"Last night was a sparkling night of cocktails, entertainment and wonderful people at the Winter Gardens in Auckland Domain for the OUTLine NZ launch," says Neil Denney, General Manager of OUTLine NZ - formerly the Auckland Gay and Lesbian Welfare Group. Guests at Auckland Domain's Winter Garden for the launch of OUTLine Labour MP Chris Carter was guest speaker at yesterday evening's event to advance and re-brand the 26-year-old Auckland telephone counselling service into a nationwide hub for LGBT networking and support. Politicians from both sides of the house including Pansy Wong and Jackie Blue joined the invited guests Denney described as "a who's who of the queer community." Drag queen entertainer Tess Tickle performed a Salsa-themed solo show, and was later joined by Miss Ford and go-go boy dancer Chris for a number from the movie Hairspray. Denney explained that work began to reshape and upgrade what was then Gay and Lesbian Line eight months ago. "We set ourselves the ambitious job of creating a relevant and necessary national centre and service for adults who don't identify with the traditional definition of 'straight' for the whole of Aotearoa New Zealand. "Our aim is to create a network that supports individuals and groups allowing them to choose their own definitions. So after polling members and the community, we changed our name to OUTLine NZ." Last night's official launch formally introduced the new name, new mission statement and the 0800 OUTLINE national telephone line. "The need for a national toll free service is especially great in more isolated rural areas and the smaller centres that do not have a local service available," explains Denney. "The 0800 Line will enable gay, lesbian, transgender, takataapui and bisexual people, their families and friends to contact the telephone counselling service wherever they are in New Zealand." OUTLine's new toll-free telephone number is 0800 088 5463 (0800 OUTLINE), or in Auckland dial 09 303 3584.
Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff
First published: Saturday, 9th February 2008 - 1:22am
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