Michael Stevens writes on GayNZ.com that Pride "is designed to be celebratory, fun, and inclusive. It’s not built for anger and protest." This in response to last year's No Pride In Prisons protest at the parade, against the treatment of transgender prisoners, in which one protester's arm was broken by parade security.
So, Pride is about including people, but only if they're nice and fun and happy. For people who aren't, Michael suggests a separate space — sounding kind of like a time out or detention for naughty queers. He'd even come and watch.
It's been a troubling week with the signing of the TPPA and the Prime Minister flip-flopping over his attendance at Te Tii Marae at Waitangi. These events weren't troubling in themselves, but his reactions were. John Key called the kawa (protocol) of the marae "Mickey Mouse" and TPPA protestors "rent-a-protest".
Josie Butler, an anti-TPP protester, threw a dildo at Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, shouting "that's for raping our sovereignty". And then Key was seen wearing a lapel badge of the most popular alternative flag at a formal event.
Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers is being accused of 'gay-baiting’ his LGBT fans to further his career by regularly partying in gay bars and performing at a number of Pride events all around America, according to the Gay Times.
The star told Complex:
Today's NZ Herald editorial lambasts Labour's policy proposal for free tertiary education as an expensive fix with little purpose. Admittedly, I wasn't overly convinced by Andrew Little's stumbling announcement but, all in all, I think scrapping student loans is a move in the right direction, steering us away from the neo-liberal semi-dictatorship John Key's Government has been creating in the last eight years.
The editorial says there are better things to which to add funding and that thousands have repaid their loans but, in the same publication, Raybon Kan glibly disagrees:
Diversity is diverse, infinitely diverse. As I wrote recently, "Self-awareness is more useful than having some form of "textbook knowledge" of other people. Because there are no rules of thumb for engaging respectfully and meaningfully with people if you want to acknowledge the true nature of diversity."
Part of this approach to diversity requires the willingness to be wrong and the humility to apologise. To heal the mistake, the generosity of the wronged party to forgive, is also necessary.
This is such a bittersweet time of year. Summer has just, it seems, begun to bed in and my 4-5 week staycation finishes on Sunday.
Next week it's meetings, a trip to Wellington, planning with clients and following up on paused projects. And it's time for me to start my yearly challenge: to see how long I can feel like I'm not back at work.
I've been contemplating my garden in the last week, for a project in which I'm involved. I've noticed my preference for a wilderness-styled garden rather than a highly manicured one. At the same time, I appreciate nicely manicured gardens.
What occurred to me is, we can see life on a wilderness-manicured spectrum. Sometimes it feels very orderly and controlled while other times can feel messier or completely chaotic.
Update 6 January 2016
According to the NZ Herald, "the woman who says she had her teeth knocked out for speaking Te Reo outside an Auckland karaoke bar has been charged with assault alongside her alleged attacker." A police statement said, "The version of events given by the 46-year-old female is not substantiated by this footage."
A woman was punched in the face and lost five teeth on New Year's Eve, because she spoke Te Reo. She said, "Ka kite ano (see you later)," to friends, then was sworn and shouted at by a man for being "palagi" and speaking Māori. When she challenged him back, he attacked her.
Happy New Year. I hope your celebrations were safe and fun.
I've started 2016 by creating a brand, spanking new website for Diversity New Zealand — you can see it here! (I know, I'm a geek!)
This time of year is difficult for me. To say I dread it is an over-statement, but I do steel myself for it and it's an exercise in endurance getting through it.
I struggle with being alone. I'm not lonely though, don't get me wrong. And I don't want to surround myself with people.