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Wednesday 08 April 2009

Damned if they do, damned if they don't?

Posted in: Community
By staff - 3rd January 2009

We've announced's Honours and Dishonours over the past two days, now it's time to 'fess up about the people and organisations we weren't sure how to categorise.

The Hero Trustees seemed to just fade away this year. Despite making positive noises when they could actually be contacted, nothing seemed to happen. started running stories revealing that no firm planning or organisation seemed to be in place for the Hero Festival 2009 just two working months (let's face it, very little gets firmed up over the holiday break) and yet Hero's spokesperson was making noises about grand Hero parades in the future. That resulted in a group of concerned folk leaping to the rescue and Auckland will at least have a pseudo-Hero Festival.  Hero has fumbled the ball, will they ever get it back into play?

The "Bill English is standing idly by while his teenage son posts anti-gay abuse" affair continues to strain relations between and the National party, with National's only openly gay MP, Finlayson, diametrically opposed to the position of glbt welfare and support agencies, senior school educators, social workers and other reputable people and organisations who backed up our exposure of the situation. Does Finlayson really believe that we should have not drawn the matter to English senior's attention, then not have publicised this senior political figure's parental inaction?

Two young men snuggle in a bed. Then one's head slips down beneath the covers, and a Balclutha complainant wails that he would "have had enough of a problem explaining to younger kids what might just be happening under the bed clothes if that had been a heterosexual couple". The BSA upheld the complaint, said it ignored the implied homophobia in the complaint, and ruled the Shortland Street scene was unsuitable for "child viewers" in the PGR (Parental Guidance Recommended) time band. Who are they protecting, the children or the inarticulate parents?

Was Mark Ellis and his Charlies mates appearing in drag to promote a drink as "Completely Fruity" just tacky or the gratuitous use of a distasteful stereotype? Ellis is not known to be homophobic, in fact he assisted 'Miss India' with her winning Queen of the Whole Universe performance a couple of years ago by smooching her in her video presentation. But leaden-handed pandering to stereotypes can do subtle damage, even when accompanied by a wink and a nudge.

Drag diva barred from downtown bar! Big protest planned! Sisters in uproar! Bar to be picketed! Human rights at stake! Then all the sturm and drang suddenly faded away with hardly a whimper. Was it all a storm in a D cup?

When a bevy of Waikato drag artistes prepared a show to draw attention to World AIDS Day the Hamilton Markets organiser caved in to homophobic outrage from local retail businesses and stallholders and withdrew permission for the event. "I don't know the correct answer in this situation, but needed to take action or the situation would have escalated. It's a 'damned if we do, damned if we don't' scenario," whined Vinod Bhikha.
Wait a minute! Mr Bhikha may have caved in but we're damned if we will! Make this a clear DISHONOUR! Sorry Mr Bhikha and Co., you're no better than those bigoted businesspeople who opposed a public colourful health-awareness drag show "which young children could witness." staff - 3rd January 2009