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Singer/songwriter Mahinarangi Tocker

Thu 1 May 2003 In: Hall of Fame View at Wayback View at NDHA

Mahinarangi Tocker From deep in her Jewish Maori lesbian being Mahinarangi Tocker draws moody songs that tug at the soul. Who are you... what's your background? I'm a musician, singer, songwriter, composer, performer, actor, published poet, and I give workshops all over the country for Music and Creativity in Learning and Self Esteem. What do you try to achieve through your music? Music is part of therapy for myself in a way. So firstly it's a very personal relationship. Once I share it with others then it's no longer my 'baby'. The sounds become a part of the audience or the viewers make-up and it's up to them to use these sounds and sights as they choose. Some people record my songs or compositions themselves, which I really like because they dress them up or down according to their own personalities. Perhaps the most obvious aim of music for me is that it is another part of my life experience which helps me to feel comfortable with myself. What characterises the New Zealand GLBT community for you? I'm not sure that there is a basic characteristic for us. Fifteen years or so ago, lesbians almost had a uniform of hair and clothing sense. I only really have hindsight now. Just thinking quickly though I don't really see that there is any differences between us anymore. I mean, it used to be that there were separate Maori Lesbian/transgender/gay groups. More sports groups. More dances. Nowadays it's a nightclub life, few if any sports groups and the ethnicity of us all is more intermingled socially and politically. Mind you, I'm a 'stay at home girl' these days. One important thing to me is that I always feel 'safe', comfortable and receive heaps of affection when I'm at something that is for 'us'. What is the worst thing for you about being GLBT? Can't think that there is anything bad for me about being a lesbian. What is the best thing about being GLBT? That my sweetheart still loves me. We've been together for almost 14 years. That my daughter has two mothers both of whom she loves very much. That I'm 'out' to the public without even trying. That both of our whanau accept us as we are. Favourite food - 1st May 2003


First published: Thursday, 1st May 2003 - 12:00pm

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