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Viewing entries tagged with 'sexuality'

Sexuality and Diversity – Bending Rules and Breaking Duals | 7th Sexual Dysfunction Conference

Posted by Philip on 15 May 2016, 11:44 am in , , , , ,

Yesterday I presented at the 7th Multidisciplinary Sexual Dysfunction Conference, somewhat misnamed due to history — as organiser Nic Beets explained, it's become a lot less medicalised over the years. Now it attracts GPs, physiotherapists, counsellors, psychotherapists, sex therapists, sexual health promoters among others. This post summarises my sessions and includes points I neglected to cover.

By chance (or perhaps design on the part of the organisers) I spoke after listening to a presentation by Dr Russell Shuttleworth, Senior Lecturer at Deakin University, followed by a Q&A with Dr George Taleporos, Researcher, also at Deakin University, with whom I've been acquainted for nearly two decades. Their topic was Facilitated Sex for Adults with Disabilities. I pointed out the irony that George and I had been having this conversation for those 15-20 years and, from their presentation, it seems not much has changed.

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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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The sport of coming out

Posted by Philip on 15 July 2014, 6:56 am in , , , , , , , ,

Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe is the latest in a long line of sports "stars" to come out as gay in an interview with celebrity interviewer Sir Michael Parkinson. It seems to be a sport in itself these days: to play professional sport and reveal that you're gay.

Or perhaps a better sport might be to place bets on who will be next. David Beckham? Too good to be true.

But the real question — or the bigger conversation we're not having — is about the "casual homophobia", as Kath and Kim actor and out lesbian comedian Magda Szubanski puts it, in sport that stops people like Thorpe coming out — or never having to "go in" in the first place.

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Thinking about the box, rather than outside it

Posted by Philip on 13 April 2014, 2:01 pm in , , , , , , , , , , ,

box with question marksWe often hear people utter the mantra, “Think outside the box.” It’s become the hold-all for creative thinking, problem solving and even good leadership.

But how often do we often think about the box itself? How often do we consider that, by thinking outside it, we stray away from the box — even ignore it completely — and miss the truth of the matter:

The box is the problem. It’s too big, too small, the wrong shape, the wrong colour.

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Diversity — are you trying to get it right?

Posted by Philip on 12 November 2013, 4:04 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , ,


If you are, you're very likely to get it wrong.

Organisations that build cultures that require people to do the right thing in regards to culture, gender, sexuality, function (disability) etc, create behaviours governed by fear. People will avoid engagement in order to stay safe, because they'll be scared of getting it wrong.

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NZ gay press perpetuates stereotypes in its own publication?

Posted by Philip on 5 June 2012, 6:26 pm in , , , , , ,

I don't want to sound like a prude but, even though I know I probably will, I'm going to blog this anyway.

The latest edition of express magazine bears the photo below on the cover. To further illustrate it's "gay-owned and operated eateries" feature, an equally teenage boy-esque / soft porn image of a guy with a sausage in his mouth graces page 2.

I'm actually embarrassed to put the magazine on my home office lounge table, which I normally do, because it is so blatantly sexually suggestive. I can't demonstrate my own celebration of diversity because the publisher of New Zealand's only gay rag/mag chooses to continue such an adolescent display of sexual diversity.

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Are we getting used to gay?

Posted by Philip on 23 April 2012, 7:36 am in , , ,

Over the weekend I had an email conversation about how social change can seem to be going backwards sometimes. I blogged about it a while back and there are several models that describe the phenomenon, like 'The Hero's Journey' or 'Monomyth' and 'Panarchy'. 

Seth Godin's book 'The Dip' is food for thought on the subject too, from a different lens.

It's easy to notice the decay in social progress. The six o'clock news revels in it and, in circles of people trying to promote awareness and tolerance, we can easily fall into what's-the-point conversations with our peers, as we use sado-massochistic flagellation to keep ourselves in the struggle.

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Diversity: it's not out there...

Posted by Philip on 10 April 2012, 4:35 pm in , , , ,

...it's in here.

Watching the episode of the documentary A Child's World on gender difference last night made me realise how far we are from understanding, as a species, our own diversity.

While admittedly it was first screened in 2001 and so probably made in the late 90s, the heteronomative, gender-binary rhetoric screamed at me like a raving banshee:

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Diversity dilemma - sexuality

Posted by Philip on 6 December 2011, 8:04 am in , , ,

Growing awareness of diverse sexuality in the workplace is one thing.

But here's the dilemma: What if the dominant culture of the organisation is to talk about the ideals of heteronormative marriage and children, mums and dads, with no mention of two mums, two dads and civil unions? The assumption is that everyone is straight and an employee may still feel unsafe to come out.

In fact, the "spotlight" of awareness may create a shadow that shrouds a non-heterosexual colleague in "otherness". They may not want to be the only one.

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Address to the EOPHEA (Equal Opportunity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia) Conference 2011

Posted by Philip on 30 November 2011, 7:00 am in , , ,

As promised, here is the blog remix I presented yesterday at the EOPHEA Conference. Hi and thanks to those who attended. You'll see I only got about halfway through ;-)  

How to create more rainbows

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.

I want to tell you two stories and link them to four ideas: gratitude, compassion, rainbows and leadership. First story: A few months ago my boyfriend and I went to stay a night at the Westin Hotel down on the viaduct. We checked in to one room with a double bed so it was obvious we were a couple. The two guys on the desk, whom we presumed were straight, didn't blink an eye and were polite and professional to the extreme.

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