Adrienne Girling says the most unexpected moment was how many Canadians there were taking Saturdayâ€™s tour. â€śMore than half of the participants were Canadian, including me!â€ť she says, mentioning that â€śIt seems so common to learn the history of a city or country as a tourist rather than of the place you are from!â€ť
While the tour welcomes people from all backgrounds, Girling says she would encourage more kiwis and Wellingtonians to learn about the rich rainbow history of the capital and hear the many stories being shared.
â€śI really believe that it is important that we know the history of where we came from as a community, globally, nationally and locally,â€ť she says. â€śThis history is what binds us together, connects across generations, and gives us empathy for other marginalised groups. It reminds us of the struggles we've faced and strides we've made, and shows us what we still need to do to improve things for LGBTIQ people.
â€śWe also learn about the people in our community who have fought for us (in the past and present), for our rights and safety.â€ť
With an important history waiting to be told, Girling says â€śThe tour brought to life the colourful history of the LGBTIQ community in Wellington, from where Carmen Rupe's cabaret nightclub Le Balcon stood in the early 70s to where the Lesbian and Gay Rights Resource Centre was and about the fire that took the resource centre during the Law Reform struggle.
â€śWe learned about history that often doesn't get told, about Katherine Mansfield's relationships with women, about a local gay couple who met when they fought in WWI, as well as the erasure of our LGBTIQ history in some of our museums.â€ť
Saturday 4 March 1pm - 2.30pm
Saturday 11 March 1pm - 2.30pm
Saturday 18 March 1pm - 2.30pm
Meeting outside the main entrance to City Gallery in Civic Square. No bookings necessary.