Whiringa-ā-rangi / November

What was going on in November? – we’ve collected all the items in one page.

Dyke Diary

Ngā pitopito kōrero, News

Community keen to discuss violence
Positive about InsideOut
Part of the whānau
Wellington Pride festival and human rights conference
Have your say on Auckland Pride
Same same but different writers festival
Register for Proud to Play
Feminist Wikipedia edit-a-thon
Fafswag Pacific ball celebrates style
Got your tickets for the Auckland Lesbian Ball?
Gaba charity auction and lunch
Measuring LGBTI Inclusion in the world

Community keen to talk about violence

People who attended 19 hui around the country about relationships and sexual violence among Rainbow people in October “were really keen to have the hard conversations” in their communities, says Sandra Dickson, the project manager for Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura – Outing Violence. “It felt like there was an energy swell about the issue.”

AntiViolenceElizabethKerekere3Takatāpui advisory group member for the project, Elizabeth Kerekere (Te Aitanga a Mahaki, left), who co-facilitated all the hui, says the issue “continues to be difficult for people to talk about. There’s a lot of minimising about it in relationships and in Rainbow communities. People don’t know how to intervene, or what to do with people who are causing harm” that they may see at events.

Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura defines Rainbow relationships as any relationship with a Rainbow person in it, “including where a trans or bi or pansexual person is in a relationship with someone of a different gender”, says Elizabeth.

Participants said that “controlling someone by threatening to out them is still a major tactic,” she says. Participants indicated that violence plays out differently for different Rainbow identities, ages and cultures. “For example, on one side there’s a stigma about Māori being violent,” she says. “So within Rainbow communities it can be assumed that there will be violence in Māori relationships.” On the other side, connection with whānau and culture can be more important to takatāpui (Māori queer and trans people) than Rainbow communities. That can lead takatāpui to minimise the effect of violence in a relationship, and triggers a particular shame for them to admit to their whānau that violence is affecting them, she says.

People of other non-Pākehā cultures said they were often not involved in the wider Rainbow community, said Elizabeth, so “what we do against violence must operate alongside mainstream organisations and culturally-specific services.”

Many people reported that the police and justice system are not safe or effective ways of dealing with violence between Rainbow people. “In some communities we heard about some pretty concerning responses on the few occasions police had been approached by people experiencing violence,” says Sandra. “Places with Diversity Liaison Officers seemed to have a much better response to Rainbow people.”

“Māori, Pacific and other tauiwi from many, many different cultures, raised how racism intersects with discrimination against Rainbow people,” says Elizabeth. “People see our colour first before our gender and sexuality.” At every hui, she described how colonisation had contributed to partner violence in Aotearoa, “imposing a model of ownership of women which affects all of us. I believe we need to restore Mana Wāhine, the rights over our own bodies and sexuality; beside our men and not below them.”

The hui showed that “we need to come up with better community solutions” to violence, Elizabeth says. “From a takatāpui point of view we need to build whanaungatanga, a sense of responsibility to our whanau and our community.”

Take the survey

AntiViolenceHahnaThe hui boosted responses to the survey of relationship and sexual violence in Rainbow communities, which now has more than 300 respondents. “People often think of violence as just physical,” says Elizabeth. “They don’t think of emotional or financial control, or threats to children.” The group encourages more people to respond in November.

The hui showed that Rainbow communities didn’t know what anti-violence services actually provided and whether Rainbow people could use them, says Sandra. They tended to deal with relationship and sexual violence internally, by asking one another for help. Some communities had tried to get support from mainstream services and failed or received very poor responses – “even some rainbow people working in mainstream family and sexual violence services felt that their services were not equipped to deal with LGBTIQ people.”

What we need

Every hui asked participants to describe what services were needed to address violence and foster healthy relationships. Elizabeth says: “We need services and support for people experiencing violence, resources about what consent looks like, and more examples of great relationships – that’s what young people asked for.” Others talked about safe housing, how to change their violent behaviour, and how to reduce stigma so people can come out to their families.

Sandra says it was “really clear that sexuality and relationships education in schools needed much more LGBTIQ representation.” Participants said that families need better resources and places to discuss their children coming out and transitioning, but that this should be provided outside of Rainbow communities. Participants also wanted anonymous ways to ask for help, such as txt friendly phone lines and websites. “Young people talked about how long it took to find Rainbow supportive groups,” says Sandra. “It was also very clear that Rainbow communities wanted ways to work with people causing harm that were outside the criminal justice system.”

OutingViolence logoAfter the survey closes, Sandra will combine the information from the hui and the survey into a report for the project funder, the Ministry of Social Development; the report will also be posted on the project website. The project will seek ongoing funding to act on the results.

Take the survey, see the Facebook page and the website with fact sheets for lesbian, bisexual, trans and intersex 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. Email Sandra at lovingrainbowlove@gmail.com

Jenny Rankine

Inside Out received positively

InsideOutRYLogoRainbow Youth’s National Projects Co-ordinator Aram Wu reports “really positive” feedback about the Inside Out video resource from queer youth, teachers and youth workers at the launches and professional development workshops they have organised around the country.

“Lots of guidance, PE and health teachers have come, as well as youth workers; people have driven more than four hours to workshops”, says Aram. The professional development workshops are run by Morgan Butler, Rainbow Youth’s Support Co-ordinator. “We’ve been really humbled by all the stories we’ve heard and the response in the regions,” Aram says.

Rainbow Youth’s communications manager, Toni Duder, says round 200 people or organisations have downloaded the resource – “with that number doubling when you factor in those who stream the videos from our website”.

The resource will be evaluated in research by Dr John Fenaughty, of the University of Auckland Faculty of Education and Social Work. John helped create the resource and is collecting data from the professional development sessions and those who use the resource from the website.

Toni says it will take a while for the videos to be built into school curricula, and for results from the evaluation.

See the resource at http://insideout.ry.org.nz/ and ideas for teaching diversity on our People page.


Part of the whānau

Takatapui coverA new print and video resource called Takatāpui – part of the whānau, has been released this month to build confidence and support for takatāpui (Māori with diverse gender identities and sexualities).

It was written by Gisborne-based Elizabeth Kerekere (Ngāti Oneone, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Whānau a Kai, Rongowhakaata and Ngāi Tāmanuhiri), who identifies as takatāpui and lesbian femme, and based on interviews with six takatāpui leaders and activists.

They are Jennifer Edwards (Ngāti Porou, Te Arawa), Hinemoana Baker (Kai Tahu), Ahi Wi Hongi (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Maniapoto), Morgan Komeni Cooke (Ngāti Whātua, Ngā Puhi), and Kevin Haunui (Ngāti Rangi, Te Ātihaunui a Papārangi, Ngāti Kahungunu, Tūhoe, Whakatōhea, Te Whānau a Apanui).

Videos of the six individual interviews, a 25-minute edited documentary and a three-minute trailer, as well as the 40-page pdf, will be available on the Mental Health Foundation’s website from early this month. The project was funded by Waka Hourua as a Māori suicide prevention initiative.

“We all inherit our gender and sexuality from our ancestors – it is part of our wairua”, the booklet says. “Ideas that takatāpui can be ‘turned straight’ or could ‘choose to be normal’ are direct insults to the wairua we inherit from our tūpuna.”

Elizabeth stresses that “takatāpui have always been in Māori culture. Same-sex and fluid sexuality is not foreign. Discrimination against it is foreign – it came through colonisation and Christianity.” Māori queer, trans and intersex people “embody tipua, supernatural creatures who could change form or gender, in remarkable ways”.

AntiViolenceElizabethKerekere2The booklet says that takatāpui gender and identity “is part of their mauri: the essential quality and vital spark of their being, [which] can be damaged when whānau cannot accept takatāpui for who they really are.” It stresses that it is discrimination rather than being takatāpui that creats depression and suicidality.

The booklet says that Mana Wāhine – “the recognition of the inherent authority of Māori women beside Māori men” is the platform for fighting discrimination against takatāpui, explaining that colonisation rejected female leadership, took Māori women’s control of their bodies and sexualities away from them, and pushed them out of the public world.

The project will be blessed in Auckland on November 11, and launched when copies have been printed. Elizabeth says that the first 20,000 print copies will be distributed to Māori, Rainbow and youth organisations.

Elizabeth hopes this booklet will be the first in a series based on her 35 years of activism and her doctoral research on takatāpui identity and well-being. She is collaborating with Rainbow Youth on the next in the series, which is aimed at young people. She will follow that with a resource about healthy Rainbow relationships, expanding on her “top relationship tips” in Rainbow Youth’s You, Me, Us booklet.

See the Mental Health Foundation’s website and Wellington-based takatāpui group Tiwhanawhana. Elizabeth was snapped wearing a dress she made which was a finalist in the 2011 Cult Couture fashion show.  JR

Wellington Pride Festival in March

A parade, human rights conference, the iconic Out in the Park (OITP) community day, a Lilac women’s dance, an archival film screening, and a triathlon are some of the events being organised for the inaugural Wellington Pride Festival/ Tū whakahīhī e Te Whanganui-a-Tara, which will celebrate 30 years of homosexual law reform.

OITPThe Out in the Park committee will co-ordinate the festival, which runs from March 5 to 13, 2016, with events being organised by a range of community groups. The festival opening ceremony will be held on Saturday 5.

The 30th anniversary of law reform will be marked by an archival film session from the period on Thursday 10; the parade and Out in the Park will be held on Saturday 12.

The parade starts in Frank Kitts Park and ends at the fair in Waitangi Park. Dress in your 80s gear for the parade and be prepared to dance through the streets. Anyone can join although groups are asked groups to register in advance. A series of parade crafternoons – decoration, banner and costume workshops – are planned for earlier in the year.

Human rights conference

The Oceania Rainbow Human Rights and Health Conference will run from March 9 to 11 at the University of Otago Medical School at Wellington Hospital. It is being organised by Rainbow Wellington, with support from the International Lesbian, Gay, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) which will provide scholarships for people from Pacific countries to attend. ILGA will also hold a regional gathering and AGM associated with the conference.

The organisers include intersex activist Mani Mitchell and Rawa Keratai, chair of Rainbow Wellington, who are both on the ILGA Oceania board, as well as Kevin Haunui of Māori takatāpui group Tiwhanawhana, and Vaughan Meneses, former general manager of OUTlineNZ. The organisers are asking for programmes suggestions for themes, speakers, workshops, and sessions.

New OITP committee co-chair Adrienne Girling, says the festival “anticipates a very busy week”. White Canadian expat Girling, who identifies as a queer woman who dates women, co-chairs with White lesbian UK expat Karen Harris. “We’re working with Tiwhanawhana about an event, which may be organised with the Kava Club, a Māori and Pacific artists’ network, and possibly Box Events” (see our October profile).

Adrienne says she and Karen both have qualifications in psychology and “met last year to organise the first parade since the 1990s with Out in the Park. Karen and I work very well together.” Other OITP committee members are Chris Hackenberg, secretary; Louis Tane, treasurer; Andy Harness and Cathie Sheat, entertainment; Phyllis Meier, stalls and site; Adam Chin, communication and marketing; Greig Wilson, sponsorship and fundraising; and Bernard Lee, community liaison and volunteers.

About the human rights conference, contact Mani on mani.mitchell@xtra.co.nz or 027 281 222, or Vaughan on vaughan.meneses@xtra.co.nz or 0272650210. See www.outinthepark.co.nz or email festival@outinthepark.co.nz with festival event plans or ideas; chair@outinthepark.co.nz about the parade, or entertainers@outinthepark.co.nz to offer entertainment at the fair.


Have your say on Auckland’s Pride

Around 30 Rainbow People came to the first community forum about the Auckland Pride Festival, and the second forum will be held on Saturday November 14.

Pride logoThe board described the fora as opportunities to learn about the inner workings of the festival, to volunteer, and to offer feedback and suggestions, and it was the third opportunity which motivated most of those present.

Tessa Naden, the Queer Rights Officer at the Auckland University Students Association, was impressed that the Pride Board “was willing to sit and listen”.

A lot of young lesbians “weren’t very happy with the way Pride hasn’t represented us – it was really nice to have older members sit and listen as younger members had their say, and other members of the community who felt left out.” The board received a lot of criticism for the way it handled protest during the parade, and other issues.

Cost was a major barrier for many young people, Tessa said. “The Glam stand at the Parade causes a lot of resentment towards groups like GABA [the Gay Auckland Business Association], who seem rich and out of touch to a lot of young people. The 2015 Pride event for young people cost $45 to attend – that’s a week’s transport! Every event costs money except the Big Gay Out and the Parade.”

Representatives from No Pride in Prison said groups like them couldn’t afford to enter the parade when the whole point was for queer community groups to be heard. They believe that the big corporates overwhelm small LGBTI community groups.

One suggestion was for Pride to levy 10 percent of the budget for corporate entries to go towards floats for unfunded Rainbow community groups, which Pride would select independently.

Tessa said: “There was a perception in the room that Pride 2015 was by and for a set of people who live in Grey Lynn and Ponsonby, with a few in New Lynn. The board still has a majority of those people, but that doesn’t matter if they’re self-aware and willing to listen to people outside that set.”

The November forum will be held from 2-4pm, at Studio One/Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby, and is open to everyone. To manage numbers the board asks people to RSVP at least 48 hours beforehand to info@aucklandpridefestival.org.nz.

LGBTTIQ writers – Same same but different

WritersFestivalLogoThe first LGBTI Writer’s Festival to be held as part of the Auckland Pride Festival will run from February 12-14 and auditions for emerging talent were held on November 1.

Up to eight up-and-coming writers will be part of the festival alongside top LGBTI writers. The festival is directed by award-winning writer Peter Wells. See the Facebook page.

Register for Proud to Play

Registration is open for nine codes in the Proud to Play (PtP) sports festival from February 13-20, 2016, and the festival is seeking community donations for a youth hui, and volunteers to help run sports events.

proudtoplaynimationCo-ordinator Craig Watson says that “anyone can enter sports events – you don’t have to be an athlete and there are lots of social grade events”.

Codes include badminton (women’s singles and doubles); bridge (open mixed); dancesport (novice and open women); golf (social and registered players); ocean swim at Mission Bay (1.6 and 3.2kms); a range of pool swimming events; ten pin bowling (singles, doubles and mixed teams); touch rugby; and social mixed volleyball.

The festival will take place during the three-week Auckland Pride Festival, with most sports based in West Auckland; registration includes the option of an inclusive Auckland Transport travel card for out-of-town participants.

All registrations are made up of a $39 fee for the PtP festival and a fee for the competition, ranging from a total of $49 for touch rugby to a high of $124 for golf at the Huapai Golf Club. Supporter entry is $90, which includes all sports and a registration pack.

New Zealand Olympic speed skater, Blake Skjellerup, has offered to speak at the Youth hui, which will be held at the Auckland Museum. Donate to the hui here.

While PtP missed out on funding from Auckland Council regional events and from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), organisers are still applying for sponsorship and funding.

The festival team also includes Anna Magdalinas and Erica Doran, event assistants; Jade du Preez, website designer; and Virginia Parker Bowles, communications.

See the website, register here, and get the latest news on the Facebook page.


Wikipedia feminist edit-a-thon

Members of Wellington Rape Crisis (WRC) will be shown how to edit Wikipedia, increase its feminist content, and make a Wikipedia page about the group on Sunday November 29. The event is free for current members; interested women can join for $20.

WikimediathonLogoWikipedia is a free, multilingual, web-based, encyclopedia project run by the Wikimedia Foundation but edited by any interested volunteers. The name combines the word wiki (a collaborative website technology) and encyclopedia.

Wikipedia is one of the more reliable general information sites on the internet, yet WRC member Emma Moon says that “the knowledge we find there is created by a very small slice of our society”. The event aims to “improve and increase the coverage of grassroots and/or feminist organisations and projects on Wikipedia”.

The site’s rules forbid the staff of organisations to write the group’s page on Wikipedia, so member volunteers will do this on the day.

Bring ideas for other pages and a laptop or tablet if you have one, although some will be available. Register here for catering and information on how to set up a Wikipedia account, and see here for more details.

Bring your swag to the ball runway

Fafswag ballThe Fafswag ball on Saturday 21 will celebrate the style of fa’afafine, māhū, fakaleiti and other third gender and queer Pacific peoples around Auckland.

The event combines New York City underground ball culture with local Māori and Pacific style, focusing on runway competition.

Participants can enter as individuals or members of houses representing Auckland areas and communities – the Divas (south), Dynasty (south), Kweens (west), Fatale (fem queens from all over), Monarchy (central), Prism (south) and Shade (west).

The categories are open to all genders and include drag, fantasy, ghetto fab, polytypical, kings ‘n queens (evening wear), butch queen, fem queen, hand performance, dramatics and sex siren.

Contestants who get 10 points for their first runway walk in each category proceed to the battle round. They are judged for the life and conviction in their walk, movement and poses; costume and x-factor.

Fafswag was created in 2012 by artists Tanu Gago and Pati Solomona Tyrell as a Pacific LGBTQI arts brand. It combines a colloquial abbreviation of the Samoan term for third gender, fa’afafine, with the urban slang word for style, swag.

The ball starts from 7pm at Te Puke O Tara Community Centre, 20 Newbury Street, Otara and costs $15.

See fafswagball.com for competition details, register here or see the Facebook page.


Auckland Lesbian Ball – got your ticket yet?

Lesbian dating2Auckland’s first lesbian ball in two years is all go. Organiser Cissy Rock says ticket sales have been steady so far. She encourages lesbians to buy tickets as soon as possible – sales help with planning as well as cashflow.

The ball has moved west, and deliberately moved out of a hotel into a community setting – Shed 1 in the Corban Estate Arts Centre in Henderson. This makes the event more financially accessible, but Cissy is determined there will be no lessening of glamour: lighting, food (“a good Westie lesbian supper”), reasonably priced drinks (first drink free), live music and other entertainment will ensure that.

Jodi-Muse2 -all
There will be a special welcome at 8pm, so don’t be late. There is no particular theme, so you can dress up or not, as much as you like. Jodi Pringle and the Muse are playing covers, Anji Kreft is doing a cabaret set, and DJ Kel will play great dance music. Full pricing ($90) applies from 1 November.

GABA charity auction and lunch

New Zealand’s out gay Olympic speed skater Blake Skjellerup will host Buoys & Gals, the GABA Charity Auction and lunch at the Hilton Auckland on Sunday November 15.

Gaba auctionThe annual event is the main fundraiser for the GABA Charitable Trust, which distributes LGBTI community grants and scholarships.
The programme includes a choral medley from Auckland’s Gay and Lesbian Singers (GALS), and a performance from Pigeon & Bellfrog, otherwise known as composers Claire Cowan and Alex Taylor. The afternoon soundtrack will be selected and mixed by composer and DJ Samuel Holloway.

GABA’s auctioneer Michelle Maitland will be assisted by Mr Gay New Zealand, Matt Fistonich, and burlesque performer Miss Leda Petit. South Pacific drag divas Buckwheat, Tess Tickle and Chanel D’Vinci will also present a nautically-themed show.

The dress code is cocktail wear; participants receive champagne on arrival and a three-course lunch in the Hilton’s Aquamarine Room, with views of the Waitemata Harbour.

Doors open at midday, lunch and the auction start at 1.30pm, and there will be an After Party from 6pm at the Eagle Bar on Karangahape Rd.

Tickets cost $120 each or $110 each for tables of 10, and are available from the Women’s Bookshop. They must be booked by 5pm on Wednesday 11 to confirm catering numbers.

See the web page for details. To donate auction items, services and experiences, email event manager Julian Cook before Friday 6. Email tickets@gaba.org.nz and pay by credit card or direct credit into the GABA bank account. Those who can’t attend but want to donate to the trust can do so online JR

Contribute to measuring LGBTI inclusion in the world

The United Nations Development Programme and the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights have identified priorities areas and indicators for measuring LGBTI inclusion and are proposing to develop a Global LGBTI Inclusion Index. They invite us to provide feedback via a survey being run by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA World) in collaboration with OutRight Action International (formerly ILGHRC).

The survey asks respondents to identify four indicators for each of four key dimensions. Feedback on the initiative can also be given.

Follow the link to the measuring LGBTI inclusion in the world survey.

Ngā Tangata, People

Inquiring about diversity in schools

Since 2007, Jeannie Grant, head of counselling at Epsom Girls Grammar School (EGGS) in Auckland, and disability advocate and entrepreneur Philip Patston have run a philosophical enquiry into diversity in schools. Their approach seems a fruitful one for teachers and youth workers who want to incorporate Rainbow Youth’s new Inside Out video resource into their classes.

JeannieGrantJeannie says that diversity “has become something that is used to manage students, to protect the vulnerable, and to look for risk”, for example of bullying. “As soon as people mention disability or Rainbow people, schools get uncomfortable and serious – everyone is walking on eggshells, or pretending difference doesn’t exist. Schools are paranoid about getting diversity wrong. It’s not treated as an ordinary thing.” Added to this is the common misperception that there is no discrimination against rainbow people any more – “You guys have human rights, you can marry, what’s the problem?”

It’s a problem when the only approaches to diversity are “through AIDS, bullying and fear-based approaches to identity” rather than strengths, she says. She gives the example of Aaron Fotheringham, a member of the Nitro Circus, who says “I have wheels stuck to my butt. How can that not be fun!”, and demonstrates how to make a wheelchair into a toy.

In 2007, a pro-active student at Mt Roskill Grammar School in central Auckland, where Jeannie was then teaching, wanted Philip, also a wheelchair user, to talk to their class. “In two minutes, Philip had moved this tribe of giggly boys into laughing with him. He invited a rethink of labels and difference with that edge of humour and thinking that stopped them in their tracks.”

She asked Philip if he wanted to run groups together, and they developed what they call Diversity Inquiry or DIV:INQ, a process of “gentle Socratic enquiry”, using sexuality, gender and disability as a lens on diversity. The sessions are voluntary and open to any students. They are based on contemporary thinkers like Derrida and Foucault.

Their four starting sessions focus on the power of labels; common and unique functioning (bipedal and wheelchair, neurotypical and neurodiverse); reading what bodies say about gender, sexuality and functionality; the meaning of life, ethics and who is worthy of life.

Their sessions ask questions, encourage curiosity, are sensitive to language, acknowledge contradictions but don’t provide answers. They discuss the common and unique aspects of diversity, how everyone’s physical and mental functionality will change, and ask about power – “how do we know that, where does that idea come from?”

Jeannie MatrixThe pair use science fiction, such as the movie Matrix, and humour to raise questions and release tension. For example, India has given dolphins the rights of a sentient being, but still penalise gays, says Jeannie, “so what’ll happen to gay dolphins? The aim is to be confused at a deeper level, to make it okay not to be certain.”

“Teachers tend to want an outcome, for students to understand something,” says Jeannie, but the DIV:INQ process goes off on tangents and is a lot of fun. “We take it seriously but hold it lightly.”

jeannieGrant2Jeannie says that teachers need more training for these types of discussions. In 2016, she will run a leading through Diversity course with year 13 students at EGGS that meets an NCEA standard in the health curriculum. It will involve lunchtime and weekend workshops, which could work for other teachers.

The pair blog and are thinking of writing some articles and producing a YouTube video about their process.

Jeannie has given up using labels for her gender and sexual identity, describing herself as weird. “Rainbow is a fraction of the spectrum of light – I very much identify with rainbow, but I’m spread wider.”

See http://divinq.net/
Jenny Rankine

Te ao pāpāho, Media

Portraits and mosaic at Charlotte Museum
Lesbian subjects in short film festival
Auckland’s Academy Cinema’s LGBTQ nights
Film review: Freeheld – contemporary US lesbian drama
50/50 women writers for 2015

Portraits, mosaic and cartoons at the Charlotte Museum

CharlotteDrawingIn An exhibition of around 100 self-portraits by five North Island artists opens at the Charlotte Museum at 2pm on November 29, following its current exhibition of mosaics. Recent work by Fran Marno, Beth Hudson, Star Sherret, Therry Weertz and Nadia Gush will be on show.

CourtneyMarketForcesAnyone around the country can also bid for three Helen Courtney cartoons from her recent exhibition at the gallery, in a fundraising silent auction for the museum’s running costs that closes at the end of the month. They include ‘Market Forces’ (above), 1990, mat approx 29x36cm, print 13x21cm; ‘Dr as God’, 1988, mat approx 29x32cm, print 13x16cm; and ‘Misuniverse’, 1983, mat approx 39x38cm, print 24x21cm (below).

Send the museum an email about which work you want to bid on, and CourtneyDrAsGodCourtneyMisuniverseyour highest bid – the person with the highest bid wins the work. On payment it will be posted out in plenty of time for xmas. All three cartoons are Glicee prints on longlife paper and signed by Helen. You can bid until 8pm on November 27.

After a relaxed and fun weekend mosaic workshop, the Charlotte Museum opened its Mosaic Exhibition on Sunday November 8 at 2pm, for three weeks.

Charlotte mosaic workshopTash Norton ran the workshop and is curating the exhibition. Other artists include Chris Free, Waiora Pene Hare, Cathy Head, Henry and Logan Jackson, Louise Mair, Tanya Powley and Therry Weertz.

Tash said the workshop went so well that she plans to run more. Ten women brought their own projects, including mirrors, boards, table-tops and a fence post.

Charlotte mosaic“They were really fun days,” says Tash. “People said they felt really relaxed, and there was no pressure to finish or exhibit. We got some great feedback.” At left is Tanya Powley’s Peace awakening the darkness in progress.

And if you want to be a fairy godmother to the only dedicated lesbian museum and gallery in Aotearoa, check out her summer wishlist – http://charlottemuseum.lesbian.net.nz/charlottes-wishlist/


Lesbian subjects in short film festival

This year’s “Show me shorts” film festival has lots of good looking content (including a NZ music video in each section), but sadly, very little of it lesbian.

The festival runs from November 11 to December 2 in 22 cinemas across the country, including 5 in the Auckland area and 2 in the Wellington region.

The good news is, the 2 lesbian films are both in the “Trailblazers” section, which is screening in Auckland, Christchurch, Havelock North, Rakiura/Stewart Island, Wellington and Whitianga.

Tits on a bull (NZ) was in the International Film Festival this year: star rugby player struggles to choose between her male rugby coach and the new relationship blossoming with her team captain.

Pink boy (US) is a documentary: a gender nonconforming boy being raised by lesbian parents, one of whom has avoided wearing dresses her entire life.

Auckland’s Academy Cinema’s LGBTQ nights

Prompted by there being no Out Takes queer film festival this year, there being a number of LGBTQ people on staff, and it just seeming like a good idea, Auckland’s Academy Cinema is screening an additional, preview, session of an LGBTQ film each month.

The films will usually be new/recent releases, and will then continue to be shown as part of regular programming. The November night is Gayby Baby, an Australian documentary exploring the lives of 4 teenagers with same-sex parents.

Details of future screenings will be on the Academy’s Coming Soon page.

Contemporary US lesbian drama

Freeheld, the feature film (not to be confused with the 40-minute 2007 documentary of the same name and same story) will be on general release around the country in November. A fundraising screening for InsideOUT will be held in Wellington, November 10.

Depending on your point of view, this story of a lesbian couple, based on real life, is a drama or a romantic drama.

The action is in a state, and a country, in which there is no comprehensive legislation banning discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or marital status. A woman has a diagnosis of a terminal illness and wants to ensure her work pension will be available to her partner, as it is for heterosexual colleagues, married or not.

The drama is in the legal battles that are engaged in, with increasing pressure as the effects of the illness increase. (Be aware that the diagnosis proves to be correct – there is no “happy ending” in the sense of a miracle cure. There is laughter but there is also weeping.) Support comes from the union and a gay rights group. It also comes from conservative colleagues, moved because of their respect for their workmate has made the issue personal rather than abstract.

Freeheld2The lesbian couple are played by two actors with solid credentials: Julianne Moore, who was the “don’t let her throw all of this (lesbian life, love, family) away for a man!” partner in The Kids Are All Right, is the older, unwell, partner. The younger is played by Ellen Page, out lesbian and now a gay rights activist.

This film does not have the overall dramatic intensity of perhaps a fictional story: you know much of what will happen in the end. But it is a film that demonstrates how fragile our lives, plans and relationships can be. And also the good that can come unexpectedly in times of difficulty. This is a film to take partners, friends and families to.

The top 50 women writers of the last 50 years (1965-2015)

Looking for reading inspiration? Check out the list compiled by the Women’s Bookshop: several lesbian (and otherwise non-heterosexual) writers are included.

Rātaka takatāpui, Dyke Diary for Whiringa-ā-rangi / November

National/O te motu

Wednesday 25 White Ribbon day Events will be taking place around New Zealand on this day and during November to promote respectful relationships and encourage men to act against violence towards women. See whiteribbon.org.nz.

Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau

Sunday 1 Dyke Hike: Wairere Falls, South of Te Aroha. This walk takes us to the beautiful Wairere Falls, with spectacular views from the base and the top of the falls. The track is steep in parts with a lot of steps. 3-4 hr return. Grade: Moderate (boots recommended, expect a few hills and stream crossings are possible) to hard (boots required, tracks may be rough and difficult, steep hills possible. A reasonable level of fitness will help you to enjoy these hikes). If you are not an experienced hiker, we require that you complete two moderate hikes before you join us in a hike graded hard. Email hike@lesbian.co.nz, www.lesbian.co.nz.

Thursday 5 Freeheld starts screening at Academy Cinemas. The dramatised love story of Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree and their fight for justice in New Jersey, USA. Central Library Building, 44 Lorne St, Auckland City, see http://academycinemas.co.nz/

Tuesday 10 Equal Pay Day Join us on the lawn for spirited speeches, funny woman Michele A’Court and a message to the Mayor, 12.15 – 12.45pm, 360 Queen St.

Saturday 14 Auckland Pride Festival Community Forum 2-4pm, Studio One/Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. RSVP at least 48hrs beforehand to info@aucklandpridefestival.org.nz

Saturday 14 alba Quiz night, 7pm, Grey Lynn Community Centre, with host Cissy Rock. Prizes include two tickets to Melissa Etheridge, $25/$20 members, see Facebook.

Saturday 14 Violence against women – What will it take to eliminate it? Personal perspectives from two champions against violence – Heather Henare and Louise Nicholas, 3pm, Ellen Melville Pioneer Women Hall, High Street and Freyberg Place , $40 waged, $25 unwaged. RSVP Soraiya Daud soraiyadaud@gmail.com or contact Carol Beaumont 625 5017

Sunday 15 Coffee & Stroll 10am, coffee at Tower Bakers, 54 Waimarie St, St Heliers; 10.30am, stroll through Glover Park. Note, we need to keep our fingers crossed for good weather here: basically the seating is outside.

Saturday 21 FAFSWAG Ball celebrating Pacific fa’afafine and queer style 7pm, Te Puke O Tara Community Centre, 20 Newbury St, Otara, $15, see the Facebook page

Saturday 21 Friends of Dorothy Walk (part of the Waiheke Walking Festival), 3-5.30pm, free but bookings essential. Visit www.waihekewalkingfestival.org/walk-friends-of-dorothy-walk for more information.

GALS poster November 2015Saturday 21 GALS ‘R’ US concerts with special guests Ahakoa Te Aha, 3.30pm & 7.30pm, Freemans Bay Community Hall, 52 Hepburn St, Freemans Bay; cash bar (wine & non-alcoholic drinks). Tickets $25 prepay/$30 door, $10 kids, from tickets@gals.org.nz, www.dashtickets.co.nz or the Women’s Bookshop.

the-gentlemens-club-213x300Tuesday 24 Book launch: The Gentleman’s Club, by Jen Shieff. Women’s Bookshop, 6pm. “Headstrong and independent, Rita Saunders is a warm and colourful character … the only thing missing from her life is the love of a good woman.

Rachel Simon-KumarWednesday 25 From Inclusion to Influence: How should women’s organisations engage in policy? Rachel Simon-Kumar summarises her research with women’s groups, 1pm, Auckalnd Women’s Centre, 4 Warnock St, Grey Lynn, rsvp by email or phone 376 3227.

Thursday 26 An evening with the Topp Twins Comedy, stories and songs, with appearances by the Kens and the Bowling Ladies, Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, 8pm, see Ticketmaster.

Thursday 26 to Saturday 12 December Re-Reading the Rainbow a snap shot of where contemporary rainbow arts has arrived in 2015. Rm Gallery (first floor, 307 K Rd, Newton (entrance on Samoa House Lane off Beresford Street); open Thursdays and Fridays 1-6pm, Saturdays 12-4pm. Visit gallery website for details including artist talks and workshops.

Gayby babySaturday 28 Gayby Baby an Australian documentary about four children being raised by four different same-sex couples, Academy Cinemas, Auckland Central Library building, Lorne St, city, 8.30pm.

Monday 30–Wednesday 2 December Step it Up 2015 conference + Journathon discusses new ideas for education, the economy, media and more. Featuring Annie Newman, Convenor of the Living Wage Movement Aotearoa; Rainbow Youth co-chair and transwoman Torranice Campel; community artist Amiria Puia-Taylor; Conor Twyford, Public Service Association Campaign Organiser; Tayyaba Khan, CEO of ChangeMakers Refugee Forum in Wellington and many others. Sir Paul Reeves Building, AUT, student/unpaid $79; waged non-profit $199; private sector $299. Some full scholarships available. Tickets get automatic entry to the journalism hackathon Journathon on Wednesday 2, where tech entrepreneurs will join reporters from offline and online media for the ‘what next’ of media and journalism. Apply at http://stepitup.org.nz/scholarships/ Organised by The Centre for NZ Progress.

Tauranga/Waikato/Central North Island/Palmerston North

Sunday 1 Dyke Hike: Wairere Falls, South of Te Aroha. This walk takes us to the beautiful Wairere Falls, with spectacular views from the base and the top of the falls. The track is steep in parts with a lot of steps. 3-4 hr return. Grade: Moderate (boots recommended, expect a few hills and stream crossings are possible) to hard (boots required, tracks may be rough and difficult, steep hills possible. A reasonable level of fitness will help you to enjoy these hikes). If you are not an experienced hiker, we require that you complete two moderate hikes before you join us in a hike graded hard. Email hike@lesbian.co.nz, www.lesbian.co.nz.

Friday 6 An evening with the Topp Twins Comedy, stories and songs, with appearances by the Kens and the Bowling Ladies, Baycourt Theatre, Tauranga, 6pm, see Ticketek.

Friday 20 Deco Divas Friday social drinks 6.20pm, Down the Road, Hastings. see location, email decodiva2010@gmail.com.

Sunday 22 Transgender remembrance event Join members of the Lesbian Social Group and the LGBTTI community at 6.30pm at the Riff Raff statue, Victoria Street, Hamilton, see the LSG Facebook page.

Monday 30 PFLAG – Q Palmerston North social Speights Ale House, 13 Grey St, Palmerston North from 7pm. All LGBTI+ community, parents and friends welcome. Finger food provided, email pflagqueer@gmail.com or see www.facebook.com/pflagPalmerstonNorth.

Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara

Tuesday 10 Inside Out fundraising screening of Freeheld 8pm, Lighthouse Cinema, Wigan St, $20/$25 including a drink and vegan nibbles, email Inside Out for tickets.

Enjoy feminismsWednesday 11 Feminism exhibition opening and Love Feminisms journal launch Enjoy Public Art Gallery, 5.30pm, with Dilohana Lekamge; Fresh and Fruity; Leilani Heather and Talia Smith; Sian Torrington; Faith, Leafa, and Olive Wilson. Curated by Jessica Hubbard, the exhibition includes three works in the gallery, three onsite performative/participatory works, and two offsite participatory works. Level 1, 147 Cuba St, city, see www.enjoy.org.nz

Saturday 14 LILAC garage sale, lots of cheap books for summer reading, 10am-2pm, 98 Owen St, Newtown.

Sunday 15 Spectre movie fundraiser for Out in the Park, 7pm, Lighthouse Cuba, 29 Wigan St, Te Aro, $25 includes bubbles or juice on arrival, see the Facebook page

Saturday 21 Launch of Midnight Feast by the Kapiti Lesbian Writers Group Stories, poetry and novel fragments through a lesbian lens by Annabel Fagan, Robin Fleming, Terry Kennaway, Barbara Simmons, Kate Torrens and the late Pat Rosier. St Peter’s Hall, Beach Road, Paekakariki, 2pm, drinks and nibbles provided. Buy Midnight Feast for $20 and the group’s earlier collection, Out to Lunch for $10; cash or cheques only.

InsideOut picnicSunday 22 Picnic for Wellington Queer Straight Alliance, LGBTQIA+ school groups, and students who want to form one, 1.30pm, Wellington Botanic Garden playground, bring some food or drink to share if you can, txt 027 3314 507 if you can’t find it. See the Facebook page

Sunday 22 DANSS dancesport classes Beginners quickstep, 7pm, intermediate jive, 8pm, for LGBTT people and friends, partners not necessary. Upstairs, Thistle Hall, cnr Cuba & Arthur Sts, email danssnz@outlook.com or see Facebook.

the-gentlemens-club-213x300Friday 27 Book launch: The Gentleman’s Club, by Jen Shieff. 10 Grafton Rd, Roseneath; 6-8pm; supported by Unity Books, see Facebook page.

Sunday 29 DANSS dancesport classes Beginners quickstep, 7pm, intermediate jive, 8pm, for LGBTT people and friends, partners not necessary. Upstairs, Thistle Hall, cnr Cuba & Arthur Sts, email danssnz@outlook.com or see Facebook.

Nelson area/Whakatū

Wednesday 4 Pool @ Shark Club, 132 Bridge St, Nelson, from 5.30pm. Email The Lesbian Connection (TLC) at tlconnection.link@gmail.com to go on mailing list or for more details.

Sunday 8 Lunch & Books, Nelson, from 12 midday, Washbourn Gardens, by the Pergola, Richmond; bring food/drink to share and a bag for books. Postponed to the following Sunday (15) if wet. Contact tlconnection.link@gmail.com.

Wednesday 11 Games night, Prince Albert Hotel, 113 Nile St, Nelson, from 5.30pm.Email The Lesbian Connection (TLC) at tlconnection.link@gmail.com to go on mailing list or for more details.

Wednesday 18 Pool @ Shark Club, 132 Bridge St, Nelson, from 5.30pm. Email The Lesbian Connection (TLC) at tlconnection.link@gmail.com to go on mailing list or for more details.

Sunday 22 Brunch, Muses Cafe, next to the museum, High St, Motueka, 11am. Email The Lesbian Connection (TLC) at tlconnection.link@gmail.com to go on mailing list or for more details.

Wednesday 25 Games night, Prince Albert Hotel, 113 Nile St, Nelson, from 5.30pm. Email The Lesbian Connection (TLC) at tlconnection.link@gmail.com to go on mailing list or for more details.


The Christchurch Women’s Centre keeps a diary of events in Christchurch and elsewhere on their Lesbian Support page.
Sunday 8 Zinefest celebrating zine culture and self-publishing 1.30-5pm, Waimairi Rd Commmunity Centre, stalls selling zines and comics from around NZ. Email zinefestchch@gmail.com with your name and phone number to register a stall.

Sunday 8 An evening with the Topp Twins Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch, 8pm, see Ticketek.


Transforming femsMonday 23-Wednesday 25 Trans/forming feminisms: Media, technology and identity conference, for academics, activists and online media users, University of Otago, with speaker Sandra Grey of Victoria University, Tertiary Education Union President. See http://transformingfeminisms.noblogs.org/.

Sunday 28 Wild Women Walk the Aramoana mudflat, Mole & Spit Beach – with the Climate Change march from the Dental School afterwards if interested. Meet near Crusty Corner Bakery/Cafe (opp Botanical Gardens main entrance) by 9.20am to car share; $5 pp petrol donation. Meet at the Mole, in Moana St opp Plucky St at 10am. Email acharlotte10@gmail.com.


Saturday 7 South Australia Samesex Dancesport competition 1-5pm, Western Youth Centre, Marion Road, Cowandilla, $12/15. Email sasamesexdancesport@hotmail.com or phone Valda +61 404 090 427.

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

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