Thursday, April 19, 2012

LILAC talks to Gay Wellington

Our guest speakers this month were Alison and Mari from LILAC, the Wellington Lesbian Information, Library and Archives Centre.

LILAC is a collective of 12 women who have been operating the lending library since September 1994. What's amazing is that LILAC is unique - there's no other service like it in New Zealand.

The library at 64 Cambridge Terrace has a range of lesbian material including books, DVDs and magazines which you can browse from the electronic catalogue on their website. New items arrive each month so there's always up-to-date material to look at. Their New Zealand and Australian collections are really comprehensive.

The group recently introduced an 'outreach' service to the Kapiti Coast and is considering whether to expand further afield.

Since 2010 LILAC has also run a bookclub on the last Thursday of the month.

One message we took from the talk was that if you're a lesbian or bisexual woman, LILAC is definitely a place to visit. It's a women only space and a great location to go to if you're coming out and you want to start making connections or do some personal research. Although there's a modest membership fee if you want to withdraw books, it costs nothing to visit, browse the collection and chat to the volunteers.

Thanks Alison and Mari for coming along, it was fantastic to hear what your group is doing for the local community!

Monday, April 2, 2012

That's So Gay - at BATS Theatre this April

If you aren't going to see That's So Gay at Bats, then you're really missing some great theatre. The production is based on real life stories from the kids at School's Out, which is Gay Wellington's queer support group for teens based in Wellington, Kapiti and The Hutt. A group of 18 of us from Gay Wellington went on Friday 27th April. The passion of the actors and the creative way of telling stories and getting points across were brilliant. No wonder it is a sell-out - it could have fun for 3 weeks rather than 3 days!


That’s So Gay is a culmination of true queer stories that reflect the lives of Wellington youth today gathered, devised and performed by them. It is a truly collaborative community theatre production that will no doubt be inspiring, touching, and at times humorous—an absolute must see theatre piece at BATS Theatre this April.

Directed by Toni Regan
Co-Produced by Anny da Silva Freitas and Toni Regan

6:30pm at BATS on:

Thursday 26th April
Friday 27th April
Saturday 28th April

Ticket Prices:

$18.00 (Full Price)
$13.00 (Concession)
$14.00 (Groups 6+)
$5.00 (Schools Out/Te whaea Students)

Tickets can be purchased at BATS box office or online at

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Greetings from new volunteers Alison & Marc

Kia ora everyone, Alison here. I’m a 23 year old escaped Hamiltonian who has been living in Wellington for about 5 years now. I started my coming out process roughly 3 years ago, and recently decided to get involved with WGWG as a way to connect with the community. I was inducted last November, and have just been voted in as a full member, go me!

I'm graduating this May with a BA in International Relations and Geography. Don't ask me what I plan to do with it. Please. Other interests/hobbies include music, comic books, hanging out at the library, green politics, feminism and intersectionality, and naming my future 17 cats for when I inevitably become a cat lady (true story).

I enjoy a good label - I identify mostly as queer but sometimes gay and occasionally a lesbian. It's a pretty complicated system. So far I'm enjoying being a part of WGWG as a Helpliner, and look forward to helping out with other parts of the organisation when I get the chance. Alison


I’m originally from Guernsey and my parents divorced when I was 5. As a teenager I was unsure of my sexuality. I had a kind of relationship with a boy when I was 13 but told friends I liked girls. I lost my virginity to a woman at the age of 18 but thought that didn't really go how I thought it would go! I tried again at 20 and still had the same weird feelings so I said to mum "I think I'm bi". Her eyes just widened and she said “whatever makes you happy”.

By the time I was 21 I told my close friends I was gay. Mum was the next mission – I thought she might disown me! I was making a cheese and ham sandwich at the time (it’s sooo much easier making a sandwich and telling the parents lol). Mum walked in and the words “mum I’m gay” just fell out of my mouth. She went into the conservatory and shut the door. It felt like a lifetime and I wondered if her heart sank with the notion that she would not have grandkids. But she returned and once again said “whatever makes you happy Marc”. I’m lucky that I was accepted by all my family including my 86 year old granddad.

I didn't tell my dad I was gay and I regret that I never had the chance. I didn't see him much growing up. When he celebrated his 50th birthday it was a great night and I sat next to him at the head of the table. But dad just didn't seem right. Two days later he died at home. I was 23. A few weeks after that I told my step mum I was gay. She said “yeah we knew, and your dad accepted you for it”. Marc

What did we do in March?

We were available for 15 days in March, took 14 calls (13 male, 1 female) and spoke for 5hrs. The themes were ‘straight’ men with a same sex attraction, relationships, and loneliness.

School’s Out
The past month has been a very busy period for School's Out. We made huge leaps and bounds towards restarting up a new group based in Lower Hutt, due to the high demand from queer youth in the area. We held a community meeting where MPs Jan Logie and Trevor Mallard attended, showing that queer youth issues appear to be gaining more recognition in the parliamentary crowd.

We also held a successful training workshop for current and prospective queer youth workers which was facilitated by George and Mani. The weekend long training had 25 people attending from all over the lower North Island, and showed that there is a strong and enthusiastic bunch of people wanting to help our queer youth.

Sadly, the passing of a former School's Out youth also took place this month. Our youth and facilitators were all affected by this on some level, and we give our most heartfelt condolences to the family and Kapiti communities affected by this tragic event. E ngau kino nei te aroha. Kassie

We had two meetings in March, with 10 guys turning up to each and the stories are as compelling as ever! Stu

Lesbian Drop-In
The Lesbian Drop-In continues to meet monthly at the Embassy Theatre cafe. We now have a sign that we display on the table so newcomers can spot us. The next meeting is April 5th, 6pm - 7.30. Feel free to email me with any queries ahead of time - Cheers Jo

Cuthbert funds for Wellington gay men with HIV
The funding committee had a meeting in March to debrief on the last few years and see if there are any learnings for the future. We agreed to draft a blurb for the website soon so there will be wider awareness of the fund. Stu