Mahuru / September

What was going on in September? – it’s not too late to find out, we’ve collected all the items here.

Dyke Diary

Ngā pitopito kōrero, News

Fun in the foam at Gay Ski Week
Wellington women get Lick
Auckland’s Rainbow Advisory Panel announced
Hamilton and Dunedin Pride weeks
Auckland sports event for February
Successful selfies
Sam RB – Singer, songwriter and artist
Political gatherings in Auckland and Dunedin
First Auckland Westie Lesbian Ball

Queenstown’s ski week starts with a bang

GaySkiWeekQTGay Ski Week QT (GSWqt) organiser Sally Whitewoods says she expects about 1,300 people to the week-long event of ski and party action, despite the new Australian-organised Gay Ski Week in Queenstown on at the same time.

The GSWqt Opening Party on August 29 “was so well received by the women,” says Sally, “and there were some straight people too – it was very inclusive.” She says it was their “best ever opening party, there were more through the door at than last year”, with lots of last-minute bookings.

She was a bit nervous about the LYC Wet and Wild Foam Party on Sunday 30, because she’d never been to a foam event. “It was absolute mayhem – we had 180 people in a bar that had run them before. There was a dry area, a slightly wet area, and the foam area where a massive cannon fired foam everywhere. It was so funny, I’m still giggling.”

Sally is looking forward to the cabaret night with the Caluzzi drag performers “who have put a new show together with a Māori theme and Kiwiana.” See the events here.

Wellington women love Lick

Lick WellingtonLick Entertainment has expanded to Wellington, where the Official Launch Party for girls who love girls and their invited friends will be held on Saturday September 5 from 10pm at Meow.

Local DJ Paige Julia Lick will join resident DJ Marjorie Sinclair. Demand for tickets has been high, with the two early releases sold out, only 50 presale tickets ($12.50 plus $2.50 fee) left in late August, and more RSVPs on the Facebook event page than the venue can fit. So people without a presale ticket will need to be there early.

Find Meow at 9 Edward St, off Victoria St, Wellington city. See the event page or join the Wellington Facebook group.

LickNatalie_ZibungRIn Auckland Lick runs monthly parties for women, with the Winter Break Up and Spring Edition on Saturday September 12, from 10pm at the Goldfinch Lounge and Club, 204 Quay St, downtown. Lick plays hip hop, R&B, Jersey and trap. Entry is $10 before 11pm or $15. See the event page or join the Facebook group. The first tickets will be released for the Auckland Lick New Year’s Eve party on Thursday December 30.

Invited male guests are welcome to Lick events, as are participants’ other friends of any gender or sexual identity.

Lick Enterprises is run by Natalie Zibung, left, an expat New Zealander who started the organisation in 2009, and runs regular events for lesbian and bi women in five Australian cities. Her ingredients for a great Lick party are great music from talented female DJs, quality venues and a fun crowd.

Auckland Rainbow Advisory Panel underway

Auckland Council rainbow logoThe new Rainbow Advisory Panel for the Auckland Council includes six Pākehā lesbians, one of whom identifies at whakawahine, a representative of EquAsian, two Māori takatāpui men, and three Pākehā gay men. The interim co-chairs, until the panel elects their own, are Julie Radford-Poupard, Director of Women’s Health Action health campaigning group, and Jordon Harris, Kaiārahi/ Programme manager for community engagement at the NZ AIDS Foundation.

Other members are –

  • Diana Rands, community alcohol and drugs worker, social worker and mental health trainer.
  • Moira Clunie, Mental Health Foundation manager of suicide prevention, bereavement support and youth wellbeing.
  • Julie Watson, who worked at the Human Rights Commission for many years, including on the Transgender Inquiry and report, and now runs her own training consultancy.
  • Audrey Hutcheson – AUT LGBT co-ordinator and counsellor.
  • Julie Radford-Poupard – interim co-chair, Director of Women’s Health Action consumer lobby group.
  • Lexie Matheson – Trans activist, programme leader in event management at AUT and former Pride Festival Trust member; whakawahine.
  • Aram Wu – Taiwanese Kiwi, co-founder of EquAsian support and social group, member of Rainbow Youth, and former co-ordinator of Auckland UniQ.
  • Bruce Kilmister – Former CEO of Body Positive, long-term Auckland Council community board member.
  • Mark Fisher – Body Positive CEO, originally from Australia via Canada.
  • Duncan Matthews – General Manager of Rainbow Youth, full-time product manager, Localist.
  • Merv Taueki-Ransom – social and youth worker in south Auckland, former Out@PSA committee member and InsideOUT.

Councillor Cathy Casey, chair of the Community Development and Safety Committee, and the panel’s liaison with the Council, said on September 3 that it has been a long time coming. “I’m absolutely thrilled that today the council has finally given a formal voice to GLBTI Aucklanders. This is an historic day for our Rainbow communities.”

Because of dissent from councillors opposed to advisory panels earlier in the process, the panel was only possible when Mayor Len Brown offered to fund it from his Mayoral Office budget. The other advisory panels – disability, Pacific, ethnic, youth and seniors – are funded through democracy services. If a different and less sympathetic mayor is elected next year, this source of funding is likely to go, so the panel has a year to prove its worth.

Five Rainbow community members on the panel selection committee were concerned about inadequate recruitment processes, and the lack of applicants from Pasifika, mana whenua (Auckland area) iwi, and other Rainbow sectors, and suggested changes to the panel for its next intake.

The panel’s first three-hour meeting on September 21 in the former ASB Tower at 135 Albert St will include an induction session about council organisation and processes, and discuss its work plan for the year. JR

Pride weeks in Hamilton and Dunedin

Hamilton Pride September 11-19

Hamilton Pride logoThe Lesbian Social Group’s well-known Quiz Night returns to Pride this year. The Pride week launch party kicks off the week on Friday 11 from 7pm at The Meteor, 1 Victoria St, Hamilton.

On Saturday 12, the Diver-city family picnic starts at midday at the Hamilton City Gardens on the rhododendron lawn. Bring the family picnic and dessert to share, and enjoy the games.

You can compete in ten pin bowling Saturday evening from 6pm at the Bowlevard, Skycity, level 2, 346 Victoria St, Hamilton.

Dykes with dogs can strut their stuff at the Doggy Day Out on Sunday 13 from 9.30am at the Hamilton Lake Domain. Meet outside the Verandah cafe for a walk around the lake. People without dogs are also welcome.

Meet for a Pride Lunch on Sunday at noon at Blissful Healthy Vegan Takeaway, 26 Bryant Rd, Te Rapa. Vege-curious people welcome.

An interactive Inclusion workshop will be held on Monday 14 at 1pm at Waimarie House, 53 Wellington St about inclusion in society and the workplace for queer people with disabilities, presented by deaf Green MP Mojo Mathers and NZCTU Out@work Diversity Trainer Jo Wrigley.

On Monday evening, Anglican Action presents the Worlds in Collision workshop at 7pm at 100 Morrinsville Rd, Hamilton about reconciling LGBTIQ* sexuality and religion.

The Mooloo Mix team has selected a movie based on a true story in the 1940s for the Moovie nite OUT on Tuesday 15 at 6pm at the Waikato Museum, 1 Grantham St, at the south end of Victoria St.

A workshop on pleasure physiology is likely to attract a keen audience on Wednesday 16 at 6.30pm at the University of Waikato, Level Zero at the bottom of the library. Hosted by UniQ Waikato, sex educator Louise Bourchier will describe our sexual anatomy with humour, a handful of sex toys, and plenty of time for questions.

LSG-logoGays Go Global is a regular Pride event, on Thursday 17 at 6pm at Link House, 2 Dawson St, Hamilton. Enjoy a relaxed pot-luck dinner celebrating rainbow cultural diversity. Bring a plate of food representing your culture and enjoy some low key cultural performances afterwards.

Swot up on your Sapphic savoir-faire for the Queer Women’s Quiz on Thursday 17 at 7pm at 2 Birds Eatery, 44 Clyde St, Hamilton. Always fun, and just a tad competitive! $5 entry per person.

The Pride finale party wraps up the week on Saturday 19, starting from 6pm at Momento Cafe, on the corner of Victoria and Hood Sts with drinks, nibbles and live music, and continuing down the road at Diggers Back Bar from 9pm. $5 entry gets you entertainment with hostess Lady Nanu and a line up of local performers and guest DJ. See the web page or the Facebook page for more events and details.

Dunedin Pride week, October 3-10

Most events in the week are either free or low-cost. The R18 Pride Opening Party at Sammy’s on Saturday 3 features live queer musicians and a local DJ, is organised by UniQ Otago and costs $5.

Dunedin PrideThe Pride Picnic on Sunday 4 will start with a walk led by Anne from the Wild Women Winter Walking Group at 11am from Woodhaugh Gardens. The picnic starts there at 12.30pm, with face painting, games, a bouncy castle and sausage sizzle; rain date is Sunday 11. The event is organised by Anne Charlotte and Annabel de Nys-Farrell.

The Art InQueery exhibition opens on Monday 5 at 6pm at the Community Gallery and runs until Friday 9. Curated by Tara James, it includes established and emerging queer artists.

Former local and now Auckland-based cartoonist, creator of Rooster Tails Comics and transman, Sam Orchard, will lead a free zine-making workshop at the Community Gallery on Tuesday 6. BYO pens, pencils, felts and paper. They will also facilitate a conversation about the continua of Sex, Gender and Sexuality on Tuesday 6 at the Community Gallery.

Fi Smith, with OUSA Queer Support Co-ordinator Hahna Briggs, is organising the Coming Out: Film and chat event on Wednesday 7 at the Evison Lounge in the Otago University Student Association Recreation Centre, for people who are coming out, have recently or are supporting others. Entry is a gold coin.

The last event is a three-night Performance of Janus, a collection of short pieces devised by Dunedin’s best queer talent, at the Community Gallery on Thursday 8 to Saturday 10. Tickets are $15/$20 on eventfinda or counterpoint; the show is curated by Dan Goodwin. See for details.

Auckland sports event go for February

OGBadminton The Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association – Asia Pacific (GLISA-AP) has withdrawn its support from the group trying to organise a 4th Asia Pacific Outgames in Auckland in 2016, but organisers say a Rainbow multi-sports event will still be part of Pride.

A new registration website will go up shortly for overseas people committed to participate in the advertised sports. Co-ordinator Craig Watson said: “We’ll have a sports event here in February; we’ve talked with all the Asia-Pacific sports groups and they’re very excited about coming to Auckland.”

OGRoadRunningThe group still has no confirmed funding, although it will hear the results of applications to the West Auckland Licensing Trust in mid-September, to support the hiring costs of the West Trusts Arena and the West Wave Pool; and to the Auckland Council Regional Events Fund at the end of the month. “A lot of the sports are self-funded through the registration fee,” says Craig. Expenses will be up to $800,000, “but 80 percent will come from registrations”, he says.

OGOceanSwimThe rest of the organising group includes two Wellingtonians who were involved with the successful Wellington Asia-Pacific Outgames in 2011; Virginia Parker Bowles, responsible for media and communications, and sports organiser Dion Leslie, now Auckland-based. Vaughan Meneses, a former manager of Auckland’s OUTLine phone support service but now based in Wellington, is helping to organise the human rights event. Other volunteers include a social media team; two fundraisers; a website and graphic designer; and advisor Ashley Barrett.

OGRollerDerbyThe former Outgames board was concerned at the size and time-frame of the event without guaranteed funding, and didn’t feel they had the right people to deliver the games. In July they asked GLISA-AP to defer the Outgames to November 2016. GLISA-AP declined, because of conflicting regional events and the closeness to the World Outgames in Miami in May 2017. The board resigned in August and asked for the organisation to be dissolved.

See the Outgames website and GLISA-AP site for details.

Jenny R

Successful selfies

CharlotteselfieMollieMolly Rangiwai McHale, left, and Susan Masters, below, won the Charlotte Museum’s inaugural selfie competition in Auckland, judged by Wellington photographer Jac Lynch. They win a blown-up, professionally framed copy of their selfie for their wall.

The selfie exhibition, Me, Myselfie, I, shown as a looped slide show on the museum wall, runs until mid-September. The gallery is open on Wednesdays from noon to 3pm and Sundays from 1 to 4pm.

Charlotte selfieSusanHamilton-based curator Nadia Gush thanks all those who entered; the interest and quality of the entries shows that the competition can become an annual event.
The museum’s display of vulva poppies for Anzac Day is currently being enjoyed by users of Wellington’s Lilac Library.

Charlotte Vulva PoppiesLilacSee our Media page for an interview with Hamilton-based feminist cartoonist Helen Courtney, whose exhibition of drawings opens at the Charlotte Museum at 2pm on Sunday September 20.

Singer, songwriter and artist

Sam RB’s first solo exhibition will open at Toi Ora Gallery in Grey Lynn, Auckland, on October 6.

SamRB art landscapeSam is better known as a singer-songwriter than an artist, with three albums to her credit as well as the NZ Olympic Song for the 2012 London Olympics.

She started doodling during her latest album tour and on her return, started painting for long hours every day. Her music influences her paintings, along with her lifelong experience of madness, and she explores the internal world of chaos and multiple selves through her paintings.

They are brightly coloured, but also feature pale tui and fantails whose colour has leached into their surroundings. She paints birds with prosthetic wings, often blue-footed booby, because she believes we are all broken but we can still fly.

SamRBShe paints complex mixes of houses, volcanos, tree-houses, lighthouses, guitars, Kiwiana, and flocks of blue-footed birds, on canvas, wood and acoustic guitars. Sam RB’s art is changing and growing, and has a unique style.

Sam is pleased to return to Toi Ora, a creative community arts space where she spent several years during her journey through madness. The opening runs from 5.30 – 8pm and the exhibition until October 30, at 6 Putiki St, Grey Lynn. See the Facebook event page.

Political conferences in Auckland and Dunedin

Social change conference, AUT, September

The three-day second Social Movements, Resistance and Social Change Conference will bring together a wide range of social issues, movements, progressive forces and theories on September 2 to 4 at Auckland University of Technology. The event is free, but participants must register to come along.

The first day focuses on possibilities, with speakers on housing, indigenous issues, land, food and this year’s Pride Parade, among other topics. The second day focuses on ideas, discussing symbolic power, students confronting rape culture with Elspeth Tilley, and building a counter movement against neoliberalism. The third day discusses demands – social movement unionism with Annie Newman, climate justice, workers’ power, and post-Occupy politics.

Download the programme and the registration form at

The new journal Counterfutures: Left Thought and Practice Aotearoa will also be launched at the conference, and will publish some of the presentations. See

Trans/forming feminisms: Media, technology and identity, Dunedin

Transforming confA Māori and a Pākehā from Aotearoa and two overseas academics have been confirmed as keynote speakers for this Dunedin conference on November 23 – 25.

Tracey McIntosh (Tuhoe), from the University of Auckland, researches women in prisons, particularly indigenous women, as well as religion, death and dying, crime and extreme marginalisation. Sandra Grey of Victoria University, Wellington studies social activism in Aotearoa particularly women’s and union struggles; she is also National President of the Tertiary Education Union.

Audrey Yue, from University of Melbourne, studies the intersections between queer Asia and transnational culture. She has co-authored books on Asian diaspora cinemas, and queer Singapore. Constance Penley, from the University of California at Santa Barbara works in film and media studies including the intersections between women and technology, pornography and science fiction. She is also a practicing artist and has written the libretto for an environmental opera.

Fees are $55 for activists, $75 for postgraduate students and casual lecturers, and $200 for academics, and include lunch and refreshments, including a cocktail function, for the three days. See

First Westie Lesbian Ball on track

Cissy Rock, co-ordinator of the team organising the Westie lesbian ball in Auckland on December 5, says that it won’t have a named theme, but the environment encourages a certain style – “Think Berlin in the 30s, industrial ambiance, cabaret, Liza Minnelli.”

WestieCorban shedShe says it will be “less of a ball and more of an event, starting with a cocktail hour and a free drink, some live entertainment, a big supper, a live band combining the Muse duo with Jodie Pringle doing covers, and DJ Kel playing dance music until early morning.”

Ticket prices had not been finalised at the beginning of the month, but earlybird tickets will be on sale probably in October. Cissy said the bar prices will be reasonable and the food generous; both will be provided by the organising group.

The group isn’t defining lesbian for participants – “if you feel comfortable at a lesbian event, come along,” says Cissy.

The event will be held in Shed 2, pictured, a large warehouse space at the Corban Estate Art Centre in Henderson. “We want to put on something special that will attract lots of different people, where they’ll have a great time and catch up with people they haven’t seen for ages.” JR

Ngā Tangata, People

Celebrating 20 years of Shakti
Freda du Faur on the big screen

Celebrating 20 years of Shakti

Farida Sultana talked with Carole Beu about her life, her autobiographical book Purple Dandelion, and her work against domestic violence during a recent Alba meeting.

ALBA aug3Farida is a Muslim woman from Bangladesh, who was one of eight women who started an informal migrant women’s support group in Auckland in 1995. This quickly grew into Shakti New Zealand, a domestic violence service for refugee and migrant women in Asian, African and Middle Eastern communities in Auckland, which led to support groups in different New Zealand centres. Many women have been involved in managing, volunteering and working for these groups

Shakti celebrated its 20th anniversary in August with a gala and the launch of their social enterprise project in Auckland, and events in Tauranga, Christchurch, Wellington, Dunedin, Melbourne and Sydney.

The group has a holistic approach to domestic violence, with a drop-in centre, a toll-free crisis line, counselling, advocacy, legal services, five culturally specialist refuges (including two in Auckland) and support groups in Auckland, the central North Island, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, and a range of life skills, parenting and youth programmes. Shakti’s member organisation, SETAC, won a NZ Qualifications Authority award for its courses.

Most of the women with violent partners who come to Shakti don’t return to their marriage; for women to leave a marriage in some cultures is rare, and some communities shun women who do this. “It’s a huge social change learning that a mother can make decisions,” Farida says. Shakti helps survivors of violence learn to drive, provides English lessons, and second chance programmes for women re-entering the paid workforce. “Women remarrying is not a concept in some of our countries. Patriarchy gets shaken up a bit.” Farida said that Shakti has also helped women who come out of marital relationships with links with extremist religious organisations. “Men who commit terrorism already abuse their wives and families,” she says.

Shakti20thAfter 20 years in Aotearoa, Farida began working informally in Bangladesh with lawyers, community and domestic violence workers and liberal supporters. Auckland lawyer Frances Joychild paid her own way to the country and discussed domestic violence laws with Bangladeshi lawyers. “Now we have a Domestic Violence Act there,” says Farida.

An organisation has been set up with seven women on the management committee in Dhaka. “It will progress slowly,” she says. She does not believe it will be possible to establish a refuge in the country for several years, until police, and the justice system recognise the necessity in cases of partner violence. “Until we feel they can be protected, we won’t set them up.”

There have been big changes in the country since she left 30 years ago. “The only women we see outdoors are completely covered. It never used to be like that when I grew up there.”

Farida was asked about the possibilities for women living as lesbians in Muslim south Asian countries. She said that women who loved other women “were always there, as long as they have a man.” She said that the Quran does not mention lesbianism, but that “all Islamic jurisprudence considers same-sex acts as unlawful, but the punishment varies.” The concept of coming out publicly and living in a partnership with another woman does not exist in many Muslim countries, she said, and may not be safe.

See more about Shakti at

Jenny R

Bringing Freda Du Faur to the big screen

By Jacqui Stanford
Wellington filmmaker Anita Ross is embarking on a quest to make a movie about Freda Du Faur, a pioneering lesbian mountaineer who was the first woman to climb Aoraki / Mt Cook in 1910.

Who was Freda Du Faur?

Freda and guides 1910The ground-breaking Aussie grew up near the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in New South Wales, where she taught herself how to rock climb. The is pictured left in 1912 with guides Peter and Alec Graham, by JR Denniston.

Her first ascent was Mt Sealy in the Southern Alps in 1909, before she took on Mt Cook the following year. She made it to its peak in a skirt, though it was a practical one for the time – just below the knee over knickerbockers and long puttees. She is wearing it below on Mt Mt Nazomi, which she named.

Du Faur went on to be the second person to climb Mount Tasman, and the first to ascend Mount Dampier and Mount Sefton as well as other 3000m peaks, and was the first to traverse all three peaks of Mt Cook along with two other climbers in 1913.

She was trained by Muriel Cadogan, and the pair became close friends and later partners. Their lives ended in tragedy though – they lived in England together for a time, but separated, and Cadogan died on a return journey to Australia in 1929.

Du Faur returned to Australia and lived in Sydney, but suffered from depression and struggled with the loss of Cadogan. She took her own life in 1935.

Their legacy lives on though; Freda named a peak after her life partner, Muriel Cadogan. Du Faur and Cadogan Peak are the two peaks immediately below The Footstool; they rest next to each other.

Anita Ross’ Cloud Piercer

Freda Anita RossWellington filmmaker Anita Ross, left, came across Freda Du Faur’s story completely by accident, while reading about the accomplishments of women in New Zealand in the 20th Century.

“I read the entry and I just couldn’t believe it. That there was this woman who decided to hop over the ditch from Australia to New Zealand to go climbing mountains, in the early 20th Century – in a skirt, and didn’t let anything or anyone hold her back.

“Then I read about how that journey paralleled her personal journey of falling in love with a woman and trying to create a family with her, and even moving to the other side of the world so they could be left alone to do that. And how that all fell apart. It’s all very interesting and emotional.”

Ross’ film will concentrate on Du Faur’s early climbing. She says she was initially ambitious and wanted to cover two timelines, both her climbing and her later life with Muriel Cadogan in England, but needed to scale it back because the script was just too long.

“I’m certainly not pretending that she was straight. She was a gay woman, so that is definitely part of her character.”

Ross says she found during her research that Du Faur was not an easy person. “But what I found very fascinating about her was that very early on she made decisions for herself. Which in the early 20th Century, especially for a woman born into a well-to-do family with all sort of expectations like getting married, being a society woman and serving tea – she just wasn’t that at all.”

She says it was also interesting that the climber’s family played a big part in her drive, with its motto urging their children to make a name for themselves.

“So she grew up believing that about herself, which was really unusual for a little girl then. She always wanted her own career, she always wanted to be her own person.”

Ross says Du Faur may have also suffered from bipolar disorder, “which would have made it really, really hard for her to assert herself all the time and keep on track with what she wanted to achieve. But she battled through that.”

The filmmaker says the response to her project from the climbing community has been really positive. She hopes it resonates with the lgbti community too, and says she is working very hard to do justice to the amazing story and wants to get the word out.

“There are people out there who have heard of Freda Du Faur and are fascinated by her story. And I think the more people who are aware of her story, the more people will be interested in seeing it on screen.”

Freda Mt NazomiHer script is at the advanced draft stage and has been selected for an intensive development workshop for emerging screenwriters in Vermont this September, run by Stowe Story Labs, which she says is a great sign she is on track.

“It’s about focusing on each individual project and taking it to the next step,” Ross says. “But also learning things that will help actually bring it from script to screen.”

She welcomes feedback from the community about what it thinks of the project, and on how Freda Du Faur can be presented in an authentic way.

“There are not enough films out there which show gay, lesbian and transgender people. Though that seems to be changing. But often when you do see them, it’s in a very stereotypical way – and Freda doesn’t deserve that and the community deserves better than that.”

Ross has run a successful fundraising campaign for $3,600 to pay for her trip on PledgeMe; “people have been generous and fantastic”

Te ao pāpāho, Media

Queen of the killer line
Sister Anzac
Stories from LGBT elders in care

Queen of the killer line

Helen CourtneyHelen Courtney’s cartoons, including colour work and black ink cartoons from Broadsheet magazine in the 1980s, will be exhibited at the Charlotte Museum, opening on Sunday September 20 at 2pm.

The exhibition, titled killerQueen, will run until October 18. Helen (Ngati Toa Rangatira, Ngati Raukawa ki te Tonga, Te Ati Awa) grew up in West Auckland and now lives in Hamilton. She drew regularly for Broadsheet and has illustrated books by Pat Rosier and other authors.

Her Broadsheet cartoons are black ink drawings, while her later cartoons use colour. “Black and white images are quite strong. Colour can make them weaker, so you have to use colour carefully or not at all.”

The exhibition includes some lesbian cartoons, as well as some political ones. “Humour is a way to disrupt perception and cartoon drawing is a wonderfully inventive medium to portray humour. For example, you can quote a politician to really lay bare how sexist they are by using an image to ramp up what they’re saying and show how they’re attacking women.”

Courtney invite“In my strongest political work I try to create a sense of evil, rather than being jokey or cute,” she says. “Because men run so much of the world, you can end up drawing a lot of cartoons of men. I try not to do that.”

“I called the exhibition killerQueen because that’s my attitude – it’s a struggle for mastery (of whatever challenges you set yourself), being the subject of your own life which is still less possible for women than men. It’s not possible to be entirely true to yourself in our society, but you need to find the least damaging compromise and still feel you have a good life.”

“I remember before I even went to primary school a boy looked at me up the tree and said, ‘Girls don’t climb trees.’ You get told that a lot as a girl, not just by boys but by everybody. ‘Don’t’ then becomes ‘can’t’. Restricting women to a small, mean life has always pissed me off and I’m happy to attack that whenever possible. But I do try to fight on my own terms if I can. You live to fight another day – maybe.”

CcartoonSecurityHelen also plays chess and badminton “which encourages aggression”, and has represented New Zealand in chess at several Olympiads. “Women are not supposed to be aggressive; we’re meant to stand back and be polite. But in political cartooning, if you’re trying to attack a politician you want them crying into their pillow at night.”

In the 80s, Helen drew with fine steel-nibbed draughting pens. She now draws with any pen, scans the result and uses Photoshop or Illustrator to manipulate the image, or just draws with a digital pen straight to computer. “Technology means you are only limited by your imagination, the deadline and sloth. It’s fantastic.”

Helen has noticed an increase in women drawing comics. “It’s great more women are interested in drawing comics. Comics are more narrative than single panel work, you have to repeat the characters. I find it too difficult; my style is more the ‘one-hit wonder’ of single panels.”

Her cartoons are mounted Gliceé prints on art paper available for around $75 with profits going to the Charlotte Museum. Most of Helen’s Broadsheet originals are held in the Turnbull Library Cartoon Collection. Watch out for more of Helen’s Broadsheet cartoons illustrating a book of Margot Roth’s writing planned for publication early next year.

Jenny R

Sister Anzac

SisterAnzacAmanda Rees directs Sister Anzac in New Lynn, Auckland, in September as part of the Going West Festival. The play tells the story of nurses who went to Gallipoli on the hospital ship Maheno. Described as “a poignant and personal story” about the strength and courage of New Zealand women in the horror of WWI.

The play stars Donogh Rees, Alex Ellis, Anthea Hill, Gina Timberlake, David Capstick and Jordan Blaikie. It runs from the gala opening on Thursday September 3 to Sunday 6 at Te Pou Tokomanawa Theatre, at 44a Portage Rd, New Lynn. The theatre door is reached from the back of the theatre off McWhirter Place. Tickets are $32/$27 plus any booking fee. Email or see the web page.

Stories from US LGBT elders in care

For some of us, LGBT older adults in rest homes is a long, long way in the future; for others of us, it’s only a fall away.

We found an eye-opening report of stories from LGBT people in rest homes in the USA, organised by Justice in Aging with five other national LGBT groups, and titled LGBT Older Adults In Long-Term Care Facilities: Stories from the field.

LGBT people who are elders now are more likely to be single, without children, and estranged from their biological families, relying instead on partners, exes, friends and other chosen families. As their friends get older, many LGBT elders end up having to live in rest or nursing homes when they need long-term care.

The report collated survey responses from 769 people, 284 LGBT elders as well as family members, friends, and social or legal service workers.

Hundreds of comments reported staff harassment or staff refusals to provide basic services or care. More than 320 people reported 853 instances of mistreatment.

Most of the LGBT people remained closeted in their facilities, because they believed that staff would discriminate against them if they were open about their sexual identity. More than half felt that staff would abuse or neglect an LGBT elder and other residents.

Download the report at with video stories from some of the people surveyed.

Rātaka takatāpui, Dyke Diary for Mahuru / September


Topp Country
September and October Topp Country The Topp Twins bring their charm to intimate interviews with food producers around the country, 8pm on Sundays on TVOne and on TVNZ OnDemand. On September 27 they talk to expat Jewish Kiwi Deb Filler in For the love of bread.

Anika Moa September and October Anika Moa – Queen At The Table Tour The beautiful and famous singer/actor hits the road with her one and only band member Jol Mulholland and very, very special support act SJD aka Sean Donnelly. From Thursday September 10 (Queenstown) to Sunday October 4 (New Plymouth). Tickets at eventfinda.

Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau

Wednesday 2 – Friday 4 Social Movements, Resistance and Social Change II: Possibilities, Ideas, Demands Second annual conference and social change forum, University of Auckland. Workshops, papers, panels, discussion,  9am-5pm each day, email for details.

Sunday 6 Dyke Hike: Mt William, Bombay. Expect an uphill track to the trig with lovely views. We’ll also take the side track to a kauri grove. Meet at the walk entrance on McMillan Rd, off Irish Rd, which is off SH2. About 3 hours. Grade: Moderate (boots recommended, expect a few hills and stream crossings are possible). Email,

albalogoWednesday 9 Auckland Lesbian Business Assn AGM, 6-8pm, free entry and food. Tiny theatre, Garnet Station café, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere, see Facebook for details.

Saturday 12 West Auckland Zonta fundraising quiz night  traditionally hotly contested by lesbians as well as straight teams. Pt Chev Bowling Club, 25 Dignan St, Pt Chev, 7-10pm, $10, meals available beforehand. Email Jenny, jrankine [at] actrix [dot] if you want to form a team.

Saturday 12 EquAsian discussion about relationships, including cross-cultural ones, for EquAsian members, their friends and families. Rainbow Youth, 3pm, 281 Karangahape Rd, Newton, see their Facebook page.

Ngahuia Te AwekotukuWednesday 16 Anniversiary of Women’s Suffrage with Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, 6-7.30pm, GridAKL, 132 Halsey St, waterfront. Organised by Women’s Health Action  $20 includes glass of juice or wine & nibbles. Cash raffle. Email or phone 09 520 5295.

Sunday 20 Killer Queen, an exhibition of Hamilton-based cartoonist Helen Courtney’s drawings at the Charlotte Museum of lesbian culture, 2pm, koha. See the Facebook page for details; exhibition runs until Sunday October 18.

Sunday 20 Coffee & Stroll 10am, coffee at Au Bon Coin Cafe Patisserie, 341 Rangatira Rd, Beach Haven; 10.30am, stroll in Shepherds Park.

Friday 25 Michael Kirby lecture on marriage equality and justice, 4-7pm, room OGGB4, level 0, Owen G Glenn building, 12 Grafton Rd, University of Auckland, city. Kirby was the longest-serving and first out gay judge in Australia, and his recent report to the UN on human rights abuses in North Korea generated international interest. See the Facebook page.

Saturday 26 Lesbian heritage walk from Ponsonby to the Civic Theatre, 3pm-5pm. Meet at the corner of Ponsonby Rd and Collingwood St. Organised by the Charlotte Museum. Phone 09 846 5327 or email to book.

Sunday 27  Fifth Season Rainbow gardening group Visit to private Te Atatu garden with access to the waterfront and extended planting. 2-4pm. May visit a nearby Forest & Bird nursery. Afternoon tea provided. Bring money for a $5 (3 tickets) raffle with several draws. All welcome. Phone Wendy Wilson 027 548 3510 or 525 2666.

Sunday 27 Julie Glamuzina talks about researching her book on Florence Williams’s life as a man, and other queer stories, Charlotte Museum (see Social), 2-4pm. Please phone 09 846 5327 or email to book.

Sunday 27 Dykes on Mikes, lesbian open mike night back by popular demand, 7pm, Garnet Station, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere. Expect a capella and accompanied singing, comedy, poetry, maybe trumpet and ukelele.

TPPAWednesday 30 Jane Kelsey talks about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) 6pm, 039, Old Arts Building, Princes St, Auckland city. Preceded by drinks from 5pm in the foyer bar of the Pullman Hotel, crnr Waterloo Quadrant and Princes Street. Organised by the NZ Institute of International Affairs and the International Law Association.

Waikato/Central North Island

Hamilton Pride logoFriday 11 Pride week launch party The Meteor, 1 Victoria St, Hamilton, 7pm. See the web page or the Facebook page for more events and details.

Saturday 12 Pride Diver-city family picnic Hamilton City Gardens rhododendron lawn, noon. Bring the family picnic, dessert to share, and enjoy the games.

Saturday 12  Ten pin bowling Bowlevard, Skycity, level 2, 346 Victoria St, Hamilton, 6pm.

Sunday 13 Doggy Day Out Hamilton Lake Domain, 9.30am. Meet outside the Verandah cafe for a walk around the lake.

Sunday 13 Pride Lunch Blissful Healthy Vegan Takeaway, 26 Bryant Rd, Te Rapa, noon.

Monday 14 Inclusion workshop Waimarie House, 53 Wellington St, 1pm about inclusion in society and the workplace for queer people with disabilities, presented by deaf Green MP Mojo Mathers and NZCTU Out@work Diversity Trainer Jo Wrigley.

Monday 14 Worlds in Collision workshop, 100 Morrinsville Rd, Hamilton, 7pm, by Anglican Action about reconciling LGBTIQ* sexuality and religion.

Tuesday 15 Moovie nite OUT Waikato Museum, 1 Grantham St, at the south end of Victoria St, Hamilton, 6pm.

Wednesday 16 Pleasure physiology workshop, University of Waikato, Level Zero at the bottom of the library, 6.30pm. Sex educator Louise Bourchier will describe our sexual anatomy with humour, a handful of sex toys, and plenty of time for questions.

LSG-logoThursday 17 Gays Go Global Link House, 2 Dawson St, Hamilton, 6pm. Pot-luck dinner celebrating rainbow cultural diversity with food and low key cultural performances.

Thursday 17 Queer Women’s Quiz 2 Birds Eatery, 44 Clyde St, Hamilton, 7pm. $5 entry per person.

Saturday 19 Pride finale party, drinks at Momento Cafe, corner of Victoria and Hood Sts from 6pm, continues down the road at Diggers Back Bar from 9pm. $5, entertainment with local performers and guest DJ.

Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara

queer history in the making
Saturday 12 Queer history in the making: a show and tell community event LAGANZ (The Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand Te Pūranga Takatāpui o Aotearoa) has invited Wellington’s Queer, LGBTIFFTQ and Rainbow community organisations to share information about themselves. 11am-3pm, Ground Floor, National Library, 70 Molesworth St, Thorndon, visit the Facebook event page for more information.

Friday 18 Kapiti Coast lesbian drinks Finns Bar, Paekakariki, from 5.30pm. Phone Finns, 04 292 8081, to add your name to Sally’s table if staying for dinner.

South Island/Te Wai Pounamu

GaySkiWeekOpeningAugust 29-September 5 Gay Ski WeekQT Queenstown, run by local lesbians. See Saturday August 29 – More FM Opening party; Sunday 30 – LYC Wet and Wild Foam party; Monday 31 – Queer quiz night; Tuesday 1 – Highlands hook-up, other outdoor activities and True South dining experience; Wednesday 2 – Gibbston Valley, the Caluzzi Queen’s cabaret night; Thursday 3 – Sky City Queenstown karaoke night; Friday 4 – Family Bar & Nightclub presents ‘Life is a Beach’; Saturday 5 – ‘Once upon a Time’ dance party.

August 29-September 4 Gay Ski Week NZ run from Australia. See GSW NZ

September / Mahuru

Wednesday 2 Games night, Nelson, from 5.30pm, Prince Albert Hotel, 113 Nile St; contact

Monday 7 Sarah Waters in conversation with Carole Beu, 8pm, WORD Christchurch event Crimes of Passion, Festival Club, the Arts Centre, $20, book with Ticketek. Hear Sarah on Radio NZ’s Sunday Morning programme (September 6).

Wednesday 9 Pool @ Shark Club, Nelson, from 5.30pm, Shark Club, 132 Bridge St; contact

Sunday 13 Brunch/Lunch, Nelson, from 11am, Sinful Coffee, 276 Queen St, Richmond; contact

Wednesday 16 Games night, Nelson, from 5.30pm, Prince Albert Hotel, 113 Nile St; contact

Wednesday 23 Pool @ Shark Club, Nelson, from 5.30pm, Shark Club, 132 Bridge St; contact

Sunday 27 Brunch/Lunch, Motueka, from 11am, Samritas Cafe by the port (opp Talleys); contact

Wednesday 30 Games night, Nelson, from 5.30pm, Prince Albert Hotel, 113 Nile St; contact


Saturday 19 Same-sex dancesport dance Lorna’s Dance Studio, 7.30pm-12.30am, 16 Boundary Rd, Somerton Park, Adelaide, South Australia, $10/$12. Phone Valda +61 4040 90427.

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

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