Historian Gareth Watkins presents YOUR ex’s annual rainbow history quiz. Test your knowledge now! (Answers at the bottom.)

1 – James Mustapic, the winner of this year’s Celebrity Treasure Island, donated the $100,000 grand prize to what nationwide transgender organisation?

2 – In what year did the national census first collect specific data about gender, sexual identity, and variation of sex characteristics?


3 – Described as “the handsomest young man in England,” which famous English war poet briefly visited New Zealand in the same year that World War I began?

4 – Name the activist and educator who stood in the 1975 General Election – becoming the first openly gay parliamentary candidate in New Zealand?

5 – In which city did the first local gay pride week occur in 1972?

6 – Name the famous New Zealand painter who, like his lover, Lawrence Baigent, had a first name that began with an L and a last name that began with a B?

7 – The original Pride flag designed in San Francisco in the late 1970s had eight colour stripes – name three of them?

8 – Name the internationally acclaimed author who, when receiving the premiere award for Maori artists, Te Tohu Tiketike a Te Waka Toi, said, “This award is for all those ancestors who have made us all the people we are.”

9 – What town in Wairarapa has a new road called Georgina Beyer Way?

10 – The Christchurch Oscars were held annually for over two decades.  Name the megastar and self-proclaimed daughter of Barbra Streisand behind “the most popular and most loved” gay and lesbian event of all time in New Zealand?

11 – The first building to be listed on the New Zealand Heritage List specifically for its queer history is in what riverside city in the North lsland?

12 – The New Zealand playwright M. Hodge’s comedy The Wind and the Rain ran for over a thousand performances in London’s West End and played on Broadway for over six months in the mid-1930s. What was the playwright’s first name?

13 – Complete the slogan that was painted on a sign protesting police raids of male sex-on-site venues in 1981: “A cop in a gay sauna is a…”

14 – Name the famous Black Fern rugby player who said, “I always try and make the rainbow flag visible because I believe that’s how you make the world a better, safer place for everyone.”

15 – Which famous New Zealand classical composer wrote to the painter Douglas MacDiarmid in 1948, “It’s as though I were thirsty and you come to me with clear mountain water to drink.”

16 – In Wellington this year, 4,000+ people stood in solidarity with the transgender community in response to which visiting British activist?

17 – What was the title of the queer-focussed film series, set in a fictional Northland town, that won the International Emmy for best short-form series in 2022?

18 – In what year did the American Psychiatric Association revise its diagnostic manual (also used in New Zealand) to say that homosexuality “by itself does not constitute a psychiatric disorder.”

19 – 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of what significant lending library that holds over 2,700 mainly lesbian-themed titles?

20 – Name the prison in the North Island that inspired this newspaper headline in 1925: “The Dazzling Dandies – a prisoners’ extravaganza – music and laughter behind the bars.”

21 – In 2023, Campbell Johnstone was the first All Black to do what?

Scroll down for answers




1 – Gender Minorities Aotearoa.

2 – 2023.

3 – Rupert Brooke.

4 – Robin Duff in Christchurch Central.

5 – Auckland.

6 – Leo Bensemann.

7 – Hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo and violet.

8 – Witi Ihimaera.

9 – Carterton.

10 – Miss Mole.

11 – Whanganui – the private office of Charles Mackay, the former mayor.

12 – Merton, Merton Hodge.

13 – Screw.

14 – Ruby Tui.

15 – Douglas Lilburn.

16 – Posie Parker.

17 – Rūrangi.

18 – 1974.

19 – LILAC – the Lesbian Information, Library and Archives Centre in Wellington.

20 – New Plymouth Prison.

21 – Johnstone came out publicly as gay.