Gay New Zealand

A couple of weeks after emigrating to New Zealand I heard that two girls had been thrown out of a city centre bar for kissing. I remember thinking "If NZ is not a liberal, open-minded country I don't want to live here."

About a year later, a friend told me that:

1 Gay pride is alive and well in Christchurch.

2 She was part of a big gay-kiss protest outside the bar.

3 The girls who were thrown out of the bar were actually being very naughty.

Over the 5 years since then, I've had the opportunity to ask quite a few gays and lesbians if they have found Christchurch gay-friendly. And I'm pleased to say they've all said yes.

This Homo Straw Poll includes LGBT folk who have emigrated here from the US and UK, and quite a few New Zealanders of various ages. Oh dear, I've just realised my Homo Straw Poll includes lesbians, gays and transgenders but no bisexuals! Sorry about that. When Christchurch has been rebuilt (we've had a few earthquakes), remind me to stand in Cathedral Square and shout "I'm looking for anyone who's bisexual".

Fruity Kiwi Factoids

The main drag (ahem) in Auckland is named Queen Street.

Same-sex relationships and activities appear to have been acceptable amongst pre-European Maori. A common label adopted by LGBT Maori is Takatapui, which roughly translates into English as "intimate partner of the same sex".

When New Zealand became a British colony in 1840, British law was adopted in its entirety, making sex between males illegal and a capital offence.

Parliament decriminalised contact between consenting men in 1986. Civil union was introduced in 2005.

New Zealanders are generally accepting of gays and lesbians, although low level homophobia (like using the word 'gay' as an insult) is still common.

New Zealand doesn't have any gay neighborhoods as such, but it does have a vibrant gay and lesbian community.


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