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Viewing entries tagged with 'queer'

A life of paradox, power and privilege

Posted by Philip on 17 January 2015, 11:01 am in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

arrow pointing left and rightFollowing on from my last post about rebranding, I’ve also changed how I describe myself or, more accurately, my experience. I talk about "my paradoxical experience as a queer, caucasian, cisgender man with unique function (disability).”

Even doing this is paradoxical, given I argued the point in 2012 at TEDxAuckland that we need to decay labels to reveal diversity. But I’m doing it to explain a phenomenon of power, privilege and paradox, rather than to label myself.

Power and privilege have long been part of the politics of diversity and discrimination. Recently I heard another diversity expert, Leslie Hawthorne, encourage those with privilege to raise awareness of it by, for example, not using the word “lame" to describe something that is bad or stupid, because you are implying that people who can’t walk are bad or stupid*.

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RainbowYOUTH turns 25

Posted by Philip on 19 November 2014, 8:25 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RainbowYOUTH logo with birthday hatUnfortunately I was unable unable to attend tonight's 25th reunion of RainbowYOUTH, "a charitable organisation providing support, information, advocacy and education for queer and trans* young people (aged between 13 and 28), their friends and Whānau, and those who work with queer and trans* youth."

Having had the honour of being their patron for the last few years I asked for a few words to be read on my behalf.  

Kia ora koutou. Happy 25th birthday RainbowYOUTH. My apologies for not being able to be here in person to address you this evening.

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Pride Festival? Or Avoiding Shame Shenanigans?

Posted by Philip on 3 March 2014, 6:56 pm in , , , , ,

I attended one event at this year’s Auckland Pride Festival. That was the Big Gay Out. I didn’t enjoy it much. Part freak show, part dance party, part concert, part excuse to be young and drunk in the middle of the day.

After four hours, I ended up positioned seemingly exactly between the Caluzzi dance tent and the main stage occupied by Goodshirt (sadly most people were too young to remember them but they had a good go). Suddenly I just had to go. As a young guy did the YouTube drunk stagger past me, I realised I had no idea why I was there.

Shortly afterwards a friend recommended I read “The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World” by Alan Downs. Downs is a Dialectical Behaviour Therapist, a discipline to which I don’t wholeheartedly subscribe.

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On vulnerability, fluidity and playing with change

Posted by Philip on 2 August 2011, 7:06 am in , , , ,

I spoke to Gareth Watkins at the 2011 2nd AsiaPacific Outgames Human Rights Conference held in March in Wellington NZ...

(Sorry there's no transcript if you can't hear it! Working on it!)

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How to create more rainbows

Posted by Philip on 26 June 2011, 5:00 pm in , , , , , , ,

Here's a rendition of an off-the-cuff talk I made to Rainbow Youth's AGM this afternoon (with some added bits).

Happy birthday! That's what AGMs are really – birthday parties for organisations – so it's great to see so many of you here. I'm here, not because I'm young, but because I'm one of Rainbow Youth's patron's, which makes me feel quite old. But I'm not as old as most patrons...just so you know.

I work in the area of social change, and I often find it hard to explain what exactly I do. So I'm going to demonstrate it. At the end of this talk, by listening to it, you will have changed, just a little, as will I have also, simply by saying it. And that, in essence, is the nature of social change.

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