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Queer Liberation - Vernon Tile Vamaua

To mark the 50th anniversary of the formation of the first Gay Liberation Front groups in New Zealand in 1972, the International Socialist Organisation Te Whanganui-a-Tara branch invited activist Vernon Tile Vamaua to talk about the early years of queer liberation. Due to time constraints, Vernon didn't present his full talk - but it can be downloaded in full as a pdf document.

Vernon draws on Brent Coutts' 1972: a year in focus book. A special thank you to Brent for his research, and to Vernon and the International Socialist Organisation for allowing this event to be recorded and shared.

Audio and Text Download mp3 Download HQ mp3

Slide Details

  • 10:15 - Society for Human Rights (SHR, 1924-1925), Mattachine Society (1951-1961) and the Mattachine Society of Washington (MSW, 1961-early 1970s)
  • 14:24 - The psychedelic flower power generation free love philosophy - sexual and social liberation, Vietnam War protests, Women's Liberation movement, Anti-racist groups formed – Nga Tamatoa and Polynesian Panthers, HART – stop all sporting contact with South Africa and the 1973 Springbok tour Organisation to Halt Military Service, Save Lake Manapouri campaign, Opposition to Halt Military Service (OHMS) - opposition to conscription and war by a campaign of civil disobedience, Progressive Youth Movement, Little Red School Book and the “Hair” musical touring New Zealand - nudity and homosexuality
  • 19:10 - Auckland Gay Liberation Front Manifesto sections: Family, School, Church, The Media, Employment, The Law, Psychiatry, Self Oppression, And Now Liberation, Aims
  • 19:56 - Auckland Gay Liberation Front Manifesto - Immediate Demands: 1 - End all discrimination against gay people, 2 - All people have the right to sexual self-determination, 3 - We shall oppose all oppression against gay people and support full civil rights, 4 - We shall provide counselling services, legal services and medical services for gay people and raise their consciousness about their own identity.
  • 31:20 - First two office holders in Gay Liberation Front Wellington: President Donal Raethel and Vice-President Laurie Marque.
  • 33:40 - Key people in Gay Liberation Front Christchurch: Robin Duff, Lindsay Taylor, Chris Hignett, Paul Maling, John Wooles and Mike Waghorne
  • 35:28 - First National Gay Liberation Conference in Auckland (26 August 1972). Sessions included Organisation, Action, Media and Publicity, Guerrilla Theatre, Graphics and Printing, Counselling, Communes, Social Function of Gay Liberation
  • 36:15 - Key individuals in Gay Liberation Front. Auckland: Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Malcolm McAllister, Dick Morrison, Janet Roth, Caterina de Nave, Sharon Alston, David Russell, Paul Kells, John Demouth, Graeme Underhill, Ben van Prehn, Nigel Baumber. Wellington: Donal Raethel, Laurie Marquet, Michael Ross, Barry Neels, Robert Lansdown, Bill Evans, Rae Dellaca. Christchurch: Robin Duff, Lindsay Taylor, Chris Hignett, Paul Maling, John Wooles, Mike Waghorne
  • 43:05 - Two books in Vernon's library: Homosexual: oppression & liberation by Dennis Altman and Out of the closets: voices of gay liberation edited by Karla Jay and Allen Young

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Record date:28th June 2022
Location:Kirk building, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004673).