Why Light Up Our Lives

Light Up Our Lifes
Wellington Mayor - Andy Foster

Why Light Up Our Lives

Lights and Voices for Wellington’s Gender Diverse Community

In a joint action of support for Wellington’s gender diverse community, Mayor Andy Foster
and Councillors Fleur Fitzsimons and Teri O’Neill have organised for the sails of the Michael Fowler Centre (MFC) to be lit in the colours of the Transgender flag.

The Transgender colours will light up the MFC during this week’s Speak Up for Women (SUFW) rally.

“I defend the right of free speech for SUFW however, we are here in the kaupapa of inclusiveness, where every member of our community is valued, respected and treated with empathy. That is who we are in Wellington, and this is how we act,” said Mayor Foster.

“Too often discussions become aggressive shouting matches that without balance have no respect for differing opinions. We are taking this action to ensure there is a voice for members of the gender diverse community, who do not normally have ready access to influence public opinion.”

Cr Fleur Fitzsimons

Wellingtonians are proud of our city’s history, it’s a history of being inclusive of all people.  The lighting up of the Michael Fowler Centre with the colours of the transgender flag is a symbol that Wellington welcomes our transgender whanau.

Wellington was at the forefront of movement for homosexual law reform, a nuclear free New Zealand and against apartheid in South Africa so it’s fitting that we are now taking a strong stand for the rights of transgender people. 

I have a transgender child and I’m proud of our Mayor and our city for sending this clear message of inclusion and hope for our gender diverse and rainbow communities.

His decision to display the transgender flag at this time is true leadership, and sends an unequivocal message that everyone is welcome in Wellington.

Cr Teri O’Neill

As a councillor who openly identifies with being queer, an event like Tuesday is deeply personal to me and my community. Today is about not waiting for the right time to speak out but ensuring every day we stand and support our gender diverse and rainbow communities.

For our trans whānau – You are valid, you are loved, and we’ve got your back. We know that when hate and intolerance are perpetuated in the public discourse without response this can create a lot of harm. I’m incredibly pleased the mayor can shine the light to elevate minority voices. 

Lights and flags are a good first step, but they are not enough on their own. As a councillor I plan to follow this up with further support for policies and actions needed by the community and in working with our new Rainbow Communities advisory group.

Cr Fleur Fitzsimons

Wellingtonians are proud of our city’s history, it’s a history of being inclusive of all people.  The lighting up of the Michael Fowler Centre with the colours of the transgender flag is a symbol that Wellington welcomes our transgender whanau.

Wellington was at the forefront of movement for homosexual law reform, a nuclear free New Zealand and against apartheid in South Africa so it’s fitting that we are now taking a strong stand for the rights of transgender people. 

I have a transgender child and I’m proud of our Mayor and our city for sending this clear message of inclusion and hope for our gender diverse and rainbow communities.

His decision to display the transgender flag at this time is true leadership, and sends an unequivocal message that everyone is welcome in Wellington.

Cr Teri O’Neill

As a councillor who openly identifies with being queer, an event like Tuesday is deeply personal to me and my community. Today is about not waiting for the right time to speak out but ensuring every day we stand and support our gender diverse and rainbow communities.

For our trans whānau – You are valid, you are loved, and we’ve got your back. We know that when hate and intolerance are perpetuated in the public discourse without response this can create a lot of harm. I’m incredibly pleased the mayor can shine the light to elevate minority voices.

Lights and flags are a good first step, but they are not enough on their own. As a councillor I plan to follow this up with further support for policies and actions needed by the community and in working with our new Rainbow Communities advisory group.