'I'm not really into homosexuality': Simon Bridges' former gay views revealed

Simon Bridges attended his first Big Gay Out as National Party leader today, but Newshub has found an old comment in our archives that shows he wasn't always a big fan of homosexuals.

While he was getting cosy with the Rainbow community on Sunday, history shows a different story. And it's a history many in the community haven't forgotten.

A clip from Newshub's archives shows a young Simon Bridges being asked about a teacher at his school who had come out as gay.

"Oh I know him, actually he was a teacher of mine at school," he said.

"How do I feel about him being gay? To be honest I'm not really into homosexuality, but I suppose if he's going to come out and say it, I suppose it takes a bit of guts."

But 25 years later?

"Look obviously I was a very young, silly young guy," Mr Bridges says. "It's an incredibly long time ago, my views have changed."

But how long ago? Just last year the National leader called out Jacinda Ardern's "pinko ideas" and announced his plan to convert her baby daughter Neve to the National Party.

Radio Hauraki hosts Matt Heath and Jeremy Wells asked Mr Bridges if it's politically correct to have a female baby and if it should be considered genderfluid instead.

"Only under a Labour government," he replied. "She should be going to school like in boy's clothes right?"

And during the 2013 vote on the Marriage Equality Bill Mr Bridges was one of the nays. But this is another issue he's changed his mind on.

"Yeah my personal view has changed - simply, times have moved, we've seen it, it's going incredible well," he says.

The son of a Baptist minister coming out of his conservative shell - at Big Gay Out, Mr Bridges said he was happy to celebrate the "fabulous" Rainbow community.

"National really values all everything we see. It's been great fun to walk around, to chat with a whole lot of you and have an awesome time here," he said.

"For me as leader of the National Party it's incredibly important that everyone knows National's about diversity, inclusiveness and of course making sure that New Zealand's a place you can be who you are and be who you want to be."

It's the 20th anniversary of Big Gay Out and six years since Mr Bridges voted against marriage equality legislation - and many haven't forgotten it.

"He needs to get with the programme, really," one person told Newshub.

But in the Big Gay Out spirit of love and inclusion, there are those who are ready to welcome him back.

"He's had time to think - heavens, we make mistakes," another person said.

"That was another time. Even Obama voted against gay marriage initially."

It's a reminder that many of us as teenagers had views we'd rather leave in the past.