Poutūterangi / March 2018

What was happening in March? Here’s our Poutūterangi update – all items collected in one handy page!

News
People
Media
Dyke Diary

Ngā pitopito kōrero, news

National/multiple centres
OUTLine takes over gayline.org.nz
Takatāpui survey is live
Regional
Auckland Pride and Parade
Charlotte Museum on the cusp
Auckland Rainbow Museums Network
Auckland 80s women’s music reunion
Wellington Pride
Wellington’s Royal Flush
Christchurch Pride: A busy 11 days!
Lesbian Summer Camp reunion
Creativity in Dunedin Pride

OUTLine takes over gayline.org.nz

National Rainbow phone support line OUTLine is taking over gayline.org.nz, the Wellington-based online database of LGBTT organisations, from the end of March.

OutLineNZ-LogoAt first, says interim General Manager Duncan Matthews, the only noticeable changes to the site will be a different logo and online domain. As a charity, Google promotes the site with Adwords, and Duncan says it receives 40,000 visits a month.

The site is the only general Rainbow database, alongside specialist sites such as LNA’s listing of groups welcoming lesbians and queer women, Rainbow Youth’s I’m Local listing of young people’s Rainbow groups, and the community support listings of Gender Minorities Aotearoa.

OUTLine will discuss with major Rainbow organisations the possibility of sharing access to the database, so that LNA, for example, could update details of organisations relevant to queer women and the changes would be available for all users.

Such a move “needs to be negotiated with others across the country in a collaborative way,” Duncan says.

Enabling OUTLine volunteers outside Auckland

OUTLine’s recently negotiated three-year sponsorship agreement with Spark which includes updating the 0800 phone system to include internet and online chat, and eventually enable phone volunteers to do their shifts from anywhere around the country rather than only in Auckland.

“It’s not something we can roll out really quickly – we need to make sure they’re not isolated and have supervision”, says Duncan, rather than answering the phone at home by themselves. The organisation plans wider advertising of its national service, and Spark sponsorship has also enabled the #Thankstoyou video campaign, below.

OUTLine ThankstoyouOther videos may be in production, and OUTLine will discuss diversifying their representation of Rainbow identities with Spark, says Duncan.

OUTLine is currently hiring a part-time communications co-ordinator, based in Auckland, to improve communication with volunteers and Rainbow communities, including the group’s social media presence, and ensure that “the impact we have on people’s lives” is more widely known, says Duncan.

Around 60 percent of calls in the last two months of 2017 came from men, around 25 percent from trans people and around 15 percent from women, and most callers were from the Auckland region, followed by two South Island centres.

“We don’t do any specific marketing towards women,” says Duncan. “The new comms co-ordinator should help address that, but it’s also chicken and egg – getting more women volunteers on the phones as well.”

Outline Forum

OUTLine’s proportion of female volunteers has varied over the years, and is currently around 25 percent, although “the current board is female-dominated”, says Duncan. Board members are chair Cissy Rock, a lesbian community organiser; secretary Toni Duder who works at Rainbow Youth; trans and disability activist Allyson Hamblett; former Rainbow Youth chair Toni Reid of the LifeHack mental health initiative; Moira Clunie, who works at the Mental Health Foundation and is a member of the Auckland Council Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel; treasurer Hayden Bigelow and Robert Ford.

OUTLine also has few takatāpui involved. “OUTLine policy includes the Treaty, and we’re reviewing policy at the moment,” says Duncan. “The board acknowledges we do very little about that – we know we have to do better.”

He recognises the impact of past paid staffing by a series of Pākehā gay men, and says increasing diversity includes “hiring a diverse workforce so staffing is representative of the community”, and organising inclusive volunteer events.

The organisation is also considering themed nights on the phone line, which might focus on women, takatāpui, Asian migrants, trans and asexual people. “There’s a huge number of topics we could do. Anyone can call as usual, but on a women’s night, women and female-identified people would be on the line.” Jenny R

Takatāpui survey is live

Takatapui surveyA national survey and interviews with Takatāpui* will run from March to August 31 in a major three-year research project aimed at improving health services for Takatāpui and Māori LGBTQI people.

See our story about the survey here, and respond to the survey here.

Auckland Pride and Parade

Pride Festival co-chair Lexie Matheson says feedback has been positive about the festival, and for the first time in years the event enjoyed positive previews and converage and from mass media.

FM1A highlight for her was “the country’s leaders being prepared to align themselves with Pride”, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern walking in the Parade, and former PM Helen Clark attending the Pride Gala. The Proud Party was full to capacity by 11pm, and Lexie enjoyed Fala Muncher, left, “the first time Pacific lesbians had created a work about their own experience”.

The Late at the Museum event Explicit Inclusion Identity was the first Pride Festival event at the museum, attracting 400 people who “loved FAFSWAG’s voguing” performance. “It was important that trans and non-binary voice was heard,” she says.

In the Pride Parade, nine new floats boosted participants by about 300 to a total of 3,500, watched by an audience of around 25,000, a big increase on last year’s 16,500, says Parade Director, Shaughan Woodcock.

He says additional crowds were drawn by the presence of the Prime Minister, the first same-sex wedding in a parade in the Southern Hemisphere – of Victoria Envy and Sinead O’Connell – and the RNZ Hercules flyover. Shaughan says he has received overwhelmingly positive feedback.

WomensBookshopPride1It was a fine afternoon and evening, with a warm, friendly and excited atmosphere. Where else would you get a bunch of young, presumably heterosexual men, fist pumping and chanting, “Books! Books! Books!” as a group of mostly grey-haired older women reading lesbian books in the Women’s Bookshop float, and later “Lesbian! Lesbian! Lesbian!” as a placard went by.

New community groups included the Auckland DHB Rainbow Network, the Jewish Rainbow of Aotearoa, a small float from NZ Rugby, the Rainbow Museums network, Manukau Institute of Technology’s Rainbow group, and Asexuals NZ. Four women in historical dress carrying placards about protest marched near the front, an idea from a 2017 feedback hui. They were Beth St Claire, left, Angela Bennett, Colette Doherty, Virginia Mary Clay; and Edna; photo by Peter Jennings.

PP Suffragettes Peter JenningsNew corporates included Qantas, Tower Insurance, Vodafone NZ and Sky City; several corporates paid registration fees for Rainbow community groups, says Shaughan.

The only protest group was two women who hopped over the barrier to briefly walk in front of the parade with a banner saying ‘Stop giving kids sex hormones – protect lesbian youth’. Shaughan said their message wouldn’t have been accepted had they applied and they left quietly when asked by security. Lexie says the banner caused a lot of conversations in her trans community. Abusive comments about these two women and TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) in general, some identified by name although not part of this action, were common on social media.

PParade1Critical comments on aspects of the parade reflect ongoing community tensions over politics and mainstreaming. Participation by corporates: even if they have a Rainbow Tick, is their presence more than a marketing exercise? How LGBTTQ+ are Countdown, the banks, airlines, or concrete mixers? How lesbian/gay/queer do we even want them to be? And how come the visibly queer presentation on their floats were drag queens? Isn’t there a place in the corporate world for a dyke in dungarees?

The parade participation of Corrections in particular, has been an issue for years, and has had a positive impact on Corrections’ policy about trans prisoners. A similar question applies to the police and armed services. Yes, it’s an advance that they recognise and support LGBTTQ+ employees, and that those employees can participate in a Pride Parade in uniform. But is it only for one afternoon a year? What about their poor record with marginalised people, especially LGBTTQ+ who are prisoners, arrested or in difficulty?

PParade2And what of allies participating in the parade? Again, it’s lovely to be supported, but is there something a bit odd about not knowing how many of the group you are watching, or parading with, are ‘family’?
Alison & Jenny

Charlotte Museum on the cusp

CMlogoTransparentThe Charlotte Museum of lesbian culture is developing heritage lesbian walks, has two publications in the works, is digitising lesbian music, and cataloguing its book collection. But it may have to shut at the end of March and put its collections into storage.

On March 14 the board will hear the result of an application to the Trusts Community Foundation (TCF) for a grant to cover rent. The museum has not been able to find subsidised premises, despite having applied regularly to Auckland Council since 2008.

It is currently based in commercial premises in New Lynn in west Auckland, where rent is $1800 a month. Board secretary Jo Crowley (below) says the museum “could be supporting staff if we had a peppercorn rental”.

CM Jo CrowleyIf the TCF application is unsuccessful, the collections will remain available for pop-up exhibitions and the board will continue to apply for subsidised premises and funding, Jo says.

The museum is one of many voluntary community groups suffering under shrinking community funding, says founder and board member Miriam Saphira: “All funders are reducing their grants – last year we received $66,000 in grants, but this year only $13,000. Friends of the Museum are a great help, giving us about $7,500 but we need double that to make progress,” she says.

Despite being the recommended tenant, the museum was unsuccessful in an application for subsidised accommodation in the Freemans Bay Community Centre last month. Board members are working closely with the council about accommodation, but no other suitable premises are immediately available.

Jo says: “We may become a digital museum with occasional pop up exhibitions, but that requires income. We were hoping to reduce our rent to $1 a year.”

The board welcomes donations to the museum; see the bank account number on the website.

Walks and publications

CM miriam_saphiraMiriam hopes that the museum’s fourth historical walk, tracing lesbians in New Lynn, will be ready to run in the Heritage Festival in October. It includes noted potter Briar Gardner, and nursing nun Sister Rene Shadbolt, who travelled to Spain with the International Brigade to work with people affected by the Spanish Civil War, after whom a park is named.

The research by Josie Jackson, Miriam’s grand-daughter, was funded by the Whau Local Board.

This adds to a central city women’s walk from Karangahape Rd through Queen St across Albert Park to the university; a lesbian walk from Ponsonby to Karangahape Rd, and a Freda Stark walk from Symonds St ending at Stark’s café in the Civic Theatre.

Wellingtonian Lois Cox is writing a booklet of interviews of older lesbians from the Auckland region and Wellington, including how they managed their lives when it wasn’t possible to be out.

Rachel Jackson is digitising the LPs of lesbian and women’s bands and musicians from the 1980s, while another volunteer is cataloguing the research library.

Jenny R

Auckland Rainbow Museums Network

RainbowMuseums PrideA group of about 80 Rainbow Museum members and allies were enthusiastically received in the Auckland Pride Parade as a first time entry last month, including three members of the Auckland Museum (AM) executive team.

The float arose from an AM Rainbow drinks social group, which in turn was stimulated by a workshop about including sexual and gender diversity in museums at the 2017 Museums of Aotearoa conference.

Catherine Smith, the Director of People and Organisation at Auckland Museum, who identifies as lesbian, says the workshop “generated a lot of enthusiasm”. With gay man David Reeves, the museum’s Director Collections and Research, she started a Pink Drinks group for AM Rainbow staff, inviting staff from the Maritime Museum, MOTAT, Auckland Art Gallery and the Charlotte Museum.

It grew into a regional network, with the gender balance representing the greater number of gay men on museum staff.

Rainbow museums 2With enthusiastic support from MOTAT and the Maritime Museum, which supplied a boat, the parade float also included Charlotte Museum volunteers. “We were thrilled with the response from our colleagues and the crowd,” says David.

Catherine, left, is pictured with ally Linnae Pohatu, the Tumuaki Director Maori & Pacific at AM who walked in the parade.

The Auckland Museum has just started the Rainbow Tick accreditation process, says Catherine. “We agree that the museum has the opportunity and obligation to integrate queer perspectives into our activities. We see our role as contributing to civic discourse about diversity and inclusion.”

She says that some of the work involved in the process is “what you would do anyway to be inclusive”. The museum will share the resources and training it develops as during the process with other museums regionally, even if they don’t intend to get accredited.

The process is aligned with the museum’s internal diversity and inclusion strategy, which will produce an action plan around the end of the month about workforce diversity, being a good employer of Rainbow people, and the museum’s exhibitions and programmes.

Aych McArdleAn example was their Valentine’s Day Late at the Museum event ‘Explicit Inclusion Identity’, featuring Aych McArdle, left, and a panel of other people identifying as trans and non-binary talking about their movement towards equal human rights and inclusion.

As part of the strategy, the museum is running a diversity and inclusion lecture series for staff and regional museums, which has previously featured people with different lived experiences of disability.

Rainbow people are welcome to the next lecture at 3.30pm on Wednesday March 28, where transman Taine Polkinghorne, the Human Rights Commission advisor on sexual and gender diversity, will offer top tips for employers to foster inclusive workplaces. RSVP to Catherine.

Says Catherine: “The Rainbow Museum network is in its infancy, but the parade float generated momentum and we want to explore the possibilities.”

“The biggest opportunity is to spread the capacity in the sector, and hold museums to account as employers of Rainbow people.” The Auckland Museum is keen to share skills and experiences around Rainbow issues with smaller museums in the region, she says.

The network could also have an impact on the inclusion of Rainbow experiences in museum exhibitions. Jenny Rankine

Rainbow Ak Museum

Auckland 80s women’s music reunion

Early February saw an astonishing event: an enormous group of women, on stage and in the audience, celebrating some of the best music from the 80s, as heard, mostly, in Auckland, Tauranga and Wellington.

Band, dancers, …

MC’d by the Topp Twins (“over 40 years, same line up, same band name”), a capacity crowd rocked, sang and danced to covers and originals. Every performer, every song, was a favourite, finishing with ‘Untouchable girls’.

The whole concert has been filmed, and will form part of a forthcoming documentary.
Alison

Wellington Pride

WP out in the parkA new layout for the Out in the Park fair that started the Wellington Pride Festival Tū Whakahīhī e Te Whanganui-ā-Tara on February 24 enabled more fairgoers to sit on the grass and listen to the 26 different performers and groups.

“People stayed much longer than last year,” says first-time fair organiser Elizabeth Marshall. Some of the 70 stallholders said they were loved being able to talk more easily with fairgoers while also being able to see the stage.

The festival runs until March 10, with a range of community-organised events around the city.

Sian T open studioArtist Sian Torrington raised $1,850 from art sales at two open studio sessions early in the festival that attracted 40 people. The fundraisers will help get her art to Sydney for a solo exhibition at AirSpace Gallery in August.

Sian T devotionWork included the Devotion series, right, “wonderful drawings of our ancestors” made from Ann Shelton photos of 90s LGBT Wellington parties.

Drag King Hugo Grrl hosts the Wellington Pun Battle from Thursday 1 to the final on Saturday 3; this intense and improvisational comedy pun-off has a $1,500 prize. Entry is $15/$17, 18+.

WP youth ballThere are still tickets left for the Candy Land Youth Ball on Saturday March 3, which expects about 400 people aged from 13 to 18 from the Wellington region, Wairarapa and Manawatu.

It is hosted by and for young Rainbow people, including students who don’t conform to sexuality or gender norms and for whom school balls are unwelcoming. It will be held from 6.30pm at Chaffers Dock Building, 22 Herd St on the waterfront. Tickets from Eventfinda cost $14.

The LILAC lesbian Library has an open day on Saturday 3, with a stall of pendant necklaces, badges, and stickers. All women welcome from 11am to 2pm to the LILAC Lounge at level 2, 187 Willis St, with tea, coffee and snacks available.

Violet walking tourThe free Violet Walking Tour on Sunday 4 at 1pm features the Lesbian Radio Programme, Katherine Mansfield, Maata Mahupuku, Rev. Dr Margaret Mayman, the Queer Avengers and lots of other GBTI people. It starts on the steps of Parliament Buildings.

Fresh from their Mardi Gras concert, the city’s LGBT choir, the Glamaphones, present a Best of Homegrown Performance on Thursday 8 from 6.30pm at St Andrew’s on the Terrace.

The Red LGBTI Walking Tour on Saturday 10 at 1pm features the Amazon Softball Club, Amy Bock, Audre Lorde, Bea Arthur, Bette Armstrong, Chrissy Witoko, Club 41, Circle magazine, Edith Eger, the Lesbian Club, Porleen Simmons, the Rev. Annette Cater, and lots of other GBTI individuals and organisations. It starts at 1pm at Pukeahu Park on Tory St. See the Facebook event page.

WtnP disco posterQueer women will pack My Big Phat Gay* Retro Disco on Saturday 10, organised and DJ’d by Val and Pat from Vinyl & Proud. It starts at 8pm at Caroline, on the first floor of 1 Manners St, city. Tickets are $15/20 from www.eventfinda.co.nz.

Elizabeth says the largely new Pride committee this year missed some regular women’s and other activities from the programme, “and we could have more women’s events next year absolutely”.

The Pride Parade is this year being organised by a newly formed group, Wellington International Pride Parade (WIPP). It starts at 7pm on Saturday March 10 in Tennyson St, city. WIPP’s choice of theme, Go Tribal/What’s Your Tribe, has been criticised for cultural insensitivity; contact WIPP on Hello@wipp.nz. or see the parade Facebook page.

The programme missed some regular GBTT community events, and some dates are wrong on the PDF. See an unofficial corrected version at the Lesbian Wellington site. Otherwise, see the festival website, and the Facebook page or download the programme. JR

Royal Flush

Wtn drag kingsElizabeth Marshall and other members of Wellington’s drag kings troupe have been rehearsing for months for Royal Flush, a drag kings show in the Wellington Fringe Festival.

It features all new material and characters, including some “follow-on stories” for hardcore fans, she says.

Expect “piss-taking and gender-faking new comedy cabaret”; Elizabeth will introduce a new drag queen character, Litsea, and new king persona Just-in Thyme, who’s dead keen on Justin Timberlake.

Pictured are Margaret Tolland, left, Jac Lynch, Cathie Sheet and Elizabeth Marshall in a photo by Deb Ferrere; missing are Andy Harness and Val Little.

The show starts at 8.30pm in the Fringe Bar, 26-32 Allen St, Te Aro. See the Fringe Festival website.

Christchurch Pride: A busy 11 days!

Christchurch Pride is going to be a busy time, starting with an Art Show on Thursday March 15, all the way through to “the cutest event ever, ‘Who let the dogs out’”, says Pride committee member Jill Stevens, pictured. There are 28 events this year, an increase from 2017. Some are old favourites (dog show, bowling), and there are some new ones as well.

“We’ve put a focus on trans events, as there haven’t been many events for this group in the past,” says Jill, “so the Bingo fundraiser is for Kindred, a Christchurch based support organisation specialising in mentoring transgender and gender questioning youth and their families.” And while many events are gender inclusive and all-ages, “we are encouraging women to participate in all events”.

“Christchurch isn’t big enough, and there isn’t a separate hub for women-only events,” she says. While Jill is the only lesbian on the eight-member Pride committee, “there’s no question about lesbian visibility, I have a loud voice.” Any lesbians wanting to organise lesbian events would be welcomed; the current committee is kept busy: “we all work full time and several of us have children, in addition to Pride.”

The Vege Puffs dinner group (Wednesday 21), while inclusive, is a women-only group.

The North Canterbury Pride Picnic (Sunday 18) is a LGBTQIA+ family, friends and allies event organised by women, and also marks a move to extend activities out of the metropolitan area. It’s an alcohol free, all ages event.

Another new event is The Fast & The Curious (Monday 19), a fun speed-dating/networking event for everyone. It’s for friendship as well, you don’t have to be single to participate. And it’s designed for all, so “tell all your women friends to come”, says Jill.

Go to the Facebook events page for up-to-date information about events and ticketing.

Lesbian Summer Camp reunion

Canterbury, 1980s: a series of Lesbian Summer Camps: Loburn, Waipara, Staveley.

South Canterbury, February 2018: a reunion. Twenty women, mostly a little older and greyer, but still as fabulous as 30+ years ago, travelled from around the country to spend a weekend together.

Some differences: for example, accommodation was mostly beds in houses, rather than tents. Meals, music and workshops were similar. We shared photos from the 1980s, and earlier; we watched the video of the circus performance from 1988. We had an online phone call with some of the women who could not be physically present – across time zones and countries – something we’d never considered then!

A constant theme was the strong sense of community then, that is still important now, but has felt not as present or as evident in recent years. Another theme was loss, as we remembered friends and lovers who are no longer with us.

Q: How many lesbians can you fit into a small caravan?

And we talked about the future, the community and connection we want to retain, redevelop, nurture. Various plans are now underway: a lesbian spirituality retreat in Southland in late April (southern hemisphere Samhain), another reunion in February 2019, regular (monthly?) Zoom calls to keep in touch and to plan other activities, a Facebook group to maintain communications and share information about events and ideas.

A: More than the 18 who were there! Maybe another challenge next year.

If you were part of one or more Lesbian Summer Camps, or part of other lesbian gatherings, or would like to be part of this community now, email torfrida@snap.net.nz, or phone 021 107 3937.
Alison

Dunedin Pride

Sixteen events and activities are part of Dunedin Pride Festival/ Hui Taurima Kahukura Ōtepoti, from April 8 to 15.

Dunedin PrideThey include two art exhibitions, a tea party, sessions of coming out stories, family-friendly drag stories, poetry and writers, Wild Women Walking, DIY babymaking and stories for pre-schoolers, a Queer quiz, Homosexual Law Reform film screening, a picnic, closing party and other events.

Download the programme here, see Dyke Diary for a selection or the Pride Facebook page for event details.

Nga wāhine, people

Art and body positivity
Working with bone and stone

Art and body positivity

Sculptor and visual artist Sarah Baird is currently organising the art exhibition for Dunedin Pride, and building an A2 book of 300 posters for a show in 2019. She spoke with Jenny Rankine.

davBody positivity has been an inspiration and stimulus for Sarah’s art during her Bachelor of Visual Arts and Master of Fine Arts at the Dunedin School of Art. She collected mannequins from her early 20s, “but I started hating them because they have really unrealistic body shapes, trying to sell clothes to the majority.”

“So I stopped collecting and started making my own versions in 2013. I added fat to the limbs of factory mannequins by gluing on chunks of polystyrene, carving into it and blending it in.” She left one unrealistic leg and made the other bigger.

In her honours year, she made four mannequins from scratch, cast from volunteers. For each limb I took a cast from a different person, a total of 24 people.”

“Up close you can tell they’re a little different. I installed them standing around a pile of women’s magazines; one’s holding a petrol can and one a lighter. That’s when my work started to get a lot more political.”

Sarah Baird Mannequin Project 14Sarah took the Bertha mannequin from that series, and made the Bertha Revolution work for her Masters project. It included 300 small ceramic Bertha figures with a 3m Bertha statue towering over them, surrounded on the walls by 300 multi-coloured misogynist, anti-lesbian, anti-trans and victim-blaming statements about women.

These are the posters she is making into a thick book, which she hopes to exhibit in a group show with other feminist sculpture artists.

Re-Configure, a feminist group exhibition she was part of in 2017, is going on tour and the book may be part of that. The original exhibition revisited Judy Chicago’s ground-breaking Woman House of 47 years ago, which tackled feminist issues and the lack of gallery representation for female artists.

“Gallery representation is heavily weighted towards men although women make up a large majority of art students. I tend to stay away from dealer galleries because they don’t show work I identify with.”

“I get the impression they don’t want to cause controversy with political art. Sculpture, especially life-size and larger work, is harder to shift than nice paintings for the wall.”

SB Tumblr Ana Vincenti 2015“The Gorilla Girls in the USA in the 80s found that artworks by men sell for higher prices than those by women, and that’s still the case.” She follows the US-based Gallery Tally on Tumblr, which represents the proportion of male and female artists shown by a range of public and dealer galleries in clever posters, including some social media stats. The 2015 poster on the left is by Ana Vincenti.

Despite the lack of women’s group shows, the Re-Configure artists are submitting proposals to galleries in other centres.

Sarah expects social attitudes to women’s bodies to continue to stimulate her artwork. “I used to follow the body positivity movement, where no matter what size you are you’re fine. The focus should be away from appearance, and it’s not anyone’s business what your health is. I do feel that women’s bodies should be left alone.”

She notes the correlation between how women’s bodies are represented and how they are controlled, “for example through the abortion laws – we get it from all angles. It’s hard not to internalise it.”

Like other emerging artists, Sarah struggles to make art while working fulltime. “Only a minority of artists I know are able to make a living. Most artists have a day job to pay the bills, because the income from art isn’t consistent.”

Identity

Sarah Baird Mannequin Project 14 2Sarah describes herself “as queer/lesbian; sometimes I think lesbian is quite a political term and I find the word queer a lot more open. But I want to keep hold of the word lesbian; some older lesbians feel the term is being erased by queer and gay.”

“I didn’t need to come out officially – in my early 20s I told a couple of friends and they already knew. I was bullied through high school for being gay despite not telling anyone, and that made me not want to come out. At a girls’ high school, lesbian was the worst thing you could be. Dunedin Pride has a support groups for Rainbow teenagers – that would have been great.”

“There were no role models of lesbians anywhere, although I have a gay uncle and in my family it was always accepted. I don’t remember seeing the Topp Twins then, there were no out lesbian teachers at my high school, and other students abused them behind their backs if they were rumoured to be gay.”

Sarah was out at art school and “had no trouble”. She is also out at her factory, which “has a homophobic culture but is not personally directed at me. Gay is common as a derogatory term. People at work really liked the Rainbow Youth ad, but older people there continued to use gay derogatorily.”

Sarah’s goal is “to make a living off my artwork. I shied away from drawing at art school, and used drawing machines to produce the posters. I want to get into drawing a lot more. A lot of the information from the US is a goldmine to make art about.”

Working with bone and stone

Dunedin-based archaeologist Shar Briden spoke with Jenny Rankine

Shar DOCPākehā lesbian Shar was born in Auckland and followed a girlfriend to Dunedin when she was younger; she says it’s the best move she ever made. “The people are friendly, the air’s fresh, there’s no traffic, and then I found out that ancestors of mine, three Smith brothers, arrived in Port Chalmers then moved to Kaitangata. I hadn’t even known that when I moved down here.”

Shar’s first job was as a structural designer of cardboard boxes – “you have to see them in 3D. I was also doing scrimshaw, bone carving, and learning carpentry.”

“I used to walk with my dog on the beaches around Otago peninsula, and found hundreds of artefacts – bone tools, fishing hooks, chisels, pounamu and adzes. I became friendly with a couple of local Māori women and showed them what I was finding.

Those discoveries led her to archaeology. “I wanted to know more about them, to identify those artefacts. I never thought I’d go to university and realised I’d have to study, but varsity just opened my world.”

Shar carvingShar studied part-time for a BA in Anthropology, making a living drawing artefacts for a lecturer, and carving and selling scrimshaw at Maggies Cottage on the peninsula. She and her then partner Lorraine bought this early cottage in the early 1990s; it’s now a B&B.

Then Shar studied for a postgraduate diploma in archaeology, followed by ten years with the Department of Conservation (DOC) as Technical Advisor Historic. “My main job was reviewing historical and cultural features of high country pastoral leases.”

She surveyed Māori stone sources and sites, early pastoral features and gold mining sites. “I did a lot of surveys, reporting on what is significant for the Crown to protect. I learnt about bringing sites into the public eye so we’re aware of them.

“With DOC, I also helped recover koiwi (human burials) that get exposed and need to be respectfully collected and reburied. The iwi decides what to do; usually they don’t want anything that will destroy the bone. Sometimes they want further research, so the material goes to bio-anthropologists at the University of Otago.”

Shar hill“I’ve been helicoptered to Rakiura (Stewart Island) twice to help with exposed burials; usually they’re reburied close by.” Shar has also recovered koiwi at Puketeraki Pa, Karitane Peninsula, Fortrose in Southland, Normanby near Timaru, and Papanui on the Otago Peninsula.

After a decade with DOC, Shar resigned and started her own archaeology business, Absolute Archaeology, a year ago. She has worked on excavations and sites around the South Island. “Forming a relationship with local Māori early on helped immensely to gain the acceptance of iwi groups for me to work on their behalf.”

SharMuch of her work is managing and protecting sites that are being developed, doing archaeological assessments for proposed developments, and monitoring earthworks for archaeological material or sites. Heritage New Zealand authority is required for developments within 100m of protected sites, and that requires an approved archaeologist. “Wherever we’ve been, people have been before us, usually Māori.” Shar is pictured kneeling at the Heritage NZ Bendigo Bakehouse, with Matt Schmidt.

A highlight for Shar was “following Brian Allingham and Amanda Symon around for over 15 years – they have worked with Ngai Tahu for decades, and both taught me a lot.” Shar currently works part-time upgrading the records of Ngai Tahu’s South Island Māori Rock Art Trust; Amanda is the Ngai Tahu Rock Art Trust curator.

“Matt Hill and I go out for three days a fortnight looking for rock art that Brian Allingham had previously photographed – he’s recorded three times as much as there is on the archaeological database. We GPS the location of each shelter with rock art, and photograph the figures to see how much they’ve changed since the 1970s photographs.”

“It blows your mind to see some of this art that the public will never see. A lot is on private land, although some wonderful sites are open to the public. Matt uses Image J software to isolate the art clearly, in a way you can’t see with the naked eye. Over the years rock art degrades, the limestone drops off; unfortunately it has a limited life.”

Shar wakaShar has come full circle, gaining a five-year authority from Heritage New Zealand to recover taonga from Okia Reserve at Papanui Inlet, which is owned by DCC (Dunedin City Council) and the Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust.

A highlight was recovering a waka over six metres long, above. “It looked like the top edge of a totara fence post, so I got permission to have a look at the side of it. We realised it was too big to lift immediately and waited two months to get the authority – it took us all weekend to dig the waka out.”

Shar waka 2The waka, and plaited rope lying inside it, were preserved by peat where vegetation collapsed over the site, creating an anerobic environment. “We were able to date the plaited rope to about 460 years ago, a period we don’t know much about.” The waka is now in a water tank at Otakau Marae, being conserved by Dilys Johns, Wet Organic Conservator at Auckland University.

Local Māori have been involved in the Papanui project for the past decade. “We’d had trouble with people fossicking in the area, and bringing the locals into our volunteer group meant the site is being treated with more respect.”

“Local interest has been incredible. This project has pulled the local community together, and increased the mana of iwi, especially young people who’ve been on site to share the excitement.”

Shar and Rachel Wesley, Otago Museum’s Curator Māori, led a week-long excavation at Papanui at the end of January, with help from the University of Otago “and a wonderful team of volunteers. The northern foreshore of the inlet is continually eroding along a kilometre of sand dune. We’ll be looking at how many layers of occupation there are beneath the dunes.”

Shar’s other excavations include rescuing an eroding archaeological layer at Raincliff Rock Art shelter for DOC and iwi, and monitoring Jamie Wood with Landcare Research, in the recovery of moa coprolites (preserved shit) at the Borland Shelter near Te Anau, a traditional Māori pathway to the West coast.

She has just completed an archaeological assessment for an upgrade to the Te Nohoaka o Tukiauau/Sinclair Wetlands Visitor Centre Treatment and Disposal system for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. “A canoe prow and a paddle have been found there in the past, so there is potential we could come across something significant.”

“I like dealing with dead things – I have an affinity for working with bone and stone.”

Coming out

Shar came out as a lesbian when a friend took her to the Alex Pub in Auckland when she was 20 “and I picked up a woman”, she laughs. “I never looked back. It felt right – I knew where I fit.”

Shar judo“Luckily my family were accepting, my mum said ‘It’s about time’; she’d known since I was much younger. When I was five I told mum that I was never going to get married. They knew I was different, so got me into judo so I could look after myself from possible bullying. I was an Auckland judo champ at age six which kept me safe; the kids didn’t bother me cos they were too scared. I was lonely though.”

“When I was younger I was hassled a lot and excluded because I looked like a dyke; I got a lot of verbal abuse in public.” Shar has always been out in her archaeological work. “Sometimes I wasn’t respected because I was a woman; sometimes I didn’t know if it was just sexism or homophobia.”

Over the years Shar has carved lots of labryses and lesbian symbols, which she sold from Maggies Cottage. “I’ve got all these bone and wood pieces I started 15 years ago and am now able to continue carving and finishing them off.”

Shar labrysesShar has had two major neck operations in the last few years, which fused her neck and ended most of the neck and spine pain she experienced for much of her life. Two collapsed discs in her neck from when she was dropped as a baby were misdiagnosed for years as repetitive strain injury.

“My lower back also collapsed when I was doing my post graduate diploma and I had to work at the computer standing up. Life has been a bit of a struggle for over 50 years, but it’s really good now. Thank goodness for Dunedin’s neuro-surgery and determination.”

Te ao pāpāho, media

We welcome your suggestions of websites, books, films and any other media of interest to lesbians and queer women.

Surprising books
Books launched
Peggy Seeger – First time ever

We appreciate the original cartoons provided by Helen Courtney. This one, Flight of fancy, seems to fit particularly well with Media.

Surprising books

Carry the One, Carol Anshaw
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Becky Chambers

Very different works, in many ways, yet both these books, recently read, surprised me: partly for their large cast of interesting characters, and partly for their similarities. Both authors are lesbian.

Anshaw is an artist as well as a writer, that was the first surprise. Have a look at her biography by paintings of Vita Sackville-West.

Carry the One is her latest novel (published 2012, now sadly out of print), although another is promised later this year.

It’s full of people. The core are the five people in the car in 1983 when it hits and kills a young girl. (That’s quite early in the book and signalled on the cover, so not a spoiler.) The book follows them for 25 years, as their lives are affected by the events of that night. There has been a wedding, these five are some of the guests. They include two bridesmaids, a sister of the bride and a sister of the groom. “She found herself naked, face down on her bed, pinned beneath the groom’s sister. So far, this was the best moment of her life.”

None of their lives are straightforward, and you suspect this would have been the case even if there had not been a death. Alice and Maude, the bridesmaids, do not have an uncomplicated romance. But their lives and their characters engage you, you care about the choices they make and the actions they take; they become important.

Keep up with Anshaw on her website.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is a debut novel in a scifi series, Wayfarers; it was initially self-published, then picked up by a regular publisher.

Becky Chambers, Wikipedia

There is a large cast of complex characters here, too, but only a few of them are human. This is a future and possibly alternative universe, where humans have long since left Earth, colonising other areas of space and interacting with other civilisations: insect-like peoples, lizard-like peoples, other less easily described non-humans, and artificial intelligence entities. Possible spoiler: humans aren’t the brightest and the best of those whose stories are being told.

It can be a bit hard to get a grip on the story and plot: quite a bit of work needs to be done to present alien people and societies, without the reader feeling like she’s getting a lecture. And also, it’s a bit hard to work out the plot – what is actually happening, what might one or two sets of actions/interactions cause next? One of the criticisms of the book is that ‘not a lot happens’, but this isn’t entirely true, and it is also part of its charm and interest. I found it hard to fully suspend disbelief, but what I was wondering was, “How is Chambers going to develop this bit of the plot now?” And also, “Wow, I did not see this [no spoiler] coming!”

Not all races/species operate on a female and male model, but a number do, and the female creatures, including humans, have strong roles.

Look out for book 2, A Closed and Common Orbit, 2016 and book 3, Record of a Spaceborn Few, scheduled to be published mid-2018. Keep up with Chambers on her website.
Alison

Books launched

Not yet read or reviewed

Pride & Joy: LGBTQ Artists, Icons and Everyday Heroes, Kathleen Archambeau
This Joyous Chaotic Place: Garden Poems, Heather MacPherson, edited by Janet Charman

US activist Kathleen Archambeau’s (right, with Louisa Wall) latest project is this book of stories by and about a range of special and interesting LGBTQ people.

The Aotearoa connection involves both Archambeau’s wife and MP Louisa Wall, who is in the book as an icon: her sponsorship of the Marriage Amendment Bill.

It’s an international collection, launched in February at the Women’s Bookshop.

Heather MacPherson died nearly a year ago.

Her last collection of poetry is edited by fellow poet Janet Charman, available from Spiral (message Marian Evans), and officially launching at the exhibition opening Thursday March 1.

A review of Peggy Seeger’s First time ever – A memoir

Peggy memoir coverIt is not only because folk music is a great love of mine that I was excited to be lent a copy of Peggy Seeger’s memoir. Whether or not you know her music or have heard of her activism, this book is an engrossing read about an astounding woman who produced more than 20 folk albums.

Peggy is often written about in relationship to her music and her famous family – composer mother Ruth Porter Crawford and folklorist father Charles Seeger, brothers Mike and half-brother Pete Seeger and first life partner Ewan MacColl. Her life was shaped by this, but she is also a fierce individual. Even if folk music had not been an integral part of her life we may have still been reading about this woman.

Peggy Songs of love and politicsIn the book, she entwines folk music with travelling on her motor scooter, busking in Moscow, having three children, having four abortions, protesting at Greenham Common, going down a coal mine and more recently undergoing back and intestinal surgery and a mastectomy.

She often comments in the first parts of First Time Ever that “I wasn’t a feminist back then”, but well before the story finishes she can claim feminism, activism and being an eco-environmentalist. Many of her songs such as ‘Gonna be an engineer’ and ‘Carry Greenham home’ became anthems for the feminist movement.

Peggy first met Irene Pyper-Scott in 1964 and they sang together at demonstrations. Irene supported Peggy after the death of Peggy’s first partner Ewan MacColl and says “After Ewan’s death she picked me up, dusted me off and we became more than friends”.

Peggy Seeger nowPeggy wrote in the memoir: “I’m not bisexual, I just happen to love a woman. I loved a man.” She describes Irene as “my second life partner”. Irene has made her home in New Zealand in the Marlborough Sounds and Peggy in England.

Peggy has spent her life telling stories of injustice, love, politics and humanity through folk music. She tells the story of her life with soul and beautiful prose. First Time Ever shows that her life has been and is still lived with intensity.

Anne Stephens

Rātaka takatāpui, Dyke Diary

Information is organised by region (national events first, then north to south, then overseas), then by date.

Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau
Waikato/Central North Island
Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara
Nelson area/Whakatū
Christchurch/Ōtautahi
Otago/Southland/Te taurapa o te waka

Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau

Sundays till June 24, Salsa for Lesbians, 6.30-8pm. Auckland Women’s Centre, Unit 6/4 Warnock St, Grey Lynn. You don’t have to attend every week, come casually and just try it out, you might LOVE it!

Koha will be appreciated. Contact Susanna for more info: 021 2609 145. Communication by WhatsApp preferred.

Linda GarberThursday 1 My Queer Research seminar about being the “big dyke on campus” by Professor Linda Garber from the USA. She has written books on the development of queer theory from lesbian feminism, lesbians teaching queer subjects, and a bibliography of lesbian sources. She will also discuss how her research has changed since LGBTQ Studies became an established academic field. Presented by Hidden Perspectives, Bringing the Arts out of the closet. All welcome. 12-1pm, Room 314, Arts 1 Building, University of Auckland, behind 12-14 Symonds St, city.

Thursday 1 Professor Susan Himmelweit Holding government to account on gender equality: The experience of the UK Women’s Budget Group since 1989. The WBG is a group of academics, activists and trade unionists; the talk will cover what seems to be successful in reducing gender inequalities. Space is limited, please RSVP to ppi@auckland.ac.nz. 4pm, Rm 321, University of Auckland Business School, Owen Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Rd city.

Heather McPhersonThursday 1-Saturday April 14 This Joyous Chaotic Place, an exhibition about former Auckland-based poet Heather McPherson, right, drawn by Allie Eagle, a co-founder of the feminist publishing imprint Spiral, and her peers, will open from 6-8pm at the kaupapa Māori gallery Mokopōpaki, 454 Karangahape Rd. There will be continuous screenings in the gallery window of archival footage by Auckland Women’s Community Video, including 1980 readings and interviews with Māori writers JC Sturm and Keri Hulme and with Heather herself; artist Joanna Paul’s short films; and 1990s film of Heather talking with writer Cathie Dunsford. The exhibition runs for six weeks and is a Women’s Suffrage 125th anniversary event. The gallery is open from 11am–5pm Wednesdays to Fridays, and 11am–3pm Saturdays or by appointment. Email umere@mokopopaki.co.nz or see the website or the Facebook page.

Saturday 3 Heather McPherson book reading Heather’s posthumous collection, This Joyous Chaotic Place: Garden Poems, edited by Janet Charman and published by Spiral will be read by 10 women. 2-4pm, Pioneer Women’s Hall, Ellen Melville Centre, 1 Freyberg Pl, Auckland city. Copies available only through Spiral, not bookshops. Pre-order for $25 including p&p in NZ, by messaging Marian Evans’ Facebook page.

dykehikesprofileSunday 4 Dyke Hike 11am. Mt Karioi. Spectacular if challenging walk at Raglan. This mountain is often covered in cloud, creating a lush forest. There are ladders and a chain section and mud. We’ll walk to the top of Mt Karioi from the coastal side, and back down the same way. Amazing views from the summit, of Raglan and Kawhia Harbours as well as Mt Pirongia and maybe even Mt Taranaki. Carpool to the Te Toto Gorge car park. From Raglan, take Wainui Rd which becomes Whaanga Rd. The car park is signposted off Whaanga Rd. Approximately 6-7 hours. Grade: Hard (boots required, tracks may be rough and difficult, steep hills possible. A reasonable level of fitness will help you to enjoy these hikes. If you are not an experienced hiker, we require you to complete two moderate hikes before you join us in a hike graded hard). Email hike@lesbian.co.nz, visit www.lesbian.co.nz or the Facebook page.

Thursday 8 New King Hits! a social gathering to discuss Drag King culture and the opportunity to run a regular show establishing the art of drag kinging on the performance calendar. 7-9pm, Garnet Station, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Saturday 10, Sunday 11, Friday 23, Saturday 24 Chop Chop Hiyaaa! Anika Moa’s “terrifically cheeky, wonderfully naughty and magical ” show for tamariki. 11am & 4pm each day. Visit website for details. Tickets $10 GA, $29 family.

Sunday 11 Labrys softball Women’s fastpitch tournament, Phyllis Reserve, Mt Albert. A great day’s entertainment for supporters. More information on Metro Softball Facebook page.

Ak Council Goff RainbowMonday 12 Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel consultation evening with Mayor Phil Goff on ‘creating a Rainbow-friendly Auckland. All Rainbow people are invited to contribute to the 10-year Budget and Auckland Plan 2050. See the Facebook invitation
6pm-7.30pm, Rainbow Youth, 9 Abbey St, Newton. Email Sonja rainbowadvisorypanel@aklc.govt.nz

Ak Disability PanelTuesday 13 Women and disability forum discusses how women’s experiences and needs are different. With Dr Huhana Hickey, Nicola Owen, Paula Tesoriero, Pia Jane and Tanya Black. Organised by the Auckland Women’s Centre, 7-9pm, Freemans Bay Community Hall, 52 Hepburn Rd.

Wednesday 14 aLBa picnic at Pt Chevalier Beach, 6pm. Picnic and swim if the tide is in, picnic at the park if the tide is out. If it rains we will gather at Garnet Cafe.

Friday 16-Saturday 17 Love Me As I Am A celebration of the life and music of one of our great musicians, Mahinārangi Tocker. She wrote over 1,000 songs exploring identity and aroha which form a deeply compelling narrative of her own life experiences. Mahinārangi was a champion for Māori music, gay rights and mental illness. Artists include Anika Moa, Annie Crummer, Shona Laing and Charlotte Yates. 8pm, Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall. Tickets from $39-79 pp, $294-474 for table of 6. Visit Facebook event page and Auckland Arts Festival website.

SamRB gigSaturday 17 Music, song and skills auction fundraiser for the Auckland Buddhist Centre With singer-songwriter Sam RB in her first performance after three years of painting; singer Nick Brown-Haysom, poet Karunajoti and a skills auction. Bring a plate of vegetarian nibbles to share. 7-10pm at the centre, 381 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn.

Sunday 18 Coffee & Stroll. 10am, meet at Humbug café, 32 Rua Road, Glen Eden. 10.30am, we’ll drive to Waikumete Cemetery, specific entrance and starting point to be confirmed at café) for an historical walk. Dog friendly.

March AU Speaking outMonday 19 Speaking Out: LGBTI role models discuss careers and experiences Panel discussion with MP Louise Wall, non-binary musician Possum Plows, gay Olympic rower Robbie Manson, and businessman Michael Boulgaris, followed by drinks and nibbles. Register here and submit an anonymous question to the panel. 6-8pm, Auckland University general library basement, 21 Alfred St, city.

Monday 26 Public Consultation on Women’s Rights Treaty (CEDAW) an open forum consultation for women in regard to CEDAW, facilitated by the Commission’s staff. Human Rights Commission, 41 Shortland St, 7th floor, central Auckland. 12midday-2pm; free, registration required for catering. Visit Eventbrite for details.

Waikato/Central North Island/Hawkes Bay

Saturdays Rainbow Warriors women’s softball team play in the local league at Resthills Park in Glenview, either at 1pm or 3pm, depending on the draw. Check their Facebook page.

First Saturday of the month: Pink Drinks hosted by Hamilton Pride Aotearoa. From 6.30pm, Cook Street Social, 7 Cook St. Go to Facebook event page for dates & details.

Thursdays Social dodgeball for takatāpui and LGBTIQ+ people Nau mai haere mai! Folks of all dodgeball abilities are welcome and a gold coin koha is appreciated. 6.30-7.30pm, University of Waikato Faculty of Education Gym just off Gate 4, 213 Hillcrest Rd. See the Facebook page.

Saturday 3 Ooh La La Burlesque 8-10.30pm, The Meteor, 1 Victoria St, Hamilton. Visit website for details and to book.

Sunday 4 Lesbian Social Group enjoys Gourmet in the Gardens, 4-8pm, Rhododendron Lawn, Hamilton Gardens, Cobham Dr, Hamilton. The event is free. Look for the rainbow banner, bring a chair and a picnic or buy from the stalls, and enjoy lesbian duo Daughters of Ally.

Monday 5 – Saturday 10 “I Create” She said! Toi Wāhine Exhibition for International Women’s Day, 10.30am-5pm, Toi Waikato/Creative Waikato. Email Kyro, selketky@gmail.com

Film screeningWednesday 7 Women, film and diversity, short films and a talk by Dr Arezou Zalipour about ways women filmmakers from various ethnic backgrounds have brought a new texture to New Zealand screens, and how we can support diverse voices to reflect our world. Films include Coffee and Allah, 2007, directed by Sima Urale; Amadi, 2010, Zia Mandviwalla; Night Shift, 2012, Zia Mandwivalla; Take 3, 2008, Roseanne Liang; Fleeting Beauty, 2004, Virginia Pitts; Eating Sausage, 2004, Zia Mandviwalla; with episodes of two successful web-series, Friday Night Bites and Flat 3 (Roseanne Laing). Q&A session after the screenings. Doors open 5.30pm for 6pm start, Room 5, Level 1, Block S (S.1.05), University of Waikato.

Thursday 8 IWD Community breakfast. Bring your mothers, daughters, grandmothers and friends, tell us your stories about the women who inspire you. 7.30-9am, Fairfield Community Centre, Hamilton.

Thursday 8 Morning tea for ethnic women Bring a plate and share your journey. Wear your traditional dress. 10am-12noon, Shama, 27 Beatty Street, Melville, Hamilton.

Sunday 18 GLOW Singers concert Songs traditional, modern and from Aotearoa, gold coin koha. Easter raffle tickets available and winner drawn at the concert. Followed by cuppas and cakes. 4pm, Glenview Community Centre, Tomin Rd, Glenview, Hamilton.

Thursday 22 – Wednesday April 11 French Film Festival, Lido Cinema, Hamilton city. Anyone interested in meeting other lesbians before or after the movies can email Charlotte, Charlotteminson@gmail.com.

Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Manawatu

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.

Monday February 26-Sunday 4 Wellington Rape Crisis 2018 Annual Appeal Week Volunteer collectors wanted. For more information, and other fundraising ideas, visit Facebook event page.

Saturday 3 Flash day tattoo fundraiser for InsideOUT. Tattoo artists include Bree Collins (Insta: @breectattoo), Koryn Leigh (Insta: @koryn_leigh), and Stephanie Maree Higgins (Insta: @stephmaree01). 10am to 4pm at Kakapo Ink, 2/33 Cuba St, Wellington city. See the Facebook event page.

Saturday 3 LILAC Library Open Day 11am-2pm. All women welcome. Go to the Facebook event page for details.

More-than-Four doccoSunday 4 More than Four Wellington Pride launch of a new video and poster resource from InsideOUT, exploring the identities and experiences beyond ‘LGBT’ identities. The series of short videos features more than 30 Rainbow people who are asexual, aromantic, intersex, non-binary, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, takatāpui, fa’afafine, akava’ine, queer parents and who identify as both Māori, Pasifika or Asian and queer. 2-4pm, Mezzanine Room, Wellington City Library. See the Facebook event page.

Sunday 4 DANSS ballroom and Latin dance classes. 7-8pm, beginners Rumba/Cha Cha Cha; 8-9pm Intermediate Swing Waltz/Lucille Waltz, koha. Upstairs, Thistle Hall, corner of Cuba and Arthur Sts, city. See http://www.danss.org.nz/.

Thursday 8 Public Consultation on Women’s Rights Treaty (CEDAW) an open forum consultation for women in regard to CEDAW, facilitated by the Commission’s staff. Human Rights Commission, 44-52 The Terrace, Level 8, central Wellington. 10am-12midday; free, registration required for catering. Visit Eventfinda for details.

Thursday 8 Writers & Readers: Women changing the world with Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh, broadcaster Kim Hill, novelist Charlotte Wood, food writer Annabel Langbein and others. 7–8.30pm, Michael Fowler Centre, 111 Wakefield St, city. Tickets phone 0800 120 071, see the website.

Wtn Pride Performing PrideFriday 9 Performing Pride A young people’s performance evening with poetry, song, videos, music. Email kate@insideout.org.nz to perform. Young people 13 to 27 are welcome to attend, alcohol, drug and smoke free event. 6.30-9pm, Thistle Hall Community Venue, corner of Cuba and Arther Sts, city. See the Facebook event page.

Saturday 10 W E L C O M E Q U E E R P A R T Y 10pm-2am. The Fat Angel (upstairs at Eva Beva), corner Dixon & Eva Streets, Te Aro. All night entry $10; student discount $5 with ID. More information at Welcome – Queer Party NZ Facebook page and event page.

Sunday 11 Lesbian Overlanders historical walk around central city sites significant in local lesbian history, with experienced guide Alison Laurie. Meet outside the front of the Wellington railway station at 10.30am. Queeries to wellington@lesbian.net.nz and see the lost lesbian spaces in Wellington for some background reading.

Sunday 11 DANSS ballroom and Latin dance classes 7-9pm, beginners Tango; 8-9pm, intermediate Tango Terrific/La Bomba. Koha. Upstairs, Thistle Hall, corner of Cuba and Arthur Sts, city. See www.danss.org.nz.

Tuesday 13 Out Wellington AGM – time to plan 2019’s Pride 7.30pm, St Andrew’s on the Terrace, 30 The Terrace, central Wellington. Get involved with next year’s Pride Festival and associated events, including the ILGA World Conference. Open to all; nominations close 5pm Thursday 8. Go to Facebook event page for more information.

Wednesday 14 A Comedy Show with Queer Comedians In It! 8.30-9.30pm, The Fringe Bar, 28 Allen St, Te Aro. Visit Facebook event page for details and link for tickets.

Sunday 18 DANSS ballroom and Latin dance classes. Beginners 7-8pm, intermediate 8-9pm, revision of previous lessons. Koha. Upstairs, Thistle Hall, corner of Cuba and Arthur Sts, city. See http://www.danss.org.nz/

SwitzerlandTuesday 20 Fundraising performance of Switzerland for LILAC lesbian library, with Catherine Downes and Simon Leary. A mysterious young man appears unannounced at crime writer Patricia Highsmith’s Swiss Alps hideaway, and what first appears to be a standard cat and mouse game soon becomes a dance to the death. Directed by Susan Wilson. Listen to Catherine Downes talk about the play in the Feb 25 Lesbian Radio show. Pay $45 into the LILAC account (Westpac 030502 0030496 00) with your name and Circa as the reference, then email librarian@lesbian.net.nz for booking confirmation. 7.30pm, Circa Theatre. See the event page.

Friday 23 Carterton Pink Drinks All welcome, friendly crowd. 6.30pm, in the main bar or the room by the garden bar of the Buckhorn, Carterton, off High St at the north end of town, near the roundabout on Memorial Square. You can get snacks and meals and the usual range of drinks/coffees. Email Kerry kerry.elizabeth@xtra.co.nz.

Wtn Pride Royal_flushWed 21 – Sunday 25 Drag Kings perform ‘Royal Flush’ Piss-taking and gender-faking new comedy cabaret from Wellington’s original drag king troupe. 8.30pm, Fringe Bar, 26-32 Allen St, Te Aro. See the Fringe Festival website.

From Tuesday 27 ‘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.

Nelson area/Whakatū

The Tasman Lesbian Connection (TLC) sends a monthly email of events in the area, Nelson and Motueka in particular. Contact tlconnection.link@gmail.com to go on the mailing list or for more details of any events.

There’s currently no-one co-ordinating activities for Nelson potluck dinners or brunches. Do contact TLC if you can help with regular – or one-off – events.

Poutūterangi / March

Sunday 18 Brunch, Motueka from 11am. Muses, High St.

Saturday 24 Kayaking on the Motueka River from Alexandra Bluff Bridge to Motueka Bridge. Source your own kayak and make sure it’s suitable for rocks. May be spare ones to borrow. Subject to water levels.

Christchurch/Ōtautahi, Canterbury/Waitaha and West Coast/Te Tai Hauāuru

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.

Thursday 15-Sunday 25 Christchurch Pride Go to Facebook page Events tab and website for updated listings of events planned and information about booking, where required. Opening event is Pride Art Show, Windsor Gallery, 386 St Asaph St, 5-8pm: over 150 art works from both local and national LGBTQIA+ artists with some works available for purchase.

Tuesday 20 Human Rights issues for Gender and Sexual Minorities a consultation hui for people with diverse or minority sexual orientations, gender identities, and sex characteristics, facilitated by trans and takatāpui staff from the Commission and ILGA Oceania. 6.45-9pm, 10 Show Place, Addington. Free; registration required for catering. Visit Eventfinda for details.

Otago/Southland/Te taurapa o te waka

WWW MarchSaturday 3 Wild Women Walkers tackle WWW mar 2Leith Saddle and Swampy, a well-maintained track through mature native bush to coastal views, around two hours. Meet for a prompt 10am departure near Ironic cafe, opposite the Farmers Market. Or travel north on the motorway for ~15 mins to a large carpark on the left on a hilltop opposite Pigeon Flat Rd, where Ann will be. Finish at Blueskin cafe, Waitati. Phone Ann 022 1339 529 if you need or can offer a ride, or email acharlotte10@gmail.com

Overseas/Rāwāhi

February 10-March 11 London Klezmer Quartet Australian tour (VIC, NSW, QLD and ACT).

Details of venues, dates & times, and booking information on their website.

February 16-March 4 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras A spectacular programme of events; visit the website for details.

February 26-March 26 The Ingénue Redux 25th anniversary tour comes to the United States. Visit the Facebook page for details of 19 events from late February to late March.

March 16-18 Outing the Past (formerly Sexing the Past) conference: ‘Exploring the Intersections of History and Activism’, Liverpool, England. Dedicated to examining the subjects and methodologies that are part of LGBT+ history, with delegates involved in academic research related to a wide array of disciplines, political & human rights activism, and others. Details of programme and registration from the website.

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

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