Queer podcasts begin

PrideNZ.com will today launch a significant audio series of history podcasts by Dr Alison Laurie looking at aspects of New Zealand’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) histories.

“We want to celebrate and promote New Zealand’s LGBTI history not only to our local communities, but to our many international visitors”, says Alison. “In March this year there’s going to be a major influx of LGBTI people for the 2nd AsiaPacific Outgames, and we want to showcase our rich past”.

Dr Alison Laurie has recently retired as the Programme Director of Gender and Women’s Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, where she taught courses on queer studies, among other topics. She is a feminist and lesbian activist, theorist, writer, broadcaster and oral historian.

Producer of the Queer History 101 series, Gareth Watkins, says the first instalment of 13 podcasts covers a wide range of topics. “Each 15-minute podcast is a fantastic entry point into local queer history,” says Gareth. “Alison has got such a personal and engaging way of presenting information, and is so passionate about gender and queer studies. With her many years of research and presentation experience we are very fortunate to have her involved.”

Some of the podcast topics include queer meeting places, early lesbian and gay groups, LGBTI labels, homosexual law reform, human rights, plus crimes against queers.

Dr Laurie also discusses a number of famous New Zealand artists — the painter Frances Hodgkins, writer Katherine Mansfield and poet Ursula Bethell.

The podcasts are generously funded by the Gay Line Wellington Trust with the support of the Rule Foundation. “We are very excited to be part of this significant project,” says the Trust’s chair, John Mayes.

“The audio podcasts have a strong educational focus. By delivering our history in an engaging, digestible and downloadable format we want to engage younger community members with their past,” says John.

The first instalment of 13 podcasts can be heard online. They can also be downloaded or viewed as transcripts on the PrideNZ.com website from today.

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