I’m so proud of how far we’ve come as communities. But – make no mistake – we’ve still got a long way to go.
I know there are some people out there who think the battle for Rainbow liberation is over.
But, in the last few months, I’ve been hearing about a worrying rise in reports of homophobia here in New Zealand.
I believe it’s no coincidence this comes as the United States takes a swing to the right – under the leadership of Donald Trump.
Around the western world, we are seeing the rise of political movements that threaten the extraordinary gains we’ve made in the last few decades.
So how do we counter the surge of conservatism? In my view, the answer is simple – we rally together.
I’ve always been a believer in the power of community – and the power of social enterprise.
Over the last decade, I’ve had the opportunity to serve in some extraordinary roles in the LGBTTI+ communities.
I spent four years involved in the management of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras – strategic planning and working closely with the board.
Last year – I moved home to New Zealand and emersed myself back in the Rainbow communities.
I’ve served on the board of Auckland Pride – and I also volunteer at Outline, our national helpline.
During my time at Pride, it’s been great to get to know members of our communities that are really making a difference, with their passion and belief in equality.
Now, I’m embarking on an exciting new journey – a journey I hope you will share with me.
This year during Pride, I’m launching an app called Rainbow Pages, which showcases LGBTTI+ business and gives back to community organisations.
Now – more than ever – we need to unite our communities.
We see Rainbow Pages as a way to strengthen our ties with our communities – and to help make us battle-ready as we enter the age of Trump.
I’d really appreciate your support.
For more on James and the other finalists of Mr. Gay New Zealand visit the website www.mrgaynewzealand.com
Last Updated on Jan 31, 2017