May / Haratua 2015

What was happening in May? – we’ve collected all the items here.

News
People
Media
Dyke Diary

Ngā pitopito kōrero, News

Charlotte museum’s new director
Auckland Council Rainbow Panel is go
Biggest Lesbian coffee break is back
Whanganui hui for youth, parents and health workers
Lesbian photography at Charlotte Museum
Have your say on the Census leaving us out
Considering feminisms exhibition and journal
Healthy relationships workshop
Give a little for Suzi Fray
Auckland Pride board vacancies
Last Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival
No Out Takes Festival this year
News from all over

Auckland Council Rainbow Panel is go

Auckland Council rainbow logoOn May 1, Auckland Council approved the establishment of an official Rainbow Advisory Panel on issues for LGBTTI communities, which could be up and running in August.

Women who would like to be on the panel can send expressions of interest this month; we don’t yet know which recruitment agency will manage the process. Council officers and Rainbow community members will interview applicants in June, and the first panel meeting is planned for August.

The council debate threatened to derail into discussion about the cost, timing, and effectiveness of the panels, until Mayor Len Brown said he would fund the panel from his mayoral budget for 18 months, and the motion passed. The panel budget includes $20,000 for two summits.

Cissy Rock, who supported the Rainbow Door reference group and the hui that led to the panel proposal, said panels exist to help the council engage with particular communities and are driven by council work programmes.

The panel would have to develop ways to connect with LGBTT communities and with the council about issues such as high levels of drug and alcohol use and homelessness among LGBTT people, said Cissy.

The Rainbow Panel will feed into council processes alongside existing Disability, Pacific, Youth, Rural, Ethnic and Seniors panels. The panels have been criticised from right and left about their effectiveness and their tokenism. There is no panel for women, and all council documents are written as gender-neutral, which concerns groups like the Auckland Women’s Centre. They will be proposing a forum in March next year about the council and women.

Jenny R

Afternoon tea for a good cause

Coffee Break A6The fourth annual lesbian coffee break will be held on Sunday May 10, from 2.30 to 4pm, with live music by Jodi Pringle. The event enables lesbians and queer women to socialise with in a daytime, alcohol-free venue, as well as raising awareness and money for fair trade as part of the Oxfam Fair Trade fortnight.

You can taste different fair trade coffees, teas and chocolates, and enjoy lesbian home baking made with as many fair trade ingredients as possible. Bring your friends and meet new ones! Each year the event has been held at a different venue; this year it is at the Wesley Community Centre, 740 Sandringham Rd extension in Mt Roskill. Entry is by koha, suggested as $10.

Whanganui LGBTT youth hui and parents’ workshop

InsideOUT whanganuihuiFresh from hosting a successful Shift Hui of youth LGBTT people from all over Aotearoa, Wellington-based group InsideOUT is gearing up for another regional hui in Whanganui this month.

Says InsideOUT’s national co-ordinator Tabby Besley: “It’s not safe to be out, there’s a lot of bullying in schools and not much awareness about the issues facing young LGBTT people.”

The hui will include a day-long Affirming Diversity workshop run by Family Planning for health professionals and youth workers on Friday 15. This will be followed by a workshop for parents, whānau and caregivers of young LGBTTI people on Friday evening. A two-day workshop by and for young LGBTT people themselves on May 16 and 17 will build skills, tools and connections help them make positive changes in their schools and communities, including setting up Queer-Straight Alliance groups. The hui also marks the International Day against homophobia, Trans and Biphobia (IDAHOT) on May 17.

Register for the youth hui here, the parents’ workshop here, and email Heather Perry to register for the health professionals’ workshop.

Tabby says the Shift Hui drew almost 100 people of all sexual and gender identities, who said clearly that the hui needs to be an annual event. So Tabby and InsideOUT volunteers will be applying for funding to make that happen.

Day of Silence

However, before that, InsideOUT will be stimulating events at schools around the country with their annual Day of Silence on June 12, “raising awareness in schools of the silence and bullying lots of rainbow people face”, says Tabby. The international event encourages students to use silence to illustrate the silencing effect of bullying, name-calling and harassment in schools about people’s sexuality and gender identities, in a way that suits their school.

Day of SilenceSee the website, post your photo on the selfies for silence page, and download resources to plan the day in your school. Unfortunately InsideOUT didn’t get funding to organise the day this year, so readers are encouraged to contribute here.

Young Leader Award

InsideOUT Tabby groupJust after the day, Tabby (in polka dots with some InsideOUT board members) will head to the UK for a month as part of the first Queen’s Young Leader Award. She was the only New Zealander to receive one and will stay in Cambridge for a week as part of a year-long online leadership course with the University of Cambridge. The Queen will personally give Tabby the award, which provides her with a personal mentor to support her InsideOUT work.

“I’m excited to meet other young people from around the Commonwealth doing amazing things; it will be very valuable to share ideas.” She also hopes to meet Stonewall activists and to visit the Joyce Layland LGBT Centre in Manchester, as well as family members.

Later in the year, she’ll work with schools in Dunedin “where LGBTT issues are hardly talked about or very visible”, with a little funding from Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) South.

Tabby is currently paid for 10 hours a week, but works full-time. She and the InsideOUT board are keen to get more funding for the group, to employ more paid workers “and be recognised as national organisation doing this work,” she says. “It would be great to have regional co-ordinators around the country to support and work in schools in their area, as well as staff who focus on different things. We have a bunch of awesome volunteers.”

Young queer women’s issues

InsideOUT logoWhen asked about issues particular to young queer women, Tabby talked about bisexuality. “Bi women are some of the most at-risk – they tend to face more mental health challenges and more sexual violence. That doesn’t get talked about much – there’s so much stigma and stereotyping about bisexuality. I identify as femme and that’s another big thing that needs more conversation, especially misogyny in the queer community against more feminine people.”

InsideOUT was founded in 2011 and was called the QSA (queer-straight alliance) Network Aotearoa until it changed its name in January this year. It works nationally to make Aotearoa a safer place for young LGBTT people. See www.insideout.org.nz and their Facebook page.

Lesbian photography at Charlotte

Charlotte close 2After the delicious ANZAC vulva poppies get taken down, the Charlotte Museum of lesbian culture will open an exhibition of photography on Sunday 24. This will be part of the Photography Festival running from May 22 to mid-June. Email Charlotte if you have photos you would like to be considered for the exhibition.

Census unlikely to include sexual and gender identity

nzcensusStatistics New Zealand (SNZ) recommends that sexual orientation and gender identity again be excluded from the 2018 Census, but welcomes feedback on these issues.

LGBTT groups have lobbied for both to be included for many years, so that we have information about health and social inequities, but SNZ is concerned that the questions have not been tested and could reduce census data quality. SNZ has published a Preliminary view of 2018 Census content: For public engagement and consultation, and invites online discussion from May 1 to June 10, 2015; sign up here for general discussion, here to discuss sexual orientation or here to discuss gender identity or here to discuss intersex issues. It welcomes submissions from May 18 to June 30, 2015; visit their site from that date.

Considering feminisms exhibition and journal

Enjoy galleryLesbian and queer feminists are invited to submit proposals for art and writing about feminism to the artist-run Enjoy Public Art Gallery in Cuba St, Wellington (pictured) for an exhibition and an issue of their journal that will be launched in November.

For the exhibition the gallery is looking proposals from up to four artists or artist groups for works that are thoughtful responses to the Considering Feminisms theme, and stand out as strong contemporary artworks. They want works specially developed for the project rather than those already shown elsewhere.

They also want proposals from individuals or groups to create and host participatory or action-based work alongside the exhibition – maybe a protest, performance or community-based activity – preferably including local community members as active participants.

For the journal they seek written pieces and artworks. Writing can include fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry, experimental writing as well as essays, averaging 1,500 words, but can be longer. Artworks need to work online, such as video. Works that has already been produced or shown elsewhere, as well as original pieces are welcome.

See the Facebook page and the website for submission details; the deadline is May 15. Enjoy started 15 years ago and is a non-commercial gallery that generates contemporary art project to promote discussion of all forms of art practice.

Jenny R

Healthy relationships and avoiding abuse

A free workshop this month will discuss healthy relationships for young LGBTTQI people and how to identify and prevent abuse, and is already fully booked.

It is run by Scots gay woman Vicky Wood on May 16 at the Human Rights Commission (HRC) office in Auckland; “I had an overwhelming response from young queer people to the workshop, from all around NZ, including a lot of university students.”

Good LGBTT relationshipsVicky, who has worked for two Scots queer organisations as well as done occasional sexuality workshops for Rainbow Youth, is an experienced adult educator which her own experience of abusive relationships with women.

“I think of myself as a proud feminist who expects non-violent relationships, but two girlfriends have assaulted me. I didn’t realise I was in an abusive relationship: my money and my friends were controlled, I was isolated and physically abused and yet I didn’t recognise it.”

She says that when she talked with other women about it, several “straight away said ‘Oh yes, that happened to me’, but they didn’t know where to go for help.” Vicky is concerned that research says the levels of domestic violence are similar in same-sex and straight relationships, yet there are no groups in same-sex communities working on the issue – “it doesn’t seem to reach critical mass”.

The 2.5-hour workshop will explore the ways in which same-sex relationships are different, and talk preventively about abuse. “It’s not relationship counselling but emotional education.” The workshop has been funded by the HRC. Vicky hopes to run more workshops and not just for young people. Email her on kiaoravicky@gmail.com.

Give a little for Suzi Fray

Suzi Fray The JohnnysLNA was sad to hear that Suzi Fray, centre, dynamic lead singer of all-girl Johnny Cash band, the Johnnys, has incurable Stage 4 uterine cancer which has spread to her lungs.

Suzi needs help to raise $80,000 to travel to the Arcadia Cancer Clinic in Germany for credible alternative therapies. Suzi has much to live for – she just got engaged her sweetheart, and has a three-year-old daughter as well as helping to raise her partner’s two young children. Click Give A Little and help support Suzi extend her life.

Auckland Pride board vacancies

pride logoAuckland Pride Festival is seeking expressions of interest for new Board members.

If you have a passion for the wider rainbow community, you could be just what they are looking for. Any or all of skills or experience in human rights, community relationships, finance/accounting, governance, HR management, digital infrastructure and delivery, sponsorship, pr, or marketing will be useful. Board members are appointed for a three-year term, with some expiring in alternating years, renewable for a maximum of three terms.

Send your CV with a letter about yourself outlining what personal, community and professional skills you consider would be of value to info@aucklandpridefestival.org.nz no later than Monday May 11.

For more information about the organisation, go to www.aucklandpridefestival.org.nz.

The last Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival

Michigan stageThis iconic US annual festival, which many women from Aotearoa have attended, will come to an end this year on its 40th anniversary.

The week-long music and cultural festival for women only is held on 660 acres of woods and clearings in Hart, Michigan. Women build the stages, run the lighting and sound, collect the rubbish, work as electricians, mechanics, medical and psychological support, cook meals for thousands over open fire pits, provide childcare, and run workshops. During warm festivals many women go naked or topless, and leaving a place without a male gaze, catcalling, body shaming or sexual harassment for the rest of the world was often a major culture shock.

MichFest attracted a peak of 8,000 participants in the early 1980s. But over the last decade numbers have dropped in the face of protest and boycott campaigns by some transgender people about the festival’s “focus on the experience of those born female, who’ve lived their lives subjected to oppression based on the sole fact of their being female” as co-founder and producer Lisa Vogel said.

Many trans activists describe this focus as transphobic. Apart from one transwoman who was excluded in 1991, for which Vogel has repeatedly apologised, the festival has consistently included transwomen and transmen, and they have worked on the festival crew.

Michigan 2015Vogel says on the MichFest Facebook page: “The Festival has been the crucible for nearly every critical cultural and political issue the lesbian feminist community has grappled with for four decades. Those struggles have been a beautiful part of our collective strength; they have never been a weakness.” But, “we have known in our hearts for some years that the life cycle of the Festival was coming to a time of closure.”

The announcement led to a flood of social media comments, with many on the MichFest Facebook page describing the festival as pivotal in their lesbian lives. See the festival website, http://michfest.com/

No Out Takes film festival in 2015

Sadly, instead of what would have been the twentieth Out Takes film festival, Reel Queer have announced they don’t have enough funding to stage a full festival in three centres in 2015.

Instead, they plan two fundraising screenings in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in late June or early July 2015. Funds raised would then enable the return of a small scale festival, or two or three weekends of screenings, in 2016.

Reel Queer welcome tax deductible donations, or ‘in kind’ offers of services and goods that they can offer as prizes and raffles at fundraising events. See About Out Takes.

News From All Over

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

Thumbs upThe film Carol, based on the book of the same name by Carol Morgan (later re-published as The Price of Salt and with the author’s real name, Patricia Highsmith), is due for release at the Cannes film festival in May. Expect it in New Zealand later this year.

The story is set in early 1950s New York city, with a younger woman meeting and having a relationship with an older married woman. It is understood to be based on events in Highsmith’s life when young, and was remarkable at the time for ending on a positive note for the two women’s future together.

The film stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Visit Gay News Network for a three-minute photo montage of the film and the stars.

Lesbians Who Tech is a community of queer women (and allies) in or around tech. Most networking events and summits are in the US, but there are some groups in Canada and Europe. (Not Aotearoa/NZ as yet.) Visit the website and Facebook pages for more information.

A story about a Russian lesbian couple, subjects of a photographic book project, Lyudmila and Natasha—Russian Lives. A low-key approach that treats them and their relationship as ordinary, while at the same time acknowledging that it’s not the majority experience and that they face significant additional pressures.

Australian research on earnings differences between heterosexual and non-hetersexual women and men: 15,000 people answered a sexual orientation question in a 2012 the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey. The same percentage (1.4%) identified as ‘lesbian or gay’ and ‘bisexual’; it’s not clear from the reports how many lesbian women are included. Lesbians earn more than straight women, because they work longer hours, not because they are paid more. Lesbians are also much less likely than straight women to have children (22% compared to 59%). Visit an article written by a co-author (although note, he seems to have missed the significance of ‘working longer hours’), and a Gay News Network article.

Tennis champion Amélie Mauresmo announced in April, via Twitter, that she is pregnant and her baby is due in August. Mauresmo played professionally from 1993 till 2009, and attracted attention not only for being openly lesbian, but also for her powerful playing style, particularly her one-handed backhand.
Amelie_Mauresmo_at_the_Aegon_Championships_2014

Amelie Mauresmo at the Aegon Championships 2014” by Carine06 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/43555660@N00/14235906458/. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Two stories on lesbians and alcohol abuse: over 100 people participated in Australia’s first ever lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women’s health conference. Keynote speaker Dr Ruth McNair from the Australian Lesbian Medical Association talked about a history of lesbian, bisexual and queer women’s health being overlooked in funding, policy and LGBTI community services. Research from the UK involving 2,000 women indicates that lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to drink hazardously than straight women, but are no more likely to be dependent on alcohol.

Australia‘s – and possibly the world’s – first residential village for the LGBTI community and like-minded people is becoming a reality.

Thumbs down
UK lesbians harassed off Twitter
Two prominent UK lesbian left Twitter in April, after receiving torrents of abuse and threats.

Sue Perkins was suggested as a possible replacement for Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear, leading to harassment and death threats. Perkins is probably best known to NZ audiences as the presenter of the doco Revealing Anne Lister.

Jack Munro, who describes herself as “Cook, campaigner, Guardian columnist, mother, author, etc”, was targeted by what is apparently a fake Twitter account, operating in the name of a United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) member. Visit the Guardian website for details on the story. We won’t link to UKIP, described relatively kindly on Wikipedia as “right-wing populist” and by many others as racist, sexist, homophobic and extreme.

From South Korea, which got a ‘thumbs up’ last month, disappointing news: teachers have been banned from talking about LGBT issues. The guidelines, issued in April, state that ‘sex education is not intended to be an opportunity for teachers to share their views on sexuality’ and ‘teaching about homosexuality is not permitted.’ It also orders teachers to remove any references to LGBT issues from the curriculum. Government officials are reported as saying the move was due to pressure from conservative groups.

From Cuba, a detailed story on lesbians receiving unequal treatment in health services: being judged negatively by health professionals, being questioned about their sexual activity rather than their reasons for seeking health treatment, having specific health needs ignored.

Ngā tāngata, People

Lesbian activist Sidney Abbott died April 2015

SidneyAbbottSidney Abbott was one of the important figures in US lesbian liberation and visibility. She co-authored Sappho was a right-on woman: A liberated view of lesbianism (first published in 1972) and was an outspoken member of the National Organization of Women, advocating for lesbians as well as women.

From times when splits between straight and lesbian feminists were very acrimonious, Abbott was noted as someone who brought women together. See a short entry in Wikipedia and an obituary in the Windy City Times.

Te ao pāpāho, Media

Invulved at Charlotte
Stroppy old women write
Watch Passion in Paradise online

Invulved at the Charlotte Museum

Charlotte 1Invulved…is a textile installation as part of a larger conceptual art project to commemorate contributions made by women during World War 1 at the Charlotte Museum, 8a Bentinck St, New Lynn. The museum is open Wednesdays and Sundays from 1-4pm; and the installation runs to May 13.

The Charlotte Museum usually invites an Anzac Day speaker to talk about women’s war or peace experiences and concerns. This year Museum Director, Nadia Gush, meditating a response to the RSA drive for poppies, thought a complementary art work should represent all who fell in World War 1 – women and men. From this to the knitted vulvas idea was a natural succession after Miriam’s Gay Pride (75 Vaginas) installation.

The Charlotte sent word out for knitters. But as I walk into a small white room at the Charlotte Museum any preconceptions are jolted into delight. One frame can contain – and confound – numberless words. And in an unexpectedly moving reference to 1970s feminist ideas, Invulved is a collaborative work, with Nadia Gush the instigating and coordinating artist.

Charlotte close 1On the white wall facing the entry is an arrangement of reddish-crimson splotches. It’s a graceful shape, diving turtle-like towards the sea-bed…or maybe a skeletal depth-sounding whale, or a dried foliage sprig, floating or flying upwards? Impossible to pin a single word, a single aspect, a single feeling into this composition – it’s fluid. Look closer: the blotches are not quite poppies, not quite anemones, not quite badges, but hinting at all three. Rosettes perhaps – sensuously formed, beautifully composed, and yes – definitely vulvic. Lesbians and lesbian-friendly knitters in country-wide communities especially Wellington, Auckland, and Waikato, made these approximately 150 vulvas.

Multiple meanings and perceptions crowd in: the maker’s skill, the delicacy, vulnerability and wit in each piece. Some are rose-petalled, others wavy, ruched, ruffled or pouched in soft black hair or a curly grey nest; some pulse crimson, or trickle afterbirths and menstrual drips, splashes, spillage. Then step back and you recall the war connection, the sketchy sea-creature is a bleeding skeleton laid out in a trench; amusement is disrupted by black and white photo flashbacks of young bloody bodies. Grief rises, shocked by the juxtaposition of pulsing life and images of death.

Should we laugh with the joy, cry at the waste? There’s no either/or. If war memorials are to include all those affected, directly or indirectly, they will acknowledge not only the phallic but all emotions of collective historic memory.

Invulved is a dramatic and stunningly inclusive memorial.

Heather McPherson

Read about Stroppy Old Women

stroppy old women coverThe strong and determined voice of 52 older Kiwi women is yours in this recently published book. They’ve “been around long enough to know, [and] tell you what’s wrong with the world.” The contributions are brief and long, eloquent and less so, concerned with major matters and with personal. There are more feminists than you might expect, a pleasant surprise.

Contributers include three out lesbians: Jools Topp, whose passion, after performing, is horses. She thinks you can tell a lot about people in the way they treat animals, horses in particular. Carole Beu, owner of the Women’s Bookshop (where of course you can buy the book) for over 25 years, is passionate about people and books.

LNA’s Jenny Rankine writes about lesbians, with enough use of the word to average it out at least once per contributer. Why lesbian visibility was an important strategy, how it was enacted, how things have changed, and why visibility maybe wasn’t enough to change things for us – what else do we need to do, for equality, for fair treatment, the right and the opportunity to participate as fully as we choose in our communities?

Imagine with me a world where lesbianism is ordinary – not weird, not something to be tolerated – just as everyday as heterosexuality.

A world where lesbian, gay, bisexual and takatāpui people are ordinary doesn’t mean we’re the same as straight people. Lots of lesbians think that our visiblity has made us complacent, that we need to let our anger out again, to be outrageous instead of polite. We need to fire up some of the old guerrilla tactics, and combine them with some online protest. Creative additions to the outdoor billboards and websites of companies that still discriminate. Mass emails to Statistics NZ, which has been stalling about sexual identity questions in the census for a decade. Die-ins outside government offices and on their Facebook pages to protest their inaction about queer suicide. Protests about the education system’s failure to do enough about school bullying of queer students.

You get the idea. Buy or borrow the book, and read the lesbian contributions, and more. All stroppy.

Libraries around the country are stocking the book in varying quantities: Auckland will have 28 copies, Hamilton doesn’t have numbers but is taking reserves already, Wellington doesn’t have it in the catalogue (but you can always go to Lilac. Christchurch has nine copies, and Dunedin one.

Alison

Passion in paradise online

Passion in ParadiseYou probably missed the 2014 dramamentary (that’s a drama with a documentary inside) Passion in paradise – A sexual history of New Zealand by Bryan Bruce last year because TVNZ buried it at 12.15am on Thursday nights/Friday mornings.

However, the five-episode show won a silver medal at the New York Festival’s international film and television awards in April and is now available on Vimeo On Demand.

The drama follows a group of graduate students, including a lesbian couple and a gay man, studying Sex and NZ Society 401, where the historic cases reflect and stimulate their own sexual behaviour, preferences and relationships. It also features a female student seducing the course lecturer.

Rātaka takatāpui/Dyke Diary for May / Haratua

National

Pink shirt dayFriday 22 Pink Shirt Day against all bullying Contact your local secondary school or tertiary LGBTT support group for activities. EG: AUT is offering a free feed, free pink candy floss and other giveways to students in pink, and a Pink Shirt Day photo, 12-1.30 pm, Hikuwai Plaza, AUT city campus. See the website.

Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau

Friday 1 Stop forced closures of Aboriginal communities march 6pm, QEII Square opposite Britomart, organised by Maori women’s group Te Wharepora Hou, see www.facebook.com/sosblakaustralia.

Saturday 2 Lick Auckland dance  10pm-3am, Goldfinch, 204 Quay St (next to Snapdragon), Auckland city, $10 before 11pm/ $15 after. See www.facebook.com/licknewzealand or join www.facebook.com/groups/licknewzealand.

Sunday 3 Dyke Hike: Pukematekeo/Cascades tracks, Bethels. This track goes through some of the Waitakere Ranges’ best kauri bush country. Expect great views if the weather allows. The track is well maintained and covers hilly terrain typical of the Ranges. Meet at the carpark at the end of Falls Rd. About 4 hours, longer if wet. Grade: Moderate (boots recommended, expect a few hills and stream crossings are possible). Email hike@lesbian.co.nz, www.lesbian.co.nz.

Tuesday 5 Auckland Council Community Development and Safety Committee meeting, 9.30am, Level 2, Te Atatu Community Centre, 595 Te Atatu Rd, Te Atatu Peninsula, to discuss women, pay equity and a living wage for all council staff and contractors. Women’s groups will propose a council forum in March 2016 on women and the council. See the meeting agenda, or email Leonie Morris, Auckland Women’s Centre or Annie Newman, Living Wage Aotearoa.

Thursday 7 Rainbow Door meeting 4-6pm, Level 6, Rm 6.3N, Bledisloe Building, Wellesley St, to discuss representation at the Auckland Council Family, Whanau and Sexual Violence Hui on May 13, 9am-4pm.

Coffee Break A6Friday 8 Auckland University LGBTI Student and Staff Network are co-hosting the free HIV clinical update conference this year: Three decades of HIV in New Zealand: Communities, clinics and condoms at Auckland City Hospital, with speaker Dr Valerie Delpech, Head HIV Epidemiologist at Public Health England. Register as spaces are limited.

Saturday 9 Mothers Matter – Living Wage fundraiser 3-5pm,  Mill Cottage, Henderson, high tea, music and speaker Catriona MacClennan celebrating mothers, tickets $19.25, the hourly living wage, email info@livingwage.org.nz

Sunday 10 Biggest Lesbian Coffee Break/Afternoon tea 2.30-4pm, Wesley Community Centre, 740 Sandringham Rd. A fairtrade fundraiser and day-time, no-alcohol event for lesbians and queer women. Fair trade tea, coffees, chocolates, afternoon tea goodies baked with fairtrade ingredients; live music from Jodi Pringle. Suggested donation $10.

Pay equity $10Tuesday 12 Pay Equity Coalition Auckland first meeting, 1pm, Auckland Women’s Centre,  see the Wellington-based Pay Equity Coalition

Friday 15 – Saturday 16, Urzila Carlson, solo show Man Up, in the 2015 International Comedy Festival. Tickets $28 & $30.

Friday 15 The World’s Wife Carol Ann Duffy in performance at the Auckland Writers Festival, 8.45-10pm; tickets $40, see Writers Festival.

Art auctionFriday 15 Auckland Women’s Centre fundraising art auction Viewing 3-9pm, The Works Hair Salon, 142 Williamson Ave, Grey Lynn, with art by Belinda Wilson, Catherin Manchester, Evotia Tamua, Isla Osborne, Justina Groeber, Beth Hudson, Jo Barrett, Anna Crawley, Jade du Preez, Jane Eyre, Azra Pinder-Pancho, Fatu Feu’u, Evan Woodruffe, Tony Piggott’s collection, email Soala Wilson.

Saturday 16 ‘Good relationships don’t just happen’. A free workshop exploring healthy relationships for GLBTTIQ at HRC, 21 Queen St, 11am – 1.30pm. Kai provided. Bookings essential, email kioravicky@gmail.com.

Saturday 16 Auckland Women’s Centre fundraising art auction Viewing 3-6pm, auction from 7pm wtih Michelle A’Court and auctioneer Robert Tulp followed by artist’s clearance sale, The Works Hair Salon, 142 Williamson Ave, Grey Lynn, email Soala Wilson.

Saturday 16 The World’s Wife Carol Ann Duffy in performance at the Auckland Writers Festival, 9-10.15pm; tickets $40, see Writers Festival.

Sunday 17 Coffee & Stroll 10am, coffee at Alleluya Bar & Cafe, 183 Karangahape Rd (at the rear of St Kevins Arcade); 10.30am, stroll along K Rd.

Sunday 17 Carol Ann Duffy in conversation with John Campbell, 12 midday-1pm; tickets $20 & $25, students $12.50; visit Writers Festival.

ReneeSunday 17 Renée in conversation with Stephanie Johnson, 3-4pm; tickets $20 & $25, students $12.50; visit Writers Festival.

Thursday 21 To Russia With Love, 8pm, 90 minutes. In Documentary Film Festival, Q Theatre, 305 Queen St. General admission $17, discounts available. Leading up to the Olympics in Sochi, a law was passed in Russia banning promotion of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”. Narrated by Jane Lynch, with tennis champ Billie Jean King meeting teen activist Vladislav Slavskiy.

Wednesday 27 To Russia With Love, 12.15pm, 90 minutes. In Documentary Film Festival, Q Theatre. General admission $17, discounts available.

Thursday 28 Gayby Baby, 6.15pm, 85 minutes. In Documentary Film Festival, Q Theatre, 305 Queen St. General admission $17, discounts available. Gayby Baby follows the lives of four kids – Gus, Ebony, Matt and Graham – whose parents all happen to be gay.

Saturday 30 Gayby Baby, 2.45pm, 85 minutes. In Documentary Film Festival, Q Theatre. General admission $17, discounts available.

Sunday 31 To Russia With Love, 3pm, 90 minutes. In Documentary Film Festival, Q Theatre. General admission $17, discounts available.

Waikato/Central North Island

Friday 1 LSG Night Out 8-11pm, Cook Bar, Cook St, Hamilton East, band “Daughters of Ally”  two  lesbian sisters who play a mix of covers music spanning across the decades.

Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara

Urzila CarlsonTuesday 5 – Saturday 9, Urzila Carlson, solo show Man Up, in the 2015 International Comedy Festival. Tickets $28 & $30.

Sunday 12 Wellington Lesbian Overlanders and Café Club Orongorongo River: a walk through native forest in the Rimuuka Forest Park, south of Wainuiomata. It is a there-and-back walk (apart from a slight deviation on the way back), on a well-formed track, sheltered from the gusty stuff. Meet outside the front of Wellington railway station at 9.30am to car pool, or at Woburn Station eastern car park 9.45 am for car pooling. Email overlanders69@gmail.com for more information.

Saturday 23 Glamaphones, singing out at the movies, St Andrews on the Terrace, 7pm, refreshments and nibbles provided after the concert. Tickets $10 unwaged, $15 waged from choir members and www.glamaphones.org.nz.

South Island/Te Wai Pounamu

Friday 1 – Saturday 2, Onesie Camp @ McKee Domain, Ruby Bay camping from Friday evening, details from tlconnection.link@gmail.com.

Wednesdays 13 and 27 Games Night 5.30pm, Prince Albert Hotel, 113 Nile St, Nelson

Sunday 17 Brunch/Lunch 11am, Beach Café, Tahunanui Beach, Nelson

Wednesday 20 Pool 5.30pm, Shark club, 132 Bridge St, Nelson

Sunday 24 Brunch/Lunch 11am, Muses Café, High St, Nelson

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

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