Just a short note to respond to the hundreds of comments, emails, tweets, and phone calls I’ve received over the past couple of days. I’d love to respond to each one personally, but it’s simply not possible.
Firstly, thanks for the overwhelming positive feedback. This was a small personal decision for me that seems to have struck a chord with a bunch of people, and for that I am glad. If it inspires you to make your own stand — no matter how seemingly tiny or irrelevant — for something you believe in, then I would be eternally happy.
Secondly, to the many haters telling me to “grow up”, “have a laugh”, or “harden up”: thanks. Thanks for participating in the conversation. I don’t agree with your arguments. I’m already grown up, and contrary to what one TradeMe commenter said, it’s ok to be called Ben and be over 25.
If you’re having trouble understanding my viewpoint, try it this way: I’m fat. I wear glasses. I like hot food. People can make light of any of those aspects of my person, and I’ll happily take it on the chin. But I’ll be damned if I’ll let them associate any of that with my ability to do my job, my eligibility for public office, or anything else unrelated to my physiology.
I’m born extremely lucky because I can wear contacts and lose weight, but many of my fellow kiwis don’t have that option. Don’t use it against them.