Trans-Tasman transgender legend Carmen Rupe is to visit New Zealand again – this time to pick up the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from the Aroha Festival. A lifetime of achievement: Carmen on the steps of Parliament in the 1970s A special night out at Auckland's Galatos venue is planned to honour Carmen, who now lives in Sydney, for her humanitarian work, cultural significance, and revolutionary impact as a force for social and political change in Aotearoa. "Carmen is a real living legend," say the Aroha Festival crew. "Born in Taumarunui, with Maniapoto and Ngāti Hauā heritage, her pioneering spirit took her from a back-blocks farm to the heights of Australasian public life. "Carmen's International Coffee Lounge and Carmen's Balcony were not only entertainment venues, but they were also at the forefront of a sexual and cultural revolution. Carmen campaigned for the Mayoralty of Wellington. She was summoned before Parliament to explain herself. "In a black and white age, Carmen was a true tranny blaze of colour. Without her well-lived life, we would not be ourselves." With a dress-code of 'black tie and jandals', Carmen's night at Galatos on Sunday 14 March from 7pm will feature legendary performers, star-studded tributes, guest speakers, and community aroha – accompanied by a traditional Hāngī feast. Tickets are now on sale for $40, with 100% of the event's profits going towards the fund to buy Carmen a much-needed new mobility scooter. Carmen last visited New Zealand for her 73rd birthday party in Wellington last October.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News Staff
First published: Wednesday, 24th February 2010 - 3:27pm
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