What was happening in September? Here’s our Mahuru – everything neatly collated in one handy page!
New booklet for parents
Government Rainbow Conference in Auckland
Women’s Studies Conference in Wellington
Auckland’s PulseArt still going strong
Are we there yet? Feminism at the Auckland Museum
Buzzed about Hamilton Pride
Out for 41 years in Palmerston North
Val McDermid coming to Dunedin
Queenstown goes rainbow for Winter Pride
OUTLine, the national free phone service for Rainbow people and their whānau, has just produced a booklet for parents of queer, gender diverse or questioning children.
Called Community embrace parents, the eight-page booklet includes information for caregivers whose children are questioning their gender or sexuality, or who have come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
The booklet emphasises the importance for children of their parents’ unconditional love, and includes a list of online groups and resources, as well as face-to-face support, largely in Auckland.
OUTLine Manager Duncan Matthews says the booklet is a response to the large proportion of calls the service receives from parents and caregivers around the country whose children are questioning their sexuality or gender or who have come out.
The booklet was developed with Holding Our Own and Drum Beat, Auckland-based organisations by and for parents and whānau of LGBTQ and gender diverse children, respectively. Download Community embrace parents here.
The organisers of what is being called New Zealand’s first joint government agency Rainbow Conference invite presentations from Rainbow community organisations and stakeholders.
The conference describes its kaupapa as “Working with partners to ‘move from tolerance to inclusion’” and will be held on Thursday and Friday 8-9 November at Jet Park Auckland Airport Hotel and Conference Centre at Mangere in Auckland (please note new venue).
The conference arose after members of the Cross Agency Rainbow Network (CARN) recognised a gap in training, development and networking among public sector agencies on Rainbow issues, says Inspector Tracy Phillips. Tracy is the Police Rainbow Connections Diversity Liaison Officer in Tāmaki Makaurau, and stood for the Auckland Pride board in 2017.
Non-government agencies and support networks also had no forum to engage with regulatory and government agencies, she says.
Theresa Peters, Corrections Regional Manager Diversity, says Tracy and Theresa “started driving the idea in CARN of holding a conference that brought public-facing government agencies together with non-government organisations specialising in Rainbow issues”.
“It’s about sharing the work being done so it is genuine, sustainable and visible,” she says. The conference will also challenge government agencies “to think differently for different results, and create better working relationship for a safer and more inclusive society.”
Theresa expects the bulk of participants to be from government agencies, including Police, Corrections, Customs, fire and ambulance services, crown enterprises, the health sector, human resources managers, senior advisors and policy makers. “We are expecting 200 people, and 50 of these places will be reserved for stakeholders and Rainbow community members.”
The draft programme includes an ‘introduction about us’ section for LGBTQI sector stakeholders to talk briefly about what they do. Each presentation, including questions is planned to take 25 minutes.
Invited groups include the NZ AIDS Foundation, Rainbow Youth, the Prostitutes Collective, OUTLine, the Human Rights Commission and Body Positive, among others. “We also intend a question and answer panel session with Rainbow stakeholders,” says Theresa.
When asked whether the organisations would accept presentations from groups critical of Police, Corrections or other government policies, she said: “We are committed to having a better understanding of the diverse communities we serve to ensure that we treat them with dignity and respect. We will consider all organisations who put forward a presentation that aims respectfully to inform and support government agencies about how they work and collaborate with the Rainbow community.”
The deadline for 600-word proposals for presentations from Rainbow groups is Tuesday September 18; email them to email@example.com. Organisers say the conference is an opportunity for Rainbow organisations to showcase their work, to challenge the thinking of state sector agencies, and help them to improve their service to Rainbow communities.
Registrations for the conference open in the first week of September – email Shaughan@SDWevents.co.nz JR
The programme for the Women’s Studies Conference on September 21-23 is up on the website, and features lots of of lesbian, queer female and feminist presenters. On Tuesday 4 there were only eight places left, so get in now before registrations close on September 14.
Speakers include musician and NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly, Professor of Indigenous Studies Linda Nikora, and historian Barbara Brookes.
Session topics include plurisexual-identified women, the Canterbury quakes, abortion, aging, health, pay equity, porn, memes, online abuse, flourishing after violence, self-defence, Asian women, young Māori mothers, highschool feminism, sex work, film and history.
There’ll be a performance of feminist songs by the Feisty Feckin’ Full-time Feminists, and workshops by the Charlotte Museum and about memes against misogyny. Panels will discuss Asian women since poll tax, and women artists, among other topics.
Auckland based PulseArt was formed in 1999, and although one of the original four lesbians is still a member, there are still four lesbian artists in the group.
“We wanted greater lesbian visibility,” they say, “and to exhibit together in a comfortable and safe space.”
Their next exhibition is in Devonport, Depot Artspace, 28 Clarence St, from October 4 to 24. “Potpourri” is a mixture of colours, fragrances, ‘herstories’, and issues. Go and see new works from Fran Marno, Beth Hudson, Sue Marshall, and Cath Head.
Are We There Yet? – Auckland Museum’s women/feminism exhibition
A reasonably broad, although very Auckland-focussed, exhibition is at Auckland Museum (free entry for Auckland residents) until October 31.
Lesbians are visible although not always identified.
If you were a teenager or adult in the 1960s on, you will see elements of your herstory. If you are newer to Aotearoa New Zealand, or are younger, there may well be new information.
Watch the video of the Auckland Writers Festival session (45 minutes) where panel members spoke to an element of the exhibition that inspired them. The ‘Venus Envy’ series of podcasts are linked from the museum page, including the daughter and (lesbian) mother conversation (42 minutes).
Hamilton Pride committee chair, Rhiannon Bond, says Pride Week from September 1–9 has generated a high level of interest on social media, more sponsorship from businesses than ever before and the most events in its ten-year history.
“We expect our venue to be full for the Mx Fountain City competition on Friday 7. Every event is slightly different, and there’s something for everyone to get excited about.”
A lot of women have registered online for the Lip Synch competition before a dance party on Saturday 8, organised by queer women’s softball team Rainbow Warriors. See the festival Facebook page for other women-oriented Pride events.
Pictured are members of Hamilton’s GLOW singers and the cutting of the cake at the Pride Preview on Saturday 1. Photos by Rosie Jones. JR
The first event to be advertised for MaLGRA’s 41st anniversary is a women’s dinner and dance on Saturday October 13. Says contributor Hilary Oxley: “We are hoping for lesbians and other womyn from far and wide – we know of old friends coming from Auckland, the South Island, Australia and hopefully Ireland and England!”
The Manawatu Lesbian and Gay Rights Association was founded in 1977 and is one of the longest-running such organisations in the country.
MaLGRA life member Gael Field, who worked behind the bar at club events for many years, is helping organise the event, which runs from 6pm to midnight at Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science & History, 326 Main St, Palmerston North. Tickets cost between $5 and $35, and can be requested by Messenger on the Facebook event page.
Tickets for the dinner and dance are $40 (well waged), $30 (low-waged) or $25 (students); the dance only costs $20/$10/$5, and tickets can be bought at Munch in the Eatery at Downtown between Broadway and Main St, the Palmerston North Women’s Centre, 53 Waldegrave St, or requested by Messenger on the Facebook event page.
The dinner starts at 6pm with live music, and the dance from 8pm, with spot prizes.
Hilary, a long-time member of the Manawatu Lesbian Support Group which usually met at the MaLGRA club rooms, is co-ordinating a Lesbian Display and Discussion from 2-5pm at Te Manawa, open to the public. It will include “projected images, largely by Tighe Instone, of the many art and craft exhibitions, shows and cabarets we put on every year from 1999 to 2006,” she says.
Other MaLGRA celebrations are planned for the preceding and following weekends. JR
There was considerable excitement in lesbian, as well as literary and academic, circles in August when it was announced that the Scottish creator of lesbian journalist Lindsay Gordon (as well as many other memorable characters) has been appointed Visiting Professor at Otago University.
Val has made several visits to Aotearoa, and was an overseas guest, by Skype, to the samesame but different writing festival (part of Auckland Pride) in 2017. “Why lesbians make great crime writers” was her topic, in case you were wondering.
The role of Visiting Professor of Scottish Studies and Crime Fiction will have Val at Otago for eight weeks in each of the three years 2019 to 2021. She will mentor postgraduate students in the Scottish Studies and creative writing programmes, and contribute to undergraduate courses in Scottish Studies, crime fiction and creative writing, as well as giving a number of public lectures and readings. Fingers crossed that some of those latter events will occur outside Dunedin.
Otago’s press release has additional comments from eminent writers and academics about the appointment, including Stella Duffy.
Also see “Professor Liam McIlvanney welcomes bestselling crime writer Val McDermid to the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, August 2010”, approx. halfway down the page.
Queenstown has more rainbows than ever leading up to Winter Pride in the first nine days of September, according to organiser Martin King.
“The Pride flags went up on the Earnslaw today, they’re on buildings everywhere. In a big city you expect it, but the whole town looks like that.” Queenstown taxis have rainbow-covered vans, the Pride buses have arrived to carry skiers to the slopes, and the rainbow Shotover Jet has been seen on the river.
“There are record levels of ticket sales for Winter Pride, a number of our events are sold out and several are close to selling out. The numbers of women coming has remained really strong, picking up in the last few days.”
Eighty-five local businesses have signed the Pride Pledge, agreeing to use their voice and influence “to support visibility, safety, tolerance, love, diversity and inclusion of all LGBTTQ+ people”. Signatories include most of the big tourism operators and businesses, Martin says.
“Wakatipu High School has a Pledge ceremony during Pride with our patron the Mayoress presenting certificates at the assembly, and students have organised a mufti day to raise funds for Spectrum, Queenstown’s LGBTQIA+ club for people aged 15 to 24.”
“The rainbow police car has been driven all the way from Auckland to attend Pride in the Park, the high school, ski days on the mountain and the community day at the ice arena. It’s an eight-day commitment by the police, because they have to drive all the way back.” See the website, the Winter Pride Facebook page, or download the updated full schedule. JR
Ōpōtiki Deputy Mayor Lyn Riesterer has a long chat with Jenny Rankine.
Lyn has lived in many parts of Aotearoa. She was born in Invercargill when her Pākehā dad was general manager of the YMCA for seven years. The family moved to Auckland and then Ōpōtiki, where she went to high school. She played five sports at regional representative level in Auckland, Manawatu and Canterbury – hockey, volleyball, soccer, cricket and she played in the first women’s rugby representative game (Manawatu vs Hawkes Bay in 1980; Lyn’s on the left). Later she became a hockey umpire and a PE teacher in Palmerston North, Christchurch (below), London and Ōpōtiki from 1981 to 2002.
Lyn’s mother has whakapapa from Whakatōhea, one of three iwi around Ōpōtiki, and Lyn says she was brought up Pākehā. “Mum was of the generation that was punished for speaking in te reo at school, and we only spoke English at home.” Ōpōtiki College didn’t offer Māori as a subject when Lyn was there; instead she learnt French.
“I’ve taken a year of te reo lessons, but learning a language is very difficult for me,” she says. She feels that she has “absorbed a lot of tikanga since moving to Ōpōtiki”.
Local body politics
Lyn was the third in her family involved in local body politics. Her dad was Mayor of the Ōpōtiki District Council for 12 years. Her middle brother Bryan was also a district councillor and former Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor, while her older brother Graeme is chair of their Ngāti Patumoana hapū and of the Whakatōhea Pre-settlement Claims Trust.
“When I’d been back home for seven years, I had a conversation with my dad about there being a place for more women as well as Māori on the council. His reply was that I hadn’t been home for long enough.”
“Dad mentored John Forbes (the current mayor) and John put my training wheels on,” says Lyn. She stood for the council in 2013, receiving the second-highest vote count of 547 in her ward.
“I stood because I felt I had a strong woman’s voice and there was only one other woman out of seven. In 2013 two Māori women stood at the same time and we both got in. We’re not quiet women, we speak up,” she says. In 2013 was the first time the council has been half Māori and half female – “there’s no other council like it. The CEO, who’s a woman, says it’s made such a difference”.
Lyn is pictured on the right in Port Lincoln, South Australia, with some of her colleagues in a 2014 visit investigating aquaculture.
In 2016 Lyn was re-elected unopposed, and in 2017, she resigned her job as Gateway Co-ordinator for Ōpōtiki College, helping students with career choices and arranging training and work experience.
Unlike the bigger centres, local body councillors in Ōpōtiki are “independent, not aligned to political parties”. The mayor picks their deputy and Forbes picked her after that election.
“It’s a very robust group, we don’t always agree but we respect each other and work very well together.” The population of the council region is around 60 percent Māori, she says.
All members of the Coast Community Board are currently Māori, she says. The board territory stretches from Opape to Cape Runaway, across Ngai Tai and Te Whānau ā Apanui areas, and is the only board in the council region.
We asked about her opinion of Māori wards, which were voted down in a Whakatane District Council referendum in February by 55 percent against to 44 percent in favour.
Lyn pointed out that the decision was much closer than the previous vote in 2007, when 70 percent of participating voters were against the idea. “That showed that more people saw the need to hear a Māori voice.” She’s ambivalent about the idea of Māori wards.
“It’s really important for an iwi voice to be listened to, but it’s also really important for Māori to stand as council members. The proportion who vote in council elections is very low, although in Ōpōtiki the proportion is higher. Down the East Coast the proportion is very, very low, but we still get Māori on the community board.”
“It’s really shocking when a council recognises the need for a Māori voice and people have read very racist voices. The rhetoric can be quite hateful; it shows who’s in your communities in their best and worst light. It’s a numbers game – Māori are in the minority – but I think things will change.”
“I wanted to be involved in the harbour development. That’s what’s so exciting about aquaculture – Whakatohea has a mussel farm and the council is working on a harbour transformation to get a river port for mussel barges.”
Lyn is a member of the Ohiwa Harbour Implementation Forum, and is a voluntary member on the Whakatohea environment committee. “The iwi and the council are working side by side for economic development.”
“I’ve always stood up for what I felt was the best decision for the community – even if I’m arguing from a minority viewpoint and trying to change the consensus. “When we’re given a problem to solve I like looking at all the arguments for and against. I like reading the reports.”
She gives the example of rubbish collection. The council consulted on a contentious 10-year waste collection plan, about how much would be recycled and how much would go to landfill. “We were collecting recyclables in plastic bags on the kerb, which were always getting ripped open.”
“The council philosophy was zero waste, but most councillors wanted to stick with the status quo. I argued against that and changed their minds. So we’re using compostable bags for recycling and changing to small wheelie bins in 2020.
Ōpōtiki is unique because the “rate take is very small because there is so much Department of Conservation estate”, almost 60 percent. Much Māori-owned land is non-productive and doesn’t pay rates, and some landowners get rates remissions to enable them develop it economically.
Lyn plans to stand for the mayoralty in 2019, as John Forbes has said he won’t stand again. “I’ll be campaigning on the continuity of good leadership.” Lyn says her sexual identity “wasn’t an issue when I stood for council, it’s never been. Maybe when I stand for mayor.”
Lyn knew she loved women when she first fell in love at 22. She came out to her whānau in the 80s when she was 26, living with an Australian woman in Christchurch, “and my parents were coming to stay. All of my friends said not to do it but I wrote to them saying that we weren’t just friends. I’d never lied, but I felt that this was part of my life I wasn’t being completely honest about with my family.”
“The New Zealand Hockey Association paid for me to train as an umpire in the Netherlands and during my three months there I popped across to England. I met my previous partner, fell in love and lived there from 1989.”
“I got very homesick and came back in 1999 to see if we could live here. She couldn’t and I knew I had to stay. I’d had a long time away and I felt my family didn’t know me as an adult.”
“I broke off the relationship, and then I met Kate. I thought it was very unfair of the gods that I fell for another English woman. Kate was leaving the country in early 2000 and I asked if she’d live with me here.”
“It never bothered my brothers; mum and dad had parental objections quite different from each other. It wasn’t an issue until I moved back to Ōpōtiki, where dad was still mayor. I asked him whether it would be a problem.”
“My parents are very supportive, mum in a very private way. Mum said that nobody needed to know, but that wasn’t going to happen.”
“In Ōpōtiki people notice that you’re a couple. Students would ask ‘Hey Miss, is she your partner?’” They just wanted to know, Lyn says, and it wasn’t an issue with students. “Kids on the supermarket checkout have seen us buying groceries together for 19 years.”
The pair ran the Driftwood Dreamers business for six years until the 2010 economic recession, offering “soft adventures” tours for small groups of women around Aotearoa. Lyn was the guide and driver – “great job, loved it” – and Kate was administrator and webmistress.
“It made a huge difference to the whānau when we had our civil union 12 years ago. The civil union was overwhelmingly supported by locals. We had a celebration dinner at the marae, and asked the college kapa haka group to cater as a fundraiser. The deputy principal asked all the parents first and got unanimous agreement. They did a powhiri for guests and kapa haka items – it was a huge thrill for the Pākehā half of the family who hadn’t been on a marae.”
Kate gets Lyn to fill in the backstory. “The Ngāti Patumoana marae, Waiaua, was booked in January for the April event, but 12 days before the chair of the trust said that we couldn’t hold it there because ‘people like you’ shouldn’t get married. The marae committee disagreed, but he made a unilateral decision. I pushed him until he banned us.”
“I whakapapa to several marae in Ōpōtiki and approached Opape – they said yes and were very supportive. The Tuesday before the civil union, the New Zealand Human Rights Commission were meeting on that marae, and the chair thanked the hapū for hosting them and noted that they were making history by being the first marae to host a same-sex civil union.”
Lyn says that Opape was one of the few marae where the whare nui (meeting house) is named after a female ancestor, Muriwai. “It ended up being the right fit.”
“We were very hurt and angry by the refusal of Waiaua”. Kate adds: “Lyn couldn’t be the person she was on her turangawaewae.”
Lyn says: “That hurt wasn’t acknowledged for some time. It took us a long time to go back to Waiaua – we used to help out in the kitchen with our cousins. A lot of cousins from that marae had to decide if they’d come to the ceremony – some did, some didn’t.”
Kate is a self-employed graphic designer, with years of experience in London publishing firms, and is involved in several Ōpōtiki area arts organisations, including Arts on Tour as well as the Motu Challenge committee, organising a multisports event.
Lyn was a New Zealand board member for the AFS for eight years. “We hosted two daughters in 2016, one from the Netherlands and one from Quebec, a wonderful experience”, Lyn says. The pair “always have people to stay”, including many members of Kate’s family and lots of Workaways (a work for accommodation scheme), who help her in the garden.
For some years they have satisfied their taste for comedy by running an annual spoof of the stereotype of a Country Women’s Institute garden party for women friends (no kids or partners), complete with frocks and handbags and a different theme each year. One of their friends calls it a service for women in the area.
To kick things off, Kate plays the bossy, megalomaniac president, Felicity Fotherington-Farquarhar, and Lyn plays the sidekick secretary, who changes each year. Kate says: “We make complete tits of ourselves at the beginning to create an environment for women to let their hair down and play silly buggers.”
Photo of Church St, Opotiki by Ulrich Lange, from Wikipedia.
Takatāpui woman Hamie Munroe has been one of the mainstays of Hamilton’s weekly Rainbow access radio show, the Flat Out Pride hour, broadcast on Fridays at 5pm on Free FM 89.0 Independent Community Media, and on demand. She spoke with Jenny Rankine.
Hamie (front) and the other long-term volunteer, gay man Phoenix Adamson (back), have just welcomed two new members, Krysta (left) and Jaimie Veale, and look forward to the new approaches they’ll bring to the programme.
Hamie, of Ngati Maru and Te Aupōuri, Irish and Scots descent, has volunteered with Flat Out Pride for nine years.
“I was approached by Geoff Rua’ine who wanted to pass the mantle over, although I had no previous experience in radio. It was exciting to connect with a new learning and able to promote and empower the community in a new way.”
“I had to put myself out there in a way I hadn’t done before. People hear my voice but don’t see my face, and it’s taken me to lots of pride parties, parades, fundraisers and events supporting all the colours of our rainbow community; this part I love too!”
Flat Out Pride includes a mix of interviews, music shows, hot topics, comedy, Rainbow readings, all music, news and events, and coming out stories. Its tagline is ‘news, views and interviews for and about our community’.
They describe the community with the acronym “GLITTQFAB – Gay, Lesbian, Intersex, Takatāpui, Transgender, Queer, Fa’afafine (Samoan), Akava’ine (Cook Islands), Bisexual and all the fabulousness in between”.
“We like to rotate different topics – we don’t want it to be mundane or repetitive. We try to have interviews every month with people from the community, and Rainbow reading hours with queer and Rainbow writers.”
We run coming-out stories from across the globe, international and national news and events, and play clips from queer comics. At the end of every show we update ‘what’s hot and happening’ for the coming weekend”.
“I personally promote Te Reo Maori and Māori events and kaupapa relevant to Rainbow communities – the most recent was Matariki.” Hamie attends the biennial Hui Takatāpui run by the NZ AIDS Foundation, and promotes the Pacific Love Life Fono every intervening year.
“There’s youth summits, junior and senior Kapa Haka, and the Tainui annual Koroneihana (coronation) commemorations. We celebrate NZ Music Month with artists that interest our community. Sometimes we’ll interview people at the Big Gay Out during Auckland Pride. We try to get involved with community events as much as possible, not just in the Waikato.”
Flat Out Pride also deals with hot topics in the community, and Hamie believes it’s important to “talk about the hard stuff. For example, our transgender whānau who don’t have equal status, how is that for them in prison, at work, how is the government ensuring they’re included?”
“Relationship violence, which happens everywhere and has gone on for years – there’s no open dialogue and there’s minimal community support. We have to talk about it whether we like it or not.”
“Youth suicide is a big issue for all colours of the rainbow, especially transgender people and those estranged from their families. Housing, health and mental health services, support for our Rainbow immigrant communities, does it exist? Those issues are vital for the empowerment and growth of our Rainbow communities.
“When she’s asked about the best programmes, the ones she’s most proud of, she says “interviews, hands down. You hear people’s stories, real and true about who they are, and their journey. If people identify with it, great, if not, they learn something new.”
FreeFM 89.0 Independent community media can be heard from Bombay to south of Tokoroa, and from east of Te Aroha to west of Raglan. “It promotes and encourages all parts of our society, irrespective of how you identify culturally, ethnically, or ethically to ‘have your say’.”
Every Flat Out Pride show is available on the following Monday as a podcast from the website and remains available for about six months. Besides the number of Facebook followers, the team’s gauge of their audience is the management’s tracking system and the number of people who click on the podcast link.
The team gets feedback from listeners commenting on their Facebook page, emails asking questions, or suggesting content, interviewees, and music to play. Hamie would love to share interviews with other Rainbow access programmes; “that’s definitely an aim of the FOP whānau as well as finding a sponsor for the show, learning how to plug to international audiences, and hopefully go live at some point.”
Hamie wanted to “give a big shout out to the FreeFM 89.0 management team (General Manager Phil Grey, left, and Programme Director Mike Williams). “They’ve been nothing but supportive of our show, helping us improve our delivery, reach a wider audience, training us to use the technical equipment and processes, and sponsoring gifts and equipment for Hamilton Pride events.”
Hamie, who identifies as Takatāpui, came out at 18. “I spoke to my mother first – I told her while she was driving so she wouldn’t have to look at me, her response was ‘I know’, and I said ‘What?! How come you didn’t tell me!’”
“She said it was up to me to figure it out for myself. ‘All that matters is you’re happy, you’re healthy and you’re safe. You’re my daughter and I love you’.”
“I’m one of the lucky ones that got the best response, I had never heard the worst case scenarios. I wasn’t exposed to any Rainbow people, I lived in a very straight world, so I wondered what the hell was going to happen.”
“It took my mum seven years to be a part of my Rainbow life, be with me around the community and engage in the Rainbow scene. She came with me to the last ever Hero Party in Auckland.”
“She invited herself, arrived with two gay male work colleagues, left them found me among those thousands of people and stuck to me like glue. She wanted to talk to the people who knew me, ask people questions.” Hamie laughs. “It meant I wasn’t getting any ‘sessi’ time that night.”
Hamie is a trainee Sign Language Interpreter, and her day job is as a disability support worker with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. She’s also an apprentice teacher women’s self-defence teachers’ network.
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.
The recent launch of reprinted albums from Fiona Clark’s 1988 photography exhibition Living with AIDS was both “sad and celebratory”, she says. She is pictured below speaking at the launch.
The three books feature photographs of Sherrin English, Peter Warren, Alastiar Hall and Grant Cotter, who all had HIV or AIDs in 1988. Sherrin was the only woman with HIV who was public at the time, and “active in the methadone programme”, says Fiona.
They were pictured at home or work, with friends and family, and their handwritten stories accompany the images. At the time of the exhibition there was no treatment for HIV. “I was amazed at the incredible hysteria and the myths that seemed to be generated about it,” says Fiona. For her, the photos were a response to the lesbian and gay community she was part of.
“There was sadness as well as a sense of joy” at the launch, she says. “People don’t die now and it’s a very different world. Some of the family members and carers from that time turned up – I hadn’t seen them for 30 years.”
“People have been surprised by the books,” she says. “People were quite emotional, and I was too because I had friends who died. It reminded people of the very tough times of that crisis. I was surprised too, because 30 years ago there was no sense of celebration, no relief.”
“People of another generation didn’t know any of that had happened. They had no sense of how it would be to be 20 and lose three friends in one year the same age as you. Now people live with HIV, it’s not a death sentence.”
The original photographs were presented as “oversized albums that you had to touch and turn the pages to read each person’s story,” says Fiona. “They were very intimate and I made only one copy.” Two had photographs and stories and the third had comments about the photos from visitors to the exhibitions. The originals were acquired by Te Papa last summer.
The images were negotiated with the subjects, who also wrote in the albums. “That’s been how I work, really collaboratively with the people I’m photographing; making sure people have an equal say, so it’s not them and the viewer.”
The faces of three of the people are turned away or obscured. “Grant had already lost his flat because he had HIV, and everyone agreed not to put people at risk any further because it was so stressful, they knew they were dying. They’d given so much and I said ‘You don’t have to give any more than you need to’.”
But Peter felt he had less to lose because he was very ill and didn’t know “whether he would be there when the albums were published. He died within six months of the exhibition.”
“I like the one of Peter walking back from the dairy with the bottle of milk (left),” says Fiona. The dairy owner had previously refused to serve him. “That was all Peter could do that day and he gave it to me. I think it comes across in the photograph – the effort of the walk and the ordinariness of it.”
Peter, Alastair, Sherrin and Grant came to the exhibition opening in 1988 at the Dowse Gallery in Lower Hutt. “Discrimination was still rife,” says Fiona. “People hadn’t caught on that it was illegal, they still thought they could discriminate, and they believed you could get HIV from exchanging money from someone with the virus.”
The albums were shown at the 5th International AIDS Conference in Montreal and in Perth in 1989, at the International Candlelight Memorial at Parliament Buildings in 1990, at the Michael Lett Gallery in 2015, and at Artspace in 2016.
Fiona is photographing the changes from the oil and gas industry in the Taranaki landscape where she lives. This continues work she started in the 1970s, which led to the 1980s series Te iwi o te wāhi kore (the people with nothing) about local Māori concern about pollution of the kai moana around the coast after their land had long ago been confiscated.
“Environmental change is far more extreme now, I see climate change all the time in the clouds coming from the production stations and the flaring at night. It’s very difficult to articulate what climate change looks like; I’m trying to image what we’re living amidst here. At 2am you can walk around without any light because the flares are so bright.” Fiona’s photos above are from the Climate Justice Taranaki site.
“I sleep on fracked ground; fracking started in 2005 and I live next to a sleeping volcano. She’s gonna wake up soon, I reckon.”
Living with AIDS was published by Michael Lett, comes in a slip cover and included an essay by David Herkt, which places Fiona’s collaborative and caring images in the context of the hysteria and victim-blaming of the time. They also include a conversation between Fiona and Ron Brownson. The suite of books cost $85 and are available from the gallery website. Jenny R
September 1 – October 31 Are we there yet? asks how far have New Zealand come since we gained the vote? Equal pay, reproductive rights, gendered violence, online trolling, legal rights and body image are all up for discussion. With photos of trailblazers and marches, posters and publications and a short-film directed by Gaylene Preston. Auckland Museum.
Sunday 2 Dyke Hike 11am. Rangitoto Island. We’ll take the ferry over to this rocky volcanic island. The island is covered in mainly pohutukawa with a some great kidney and other ferns. Astelia and other epiphytes grow out of the rocks rather than in the trees, making this forest very different. The walk up to the summit is worth is for great views of the surrounding harbour and city. Bring all the water and food that you need as there is none on the island. Meet at the ferry terminal in time to buy your ticket and catch the 10.30am ferry. 3hrs. Grade: Moderate (boots recommended, expect a few hills and stream crossings are possible, moderate fitness needed). Email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.lesbian.co.nz or the Facebook page.
Monday 3 Launch of the 3Questions report by Auckland Council’s Rainbow Advisory Panel about its consultation for its work plan for the rest of its term. Rainbow community members are invited to provide feedback and help shape the plans. The event includes dinner. 5.30-7.30pm, Council Chambers, Auckland Town Hall, Queen St, city.
Sunday 9 Rainbow NZ Charitable Trust (formerly GABA) fundraising dinner and auction with Helen Clark, MC Michele A’Court, auctioneer Michelle Maitland, and other rainbow entertainment. The event funds community grants, Pride Grants and national tertiary scholarships for LGBTI+ secondary students heading to university. 7-11pm, The Great Room, Cordis Auckland (formerly the Langham), Symonds St, city. Auction items – services, travel, accommodation, artworks, books, wine, hospitality or experiences – from $200 – $10,000 welcome; email email@example.com. An online silent auction app is available for out-of-town bids on the night. Limited tickets available for a VIP cocktail function with Helen from 5.30–6.30pm, including drinks and canapes. Three sponsorship levels, including an A-Reserve table of 10, VIP tickets and levels brand promotion; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Earlybird single seats start from $175; $195 from August 6. Tickets available on the website.
Tuesday 10 10am Deadline for applications from volunteers to facilitate the Auckland Women’s Centre’s 2019 Questioning group. Training provided by Cissy Rock, email Ellie on email@example.com for the job description.
Wed 12 Auckland Lesbian Business Association AGM. New committee members wanted. 6.30pm, Garnet Station, Westmere.
Wednesday 12 Rainbow/LGBTQ+ communities and alcohol: Consultation meeting Hear the results of research about the alcohol and drinking in Rainbow communities; the research team is keen for feedback. Nibbles from 5.30pm, meeting from 6-7.30pm, Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. Register here.
Saturday 15 Auckland Lesbian Business Association dinner, cocktails and music night Three-course dinner at Cotto in K’ Rd, followed by music and cocktails at Anthology Lounge downstairs. $45 per person and cash bar. Numbers are limited; email firstname.lastname@example.org or secure a booking by paying to aLBa’s account 38-9001-0685604-00.
Sunday 16 Coffee & Stroll. 10am, meet for coffee, Honey cafe, 12 Huron St, Takapuna. 10.30am a pleasant 40-minute stroll to Lake House Arts Centre, 37 Fred Thomas Dr, via Auburn Reserve walkway. Alternatively, Takapuna Sunday market, 42 Anzac St. Note, the walkway may be very muddy, so come prepared with suitable footwear, or $$ for the market.
Tuesday 18 – Wednesday October 10 Say So exhibition exhibition celebrating 125 years of women’s suffrage featuring works from the University of Auckland art collection and related to the #metoo movement. Curated by Art History students. Old Government House. See the Facebook event page.
Wednesday 19 What is your feminism? Hear what feminism means for a panel of speakers, and discuss what your feminism looks like! Organised by the Auckland University Student Association Women’s Rights Officer. 5.15-7.15pm, Common space, AUSA, city campus, Symonds St. See the Facebook event page.
Thursday 20 Rainbow YOUTH: Changing Society! Hear Rainbow Youth speakers and meet people from different University of Auckland faculty rainbow groups. Science Building Foyer, building 302, 23 Symonds St. See the Facebook event page.
Friday 21 125:An evening of feminist poetry 6-8pm, 17 Mercury Ln, Auckland Central. Koha entry, food and drink available so please bring cash. All profit in support of Shakti Youth. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Wednesday 26 Queer and trans open mic organised by Breaking Boundaries. Doors open 7pm, performances from 7.30, GridAKL/John Lysaght, 101 Pakenham St West, Wynyard Quarter. Bring cash for koha, homemade snacks and drinks, no eftpos. See the Facebook event page.
Friday 28 Singer/songwriter Sam RB plays Nomad 5 Pt Chevalier Rd, Pt Chev. 5.30-8.30pm. A mix of originals and covers.
Saturday 29 Mosaic workshop Another of the successful workshops led by Natasha and organised by the Charlotte Museum of lesbian culture. All materials available and participants can bring their own. 11am – 4pm, 8 Bentinck St, New Lynn.
Saturday 29 Auckland Roller Derby League versus Hawkes Bay’s Bay City Rollers. These two teams last game was one of the most nail-bitingly close games of the 2017 season. Doors open 4.30pm, game starts 5pm, Glenfield ActivZone, Glenfield, $5 cash on the door, under 12s free. See the Facebook event page
Sunday 30 Ladies in Black fundraising film screening for the Auckland Women’s Centre, based on Madeleine St John’s best-selling coming-of-age novel set in Sydney 1959. The impact of European migration and women’s liberation is about to change Australia forever; a shy schoolgirl takes a summer job at a department store, and meets the “women in black”, who will change her life. 7.45, Lido Cinema, 427 Manukau Rd. Tickets from Eventfinda.
Summer Saturdays Rainbow Warriors women’s softball team play in the local league at Resthills Park in Glenview, Hamilton, either at 1pm or 3pm, depending on the draw. Check their Facebook page.
Thursdays Social dodgeball for Hamilton 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.
Saturday 1 – Sunday 9 10th Hamilton Pride Festival 2018 For all events, see the Hamilton Pride Facebook events page – only some events below.
Saturday 1 Pride preview Hear about what’s on and meet the organisers, plus local drag talent and singers, hosted by Hamie from Flat Out Pride. Free. 11am-1pm, Garden Place, city. See the Facebook event page.
Saturday 1 Opening party 10’s 10’s 10’s across the board! All ages inclusive, hosted by Dakota. Starts 7pm, entertainment from 7.30pm. The Meteor, 1 Victoria St. See the Facebook event page.
Sunday 2 Queer and luscious lesbian movie night with Battle of the Sexes Movie drama about the 1973 tennis match between world number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs, as well as Billy Jean’s fight with homophobia in tennis. $10, organised by Lesbian Social Group. Doors open 5.45pm, movie starts 6pm, Waikato Museum. See the Facebook event page.
Thursday 6 Queer Writers read things, a poetry and prose event open to all, organised by Shaynah Jackson. $5. 7-9pm, Nivara Lounge, Basement, 266 Victoria St. See the Facebook event page.
Saturday 8 Lip Sync Competition and Dance Party for all who identify as women Hosted by Waikato’s only queer softball team, Rainbow Warriors. $5/$2, 7pm, register at RBWs2018@outlook.com or on the night, numbers are limited. Waikato Commerce Club, 197 Collingwood St. See the Facebook event page.
Saturday 8 Suffrage 125 diverse genders and sexualities symposium with researchers, activists, artists, and community groups. 1-3pm, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato, gate 2B, Knighton Rd. See the Facebook event page.
Sunday 9 Pride in the Park Family-friendly picnic day with WaQuY’s ‘Trash 2 Fashion’ wearable arts/fashion show competition and catwalk, face painting, bake sale, sausage sizzle and information stalls. Free. Claudelands. See the Facebook event page.
Sunday 9 Go eco queer Make your own lube workshop, check out the world’s first compostable vibrator, other sex toys, enviromenstrual and eco queer Movement. Run by Jo Wrigley, an out lesbian candidate for the Green Party in 2017. Free. 3-5pm, 188 Commerce St. See the Facebook event page.
Friday 14 Lesbian Social Group dinner 6pm, Babaganush Turkish Restaurant and Cafe, 379-381 Grey St, email email@example.com to book your spot.
Sunday 16 Rainbow Warriors softball muster for the 2018/19 season. You don’t have to join, just throw/hit a few balls, meet the players and find out about the team. 2pm, Resthills Park, John Webb Dr, Glenview, Hamilton.
Saturday 22 Glowsingers choir concert Koha entry, bring some cash for the raffle, and stay for a catchup and cake after the concert. 4pm, Saint Paul’s Collegiate School, 77 Hukanui Road, Hamilton.
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.
‘The Topp Twins – an exhibition for New Zealand 9am-5pm, Monday to Saturday, National Library, corner Molesworth & Aitken Sts, ground floor. Free. See website for more information.
Sunday 2 DANSS same-sex classes for GLBTI people and friends, no partner needed. 7-8pm, beginners Cha Cha Cha and Tango; 8-9pm, intermediate Palma Waltz. Upstairs, Thistle Hall, corner of Cuba & Arthur Sts, Wtn city. See the website or the Facebook page.
Sunday 9 Lesbian Overlanders visit seals on the south coast from Wainuiomata (sorry, no dogs). Bring lunch and a drink as there are no facilities and no toilet. See the DOC brochure about the Turakirae Head Scientific Reserve for information. Coffee afterwards, possibly at La Bella Italia, Petone. Meet outside the front of the Wellington railway station at 10am to car pool, or at 10.20am on the Petone Esplanade opposite the Petone Wharf. Text/ring Lainey 027 303 9006 about travel arrangements.
Sunday 9 DANSS same-sex classes for GLBTI people and friends, no partner needed. 7-8pm, beginners Jive; 8-9pm, intermediate Charmaine. Upstairs, Thistle Hall, corner of Cuba & Arthur Sts, Wtn city. See the website or the Facebook page.
Monday 10 Rainbow/LGBTQ+ communities and alcohol: Consultation meeting Hear the results of research about the alcohol and drinking in Rainbow communities; the research team is keen for feedback. Nibbles from 5.30pm, meeting from 6-7.30pm, executive Suite, Massey University, Wallace Street, Mt Cook, Wellington. Register here.
Friday 14 Rainbow Wellington monthly drinks 5-7pm, S&Ms, downstairs, 176 Cuba St, city.
Friday 14 Coven Party for women and gender minorities, hosted by Hugo Grrl, DJs and live music, 8–11pm, Ivy Bar and Cabaret, 49 Cuba Street, Te Aro, $13-$15, tickets from Eventfinda. See the Facebook event page.
Sunday 16 DANSS same-sex classes for GLBTI people and friends, no partner needed. 7-8pm, beginners Rhythm Foxtrot and Quick Step; 8-9pm, intermediate CCC. Upstairs, Thistle Hall, corner of Cuba & Arthur Sts, Wtn city. See the website or the Facebook page..
Tuesday 18 Rainbow Wellington Pizza/Pasta three-course banquet Vegetarian options available, request when you book. Arrive 6.30pm, serving starts 7pm, Mediterranean Foods, 42 Constable St, Newtown. $40 for Rainbow Wellington members, $50 non-members, includes a glass of wine. Bookings close 12noon, Saturday 15. Reserve places with an online payment to Rainbow Wellington, 03-0566-0164688-000; in Payee include your name and reference “Med Banquet”.
Wednesday 19 Carmel McGlone and Lorae Parry read from Bloomsbury women and the wild colonial girl about Katherine Mansfield’s relationship with Virginia Woolf. 5.30-7pm, National Library, corner Molesworth and Aitken Sts, city.
Thursday 20 – Saturday 22 Rocky Horror Drag Show An an outrageously sinful, genderbent reinterpretation of a cult classic. Best dressed prizes. 8-10pm, the Fringe Bar, 26 Allen St. Tickets $20 from Eventfinda. See the Facebook event page.
Friday 21 Screening of two feminist documentaries about women’s work, introduced by the directors – the 1982 short film Even dogs are given bones by Kanya Stewart (Dyke Productions/Auckland Women’s Community Video) about women workers’ occupation of the Rixen clothing factory in Levin; and the 2018 short film Minimum directed by Kathleen Winter (left) about women who work low wage, precarious or under-appreciated jobs in Aotearoa. With Jan Logie, Acting Minister for Women and Grant Robertson, Associate Minster for Arts, Culture and Heritage. 7.30pm, Beehive Theatre, in association with #directedbywomen and the Women’s Studies Association/Pae Akoranga Wāhine Conference. RSVP acceptances only to firstname.lastname@example.org by 7 September.
Friday 21-Sunday 23 Women’s Studies Association / Pae Akoranga Wāhine conference: Feminist Engagements in Aotearoa: 125 Years of Suffrage and beyond Hosted by Victoria University of Wellington/Te Whare Wānanga o Te Ūpoko o Te Ika a Māui Rutherford House, Victoria University Pipitea Campus, central Wellington. Details on website.
Sunday 23 Charlotte Museum comes to Wellington 9-10.30am, a pop-up display, 2 films and a performance. Rutherford House, Victoria University Pipitea Campus, in association with the Women’s Studies Association / Pae Akoranga Wāhine conference. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Sunday 23 DANSS same-sex classes for GLBTI people and friends, no partner needed. 7-8pm, beginners Rumba and Waltz; 8-9pm, intermediate the Tangoette with Sarah and Ekiran. Upstairs, Thistle Hall, corner of Cuba & Arthur Sts, Wtn city. See the website or the Facebook page.
Wednesday 26-November 7 Expressive Life Drawing class with Sian Torrington. A six-week drawing adventure, 6-8pm, Vincent’s Art Studio, Willis St (no class Oct 10). $245, including all materials and model fees. See the class website and email Sian email@example.com.
Thursday 27 Male Tears: A Poetry Show Poetry from badass and bitter female-identifying people and queers. Hosted by Hugo Grrrl and Poetry in Motion Wellington. 7.30pm, Fringe Bar, 28 Allen St, Te Aro, $5. See the Facebook event page.
Sunday 30 Book your ticket by October 1 on on the Facebook event page to the MALGRA women’s dinner and dance on Saturday October 13 in Palmerston North (below) and be in the Early Bird Draw for a meal for two at Munch, delicious food to the value of $40!
Sunday 30 Wellington Feminist Poetry Club Sunday poetry workshop – The green light, with Courtney Rose Brown – getting rid of that critical voice in your head and letting the creative one flow. Koha $5-$20. 2pm, the Fringe Bar, 28 Allen St, Te Aro. See the Facebook event page.
Sunday 30 DANSS same-sex classes for GLBTI people and friends, no partner needed. 7-8pm, DANSS 2018 AGM. 8-9pm, intermediate revision. Upstairs, Thistle Hall, corner of Cuba & Arthur Sts, Wtn city. See the website or the Facebook page.
The Christchurch Women’s Centre keeps a diary of events in Christchurch and elsewhere on their Lesbian Support (now “Rainbow Support”) page. Check events on the Christchurch LGBT social events page. 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.
Tuesday 11 Rainbow/LGBTQ+ communities and alcohol: Consultation meeting Hear the results of research about the alcohol and drinking in Rainbow communities; the research team is keen for feedback. Nibbles from 5.30pm, meeting from 6-7.30pm, Christchurch Community House, 301 Tuam St, Christchurch. Register here.
Friday 21-Sunday 23 Australian Lesbian Medical Association (ALMA) annual conference Hanmer Springs. ALMA was founded in 1999 for lesbian doctors, lesbian medical students and their partners. Conference information via the website.
Friday 28 Rainbow community research, focus group as part of research into the wellbeing of the Rainbow community in Christchurch: 6-8pm, for LGBT+ parents. More focus groups in October. Visit the website for more information and how to register.
Saturday 1 – Saturday 8 Winter Pride Parties, apres-ski, lake cruise, shared table dinners, film, karaoke and comedy nights, pride cycle rides and hikes, heli-ski rides, adrenaline junky jet boat rides, white waterrafting, bungy and canyoning, charity drag ski race, dedicated pride areas in Cardrona and Remarkables bars and restaurants. See our update, the Winter Pride website, download the schedule here, and go to Eventfinda for tickets.
Saturday 1 Wild Women Walk Weather cancelled last month’s walk so from walking from Waldronville to Blackhead and back, about two hours followed by coffee at Brighton or Green Island. Meet at for 10am departure opposite Bunnings main entrance in Otaki St. We’ll carshare from Otaki St, $5 donation to drivers please. Women needing transport please email Elizabeth Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org or text 022 067 8400.
Saturday 8 Pink Youth Ball for LGBTIQA+ high school students aged 13–18; the theme is Outer Space Rainbows. Science gallery, Otago Museum. Co-ordinated by Tee Bouttier-Esprit, for Dunedin Pride, and encouraging donations of tickets ($27.32) for young people who would not otherwise be able to attend. Limited tickets are available for parents and caregivers supporting their young people for the first hour of the event ($21.97), includng an opportunity to meet members of Dunedin Pride. See Eventbrite for tickets and donations.
Friday 14-Friday 28 Intersectional Feminism in Dunedin: Exhibition & Publication A two-week long travelling exhibition and publication to commemorate the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage. The project examines the story of suffrage in Dunedin and tracks the subsequent history of feminism in this city from 1893 to today. Two venues, several events, a publication. Visit the Facebook event page for details.
September 8-October 22 Holly Near Fall concert series across several states, more dates expected. Visit ‘Holly Near Fan’ Facebook page for details and updates.