What year is St. Patrick’s College living in?

by Joanna on June 13, 2011

Yes, a picture from Glee. Very original of me, I know

When I was 15,  I had my first ever pash. I was at Onslow, but my best friend’s boyfriend went to St Pat’s (Town) so one New Year’s, we got to hang out with some of the boys from there. There was a party in Strathmore, a New Year’s Countdown in a tunnel, a Haka on Rongotai College’s lawn, swimming at Lyall Bay, and then dancing to the Pulp Fiction soundtrack and a pash to the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Kilbernie. That was 1995/96. Why do I mention this? Because apparently the people at St Pat’s have forgotten that 1986 and the Homosexual Law Reform Act of 1986 have both happened. Specifically? Two boys aren’t allowed to go to their school ball together.

From Get Malcolm Pimentel and Keith (Derick) Labad to the St Pat’s Ball

Malcolm and I were meant to attend the St Pat’s Town Ball 2011 but Five days before the ball, Father Martin decided that we would not be allowed to go because of implied homophobic reasons, saying “If you’re going to go to the ball, you’re taking a girl.”
The purpose of this event is to have all those who are in support of our cause to fight this discrimination, on one page, so we can share ideas, and update people on how we’re getting along with the fight.
Please Spread this event as soon as possible, as the ball is this saturday and we want to have as big an impact as possible.
And for anyone who asks, I, Keith Labad, am a Catholic. I just also happen to be queer. We are not taking shots at religion, but rather, we’re trying to claim what we deserve as humans and that is our rights.

Last week we had the really lovely experience of the Queer the Night march, and by contrast, all kinds of bad stuff happening at school balls in Auckland. Which would we rather have? Seriously, St Pat’s – what the fucking fuck?

Joanna June 14, 2011 at 12:01 am

Also, really impressed by the fact that a 17 year old (guessing, not sure) can so clearly state that he’s not attacking his religion, or his school as such, just the ridiculousness that two people who want to be together (treading carefully here with wording as I don’t know the details of their relationship – or if 17ish year olds would like to talk about love. Or actually even if they’re _together_ together, two friends is a valid couple. And of course if they’re in love then more power to them. Etc) wouldn’t be allowed to attend a public event together? Seriously, unbelievably offensive.

Tam Irvine June 14, 2011 at 12:22 am

White Middle class care bears like to make their bourgeois existence seem more meaningful by attempting to force their views on others because they believe they know better then everyone. They tolerate no other views but their own, whilst at the same time attempting to celebrate diversity and freedom of choice. Amongst their brainless shouting they miss the irony and hypocrisy of their stance.

Joanna June 14, 2011 at 12:29 am

You should see my Carebear stare. My tummy symbol is a very deep belly button that conveys my special power of being deep and meaningful. I see your special power is the magic of cut’n paste. When you’d like to define exactly what irony and hypocrisy are being conveyed here, please do feel free to come back.

Malcolm June 14, 2011 at 1:25 am

We need to know that this isn’t an attack on the school itself or the religion it withholds. We are taking a stand against homophobia.

Joanna June 14, 2011 at 1:30 am

Thanks Malcolm, I added that as my comment because I really appreciate the way you guys are going about this. I wish you the best of luck, and I am really impressed by your courage, and the dignified, rational way you are expressing your rights. I was lucky enough to go to a) go to a liberal school and b) not fancy any girls until I was at university when things were much easier, so I really admire your courage.

Malcolm June 14, 2011 at 1:37 am

Thanks heaps to you too. For believing in us. I chose to go to this school and love it, but it wasn’t fair at all what the headmaster said. We are doing our best to take a stand against discrimination. 😀

Jess June 14, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Bt, Mlclm, frm wht th prss hs pblshd nd frm wht cn gthr frm yr fcbk pg, yr schl sn’t rfsng yr frnd’s ttndnc n sxlty grnds t ll, bt rthr tht t cntrvns yr schl rls f nt llwng ld bys t ttnd schl blls. s smn wh hs bn cght p n sttn whr my byfrnd ws btn p t schl mtch, by ld bys f hs schl’s ppstn, cn s th nd fr schls t ntrdc rls fr th sfty f thr ppls.

Frgv m, bt t snds t m lk y’r drggng nn-ss (f yr ppstn t schl rl) nt th pblc lm-lght fr th bnft f dscssng cntrvrsl tpc (f sxl dscrmntn). ‘m srry t sy tht, n blnc, t sms tht y’r rchng.

[This comment has been disemvowelled for trolling by the Wellingtonista’s fabulous, fabulous magical elves. This is not an attack on religion or your school, only on dickheads.]

Jess June 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I’m amazed at this, Wellingtonista. I wasn’t being antagonistic, just asking for a balanced discussion. Your reaction to my comment seems to only promote a one-sided debate.
So I guess, fellow readers, if you want to comment on a story on this site, make sure you only comment in a way that the editor would like. This isn’t a forum for interesting debate, just a touchy-feely support the underdog stream of consciousness.

stephen clover June 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I think that might have been a hasty, knee-jerk reaction. Sorry about that. Hopefully it doesn’t happen again.

Joanna June 23, 2011 at 3:11 pm

For the record, it wasn’t me who disemvoweled you, everyone in the ‘Ista is a sentient human being who makes their own decisions about what offends them.

tatjna June 14, 2011 at 6:13 am

May I suggest also contacting Dan Savage? He’s had some success publicising stories like this one and causing organisations to rethink their homophobic stance – which in this country also happens to be illegal.

Best of luck.

tyrrell June 14, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Just playing the devils advocate a little here. Um, doesn’t the “Catholic Faith” explicitly ban homosexuality? I guess Father Martin is just following the Popes orders.

I mean, Catholicism, it’s fucked, utterly. Trying to argue with Catholicism is just arguing with stupidity. I gave it away years ago.

I’d pick another religion. Having said that, good luck to you guys. It sucks.

sue June 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm

there are loads of things the catholic faith bans which i’m sure many a school boy or girl have done, but i doubt it gets them banned from the school ball.

Also this is selective banning, if you apply the reasons for exclusion from the school ball shouldn’t those same reasons relate to even being at the school? Unless people are not gay during school hours?

and who pays for the school ball? does the school fund it or do the attendees?

ahem June 14, 2011 at 8:43 pm

It’s not a gay rights issue. I went to the school 10 years ago and old boys and guys from other schools were prohibited from attending then, because whenever old boys did show up they’d cause fights and damage the school. The rules were not founded quoting the bible, they were not made to stop homosexual couples attending the ball.

The fact one of the boys is gay helps them get attention and yes if this was a gay rights issue I’d be fully on board – but why then did they change their tune to ‘we’re just mate’s he’s not gay’ when a gay member of the media contacted them? Why was it only then that they revealed one of them has a girlfriend?

If St Pats was so homophobic why did they employ an openly gay teacher and an openly gay counsellor in my tenure there? Why did a very senior member of the faculty (who has since passed) give me so much help and advice when I was trying to come out? WHY did St Pats allow a gay couple who attended the school to go to the ball in my 7th form year?

Joanna and The Wellingtonista, who I have enjoyed reading off and on for several years, do not let your (usually admirable and remarkably on point) activism get pulled in by a couple of teenage trolls. Go and check out their Facebook page – isn’t it remarkable the number of current pupils saying things like “why don’t you tell the whole story”?

Also, not sure why Jess was disemvowelled for trolling for, first of all not agreeing with your views, and secondofly (though you didn’t know this at the time, so understandable) actually knowing more about the story than a provocative Facebook page intended to stir up a lynch mob.

Anon June 14, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Was about to comment exactly this ^
Get your facts straight Joanna McLeod..

ahem June 14, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Sorry, I can’t edit my comment but I’d ask you to pass the message on to the Queer the Night folks as they’ve begun a crusade against a school which does not fit the “homophobic catholic school” agenda.

The rules are made to protect the year 12 and 13 students attending the ball, not to exclude. You say you hung out with some of them in your teen years Joanna, so I’m guessing you’ve also witnessed how feral they can be while on the chop. Now imagine them being able to go back and give the teachers and pupils shit without fear of detention and you’ll know what still manages to happen every year.

Joanna June 14, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Okay 1. I don’t believe that a guy having a girlfriend doesn’t mean that he can’t identify as queer. As Keith said originally, as I quoted.
2. I don’t believe that only queer people are allowed to fight for queer rights.
3. Based on all the astonishing amount of homophobic and bigoted remarks made on the Facebook page, I don’t believe that St Pat’s is a safe space at all for queer people. I’m happy that ‘ahem’ got to have a happy queer existence at St Pat’s ten years ago, truly. And yeah, I’m not a pupil at St Pat’s right now. But if people who go there are having a problem with it – and by it, I don’t just mean the principal, I mean the rest of the students, then you better believe we’re going to comment about it.

Tom June 15, 2011 at 8:51 am

If it’s true that ‘Father Martin … [said] “If you’re going to go to the ball, you’re taking a girl,’ then yes, that’s homophobia and discrimination. We only have Keith’s word for that, as far as I can see, but if that’s what was said then it’s nothing to do with stopping fights.

ahem June 15, 2011 at 11:33 am

Those aren’t homophobic St Pats students Joanna, they’re 4chan raiders who’re trolling a page set up by fellow trolls. I see the Facebook page has completely changed now.

Please elaborate where I said ” only queer people are allowed to fight for queer rights.”? I also don’t believe that. But I don’t believe trolls should be fed.

Do you honestly think that any New Zealand school would deny a legitimate homosexual couple to the ball? Do you believe any school would do that and risk the public backlash?

Wellington High, which is probably New Zealand’s most progressive school, has the same rule against old students attending. Good luck telling Prue Kelly she’s homophobic.

Or are you so hellbent on this one issue that you can’t see the reason it was put in place, and the systems schools have in place to get around it if they need to.

The reason these boys are not being allowed in – as I said – is not because they are gay, or bi, or may be having sex with each other. It’s because they’re shit-stirring attention seekers and always were.

The school also has a rule saying only Y12 and 13 students may attend the ball – is that homophobic or discriminatory against a couple who is Y9/10/11 and Y12/13? Should we just throw all the rules out the window and allow all the guys from Coll, Rongotai and Scots – who’ve all been raised to hate St Pats, as St Pats has been raised to hate them – to come? Or should we trust the schools to know what they’re doing and that they and the Human Rights Commission (who are usually very vocal but are offering an almost no-comment in this situation) know what the fuck they’re doing and aren’t homophobic at all in fact?

Joanna June 19, 2011 at 7:13 pm

You don’t think it’s a problem that St Pats students are “raised to hate” guys from Coll, Rongotai and Scots and vice versa? Holy shit.

Groggy June 20, 2011 at 11:41 am

It’s part of the indoctrination into the tribe; Wear the same, cut your hair, get those piercings out, anyone wearing another set of colors is bad, think the way you’re told to, become productive members of society.

It’s not a St Pat’s thing though, it applies equally to any single sex male uniform school.

Welly High and Onslow for the win. They might get munted on the rugby field but they deal with/encourage diversity far better.

Joanna June 20, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Onslow has a rugby team?

Groggy June 24, 2011 at 11:24 am

They were playing there on Saturday.

sue June 16, 2011 at 12:08 am

So it sounds as if nobody has all the parts to the story, so unless someone has all the information from the school and from those affect i don’t think assumptions on any side are good, it hurts everyone.

stephen clover June 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm

So I see the FB event thing has been cancelled.

Groggy June 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I’m with Jess and Ahem on this – it seems that the gay discrimination card has been pulled out over a distinctly non gay issue and the media (incl Wellingtonista) have very much jumped on the bandwagon without proper factchecking first

stephen clover June 17, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Maybe Malc and Keith have been trolling St. Pats management for anti-gay hysteria. And succeeded. (‘Father Martin … [said] “If you’re going to go to the ball, you’re taking a girl”‘). So game on, I say.

Would be nice to know one way or the other, though.

ahem June 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm

not all media jumped on board!

Jess June 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Great to see some reasonable discussion being allowed to remain on this site. Thanks for the support.

hellonearthis June 17, 2011 at 10:24 pm

I saw this http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/90005/are-homophobic-men-secretly-suppressing-gay-impulses and though, ah that’s why they stopped that couple.

ahem June 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm

no, they stopped the “gay” couple because the old boy’s girlfriend is going to the ball with another of their friends, and the faculty realised Malcolm and Keith were just trying to get boyfriend and girlfriend to the same ball.

fnde83 February 19, 2012 at 2:07 am

St Pats is the worst fucking college in wellington

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