What was going on in October? – it’s not too late to find out, we’ve collected all the items here.
Our very own L-word?
Positive sexuality education resource for schools
Community hui and violence survey
Proud to Play the first of many?
Learn mosaic at the Charlotte Museum
Billets needed for singers in February
Items wanted for GABA fundraising auction
Relying on women MPs for pay equity
New Zealand’s first lesbian web-series is about to start. Pot Luck explores the lives of three Wellington lesbians who make make a pact which turns their weekly pot luck dinners into a search for love. Or not. And it all plays out over dinner.
Mel, played by Nikki Si’ulepa, is charismatic, free and easy. Nikki describes her as “Toned, tanned, with a confidence bordering on arrogance”, a role Nikki’s looking forward to playing. Her mate Debs, played by Anji Kreft, is a shy butch whose heart was broken six years ago, so there’s a softer, complex side to this staunch woman. Beth, played by Tess Jamieson-Karaha, is the third part of the trio; she’s also Mel’s ex-girlfriend. The weekly dinner format allows for a range of guests, and Beth’s mother Eileen will make a regular appearance. (See images and brief bio’s of the actors on the Pot Luck Facebook page.)
Pot Luck explores real lesbians’ stories in a naturalistic way, though with its comedy tone there are more than a few laughs peppered throughout the series. As with everything on screen, reality is heightened, but there’s a good chance you’ll see yourself, or someone you know, in the characters and their situations. Ness Simons, the writer and director, is a graduate of the NZ Film School and Whitirea’s Creative Writing Programme. “I want to create stories I wish I’d seen when I was younger, and stories that I’d like to see now”, she says. There are queer characters on screen, but portrayals are still limited, and there’s very little content coming out of New Zealand. Pot Luck‘s lesbians are in their late 30s and early 40s and the challenges they put to each other will test the depth of their friendships.
The pilot episode has been funded by the Emerging Artists Trust (also on Facebook) which Ness says has been “a huge vote of support and really helpful in getting the momentum for the series underway”. They will start shooting episode one in early November, and with that in hand, the Pot Luck team will look for further support and funding avenues to complete the series, including a crowdfunding campaign.
Wellington is showcased in this show – you’re going to see Ness’ appreciation for Wellington city and coast, and the “real” lesbian community will also be present. Pot Luck will feature shots of Wellington area lesbians in the opening and closing of each episode. Ness is looking to film a wide range of lesbians going about their ordinary lives (including pot luck dinners), so get in touch if you would like to participate: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alison K
Rainbow Youth’s new Inside Out teaching resource is being launched in Whangarei, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, and Dunedin during October and November, and was launched in Auckland, Hawkes Bay and Christchurch in September. See blue entries in Dyke Diary for dates.
Inside Out (no relation to the Wellington-based youth development group InsideOUT/ Kōaro – Tatū ki roto, tatū ki waho) is a set of free video-based teaching resources for year 7-13 teachers in schools and for youth groups, which aim to decrease bullying against LGBTT people. Launches will be accompanied by professional development workshops for teachers and youth workers. To attend one of these events, email Rainbow Youth’s National Projects Co-ordinator Aram Wu (pictured below left) on email@example.com
The Inside Out website contains seven video episodes – five 10-12-minute videos are for secondary students on sex and gender; transgender; prejudice against LGBTT people; norms and bullying behaviour; and respect. A longer video is for 11 to 12-year-olds in intermedia schools, and they come with a teacher’s guide to using Inside Out to stimulate class discussion. This includes lesson resources and a glossary for each video to promote critical thinking.
The resources involved more than 100 Kiwis from Rainbow Youth, Curative and CORE Education, and supported by the University of Auckland. Interestingly for an education resource, funded came from the Ministry of Social Development rather than the Ministry of Education.
Inside Out aims to foster a compassionate approach that does not victimise people for prejudiced ideas, but encourages students to understand what norms are, where they come from, how they are enforced, how they can structure our world and our behaviour.
Toni Duder (on the right), a lesbian and the Communications Manager for Rainbow Youth, says the film crew was “loving and friendly” for her two hours of talking to a camera about the bullying she received at school, and she found it interesting to see “how much I’ve grown since those experiences. It was so cool to be part of a national education video.”
The launch gained a lot of media coverage, she says, and the resources had already been downloaded a lot by the beginning of the month. A session using Inside Out with Albany senior secondary students “encouraged lots of discussion, which is exactly what we want”.
What two teachers say
LNA asked two Wellingtonians for comment. Here’s what teacher Angela King says about InsideOut.
“At last we have a set of multimedia sexuality and gender resources that have New Zealand faces, accents and realities. InsideOut is stylish, clever, informative, and it’s free!
“As well as the video resources that cover topics such as Gender, Sex and Sexuality and Diversity and Difference, teaching guides can be emailed to teachers who simply fill out a survey. Both these resources are packaged into two age groups – Years 7-8 and 9- 13, and fit nicely into the Health curriculum and alongside the Key Competencies. With a bit of thinking outside the box, I could see them being used in other areas of the curriculum too, such as Social Studies, Science and English.
“Like all pre-packaged resources, it would unwise to use these honest, candid and sometimes painful-to-hear videos without considering where your students are in thinking around these topics. The language and concepts could be new and confronting to some.
“For many young people who are struggling with their own sexuality or gender, seeing these bright, smart and sometimes funny people of their own age talk about what they have been through sends a clear message they are not alone and it’s does get better. This can only be a good thing for our LGBTI rangatahi, who are so over-represented in our mental health statistics.”
Angela has taught for 20 years in mainstream schools, and now teachers at CRHS – City, a Wellington school supporting young people with a mental health diagnosis to transition back to their regular school, work or training.
Judie Alison, PPTA’s Advisory Officer (Professional Issues) in Wellington has been running Safer Schools for All – teacher professional development sessions about LGBTTI issues in schools, including bullying, for some years. “Bullying guidelines are mostly silent on homophobic and trans bullying”, she says. InsideOut “will be a great addition to the resources available for Health teachers, in particular, to use in teaching about gender and sexuality. It is so good to have something that uses New Zealand young people and their experiences to talk to other young people and stimulate discussion. The young people speak slowly and in short bites, so that the viewer has time to absorb what they’re saying.
“Teachers are likely to pause the videos frequently for discussion” she says; “one 15-minute video might well have more than enough material for a one-hour lesson. I like the range of topics: gender sex and sexuality, transgender and intersex, diversity and difference, bullying and homophobia/transphobia, and respect and responsibility.” Judie says that PPTA will link to InsideOut in its Safer Schools for All resources.
Lesbians, bisexual, queer and trans women from Dunedin to Whangarei will have an opportunity to contribute to a campaign against partner and sexual violence directed towards them this month, and rainbow people anywhere can take part in the campaign survey.
Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura – Outing Violence was launched in September with a Facebook page and the survey and a website with fact sheets for lesbian survivors; a list of support services; planning for safety; what consent means for good sex; and ideas for how to support friends experiencing or wanting to stop using violence.
Takatāpui advisory group member Elizabeth Kerekere (Te Aitanga a Mahaki) and Pākehā bisexual woman Sandra Dickson, the project manager, are travelling the country this month running 20 hui to discuss issues of violence within our communities and relationships with a wide variety of rainbow and individuals and groups. See red text in Dyke Diary for dates and venues.
Says Sandra (pictured): “The Rainbow community is really diverse; things different parts of our community need may vary, and we don’t want to make assumptions about what they are. We need multiple conversations with different sections of our communities, rather than just one.
“We don’t have population-based research about violence in our communities here – all we have is the Youth 2000 study which found a higher experience of unwanted sexual contact for same and both-sex attracted secondary students,” Sandra said. However, that research doesn’t indicate whether the unwanted contact was from partners or non-partners. “There is only one population study of partner and sexual violence which includes lesbians, bisexual people and gay men,” she says. That survey, from the USA, indicates that such violence may be just as much an issue in our relationships as it is for straight people, says Sandra. But there is no population-based information about the experience of violence for trans and intersex people
Hence the community hui and the online survey. Each hui will raise awareness about partner and sexual violence. “My experience in rainbow communities and LGBTIQ groups is that people have lots of questions and examples of situations where they’ve been aware of serious violence,” says Sandra, “but that it hasn’t been called partner or sexual violence, often because those kinds of violence are seen as something that only happens in straight relationships.”
The hui will also discuss the impact of structural discrimination on us and our relationships. “Those things can be profoundly unhelpful for having good relationships,” says Sandra. The facilitators will explore where participants can go locally for help if they have experienced sexual or partner violence , and will finish by asking what kinds of resources communities would like to see.
Sandra hopes that the hui will give a picture of the harm from “never seeing positive role models for our relationships, and from our rigid gender norms. This includes the privileging of masculinity and some of the ways that masculinity can be embraced by butch women, when our models of masculinity are so toxic.”
The online anonymous and confidential survey is for all lesbians and other rainbow people aged over 16, whether they have experienced violence in a relationship or not. There had been 180 responses in the three weeks since the launch, Sandra says, but they need more. “We want to saturate online places queer people go to. If we get a lot of responses we’ll be able to tell a much better story about the cultural contexts in which violence happens, without excusing that violence.” Similar surveys in Australia successfully highlighted particular issues that needed more focus, she says.
Sandra approached It’s Not OK, the major government-funded campaign against family violence about an anti-violence campaign in Rainbow communities and gained a $15,000 grant. “It’s Not OK knew LGBTQI people were a big gap, and they were keen to work with the queer community.
Sandra gathered a diverse advisory group, mostly Wellington-based, with lots of strong women, including Elizabeth (below), Kassie Hartendorp (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga); Sandz Peipi Te Pou (Ngai Tūhoe, Ngati Kahungunu); Fetu-o-le-moana Teuila Tamapeau (Samoa and Niue); Tabby Besley (Pākehā queer femme); Rachel Fabish (queer Pākehā); and Moeawa Tamanui-Fransen (Netherlands, Suriname, Te Tairawhiti and Te Taitokerau hapū. They have contributed to the survey questions, and many will be involved in community hui around the country.
“We’ve taken the project a lot further than we were contracted for,” says Sandra; “everyone in the advisory group is excited at the good resources on the website” and “hundreds” of the survivor fact sheets and other resources have already been downloaded. “People are looking at the site and sharing it. The day we launched, we had two disclosures from women through the website about early abusive relationships – they never got any support.” The campaign will measure its reach by the numbers who attend hui, answer the survey, download and share website resources, and stories published about the campaign. While the Ministry of Social Development “see this as stage one of ongoing work”, there is “no committed funding” for future stages.
Sandra hopes we will “develop a much more complex analysis of violence than just using gender as shorthand”, as groups working on same-sex relationship violence have in the USA. “They ask about the meaning of the violence, what happened as a result, the context – a movie rather than a snapshot of the relationship.”
Sandra has worked in family and sexual violence for more than two decades in Aotearoa and the UK, in services supporting adult survivors of child sexual abuse, women who’ve been trafficked in prostitution, as well as in women’s refuge and rape crisis. For the last 10 years she has done national strategic work against tauiwi family and sexual violence. She has also trained people in anti-violence services about responding to LGBTIQ survivors.
“We don’t have to stay in a bad relationship thinking there won’t be a better one,” she says. “Women often think this might be as good as it gets, but that’s not true. We all deserve relationships where we are treated with respect. Abusive women can change their behaviour only if they acknowledge they have a problem and ask for help. It’s the responsibility of all of us to hold women who use violence to account.”
Nine sports are confirmed so far – touch, golf, dancesport, bridge, ten pin bowling, swimming, volleyball, a road run and an ocean swim.
The event still had no definite funding at the end of September, but has applied for the Auckland Regional Events Fund and is negotiating with Auckland Council, two banks and an alcohol sponsor. Fees have yet to be finalised, but will include sports participation, entry to the opening and closing ceremonies and a pool party, and a welcome backpack and t-shirt. A higher fee including a transport pass will also be available for participants who need transport to get to the Vector Arena and other West Auckland venuse for swimming, volleyball, bridge and other sports.
The organising group includes Christchurch-based Human Rights Commissioner Richard Tankersley (Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe and Waitaha); former OUTLines manager Vaughan Meneses; former Asia-Pacific Outgames co-leader Virginia Parker-Bowles, responsible for media; Dion Leslie, who organised the sports for the Wellington OutGames; Anna Magdalinos of Eventfinder, responsible for the Pool Party; Dave Bellamy and David Dennis, responsible for funding; Ian Pattison, volunteer co-ordinator; and event organiser Julian Cook.
A national trust is being established to run Proud to Play and co-ordinator Craig Watson hopes that future events will rotate between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The organising group is encouraging the formation of umbrella sports groups in Auckland and Christchurch to match the existing Team Wellington.
Natasha Norton will facilitate a mosaic workshop at the Charlotte Museum of lesbian culture for women at all levels of knowledge on Saturday October 24. The workshop will cater for those who want to learn how to mosaic as well as those who know and want to have fun mosaicking with like-minded women. Natasha will also be available on Sunday 25.
Natasha has run mosaic workshops for children at Colville on the Coromandel Peninsula; work from workshops is pictured. Interested women need to confirm their participation beforehand to ensure the workshop goes ahead. There will be a small fee to cover materials.
Two artists are confirmed for an exhibition of mosaic at the museum and Museum Director Nadia Gush is looking for more mosaic artists to take part. The exhibition will open later this month and run through November. Participants at the workshop will also be able to include their work in the exhibition. JR
More than 150 LGBTT singers from Hamilton, Wellington and around Australia will converge on Auckland during Pride 2016 for the Out & Loud Choral Festival, hosted for the second time by Auckland’s Gay and Lesbian Singers (GALS).
The event will include workshops, street singing performances, concerts at MOTAT, the Auckland Zoo and Western Springs College, and a massed choir event between Thursday February 18 and Sunday 21.
Single participants “are more than welcome”, says Pam Hart, a member of the O&LCF organising group and GALS.
GALS also welcomes offers of billets for visiting choir members from the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Chorus, the Melbourne Gay & Lesbian Chorus, the Brisbane Lesbian & Gay Pride Choir, the Canberra Gay & Lesbian Qwire and GALSWA in Perth. Contact Pam on marketing@GALS.org.nz JR
The Gay Auckland Business Association (GABA) is asking for donated auction items and activities for its major charity event in November (the 2014 lunch is pictured). “We often get very lovely artworks from a range of lesbian artists,” said GABA event manager Julian Cook. “We’re interested in everything from artworks, restaurant dinners, tickets to events, personal services like massages or law that businesses offer.”
The fundraising charity luncheon and auction for the GABA Charitable Trust will be held at midday on Sunday November 15, at the Hilton Auckland on Prices Wharf.
The trust distributed $22,675 to LGBTI groups and individuals in the last 12 months, and almost $300,000 in the last 15 years. This included four GABA Tertiary Scholarships, with AUT University, to help young LGBTI students in their first year of full-time study.
Entertainment details for the event will be available next month, and tickets will be on sale from mid-October from the Women’s Bookshop.
To donate an auction item or experience for the fundraiser, email Julian on firstname.lastname@example.org JR
The new We’re Relying on You campaign by the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, the Public Service Association/Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi, and the Service and Food Workers Union/Ngā Ringa Tota is lobbying women MPs to sign a pledge to support pay based on the job not the gender, and to oppose gender-based pay discrimination.
The unions believe that gender-based pay discrimination is bigger than politics. “If all women MPs across parliament sign a commitment to the principles of non-discrimination, this could be starting a cross-party commitment to end the gender pay gap,” they say.
Nearly half the women MPs have signed, and the unions encourage women to take a couple of minutes to use the website to ask the remaining women MPs to sign the pledge.
You can write to an MP or two using the website and share the campaign. If you are a member of a women’s or human-rights organisation, you can get your group to endorse the campaign and send your logo to the campaign for the website. JR
BOX Oceania – Queer and trans people of colour – QTPOC – in Wellington
Kassie Hartendorp (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, below in a circle), Fetu-o-le-moana Teuila Tamapeau (Samoa and Niue, below Kassie) and other members of BOX Oceania got together to respond to LNA’s questions and tell us about their activities in Wellington.
LNA So how many people are in Box and can you tell us a bit about themselves?
BOX Oceania is currently made up of four actively organising members in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) and two members based on Wurundjeri land (Melbourne). We are a group of takatāpui, Moana Pasifika, hip-hop skuxx kings and queer punk lovers and fighters. We are appreciative of our relationships across islands, cities and different communities. We have been lucky to meet and work alongside groups such as Alterity Collective, School’s Out, Tīwhanawhana, Love Life Fono, Glitch Aotearoa and Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura – Outing Violence.
Has group membership changed over time or is it relatively stable?
Membership is based on relationships of love, respect and reciprocity. The notion of ‘teu le va’ – adorning and valuing our relational spaces – encapsulates our approach to individuals and groups around us. BOX Oceania doesn’t really follow Westernised membership processes. People can jump in to whatever projects we are doing that they like and collaboration, not competition, is encouraged. Surviving can be a struggle and we strive to operate in ways that enhance peoples’ everyday lives and avoid common issues such as volunteer burnout. Looking back, we are thankful that there are so many people and organisations that have collaborated with us since we were first formed in 2012.
What made you start a women of colour/non-binary people’s event-organising group?
People of colour including those of Oceania are under-served and under-represented in many of our LGBTQI+ communities. Many face racism and discrimination within these rainbow communities too. Pasifika and Māori LGBTQI+ live in their home region of Oceania and are still at a greater risk of self-harm and suicide living here. Colonisation has meant that much of our indigenous knowledge on gender and sexuality has been stolen from us by Palagi systems that need to be more aware of the impacts, and how not to perpetuate harmful myths about our communities. Tapping into our indigenous knowledges has benefited us more than simply copying and pasting gaystream thought onto who we are as guardians of Moana Pasifika. BOX Oceania needed to take the opportunity to imagine and create supportive spaces of solidarity for ourselves instead of waiting for others to recognise us.
- Boost voices and visibility of the peoples of Moana Pasifika living and loving within and beyond the rainbow and
- Navigate ancestral knowledges to activate decolonising gender and sexuality work that
- Imagine and create futures inclusive of MVPFAFF*/LGBTQI+ peoples and their families.
[* Short for Mahu, Vakasalewalewa, Palopa, Fa’afafine, Akava’ine, Fakafifine, Fakaleiti, Phylesha Brown-Acton first coined this acronym so we would like to credit her for this term and for all of her work in Pacific communities.]
What is your most recent event and what are you planning next?
Our most recent community action was the Polynize yr mind: Wgtn2Akl Glitch Hui Vaka 2015, held earlier this year in Auckland. We asked our local LGBTQI+ communities for funding to enable us to co-ordinate and support taking a Māori Pasifika / QTPOC group to the hui. With that support, we were able to provide for registration fees, travel, food, tees, kete and familyship to a group of awesome people.
BOX Oceania was formed as a group made up of people with ancestral roots from Oceania, Africa and Asia. The formula we established for our group was to organise affordable events that recognised and valued non-straight people of colour and donate all proceeds to a ‘small’ charitable organisation. The groups we have donated to so far include Wellington Rape Crisis, Te Whare Rokiroki (Māori Women’s Refuge), Samoa Victim Support Group and School’s Out.
We started as a group that organised social nightclub events that celebrated a multiplicity of people and genres; for example, the 90s, drum and bass, hip hop and punk music. Many of us had experienced the negativity of racism and money-eyes in our communities and wanted to create a space free from that. Performers and organisers contribute on a voluntary basis, but in the future we would like to see more QTPOC being sustainably recognised for their work.
This year we are launching our new website, opening schoolofhardskuxx and organising a free roadie to Love Life Fono. We are also looking for a space to home a small community queer Oceania / Moana Pasifika library of books.
How do you get community input about what events are needed?
We are part of the under-represented communities that we are serving and so have some insight into what is missing for us as queer people of colour that love within and beyond the rainbow ourselves. For the people, by the people. Generally, upon completion of a project, we debrief as a group, take note of any feedback and incorporate what we need to do the same or differently for the next one. This year we applied for and received $3000 funding from Ara Taiohi [national umbrella youth fundholder] for some of our projects. We think it’s important to be open, accountable and transparent about that pūtea and are thankful for the relief it brings to some of our work. In relation to community input and feedback, this means communicating and caring for the spaces in between us; teu le va. We have engaged with other LGBTQI+ groups around us when appropriate. All of us are also linked to and work for other organisations and groups that aspire to uplift LGBTQI+ and wider communities. BOX Oceania is but a single island that is connected to a vast sea of islands that encompasses who we all are, and what we do to support ourselves and one another.
If anyone is interested in hanging out, getting involved with any of our projects such as, writing or featuring in the new website, attending or hosting a class at the schoolofhardskuxx or coming on a road trip to Love Life Fono in December holla mai at email@example.com or follow us on FB and/or @BOX_aotearoa on Twitter.
Rainbow Youth has just upgraded the I’m Local website, with Toni Duder writing new posts on sexuality and gender. The website provides two posters and a comic guide to gender and sexual identity for display in health and social services, schools, libraries, family planning centres, some marae, Citizens Advice Bureaux and other services in rural areas in Northland, Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Southland and Otago.
I’m Local replaces Curious, and includes a click-on map of Aotearoa listing all the the queer and gender diverse support groups around the country. A NZ Sign video version of the comic guide is in production.
Don’t miss Helen Courtney’s cartoons, titled killerQueen, including colour work and cartoons from Broadsheet magazine in the 1980s, at the Charlotte Museum until October 18. The opening attracted a good crowd and vigorous cartoon sales.
Helen (Ngati Toa Rangatira, Ngati Raukawa ki te Tonga, Te Ati Awa) grew up in West Auckland and now lives in Hamilton. She drew regularly for Broadsheet and has illustrated books by Pat Rosier and other authors. Her Broadsheet cartoons are black ink drawings, while her later cartoons use colour. “Black and white images are quite strong. Colour can make them weaker, so you have to use colour carefully or not at all,” she says.
The exhibition includes some lesbian cartoons, as well as some other political ones. “Humour is a way to disrupt perception and cartoon drawing is a wonderfully inventive medium to portray humour. For example, you can quote a politician to really lay bare how sexist they are by using an image to ramp up what they’re saying and show how they’re attacking women.”
“In my strongest political work I try to create a sense of evil, rather than being jokey or cute,” she says. “Because men run so much of the world, you can end up drawing a lot of cartoons of men. I try not to do that.”
“I called the exhibition killerQueen because that’s my attitude – it’s a struggle for mastery (of whatever challenges you set yourself) being the subject of your own life, which is still less possible for women than men. It’s not possible to be entirely true to yourself in our society, but you need to find the least damaging compromise and still feel you have a good life.”
“I remember before I even went to primary school a boy looked at me up the tree and said, ‘Girls don’t climb trees.’ You get told that a lot as a girl, not just by boys but by everybody. ‘Don’t’ then becomes ‘can’t’. Restricting women to a small, mean life has always pissed me off and I’m happy to attack that whenever possible. But I do try to fight on my own terms if I can. You live to fight another day – maybe.”
Helen also plays badminton “which encourages aggression”, and has represented New Zealand in chess at several Olympiads. “Women are not supposed to be aggressive; we’re meant to stand back and be polite. But in political cartooning, if you’re trying to attack a politician you want them crying into their pillow at night.”
At the opening, Helen described how she enjoyed reading the early Broadsheet. But she felt it needed more cartoons and set out to draw them despite not being allowed to study art at school. Pictured are Mike, Jen and Robyn at the opening.
In the 80s, Helen drew with fine steel-nibbed draughting pens. She now draws with any pen, scans the result and uses Photoshop or Illustrator to manipulate the image, or just draws with a digital pen straight to computer. “Technology means you are only limited by your imagination, the deadline and sloth. It’s fantastic.”
Helen has noticed an increase in women drawing comics. “It’s great more women are interested in drawing comics. Comics are more narrative than single panel work, you have to repeat the characters. I find it too difficult; my style is more the ‘one-hit wonder’ of single panels.”
The cartoons are mounted Gliceé prints on art paper available for around $75 with profits going to the Charlotte Museum. Most of Helen’s Broadsheet originals are held in the Turnbull Library Cartoon Collection. Watch out for more of Helen’s Broadsheet cartoons illustrating a book of Margot Roth’s writing planned for publication early next year.
Lagerlöf was the first woman writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1909, aged 51. Her photo (Wikimedia Commons) is from that year. (If you read Swedish, or trust/use web-based translation, there is a longer Swedish Wikipedia entry.)
And then, as if it’s not already enough to find a prominent lesbian from 100+ years ago, the internet also offers Project Gutenberg, free ebooks. Lagerlöf published mostly novels, but also short stories, non-fiction and a memoir. As with many authors, works in more than one language are available: you can read her work in Dutch, Finnish, German and Swedish.
What follows is a review of some of her work in English.
Short stories can be a really useful way to introduce yourself to a new author, and that’s certainly the case with Lagerlöf: you can gain a good sense of how she writes (allowing for the impact of the translator), and what she wants to tell the reader. Invisible Links (Osynliga länkar) was first published in 1894, and The Girl from the Marsh Croft (En saga om en saga och andra sagor) in 1908; both would have been included in the work considered for the Nobel Prize.
All of these stories do have a dated feel: a little stilted, quite formal. Their settings are not familiar to twenty-first century Aotearoa, urban or rural: they are small town or country areas in Scandinavia. But they are interesting portraits of people, of individuals making sense of their lives. Or being unable to make sense of them.
The story with the most ‘modern’ feel is the title story in Marsh Croft. It starts slowly, and to contemporary readers, somewhat confusingly: a court case where this young girl, Helga, is taking action against an older married man. It turns out she has an illegitimate child (though that term is not used), he is the father, and denies the relationship or any responsibility. So far, not so unsurprising. Although less common as the subject matter of fiction over 100 years ago.
There is a handsome young (unmarried) man from a good family (class is evident in all these stories), the well-bred young woman he is wooing and will marry, the good, moral, nature of some but not all of the characters. Helga, not surprisingly, is the best behaved of all of them. You will be engaged, moved and hoping for the best for her.
While the other stories don’t have the length or depth of Marsh Croft, you will find characters with complexity in all of them, in situations that challenge them, and challenge the reader, to consider what is the best way to behave.
You can download these publications for free, to any electronic device, and give yourself a real treat.
This month Inside Out events are in blue, and Outing Violence events are in red.
Northland/Te Tai Tokerau
Waikato/Central North Island
Gisborne/Te Tai Rāwhiti
Palmerston North/Te Papaioea
October Topp Country The Topp Twins bring their charm to intimate interviews with food producers around the country, 8pm on Sundays on TVOne and on TVNZ OnDemand.
To October 4 Anika Moa – Queen At The Table Tour The singer/actor tours with her single band member Jol Mulholland and support act SJD aka Sean Donnelly. Tickets at eventfinda.
Sunday 4 Dyke Hike: Home Track/Margeurite Track/Kauri Grove Track, Waitakere Ranges. This loop takes us through some very pretty bush in the area above the Kitekite Falls. The tracks can be muddy, and there may be a stream crossing. Grade: Moderate (boots recommended, expect a few hills and stream crossings are possible). Email firstname.lastname@example.org, www.lesbian.co.nz.
Tuesday 6 Welcome to my world, Sam RB’s first solo painting exhibition opens at Toi Ora Gallery, 6 Putiki St, Grey Lynn, 5.30-8pm, running until October 30. Free download of Myselves til exhibition opens.
Wednesday 7 Silent march against p**nography Assemble from noon at the cnr of Mayoral Dr and Queen St Queen St, 12.30pm walk ahead of B**bs on Bikes to Queen Elizabeth Square/Britomart. All genders welcome, especially men. Organised by Stop Demand. Suggested banner this year: P**n degrades women; disconnects men. Say NO to p**n; send your suggestions to email@example.com by 5pm, Monday September 28.
Saturday 10 Freda Stark History Walk Hear about this lesbian dancer famous in the 1940s. Meet at 3pm at the Auckland University Library, Alfred St, city. Booking essential, text Miriam on 021 157 3304 to secure a place. Organised by the Charlotte Museum as part of the Auckland Heritage Festival.
Sunday 11, Peace Unveiled film screening about three Afghani women who began to organise in 2009 to ensure their rights were not traded away in a US deal with the Taliban. Post-film discussion led by Dr Thomas Gregory, politics lecturer and Afghanistan specialist, bookings essential. 4.30pm, St Heliers Community Centre, 100 St Heliers Bay Road, for Amnesty International. $10 suggested koha. Two more films on women’s activism in wartorn countries will be screened on November 1 and 8; contact Jeanette, firstname.lastname@example.org or 521 2050.
Sunday 18 Coffee & Stroll an alternative to the original plan: 10am, coffee at Salvation Kitchen, 1843 Great North Rd, Avondale; 10.30am, 40 minute stroll to and through Heron Park. Or the Avondale Sunday Market. (Or both.)
Tuesday 20 First Auckland Pride Festival Community Forum 6.30-8.30pm, Studio One, Toi Tu, 1 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. Learn about how the festival works, sign up to volunteer, offer feedback and suggestions. RSVP at least 2 days ahead to email@example.com.
Wednesday 21 The Muse and Jodie Pringle perform as guests of the Guitar Association of NZ, doors open 7.30pm, Ponsonby Cruising Club, upstairs behind the Sitting Duck Café, Westhaven, $10.
Thursday 22 Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura/Outing Violence workshop with Agender, venue to be confirmed.
Friday 23 Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura/Outing Violence workshop with Shakti and Equasian support group 4.30–7pm, venue to be confirmed.
Friday 23 Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura/Outing Violence workshop with young people from Rainbow Youth, 7–9.30pm, 281 Karangahape Rd.
Wednesday 28 – Friday 30 OE: For Our Identity and I AM: A Personal Journey Two tales of Identity written and performed by Miriam Saphira, the Tiny Theatre, Garnet Station, Westmere Rd, 8pm, $20/15. OE is a series of travel tales and Kiwi songs. I AM is a personal journey from Kaimiro as a reader, a boy, a homosexual, a freak, a netball player, a farmer, a mother and a psychologist, looking for love in a series of romantic adventures. Phone 360 3397 to book.
Thursday 29 & Friday 30 Shona Laing plays at Big Beat Coffee + Kitchen, 700 Dominion Rd, Balmoral, 7.30pm, tickets $25, phone 630 8556.
Friday 30 Freeheld movie premiere based on the true story of decorated US police detective Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore, left), who struggled to leave her pension to her partner after she was diagnosed with cancer. Part of the Academy Cinemas LGBTQ series, 8.30pm, Central Library building, 44 Lorne St, Auckland City, see website.
Sunday 18 Auckland Fifth Season Rainbow Gardening Group visits Hamilton Gardens, 2pm. All welcome. Phone Wendy Wilson 027 548 3510 or 09 525 2666 for details.
Monday 19 Inside Out launch 6-8pm, Te Whare Tapere Iti, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, Gate 2b, University of Waikato, Knighton Rd, Hillcrest. To attend all Inside Out events, email Aram Wu firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 20 Inside Out professional development workshop 1 10am-1pm, The Lounge, Student Union Building, Gate 1, Waikato University, Knighton Rd, Hillcrest
Tuesday 20 Inside Out professional development workshop 2 2-5pm, The Lounge, Student Union Building, Gate 1, Waikato University, Knighton Rd, Hillcrest
Monday 26 Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura/Outing Violence open community hui 4-6pm, Link House, 2 Dawson St, Hamilton East.
Wednesday 28 Music with Sarah Jones 8.30-10.30pm, The Cabana in Napier, the music is gutsy singer/songwriter/acoustic, $10
Friday 30 Drinks at Havelock North 6.30pm, The Loading Ramp
Thursday 8 Inside Out professional development workshop 1, 12-3pm, Hancock Community House
Thursday 8 Inside Out professional development workshop 2, 3.30-6.30pm, Hancock Community House
Sunday 11 Glamaphones Gay Anthems concert 2pm & 6pm, Massey University Theatrette, Old Museum Building, Buckle St; tickets $20 full, $10 unwaged/child from choir members and via contact form at www.glamaphones.org.nz; a celebration of National Coming Out Day.
Tuesday 13 Inside Out launch 5.45-7.45pm, The Beehive Theatrette. To attend all Inside Out events, email Aram Wu, email@example.com
Wednesday 14 Inside Out professional development workshop 1 9.30am-12.30pm, St Johns, cnr Willis and Dixon Sts, Te Aro
Wednesday 14 Inside Out professional development workshop 2 1.30-4.30pm, St Johns, cnr Willis and Dixon Sts, Te Aro
Wednesday 14 – Friday 16 Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura/Outing Violence workshop for national youth worker organisation Ara Taiohi, as part of their Building Pathways to Healthy Relationships wānanga
Thursday 22 Paper Rainbows Slam Poetry fundraiser for Wellington LGBTTI youth development group InsideOUT, Meow Bar, 9 Edward St, Te Aro. $10unwaged/$20 waged plus $5 wine raffle, hosted by the Wellington Rainbow Labour Branch. See https://www.facebook.com/events/460806847457737/ and http://insideout.org.nz/
Thursday 29 Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura/Outing Violence workshop with School’s Out, Tranzform and InsideOUT, 6–8.30pm, Evolve youth service, Level 2, James Smith Building, corner Cuba and Manners Sts.
Friday 30 Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura/Outing Violence workshop with Tiwhanawhana, NZ Prostitutes Collective and Box Events
The Christchurch Women’s Centre keeps a diary of events in Christchurch and elsewhere on their Lesbian Support page.
Sunday 4 Dunedin Pride Picnic & walk led by Anne from the Wild Women Winter Walking Group at 11am from Woodhaugh Gardens. Picnic at the gardens from 12.30pm, with face painting, games, a bouncy castle and sausage sizzle; rain date is Sunday 11.
Monday 5 Dunedin Pride Art InQueery exhibition opening, 6pm, Community Gallery until Friday 9.
Tuesday 6 Free Pride zine-making workshop with cartoonist Sam Orchard, Community Gallery.
Tuesday 6 Sex, Gender and Sexuality continue discussion with Sam Orchard, 6pm, Community Gallery.
Wednesday 7 Dunedin Pride Coming Out: Film and chat 6.30pm, Evison Lounge, Otago University Student Association Recreation Centre, gold coin entry.
Sunday 11 Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura/Outing Violence community hui on violence 6–8.30pm, Evison Lounge, first floor, OUSA Recreation Centre, 84 Albany St. See their Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org