For some festive fun, historian Gareth Watkins presents the chance for you to test your knowledge of Aotearoa New Zealand’s queer history.


1 Name the activist who got angry on the 15 March 1972 at Auckland University, shouting “Let’s start a revolution!”  


2 Where does the world’s (unofficial) shortest Pride parade take place every year? 

3 What was the memorable campaign slogan Carmen Rupe used in her bid to become Mayor of Wellington in 1977? 

4 Who was awarded the Arts Foundation’s prestigious Toi Ko Iriiri Queer Arts Laureate Award in 2022? 

5 What are the three colours that make up the Transgender Pride flag? 

6 In 2011, human rights activist Phylesha Brown-Acton introduced the acronym MVPFAFF at the Asia-Pacific Outgames Human Rights Conference. What does MVPFAFF stand for? 

7 Which country opened the world’s first HIV-positive sperm bank? 

8 Which history-making New Zealand sportswoman said “I’m looking forward to my career as a pub quiz question or trivial pursuit card”? 

9 Which South Island school held the first National Day of Silence in 2007? 

10 Aotearoa’s longest running LGBT+ Association began in 1977 in Manawatu.  What is the group called? 

11 Poet Chris Tse shares what in common with these writers – Hone Tuwhare, Vincent O’Sullivan and Selina Tusitala Marsh? 

12 New Zealand made international headlines after the 2020 General Election by becoming “The Gayest Parliament in History.” At the time, what percentage of Members of Parliament openly identified as being part of rainbow communities – 7%, 10% or 15%?   

13 The television series Dancing with the Stars New Zealand featured its first same-sex dance partnership in 2022. What were the names of the dancers? 

14 Name the famous author who wrote in her journal in 1907 “We lay down together still silently. She, every now and then pressing me to her, kissing me, my head on her breasts, her hands around my body stroking me lovingly – what an experience!” 

15 The first National Schools’ Pride Week took place in New Zealand in what year:  2010, 2015 or 2020? 

16 Which famed dancer of the 1940s (often referred to as the “Fever of the Fleet”) is buried alongside Thelma Trott in Waikumete Cemetery in Auckland? 

17 What large scale rainbow event is held annually at Coyle Park in Auckland? 

18 Who became New Zealand’s first openly gay Deputy Prime Minister in 2020? 

19 What New Zealand law received the most public submissions of all time to Parliament? 

20 Which former Mayor and Member of Parliament does this quote from Andrew Reynolds refer to: “Being the first in the world is a remarkable achievement. Her courage, her tenacity, her authenticity, transforms hearts and minds.” 

21 Name the former firefighter who lit up the stage and won Mr Gay New Zealand 2015? 

22 The Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986 decriminalised consensual homosexual activity between males 16 years and over.  The law was narrowly passed in Parliament by how many votes? 2, 5, or 9 

23 Which South Island town proudly launched Aotearoa’s first rainbow pedestrian crossing in 2018? 

24 Hui Takataapui has been uniting communities for more than thirty-years.  In what year did the first hui take place? 

25 The acronym H.U.G. was the name of a nationwide group of pro-reform allies during homosexual law reform in the 1980s.  What does H.U.G. stand for? 

26 Which expatriate New Zealand author wrote this country’s first gay novel in 1959? 

27 Who made 2022 “the best year ever”? 

[Find the answers below Matt’s bulge!]


1 Ngahuia Te Awekotuku igniting Gay Liberation in Aotearoa.

2 The parade is the length of Paekākāriki’s pedestrian crossing.

3 “Get in Behind”

4 Lindah Lepou, the first recipient of the award.

5 Light blue, pink and white.

6 Mahu, Vakasalewalewa, Palopa, Fa’afafine, Akava’ine, Fakafifine and Fakaleiti/leiti.

7 The sperm bank opened in New Zealand in 2019.

8 Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard

9 Nayland College in Nelson.

10 MaLGRA – the Manawatu Lesbian and Gay Rights Association.

11 They have all been appointed New Zealand Poet Laureate.  Tse is the current Poet Laureate.

12 10.8% of all MPs identified as being part of rainbow communities.

13 Eli Matthewson and Jonny Williams

14 Katherine Mansfield

15 2020

16 Freda Stark

17 Big Gay Out

18 Grant Robertson

19 Almost 107,000 submissions were received by the Select Committee considering the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation in 2021/22.

20 Georgina Beyer

21 Matt Fistonich

22 5 votes

23 Queenstown

24 1986

25 Heterosexuals Unafraid of Gays.

26 James Courage wrote A Way of Love

27 You did!