Hakihea/December 2015 & Kohi-tātea/January 2016

This update covered 2 months – we’ve collected all the items in one page.

Dyke Diary

Ngā pitopito kōrero, News

Support for regional queer youth
Auckland Pride changes and deadlines
Wellington Pride deadlines
Community meeting about Wellington human rights conference
Pacific action for West Papua
Portraits and mosaicking at Charlotte Museum
More than a Lesbian Ball

Support for regional queer youth

RYlogoSupport for LGBTT youth in regional areas will be strengthened in 2016 with a new $150,000 contract for Auckland’s Rainbow Youth.

The details of the three-year contract are still being negotiated with the Ministry of Youth Development, but Rainbow Youth General Manager Duncan Matthews expects that consultation with regional groups will start in early 2016, and an action plan will be finalised in the middle of the year. The bulk of the funding will be for implementing the plan in the second and third years.

“The centres won’t be specified – we’ll go into the communities to see where there’s a need. We don’t want to tread on toes or take over; we want to expand what there is,” he says. Some areas may need support for parents, better connections with counselling and health programmes and in-school education, as well as queer youth peer support groups, Duncan says.

Rainbow Youth doesn’t yet know whether the work will be done by existing staff or whether new staff will be needed.

Toni Duder, the group’s communications manager, says the funding is “the product of four years of building our relationship with MYD and Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye. “It’s the first time the government has provided ongoing support for LGBTT youth services.” She believes that Rainbow Youth’s new video education resource for schools, InsideOUT “showed how valuable this support is, that we’re capable and that it’s needed”.

Volunteer awards

RYTorraniceAnaheraKatThree Rainbow Youth volunteers have been awarded Kiwibank Local Hero medals. Torranice Campel (left), Co-Chair and board Trans rep; Anahera Foley-Paama (centre), ID group facilitator and social media intern; and Kat Clark, facilitator of the Tauranga Pryde support group were recognised as “everyday people doing extraordinary things in their local communities” in medal ceremonies held in late November.

Toni Duder says: “We’re really proud of them, and glad because volunteers often don’t get recognised.”

Xmas gathering

RYxmasThe Rainbow Youth Xmas lunch on Sunday 13 is an event that celebrates the wider RY whanau, volunteers and achievements over 2015. The potluck meal from noon to 3pm at the RY office, 281 Karangahape Rd, is open to all – just bring food to share. JR

Auckland Pride changes and deadlines

Funding for parade and festival entries
Festival events
Community feedback


MidPrideSkaterThe Auckland Pride Parade theme for 2016 will be Kōrero Tara/ Stories, Myths and Legends, and the parade has reversed its former direction to start in Three Lamps and end in Western Park.

The registration deadline for Parade participants is Friday January 15. Parade producer Nick Davion says interest is higher than in 2015, so there are likely to be more applicants than the Parade can fit.

Set-up starts from 2pm and the Parade is back to an early start at 6pm. It will be followed by a free gathering for float participants from 7 to 10pm in Western Park, before the festival’s Proud Party.

Pride logoParticipation is free for Rainbow walking groups of fewer than 20, although they need to provide marshals for training. The fee for Rainbow groups with one vehicle starts at $200. Non-commercial organisations not part of the LGBTT community start at $250 for a small walking group and $500 for one vehicle. Businesses start at $2,500 or $5,000 for a vehicle.

Lesbians who want to ride with Dykes on Bikes need to email Nick directly rather than filling out the application form.

Funding for parade and festival entriesBGO2015Official1

Applications for financial help to run an event or create a parade entry close on Friday December 6 at 5pm. They can be downloaded here.

The GABA Charitable Trust distributed more than $10,000 to groups and individuals in February’s parade and festival, including the lesbian Pulse Art group’s exhibition, the Rainbow Youth Masquerade Ball and others. The trust also supported Parade entries by the Charlotte Museum of lesbian culture, the Aotea Drag Kings, Pasefika LGBTQI Youth and Rainbow Families, among others.

Festival events

BGO2015Official4The official printed Pride Festival programme is due to be launched on Friday December 18; the closing date for inclusion of community events was at the end of the November, but events finalised since then will be publicised in the Pride Festival’s social media outlets.

The festival runs from Friday February 5 to Sunday 21. Confirmed events include the Pride Gala on Friday February 5 at the Maidment Theatre, featuring snippets of top festival events, and the Heroic Gardens festival on the weekend of February 13-14. The iconic, free Big Gay Out fair in Coyle Park, Pt Chevalier will be held on Sunday, February 14. To perform on the BGO stage, fill in the online form; stalls at the event are sold out.

Garnet Station will host another free Dykes on Mics event on Sunday February 7. Another queer female-organised event is the Decolonise Pride Poetry Slam on Thursday February 18, in a yet-to-be-confirmed venue.

Taranaki lesbian Fiona Clark’s photographic exhibition marking the 30th anniversary of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill will open on February 12 as part of a Pride visual arts programme at Artspace, Level 1, 300 Karangahape Rd; free. Clark’s photographs track Karangahape Road as a provocative, radical site of inclusive and diverse communities.

WritersFestivalLogoLGBITQ storytellers featured as part of the Same Same but Different Writers Festival include broadcaster Alison Mau; novelists Witi Ihimaera and Stevan Eldred Grigg; memoirist, dancer and choreographer Douglas Wright and many others. It will be held from February 12 to 14 at AUT.

Board member Phylesha Brown-Acton is organising a new Human Rights Forum, which the board hopes will become an annual event. It aims to provide LGBTIQ peoples with an opportunity to be empowered, to discuss rights issues and to be a part of a movement.

Community feedback

BGO2015Official2The board has acted on community feedback with a more detailed entry policy for the Parade and the establishment of a youth advisory group to encourage more engagement with young people.

The criteria for Parade entries was hotly discussed in the second of two Pride Community Fora in November, with members of No Pride in Prisons (NPiP) strongly critical of Corrections staff marching when “they allow transwomen to be raped in prisons”.

Another participant said that the Parade “cannot claim to uphold te Tiriti o Waitangi and incorporate functionally racist organisations like Police and Corrections”. Community members wanted the Parade to bring the Rainbow community together rather than be an arena giving visibility and kudos to corporations. “Pride has to be respectful of those oppressed by institutions” wanting to be in the Parade, one said.

Some members of the Pride board at the second meeting apologised personally for the incident that left a NPiP protestor with a broken arm from security guard action during the February parade, but the board said they had not discussed the incident as a group. One participant said that “security is there to prevent homophobic violence – we need transparent security and it needs to be accountable”.

Participants also wanted to see more free events, and more events targeted at young Rainbow people.

See the Auckland Pride Facebook page and website.

Jenny Rankine

Wellington Pride deadlines

Wtnfestival.jpgWellington queer women who want to run an event during the Wellington Pride Festival from March 5 to 13 need to submit their expressions of interest by Saturday December 12. The festival group will support organisers with event logistics, finding a venue, scheduling the event into the festival, and promotion. Download the online form here.

The deadline to register for the Wellington Pride Parade is February 14. Watch out for a Facebook event page and an online form in the next couple of weeks. See the website or email the organisers.

Community meeting about Wellington human rights conference

Proud Conference ImageWellington lesbians and queer women will have an opportunity on Tuesday December 1 to contribute to the agenda of a major human rights event in 2016.

Re-stoke the fires/Tāwhiritia ngā ahi: the ILGA Oceania Rainbow Human Rights and Health Conference will be held in Wellington from March 9 to 12.

The organising group, Proud, is made up of the two New Zealand representatives to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) Oceania region, takatāpui man Rawa Karetai and Pākehā intersex activist Mani Bruce Mitchell, with Mari North, Vaughan Meneses of Rainbow Wellington, and Kevin Haunui of takatāpui group Te Whanawhana.

They have organised the Proud 2016 Conference Launch and community meeting from 5.30 to 7.30pm on Tuesday 1 at St John’s Presbyterian Church in Willis St. The meeting will discuss their ideas for the conference, how community groups can be involved, and hopefully spark ideas for sessions and workshops. See www.proud.org.nz/events/launch.

Conference programme

Proud logoThe conference aims to re-ignite the fires of LGBTI people on human rights and health issues around the Pacific, including Papua New Guinea, Australia, Aotearoa, the South Pacific, Melanesia and the Micronesian islands. Themes may include discrimination and equality; homophobia in sport; torture, violence and abuse; freedom of speech, assembly and association; gender identity and expression; HIV; access to health and medical care; wellbeing; culture; migration, and refugees.  They welcome other themes.

On Wednesday March 9, before the conference opens, a Trans* session is planned with the ILGA Trans* Secretary. Conference organisers are also compiling a list of terms used locally for trans* people and identities, with a short description of their social and cultural contexts.

The powhiri/welcome is planned at Wharewaka marae in the evening on March 9, hosted by Mani Mitchell and Rawa Karetai, with speakers and performances from the Glamaphones, Te Whanawhana and others. It will be followed by an opening party, and the three day conference will held with a party on Saturday 12.

Registration for the conference costs $195 for those representing an organisation and $145 for individuals. People on limited incomes are welcome to contact the organisers about a lower rate.

Some conference scholarships will be available for activists who would otherwise be unable to afford to participate, with a deadline of Friday December 18. Recipients will promote representation of Pacific Islanders, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the conference, as well as the diversity of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, trans and intersex people. Active ILGA member groups will get priority. Apply here.

The conference will be held at the Wellington Conference Centre of the University of Otago, 23A Mein Street, Newtown, and the ILGA Oceania AGM will be held on March 12.

Email Vaughan Meneses, conference co-ordinator, or phone him on 027 265 0210.

West Papua action

Oceania Interrupted 9The Auckland-based Oceania Interrupted collective of Maori and Pacific women are holding their ninth action in support of West Papuan independence on December 1.

The group’s public interventions aim to raise awareness of issues that affect Pacific peoples in Aotearoa and the Pacific. Circle of Solidarity – Free West Papua will take place at 5.30pm at Otamariki Park, in Otara.

Oceania Interrupted rehearsalThe group, which includes lesbians, welcomes Māori and Pacific women for their interventions, and all people for their support crew. See their Facebook page. Message Oceania Interrupted on Facebook, email oceaniainterrupted@gmail.com or text Leilani Salesa on 021 743 647.

Portraits and mosaicking at Charlotte Museum

Charlotte MosaicThe Charlotte Museum Trust is holding another mosaic workshop on Saturday 12 December in response to demand.

Run by museum volunteer Tash, it is open to of everyone from beginners wanting to learn to experienced mosaic artists wanting to meet like-minded women.

Bring an object to mosaic on to – an old plant pot, a tile, a piece of four-by-two, whatever you have lying around at home. Please bring hammers, nippers and cutting pliers if you have them, as the workshop only has a few, as well as any glue, grout and tiles to share. Bring your lunch too; the workshop starts at 10am and has a flexible finish time but the fee of $10 does not include food.

Register or express interest by phoning the Charlotte Museum on (09) 550 7403 or 022 622 0647 and see the Facebook page.



An exhibition of around 100 self-portraits by five North Island artists opened at the museum on November 29 and runs until the end of January. Recent series by five Auckland and Waikato-based artists are on show. They include Aucklanders Fran Marno, Beth Hudson and Therry Weerts; and musician/composer Star Sherret and Nadia Gush, the museum’s curator, from Hamilton.

The artists were asked to make daily drawings of themselves and submit at least 20 self-portraits. “It’s about the process of self-reflection, spending time with yourself every day,” says Nadia. Star Sherret said the process “became like a meditation, and after I finished every drawing I noticed how peaceful I felt. It drew all my stresses out on the page and that made me think of [Oscar Wilde’s book] the Picture of Dorian Gray.”

See our Social Page for museum hours. And if you want to be a fairy godmother to the only dedicated lesbian museum and gallery in Aotearoa, check out her summer wishlist.

More than a Lesbian Ball

Westie ball boisCissy Rock describes the Westie Lesbian Ball as more of an event, with an welcoming ritual at 8pm, complementary drink, reception hour, surprises, live entertainment, “a good Westie lesbian supper”, and great dancing music.

“I’m very excited about how it’s coming together,” she says. For clothes, think industrial chic, your best dykey look, even steampunk, to go with the ambience of Shed 1 in the Corban Estate Arts Centre in Henderson.

Jodi-Muse2 -all Jodi Pringle and the Muse are playing covers, Anji Kreft is doing a cabaret set, and will then play great dance music. Some discounted tickets are still available for people who help with set-up or pack-down. Otherwise, tickets are $90 from the Women’s Bookshop or by email to organiser Cissy Rock.

Ngā Tangata, People

Parties, rugby and rock

Event producer, television freelancer and NGO youth development worker Shirley Allan (Nga Puhi, Te Rarawa) joined the Pride Festival committee four months ago, as its first and only female Māori member, along with UK-qualified White lawyer and event consultant and now co-chair, Kirsten Sibbit and Vinnie Sykes, Pākehā. The rest of the committee is Pākehā lesbian and treasurer, Julie Swift, fakafefine Phylesha Brown-Acton, who has Niuean, Cook Island, American, Samoan and Australian ancestry; Richard James, a returning Pākehā founding trustee; and Paul Patton, a White UK man responsible for communications and marketing. Shirley spoke with Jenny Rankine about her varied career and the start of her three-year term with Pride.

Sexual identity
Organising events
Smokefree Rockquest
Working on Pride

shirley1Shirley grew up in Mt Roskill, a working-class suburb in central Auckland, as the “painfully shy” oldest child of a young solo mother, and was raised by her grandparents. “My grandfather is Māori; his mum left the far north when he was a baby, ending up in Ngaruawahia as a solo mum. She met and fell in love with a Pākehā bridge builder.” Shirley doesn’t know the circumstances behind her great-grandmother’s move, but she didn’t pass the language onto her children.

“Mum got pregnant as a young teenager; she and I grew up together in a lot of ways. We were all brown in a state house; we knew we were Māori but we were brought up Pākehā.”

The family moved to Mt Maunganui with her mum’s Pākehā partner when Shirley was eight. There, the Māori words, numbers and waiata that had been part of her primary schooling disappeared, and she experienced direct racism for the first time. “I was called a ‘half-caste dirty arse’ by a boy who probably didn’t know what it meant. Mum marched off to the school and realised there was nothing Māori in the curriculum.”

This combination meant that Shirley grew up able to pronounce Māori well but unable to speak it, and without marae tikanga (protocol). She remembers a high school marae visit when her classmates assumed she’d know what they should do, and she didn’t know either. “A lot of urban Māori or those who haven’t grown up with their culture have a sense of fear and shame about not knowing te reo or tikanga” in those environments.

For Shirley, this changed over her years working part-time and sometimes full-time in Māori Television. “I kept gravitating to older Māori women mentors. A lot of urban marae are empty at times, but Whakaata Māori is alive every day. Being saturated in te reo, surrounded by the language all the time – I feel really privileged to have been a part of it from the beginning.”

Sexual identity

When Shirley’s mum broke up with her partner, “we stayed down the Mount. I came back to Auckland to Nana and Grandad’s for the last year of high school.”

Shirley has “a clear memory of being a kid at home with my grandparents when Uncle David [Hay] came to the door. Grandad used to mow [David’s father] Keith Hay’s lawns, my mum and her siblings went to school with the Hay boys – we all knew each other.”

David shared his father’s conservative Christian and anti-gay values, and as an Auckland City Councillor he later opposed council funding for the Hero Parade. This time, he was collecting signatures for an anti-gay petition.

“My Nana said: ‘Don’t you come back to this house with that kind of rubbish talk, boy – what is wrong with you?’ You should have seen his face! Grandad took him home and it wasn’t till a few years later that I realised David was quite homophobic.” Shirley says it wasn’t a matter of Nana and Grandad being pro-gay, “just pro-people – what [same-sex couples] do in their bedrooms is their own business, it’s got nothing to do with us.”

Shirley is currently happily single. She’s had relationships with men; “all my serious relationships have been with women, but I’m not averse to maybe meeting a man one day. I fluctuate from being bisexual to lesbian, but not takatāpui; I’m a woman and I’m Māori, but my sexual preference doesn’t define me.”

Organising events

Shirley has had “a haphazard career”, often working part-time on several different projects at once. “It was drilled into me as a kid that you should enjoy what you do; work should fulfill you. Grandfather trained as a fitter and turner and worked on the wharf for years; my grandmother was a nurse aid.”

Shirley “always enjoyed organising parties”. Her 16th birthday was an early example. “We lived in the caretaker’s cottage on the Leisure Island theme park. I hand-wrote invitations to every teenager aged 15-18 in the Bay of Plenty – it was huge. We had a good time, there were heaps of adults and no one injured. We had the best parties in town.”

After school, Shirley followed one of her mates who got a job as an event organiser with the council. At 24, Shirley did a one-year sound engineering and event management course, and got a job with Smokefree Rockquest NZ. For eight years she worked part-time with the Nelson founders, Pākehā music teachers Glenn Common and Pete Rainey, taking over from long-term production manager Barbara Cuttance.

Smokefree Rockquest

SA rockquest.jpg“People dismiss it because it’s high school kids, but it taught me everything I know about putting on a show. It was six months in a rented car, setting up all the upper North Island heats and the finals – MCing, stage managing, working with the kids, branding and marketing. I began to understand how to respect those partnerships and the integrity of the event.”

Shirley helped found the Youth Performance Trust, and in 2006 with Samoan co-director Elena Lome, offered to run Pacifica Beats for the Rockquest. This competition for students using Māori and Pacific languages and cultures in their music had started in 1994 as the Urban Beats Award within Rockquest, and by the early 2000s had grown into separate regional and national finals. “Rockquest didn’t have the money to grow it or the time to organise two competitions.”

SA SPB09“We all met one weekend to talk it over. Glen and Pete dumped all their formats and templates onto floppy disks and it was all ours – absolute trust, we’d been working together and seen it from top to bottom. It exploded once we took it over because we had the time to spend on it, and we had good brown networks. We got 40 entries from the Auckland region when there’d been only 16 the year before.”

SA YPT logo.jpgSo Shirley had another year-long cycle around which to work other jobs: “entries open at the end of March, events run from May to August, the final is in September, then from October the winners do music videos and clips. We don’t just have three people, we have 14-piece bands and sometimes in January you’re still shooting the video.”


Over the years she’s also worked in a lot of event television including as production manager for 15-hour Waitangi Day broadcasts for Māori Television. “All live, from three or four places round the country, editing the feeds in the studio – it’s huge. It’s our birthday – a lot of people forget that, but that’s one of the more important broadcasts I’ve worked on.” In 2013, she left Pacifica Beats and went back to freelance floor managing with different television producers; much less stressful than being responsible for producing a whole event.

“I jumped into live TV with six weeks on the Rugby World Cup, in the studio doing the links. You’re like a stage manager – the voice of the director on the studio floor. The director sits with the lighting and camera feeds, talking to camera operators and the vision switcher who edits the feeds. My job is to listen to the director and control the floor, presenters and camera operators. You’re the glue, you give the count, stand next to the camera and fix things as they go wrong.”

“I worked for Sky TV on sports, the ITM Cup and Super Rugby. I’d be on the field, preparing, checking player lists and timing, telling presenters about subs and injuries, checking their make-up and hair – you’re the cat herder. I’d also tell the referees when to blow the whistle; TV controls the timing of a lot of those sports.”

Of all her regular programmes, “Homai te Pakipaki would shine for me. I’ve never worked on a show like it – it really is for the people. From all over the motu (island), they show up on the verandah, in their gumboots and their church clothes – Pākehā, Maori, Pacific, Indians, rubbish truck drivers, nannies, little kids. It’s a real privilege working on that show.”

Working on Pride

Shirley hasn’t been involved in other queer groups – “it’s never been a major identifier for me” – and thought hard about standing for the Pride board. “It’s not just showing up once a month for two hours, it’s a shitload of work. I’ve been well supported by a community that I’ve never contributed to, I know how to run an NGO and large events, and I wanted to support Phylesha in ensuring a strong Maori and Pacific presence. I knew I could bring practical experience of governance – I used to provide governance training at council.”

She worked 25 hours a week on Pride for the first three months, and it’s now “about 10 and will pick up to around 20 leading up to xmas. For the co-chairs it’s another full-time unpaid job. I knew it would be challenging; whenever you’re working with a marginalised minority population, they’re quite fractured.” Nevertheless, she says she was “gobsmacked” by the way in which the No Pride in Prisons protestors were “vilified” online by their LGBTT communities after the 2015 parade. “It’s almost like the war’s won for a lot of mainstream gay and lesbian people.”

She sees her role in the board as helping review the constitution and other “baseline documents” and getting charitable status. “To put the korero from the strategic plan about the Treaty back into the constitution” and once all the basic documents are done, “from there create good policy – a simple set of criteria about how we make decisions that allows us to correct as we go.”

“Jonathon Smith wrote a good instruction manual for the parade, about volunteers, traffic, maps, all in one place. We have the bones of a very good festival production manual” but she says it’s not collated and misses a few pieces. The parade and festival co-ordinators [Nick Davion and Ta’i Paitai, respectively] are set to continue. The next step is getting continuity with key support crew members.”

Shirley’s attitude is that work is “about being kind and generous, not just to other people but to yourself. You can’t please everyone – you’re not a piece of fry bread.”

Te ao pāpāho, Media

Pot Luck launches
Fun at the carnival
Diana King at Raggamuffin
Midnight Feast
Artistic treats in 2016
The Dressmaker: film vs book
The top 50 women writers of the last 50 years

Pot Luck launches

fb_banner_go_live_1It’s about lesbians, it’s firmly Aotearoa-focussed (and even more specifically, Wellington-focussed), and it’s “a first” – New Zealand’s first lesbian webseries.

Following an initial cinema screening earlier in the evening, the online launch is Tuesday December 1, 9pm: go to www.potluckwebseries.com/watch-us. (Overseas readers, check the time difference at World Time Server.) Of course, as a webseries, you can visit whenever, and as often, as you like.

The pilot introduces three friends, who will be meeting over pot luck dinners weekly. A pact that drives the action is agreed in episode one. A naturalistic comedy, we’re promised the show, and the lesbians, will be “fun, sexy, and occasionally ridiculous”.

PL - CastDebs, Mel and Beth are in their late 30s, early 40s, and have more depth to their characters and storylines than simple lesbian stereotypes. Anji Kreft, plays Debs, who is clearly butch. But “there are more layers to Debs, she is nuanced”, says Anji; Debs experiences and shows emotion; she’s shy and still single six years after getting her heart broken.

The remaining five 7-minute episodes of series one have been written. “There are funny and interesting storylines for all three of us,” says Anji. “It’s got lots for lesbians, but it’s also astonishing how many straight people are interested and supportive. The writer/director/producer team of Ness Simons and Robin Murphy are a proven combination, and people love the fact that it showcases Aotearoa and it’s a first.”

More funding needs to be raised to make the series happen. Visit Boosted, Vimeo and Facebook for details.

Fun at the carnival

Garnet Aphra BenThis month Theatrewhack returns to the Tiny Theatre at Auckland’s lesbian-owned Garnet Station café with a fun and frivolous night of Restoration mayhem.

The Rover, by pioneering female playwright Aphra Behn, runs from December 10-12 and 16-19 at 8pm.

The play has a simple premise – two young sisters, Florinda and Hellena, decide to run off and look for fun during the carnival season. Their domineering brother has arranged for the former to be married and the latter to become a nun.

Watch out for cross-gender casting, intentionally bad accents, water fights and folk songs. The play features Andrew Parker, Michaela Spratt, Prema Cottingham, Courtney Eggleton, James Cromptom, Mark Oughton, and Rachael Longshaw-Park. Tickets are $25/$20.

Aphra Behn (1640-1689) was known for her intelligent observations of sexual politics, which stand the test of time. Virginia Woolf said of her: “All women together ought to let flowers, flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn … for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.”

Call 360 3397 and leave a message to book dinner before the show. The Tiny Theatre is at the back of the café, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere.

KingSinga in Auckland

Diana King album coverJamaican lesbian reggae singer, songwriter and producer Diana King, the first Jamaican artist to publicly come out, has replaced Beenie Man in the 2016 Raggamuffin reggae and roots festival.

King, called KingSinga by fans, will perform at the 12-hour event on Saturday February 20 in the Trusts Arena, 65-67 Central Park Drive, Henderson in Auckland. US singer Macy Gray is the only other solo female performer in the line-up.

King’s chart-topping hits include Shy Guy and a cover of Dione Warwick’s I Say a Little Prayer. Raggamuffin tickets range from $79 (youth) to $380 for a family in the grandstand; up to two children under 14 are free with an adult ticketholder.

See Diana’s Facebook page, and hear her on YouTube.

Midnight Feast

large_midnight_feastThe Kapiti Lesbian Writing Group have done it again: a collection of mixed works by Robin Fleming, Terry Kennaway, Annabel Fagan, Pat Rosier, Barbara Simmons, and Kate Torrens was launched in November.

Watch this page for a review before the end of the year.

Feminist exhibition in Wellington

Artists Dilohana Lekamge, Leilani Heather and Talia Smith, Sian Torrington, Fresh and Fruity, Ann Shelton, and Faith, Leafa, and Olive Wilson feature in the exhibition, Enjoy Feminisms until December 12.

Enjoy feminismsIt contains eight pieces of work: three on display in the gallery, three onsite performative/participatory works, and two offsite participatory works. House Work, by Ann Shelton with Pip Adams, happens on December Saturday 5 and Sunday 6. To book, email comms@enjoy.org.nz or see the event Facebook page.

These works extrapolate the complex ways that feminisms are involved in the lives and perspectives of these artists, weaving together the complexities of race, sexuality, class, and nationality.

Love Feminisms, the latest version of the Enjoy Occasional Journal, was launched at the exhibition opening in November. The exhibition is hosted at the Enjoy Public Art Gallery, 1/47 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington.

Artistic treats in 2016

Dust-to-Dusty-438x242Auckland’s Arts Festival peformances include Dust to Dusky (2 to 5 March), a musical tribute to Dusty Springfield by three powerful singers: Tami Neilson, Bella Kalolo and Anna Coddington.

The show is in the Spiegeltent, Aotea Square; tickets are $49 concession and $55. Book at Ticketmaster.

MalloryOrtbergWriters Week in the New Zealand Festival (Tuesday March 8 to Sunday March 13, Wellington) includes Mallory Ortberg. A co-founder of the feminist and humourous website The Toast, you can read her work in the LGBT category and in classic works such as “My Six-Point Plan For Surviving The Stuart Court As Queen Anne’s Lesbian Companion” and “Code Words For Spinster Throughout History”. More about her in this 2012 Guardian interview.

The Dressmaker: film vs book

The_Dressmaker_film_posterIt’s a familiar debate, whether the book or the film is better.

The Dressmaker film (http://www.flicks.co.nz/movie/the-dressmaker/) is on general release in New Zealand now. You can enjoy great strong performances from Judy Davis (mother) and Kate Winslet (daughter).

The_Dressmaker_book_coverAs generally happens in adaptations, not all the subplots can be incorporated into the film, which is 2 hours long already. One of those recurring through the book, but not included, is a funny and somewhat disturbingly gothic lesbian couple. Make sure you read the book.

Enjoy both!

The top 50 women writers of the last 50 years (1965-2015)

Looking for reading inspiration? Check out the list compiled by the Women’s Bookshop: several lesbian (and otherwise non-heterosexual) writers are included.

Rātaka takatāpui, Dyke Diary for Kohi-tātea / January 2016

Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau
Saturday 9 Proud to Play Sports Retro Party – Fundraiser 10pm – 3am, The Dog’s Bollix, 2 Newton Rd. Come dressed in your favourite sporting outfit, or retro disco and enjoy the hospitality with the team from Proud to Play NZ. Tickets available from Eventfinda for $10, or $15 on the door.

Wednesday 13 deadline for audition call, Decolonizing Pride Poetry Slam 5pm (audition date: Wednesday 20), The audition call is specifically open for Takataapui/Fa’afafine/Akava’ine/Fakaleiti Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Trans, Queer, Intersexed, Asexual, Pansexual etc poets wishing to qualify for the DPPS event on Wednesday February 17. See Facebook event page for details.

Sunday 17 Coffee & Stroll 10am, coffee at Cafe Miko, Auckland Botanic Gardens, Hill Road, Manurewa; 10.30am, stroll round the 2015/2016 Sculpture in the Gardens exhibition and maybe catch up with some of the other sculptures in the permanent collection.

Sunday 24 Fifth Season garden group visiting three Sandringham gardens. Meet outside Bruce Andrew’s home, 43 Truro Rd, Sandringham at 2pm; then outside Bruce Baker and Ariel Lozano’s home, 2/85 Paice Ave, about 2.30pm; enjoy afternoon tea at Ron Judd’s, 74 Gribblehirst Rd, about 3pm. Phone Wendy Wilson, 027 548 3510 or wendyirenewilson@gmail.com

Saturday 30 Rainbow peace gathering  Myers Park, 1pm, against violence, war, injustice, pollution and exploitation of all lifeforms. All welcome; If you would like to speak, phone 022 104 3799. Organised by Nga Manaakitanga o te Runga Rawa.

Sunday 31 Dyke Hike Long Rd/Upper Kauri/Whatitiri tracks, Cascades. This loop will take us through regenerating kauri forest in the Waitakere Ranges. There will be hills to climb in cool bush with great views. Well maintained tracks. Meet at the car park at the end of Falls Rd. About 4 hours. Grade: Moderate (boots recommended, expect a few hills and stream crossings are possible). Email hike@lesbian.co.nz, visit www.lesbian.co.nz.

Waikato/Central North Island

Melissa EtheridgeSaturday 30 Melissa Etheridge Summer Concert Tour, Taupo Amphitheatre playing with REO Speedwagon and Huey Lewis & The News. Melissa plays approx 1-2.30pm. See website for ticketing information.

Sunday 31 Melissa Etheridge Summer Concert Tour, Whitianga Waterways playing with REO Speedwagon and Huey Lewis & The News. Melissa plays approx 1-2.30pm. See website for ticketing information.

Wellington/ Te Whanganui-a-Tara

Sunday 10 Lesbian walk on Matiu/Somes Island Catch ferry from Queens wharf at 10am or Eastbourne at 10.30, $22 return or free with a gold card. Bring food and drink as there is only a water tap on the island. See LOCC page on Lesbian Wellington for details.

Thursday 28 film fundraiser, The Danish Girl, for Out in the Park, 6.30pm, Lighthouse Cuba, Wigan St. The first known case of transgender surgery recorded in medical history. Tickets $25 (includes a glass of bubbles or juice on arrival) from Out in the Park or visit Facebook event page.

Sunday 31 Armstrong & Arthur Charitable Trust for Lesbians deadline for applications for projects and activities that will benefit all or part of lesbian communities in the Wellington region, south of the Manawatu Gorge. See www.armstrong-arthur-trust.nz for forms and guidelines or write to the Armstrong and Arthur Trust, PO Box 199, Waikanae 5250.

Nelson area/Whakatū

Wednesday 6 Games Night, Prince Albert Hotel, 113 Nile St, Nelson from 5.30pm. Email The Lesbian Connection (TLC) at tlconnection.link@gmail.com to go on mailing list or for more details.

Friday 8 Drinks & music, Mapua, from 6pm, Golden Bear Brewery, 12 Aranui Rd. Laura Sonneveldt from Karamea, “arguably the most versatile female guitarist New Zealand has on offer, her skills include rhythm/lead on acoustic and electric guitar, slide guitar, lead and backing vocals, bass guitar and drums.” For more info on the gig and to hear her music visit www.laurasonneveldt.com/bio.

Wednesday 13 Pool @ Shark Club, 132 Bridge St, Nelson, from 5.30pm. Email The Lesbian Connection (TLC) at tlconnection.link@gmail.com to go on mailing list or for more details.

Sunday 17 Nelson brunch/lunch, from 11am, Sinful Coffee, 276 Queen St, Richmond. Email The Lesbian Connection (TLC) at tlconnection.link@gmail.com to go on mailing list or for more details.

Wednesday 20 Games Night, Prince Albert Hotel, 113 Nile St, Nelson from 5.30pm. Email The Lesbian Connection (TLC) at tlconnection.link@gmail.com to go on mailing list or for more details.

Friday 22 Nelson dinner, 7pm, Indian Cafe, 94 Collingwood St. Email The Lesbian Connection (TLC) at tlconnection.link@gmail.com to go on mailing list or for more details.

Sunday 24 Motueka brunch/lunch, from 11am, Hot Mama’s, High St. Email The Lesbian Connection (TLC) at tlconnection.link@gmail.com to go on mailing list or for more details.

Wednesday 27 Pool @ Shark Club, 132 Bridge St, Nelson, from 5.30pm. Email The Lesbian Connection (TLC) at tlconnection.link@gmail.com to go on mailing list or for more details.


Sunday 31 Wild Women Walk 10am, email Ann at acharlotte10@gmail.com


Melb comedySaturday 30 Melbourne Lesbian Comedy Gala 2016 With Hannah Gadsby, Cal Wilson, Sal Upton, Nadine Budge and band; Geraldine Hickey, MC Monica Dullard, Anne Edmonds, Lori Bell, Denise McGuinness, Bobby Macumber, Kirsty Webeck and The All New Old Joelenes Band, after party included in the price, and pop-up café and cash bar. Preston City Hall, open 6pm, show 7.30pm. A fundraiser for the Matrix Volunteer Visitor Program to support lesbian elders (www.matrixguildvic.org.au), tickets www.midsumma.org.au or https://www.outix.net/booktickets/event/LesbianComedyGala.

News, pix and profiles about lesbians and queer women in Aotearoa/New Zealand

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