Blog| 7 March 2011 | Remembering Christchurch | Stephen Davies
There was a two-minute silence across the country just a week after the Christchurch earthquake. In the large permanent tent where meals are served for workers on The Hobbit films, we stood in thought. Mark Hadlow (Dori in the movies), whose stage career has been centred on Christchurch, is now the events team leader for the city council.
By the end of the day, the inevitable: a US-based Christian website claiming the quakes are God's reaction to the recent advances in lesbian and gay rights in New Zealand.
And then, as if to correct the balance a little, the happy news that Stephen Davies, a 24-year-old member of England cricket team squad, felt ready to come out to his colleagues and the media and tell them he was gay. There has been an overwhelmingly positive reaction with some hope that soon Davies' equivalent in a UK soccer team might join the sporting honesty started last year when Gareth Thomas (103 caps in international rugby union) also came out.
Stephen says: "Gareth Thomas's story helped me. It just showed me it can be done. He was brave enough to stand up and say who he was. It was a very courageous thing to do, so if I can help anyone else like he helped me, then that would be great."
Better than great -- life-changing!
Ian McKellen, Wellington, March 2011