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Monday 08 November 2010

Alison Mau comes out: "Yes, I'm bisexual"

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News, True Stories
By Daily News staff - 6th November 2010

Alison Mau at tonight's QWU pageant.
Television presenter Alison Mau has tonight ended months of speculation by publicly confirming that she is indeed part of the glbt community and that media hounding of her on the matter has caused her much grief.

Speaking on stage moments before announcing the winner of the Queen of the Whole Universe fundraising pageant, Mau, 44, told the packed auditorium at the Aotea Centre that there was "no room in my life for bigotry of any kind and I am proud to be standing amongst the community."

She then acknowledged her partner Karleen Edmonds who had sat near her through the evening as Mau headed the event's judging panel, introducing her lover to the audience and saying she was looking "incredibly hot!" The audience erupted into cheers and applause.

Moments later, in an exclusive interview with, asked if when she said "the community" she actually meant "our community," Mau said "Yes... I'm bisexual."

Mau was aggressively targeted by the Sunday News and other media earlier this year. The newspaper ran paparazzi-style photos of her partner and unilaterally declared her to be in an all-female relationship. However, until tonight Mau has refused to discuss the matter publicly, nor to publicly confirm her sexuality. "I haven't wanted to talk about it, it's been a difficult time and the speculation has caused me grief," she says. "And I had to bear in mind the effect this would have on my new partner and my children and ex-husband." Mau was formerly married to Television One news anchor Simon Dallow.

The new host of the long-running TV One consumer watchdog programme Fair Go says she felt the speculation in the straight media was an attempt to force her out into the open before she was ready. However, she said that at tonight's QWU event, surrounded by thousands of glbt people she finally felt safe to come out publicly.
And she says that tonight she felt it was time to hit back at those who had abused her new relationship in such a "bigoted" manner.

Mau clearly had had a rough time at the height of the media speculation. "It was their bringing it up again and again that hurt," she said. Asked if she felt the newspapers which pursued her had been merely seeking sensational headlines, Mau paused for thought as if choosing her words carefully. "If it had been written up with sensitivity I wouldn't have minded so much. Then I wouldn't have felt so much grief." She says it was unpleasant to be publicly written about in such a "titillating, sniggering" manner.

She says she felt comfortable coming out through Daily News because she felt the matter would be reported "more sensitively."

Mau says her attraction for Edmonds had come as a surprise. "I have fallen in love with a wonderful woman and it was just so unexpected," she smiled.
Glancing around at the after-show crowd, which included glbt and straight people, she commented: "I feel safe."

You can discuss this New Zealand glbt community news story in the Forum.

   Bookmark and Share Daily News staff - 6th November 2010