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Panel highlighs Māori and Pasifika queerandtrans stories

Wed 10 Aug 2016 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Māori and Pasifika queer and trans stories were highlighted last night during the Auckland Museum’s first installment of AM Late for the season. Dr Pala Molisa, Dr Ngahuia Te Awekotuku,Rosanna Raymond,Mihingarangi Forbes and Courtney Sina Meredith He Mana, He Wahine was the first in a lineup of discussion evenings at the Auckland Museum, with an esteemed lineup of speakers delving into discussions about mana wahine theory, sex and activism. During the one hour panel discussion, Māori, women’s and LGBTI rights advocate, Dr Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, highlighted Māori queer and trans histories and spoke of the gender and sexuality fluidity of Māori myths and legends. Bringing to the panel her vast knowledge and history as an advocate, Te Awekotuku spoke about the not often told histories of both Māori women as the first women to vote and takatāpui histories including the story of Tiki and Tutānekai. Within one of the great love stories of the Māori world - the story of Hinemoa and Tūtāneki - lies a lesser known story of Tiki, who grieved the loss of his hoa takatāpui when Tūtāneki was united with his love Hinemoa. Te Awekotuku also spoke of second wave feminism and described the uniform of the time as a short back and sides and a pair of dungarees, while giving equal credit to the queer women who wore dresses and heels and lipstick. Mentioning a divide between straight women and queer women in the feminist movement, she also touched on the beginnings of the Gay Liberation movement and why she was quite ridiculously labelled as a ‘known sexual deviant’ by the United States Consulate and denied entry to the country despite winning an award. Last words of the night went to openly queer writer poet and musician, Courtney Sina Meredith, who read from her new book Tail of the Taniwha.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 10th August 2016 - 1:00pm

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