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Introducing 'Common Ground' web-series

Every family has different challenges to overcome, and different ways of dealing with those challenges.

Follow our Common Ground families as they tackle the big issues faced by every day kiwis, and have your say on how they could work together to get through it.

IN THIS VIDEO: 'Ep 3: Me, Myself, and I'

Gabe is a Samoan teen who has recently become more aware of his attraction to other boys, and feels that there is no one around him who would understand what he’s going through.


Me, Myself and I follows Gabe, a Samoan teen, growing up in New Zealand. Gabe does well at school and is well liked by his peers. He values his place in the church and within the Samoan community, and he has a strong sense of family and responsibility. 

Recently, Gabe has become increasingly aware of his attraction to other boys. At first he thought it was something he could ignore, but he is beginning to realise that this is not something that will simply go away.

Though he would like to talk to someone about these fears, Gabe feels there is no one around him who would understand what he’s going through…

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The Common Ground videos cover subjects that may be of a sensitive nature, and there is some language throughout that may cause offense. Viewer discretion is advised.

Maybe you’ve supported someone through something similar, or you’ve gone through it yourself and can tell us what helped you.

*Please note, by sharing your experience, you agree for it to be used by Common Ground online and offline to help encourage a conversation about supporting young people.
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3 comments

Maria 12th Jun 15

Important for Gabe to be shown there is a whole community of people out there who are just like him. That he is very “normal”. That there is support for young people feeling the same way as Gabe. That support can help him meet other young people who might feel the same way, understand what his options are, help him meet people safely and support him to be who he is. That its a big courageous journey that is worth it to be who you truly are.

7 Reply
David Utuone 10th Jun 15

I can definitely relate to Gabe. That dark feeling of solitude I carried all throughout my youth holding on to this secret of my true identity. It lead me down some of the same paths. Lying/omitting the truth, striking out violently against people who ridiculed me (with especially “gay” being a trigger word) & shamefully… very reckless & risky & anonymous sexual encounters were ideal for me then. My thinking was who I was as a gay man (my desires & my attractions were an “abomination” according to my upbringing in the church) I held no future, no substantial meaning, so why care?

In my early adult life I moved many miles away from the city I was born & raised. I explored who I was, what it meant for ME to be gay. I developed my sense of self, & when I felt I had a firm footing I stood fully in my truth & liberated myself from the shame & I came out! I come from a family of 5 boys & one girl, & I’m the baby of us 6. It took my older brothers some time to accept this truth of mine. But they have, one of my brothers even went as far as naming his son after me.

I know not everyone’s as lucky to have such an accepting family. But in all honesty, when I came out I was fully prepared to let them go. I think if Gabe could find that within himself, to learn all about himself, learn to let go of the shame & fear & accept himself FIRST, it’ll better prepare him to share his truth, & make the choice to confess it to those around him.

16 Reply
Todd 10th Jun 15

What an awesome series. A++++ amazing.

11 Reply
Maria Vavau

Featured character:Maria Vavau

Maria has never had anyone in her life that identified themselves as homosexual. It has never crossed her mind that her son could be gay.

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