around.

Due to a low voter turnout John Banks has got back the Auckland mayoralty. He has promised he has changed from last time but somehow I don' t think this tiger has changed his stripes.

Expect more homophobic nonsense, general intolerance and other comments from this Mayor of Auckland.

It also looks like Lindsay Rea has just missed out on been Auckland City's first out lesbian councillor missing out by only a few votes in Western Bays. Final results are due by the middle of the week so hopefully some specials which might help push her over the line.

And for more bad news expect homophobe David Hay back as Deputy Mayor.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What really happens in Aussie changing rooms

In today's Daily Telegraph Manly winger Michael Robertson says he is "embarrassed" that footage of him naked appeared on Fox Sports after the Sea Eagles lost the grand final.
While Manly's Steve Menzies is interviewed by a Fox Sports journalist after the NRL decider on September 30, Robertson can clearly be seen in the background swirling his genitalia.

The video and more on the story here.

Interesting they are running a poll on "Who should cop the blame for Robertson's shame?" Maybe it is time we stopped getting so worried about sight of naked man and he certainly doesn't have anything to be embarrassed or ashamed of.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

uniQ newsletter Otago

The Queerest Tea Party “Country Fair Bakeoff” Next week!!

University lawn, Thursday the 11th October 12-2PM

Come and enter you country goodness baking in the bent bakeoff comp #2. Hoe down on fruit pies, campy cakes and varieties of vegan delights. Entries on the day, bring your baking goods to the OUSA Student Support Centre before 12 to be in.

The judging and eating (with refreshments provided) will take place from 12-2pm where there will also be…

~The uniQ Annual General Meeting (QAGM) held during the Queerest Tea Party!!!

For uniQ to make any changes we need you to approve them (note voting only open to polytech and uni students) and/or make suggestions of improvements that can be made.


uniQ Report -uniQ activities through the year from last AGM

New directions and proposed changes:

uniQ name change so that name reflects polytech members as well etc – email your suggestions!!!

eg QTS (Queer Tertiary Students), out@otago, Camp as us etc

Elect the Queer n’ friendly Exec (peps that organise the queer students group)

Amendments to uniQ constitution

Plans for Next Year: Hosting national uniQ conference, Orientation gig – Traffic light party

your suggestions? correction

In it said that there was a uniQ party on the 13th of October@12 below. This has been scrapped due to Queerest Tea Party and QAGM commitments - but remember the traffic light party @ uni orientation 08!!!!!

~Pride Week Dunedin

Check out the and the express magazine for glamour shots from this years pride week

~Queer Friendly Flat

Post Grad Student is looking for a flat from November when they arrive from the Netherlands. Email if you have a room going.

~DCC, ORC and ODHB elections

Dunedin has Rex Simpson out and proud running for Cargill Ward in the DCC counsellor elections and for the Otago Distric Health Board. Check out for more.

Remember when voting you need to have posted your completed voting papers by the 11th of October (so that the electoral people get it on time for the 13th). If you haven’t got your voting papers by now you can… obtain special voting papers by calling 477 4000 or A special voting booth will be available in the DCC Customer Services Agency, Civic Centre in the Octagon during ordinary business hours (8.30 am – 5.00 pm) from Friday, 21 September to Friday, 12 October. It will also be open on the morning of Saturday, 13 October from 8.30 am to 12.00 noon.

~Christchurch Oscars.

Christchurch's glitziest and most fabulous event of the year is Labour weekend Sunday 21st October: Tickets are $20, Email us if you want a ticket reserved!

uniQ regular goings on and contact details…

Slice of Fruit-join your hosts Nicky, Dougal and Cory for your ‘slice of fruit’. Queer news, reviews, music and the latest and greatest Queer and Queer friendly what’s on in Dunedin.

Every Tuesday 11:15am Radio 1, 91FM

Remember to email in queer bands and DJs to play on air!

To contact uniQ



Queer SupportOUSA Student Support Centre

The uniQ resource Library-Free to hire Queer DVDS, videos, books and magazines @ the Student Support Centre. Come on in and have a browse!

Queer Peer Support- Peer Support is available for anyone who is questioning their sexuality or gender. It runs prioritising discreetness (if students are not out), safety and support. We have a team of 12 of Queer students who are there to listen and support you.

This team of trained peer support volunteers come from different cross sections of the queer community and have experienced coming to terms, coming out, questioning, wondering, being scared, and have had lots of questions about our own non heterosexual or non gender specific selves. They are able to meet with people on or off campus, private or public-whatever suits.

DOC- lunch time meet and greet for Queer and Questioning Male identified folks is starting 2008

Posse- lunch time meet and greet for Queer and Questioning Female identified peps is starting 2008

To contact Queer Support


P: 479 5445

or pop into the Student Support Centre, in the Cumberland Street Archway, just up from Student Job Search