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Saturday 24 June 2017

Dame Fran to trans, youth: "Educate the public"

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 31st December 2016

Newly-knighted Dame Fran Wilde has urged those still fighting to progress sexuality and gender recognition and equality to keep working to educate the public.

Dame Fran Wilde

Wilde successfully guided the 1985/86 Homosexual Law Reform Bill through Parliament during a viciously-opposed campaign during which she received death threats and gay men were beaten up in the streets. She has today been made a Dame in the New Years Honours, in significant part for her contribution to Homosexual Law Reform.

Dame Fran during the Homosexual Law Reform campaign
"Transgender people in particular still have a very hard fight," she acknowledges. "People don't understand it, just like they didn't understand homosexuality thirty years ago, it was something that hadn't been talked about. Hopefully [transgender issues] will now get talked about and people will come to understand that other people should be allowed to be who they want to be. They're not harming anyone else. We should just bless that and let it happen."

"And I do think that glbti kids still have a very hard time at school," she says. "We've got a long way to go there, some schools are great and some are not so great. There are still problems with stereotypes and suspicion. When we did our campaign it was all about public education and giving people facts. People just need to know that and feel a bit more relaxed about people that might be different from themselves."

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