Whiringa-ā-nuku / October 2018

What was happening in October? Here’s our Whiringa-ā-nuku – everything neatly collated in one handy page!

Dyke Diary

Ngā pitopito korero / News

National/multiple centres
She Shears comes to a screen near you
Lesbian Summer Camps – our herstory
Fun and uplifting lesbian medical conference
Lesbians in long-term relationships
Pulse Art exhibition
What Auckland Rainbow people want from their council
Tauranga She Ball cancelled
Manawatu Pride Month
Paekakariki Pride – Labour Weekend
Rainbow research, Christchurch

She Shears coming to a screen near you

She Shears posterJills Angus Burney, standing on the left, the only lesbian in the local She Shears documentary about five female shearers, will walk the green turf carpet with Emily Welch at the launch of the film’s general release on Wednesday 10 in Masterton.

The town is the home of the national Golden Shears competition around which the documentary is built, and the launch will attract a knowledgeable audience. Emily, also featured in the film, beat Jills’ long-standing world record for the number of lambs sheared by a woman in nine hours.

The other women are Hazel Wood Catherine Mullooly and Pagan Karauria, and the film is directed by Jack Nicol.

Jills says the screenings at the NZ International Film Festival and Rural Women NZ fundraisers have had “a fabulous response, people really love it; it resonates widely with rural and urban audiences. It’s encouraging young women to try shearing, and just to think ‘Yeah, girls can do it’”.

She Shears Jills2At the end of September, Jills attended a question and answer session at an Alexandra screening with Pagan, before Jills judged at the NZ Merino Shearing and Woolhandling Championships.

Jills saw lots of girls and young women taken to screenings by their parents. “The Film Commission are thrilled by it”, she says.

When Jills first went shearing in Australia in the 1980s, “there were only three women and now there’s hundreds.” She believes the film will contribute to the growth of women’s shearing in New Zealand.

Jills says that the movie has not dwelt on negative reactions from male shearers. “I got a hiding from a shearer because I was better than him, and talked about it when I was interviewed for the film.” The documentary focuses on the support provided to some of the women by male partners and family members.

Catch the movie at a Rialto Cinema near you. Rialto expects to release it in Australia in 2019, Jills says, and predicts that the beautiful camera work and New Zealand scenery is likely to put it on the film list for long-distance Air New Zealand flights.

See the film trailer, the website and the Rialto website for screening details. JR

Lesbian Summer Camps – our herstory

A group of young lesbian and queer identified women plan to create a documentary theatre/oral herstory project and are looking to interview women and their children who attended Lesbian Summer Camps in Wellington and Canterbury in the 1970s and 1980s.

They note that many young women are unaware of this part of our herstory, and so they want to hold space and foster a dialogue of sharing stories between generations of women. The goal is for this to be a community project where interviewees have an influence in the final work.

There is therefore an open invitation to join them and share your story. They are currently meeting with people with the intention of running an initial development season of the show in March 2019 (although the project may well extend beyond this time frame). They are open to meeting people in groups and are happy to travel when it is possible – they are primarily Wellington based. They have met with some of the women involved in Canterbury camps, including the reunion in January this year.

If you are interested in being involved and would like to know more, or have any questions or concerns, get in touch via kampthatway@gmail.com.

Fun and uplifting lesbian medical conference

GP Liz Harding, left in the group below, reports on the recent Australasian Lesbian Medical Association conference at Hanmer Springs.

ALMAbannerIt feels as if the first New Zealand ALMA has been the best one ever, but I think we always leave the ALMA conferences on a high having had such a good time catching up with old friends and meeting new people in such a supportive, inclusive, safe environment, where we can really be ourselves.

The venue at the Heritage Hotel at Hanmer Springs was fabulous. The powhiri that started the conference was attended by many of the staff, which made us feel very welcomed. Our theme was connectedness, and that came through very obviously. People shared their personal stories, and it was a conference where the talks were intellectually stimulating but also very moving. It was an emotionally uplifting experience.

We were delighted to discover that this conference broke the ALMA record with 73 women, aged from 19 to 75, as well as the largest number of medical students – 25. It was great to have their enthusiasm and fresh perspectives. Last year we only had three New Zealand participants, but at this conference we had 17 Kiwis. Pictured below are conference goers who also attended the second ALMA conference in Australia.

ALMA 2nd yr Coogee Bay.JPGGabrielle Moss was the first speaker and discussed the important topic of family violence, especially intimate partner violence, encouraging us to consider this as routine enquiry in our daily practice.

Sue Bagshaw introduced us to ACEs – Adverse Childhood Events – which have a significant impact and tend to be more common in LGBTI people. She discussed the importance of intervention.

Kimberley Ivory told us about her experiences as a volunteer worker in a LGBT organisation in Mongolia, highlighting the significant challenges for LGBT people in that country.

Two people discussed mental health; Kathryn Whitehead about perinatal mental health in lesbian families, with insightful thoughts about lack of social support. Jackie Liggins also discussed her PhD about healing from mental illness, in a moving presentation.

Lucy O’Hagan delighted us with her theatre and narrative skills with medical stories. She reminded us to not just take a medical history, but to see the whole person and to listen as a human being. Suzi Fox also described how her new thriller Mine came to be written, encouraging others to embrace their creativity.

ALMA audienceRuth Seeman took a workshop on self-massage, while Elizabeth Godleman guided us through a mindfulness session, that culminated in mindful chocolate/raisin eating.

Joy Liddicoat discussed whether new technologies such as universal health records mark the end of privacy, and gave us safety tips on internet privacy.

Jess Zimmerman talked about Spoon Theory – living with chronic disease – demonstrating the effort involved in daily living, reminding us that “spooners” may have very good reason for what some practitioners call their “laziness” or “lack of compliance”.

I was honoured to be the ALMA Legend this year and was interviewed by Brooke Daniels about my life.

We also had a delightful evening soaking at the thermal hot pools. a dinner/dance accompanied by a juke box with a great selection of music, an early morning walk and yoga session, and lots of wonderful conversations over mealtimes and breaks.

The new National Committee chosen at the AGM includes some of the new students, and I am also a member this year. The committee meets monthly via teleconference and will hold a planning weekend in February in New South Wales.

The next ALMA Conference will be in 2019 in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales – dates to be announced. I can’t wait.

Lesbians in long-term relationships

If you are or have been in a long-term relationship and are happy to talk about your experience of sexual intimacy in that relationship and how societal attitudes might affect your sexuality, Andrea Coles would like to talk with you.

The Massey University Honours student is lesbian and Auckland based, so interviews with respondents from outside Auckland will be by skype. Times can be arranged to suit, between now and the end of the year.

Your relationship should be current or recent. Andrea is happy to talk with one or both partners.

Contact Andrea Coles on 09 8324616 / 021 02945462 or annieheels@gmail.com.

Pulse Art exhibition – till Wednesday 24 October

Potpourri – new works by lesbian art group Pulse – opened on 6 October at Depot Art Space in Devonport. Each of the artist’s intentions are outlined in the superbly produced and lavishly illustrated catalogue. Potpourri celebrates lesbian art and artists past and present, with 125 years of women’s suffrage in mind.

Fran Marno found inspiration in Heather McPherson’s poems. The poem on the wall is Heather’s birthday gift to Fran, in which she searches for her in the garden to no avail and misses her “…Are you hiding in your images are you hiding in your words…”. Fran decided to look at the shared garden from where Heather often sat outside her flat, to write and produced four graphite drawings. Each is a spectacular maze of myriad linear marks, aptly titled Running Riot 1-4. She found them liberating, and aided by blurry, indistinct photographs, took the same approach in her two large paintings Green Armfuls of Unseen Purring and A Plumply Sapphic Idyll.

In Sue Marshall’s experience at art school the male lecturers viewed the women students as playthings. Sue’s art now turns this oppressive attitude on its head, liberating the muse in her paintings who is now in full command of her rainbow life. Hence the title Who am I going to play with today? The smaller Missing, a painted collage of words that blatantly states Missing Lesbian Artists From NZ Art, sums up her concerns in this show. Her large painting I am a Lesbian takes the hugely painted I AM of Colin McCahon and infiltrates it with the collage-style letters A Les Bian below. Bill Hammond’s bird looks on. The words of a lesbian artist standing proud and loud alongside two ‘great’ NZ male painters.

Cath Head’s paper collages and carved stone pieces pay tribute to the achievements of her woodworking grandmother who built a sailing dingy, and her mother who sewed. They are about “memory, the human heart, love and the strength and depth of women”. In the collage Sleeve View a tissue sewing pattern is pasted over a seated, contemplative angel making it barely visible – a reference to Cath’s mother. There is a reference also to her mother in the treadle sewing machine; however the marble top it now supports is finely carved with the words ‘It’s such a curious wanting thing’ from Sarah Water’s lesbian novel Fingersmith.

Beth Hudson’s paintings teem with lesbian images. Faces from the past are presented in a modern light and juxtaposed with various objects, birds and animals to create new and ambiguous situations. In Resist, the cruel treatment of foxes by hunters with their dogs is put to rights. Foxes are portrayed as endearing and trusting companions. The suffragette hunters, three in long skirts and the other in red-coated male attire, value the foxes and magpie as the intelligent, sentient creatures they are – no longer despised and downtrodden. Each lesbian in Beth’s paintings stands strong and assertive as a contributing and valued member of society.

The celebratory ending of Potpourri is October 24, 5-7pm. With its accompanying talks, discussions and stone carving demonstration, this is a truly significant exhibition.
Maureen Jaggard

What Auckland Rainbow people want from their council

3Questions cover_Page_01Making housing, transport and council venues more Rainbow-supportive are on the work plan for the Auckland Council’s Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel. These priorities arose from the 3Questions report and a consultation with Rainbow community members at the panel’s meeting in September.

Rainbow community groups at the meeting were also keen for more governance skills, especially for groups that were not established charitable trusts, says co-chair Julie Radford-Poupard

Among four housing recommendations in the 3Questions report was to require all social housing and aged-care providers contracted to the council to have Rainbow cultural competency training; and to financially support housing partnerships with Rainbow organisations.

3Questions authorsOne of the two transport recommendations was a public transport campaign that challenges harassing behaviour.

Among the recommendations for council venues was the creation of a Rainbow Spaces Activator position, which would increase celebration of relevant Rainbow diversity in each local board area, as well as Rainbow cultural competency training and a checklist for all council facilities, along with signs saying “Rainbow communities are welcome here”.

The 3Questions report was compiled by Cissy Rock, Aych McArdle, Toni Duder and Sam Orchard (above). It summarised an online survey, community hui, and postcard feedback from around 200 Rainbow people. It asked three questions: What are your dreams for Auckland? How can council help achieve this? And if you could change one thing about Auckland tomorrow, what would it be?

See the full report online. JR

Tauranga She Ball cancelled

A fancy-dress masquerade She Ball in October at Fountain Gardens, 20m west of Tauranga has had to be cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

SheBall Marie & LizaMarie (left) organised “a lesbian ball years ago at MaLGRA in Palmerston North, which was filmed by Queer Nation and was a huge success.” Marie and Liza moved from Paekakariki and bought Fountain Gardens, at 170 Plummers Point Road near Te Puna, three years ago. For some time the couple had wanted to do something like the MaLGRA ball for the women’s community in Tauranga at the venue, and are disappointed that the the event could not go ahead.

The venue is most used for weddings; “there were 22 on the books when we bought it three years ago, and last year we hosted 47”, she says. “We’d love to have more lesbian weddings here.”SheBall Marie & Liza1

They have hosted two lesbian weddings and have two more same-sex weddings booked. “Some couples I’ve talked with haven’t had a good response from other venues and any gay people who contact us always ask if we’re comfortable with a same-sex wedding.”

Fountain Gardens also attracts birthday celebrations, garden groups, retirement village tours and are hoping the native gardens will attract tourists by bus from cruise ships docked at Tauranga.

“The two of us do most of the work on the gardens with a part-time guy and occasional working bees.” JR

Manawatu Pride Month

Malgra logoFifteen events from Thursday 4 to Wednesday 31 in Manawatu’s Pride Month celebrate the Manawatu Lesbian and Gay Rights Association’s (MaLGRA) “41 years of fabulous” in the region.

Women’s events include an exhibition and discussion of local lesbian herstory from 2-5pm and a womyn’s dinner and dance from 6pm on Saturday 13, both at Te Manawa, and a Witches Party at the Women’s Centre, 53 Waldegrave St, on Wednesday 31. The party encourages children in fancy dress, includes a Peace Walk followed by a Potluck dinner and discussion.

MaLGRA dinner danceOther events include a Rainbow-themed makers’ market on Saturday 7, an LGBTQ+ comedy fringe festival at the Royale Hotel on Thursday 11, a quiz and dinner at Café Royale on Saturday 20, a Rainbow dog walk on Sunday 21, and a Teddy Bears’ picnic on Sunday 28.

Craft events include candle making, glass painting, glass fusing and making pet accessories.

MaLGRA was founded in 1977 and is one of the longest-running such organisations in the country.

See the MaLGRA Facebook page for details and for pop-up events. For the Womyn’s dinner and dance see the MaLGRA womyn’s Facebook page or email TheSpaceMaker@inspire.net.nz JR

Paekakariki Pride – Labour Weekend

Paekakariki Pride is back! You don’t have to live in Paekakariki or the Kapiti Coast to participate in Paekakariki Pride. Everyone is welcome, and there are events for everyone, physical, social, creative, laid-back, competitive, dress-up, quiet or LOUD & PROUD.

The weekend starts on Friday evening with a Meet and Mingle and concludes with a family picnic in the park on Monday afternoon.

The Lesbian Writing Group invites you to bring your short fiction and/or poetry to share, Saturday, 2.15pm.

Other events include the world’s (unofficially) shortest pride parade (Saturday evening) and the world’s smallest Queer Film Festival (Sunday afternoon).

Updates to the programme will be on Facebook and the Lesbian Wellington website.

Rainbow research, Christchurch

The All Right? Campaign is undertaking research into the well-being of the Rainbow community in Christchurch.

Lesbians are encouraged to participate in focus groups running in October. These involve a diverse range of community members to gather qualitative and quantitative evidence and feedback, including

  • Monday 8: 40+ women and those who identify as non-binary
  • Friday 12: 14 – 25 year olds
  • Wednesday 17: Takatāpui, Pacifica rainbow community
  • Friday 19: anyone who hasn’t been able to make previous dates or doesn’t identify with those groupings

Focus groups are 6-8pm, Community and Public Health, 310 Manchester St.

The research is designed to understand how the LGBT + community is faring in post disaster Christchurch and in particular to know what LGBT+ people identify as their strengths, what changes the community would still like to see, to hear about any emerging issues which impact on the wellbeing of the Community and to consider how the All Right? campaign could positively contribute.

For more information, contact suran@allright.org.nz or visit the website.

Ngā wāhine / People

GP and writer Lucy O’Hagan
Deputy Mayor on the East Cape

Medicine more holistically

Dunedin-based GP and writer Lucy O’Hagan spoke with Jenny Rankine.

OHaganLucy identifies as Pākehā, descended from “many generations of Irish Catholic peasants”. Her father was the first in the family to go to university, working first as a GP and then as a respiratory physician. “I was born in Winton in Southland – Dad was a GP there when I was born. Then we moved to Invercargill and later to Christchurch.”

She describes her dad as “quietly radical – his response to the Cartwright Inquiry was to invite Sandra Coney down to speak to senior doctors in Christchurch”.

Lucy was in the 1983 medical class that was the first at the University of Otago Medical School to be half women. When she and a friend became the first female doctors in a Wanaka practice, female GPs were still uncommon and people rang the practice to check that they wrote prescriptions.

Lucy worked as a GP in Wanaka for 20 years. There she joined a women’s theatre group called Flatout Productions; “we probably put on a production a year for seven years, with professional directors”. They included Jo Randerson and Stuart Devenie among others; “they taught us a lot.”

“With Jo we workshopped our own adaptation of MacBeth, called Witches over Wanaka”, which run during the Festival of Colour, the major arts festival for the southern lakes area.

OHagan witchesThen she joined another group of three in Wanaka, Silk Tent, who wanted to create a theatre piece about self-mutilation. One of them, an artist called Lizzi Yates, became Lucy’s best friend – “that’s how we met. We got a grant to create a multimedia theatre piece, Girl with no words. People came up to us in the street after they read about the grant, and we had some amazing conversations with people about their lived experience of self-harm.”

“The three of us collaborated on the narrative, and I played the main character. The play included Lizzi’s projected images, music, and projected mini-documentaries of experts – a psychiatrist, a sociologist, an anthropologist and a service user, who were all our mates acting.”

“It was received really well, opening a College of GPs conference in Wellington, and playing in Auckland, Wanaka, Queenstown and Clyde.”

OHagan Silk_Tent“People’s response to mental distress is interesting – cutting makes people want to step away. For others it’s like testimony, people respond with their own story.”

“I was in a relationship with a man for 28 years and we had two children, and about five years ago I fell in love with Lizzi. It was a really tricky situation, because she was married. I’d separated from my husband before it ever occurred to me.”

“It took me a long time to tell her, and then I read a book on moral philosophy to see if it was okay to break up someone else’s marriage,” she laughs. “Apparently it comes down to whether you’d be okay with someone doing it to you in the same circumstances.”

“Telling Lizzi was quite difficult – I thought she wouldn’t be into that at all and I’d lose my best friend, but it didn’t turn out that way. She separated from her husband. We both lived in Wanaka and we were quite well known in the community. What fascinates me is that people didn’t tell us their reactions to it, although we did hear that it was the talk of the bridge club!”

The relationship was “not an issue for my family at all. I emailed my mother that I was with my partner. She was 83 then, and she immediately rang and left a message saying how marvellous, and she couldn’t imagine a lovelier woman for me to be with.” [Lizzi and Lucy are pictured dressed for a nephew’s 21st.]

OHagan & Lizzie for nephew's 21st“I have a gay son and a sister who has been in a lesbian relationship for 25 years. And the father of their two children is in a gay relationship. My children in Wanaka also had surrogate grandmothers who were a lesbian couple.”

Lucy and Lizzi “bought a house together, and have lived happily ever since. It’s quite different going into a relationship with someone who’s been your best friend for five years – I think it makes it a bit easier.”

However, the relationship changes took their toll. “I got burnt out after breaking up my relationship, falling in love, her leaving her relationship – it was a full-on few years working through all that, including the kids. It was quite important for both of us to preserve relationships with previous partners, but that was quite hard. I was a practice owner, which is a big job. General practice takes a lot of energy and if you have a lot going on in your life, you can’t do it. But the culture of medicine is pushing on through. I should have taken three months off after my separation, but that’s not the culture. Doctors just keep going when they’re sick or under pressure.”

Lucy has since talked about burnout at conferences and in articles. “I think doctors are quite worried about being shamed. For me being burnt out had a lot of shame and failure about it, which was worse than the burnout. It took me quite a long time to dismantle that shame.” The photo below is of Lucy at work a week before she burnt out.

OHagan on call last wend b4 burnout“Doctors are trained through humiliation. For example, when you’re a med student on a ward round, the teachers interrogate students to the limit of the student’s knowledge and then ask one more question to humiliate them. When I describe that scenario to doctors, they all know what I mean.

I think doctors are ashamed by not knowing something, or not coping with pressure, or making a mistake, or getting emotional.”

“Telling people that you’ve been burnt out gives other people permission to tell their story too. It’s amazing the people who come up after a talk and tell their story, when you’d never have that conversation otherwise.”

Two years ago, Lucy and the family moved to Dunedin, where Lucy teaches in the College of General Practice courses for postgraduate students. She also works at Ngai Tahu’s Mataora, “a low-cost medical clinic in Dunedin. I also work an afternoon a week at a free GP clinic at the needle exchange service in Dunedin. I like being a fringe dweller on the edges of medicine. It’s not hard because medicine’s pretty conservative.”

“At Mataora, sixty percent of the patients are Māori or Pacific, whereas Wanaka was one percent Māori. It’s profoundly different because in Wanaka, people are relatively affluent, whereas here I’m face to face with poverty. It’s a lovely workplace – both Mataora and the needle exchange have a very good kaupapa of caring for people.”

“We see a lot of people with significant mental distress and traumatic memory. When you have that with poverty, it’s pretty difficult. When I did the Girl with no words I became interested in the effect of childhood trauma and abuse on adults.”

“It’s astounding to me the lack of support people have, there are a few services out there but most people with mental distress or trauma and poverty are pretty isolated. People are amazing, they have incredible strengths.”

Lucy gained a certificate in Narrative Practice in Boston, which is part of a programme in narrative medicine. “Narrative is a theoretical way of looking at therapy or ethics or medicine through story. It gives you a different lens for thinking about what you’re doing.”

“Medicine is very much about taking a history, making a diagnosis and offering treatment. It sometimes works quite well, but there’s a few problems, especially when there isn’t a diagnosis, or there’s no treatment, or if the surgery doesn’t make people better.”

“Psychiatry tends to be more interested in people’s diagnosis than their story. You can think of illness as a disruption to someone’s story; your role is to help them move their story to a different place. People have to make some meaning from cancer or major medical problems.”

OHagan with couples 3 kidsWhen I asked about the future, Lucy said, “I’m probably going to write a book about being a doctor, based around fictionalised stories from general practice. From feedback on presentations I’ve done, I sense a real thirst among medical audiences for books that get them thinking differently about their practice.” [She’s pictured above with the couple’s three children.]

When asked about her sexual identity, Lucy says, “I don’t really like labels. My kids go, ‘Oh mum, you can’t be binary about it’. I haven’t had a need to put a label on it, but a lot of other people, particularly heterosexuals, feel a need to label me. They call me lesbian because I’m in a relationship with a woman.”

“It feels like an odd question, because I can’t imagine being in a relationship with anyone else, male or female. I don’t know how it will evolve. I appreciate that I’m in quite a privileged position, with a family that’s very open, and at a time in history where it was relatively easy.”

“If I’d fallen in love with my best friend in Wanaka 30 years ago it would have been a very different story – labelling myself would have been necessary. I really appreciate the older women who’ve gone before us who made it possible for me to come out quite easily.”

“Having said all that about not needing the label lesbian, we both found it fantastic spending the weekend with a group of lesbians [at the Australasian Lesbian Medical Association], because there was a certain freedom in it. It was beautiful seeing people being in their own skin and not posturing and adjusting themselves. It was fun. It makes you realise how much you monitor yourself in a heterosexual world, how self-conscious you are. It’s subtle, you’re not totally aware of it until you’re not in that world.”

“They were incredibly welcoming; it was incredible being in a group with that much warmth towards each other. I don’t spend a lot of time at event where there are only lesbians, it was quite an experience to do that.”

Deputy Mayor on the East Cape

Ōpōtiki Deputy Mayor Lyn Riesterer has a long chat with Jenny Rankine.

LR first inter provincial women's game 1980Lyn has lived in many parts of Aotearoa. She was born in Invercargill when her Pākehā dad was general manager of the YMCA for seven years. The family moved to Auckland and then Ōpōtiki, where she went to high school. She played five sports at regional representative level in Auckland, Manawatu and Canterbury – hockey, volleyball, soccer, cricket and she played in the first women’s rugby representative game (Manawatu vs Hawkes Bay in 1980; Lyn’s on the left). Later she became a hockey umpire and a PE teacher in Palmerston North, Christchurch (below), London and Ōpōtiki from 1981 to 2002.

Lyn’s mother has whakapapa from Whakatōhea, one of three iwi around Ōpōtiki, and Lyn says she was brought up Pākehā. “Mum was of the generation that was punished for speaking in te reo at school, and we only spoke English at home.” Ōpōtiki College didn’t offer Māori as a subject when Lyn was there; instead she learnt French.

“I’ve taken a year of te reo lessons, but learning a language is very difficult for me,” she says. She feels that she has “absorbed a lot of tikanga since moving to Ōpōtiki”.

Local body politics

LR PE teacher Chch, Hagley High School 1982Lyn was the third in her family involved in local body politics. Her dad was Mayor of the Ōpōtiki District Council for 12 years. Her middle brother Bryan was also a district councillor and former Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor, while her older brother Graeme is chair of their Ngāti Patumoana hapū and of the Whakatōhea Pre-settlement Claims Trust.

“When I’d been back home for seven years, I had a conversation with my dad about there being a place for more women as well as Māori on the council. His reply was that I hadn’t been home for long enough.”

“Dad mentored John Forbes (the current mayor) and John put my training wheels on,” says Lyn. She stood for the council in 2013, receiving the second-highest vote count of 547 in her ward.

“I stood because I felt I had a strong woman’s voice and there was only one other woman out of seven. In 2013 two Māori women stood at the same time and we both got in. We’re not quiet women, we speak up,” she says. In 2013 was the first time the council has been half Māori and half female – “there’s no other council like it. The CEO, who’s a woman, says it’s made such a difference”.

LR Port LincolnLyn is pictured on the right in Port Lincoln, South Australia, with some of her colleagues in a 2014 visit investigating aquaculture.

In 2016 Lyn was re-elected unopposed, and in 2017, she resigned her job as Gateway Co-ordinator for Ōpōtiki College, helping students with career choices and arranging training and work experience.

Unlike the bigger centres, local body councillors in Ōpōtiki are “independent, not aligned to political parties”. The mayor picks their deputy and Forbes picked her after that election.

“It’s a very robust group, we don’t always agree but we respect each other and work very well together.” The population of the council region is around 60 percent Māori, she says.

LR CouncillorAll members of the Coast Community Board are currently Māori, she says. The board territory stretches from Opape to Cape Runaway, across Ngai Tai and Te Whānau ā Apanui areas, and is the only board in the council region.

We asked about her opinion of Māori wards, which were voted down in a Whakatane District Council referendum in February by 55 percent against to 44 percent in favour.

Lyn pointed out that the decision was much closer than the previous vote in 2007, when 70 percent of participating voters were against the idea. “That showed that more people saw the need to hear a Māori voice.” She’s ambivalent about the idea of Māori wards.

“It’s really important for an iwi voice to be listened to, but it’s also really important for Māori to stand as council members. The proportion who vote in council elections is very low, although in Ōpōtiki the proportion is higher. Down the East Coast the proportion is very, very low, but we still get Māori on the community board.”

LR Opotiki Church St“It’s really shocking when a council recognises the need for a Māori voice and people have read very racist voices. The rhetoric can be quite hateful; it shows who’s in your communities in their best and worst light. It’s a numbers game – Māori are in the minority – but I think things will change.”

“I wanted to be involved in the harbour development. That’s what’s so exciting about aquaculture – Whakatohea has a mussel farm and the council is working on a harbour transformation to get a river port for mussel barges.”

Lyn is a member of the Ohiwa Harbour Implementation Forum, and is a voluntary member on the Whakatohea environment committee. “The iwi and the council are working side by side for economic development.”

“I’ve always stood up for what I felt was the best decision for the community – even if I’m arguing from a minority viewpoint and trying to change the consensus. “When we’re given a problem to solve I like looking at all the arguments for and against. I like reading the reports.”

LR Council rubbish bagShe gives the example of rubbish collection. The council consulted on a contentious 10-year waste collection plan, about how much would be recycled and how much would go to landfill. “We were collecting recyclables in plastic bags on the kerb, which were always getting ripped open.”

“The council philosophy was zero waste, but most councillors wanted to stick with the status quo. I argued against that and changed their minds. So we’re using compostable bags for recycling and changing to small wheelie bins in 2020.

Ōpōtiki is unique because the “rate take is very small because there is so much Department of Conservation estate”, almost 60 percent. Much Māori-owned land is non-productive and doesn’t pay rates, and some landowners get rates remissions to enable them develop it economically.

Lyn plans to stand for the mayoralty in 2019, as John Forbes has said he won’t stand again. “I’ll be campaigning on the continuity of good leadership.” Lyn says her sexual identity “wasn’t an issue when I stood for council, it’s never been. Maybe when I stand for mayor.”

Coming out

Lyn knew she loved women when she first fell in love at 22. She came out to her whānau in the 80s when she was 26, living with an Australian woman in Christchurch, “and my parents were coming to stay. All of my friends said not to do it but I wrote to them saying that we weren’t just friends. I’d never lied, but I felt that this was part of my life I wasn’t being completely honest about with my family.”

“The New Zealand Hockey Association paid for me to train as an umpire in the Netherlands and during my three months there I popped across to England. I met my previous partner, fell in love and lived there from 1989.”

LR council.“I got very homesick and came back in 1999 to see if we could live here. She couldn’t and I knew I had to stay. I’d had a long time away and I felt my family didn’t know me as an adult.”

“I broke off the relationship, and then I met Kate. I thought it was very unfair of the gods that I fell for another English woman. Kate was leaving the country in early 2000 and I asked if she’d live with me here.”

“It never bothered my brothers; mum and dad had parental objections quite different from each other. It wasn’t an issue until I moved back to Ōpōtiki, where dad was still mayor. I asked him whether it would be a problem.”

“My parents are very supportive, mum in a very private way. Mum said that nobody needed to know, but that wasn’t going to happen.”

“In Ōpōtiki people notice that you’re a couple. Students would ask ‘Hey Miss, is she your partner?’” They just wanted to know, Lyn says, and it wasn’t an issue with students. “Kids on the supermarket checkout have seen us buying groceries together for 19 years.”

The pair ran the Driftwood Dreamers business for six years until the 2010 economic recession, offering “soft adventures” tours for small groups of women around Aotearoa. Lyn was the guide and driver – “great job, loved it” – and Kate was administrator and webmistress.

Civil union

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“It made a huge difference to the whānau when we had our civil union 12 years ago. The civil union was overwhelmingly supported by locals. We had a celebration dinner at the marae, and asked the college kapa haka group to cater as a fundraiser. The deputy principal asked all the parents first and got unanimous agreement. They did a powhiri for guests and kapa haka items – it was a huge thrill for the Pākehā half of the family who hadn’t been on a marae.”

Kate gets Lyn to fill in the backstory. “The Ngāti Patumoana marae, Waiaua, was booked in January for the April event, but 12 days before the chair of the trust said that we couldn’t hold it there because ‘people like you’ shouldn’t get married. The marae committee disagreed, but he made a unilateral decision. I pushed him until he banned us.”

“I whakapapa to several marae in Ōpōtiki and approached Opape – they said yes and were very supportive. The Tuesday before the civil union, the New Zealand Human Rights Commission were meeting on that marae, and the chair thanked the hapū for hosting them and noted that they were making history by being the first marae to host a same-sex civil union.”

Lyn says that Opape was one of the few marae where the whare nui (meeting house) is named after a female ancestor, Muriwai. “It ended up being the right fit.”

“We were very hurt and angry by the refusal of Waiaua”. Kate adds: “Lyn couldn’t be the person she was on her turangawaewae.”

Lyn says: “That hurt wasn’t acknowledged for some time. It took us a long time to go back to Waiaua – we used to help out in the kitchen with our cousins. A lot of cousins from that marae had to decide if they’d come to the ceremony – some did, some didn’t.”

Kate is a self-employed graphic designer, with years of experience in London publishing firms, and is involved in several Ōpōtiki area arts organisations, including Arts on Tour as well as the Motu Challenge committee, organising a multisports event.

LR cabbagesLyn was a New Zealand board member for the AFS for eight years. “We hosted two daughters in 2016, one from the Netherlands and one from Quebec, a wonderful experience”, Lyn says. The pair “always have people to stay”, including many members of Kate’s family and lots of Workaways (a work for accommodation scheme), who help her in the garden.

For some years they have satisfied their taste for comedy by running an annual spoof of the stereotype of a Country Women’s Institute garden party for women friends (no kids or partners), complete with frocks and handbags and a different theme each year. One of their friends calls it a service for women in the area.

LR Garden PartyTo kick things off, Kate plays the bossy, megalomaniac president, Felicity Fotherington-Farquarhar, and Lyn plays the sidekick secretary, who changes each year. Kate says: “We make complete tits of ourselves at the beginning to create an environment for women to let their hair down and play silly buggers.”

Photo of Church St, Opotiki by Ulrich Lange, from Wikipedia.

Te ao pāpāho / Media

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

Rafiki screens again
Women’s Countercinema in Auckland
Living with AIDS photos 30 years on

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

Rafiki screens again

Rafiki was a hugely important inclusion in the 2018 New Zealand International Film Festival. It’s a Kenyan film, banned in Kenya (an exception was made for seven days in September, to enable it to qualify for consideration for Best Foreign Language movie at the Oscars).

Two young women from opposing political backgrounds fall in love in a Kenya where homosexuality is unlawful – it’s not an easy story, but a powerful one. Go to Wikipedia for details of plot, cast and the ban.

Director Wanuri Kahiu will be attending screenings in October, in Otaki, Wellington and Auckland.

  • Auckland, Thursday 26 October, 6pm followed by Q&A with director Wanuri Kahiu. Rialto Cinema Newmarket, bookings online but not yet open
  • Wellington, Sunday 28 October, 3pm, followed by a Q & A with director Wanuri Kahiu. Te Auaha cinema, Dixon St. Tickets via Conferize
  • Wellington, Monday 29 October, 6pm, with director Wanuri Kahiu present. Beehive Theatrette, New Zealand Parliament, Pipitea, hosted by Jan Logie and Grant Robertson as guest.I nvitation only, but feel free to ask for an invitation. Details on Medium website
  • Otaki, Tuesday 30 October, 6pm, Maoriland Hub, 68 Main St, Otaki. Director Wanuri Kahiu will be present.

Women’s Countercinema in Auckland

The There She Goes: Women’s Countercinema in the 20th Century event has four screenings in October:

  • Friday 5, 8pm, Born in flames
  • Sunday 7, 2pm, Woman, Demon, Human
  • Friday 19, 6.30pm, Jeanne Deilman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
  • Friday 26, 8pm, Wanda

While it describes itself as a small selection of women’s cinematic output, the show highlights the radical work done by women within the (obstacle-ridden) field of cinema.

For more information, visit the Facebook event page and for tickets and trailers, go to the Academy cinema website.

Living with AIDS photos 30 years on

The recent launch of reprinted albums from Fiona Clark’s 1988 photography exhibition Living with AIDS was both “sad and celebratory”, she says. She is pictured below speaking at the launch.

FC talkingThe three books feature photographs of Sherrin English, Peter Warren, Alastiar Hall and Grant Cotter, who all had HIV or AIDs in 1988. Sherrin was the only woman with HIV who was public at the time, and “active in the methadone programme”, says Fiona.

They were pictured at home or work, with friends and family, and their handwritten stories accompany the images. At the time of the exhibition there was no treatment for HIV. “I was amazed at the incredible hysteria and the myths that seemed to be generated about it,” says Fiona. For her, the photos were a response to the lesbian and gay community she was part of.

“There was sadness as well as a sense of joy” at the launch, she says. “People don’t die now and it’s a very different world. Some of the family members and carers from that time turned up – I hadn’t seen them for 30 years.”

“People have been surprised by the books,” she says. “People were quite emotional, and I was too because I had friends who died. It reminded people of the very tough times of that crisis. I was surprised too, because 30 years ago there was no sense of celebration, no relief.”

“People of another generation didn’t know any of that had happened. They had no sense of how it would be to be 20 and lose three friends in one year the same age as you. Now people live with HIV, it’s not a death sentence.”

The original photographs were presented as “oversized albums that you had to touch and turn the pages to read each person’s story,” says Fiona. “They were very intimate and I made only one copy.” Two had photographs and stories and the third had comments about the photos from visitors to the exhibitions. The originals were acquired by Te Papa last summer.

The images were negotiated with the subjects, who also wrote in the albums. “That’s been how I work, really collaboratively with the people I’m photographing; making sure people have an equal say, so it’s not them and the viewer.”

The faces of three of the people are turned away or obscured. “Grant had already lost his flat because he had HIV, and everyone agreed not to put people at risk any further because it was so stressful, they knew they were dying. They’d given so much and I said ‘You don’t have to give any more than you need to’.”

FC GrahamBut Peter felt he had less to lose because he was very ill and didn’t know “whether he would be there when the albums were published. He died within six months of the exhibition.”

“I like the one of Peter walking back from the dairy with the bottle of milk (left),” says Fiona. The dairy owner had previously refused to serve him. “That was all Peter could do that day and he gave it to me. I think it comes across in the photograph – the effort of the walk and the ordinariness of it.”

Peter, Alastair, Sherrin and Grant came to the exhibition opening in 1988 at the Dowse Gallery in Lower Hutt. “Discrimination was still rife,” says Fiona. “People hadn’t caught on that it was illegal, they still thought they could discriminate, and they believed you could get HIV from exchanging money from someone with the virus.”

The albums were shown at the 5th International AIDS Conference in Montreal and in Perth in 1989, at the International Candlelight Memorial at Parliament Buildings in 1990, at the Michael Lett Gallery in 2015, and at Artspace in 2016.

Current photographs

Fiona is photographing the changes from the oil and gas industry in the Taranaki landscape where she lives. This continues work she started in the 1970s, which led to the 1980s series Te iwi o te wāhi kore (the people with nothing) about local Māori concern about pollution of the kai moana around the coast after their land had long ago been confiscated.

FC 2015“Environmental change is far more extreme now, I see climate change all the time in the clouds coming from the production stations and the flaring at night. It’s very difficult to articulate what climate change looks like; I’m trying to image what we’re living amidst here. At 2am you can walk around without any light because the flares are so bright.” Fiona’s photos above are from the Climate Justice Taranaki site.

“I sleep on fracked ground; fracking started in 2005 and I live next to a sleeping volcano. She’s gonna wake up soon, I reckon.”

FC bookLiving with AIDS was published by Michael Lett, comes in a slip cover and included an essay by David Herkt, which places Fiona’s collaborative and caring images in the context of the hysteria and victim-blaming of the time. They also include a conversation between Fiona and Ron Brownson. The suite of books cost $85 and are available from the gallery website. Jenny R

He huatau / Opinion

Berlin Dyke March

Miriam Saphira was in Berlin in time for their Dyke Pride March on Christopher Street Day.

Berline Dyke March 2The first CSD LGBTI parade, with lots of truck-based floats, took to the streets in West Berlin on June 30 in 1979 and Dyke Pride Marches began in 2012. They had also been held in New York in the 70s, and since in 1981 in Vancouver.

Dyke Marches are a platform for lesbian visibility, anti-sexist and feminist topics. They are free of commercial advertising and political party banners and floats.

Dyke on Bikes, including a bike group from Hamburg, led the parade of 5,000 women including many lesbian feminist groups and issues. The sole vehicle pumped out women’s music, and was pushed for part of the parade to save petrol.

Berlin Dyke March1Among the placards were ‘Lesbians are the new queer’ with a women’s sign intertwined with a labrys; ‘The lesbians are coming’; ‘Remember the riots’; ‘We have so much clit we don’t need balls’; ‘my wonderful aging programme loves sex’; ‘lesbian against the right’, ‘For my own chosen living space when I am old’; ‘The future is fluid’; and many waving labryses.

The march ended with the Dycyles – Dykes on bicycles.

Berlin Dyke March 3.jpgAlthough the placards represented difficult aspects of discrimination, ill health and housing, it was a very jolly parade. After the closing speeches at the Südblock, the celebrating and discussions continued at three nearby bars.

The Dyke March was very different from the CSD Parade the next day, which included many corporate and political floats, involved a million people and lasted more than six hours in 36° heat.

What I also found exhilarating was the lesbian show at the Schulz Museum. Usually this gay museum is male dominated but this year it had a large lesbian herstory exhibition. It featured early music in podcasts, which visitors could listen to on earphones; film clips from the early lesbian movement; and a range of poets, writers and artists. I saw work from Claude Cahun (1894-1954) that was new to me, and my friend Käte Weiss who founded a woman’s centre and gallery.

Die_freundin_1928I was sad they did not show a copy of Die Freundin, the first known lesbian magazine in the world (1924), recently found in a box in an attic. Spinnboden, the lesbian archive, had to raise €6,000 euros to buy them. Several other gay groups pitched and they are now archived, with copies at Spinnboden to view. The Charlotte Museum Trust in Auckland also has copies as well as other lesbian magazines in different languages.

We were so lucky to stay in Schöneberg, the old gay district I have been visiting since 1986. We were able to see the tribute to poet Hilda Radusch, who survived incarceration in a concentration camp for being lesbian. Hilda and Käte Weiss are no longer with us but their memory is recorded. It was a poignant time for me.

Photos of the march by Brigitte Dummer.

Rātaka Takatāpui / Dyke Diary

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

Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau

To Sunday 16 December Lesbian Salsa dancing An introduction to salsa, open to all ages, sizes and dance levels; no partner needed, singles welcome. Taught weekly by Susanna, but no class on Sunday October 21, Labour weekend. $10 per class. 6.30-7.30pm, Auckland Women’s Centre, 4 Warnock St, Grey Lynn. Phone Susanna on 021 260 9145.

To October 31 Are we there yet? asks how far have New Zealand come since we gained the vote? Equal pay, reproductive rights, gendered violence, online trolling, legal rights and body image are all up for discussion. With photos of trailblazers and marches, posters and publications and a short-film directed by Gaylene Preston. Auckland Museum.

Monday 1 – Friday 5 University of Auckland Pride Festival 12 noon – 3pm each day in the Symonds St central campus Quad and Queerspace; stalls, movies, quiz, clothes swap and lunch. See the Facebook event page.

Wednesday 3 Auckland Pride Hot Topic Hui: your views on the State sector’s place within Pride – the inclusion of police and Corrections staff has been contentious. 7-9pm, Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Rd. Go to the Facebook event page for details.

NGR AkThursday 4 Naked Girls Reading, hosted and organised by Wellington drag king Hugo Grrrl. 7.30pm, Caluzzi Cabaret, 461 Karangahape Rd, $20, tickets from www.eventfinda.co.nz. See the Facebook event page.

Saturday 6 Pulse lesbian art group exhibition Potpourri opening 2-4pm, Depot Gallery, 28 Clarence St, Devonport.

Saturday 6 – Wednesday 24 Pulse lesbian art group exhibition, Potpourri, events through the month, see below.

Sunday 7 Pulse artists available to talk informally with visitors about the Potpourri exhibition, 11am-3pm, Depot Artspace, 28 Clarence St, Devonport.

New Lynn walkSunday 7 New Lynn Women’s Walk 11am-1pm, to places associated with early New Lynn women, including some contemporary women’s art. Part of the Heritage Festival, organised by the Charlotte Museum Trust. Bookings preferred as spaces are limited. Phone 021 157 3304 or email miriamsaphira@gmail.com See the Facebook event page.

Sunday 7 Dyke Hike 11am. Tapapakanga. We will zig zag through this coastal reserve south of Clevedon, and wander along the beach for part of the hike. Meet at the carpark in the middle of Tapapakanga. The Park is at the end of Deery Road. Grade: Moderate (boots recommended, expect a few hills and stream crossings are possible, moderate fitness needed). Email hike@lesbian.co.nz, visit www.lesbian.co.nz or the Facebook page.

Sunday 7 Capturing lost stories Lois Cox will discuss her recent interviews with four older Auckland Lesbians who talk about their early years in oppressive times as part of Auckland Heritage Festival. 2-4pm, Charlotte Museum, 8 Bentinck St, New Lynn. See the Facebook event page.

Sunday 7 – Sunday 16 December Lesbian Salsa dancing An introduction to salsa, open to all ages, sizes and dance levels; no partner needed, singles welcome. Taught weekly by Susanna, but no class on Sunday October 21, Labour weekend. $10 per class. 6.30-7.30pm, Auckland Women’s Centre, 4 Warnock St, Grey Lynn. Phone Susanna on 021 260 9145.

Monday 8-Sunday 14 ‘Breathe Out, Breathe In’ art exhibition by Sam RB as part of Art Week. Ponsonby Central, opening Monday 5pm, Sam present 9am-5pm daily. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Monday 8 Charlotte Museum de facto AGM (we don’t formally have a membership but we have some wonderful friends) to share what we’ve been doing, planning and the direction we see the museum going in its twelfth year. Also looking for interested people to join the Board. 6pm, with refreshments after the meeting. 8a Bentinck St, New Lynn. Go to Facebook event page for updates.

Mana Wahine AWCTuesday 9 Mana Wāhine Showcasing the mahi of wāhine Māori. With Khylee Quince (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu), criminal justice researcher and lecturer; Laura O’Connell Rapira (Te Ātiawa, Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Whakaue), Director of ActionStation and co-founder of RockEnrol; and Leonie Pihama (Te Ātiawa, Ngā Māhanga a Tairi, Ngāti Māhanga) Director of Te Kotahi Research Institute at the University of Waikato and co-director of a project surveying takatāpui. Moderated by broadcaster and journalist Mihingarangai Forbes (Ngāti Paoa, Ngāti Maniapoto). All genders welcome. Organised by the Auckland Women’s Centre and supported by the Ministry for Women’s Suffrage 125 Community Fund. 7-9pm, Western Springs Garden Community Hall, 956 Gt North Rd, Western Springs.

Pulse potpourriWednesday 10 Pulse artists talk about how art, poetry books, visual diaries and other women artists have influenced the art in their Potpourri exhibition. 1-2pm, Depot Gallery, 28 Clarence St, Devonport.

Wednesday 10 aLBa meeting Hear Youthline CEO Shae Ronald talk at the Auckland Lesbian Business Association meeting this month, from 5.30pm, Garnet Station, Westmere. Shae will be speaking at 6.30pm. Free for members, otherwise $10 at the door.

Sunday 14 Pulse art member Cath Head demonstrates stone carving techniques. 1-2pm, artists’ panel discussion. Depot Gallery, 28 Clarence St, Devonport.

Tuesday 17 Artist Luisa Tora discusses the Fijian female tattooing tradition of Veiqia (vain-gear). 10.30-11.30am, Papatoetoe Library, 30 Wallace Rd. See the Facebook event page.

Wednesday 17. Pulse artists talk about the art in their Potpourri exhibition. 1-2pm, Depot Gallery, 28 Clarence St, Devonport.

Pride movieThursday 18 Free screening of Pride, by Hidden Perspectives: Bringing Arts out of the Closet, and Gender Studies at the University of Auckland. This drama shows the connection between lesbian and gay activists and striking coal miners in 1984. Pizza from 4.45pm, raffles and a 10-minute clip of Nevin Govindasamy’s new documentary, Line Out, about Auckland’s queer-friendly rugby club, the Falcons. Pride screening from 5.30pm. Arts Bldg 1, Room 209, 14 Symonds St. All welcome.

Lick Ak ChainsawSaturday 20 Lick Auckland/The Sexy Chainsaw Massacre A Halloween dance for girls who like girls, 10pm-3am, Neck of the Woods, 155b Karangahape Rd, city. $10/$15. See the Facebook event page, or join the Lick Auckland Facebook group.

Sunday 21 Coffee & Stroll. 10am, meet for coffee at Rabbit café, 30 St Benedict’s St, Eden Terrace. 10.30am, stroll to and through Basque Park (entry via Exmouth St) and the surrounding inner city area: a close-up look at a varied, changed and changeable urban landscape – check out Timespanner’s article. Additional, or wet weather, option: Hard To Find Books, now located at 2-8 St Benedicts St. Notes: dogs on leash in park, café is vegetarian/vegan (the name is the clue).

Sunday 21 Aorewa McLeod talks about Heather McPherson and her poetry; Nadia Gush talks about Emotional deviants and the politics of love; and Joanne Drayton talks about artists Edith Collier and Frances Hodgkins. 1-3pm. Part of the Pulse lesbian Potpourri exhibition. Depot Gallery, 28 Clarence St, Devonport. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Wednesday 24 Celebratory ending to the Pulse lesbian art exhibition Potpourri with a trumpet medley from Edwina Thorne. 5-7pm. Depot Gallery, 28 Clarence St, Devonport.

Thursday 25 Rafiki screening followed by Q&A with director Wanuri Kahiu 6pm, Rialto Cinema Newmarket, bookings online but not yet open.

Saturday 27 Singer/songriter Sam RB plays Nomad 5 Pt Chevalier Rd, Pt Chev. 5.30-8.30pm. A mix of originals and covers.

Saturday 27 Pink Star Walk 4.15-9pm, Auckland Domain, fundraiser for breast cancer support. Tickets $35-40. Go to Facebook event page for details and to buy tickets.

Sunday 28 Mosaic workshop 10am-4pm, Charlotte Museum, 8 Bentinck St, New Lynn. See the Facebook event page.

Waikato/Central North Island/Hawkes Bay

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

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

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.

To November 7 Expressive Life Drawing class with Sian Torrington. A six-week drawing adventure, 6-8pm, Vincent’s Art Studio, Willis St (no class Oct 10). $245, including all materials and model fees. See the class website and email Sian siantorrington@gmail.com.

Saturday 13 MaLGRA Womyn’s Dinner and Dance Organised by MaLGRA women to celebrate 40 years of activism, organising, support and fun times. If you enjoyed a women’s night at Malgra sometime over the last 41 years, or wish you had, this is a night for you. 6pm–midnight, Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science & History, 326 Main St, Palmerston North, $5-$35. Request tickets by Messenger on the Facebook event page. If you are interested in other women’s reunion possibilities over the weekend, or you want to come to the dinner, please email Jeankahui@hotmail.com

Saturday 13 Naked Girls Reading: The occult edition Hosted and organised by resident drag king Hugo Grrrl. 8-10pm, Fringe Bar, 28 Allen St, Te Aro. Tickets $20-$35 from Eventfinda, see the Facebook event page.

Sunday 14 Lesbian Overlanders Kapiti coastal walk Meet in the Coastlands carpark near the underpass to Paraparaumu railway station at 10.45am for an easy 3hr walk along the shared bike path to Raumati Beach, down the beach to Queen Elizabeth Park, then either through the park or along the beach to Paekakariki. Coffee at lesbian-owned Perching Parrott. Text Linda 0274 428 563 if you are coming.

Thursday 18 Wellington Feminist Poetry Club We are the hysterical feminists the internet warned you about. A night of poetry from badass and bitter female-identifying people and queers. Prepare for hilarious and biting commentary on girlhood and LGBTQIA resistance. Hosted by Hugo Grrrl and Poetry in Motion Wellington. 7.30pm, Fringe Bar, 28 Allen St, Te Aro, $5. See the Facebook event page.

True ColoursFriday 19 True Colours – Tattoo Flash Day for InsideOUT New designs; 70% of all proceeds goes to InsideOUT. 10am-6pm, The Gallery Custom Tattoo, level 2, 4 Bond St, Wellington city. See the Facebook event page.

Sunday 21 Wellington Feminist Poetry Club Sunday poetry workshop – Slam Stage Brave Face with Tarns Hood. Koha $5-$20. 1pm, the Fringe Bar, 28 Allen St, Te Aro. See the Facebook event page.

Filth monsterThursday 25, Friday 26 and Saturday 27 Filth monster: A Halloween drag show, with Robin YaBlind as The Werewolf, Judy Virago as The Cyborg, Harlie Lux as The Zombie, Angel Ace as The Bug, Violet Tendencies as The Gremlin, Vulga Tits as The Swine, Bunny Holiday, a domestic and Hugo Grrrl as The Mad Scientist. 8pm, Fringe Bar, 28 Allen St, Te Aro. $20-$30, tickets from Eventfinda, see the Facebook event page.

Friday 26 Wellington Lesbian Radio Fundraiser Quiz 7-9pm, Thistle Hall, corner Cuba St & Arthur St. $10 entry per team, pay on the night. Go to Facebook event page for more information and to register.

Sunday 28 Rafiki screening followed by a Q & A with director Wanuri Kahiu. 3pm, Te Auaha cinema, Dixon St. Tickets via Conferize.

Monday 29 Free screening of Kenyan lesbian drama Rafiki, followed by a conversation between director Wanuri Kahiu and MP Kiri Allan and audience questions. 6pm, Parliament theatre. All welcome, first come, first in. RSVP essential by 5pm Friday 26 to rafikiparliament@gmail.com, because Parliament requires a list of attendees beforehand.

Tuesday 30 Rafiki screening with director Wanuri Kahiu. Part of Māoriland Film Festival, 68 Main Street, Otaki. 6-9pm. Go to Facebook event page for details.

Wednesday 31 “#MeToo : what now? Wellington Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation AGM and speakers event. 5.45pm arrival & drinks, 8pm, close. Entry by donation. Go to Facebook event page for details and updates.

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.

Thursday 11 Four bridges walk 4-5pm. This loop walk will start at the town end of Clouston Bridge at the end of Nile Street East. We will walk up and over Cleveland Terrace, wind around various streets and end up back on Nile Street. Optional stop at the Prince Albert for a cold one if people want. Walk is around 45 minutes. Cancelled if it is raining.

Sunday 28 Motueka brunch, from 11am, Elevation Cafe, High St, Motueka.

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.

Various dates: Rainbow community research, focus groups as part of research into the wellbeing of the Rainbow community in Christchurch: 6-8pm for all. Groups currently planned include 40+ women and those who identify as non-binary (Monday 8), 14–25 year olds (Friday 12), Takatāpui, Pacifica rainbow community (Wednesday 17), anyone who can’t make the above dates or doesn’t identify with those groupings (Friday 19). Visit the website for more information and how to register.

Friday 19 CAMP! Drag show and dance party, with drag talent and DJs to keep you dancing throughout the night, including Nyte Mare, Poppy Beardhammer, Peggy The Basic Cheesecake, Fantasia D’Vyne, Lady Bubbles, Aurora Borealis, Tony Chestnut, Reno Remitál, Sera Tonin and Aurora Storm. Hosted by Hugo Grrrl, best dressed prizes, $10- $20 from Eventfinder, 7.30pm, A Rolling Stone, 579 Colombo St, Christchurch. See the Facebook event page.

Otago/Southland/Te taurapa o te waka

Saturday 6 Wild Women Walk up Grahams Bush Track from Hall Rd, Sawyers Bay. About two hours, which can be extend for another two up the Organ Pipes. Meet at 10am at Anzac Ave, opposite the Hocken Library. Transport and other queries Email Elizabeth Thompson or phone 022 0678 400 about transport or other queries.


To Saturday 22 October, Holly Near Fall concert series across several states, more dates expected. Visit ‘Holly Near Fan’ Facebook page for details and updates.

October 17 Peggy Seeger in conversation 7-8.30pm, Barbican Music Library, London. Follows the paperback publication of her award-winning memoir First Time Ever (due 6 September 2018). Visit Facebook event page for details and tickets.

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

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