What was happening in February? Here’s our Hui-tanguru update – all items collected in one handy page!
Promoting takatāpui health
More than just LGBT
Topp Country returns
Auckland concert celebrates and records 80s music
Auckland Pride highlights
Lesbian feminist heritage exhibition in Auckland
Wellington Pride Festival
Wellington wants dancers
Calling LGBTQI* artists for Dunedin Pride
Wild Women Walking picnic pics
A national survey and interviews with Takatāpui* start this week in a major three-year research project aimed at improving health services for Takatāpui and Māori LGBTQI people.
The Honour Project Aotearoa is run by an all-Takatāpui team of researchers, led by Associate Professor Leonie Pihama, left, Director of Te Kotahi Research Institute at the University of Waikato, and Alison Green, below, Chief Executive of national health promotion organisation Te Whāriki Takapou.
Leonie affiliates to Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Māhanga and Ngā Māhanga a Tairi, and Alison to Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Ranginui and Ngāti Pūkenga. The project is funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.
The Aotearoa project builds on a US study that studied the health and wellness of Two-Spirit or Native American LGBTQI people. In Aotearoa, it will survey up to 600 Takatāpui with a wide range of ages, sexual and gender identities, living all over the country.
The project’s holistic approach to health will include questions about how rangatiratanga (chiefly authority), wairuatanga (spirituality), whakapapa (genealogy) and other distinctly Māori values and practices affect wellness.
To ensure the survey is widely accessible, as well as being available on Te Kotahi and Te Whāriki Takapou websites and distributed through email networks, paper-based versions will be distributed for people without online access, and assisted versions where researchers visit participants.
Some survey questions have enough similarity to enable results to be compared with the results of the US project, and previous national NZ Sexual Health and Health Behaviours surveys, Alison says.
The project also includes in-depth interviews with up to 40 Takatāpui people about their health and experience of health services, and some of those people will be asked to tell their stories on video which will go online later in the project.
Alison says the researchers have met with health funders and policy-makers about the project and “areas we’d like to work on with them; it’s really important to do that early on”.
The project will supply results to Takatāpui communities and networks, the Ministries of Health, Education, Youth, Social and Māori Development, district health boards and the professional bodies of GPs, nurses and other health occupations.
“If we’d had these conversations a year ago we suspect we would have heard a lot of ifs and buts, because of the previous government’s market-driven ‘social investment’ approach to health,” she says. “That assumed that everyone is equally placed to access health services, and if they don’t it’s their choice and not a responsibility of government.”
She welcomes the new government’s “strong policy focus” on Rainbow communities. “We want to ensure that government programmes contribute to Takatāpui health and wellbeing as much as to the wellbeing of non-Takatāpui members,” says Alison.
She says that mainstream “one-size-fits-all health services don’t suit Māori or Takatāpui, and the project will advocate for services that do.
* A term that nowadays is used to refer to Māori LGBTQI people.
New videos and posters from Wellington-based national youth organisation InsideOUT explores marginalised identities beyond the acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
More Than Four will be launched at 6pm on Monday 12, at the Auckland Central City Library as part of the Auckland Pride Festival, and at 2pm on Sunday March 4, in the Mezzanine Room of the Wellington City Library as part of Wellington Pride. Drinks and nibbles will be provided and entry is by koha.
More Than Four is a series of short videos featuring more than 30 young Rainbow people who are asexual, aromantic, intersex, non-binary, pansexual, takatāpui, fa’afafine, akava’ine, queer parents, transgender, bisexual, including those who identify as both Māori, Pasifika, Asian, and queer.
The videos and posters supports InsideOUT’s goal for all young people of minority sexualities, genders and sex characteristics in Aotearoa New Zealand to have a sense of belonging and safety in their schools and communities.
Lesbians return to prime time for the third and last series of Topp Country from Thursday 8, at 8pm on TV1, with more inspiring rural stories.
The Toppies meet more passionate food producers, home cooks and lovers of life, sharing laughter in kitchens and backyards.
In this series, posh characters Prue and Dilly, above, serve up some Posh Nosh, while rural blokes Ken and Ken close each episode with a poem celebrating what it means to be a Kiwi.
The series is produced by Arani Cuthbert of Diva Productions, and directed by Felicity Morgan-Rhind. JR
A one-of-a-kind concert in the Auckland Pride Festival will celebrate the overwhelmingly lesbian 80s women’s music scene, and hopefully lead to a documentary.
The concert on Friday 9 at the Auckland Girls’ Grammar Dorothy Winstone Centre will be filmed by Diva Productions, and features the Topp Twins; Jan Hellreigel and Cassandra’s Ears; Charlotte Yates; Jyoshna and Kim Wesney from Turiiya; Clare O’Leary, Donna Savage, Sarni Darragh and Dianne Civil from Vibraslaps; Teresa Trull and Jess Hawk Oakenstar from the USA; Di McMillan and Gloria Hildred; Hilary King and Red Beryl; Jan Eggleton; Carolyn O’Neill (of Blue Marbles); Nettie Bird (of the Guile, Siren and the Dolphins); and Amanda Elvin and Libby Bird as the Elastic Band.
Miriam Saphira, founder of the Charlotte Museum of lesbian culture, and Di McMillan are collaborating on a foyer display about 80s’s women’s music at the venue. A merchandise table will stock CDs by Jess Hawk Oakenstar, the Topp Twins, Jan Hellriegel, Charlotte Yates and other performers.
Arani Cuthbert is organising the concert and funding the filming of the concert herself, and hopes to cut a trailer from the footage for applications for NZ Film Commission and television funding.
“For all of us who came out in the 80s, the women’s music community was really important; it provided community – and girlfriends,” she laughs.
“Most of the 80s musicians were a bit older than me, and really helped me come out as a lesbian and an activist. They were very inspiring,” says Arani. “The 80s music scene was really important part of the lesbian rights story” as well as being enmeshed with activism for the rights of women, Māori, working class people and environmental causes.
Pictured above are The Guile in 1989: Mo Moss, left, Betty Sio, Nettie Bird (Kinmont), Sarni Darragh and Karin Kahurangi, who won a $10,000 second prize in the Rheineck Rock Awards ahead of 119 bands.
Arani remembers stumbling onto a fundraising concert for the Out of the corners album in a central Auckland café. “I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I thought these are my people, this is my culture.”
The 1982 album was the first New Zealand to be written, performed and produced by women. This image from the album cover includes Jools Topp, left, Mahinarangi Tocker (standing), Hattie St John, Clare Bear, Lynda Topp, Hilary King, Mereana Pitman, Di Cadwallader (back), Tracy Huirama, and Jess Hawk Oakenstar. The album also featured Val Murphy. Arani says the “amazing album still holds up, with lots of beautiful songs”.
Only a few of the 80s band members and singer-songwriters are still performing professionally. “It’s a big ask for many of these women to rehearse and put themselves out there again,” says Arani.
The idea for the concert came from Di McMillan, who was turning 60 and as a present wanted for all the women she’d played music with to come together for a concert. Says Arani: “So I thought why not film it and get interviews?”
“Some, like Mahinaranga Tocker (left), have died too young, and others, like Clare Bear of Red Beryl, were unable to come because they aren’t well – we’re getting on. If we don’t document this, no one will.”
Arani noticed gaps in the recent exhibition Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa at the Auckland Museum. “There were no women of the 80s apart from the Topp Twins. We need to recapture our history and store it in a way that people can find.”
“There are a few private videos of bands like Red Beryl, and some music videos by the Dolphins, the Blue Marbles, Freudian Slips and the Guile,” Arani says. The rights for footage of the big Mangawhai Women’s Music Festival in 1987 are contested; “it’s locked up in Wellington where no one can look at it. If I get funding I’ll have the time to sort out permissions.”
First off is the opening of the Pulse art exhibition at Garnet Station’s Tiny Theatre in Westmere, from 5pm on Thursday 1. The show by Beth Hudson, Fran Marno, Cath Head, Sue Vincent, Maureen Jaggard and Nadia Gush runs until Wednesday 14. Art lovers can also check out Katie Blundell’s work at her gallery and studio.
Hosted by Rainbow MPs Louisa Wall and Tamati Coffey and directed by Jason Te Mete at Q Theatre, the Gala showcases a selection of performances from full-length works in the Festival, including poet Courtney Sina Meredith, Ellie Lim and Jodi Pringle of The LnP Project, cirque and burlesque from the Red Room Cabaret, talent from Legacy Project 5, and many others.
Theatre events to watch out for include the wonderfully named Fala Muncher, below, referring to “the act of a female of Pacific descent partaking in the licking and eating of another woman’s Fala”. The play enters the world of four brave gay Pacific women, featuring Lyncia Muller, Casisse Utah, Vaiari Ngaromoana Irirangi and Cassandra de la Croix. It runs from Tuesday 13 to Saturday 17 at the Basement Studio Theatre. Book through iTicket.
Another unique theatre event is Random Shagger, a one-woman show written and performed by Andrea Kelland, directed by expat writer and comedian Deb Filler, with live music by Hilz King.
It tells the story of Andrea’s coming out as a solo mother with a history of bent biological family members, including a great-aunt who enjoyed a WWI relationship with a lonely widow. Random Shagger runs at Garnet Station Tiny Theatre from Saturday 3 to Sunday 11.
Note, the Drag Kings event – King Hits! – in the printed programme has been postponed. There will now be a social event in March and further performances are being planned; visit the Facebook event page for details.
Lovers of words will enjoy the same same but different festival featuring a raft of lesbian and queer female writers, from Friday 9 to Saturday 10. It starts with a free Poetry Speakeasy on Wednesday 7 from 6.30-9pm at the Leys Institute Library, 20 St Marys Rd, Ponsonby, and there’s also a free queer zine workshop on Friday 9. Download the programme from the website.
Musically, as well as the unique Women’s Music 80s Reunion Concert described above, GALS sing with pride in a free concert on Sunday 4 from 3pm at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. See the Facebook event page. Jodie Pringle, left, and Ellie Lim also perform as the The LnP Project on Wednesday 7 from 7pm at the Q Theatre. Tickets $25 + booking fees, details on Facebook event page.
The big women’s party is the Lick Auckland LOVE CLUB from 10pm on Saturday 17 at Neck of the Woods, 155B Karangahape Rd. $10 before 11pm, $15 after 11pm.
Film goers will find something to love in the Takatapui film showcase on Sunday 4 from 11am-6pm at the Academy Cinemas in 44 Lorne St. See the Facebook event page.
Those who like fast, wet women will want to see, or even take part in, the TAMS Fun Swim Competition run by the Auckland LGBT swim team on Saturday 10 at the Tepid Baths from 2.30-5.30pm.
Gardeners never miss the Heroic Garden Festival from 10am-5pm Saturday 10-Sunday 11. See the Facebook event page, and the website for tickets. And everyone loves catching up with friends and checking out the visiting politicians at the Big Gay Out on Sunday 11 at Coyle Park, Pt Chevalier, from 12midday-7pm.
This year’s Auckland Pride Parade on Saturday 17 will be blessed from 6.30-7.15pm along the length of Ponsonby Rd, and an Airforce Hercules (no rainbow colours, sorry) will fly the Parade route as it begins at 7.30pm. In a first for the Parade, female couple Sinead and Vic will be married on a float during the parade by the Glitter Squad of celebrants.
The Parade will be led by Oceania Pride Aotearoa, with a Māori/Pasifika float focusing on decolonisation across the Pacific to illustrate the parade theme of Rainbow warriors: Pride and peace.
Register your Pride Parade entry online by Friday 2, or email Parade Director Shaughan Woodcock.
See the Auckland Pride Festival website for details. JR
A major and unique exhibition of art, film and writing at the beginning of March will explore the artistic communities of poet and lesbian feminist Heather McPherson, a co-founder of the influential women’s arts magazine and publishing imprint Spiral in Christchurch and also of the equally influential Women’s Gallery in Wellington. Heather died in January 2017.
Called This joyous chaotic place, the exhibition highlights the contribution of Heather and her peers, members and contributors to the 70s and 80s women’s art movement, Spiral and the Women’s Gallery (right), and visitors are coming from around the country.
The exhibition opens at the kaupapa Māori gallery Mokopōpaki, at 454 Karangahape Rd in Auckland, 6-8pm on Thursday March 1 (a week later than previously announced), when Heather’s book will be launched, and runs for six weeks as a Women’s Suffrage 125th anniversary event.
It will include a programme of short films including archival footage, readings and interviews with Māori writers JC Sturm and Keri Hulme, and Heather herself, by Auckland Women’s Community Video and some of artist Joanna Paul’s short films, among others. Spiral originally published Keri Hulme’s award-winning novel The Bone People.
The exhibition includes rarely-seen women’s art and writing from the 70s and 80s as well as some contemporary work. The catalogue expands on the stories the artwork tells, like the Spiral trip to Stockholm to see an 18th century korowai (cloak) with a unique spiral tāniko border.
Marian Evans, one of the exhibition organising group, says she has spent “a lovely long time in the archives”, researching the exhibition, and even found work Heather did for the legendary ‘A season’s diaries’ exhibition initiated by Joanna Paul in 1977. “Before she died, Heather thought it was lost forever, but there it was, unidentified except as a ‘journal’ in the Turnbull Library.”
Pictured inside the Women’s Gallery at 26 Harris St, Wellington, in 1980 are Marian Evans, left, Bridie Lonie, Marg Leniston with Isaac, Hilary King, and Anna Keir; standing behind, are Sharon Alston, left, and Lou Genet. Photo from the QEII Arts Council.
This joyous chaotic place “is a heritage as much as an art exhibition,” she says, “bringing out of the archives and from under beds all kinds of stuff that probably will not be seen again publicly. It may not look like a conventional art exhibition but the stories and the faces will draw people through.”
Ten women will read from Heather’s posthumous collection, This joyous chaotic place: Garden poems, edited by Janet Charman and published by Spiral, on Saturday 3 from 2-4pm at the Pioneer Women’s Hall at the Ellen Melville Centre in High Street, followed by afternoon tea.
The book has a limited edition; it will not be available in bookshops and can be ordered by emailing Marian at email@example.com. It costs $25 including postage.
See more details about the exhibition at https://medium.com/spiral-collectives/coming-soon-this-joyous-chaotic-place-d4d0c7ffe7b1 See the LNA obituary for Heather.
The Wellington Pride Festival | Tū Whakahīhī e Te Whanganui-ā-Tara opens on Saturday February 24 and runs for two weeks to March 10, with a range of community-organised events around the city. We feature a few below.
The 32nd Out in the Park on Saturday 24 opens the festival, running from 11am at Waitangi Park behind the Chaffer St New World. It will feature all-day free entertainment, including drag kings and queens, singers, dancers and comedians, and a raft of community and food stalls.
It also features Pooches in the Park from 2-3pm, hosted by Scotty and Mal from S&Ms. No dog is too big or small to win hearts, so Rainbow people are encouraged to bring your mighty mongrel or pampered pup and show them off to the community.
Also on Saturday artist Sian Torrington, left, hosts an open studio from 11am to 3pm, on the second floor of Trades Hall, 124 Vivian St in the city.
The Out in the Park After Party runs on Saturday night from 9pm until late, at the James Smith Corner Basement, 49 Cuba St, organised by the GAG Drag Collective and MC’d by Hugo Grrrl: Drag King and Harlie Lux. Drag performers include RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Laila McQueen, Mike Litoris: Drag King, Timothy Taffy, Kelly Fornia & Leo Valor, and many more.
The Turquoise Tour, the first of three free LGBTI walking tours, starts at 1pm on Sunday 25. outside the City Gallery in Civic Square. It features Alison Laurie, Charlotte Bronte, Effie Pollen, Eugenia Falleni, Katherine Mansfield, Maata Mahupuku, Mary Taylor, Ursula Bethell and lots of other GBTI individuals and organisations.
Drag King Hugo Grrl hosts the Wellington Pun Battle from Thursday 1 to the final on Saturday 3; an this intense and improvisational comedy pun-off for a $1,500 prize. Entry is $15/$17, 18+.
The Candy Land Youth Ball on Saturday March 3 is expected to attract about 400 young people aged from 13 to 18 from the Wellington region, Wairarapa and Manawatu. It is hosted by and for young Rainbow people, including students who don’t conform to sexuality or gender norms and for whom school balls are unwelcoming. It will be held from 6.30pm at Chaffers Dock Building, 22 Herd St on the waterfront. Tickets from Eventfinda cost $14.
The free Violet Walking Tour on Sunday 4 at 1pm features the Lesbian Radio Programme, Katherine Mansfield, Maata Mahupuku, Rev. Dr Margaret Mayman, the Queer Avengers and lots of other GBTI people. It starts on the steps of Parliament Buildings.
Fresh from their Mardigras concert, the city’s LGBT choir, the Glamaphones present a Best of Homegrown Performance on Thursday 8 from 6:30pm at St Andrew’s on the Terrace.
The Red LGBTI Walking Tour on Saturday 10 at 1pm features the Amazon Softball Club, Amy Bock, Audre Lorde, Bea Arthur, Bette Armstrong, Chrissy Witoko, Club 41, Circle magazine, Edith Eger, the Lesbian Club, Porleen Simmons, the Rev. Annette Cater, and lots of other GBTI individuals and organisations. It starts at 1pm at Pukeahu Park on Tory St. See the Facebook event page.
The Pride Parade is this year being organised by a newly formed group, Wellington International Pride Parade (WIPP). It starts at 7pm on Saturday March 10 in Tennyson St, city. WIPP’s choice of theme, Go Tribal/What’s Your Tribe, has been criticised for cultural insensitivity; contact WIPP on Hello@wipp.nz. or see the parage Facebook page.
Wellington same-sex dance group DANSS is calling for indications of interest in its annual Wellington Same Sex Dancesport Competition by the end of February.
The fun and inclusive competition is planned for May 12, and the group needs an idea of numbers before signing up a venue. The competition will be an timely practice opportunity for those planning to compete in the Gay Games in Paris in August.
DANSS asks for indications for those planning to enter, or teachers knowing of people wanting to compete. Email firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of February, and DANSS will confirm the competition in March.
An art exhibition during Dunedin’s Pride Festival from April 8 to 15 is calling for LGBTQI* artists of any ability to submit up to three pieces.
The Q² Trust, which organises the festival, will take a 10 percent commission on all work sold: five percent for Alphabet Soup, a Dunedin youth support group, and five for future Q² Trust events.
All two-dimensional work must be ready to hang, and artist contact details and selling price, including commission, must be written on the back.
Entries close on March 16; email photos or a link to images of artwork to email@example.com JR
Some of the Wild Women Walkers by the pou (guardian) at the northern end of the Huriawa peninsula with canine friend Gem, after the annual WWW picnic at Karitane. Left: On the Huriawa track.
Dunedin-based archaeologist Shar Briden spoke with Jenny Rankine
Pākehā lesbian Shar was born in Auckland and followed a girlfriend to Dunedin when she was younger; she says it’s the best move she ever made. “The people are friendly, the air’s fresh, there’s no traffic, and then I found out that ancestors of mine, three Smith brothers, arrived in Port Chalmers then moved to Kaitangata. I hadn’t even known that when I moved down here.”
Shar’s first job was as a structural designer of cardboard boxes – “you have to see them in 3D. I was also doing scrimshaw, bone carving, and learning carpentry.”
“I used to walk with my dog on the beaches around Otago peninsula, and found hundreds of artefacts – bone tools, fishing hooks, chisels, pounamu and adzes. I became friendly with a couple of local Māori women and showed them what I was finding.
Those discoveries led her to archaeology. “I wanted to know more about them, to identify those artefacts. I never thought I’d go to university and realised I’d have to study, but varsity just opened my world.”
Shar studied part-time for a BA in Anthropology, making a living drawing artefacts for a lecturer, and carving and selling scrimshaw at Maggies Cottage on the peninsula. She and her then partner Lorraine bought this early cottage in the early 1990s; it’s now a B&B.
Then Shar studied for a postgraduate diploma in archaeology, followed by ten years with the Department of Conservation (DOC) as Technical Advisor Historic. “My main job was reviewing historical and cultural features of high country pastoral leases.”
She surveyed Māori stone sources and sites, early pastoral features and gold mining sites. “I did a lot of surveys, reporting on what is significant for the Crown to protect. I learnt about bringing sites into the public eye so we’re aware of them.
“With DOC, I also helped recover koiwi (human burials) that get exposed and need to be respectfully collected and reburied. The iwi decides what to do; usually they don’t want anything that will destroy the bone. Sometimes they want further research, so the material goes to bio-anthropologists at the University of Otago.”
“I’ve been helicoptered to Rakiura (Stewart Island) twice to help with exposed burials; usually they’re reburied close by.” Shar has also recovered koiwi at Puketeraki Pa, Karitane Peninsula, Fortrose in Southland, Normanby near Timaru, and Papanui on the Otago Peninsula.
After a decade with DOC, Shar resigned and started her own archaeology business, Absolute Archaeology, a year ago. She has worked on excavations and sites around the South Island. “Forming a relationship with local Māori early on helped immensely to gain the acceptance of iwi groups for me to work on their behalf.”
Much of her work is managing and protecting sites that are being developed, doing archaeological assessments for proposed developments, and monitoring earthworks for archaeological material or sites. Heritage New Zealand authority is required for developments within 100m of protected sites, and that requires an approved archaeologist. “Wherever we’ve been, people have been before us, usually Māori.” Shar is pictured kneeling at the Heritage NZ Bendigo Bakehouse, with Matt Schmidt.
A highlight for Shar was “following Brian Allingham and Amanda Symon around for over 15 years – they have worked with Ngai Tahu for decades, and both taught me a lot.” Shar currently works part-time upgrading the records of Ngai Tahu’s South Island Māori Rock Art Trust; Amanda is the Ngai Tahu Rock Art Trust curator.
“Matt Hill and I go out for three days a fortnight looking for rock art that Brian Allingham had previously photographed – he’s recorded three times as much as there is on the archaeological database. We GPS the location of each shelter with rock art, and photograph the figures to see how much they’ve changed since the 1970s photographs.”
“It blows your mind to see some of this art that the public will never see. A lot is on private land, although some wonderful sites are open to the public. Matt uses Image J software to isolate the art clearly, in a way you can’t see with the naked eye. Over the years rock art degrades, the limestone drops off; unfortunately it has a limited life.”
Shar has come full circle, gaining a five-year authority from Heritage New Zealand to recover taonga from Okia Reserve at Papanui Inlet, which is owned by DCC (Dunedin City Council) and the Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust.
A highlight was recovering a waka over six metres long, above. “It looked like the top edge of a totara fence post, so I got permission to have a look at the side of it. We realised it was too big to lift immediately and waited two months to get the authority – it took us all weekend to dig the waka out.”
The waka, and plaited rope lying inside it, were preserved by peat where vegetation collapsed over the site, creating an anerobic environment. “We were able to date the plaited rope to about 460 years ago, a period we don’t know much about.” The waka is now in a water tank at Otakau Marae, being conserved by Dilys Johns, Wet Organic Conservator at Auckland University.
Local Māori have been involved in the Papanui project for the past decade. “We’d had trouble with people fossicking in the area, and bringing the locals into our volunteer group meant the site is being treated with more respect.”
“Local interest has been incredible. This project has pulled the local community together, and increased the mana of iwi, especially young people who’ve been on site to share the excitement.”
Shar and Rachel Wesley, Otago Museum’s Curator Māori, led a week-long excavation at Papanui at the end of January, with help from the University of Otago “and a wonderful team of volunteers. The northern foreshore of the inlet is continually eroding along a kilometre of sand dune. We’ll be looking at how many layers of occupation there are beneath the dunes.”
Shar’s other excavations include rescuing an eroding archaeological layer at Raincliff Rock Art shelter for DOC and iwi, and monitoring Jamie Wood with Landcare Research, in the recovery of moa coprolites (preserved shit) at the Borland Shelter near Te Anau, a traditional Māori pathway to the West coast.
She has just completed an archaeological assessment for an upgrade to the Te Nohoaka o Tukiauau/Sinclair Wetlands Visitor Centre Treatment and Disposal system for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. “A canoe prow and a paddle have been found there in the past, so there is potential we could come across something significant.”
“I like dealing with dead things – I have an affinity for working with bone and stone.”
Shar came out as a lesbian when a friend took her to the Alex Pub in Auckland when she was 20 “and I picked up a woman”, she laughs. “I never looked back. It felt right – I knew where I fit.”
“Luckily my family were accepting, my mum said ‘It’s about time’; she’d known since I was much younger. When I was five I told mum that I was never going to get married. They knew I was different, so got me into judo so I could look after myself from possible bullying. I was an Auckland judo champ at age six which kept me safe; the kids didn’t bother me cos they were too scared. I was lonely though.”
“When I was younger I was hassled a lot and excluded because I looked like a dyke; I got a lot of verbal abuse in public.” Shar has always been out in her archaeological work. “Sometimes I wasn’t respected because I was a woman; sometimes I didn’t know if it was just sexism or homophobia.”
Over the years Shar has carved lots of labryses and lesbian symbols, which she sold from Maggies Cottage. “I’ve got all these bone and wood pieces I started 15 years ago and am now able to continue carving and finishing them off.”
Shar has had two major neck operations in the last few years, which fused her neck and ended most of the neck and spine pain she experienced for much of her life. Two collapsed discs in her neck from when she was dropped as a baby were misdiagnosed for years as repetitive strain injury.
“My lower back also collapsed when I was doing my post graduate diploma and I had to work at the computer standing up. Life has been a bit of a struggle for over 50 years, but it’s really good now. Thank goodness for Dunedin’s neuro-surgery and determination.”
One of the difficulties of getting older is the increasing numbers of the people one knows, loves and respects who lose their grip on their various perches. On Saturday January 27 we fare welled Denise, left, at a funeral service at Hoani Waititi Marae in West Auckland.
Denise was a proud Westie, and was an out and proud lesbian for over 30 years in her various communities and employment. She was a mother, and a grandmother, and a committed conservationist.
Denise and her partner Jo Quatermass were active in the struggle for the rights of working people, particularly for working women. They met through the union movement when they both worked for the Public Service Association in the mid-1980s.
Denise was working in Hamilton, and Jo in Auckland. Denise left the PSA, and came and worked with me at the Bank Officers’ Union for a couple of years until there was a vacancy at the Auckland office of the PSA.
Denise and Jo took some time out from the union movement from 1987 to 1991 to run the General Store at Muriwai, but Denise went back to advocating for working people with several union and advocate positions.
She was elected to the Waitakere Community Board in 1998 and she and I were two of a quite small number of out lesbian local body members. Denise became a Waitakere City Councillor, and with the Super City, was elected to the Waitakere Ranges Local Board.
She remained on the board until her death. She was subject to the usual homophobia in her early days as councillor, with nasty graffiti on her billboards, but she was not the sort of person to be deterred.
Denise loved the Waitakere Ranges, and was one of the major figures in achieving the protected legal status for the ranges. She also served on the Auckland Conservation Board and the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society.
Denise died on Tuesday January 23 after a brief illness. She would have been 78 at her birthday in April.
See the LNA interview with Denise before the last local body elections in 2016.
LGBT issues are being debated in the smallest country in the European Union (population 1.3m). The Republic of Estonia in northern Europe is bordered by Latvia to the south, Russia to the east, the gulf of Finland to the north and the Baltic Sea to the west. It currently has its first female President, Kersti Kaljulaid, and one Rainbow NGO, Eesti LGBT Ühing/the Estonian LGBT Association. Jenny Rankine spoke with Kristel Rannaääre, the association’s half-time Executive Director, and Kristiina Raud, the half-time Community Co-ordinator, about the Cohabitation Act which passed in 2014.
Kristiina says that the act was passed without an accompanying implementation act, which specifies all the amendments to be made to other laws, “so the law isn’t actually functional. LGBT people are signing civil union contracts and adopting children, but they are not registered anywhere.”
“For example, if one partner adopts the other partner’s biological child, it’s not in the registry that controls all the online systems. So every time that you want to enrol your adopted kid in kindergarten or open their bank account, you have to bring their adoption papers, but it still might not be accepted because it isn’t online.”
The Minister of Justice announced after being elected in 2015 that he would not work on the implementation act, so it is likely to be introduced by members of the Riigikogu (parliament), as the Cohabitation Bill had been. The Eesti Konservatiivne Rahvaerakond (EKRE), the Conservative People’s Party, which has seven MPs, was pushing for the Cohabitation Act to be repealed at the time of the interview. If the implementation act is not passed, the Estonian Human Rights Centre NGO expects same-sex partners to sue the state for failing to enact their rights.
The debate has aroused strong feelings, including conservative bigotry. Just before the law was passed, a conservative demonstration slogan was “aberration must be treated”.
Kristiina described a recent public debate that changed minds: “A top TV discussion show had a group of supporters and opponents, and two Lutheran pastors from different congregations [Lutheran is the main Christian denomination]. The older male pastor was against the law and a female pastor was very supportive.”
“She kept looking at the representative of EKRE who was spewing hateful stuff, and said ‘I’m trying to understand what happened to you, why you are so full of hate and pain?’ Her long comment went viral on Estonian social media. It moved you, whether you’re LGBT or just an intelligent, compassionate human being. Thousands of people sent her thank you letters and flowers.”
“The head of the Lutheran Church said she went against the church policy, but it stirred things up in a good direction. People see how cruel other people can be and think ‘LGBT people need my support’.”
Just under half the population (46%) supports same-sex civil unions, and support for marriage equality has grown to 39 percent. While 52 percent still don’t accept homosexuality, acceptance increased to 41 percent in a 2017 survey. Attitudes are more positive among Estonian than Russian-speaking people, “who tend to consume media from Russia, which is anti-LGBT,” says Kristiina.
Standing for public office
In October, Kristel boosted lesbian visibility by standing for a municipal seat in the capital, Tallinn, on the Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Erakond (Social Democrat) ticket. She was asked to stand by the Social Democrats leader, who had been a panellist in the Pride conference organised by the association’s Education Co-ordinator Maret Ney in July, and wanted more young female candidates who were expert in different fields.
Says Kristel: “We don’t have out LGBT people in the Riigikogu or outside the human rights field, so I decided maybe I will start with myself. Also I’ve been working in the association for five years, so I have some experience. It’s a good starting point if I want to do something more.”
She received 160 votes. Kristiina says: “To think that there are 150 queers or queer supporters in one district is great!”
Fighting through the courts
Kristiina, below left, and her US wife Sarah have also been in the news from a court case against the state denial of Sarah’s residency. “I met Sarah when she was came over for a conference,” she says. “Sarah went back to the States and we went back and forth to see each other a lot, but that meant a three-month visa every time. We got married in the States in 2015, and she moved here.”
The timing of the country’s denial of Sarah’s residency “worked out really well because the Human Rights Centre was looking for an example couple, willing to go public, for strategic court litigation. They paid for the court case and we talked about the case and our relationship to the media.”
“It seems to be working, maybe not legally because the Immigration Office is very stubborn, but people have said to me ‘I saw you on TV and that made it easier for me to come out to my parents’. Or they’ve written ‘I never really cared what’s going on with the law because it doesn’t concern me, but after seeing how much crap the state makes people go through, now I see how horrible our bureaucratic system is and now I support same-sex couples’.”
The pair received overwhelmingly positive feedback, but lost the case in November in the second-level circuit court. They will appeal to the Supreme Court, “So it will go on for a while”. But this wasn’t the only court case Kristiina was involved in.
“While we were in court, Sarah had to go back and forth all the time, which was very financially and emotionally draining. We asked that she be protected while the case was in court, so she could at least stay here. Because the Immigration Office kept appealing, that case went to the Riigikohus (Supreme Court of Estonia), the first case where it could take a stance on same-sex issues.”
“They said that same-sex couples deserved the same protections as any other family. It was symbolic but it didn’t help our main case. There’s still a long way to go.”
The association’s activities
“We run all kinds of events,” says Kristel; “support groups for transpeople, gay Christians, youth, and same-sex parents, fun events like board game and movie nights, and information nights about issues such as the Cohabitation Act. We provide a psychologist, peer-to-peer counselling, and a library, where high school and university students can do research.”
“We educate youth workers and teachers, and are planning to do that with health workers and journalists,” says Kristel, who also works as a high school teacher. “The school curriculum requires acknowledgement of different family forms,” says Kristiina, “but teachers don’t always do it. Our education co-ordinator has been training teachers and going into schools to talk with kids about those things.”
“Some schools are very welcoming, and others say ‘Oh, I’ve never met a gay person, why do you have to come and do this?’” A recent article by Maret, about how many LGBT kids there are in schools, saying teachers need to realise that these kids might be affected by the way teachers talk about LGBT issues, caused a big debate. Says Kristiina: “The conservative Foundation for Defence of Family and Traditions website devoted an episode to her, they called her a paedophile, and she’s received angry and threatening letters, just because she dared to put LGBT and kids in the same sentence.”
“It’s funny because the pundits from the foundation, work somewhere nearby and we see them walking by all the time, so me and my wife we hold hands and walk in front of them.”
The association is funded from gambling taxes; “at the end of the year we don’t know if we’ll get any money for the next year – it’s really difficult,” says Kristel. The association has also received occasional project funding from groups like the Council of Nordic Ministers and the Open Society Foundation, set up by billionaire George Soros to promote inclusive democracies.
Says Kristel: “There are more female LGBT activists, but there are more men out in the LGBT community. But those men who are out don’t contribute to activism. Most of us are lesbian in the association; we have only one man, who is trans. Any field that is underpaid will be mostly women, but especially activism.”
Baltic and Tallinn Pride
Before human rights laws and the LGBT Association, Estonian activists organised an annual Tallinn Pride Parade from 2005 to 2007. In the first year a few hundred people marched, but numbers dwindled. “In the last year opponents got violent and people stopped organising it,” says Kristiina.
The annual Baltic Pride event started in 2009 and rotates between Riga in Latvia, Vilnius in Lithuania and Tallinn in Estonia; “they are small countries without the resources or communities to have Pride every year yet,” says Kristiina. Estonia hosted the event in 2011, 2014 and in July 2017, with Kristiina as project manager.
After two festivals in Estonia without a parade, “people decided it was time to have a parade as well, since it had been ten years”, she says. “We set up Tallinn Pride to run it, while the association organised the festival. We thought if we got 500 people we would have exceeded all our expectations. We got about 2,000 people, which was pretty amazing.”
“We were prepared for opponents – we had security, the police were briefed on the risks. But we only had one Bible-waving lady and a friend, and a couple more who were just ridiculous rather than threatening.”
Most of the Pride events were full or over-subscribed. “The opening night at a cinema had speeches, an exhibition and a movie – we thought we might get 80 people and we got 200. It was so full half the people couldn’t fit in, and people were sitting right under the screen looking up. The first Pride conference was full with just over 100 people.”
“The gender imbalance in activism was really apparent during Baltic Pride,” Kristiina says. “The face of the Pride Parade was overwhelmingly that of young women. Lots of high school students and younger women came out, more than any other group.”
Kristiina is a contributing author and the Instagram co-ordinator for “the only feminist website in Estonia”, Feministeerium or Feministry, which is part of a network of queer-feminist, leftist and anti-fascist groups.
Ladyfest, a grass-roots, international feminist festival in Tallinn, has been organised from the same networks for seven years, rotating between different organisers, including Kristiina. “It’s very queer, feminist, DIY, anti-capitalist”.
Both the women described women’s rights in Estonia as under attack. Estonia’s gender pay gap – 28% – is the worst in Europe.
Kristiina says: “The conservatives were against ratifying the Istanbul Convention; the states that sign it pledge to actively combat violence against women. You would think that’s a good thing, but the conservatives think it’s another ploy to force genderless, homosexual, extreme feminist propaganda on our country and our children, because feminists hate traditional gender roles. Not because they’re toxic and dangerous, but because we want all people to be genderless blobs.” Eventually, Estonia ratified the convention.
EKRE “built their platform on three issues: women are not oppressed and are trying to overthrow men; gays and refugees are bad. The conservatives said that women who are over 27 and haven’t had children are dangerous elements to society” says Kristiina.
She has also been an organiser for Queer Planet, which was started by people at the Anarchist Social Centre. “It’s a contrast to the mainstream male-dominated gay clubs – it’s an anarchist, not transphobic, anti-racist, anti-nationalist, queer party. Lots of queer and non-binary young people come, very few guys.”
We welcome your suggestions of websites, books, films and any other media of interest to lesbians and queer women.
We appreciate the original cartoons provided by Helen Courtney. This one, Flight of fancy, seems to fit particularly well with Media.
It is not only because folk music is a great love of mine that I was excited to be lent a copy of Peggy Seeger’s memoir. Whether or not you know her music or have heard of her activism, this book is an engrossing read about an astounding woman who produced more than 20 folk albums.
Peggy is often written about in relationship to her music and her famous family – composer mother Ruth Porter Crawford and folklorist father Charles Seeger, brothers Mike and half-brother Pete Seeger and first life partner Ewan MacColl. Her life was shaped by this, but she is also a fierce individual. Even if folk music had not been an integral part of her life we may have still been reading about this woman.
In the book, she entwines folk music with travelling on her motor scooter, busking in Moscow, having three children, having four abortions, protesting at Greenham Common, going down a coal mine and more recently undergoing back and intestinal surgery and a mastectomy.
She often comments in the first parts of First Time Ever that “I wasn’t a feminist back then”, but well before the story finishes she can claim feminism, activism and being an eco-environmentalist. Many of her songs such as ‘Gonna be an engineer’ and ‘Carry Greenham home’ became anthems for the feminist movement.
Peggy first met Irene Pyper-Scott in 1964 and they sang together at demonstrations. Irene supported Peggy after the death of Peggy’s first partner Ewan MacColl and says “After Ewan’s death she picked me up, dusted me off and we became more than friends”.
Peggy wrote in the memoir: “I’m not bisexual, I just happen to love a woman. I loved a man.” She describes Irene as “my second life partner”. Irene has made her home in New Zealand in the Marlborough Sounds and Peggy in England.
Peggy has spent her life telling stories of injustice, love, politics and humanity through folk music. She tells the story of her life with soul and beautiful prose. First Time Ever shows that her life has been and is still lived with intensity.
Emma Donoghue is probably most well known for her 2010 novel Room (and the film of the same name, 2015), but she has been publishing, mostly fiction, since the early 1990s.
Her latest work, The Lotterys Plus One is technically a novel for children, and is told mostly from the perspective of a nine-year-old girl, Sumac, the fifth of seven in a family that has four parents: two same-sex couples.
Donoghue has a great imagination – her wide variety of published work is evidence of that – visit her website for details. She has also a great talent for writing in distinctive and unusual voices. Room shows that, as the story unfolds from the viewpoint of five-year-old Jack. So does Hood, a fascinating novel of love and betrayal and hope, told from the perspective of the bereaved partner. Pen, the narrator, knows herself to be the uninteresting, unattractive half of the couple. She is not an unreliable narrator, but she is hugely lacking in self-awareness, as well as lacking in confidence. A different view of her circumstances emerges, with the reader becoming aware that Pen is not as knowledgeable as she thinks she is. Jack is unreliable, given the extremely limited circumstances of his life. Donoghue manages to maintain these voices, consistent and credible in themselves, while unfolding another story for the reader.
She does the same with The Lotterys. It’s an implausible family, with absurd names. Some of the seven children are born to (some of) the parents; some have come from other parents. It’s not really clear who is a biological parent or how the children are related. It doesn’t matter, of course, or it shouldn’t. And partly this is because it’s either not known or not important to Sumac. She is a precocious child (helpful for a writer), but she is also naive, and this perspective, her voice, is maintained consistently through the book. The ‘plus one’ of the title is a grandfather, an estranged and unhappy homophobic father of one of the fathers. The book takes us through both an introduction to the family (useful, because there is a sequel already planned for publication in 2018), and the story of the family dynamics with the introduction of an unwelcome addition.
You don’t have to be or have young children to enjoy this novel. Read and enjoy it; share it with anyone who enjoys good writing and a challenge (not in a difficult way) to think about people differently.
At the time of her death, Marsh had three chapters outlined, and no indication of whodunnit. It had been put aside in 1945, so is set in WWII, and is appropriately complex: multiple characters, various motives, isolated spot (Canterbury). Duffy was asked to complete it …
Season 1 of this original Wellington-based webseries covered the adventures of three lesbian flatmates. Debs, Beth and Mel met weekly over dinner in the first season; you can watch all six episodes on YouTube or TVNZ On Demand.
It was hugely popular and award-winning, and was selected for several festivals. Season 2 launches on December 10, online and in a Wellington screening at the Roxy cinema (4pm; 5 Park Rd, Miramar; $20).
This season is not organised around the dinners, but life, drama – and humour – continue. Debs is working out how to trust in a relationship again, Beth is wrapped up in her romance with Anna, and Mel is left wondering what to do when her friends have moved on without her. Keep up-to-date via the website and Facebook.
Renée was an honoured guest at the launch of her memoir: These Two Hands at the Women’s Bookshop in November. (There had been earlier events in Dunedin and Wellington.)
Unsurprisingly, the majority of the crowd were ‘lesbians of a certain age’, to re-work the phrase. Memories were experienced and shared: Broadsheet, the reviews, the plays, the books, … That made it a noisy crowd, too, so it was helpful to have Hilz start things off. Renée temporarily stopped signing copies of the book. Her publisher Mary McCallum and Carole Beu spoke about Renée’s contribution to feminism, arts (poetry, fiction, plays), and lesbian and feminist communities. And Renée gave us two little snippets (‘patches’) of her time in Auckland. Followed by more of Hilz’ music, and another queue to get more books signed!
The Wellington launch event earlier in the month was part of the Playmarket Accolades event, where Renée received a significant award. Everyone, except Renée, Mary told us, knew who this interesting, imaginative and talented playwright was they were describing; the only person astonished to see face flashed up on the large screen as they announced the name was the winner!
As to the book itself. I come to it from having read all the novels, having seen some of the plays and reviews. Some of these stories are mine, those of friends of mine. Does This Make Sense To You? is still one of the most powerful, painful and hopeful books I’ve read.
I love the format of the book: 88 patches, one for every year of her life. (It started being planned at 86, so you can imagine what would happen if you procrastinate too much about getting a book like this published.) Some are pieces from other works, and have a lovely familiar feel. Some are newly written for this work. The style is friendly, chatty, and has a sense of a real New Zealand voice. One of the consequences of that is you come across brief passages that bring you up short: “I look at twelve-year-olds now and wonder how they’d go working for forty hours a week.”
You can dip in and out, trying – or not – to make order out of the jumbled time. Or you can accept the author’s presentation (and why wouldn’t you?), and read it in order, building up a picture of her life, piece by piece.
How would this work for younger lesbians? Obviously they haven’t lived in the same time; detail of poverty in the 1930s and 1940s is very different from being poor in the 2010s. Other details are different too: prior to publication there was a discussion about whether there needed to be a glossary of terms no longer in use. But much of life’s experiences are universal: absence and presence of parents, emotionally and physically; growing up, understanding identity.
It’s not that there is ‘something for everyone’ in These Two Hands; it’s that there is much, for anyone. Read this book, more than once. Share it with friends. Think about your life, the life of people who are important to you.
You can follow Renée on her website and on Twitter. Listen to her talk with Kim Hill on Saturday Morning. Buy the scripts and read what Playmarket had to say, in awarding her the $20,000 cash prize to a playwright who has made a significant artistic contribution to theatre in Aotearoa.
See Renée speak at 2018 events: the Auckland Pride Festival’s Same Same But Different runs Friday February 9 to Saturday 10 (programme not yet launched). The Wellington Writers and Readers events are Thursday March 8 to Sunday 11 (full programme launch is Thursday February 1).
Information is organised by region (national events first, then north to south, then overseas), then by date.
Thursday 1 PulseArt exhibition opening: OUT and ABOUT, 5-7pm. Artists: Beth Hudson, Cath Head, Fran Marno, Sue Vincent, Maureen Jaggard and Nadia Gush. Garnet Station, Tiny Theatre. 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere. Wine and nibbles, lots of lesbians, good viewing and lively conversations.
Saturday 3-Thursday 15 Random Shagger “A one-hour riot of sex, drugs, song, mime and gallows humour”; written & performed by Andrea Kelland. Tiny Theatre, Garnet Station, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere. 8pm each night except Sunday 4, 6.30pm. Tickets from Eventbrite.
Sunday 4 Dyke Hike 11am. Awhitu Peninsula. We’ll visit a few short walks, the lighthouse and some of the bays of the Awhitu Peninsula. Bring your togs if you feel like swimming. Meet next to the bus stop at the Pukekohe train station (Station Rd, Pukekohe) for carpooling. 4 hours. Grade: Easy (okay in strong walking shoes, not many hills, good tracks). Email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.lesbian.co.nz or the Facebook page.
Sunday 4 Takatapui film showcase Maori, Pasifika and international takatapui LGBTQ films. 11am-6pm, Academy Cinemas, 44 Lorne St, central Auckland. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Sunday 4 GALS sing with pride 3pm, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 3pm. Free; visit Facebook event page for details.
Wednesday 7 Poetry Speakeasy SSBD NZ 6.30-9pm, Leys Institute Library, 20 St Marys Rd, Ponsonby. Free Pride event: speak it slam it recite it read it perform it sing it. Bring your original or favourite LGBTQI poetry to present or come to listen and enjoy in a welcoming word nest. Visit Facebook event page for details and updates.
Friday 9 Opening Gala Same Same But Different Festival 6.30-9pm, AUT, 55 Wellesley St East. Theme: Great Moments in Queer life. Featuring Quinn Eades, Chris Tse, Mani Bruce Mitchell, Hera Lindsay Bird, Anton Blank, Marilyn Waring and Peter Wells. Chaired by Jeremy Hansen, editor of PaperBoy magazine. Visit Facebook event page for details, updates and link for tickets.
Friday 9 Women’s Music 80s Reunion Concert 7.30pm, Dorothy Winston Centre, Auckland Girls Grammar, 14 Howe St, Newton.
Featuring Teresa Trull and Jess Hawk Oakenstar (USA), bands and artists from Aotearoa NZ. Tickets $50/55 from Eventfinda and 0800 BUY TIX.
Saturday 10 Pasifika Superstars (part of Same Same But Different, 9.30-10.30am, AUT. Earlybird and student discounts available. Visit Facebook event page for details, updates and links to tickets.
Saturday 10 TAMS Fun Swim Competition run by the Auckland LGBT swim team, 2.30-5.30pm, Tepid Baths, 100 Custom St West, downtown. Watch out for the dog paddle and other fun relays. Enter your races here and the time you expect to finish them in – 25m, 50m & 100m freestyle, back and breaststroke, 25m & 50m butterfly, and 100m individual medley. (If you don’t know your time, put 1hr and you’ll go in the slowest heat.) $35 entry, plus $45 for following awards dinner across the road at Monsoon Poon.
Saturday 10 Honoured Writer: Renée at SSBD 5.30-6.30pm, AUT. Earlybird and student discounts available. Visit Facebook event page for details, updates and links to tickets.
Saturday 10-Sunday 11 Heroic Garden Festival 10am-5pm both days. Visit Facebook event page for details, and website for tickets (weekend passes, $60; individual gate entries $10 adult and $5 children, gardens permitting; other tour events).
Sunday 11 Big Gay Out Coyle Park, 12midday-7pm. Visit website for details.
Tuesday 13 A Night of Comedy featuring Urzila Carlson and other comedians, a fundraiser for Cure Kids. 7pm, The Classic, 321 Queen St, central Auckland. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Tuesday 13-Saturday 17 Fala Muncher Definition of Fala Muncher (plural fala munchers): A derogatory term which refers to the act of a female of pacific descent partaking in the licking and eating of another woman’s Fala. Welcome to our world! Four beautiful solo performances. Basement Theatre, 7pm each night. Visit iTicket for booking details.
Wednesday 14 aLBa Random Shagger – a performance with Hilary King and Andrea Kelland, directed by Deb Filler. aLBa have booked all seats ($20 ticket) at the Tiny Theatre, Garnet Station exclusively for aLBa. Reserve your seats asap by emailing us at email@example.com. Tickets are limited. Visit Facebook event page.
Friday 16 Book launch: Pride and Joy 6pm, Women’s Bookshop, 105 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. Author & activist Kathleen Archambeau & her Kiwi wife will be here from San Francisco during Pride to celebrate her delightful book. Celebrate with MP Louisa Wall who features in this inspiring new USA book. Visit website or Facebook event page for details.
Saturday 17 Auckland Pride Parade Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. 7.30pm start. Visit website for details.
Saturday 17 Lick Auckland T H E L O V E C L U B 10pm-3am, Neck of the Woods, 155B Karangahape Rd.
Expect all thing heart-shaped. $10 before 11pm, $15 after 11pm. Please arrive early as there will be lines due to Pride Parade.
Sunday 18 Coffee & Stroll. 10am, meet for coffee at The Tearooms at Shamrock Cottage (historic building), 73 Selwyn Rd, Cockle Bay; 10.30am, a stroll on Howick Beach (tide permitting) and/or along Marine Parade – clifftop with views.
Sunday 18 PRIDE Thanksgiving service 7-9pm, St Matthew-in-the-City, 187 Federal St (corner of Wellesley & Hobson Sts). The Auckland Rainbow Community Church (ARCC) has been meeting at St Matthew-in-the-city for over 30 years. They will have members of “Akakoa te aha”, readings, a message from a significant New Zealander and singing by the totally amazing, authentic and inspiring American counter tenor Mikah Meyer. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Sunday 18 Lady Bird, a film by Greta Gerwig, 7.45pm, Lido Cinema, a fundraiser for Auckland Feminist Action and the Auckland Women’s Centre. All genders welcome. Tickets available from Eventfinda. “Greta Gerwig has created a character rarely seen onscreen: a young girl who loves herself.”
Wednesday 28 Public Consultation on Women’s Rights Treaty (CEDAW) an open forum consultation for women in regard to CEDAW, facilitated by the Commission’s staff. Human Rights Commission, 41 Shortland St, 7th floor, central Auckland. 12midday-2pm; free, registration required for catering. Visit Eventfinda for details.
Saturdays Rainbow Warriors women’s softball team play in the local league at Resthills Park in Glenview, either at 1pm or 3pm, depending on the draw. Check their Facebook page.
First Saturday of the month: Pink Drinks hosted by Hamilton Pride Aotearoa. From 6.30pm, Cook Street Social, 7 Cook St.
Go to Facebook event page for dates & details.
Thursdays Social dodgeball for takatāpui and LGBTIQ+ people Nau mai haere mai! Folks of all dodgeball abilities are welcome and a gold coin koha is appreciated. 6.30-7.30pm, University of Waikato Faculty of Education Gym just off Gate 4, 213 Hillcrest Rd. See the Facebook page.
Be part of Hamilton Pride and Friends in the Auckland Pride Parade Waikato area lesbian and queer women are invited to join this Waikato LGBTT walking float in the Auckland parade. Family members and young people are particularly welcome. Dress in Waikato colour and RSVP to the Waikato Lesbian Social Group, firstname.lastname@example.org and see the Facebook event page.
Sunday 4 Lesbian Social Group enjoys Gourmet in the Gardens, 4-8pm, Rhododendron Lawn, Hamilton Gardens, Cobham Dr, Hamilton. The event is free. Look for the rainbow banner, bring a chair and a picnic or buy from the stalls, and enjoy lesbian duo Daughters of Ally.
Sunday 11 The Topp Twins Kids Show (part of Hamilton Arts Festival), 2pm. A show for all ages, pricing varies. Visit website for ticket and programme details.
Anytime Self-guided LGBTTI walking tour of 24 historic rainbow locations around Wellington’s waterfront in one hour, free. Start at the former site of Carmen’s Balcony on the corner of Harris and Victoria Sts, now the City Library, walk through Civic Square, onto the waterfront, down to Bats Theatre and then back to the Michael Fowler Centre via Courtenay Place. Hear short eyewitness accounts at each location with your smart device using the interactive Google Map, or download the mp3 audio before you set off. See the website.
Sunday 4 Turquoise tour: LGBTI rainbow walk tour through Wellington A 90-minute walk tour of the inner city. Most of the walk is on the flat using accessible public footpaths. 1pm, City Gallery, 101 Wakefield St. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Saturday 10 W E L C O M E Q U E E R P A R T Y # 4 10pm-2am. The Fat Angel (upstairs at Eva Beva), corner Dixon & Eva Streets, Te Aro. All night entry $10; student discount $5 with ID. More information at Welcome – Queer Party NZ Facebook page and event page.
Saturday 17 Summer BBQ in the Wairarapa, Rainbow Wellington. Travel by train departing Wellington at 9.55am, arriving Woodside station at 11.02am. You will be met by motor and driven to the venue. Return will be by train departing 5.18pm arriving Wellington 6.25pm. Super Goldcards can be used on this route. Driving options also available. Bring food (either meat/sausages or salad or a dessert); drinks (your own wine/beer or soft drinks); bathing costume, towel and old shoes/sandals to wear in the river (gravel under foot); sun hat and sun screen. RSVP to email@example.com by Wednesday 14.
Friday 23 Carterton Pink Drinks All welcome, friendly crowd. 6.30pm, in the main bar or the room by the garden bar of the Buckhorn, Carterton, off High St at the north end of town, near the roundabout on Memorial Square. You can get snacks and meals and the usual range of drinks/coffees. Email Kerry firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 24 Out in the Park Free Rainbow event, 11am–4pm, Waitangi Park, 107 Cable St, city. See the Facebook event page.
Sunday 25 ‘Disrupting the male gaze: NZ women artists & female representation’ 2-3pm, Katherine Mansfield House and Garden, 25 Tinakori Rd, Thorndon. Join a talk from Kirsty Baker, PhD candidate whose doctoral research concerns the position of women within New Zealand’s written art history, on the representation of women in New Zealand’s art landscape. This talk connects with the current exhibition, Reflections: New Zealand Women in Art. Note, museum entry fee applies. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Sunday 25 Rainbow Elders Panel facilitated by InsideOUT volunteers Maggie Shippam and Rosie Leadbitter, with panellists Prue Hyman, Mani Bruce Mitchell, Georgina Beyer, and others about the struggles that gained the rights we have now. 2-4pm, level 1, 19 Tory St, city. See the Facebook event page.
Sunday 25 Special Wellington Pride Festival Ballroom and Latin Night Julian and Richard from DSW swimmers teach salsa basics, followed by short refreshment break and Heta from DANSS will teach basic cha cha cha. Refreshments, koha. 7-9pm, upstairs, Thistle Hall, corner of Cuba and Arthur Sts, city. See http://www.danss.org.nz/
Monday 26-Sunday March 4 Wellington Rape Crisis 2018 Annual Appeal Week Volunteer collectors wanted. For more information, and other fundraising ideas, visit Facebook event page.
Tuesday 27 LBGTI+ in Education Forum hosted by Rainbow Wellington; 5.30-7.30pm, St Andrews on The Terrace. Speakers include David Pegram, Deputy Principal at Newlands College; Tabby Besley, National Co-ordinator InsideOut; Kirsty Farrant, Rainbow Co-ordinator, PPTA Head Office plus three students. Details from website or Facebook.
The Tasman Lesbian Connection (TLC) sends a monthly email of events in the area, Nelson and Motueka in particular. Contact email@example.com to go on the mailing list or for more details of any events.
There’s currently no-one co-ordinating activities for Nelson potluck dinners or brunches. Do contact TLC if you can help with regular – or one-off – events.
Friday 16-Sunday 18 Trip to D’Urville Island Fishing charter, walking, kayaking. Can do dive charter as well. Suitable for children and elderly relatives to come along. Accommodation has been booked, so RSVP to book a bed and arrange payment.
Sunday 25 Brunch, Motueka from 11am. TOAD Hall, Lower High St.
The Lambda Trampers and Lambda Lattes are mixed social tramping and walking groups for lesbians and gays living in and around Christchurch, and their friends.
Friday 2-Sunday 4 Womyn’s Summer Camp Reunion Remember those summer camps in the 1980s around Christchurch – Waipara, Staveley, Loburn? A reunion at Geraldine South Canterbury. Catch up with old friends, rebuild our sense of community at a different stage of our lives. Bring your photos, videos, memories, songs …
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call 021 107 3937 or 03 382 0580 for details and to be invited to join the private Facebook event.
Monday 5 Gay drinks 7pm, The Cuban, 236 St Asaph St. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Thursday 18-Sunday 21 (4 shows) The Topp Twins, 6pm, part of the World Buskers Festival, ticket suggested price $40-50. Visit website for details and ticket sales.
Thursday 18-Saturday 27 (10 shows) Unacceptable, 9.30pm or 8.30pm, part of the World Buskers Festival, ticket suggested price $25-45. Visit website for details and ticket sales.
Saturday 3 Wild Women annual picnic and walk, all lesbians and queer women welcome. From 12noon, Karitane Reserve; park opposite the Boating Club and look out for the rainbow flag. Bring food to share, drinks, togs and any beach playthings. Contact Ann if you need a ride or can offer transport from Dunedin, email@example.com or 022 133 9529.
February 2-29 96 Festival multiple LGBTQ+ theatrical events, including one by Pākehā Londoner Stella Duffy (website, Twitter): Learning to Swim in the Abyss (A Live Improv Death Show).
February 3-28 OUTing the Past 2018The 4th National Festival of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans History 11 dates & locations across the UK, including 2 in London. Programmes for each hub available from the website.
February 10-March 11 London Klezmer Quartet Australian tour (VIC, NSW, QLD and ACT).
Details of venues, dates & times, and booking information on their website.
February 16-March 4 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras A spectacular programme of events; visit the website for details.
February 26-March 26 The Ingénue Redux 25th anniversary tour comes to the United States. Visit the Facebook page for details of 19 events from late February to late March.