Article Title:Nothing's too gay for Christchurch Pride Week!
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Published on:9th May 2007 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:1707
Text:Christchurch Pride Week 2007 begins this Saturday, and there's a massive amount of activities planned to suit everyone's tastes in entertainment… "This is the third year we've run Pride Week, and it's growing bigger each time," says Brent Mitchell, the NZAF's Gay Men's Health Promoter for the South Island. Over forty events will be held during the annual week of celebration and affirmation for Christchurch's gay, lesbian and transgender communities at venues all around the city. "Last year we had around 1,500 people take part in the week, with a huge range of events from dance parties and social gatherings through to safe sex workshops and we'd like to see an even bigger turnout this year." Pride Week kicks off this Saturday 12th May with the Mr and Ms Pride Competition at CRUZ Bar. Who will be the lucky ones crowned this year? Guest judges are Jacquie Grant AKA ‘Tranny Grannie', Deb Stanaway and Queen of the Year, Miss Starlight. The outrageous Miss Mole will be MC, with drag special guests Miss Cindy, Miss Kitana, Stella Roadkill and DJ Craig Morris. There's plenty on offer for the ladies – kicking off with a workshop for women who love women, hosted by the Family Planning Association on Saturday 12th May. A lesbian vegetarian dinner is planned for later that evening, and lesbian ‘Friends of Dorothy' meet for a meal at Dorothy's the following Friday. Then it's the big one on Saturday night 19th May – the official Women's Pride Week Rainbow Party, at the Propaganda Bar, downstairs at 90 Lichfield Street. Transgender South Islanders are also catered for, with ‘Agender' transgender social and support group holding their get-together lunch on Thursday and Friday. It's a chance to meet the Agender team, browse their library, and find out who they are and what they offer. ‘Gay Bingo' is sweeping the globe – and there's a chance to experience the phenomenon during Pride Week, with hostess Miss Hollywood, on Wednesday 16th May from 6:30pm for bingo games with drag shows in the intervals. All at Heaven's Above nightclub, 170 Tuam Street. The Box on Christchurch's Lichfield St is celebrating its third Birthday during Pride Week and will host two events. The first is ‘Trade' on Saturday 12th May from 9pm until 3am. “There'll be a live DJ playing the hottest dance sounds and everyone will get a free beer or wine on arrival, to get into the party atmosphere,” says Toby at The Box. Clothing is optional for the night. Next day from 4pm it's the ‘Shoot' sportswear party, "a fetish event for those guys that love to see other guys in sportswear, football or rugby kit.” A donation from the two events will go towards Pride Week. Menfriends, also on Lichfield Street, is also holding two events, a ‘Pimps and Prostitutes' party on Saturday 12th May – “Wear Anything, Nothing or TART Yourself Up,” they say; and there's a ‘Sleaze' party the following Saturday. The UniQ Toga Party on Friday the 18th May is set to be one of the highlights this year, with lots of diverse shows planned from local acts Motley two, Miss Venus Star Burlesque Artiste, and a special performance by BDSM group, ‘Uncommon Bonds'. Auckland DJ Karl Moser says he's looking forward to guest DJ'ing at the event, and there'll be prizes for best dressed… join them for a night of debauchery! Then the following night, Ministry nightclub hosts a massive Rainbow Cabaret and Dance Party, starring Deezastar, stunning ‘sisters' Buffy and Bimbo, Queenie Aotearoa, Jessica Christ, Miss Cindy, Miss Ginger, Miss BoomBoom DJ Karl Moser from Auckland and DJ Craig Morris. Miss this event at your peril – this is the one they're all talking about! Chch Pride Week finishes on Sunday 20th May with the annual AIDS Candlelight Memorial, commemorating those who have lost their lives to the most deadly disease of modern times and which continues to hit gay and bi men harder than any other New Zealand group. Pride Week was initiated by the NZ AIDS Foundation in 2005 after consultations with the local gay male community. “Christchurch isn't the easiest city to be open about your sexuality in, and our communities are quite fragmented,” Brent Mitchell says. “Pride Week is a great way of bringing a diverse bunch of people together, at a time when HIV awareness is especially important.” The ‘condoms every time' message is a big part of Pride Week, but all the events are also about building strong communities, Mitchell reminds us. “Money raised during Pride Week goes back into the local LGBT community.” “We'd especially like to thank the LGBT businesses, sponsors and individual volunteers who have come on board this year,” says Mitchell. “We couldn't make Pride Week happen without you.” - 9th May 2007    
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