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'Glamorous warrior' Natasha Hohepa dies

Thu 23 Jan 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News

Auckland's trans and takataapui communities are mourning the loss of one of their most glamorous old kuia and warriors, Natasha (Nat) Allen-Hohepa, who has died in Auckland after a long fight against cancer. Known to many as Nat, she is remembered as a determined woman who knew how to make a glamorous entrance and who was always beautifully dressed. Of Ngapuhi descent, she lived at various times in Auckland, Wellington and Sydney and was a friend of the late Carmen Rupe. Recently she contacted a group of friends and advised them that she had lost her battle against cancer. She held a small party and almost immediately afterwards began a terminal decline during which she could neither eat nor drink. "Natasha had (an) impact on Auckland before the 1970s which is when I first encountered her on the streets of Auckland," says friend Kym Strathdee. "She was a force to be reckoned with, some would say to be avoided. She was very much a trans-warrior who, long before there was community, stood up to the world and defied anyone who would challenge her self-determination." Long-time friend Nicole Duval says her friend was "the kindest, most generous person you could ever meet... her generosity was unequalled." The pair met "way back when we were both about 13 years old, a young white girl and a maori girl who became friends forever. We had lots of disagreements but she was a wonderful friend." Natasha has been laid at rest at her inner-city Auckland home since yesterday afternoon when Duval was one of those who helped dress her and do her hair and make-up. "She looked at peace and quite beautiful," Duval says emotionally. Picture thanks to Kym Strathdee Jordan Harris of the NZAF agrees that Natasha was a glamorous dresser. "Always dressed to impress looking like she just stepped out of a salon, pulling off outfits most 20-year olds would struggle to wear, she was the most glamorous queen of them all." Harris is coordinating a group to pay their last respects this afternoon and is inviting people to initially gather at the NZAF, 31 Hargreaves Street College Hill at 12.30pm today. Natasha, who is survived by her partner Mark, will tomorrow be taken to Matangirau marae in Northland.    

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 23rd January 2014 - 9:39am

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