25 years – thoughts

by C. Connoisseur

This weekend marked 25 years since Homosexual law reform. At the age of 8, I had no knowledge of the bill that was going through parliament, I attended a Conservative Christian school and didn’t know what homosexuality was…how my life has changed. Thanks to law reform my male friends can love and desire other men without fear of criminal charges. Homosexual Law Reform was a huge step towards equality for same sex couples in New Zealand.

While I acknowledge the impact law reform had, I urge New Zealand not to be complaisant. We have rich diverse queer/LGBTI community in New Zealand. However, our youth still face bullying for being trans, queer, lesbian, bi or anything that deviates from heterosexual and cis-gendered ‘norm’. New Zealand same-sex couples cannot adopt children and same-sex couples can only get a civil union, not married (this opens a whole big can of worms, which I will blog on one day). I would prefer not to deal with heterosexism on a daily basis and I dream of the day I don’t need to come out, yet again. I would love for New Zealand’s youth to feel safe in their schools, universities, and in their social settings and not have to think about whether it is ‘safe’ to be who they are.

Law Reform was an amazing moment in New Zealand’s history. Thanks to those who stood up against the bigotry and vitriol that was circulating during the law reform campaign and made a step towards a safe, warm, celebratory environment for queer/LGBTI people in New Zealand.

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3 thoughts on “25 years – thoughts

  1. I was 2, so I can’t remember any of it at all, but I can imagine my parent’s fear that they were about to send their boys to schools that would now be full of homosexual recruiters (I would later grow up and purchase a tshirt with “RECRUITER” written in rainbow lettering).

    Homosexual Law Reform was a huge monumental step for us all, but it was still just one step along the long road to equality. Same-sex marriage and adoption are the next hurdles for gay and lesbian people, and there’s Human Rights Act reform for trans and others, but these also are just steps. We mustn’t see any of these as end goals, rather small parts of a process that will eventually lead to equality.

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