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Christchurch plans UpRising

Wed 18 May 2011 In: Events

Three months on from the horrific earthquake, members of Christchurch's queer community have decided it's time for a party to help raise spirits and bring people together. From its bar, to its cruise clubs and group gathering places, the queer venues in the city were damaged in the 22 February shake which left much of the CBD devastated and claimed 181 lives. For those who are seeking company in queer community the news is getting brighter; a new temporary bar, dubbed "Baby Cruz", has just opened and now a dance party is being planned at Pegasus Arms for Queen's Birthday Sunday, 5 June. UpRising is the brainchild of community leader and Human Rights Commissioner Richard Tankersley, who has a crew of volunteers helping him plan the event. "We've really had no regular place to gather, to meet to be part of a community," he says. "And it's been quite difficult for people really." Tankersley is one of the organisers of the Bears Christchurch group which meets once a month in a pub. He said aside from the monthly meetings the group holds there has been very little going on in the city. "And so we decided it was time for a party." The bear community decided rather than running its own shindig it was time to collaborate across the community and have a bigger event. The name UpRising came from one of the event organisers Denise Dearborn after a brainstorm at the venue. Tankersley points out it's not just venues that have been impacted by the February quake, but also other places where community groups meet. "People are trying to carry on as best they can, but I think there's been quite a lot of isolation for some people," he says. "We just want people to enjoy themselves. To dance, to relax and have a good time. We picked on the Sunday night so we don't impact what regular commercial activity there might be in the community. We understand that Baby Cruz has opened in the last week ... so we don't really want to cut across what's going on in any other place. we all need to sort of, pick up the pieces together really." Uprising will raise funds for queer youth group Q-Topia, which has now found a home at Family Planning after two subsequent venues were damaged significantly in the September and February earthquakes. Tankersley says the group is really important to Christchurch's glbt community, "because it's the coming generation of queer Christchurch really. And we're happy to support them." People from all over the country are more than welcome to head to the city and show their support. "If people want to make a weekend of it then at least they know they'll be entertained," Tankersley says. "We've got a venue that's big enough to take everyone that comes. It's expandable. We've got multiple areas and we can extend into other areas if we need to. So it could be a boutique party or it could be a rage. I think it will be somewhere in between." EVENT DETAILS: Pegasus Arms Restaurant   

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 18th May 2011 - 7:51am

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