Hōngongoi / July

What was going on in July? – we’ve collected all the items here.

News
People
Media
Dyke Diary

Ngā pitopito kōrero, News

Ngā pitopito korero

Two gay ski weeks in Queenstown in August
Changes at Auckland Pride
Dunedin’s Trans/forming Feminisms conference
Songs and silliness in Auckland
Auckland’s lesbian ball returns
How do we negotiate sex?
Sarah Waters in Christchurch
Auckland’s Rainbow Panel interviewing
Register for the OutGames
Homosexual Law Reform 30 year anniversary
Short story competition
Charlotte’s Let’s Face It exhibition
aLBa discusses medial marijuana
News From All Over

Two gay ski weeks start in August

SkiSally&MandyThe resuscitation of Gay Ski Week NZ by Australian Jon Tarrant early this year has caused a lot of confusion with DNA Gay Ski Week QT, run for the last three years by Queenstown lesbian couple Sally and Mandy Whitewoods (left).

Gay Ski Week NZ (GSW NZ), which went into liquidation in 2011, is now linked to Australian travel company LeisureCom, which markets resort and other accommodation in New Zealand, the Pacific and south-east Asia. The newcomer’s site says their week is for the LGBT community, but the website pictures only bare-chested young men, and talks of inclusiveness – “younger and older, conservative and outgoing” – without mentioning lesbians.

Tarrant refused to speak to LNA on the phone and replied to questions by email. He said: “Our events are for everyone. We have targeted our marketing toward the entire LGBT market within Australia and New Zealand through social media and LGBT-based media outlets.”

The GSK NZ site also confuses the two weeks, saying on its FAQ page that “last year it is estimated that 1,400 guests migrated to Queenstown for ski week”, without mentioning that it was run by a different organisation.

Sally says that hardly any women came to the previous GSW NZ in 2010 and she aimed to change that when she stepped in to ensure some LGBT events would happen in 2011. One out of five people attracted to Gay Ski Week QT (GSW QT) last year were women and women have bought almost one out of three tickets so far for this year’s event. The website pictures are of lesbians and gay men enjoying last year’s events.

SkiclownsThe newcomer has gone head-to-head with GSW QT – both events start on August 29 in Queenstown, with GSW QT going one day longer to September 5. This year GSW QT has added an action Tuesday, including the Highlands Hook-Up, literal speed dating for singles – five minutes in a Porsche Cayenne Turbo twice around the 4km Highlands international race track, as well as a go-kart race with the new friend. The day also includes a helicopter ride to snow shoe on Mt Nicholas, and twilight rides on ziplines between treetop platforms on the hill above Queenstown.

GSW QT includes 11 events; as well as the three Tuesday activities, they include three different parties, cabaret, quiz and karaoke evenings, a barbecue bar night and a five-course VIP meal. Their all-inclusive pass is $599, and their almost everything pass (without the action day and the meal) is $290. Sally says she received mixed feedback about what events women want after the separate women’s and men’s events on one night in 2014. She decided to run all mixed events this year and try separate events one night next year.

SkiredThe new GSW NZ starts with a welcoming evening of cocktails and tapas, and has five events; Brisbane’s Fluffy dance night, an 80s ice-skating party, a five-course VIP meal, a hot tub pool party and a Whiteout dance party. Their all-events pass is $349. Tarrant says that most of their participants will be coming over from Australia.

Sally says that Tarrant approached her wanting to sell tickets in Australia to GSW QT, but he did not want to buy them from QT’s Australian agent. Tarrant didn’t answer our question about the risk of directly competing with an existing popular event, saying only: “There’s just more choice this year.”

See GSW QT and GSW NZ.
Jenny Rankine

New lesbians join Auckland Pride

Pride Kirsten SibbitTwo new lesbians have been appointed to the Auckland Pride Festival board.

Shirley Allan has organised events, worked in community development and as a television freelancer. She plans to work on governance, cultural and community engagement. Kirsten Sibbit (left) comes from the UK, where she worked in corporate law before consulting for major event. She hopes to contribute event strategy to the board.

Shirley, Kirsten and gay man Vinnie Sykes join the current line-up of Julie Swift and Richard James, acting co-chairs; Phylesha Brown-Acton and Paul Patton, and sole permanent employee Executive Officer Linda Heavey. Former co-chair Megan Cunningham-Adams stepped down after finishing an eventful three-year term.The 2016 Festival will run from Friday February 5 to Sunday 28, 2016; the Pride Parade and Proud Party will both be on Saturday 20.

Heavey says the board will hold three open community forums early in September and October to feed into the 2016 event. See GayNZ’s three-part feature on controversies around the Auckland Pride organisation and people, available at gaynz.com/articles. See the response by Emilie of No Pride In Prisons (the protester whose arm was broken in this year’s Pride Parade) to the Pride board’s statements, and feedback from readers (Auckland Pride: your feedback).

Dunedin’s Trans/forming feminisms
conference

Transforming femsAt least eight activist workshops and 57 academic papers have been accepted for the Trans/forming feminisms: Media, technology and identity conference in   Dunedin in November.

The event aims to bring activists and academics together, and help them support each other to make feminist change. Workshop topics include self-defence, slam poetry, feminism in the art world, sexual violence and social media, design for feminist activism, and disrupting masculinist comics. Academic sessions include the future of women’s studies; ethics and issues in participant observation in queer and trans communities; sex work; media representations; pornography, and cyberspace, among many other topics.

Speakers include Sandra Grey, President of the Tertiary Education Union and a researcher about social activism and dissent at Victoria University; Melbourne-based Audrey Yue, who has studied queer identities, queer Asian migration stories, and Chinese language film; Maori researcher Tracey McIntosh, who studies marginalisation and genocide in Auckland; and Californian-based Constance Penley, who studies film and feminist theory and has co-written The Feminist Porn Book.

There will also be poetry and manifestos at Fresh and Fruity Gallery, an artist-run venue that is part of the conference. Instead of an expensive conference dinner, participants will share fish and chips. The final two-hour session will bring suggestions and questions from during the conference on where to go from here.

Co-organiser Rosemary Overell says the organising group is a mix of activists and younger academics, many of whom have a history of activism.

The programme will be available by the end of the month. The conference will be held at St David lecture complex on St David St in the Otago University central campus from November 23–25. It costs $55 for activists, $75 for students and casual academics, and $200 for waged academics. The registration deadline is November 16. See the blog site, the Facebook page, email Rosemary Overell or follow the event on Twitter. JR

Songs and silliness in Auckland

Anji.Lesbian performer Anji Kreft, left, will be joined by Merrin Cavel, below, as well as two other members of Triple Dip for a night of Anji – Songs, silliness and stuff! at the Auckland Women’s Centre on Saturday 18 from 7pm.

Tickets are $20 wages and $15 unwaged from the Women’s Bookshop or the Charlotte Museum (see Social), both cash only, or email Angi for direct credit details. There will be no door sales as there are only 40 tickets, half already sold.

Anji and Merrin will perform a scene and duet from Anji’s lesbian musical It happens! and Triple Dip will repeat their Dollymix from a Dolly Parton fundraising night at the centre late last year. “We rehearsed for two months and the medley lasted four minutes. I’m used to that, but their adrenalin was pumping and they wanted to do it again.”

AnjiMerrinCavelAnji’s solo songs have been chosen from tunes that “I have a bit of history with”. One example, To Sir with love made the list because “it was the first song my mum ever taught me”. She hopes to give the venue the look of a US nightclub from the 40s, with small tables. Once the show is over, Anji will be looking for funding to produce and tour the musical.

See Facebook. JR

Auckland ball date set

After a year without an Auckland Lesbian Ball, save Saturday December 5 for the first Lesbian Ball to be held in West Auckland. Rather than a posh hotel in the city, long-time Westie resident and advocate, Cissy Rock, and a group of organisers are eying one of the big warehouse buildings in the Corban Estate Arts Centre in Henderson. Watch this space.

How do we negotiate sex?

Research Melanie BeresA lesbian researcher from the University of Otago wants to talk to at least 15 lesbian and queer women around the country about how they negotiate their sexual relationships, whether casual or long-term. Dunedin-based Melanie Beres will be visiting Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch for interviews before the end of the year.

She wants to interview anyone over 16 who identifies as a member of any rainbow community and has some experience with queer relationships or queer sex. Among other things, they will be asked how they demonstrate their willingness to have sex with their partner(s) and how they know when their partner(s) are interested.

Melanie will do all the interviews and analyse all the data. As a result of her earlier research on sexual negotiation and consent in heterosexual relationships, she was part of a group that advised on the development of a national healthy relationships programme, and also talked to local community groups.

When this project is finished, she will write a report about it for these groups and education providers. She hopes the results will help develop sexuality education and policy for queer youth and adults. Email Melanie or 021 0266 7588. JR

Sarah Waters in Christchurch

Sarah WatersThe author of lesbian Victorian novels Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith (both also adapted for television) is participating in the 2015 WORD Christchurch programme. Her latest novel, The Paying Guests, is set in 1920s London, and has lesbians, passion and murder.

See her in conversation with Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in an event titled Crimes of Passion, September 7.

Auckland Rainbow Panel on the way

Lesbians and queer women who have applied to be on Auckland Councils’ new Rainbow Communities’ Advisory Panel will be interviewed by July 27. Recommendations will go to a council committee meeting in August before being announced.

The council says panellists will give “strategic advice on issues of significance to their community, and helping the council talk with Auckland’s GLBTI communities”. Cathy Casey will be the panel’s liaison councillor.

Register for the Outgames

APOG logoRegistration will open this month for the fourth Asia Pacific Outgames in Auckland in February 2016. For sports participants, registration is $99 until October 31 and $125 until the deadline of January 31. The OutGames Human Rights Forum costs $300 for the three and a half days; $150 for one day or $50/day for young people and those on low incomes.

Gay man Michael Bancroft has been appointed as volunteer co-ordinator for the Outgames, and welcomes Aucklanders who want to participate without competing in a sport.

The annual meeting of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) will be held in Auckland during the Outgames. The meeting will involve up to 30 people from around the world; ILGA is an umbrella organisation of 1,100 groups from more than 100 countries that has been campaigning for LGBT rights since 1978.

See www.4apog.com; otherwise email Kent Phillips, volunteer sports director, Kent.phillips@4apog.com; for general information email Executive Director Damien Strogen on info@aucklandoutgames.com.

30 years since homosexual law reform – Wellington

Wellington rainbow communities will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of Homosexual Law Reform in 2016. A show of queer art is planned for this time next year. Expressions of interest should be sent to co-ordinator Graham Wills, brgeem@gmail.com. Suggestions and requests for events and activities will be posted on Facebook.

OutStanding short story competition

Writers based in Aotearoa New Zealand as well as Australia are welcome to participate in this creative writing event for Australia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer community.

The theme is ‘Deep’, and entries, of no more than 750 words, close September 1. There is no limit on the number of stories you can submit. Details at OutStanding.

Let’s face it opens

FranA good crowd attended the opening at the Charlotte Museum of an exhibition by Fran Marno, left, of older lesbian faces: eight large canvases in a relatively small space, compared to their size. (Previous exhibitions have been in larger spaces at Unitec and Auckland University.) Fran talked about her painting process and Heather read two poems, part of her response to and dialogue with Fran’s painting. The exhibition runs till August 8; see Photos.

alba (Auckland Lesbian Business
Association) continues

An interim alba committee was established in June, to invigorate the organisation and prepare for the September AGM (Wednesday 9, Garnet Station Tiny Theatre). Overwhelming support for alba to continue was voiced, and gratitude expressed to Cissy, Anne and Verity for organising events over the past six months.

Recognising difficulties faced by past committees, a smaller sized interim committee is in place, to focus on creating monthly meetings that will stimulate the mind and soul, and draw on support from the wider alba community to organise bigger activities such as the November quiz night.

July’s meeting (Wednesday 15, Medical Marijuana) draws on recent cases reported in the mainstream media.

alba meetings from August on will be on the second Wednesday of each month.

News From All Over

What were we reading and viewing around the web in the last month? (Reminder: exercise caution when reading comments on any story.)

Thumbs up
Pitcairn Islands
Same-sex marriage legislation that has real impact: the world’s smallest country, Pitcairn Islands (population estimated between 46 and 56 permanent residents) passed legislation unanimously in May (so, before the US Supreme Court decision, and ahead of Australia, which still has not made a move) – apparently just because it seemed like the right thing to do.

Kaleidoscope AustraliaHuman Rights for LGBTI people in Asia Pacific region
Kaleidoscope Australia works to promote and protect the human rights of LGBTI people in the Asia Pacific region.

In June, they launched Looking Through the Kaleidoscope: A Guide to Best Practice in Determining Applications for Refugee Status based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Intersex Grounds, a 32-page PDF that addresses understanding sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex variation, types of persecution, and best practice in determining applications for refugee status.

Rainbow books
One of many creative responses to the US Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage in June is the rainbow books images on Book Riot: fun and lovely displays, including commenters posting their own. Plus, a bonus of reading suggestions!

Ngā tāngata, People

Music and genetics
Suzi Fray

Music and genetics

It’s not often that an out queer Harvard professor visits Aotearoa, let alone a developmental geneticist who wants to stay. Cassandra Extavour spoke with Jenny Rankine.

Cassandra flute_11Cassandra’s ancestry is Hungarian and Swiss on her mother’s side and Trinidadian on her father’s side. Her mother’s family left Europe for Canada after WWII; her father and mother met during his first months in Toronto where he studied radio and TV technologies. Her father worked at the Canadian Broadcasting Commission, and played solo Afro-Caribbean percussion.

“Music was a constant part of my childhood; we practiced with dad, we all played instruments and we all had to perform in his concerts. My first instrument was steel drums, then recorder, violin and flute. I didn’t sing till I was 17. I wanted to be a choral conductor, so I joined the school choir and founded a junior choir so I could practice conducting.”

“I grew up in an immigrant neighbourhood, all first-generation – Indian, Malaysian, Greek, Italian, Portuguese and Caribbean.” But Cassandra gained a scholarship to the University of Toronto School, where “I was the only Black kid for the six years I was there”.

“My father raised us to understand that the world was an unfair place full of bigoted, ignorant people and we were as good as anyone else if not slightly better. But even though we would have to outperform other people to be given the same chances, if that even happened, it was not because of anything to do with us.”

Cassandra_Trinidad3_2014“Both of my parents gave us an Afrocentric upbringing – we were very connected to our Trinidadian heritage, food, music and carnival.” She is pictured outside the house her father grew up in in Trinidad, “It’s the largest and richest island in the Lesser Antilles, more cosmopolitan, more culturally diverse than the other islands. Most Blacks in Toronto at the time we were growing up were from the Caribbean. Our father educated us in Black American and African history, bought us Black comic books about Black history. During the news he’d say they were lies, because he worked there and knew what they left out. We watched Roots, Beat Street, Do the Right Thing and The Wiz.”

“I had romantic thoughts about girls and boys from about 11; the first person I kissed ‘like on TV’ was a girl. I didn’t talk about crushes on girls with anyone. Trinidadian culture is very homophobic – it’s still illegal to be gay there, you can be imprisoned – but I never felt there was anything wrong with me.”

“When I started having serious relationships, some were women and some men and I had good relationships with each. But I never identified as straight even when I was in long-term relationships with men. In my mid-20s I started to feel less and less interested in men, and most of my adult life I’ve been with women. I’ve identified as lesbian for ages, but I’m not sure about the label now – queer feels better.”

Cassandra 2014When Cassandra left school she wanted to be a professional musician but she also “wanted to learn about how the brain works”. She realised it was better to do full-time science and part-time music than the other way around. She got a scholarship to the University of Toronto for an undergraduate science degree. “Biochemistry was very interesting, logical and empirical – I liked using the techniques to find how molecules worked. I got a job as an admin assistant in a biomedical lab, and then did a research internship in a developmental genetics lab. How multicellular organisms evolved from single-celled organisms is currently the most interesting topic for me.” While she was there she joined a choir, and auditioned for Tafelmusik, a professional singing group in Toronto as an alto, but she has since realised that her true voice is soprano.

She did her PhD on fruit fly genetics in Madrid, because she “wanted to experience thinking in another language. Every language has things it is better able to express than other languages. The Madrid cultural stereotype is abrupt and forthright, different from the polite Canadian stereotype. I swear a lot more in Spanish than I did at that time in English. If I drop something on my foot, even now my first reaction is to swear in Spanish.” In Spain she studied singing, and started singing as a soloist.

CassandraWhiteEyedCricketAfter her PhD, she wanted to study how other organisms developed, the evolutionary history. For example, “The big question that my field of study is asking can be illustrated by this example: Way back, humans and flies (and all animals) share a common ancestor. I want to understand what genes and cell behaviour link our reproductive system, fly reproduction and reproduction in our common ancestor. Have these systems evolved independently in flies and humans, or did both animals inherit it from our last common ancestor?” So she worked in labs in Heraklion in Crete, and then in Cambridge in the UK for five years, where she was out from the start.

Cassandra sang as a freelance soloist in the UK, in operas like Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, and Venus and Adonis. “There have been enough world-famous Black American classical divas that a Black woman auditioning won’t necessarily be typecast, but I’ve never worked on stage with another person of colour. I’ve faced some racist comments from other musicians, but never felt it when I auditioned.”

In Cambridge, she studied the developmental genetics of egg and sperm cells in fruit flies and other organisms; “I was the first person to create or apply specific molecular tools to work on these cells in crustacean species, sea urchins, and insects.” While she was there an assistant professorship was advertised at Harvard, a private university in Boston in the US. “I was hesitant because it was in the US – I didn’t want to go there because it was too racist and too right wing, and I’d heard that Harvard was snotty and uptight.” She was scheduled to run a seminar there anyway; they offered her the job in 2005, she deferred it for two years until she’d finished her grant at Cambridge, and started at Harvard in 2007. She now runs her own laboratory and sings with three local groups.

Cassandra Harvard library“It’s easy to forget how messed up a place is when you’re in an academic bubble. The work conditions and facilities at Harvard are excellent. I thought I understood the US, but I didn’t realise how deeply ingrained American values were in many people – ‘we are the best country in the world; others are envious and jealous of us; it is our right and duty to educate the rest of the world into the right way of doing things, the American way; we are invincible and will succeed at anything we want. Anyone can do anything they want and if they don’t, it’s their fault.’ The flip side is a deep sense of optimism, ambition and invincibility. Harvard’s mission is to be ‘the best’, so any idea you have is enthusiastically accepted and they encourage you to think bigger, to be proud of being a tall poppy.”

Cassandra_Trinidad22014“Harvard helped my partner get a job so she could come with me, and I’ve always been out to all of my students and colleagues. One other professor in my department is not straight as far as I know.. But there are very few Black professors, less than four percent of all professors at Harvard. In my department I’m one of two, and nearly half are in the Department of African and African American Studies.”

Cassandra had planned to come to Aotearoa on her university leave more than a year ago. “I wanted to be far away from the US, in a place new to me. I wanted to work with a new scientific system and techniques, and I don’t want to live in the USA all the time and get only occasional visits away.” So she’s considering negotiating a part-time job at one of the local universities. During her time here she has extended her previous tattoos into a unified Afrocentric design created for her by a Māori ta moko artist, from her shoulders, down her back and her right leg to the ankle. “It’s unfinished, so I’ll continue it when I get back.”

Suzi Fray

Suzi FrayNelson resident Suzi Fray is known to many in the lesbian community as guitarist and lead singer of The Johnnys, the world’s first and only all-women Johnny Cash tribute band.

Suzi was diagnosed earlier this year with a rare form of uterine cancer, and in spite of her persistent and determined efforts, she died in late June.

Suzi’s performance style was marked by enthusiasm, energy, passion (especially, but not only, for Johnny Cash), good humour and a determination to be authentic, both to Johnny and to the band. If you have been at any show, you will remember it well, and the excitement of the rest of the audience.

Suzi is survived by her wife Amy, her daughter and two step-children.

Te ao pāpāho, Media

Not many lesbians in International Film Festival

Not many lesbians in International Film
Festival

The 2015 International Film Festival runs in 13 centres from July to September. Unfortunately, the absence of a 2015 Out Takes festival has not resulted in increased lesbian content. While the programme offers 13 films categorised LGBT, only a small number of lesbians are evident in this year’s festival.

IFF titsOnABullThe 16-minute short film, Tits on a Bull, in the New Zealand’s Best 2015 collection, is the story of “the star player of a Māori women’s rugby team who must choose between loyalty to her coach and love for her teammate”.

she's beautiful when she's angryUS documentary She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry captures 1960s and 1970s second wave feminism with historical film and images alongside contemporary interviews.

 

grandmaThe US feature Grandma stars the fabulous Lily Tomlin as “a sharp-tongued, taboo-breaking granny who comes out fighting for her pregnant teenage granddaughter”. Tomlin’s character, in case you were wondering, is the lesbian.

UK feature The Duke of Burgundy is centred on an elaborate domination/submission lesbian relationship. It was filmed in Hungary and is reminiscent, apparently, of 1970s European ‘soft porn’, which we take to mean ‘male gaze’. There are no men in the film (the Duke is a butterfly).

The French Clouds of Sils Maria is complex not least because the film is about actors in a play. The two lead women in the play have a relationship that ends badly; the film’s lead, Juliette Binoche, started her acting career as the younger character, and is coping badly with ageing and being cast as the older character. Her relationship with her assistant (Kristen Stewart) is ambiguous, possibly sexual.

A fan of lesbian actor Cynthia Nixon? You can see her in James White, where she plays the title character’s recently widowed mother, in what has been described as a “knockout performance”.

What else? Strong women and their stories are an option. The Assassin is a Taiwanese film based on a 9th century story; the title character is a woman; 10,000 years later is a China/NZ animation collaboration based on a Tibetan legend, with a 10-year-old girl the “unlikely heroine”.

Or consider the art world: Mavis! documents the life of music icon and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, and Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict that of the “personally awkward, but (hetero)sexually adventurous” art collector and patron.

Rātaka takatāpui/Dyke Diary for Hōngongoi / July 2015

Whangarei

Thursday 2 Whangarei Lesbian Waahine Takataapui Bisexual Queer Womyn’s Circle AGM. 6pm, email whgcircle@hotmail.com for venue and directions.

Monday 20 – Thursday 31 Exhibition: Artists supporting Women’s Refuges in Whangarei at The Old Library, 7 Rust Ave. Opening Monday 20 at 5pm, closing function Friday 31, 5pm, Auction Friday 31, 6pm. Phone Anneke 027 443 4484 or email annekem@ihug.co.nz.

Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau

Sunday 5 Dyke Hike: Vining Walkway to Mangatangi Trig, Miranda. This walk crosses open farmland and then gets into the bush in the Vining Scenic Reserve in the Hunuas. Meet at the beginning of the track on Kaiaua Rd, Miranda. Grade: Moderate (boots recommended, expect a few hills and stream crossings are possible) to hard (boots required, tracks may be rough and difficult, steep hills possible. A reasonable level of fitness will help you to enjoy these hikes). If you are not an experienced hiker, we require that you complete two moderate hikes before you join us in a hike graded hard. Email hike@lesbian.co.nz, www.lesbian.co.nz.

Wednesday 15 alba: Medical marijuana – the answers to your questions, 6-8pm, Tiny Theatre, Garnet Station café, $10 to cover costs. Speakers include Sue Galea, Charon Lessing and Helen Gemmell.

Wednesday 15 Jane Kelsey talks about her new book The fire economy: New Zealand’s reckoning  6pm, Old Government House lecture theatre, University of Auckland, Waterloo Quadrant. Fire stands for finance, insurance and real estate; see Bridget Williams Press.

Roller derbySaturday 18 Three-way roller derby contest Auckland Roller Derby Bolts vs Sirens of Smash vs Northland Nightmares, 30 Downing St, Glenfield, bring a cushion, bean bag or chair. See Facebook for updates.

Saturday 18 Anji – Songs, silliness and stuff!  7pm, Auckland Women’s Centre. Anji Kreft with guests Merrin Cavel and Triple Dip, $20/$15 (cash only) from the Women’s Bookshop or the Charlotte Museum (see Social), or email Anji for direct credit details.

Sunday 19 Coffee & Stroll 10am, coffee at Catalina cafe, Buckley Ave, Hobsonville Point; 10.30am, stroll around farmers market. Depending on time, weather and inclination, we’ll also stroll some of the art tour. (The art work includes a piece by Louise Purvis, who was in the 2013 Auckland Pride exhibition SHOULD LOVE COME FIRST?)

Sunday 19 Fifth Season Garden Group AGM  2pm for 1 hour including Power Point of the last 12 months, St John Training Centre, 171 Manukau Rd, Epsom. Bring a plate for afternoon tea and $5. No one is stepping down from the committee, so newcomers are safe to talk about gardening with existing members. Phone Wendy Wilson, 525 2666.

Thursday 23 Women’s Studies Association AGM and film screening Gus Fisher Gallery, 74 Shortland St, Auckland, 5.30pm, drinks and nibbles; meeting 6-6.45pm, Briar March documentary A place to call home about public housing in Aotearoa. Open to non-members; if you want to vote, you can join at the door. See www.wsanz.org.nz

Saturday 25 Auckland Women’s Centre Ruby red 40th anniversary gala dinner, Grey Lynn Community Centre, 6.30pm. Tickets $35 – $65, sliding scale, email the centre, or call 376 3227 x 0.

Waikato/Central North Island

Friday 21 Lesbian duo Daughters of Ally performing a mix of covers across the decades at the Cook Bar, Cook Street, Hamilton East. Join the Lebian Social Gp table from 7.30pm, band starts 8pm. See their FB page www.facebook.com/daughtersofally

Friday 31 Drinks at The Cook Café & Bar 5.30pm, Cook St, Hamilton East. Come join the LSG crew at The Cook for after work drinks/dinner. Meet some new mates and take advantage of the Cook’s great Friday night deal: ‘buy a round of four drinks and get a pizza for $5’.

Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara

Sunday 12 Lesbian Overland and Cafe Club walk:  Northern Walkway, 10am, meet outside the front of the Wellington railway station at 10 am and a walk from there, through city parks beginning in the Bolton St cemetery/memorial park and the Botanic Gardens, then heading over Tinakori Hill towards Ngaio. Bring lunch, water and snacks. Wear or carry parka, day pack, sneakers or tramping boots, and generally dress for the weather.

Tuesday 14 Launch of Jane Kelsey’s new book The fire economy: New Zealand’s reckoning 5.30pm, the National Library, cnr Molesworth and Aitken Sts, city. Fire stands for finance, insurance and real estate. See Bridget Williams Press.

women's danceSaturday 25 Mid Winter Women’s Dance 8pm till midnight; Thistle Hall, 293 Cuba St, cnr Cuba St and Karo Dr; BYO, $12 low waged / $15 waged. Great lift from ground floor to the dance floor.
Supper will be supplied.

South Island/Te Wai Pounamu

Thursday 16 Jane Kelsey talks about her new book The fire economy: New Zealand’s reckoning  6pm, Transitional Cathedral, Latimer Square, city. Fire stands for finance, insurance and real estate; see Bridget Williams Press.

Sunday 26 Wild Women Winter Walking, the town belt, Dunedin.

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

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