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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. 

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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.

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