The real home truths about diversity
The last article written by me may have landed hard on some truths about society that we see all too often.
Today’s write-up may be particularly prevalent right now considering the All Blacks/AIG have released the Diversity is Strength campaign.
Last week’s article explained my passion for youth mentoring. It featured a photo of a teenager and myself during a coaching session. The text explained how young people need great role models in order to help make bigger life decisions. Unfortunately I have since found out that the teenager was challenged at school by a group of kids, asking if he was gay.
Therefore it’s only fitting to discuss whether diversity at the ground level is really being practised and whether raising awareness really changes anything.
The All Black campaign promotes that there is strength in having diversity and to unite as one to eliminate discrimination (which is not just a LGBTQI+ issue). So does that have a flow-on effect into our everyday life. The answer, one would only hope so. However, the practice of inclusion and diversity has to begin at home.
The photo has since been removed because it had the potential to encourage bullying. But should it have to be removed? The article in no way implies that the teenager is straight or gay. Yet he is now facing the consequences of volunteering to help his coach out.
The disappointing part of the above situation is the jump to a conclusion about sexuality without considering the consequences. It highlights that we need to address the ‘gay’ subject at home with more caution as LGBTQI+ quickly becomes known as what was traditionally ‘normal’. It is inevitable that our kids will have LGBTQI+ friends.
We will only eliminate discrimination if we not only start taking a stand but continue with campaigns like this.
I have recently teamed up with WORLD to help brighten up my Mr Gay World 2018 journey. Last weekend I met with Francis Hooper (founder and designer) and Benny Castles (designer and director). The team at WORLD have really inspired me to have more fun with what I wear, enjoy each day and to go forth in sequins.
With the Mr Gay World competition fast approaching I’m collating a range of clothing, suits, swimwear and feathers to help things feel more fabulous (small hint for my national costume).
This weekend will see the first since being announced as Mr Gay NZ at home in Blenheim, just in time to celebrate International Sauvignon Blanc Day.
Benny Castles, Ricky Devine White and Francis Hooper.