Last Saturday, a function with around 300 guests was held at the Beehive – Parliament in Wellington, included the Rainbow Network MPs from political parties, the world’s first transgender MP Georgina Beyer, former MP & Wellington Mayor Fran Wilde who sponsored the ground-breaking legislation in 1985/86 and mostly Wellington-based gay rights activists and community members.
The stories shared that night were both heart-wrenching and empowering.
Honestly, you do not hear about these inspiring tales anymore, especially among the younger queer generations anyway.
With respect, there is a myth among the LGBTQ youth: the youth does not care about the sacrifices of their forebears made for them.
The truth is, any young person can only care if they are given the opportunity to be taught our queer history.
As a member of the community, I feel there is not enough of a priority in passing on our queer history in school.
We have taken the care to preserve so many of our incredible stories, but we are lacking enough accessible routes of dissemination.
There are several amazing organizations working on this, with projects from archives to blogs to films to audio recordings.
This is what we need, a diversity of accessible media both online and offline to accommodate the different levels of learning styles and preferences.
In conjunction with the 30th Anniversary of the New Zealand’s Homosexual Law Reform, we must remember our queer history, acknowledge and RESPECT our forbearers. Without them, we would not be able to live the lives we do now in Aotearoa.
Their generation is responsible for your right to get married, have sex without fear of HIV/AIDS infections, and even hold hands or get a drink with another guy or girl without prejudice.
Here are some sites with amazing queer history at your finger tips:
New Zealand History – Homosexual law reform in New Zealand;
Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand : Te Pūranga Takatāpui o Aotearoa
Queer History New Zealand (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender)
New Zealand History: A CHRONOLOGY OF HOMOSEXUALITY IN NEW ZEALAND
Lesbian/Gay Historical Walk of Wellington
Story: Gay men’s lives
Travel back 31 years and listen to the introduction and first responses of MPs to the Homosexual Law Reform Bill, introduced on this day – 8 March 1985 by Fran Wilde. Audio courtesy of LAGANZ.
Last Updated on Mar 9, 2016