Saturday, June 30, 2012

Youth News: Tranzform & School's Out


Tranzform is a group for trans youth, their friends and supporters.  Phone/text 022 105 0774.

It has been an exciting month for Tranzform. Five of us were very lucky to be able to attend the Agender hui in Christchurch over Queen's Birthday weekend, thanks to some funding from Gay Wellington. It was an amazing event; we met people from Christchurch, Dunedin, Nelson, Hamilton and Auckland - as well as some in rural areas. The hui itself was relatively small which meant we really got to know everyone and share some of our stories, especially with some of the older people in our community, and be part of building a new whanau. It was the first Agender hui to be held on a marae, which some were a bit nervous about, but being able to express our gender in such a strictly traditional environment was incredible. A huge thanks to the people who made this happen for us, it was a once in a lifetime event and we are so grateful.

Tranzform groups have been going well and attendance numbers are stable. Evolve is a really nice venue so we are enjoying meeting there. At our last meeting someone had brought a ten kg box of clothing with them from Nelson to give away so we had a 'Tranzform clothes swap' which went really well.

Dee and I had the opportunity to speak to the WGWG business meeting about Tranzform and how it is going. We ran a transgender trivia quiz and people seemed to be pretty excited about that; one of our members also volunteered to come along and talk about what he gets out of Tranzform.

Lastly, we are really stoked about Dee's new role as co-chair for Gay Wellington. It is awesome to see some trans visibility and representation within the group. All the best Dee.
School's Out
School's Out is the queer support group for teens based in Wellington, Kapiti and The Hutt.  Phone/text 027 763 9793.
Hi everyone! This month we got the opportunity to present to Gay Wellington about what we have been up to over the past year. We ran a presentation, had volunteers facilitate some ice-breakers that we use in groups, and one of our youth came in and spoke about the positive role School’s Out has had in her life.

This month we have been continuing to run our after school groups in Central Wellington, Lower Hutt and Kapiti. Our volunteer Tommy has started up a new Facebook page, so be sure to track us down and like us, to receive updates about what we are doing. We have also welcomed Juliet as our new secretary for our rowdy, yet strangely organised management meetings.

We are still looking for folks in the Kapiti region to help rejuvenate our group, so please send us an email if you would be keen to lend some support at Lastly, a big thanks to Gay Wellington for the ongoing support!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Queer films at the NZ International Film Festival

The NZ International Film Festival starts in Wellington on July 27th. Keep an eye out for eight films that may be of LGBT interest: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Your Sister’s Sister, Bernie, Farewell My Queen, Keep the Lights On, Habana Muda, Bully, and Call Me Kuchu. Apparently session times will be available on Friday 29th June once the programme is launched.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Kura & Stu - Co-Chair Headlines

Matariki signals a time to reflect on the past and plan for the New Year.  With this in mind I have decided to relinquish the co-chair role which I have been in for almost a year. It's been a great experience providing an opportunity to learn about the early beginnings of WGWG and the diverse groups WGWG  currently support. Stu is a fabulous co-chair to work alongside with and would provide good support to anyone who wanted to take up the vacant co-chair role.   I will still be involved with WGWG  through the  helpline and also with the funding committee. Chur to the chur folks... see you at the next training and business meeting. 


Awww thanks Kura, it's been great working with you over the last year and we'll miss you in the co-chair seat.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog with 20 ideas for how to meet gay guys in Wellington.  It's a list most helpliners are familiar with, but as you'll see from our statistics, not many people are phoning helpline to ask what's going on.   Over 160 people read that blog post within two weeks and I received a lot of positive feedback.  That's almost as many people who phone helpline in a year!  In fact we're averaging about 500 hits on our blog a month and close to 700 on our webpage, so that's a good sign that Gay Wellington is increasing its internet profile and its online users.

If you're reading this but you want to interact by phone or in person, the helpline and the coming out groups (the Lesbian Drop In and Newcomers for men) may still be right for you. And if you're in the youth bracket, School's Out and Tranzform are two really good face-to-face support groups.

Whatever you decide to do, if you want information, support or just a chat, get in touch!  There are 47 members of the local GLBTI community who belong to Gay Wellington and we've all been there. 


Latest news from Helpline & the coming out support groups


We were available for 14/18 days in May, took 10 calls (7 male, 3 female) and spoke for 2hrs. The callers ranged from guys coming out through to straight callers asking for GLBTI resources for family members.

Lesbian Drop-In

Hi everyone. The Drop-In Group continues to meet at the Embassy cafe (upstairs) on the first Thursday of the month. Our next meeting will be on Thursday June 7th from 6pm to 7.30pm. We're very friendly and casual. Watch for our sign on one of the tables. Cheers Jo

Newcomers (for men coming out)

We had two meetings in May with about 10 people coming along each time. Some Newcomers joined our social event at the Awhina Centre as well as listening to Galaxies speak at our monthly meeting. The next Newcomers meetings are 12 and 26 June. Stu

Updates from School's Out & Tranzform

School's Out

Kia ora whanau, this month has been another big month for School’s Out. With help from our awesome volunteers, we managed to get into four schools in Wellington and Kapiti to give out free food, t-shirts and flyers to raise awareness about homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools. Special thanks to Kabel who managed to make the whole day run smoothly!

We have also been working on our new website, organisation policy, a plan to support homeless youth and helping youth in their queer straight alliances at schools. Our groups in the Hutt and Central Wellington are going strong, and we have had guest speakers talk about Out Takes, body positivity for Youth Week as well as having an appearance from Greens MP, Jan Logie.

Our next goal is to build up our Kapiti support network and we will be holding a public meeting within the next couple of months. If you are based in the Kapiti area and are keen to help School’s Out in building a strong, supportive community in the region, then send us an email at the following address: Kassie

Tranzform has had an exciting month. We had our first meeting at the new venue - Evolve - last week which went really well. Numbers had been a bit low in past months but we are starting to pick back up again and we are always working on promoting a safe and inclusive culture. A number of the members are off to Christchurch this weekend for the Agender trans hui which we will hopefully come back from with heaps of new ideas and enthusiasm. Our awesome friend Ben has also made a new poster and logo for us. They both look really great, we can't wait to use them. Connor

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Galaxies - a gay christian-ish group in Wellington

Despite winter weather and work commitments keeping many people away, there was still a good turnout of both members and visitors to the last WGWG training session, with invited members from Galaxies gay Christian group as guest speakers.

The first difference between Galaxies and other groups is that they describe themselves as “Christian-ish” being open to views, philosophies and learning from all enlightened faiths and practices. The group is made up of a range of people with different spiritual outlooks, from mainstream Christianity to unique, individualistic forms of spirituality. Their common goal is the exploration and discussion of individual and group spirituality in a loving and accepting manner and environment. And that means fun as well as serious discussions!

The discussion was led by Peter, Tony and Ryan. All three are gay men from different Christian backgrounds and experiences and they express their individual beliefs in different manners. This is one of the strong points of Galaxies.

Tony gave a brief history of Galaxies, which sprung from the Law Reform Movement in 1986. Many gay Christians at that time were struggling to find their identity and expression of faith within mainstream Christianity. Galaxies, as a group, was one of two groups founded after the 2 gay Christian conferences in Auckland and Wellington in 1991-2. It has not moved very far from the original foundations.

Galaxies started as a mixed group of non-denominational Christians. It was not clergy led or affiliated to any denomination. Times of worship used contemporary resources with emphasis on creativity and NZ content. For many years, Galaxies ran a yearly Advent service with a choir. Public activities included church advocacy for LGBT rights and law reform submissions. Many WGWG members will be familiar with the Galaxies name as financial supporters of WGWG in various projects over the last few years.

Today, the services are a shared meal with an informal discussion or relevant DVD or a communal time of prayer and reflection, often including resources and practices from non-Christian traditions.

The question time was wide ranging. Questions ranged from the practical, such as how can Galaxies help LGBT today? To more theological but just as important questions, such as What is spirituality? And how do we define God?
There were some very practical questions about how Galaxies could help the WGWG helpline. How do we counteract homophobia? As well as providing a safe environment for worship, Galaxies can provide scholarly articles on theology and LGBT issues within the church, as well as being a source of LGBT role model stories and news items. Galaxies also provides an alternative to the bar scene for LGBT people who want to socialise outside of the jetset!

Pete has also released a collection of books and publications in PDF form that show how LGBT people are not condemned in the Bible but how these key scriptures have been misused.

There are brochures with contact details in the WGWG office, or you can contact Galaxies through their website at The next Galaxies meeting is Sunday, 24 June at 5.30pm and will celebrate the Winter Solstice. Galaxies meets in St Andrews on The Terrace, through the side entrance.