Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Introducing Phil, a new volunteer

This year we decided to post more information about the great volunteers here at Gay Wellington. Here's a write-up from Phil who joined us late in 2011.

Hi. I have already met some of you at the intake training day in November. That was a buzz! It was great to be part of a supportive and positive group with so much honest sharing. It was also a real learning experience for me, expanding my ideas on self identity, gayness and gender.

I am a 48yr gay male. I was born and educated in Whanganui. I had a very Victorian upbringing which stopped when my older father died when I was 13 years old. After starting an adventurous sex life very early and into my early 20s, I was hospitalized as suffering from depression and anti-social behaviour. Treatment consisted of some very heavy drug therapy and being told I was gay and a deviant. This period lasted for about 2 years. Having been brought up as a strict Roman Catholic, I resisted the idea and proceeded to throw myself into the corporate world to prove everyone wrong.

After many years of trying to live the straight life, numerous unsuccessful affairs, a serious sexual attack followed by a bout of drinking and drug abuse which nearly killed me, I finally came to a period in my life when I had to confront certain facts about myself. Although some were painful, as I have hurt people in my past, I also discovered that I also have some talents and skills and realized that I can make a difference. Long live life!


Greetings from Kura and Stu, our Co-Chairs

Kia ora.

I have been associated with WGWG for two years predominantly cruising the periphery as a volunteer Helpliner. There are many positives to volunteering, and I have enjoyed working alongside other Helpliners, getting a different perspective on life, that sense of giving back to the community and generally becoming more aware of the issues facing the GLBTQ community. Sure, there have been some “duh” moments but they have been few and far between.

In late 2011 I took on the role as co-chair alongside Stu. Whilst the role requires a little more commitment I have gained an appreciation of the length of time WGWG has been in operation, the number of umbrella groups it supports and the investment in time and energy volunteers have given to the organisation. I am reminded of the whakatauki Ahakoa he iti he pounamu - Although small, it is a greenstone/treasure. I am looking forward to making my small contribution to WGWG during 2012.



When we put together the list of non-helpline activities for new volunteers in December, it made us realise how our organisation is strongly building in new directions. We’ve had an extraordinary two months since the last newsletter, ranging from Xmas and New Year functions, through to Out in the Square. Thanks everyone for making it all work.

One topic on our priority list at the moment is the monthly meetings. We received feedback that some people thought WGWG is too internally focused. To help address that, we’re keen to make sure the 2012 monthly meetings regularly have a training/external speaker session before the business meeting. These sessions will ensure members have more exposure to what is going on in the community and we can invite a wider audience. Staying on for the business meeting is optional.

The first meeting for the year will be on Tuesday 21 February. From 6pm to 7pm the guest speaker will be Natalie from Agenda, followed by nibbles and then the business meeting.

There’s a lot to do in 2012. If you can help out in any area, don’t wait to be asked – put your name forward.