Lesbian In The Wild, Jessie Lewthwaite, goes off the beaten gay path to find Auckland’s alternative queer scene.

Inside a bar I would normally associate with hairy straight men who think basic hygiene is gay, Im standing waiting for a drag show to start. 

The show is best described as androgyny fuelled with heavy metal. Each act brings a unique and darker feel to their drag than you would usually find, and the music has me reliving my edgy teenage years. 


The experience made me wonder why more people dont explore off the well-trodden rainbow path and seek out alternative queer scenes in Auckland?

So with a gin in my hand and a group of willing friends, l have attempted to explore Alternative Queer Auckland and encourage you all to do the same.

This drag show was called Drags not Dead” and was hosted at Ding Dong Lounge, a venue known for being a Melbourne-like punk rock dive bar. Expect to see more queer events from them because it sounds like they have realised just how queer the alternative scene is. I can honestly say Ive never met an alt-girl who wasnt queer, so Im super glad they are getting the representation they deserve.

For the sapphics among us, I highly recommend the inclusive WLW night called Church. Held in Neck of the Woods on K Road, Church is a queer club night that embraces the question, What if a dance club was filled wall to wall with queer ladies?” Now that is an idea I could worship!

Dancing until they kick you out and running up a bar tab also comes guilt-free at Church because the organisers also donate a portion of the ticket price to charity. If there is one thing I love more than a drink, it’s drinking for a good cause. 

Also, it means that for the first time in over a decade, I can ring my mum back in Aussie and tell her I went to Church on the weekend. She has never been more proud of me!

Another awesome night was Bodyhaus 3.0, a sex-positive, body-positive, queer-positive strip club night. Any of us who have been to a mainstream strip club will know the familiar mixture of sexy fun mingling with a voice in our heads telling us we are bad feminists. Bodyhaus provides all the sensuality and none of the moral dilemmas. 

Although the organisers build in $10 tipping money into the ticket price, I highly recommend bringing cash to buy more at the event. There are also some strict house rules around touching, respect, consent, and heckling. I both love this and hate it because the fact they have to have them at all in a queer space is depressing!

I love a cheeky dance at G.A.Y before heading to Family for a drag show as much as the next 34-year-old lesbian with a fur baby. But there is so much more to Auckland Queerness that is waiting to be explored. 

Photo | Peter Jennings.