Family Portraits: A Queer & Trans* Comic Launch
Our good friend Sam Orchard is embarking on a very cool adventure – but not without your help! Sam is an extremely talented comic artist who has done art work for things like our Gender and Sexuality 101 resource, as well as running his own comic strip about the ins and outs of being a transman called ‘Rooster Tails‘.
Now, he’s embarking on another project called ‘Family Portraits‘ and has created a kickstarter in the hopes of raising money to fund it! We asked him to tell us in his own words about the project:
“My Kickstarter is to raise funds to Family Portraits - a comic book series that explores the lives and loves of New Zealanders from the LGBTI/Rainbow community.
“Family Portraits is a comic series that’s the first of it’s kind in New Zealand – and captures stories of a range of different kiwis and celebrates how we live, how we love, and who we are. Each comic is told using a different comic style, and explores a different story from real life New Zealanders.
”I’ve always loved telling stories, and as a kid I always looked for stories that reflected and celebrated people like me. Unfortunately, a lot of the stories in mainstream media about queer and trans people are negative, sensationalised, or scandalised our differences. So I wanted to tell stories that embraced and celebrated our differences.
“The money raised in the kickstarter will go towards helping print the first two issues, and help me get to America to do an American tour. Each issue of Family Portraits will be about 60 pages long and be printed in full colour.
“There are a few important reasons why I’m choosing to go to the grand ol’ United States:
- -It’s waaay cheaper to print the books and send them to America, and post them out to people from there, than to send them to New Zealand and post them from here
- - Most of the people who read my comic live there!
- - I wanna try and get along to some comicons like Rose City and A.P.E!
- - My parents live over there, and it’ll be a nice chance to visit my ma and pa!
REVIEW: ‘Black Faggot’
Lights, two actors in black clothes, fists pounding on chests, feet stamping, prayers, various sexual positions and a rendition of ‘This Little Light of Mine’ – these are the things that Black Faggot uses to tell it’s stories. It may be simple, but it’s also smart.
Black Faggot was written by Victor Rodger who conceived the idea while watched a Destiny’s Church rally against New Zealand’s Marriage Equality Bill. He watched the young protesters march by and thought,”At least one of these kids will be gay and feeling quite wretched about himself.
Two young actors, Taofia Pelesasa and Iaheto Ah Hi, expertly bring to life Rodger’s cast of unique characters in series of stripped down monologues where comedy straddles tragedy in everyday lives and situations. The characters – all a part of New Zealand’s migrant Pacific Island communities: the ‘undercover brother’ who will do almost anything to prove that he’s straight, a gay Samoan guy who will call anyone out on their prejudice to an island mama who has to confront the fact that her son is queer. Pelesasa and Ah Hi shift between these different characters with ease – each one as authentic as the last – at a pace that can be challenging. It’s almost if each character is clamoring over the other one to get their story told, because they all know that stories like these are rarely heard.
Black Faggot gives you every stereotype of queers, pacific islanders, fa’afafines and queens imaginable – and it watches while you laugh. Then, it turns around and delivers a heart wrenching scene – the gay Samoan teenager standing alone, his voice raised and shaking as he asks God to make him straight. You are no longer laughing.
Black Faggot demands that you keep up, but that’s okay – because you really want to. Showing for only 4 more nights at the Herald Theatre in Aotea Square, Black Faggot is back by popular demand after winning big at the Auckland and Melbourne Fringe Awards in 2013. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.
RY Scholarship to the Outgames
Are you badass at badminton? Groovy at golf? A superstar at swimming?
Rainbow Youth is offering a $1000 scholarship to help a queer or trans* young person get over to compete in the 3rd Asia Pacific Outgames held between May 10th and May 16th in Darwin, Australia. Applicants can be competing in any sport that the Outgames offers (even lawn bowls, we don’t discriminate!) and can be from anywhere in Aotearoa!
Those interested in applying for the scholarship should email email@example.com with a 200 word profile of yourself (including a photo so we put a face to the name of the talented applicants), 200 words on why you want to compete in the games as well as proof of registration to the games (if you haven’t registered yet, make sure you do so before April 11th). Applications for the RY Scholarship close April 23rd. The winner will be announced in a post on our website and our social media pages: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr
Professional Development Workshops
Rainbow Youth is excited to launch our professional development workshops this year! We’ve been delivering its sexuality and gender diversity education workshops throughout schools and institutions around Auckland since the 1990s. This year, we’re expanding our education programme to address the wider community.
Beginning on the 25th of January, we’re offering a series of full day training workshops aimed at healthcare professionals, teachers, tertiary students, youth workers, as well as parents and whānau of queer and trans* youth, who would like to better support those young people in their lives.
Our Education Coordinator Kestin Stewart says he’s really excited to be able to run the Professional Development workshop.
“It will be a great opportunity to not only gain a solid understanding of sexuality and gender diversity, but to also learn how to talk about these issues with confidence and sensitivity.”
Participants in the workshop will learn the fundamentals of sexuality and gender identity as well as how homophobia, transphobia and discrimination affect queer and trans* youth. Other skills gained in the workshops include dealing with such discrimination in their environments, the coming out process and also have the opportunity to hear a range of personal stories from queer and trans* young people.
All participants will receive a resource training pack as part of the course. Refreshments will also be provided. Registration costs $100 per person, $50 for students and $70 per person for groups of 5 or more.
For the full outline of the sessions, download this PDF.
Click here to register for the January 25th session or email Kestin at kestin.stewart@