Aro St Community Hall (Lesbian spaces, 1981)

Walking Radical Wellington

Aro St Community Hall (Lesbian spaces, 1981)

Wellington, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Created By: Radical Wellington Walking Tour

Point of Interest Details

"To frequent a known gay or lesbian space in the early days was regarded as subversive by straight society."

Historian and lesbian feminist Valda Edyvane, reflecting on the 'coming out' of gay and lesbian Wellingtonians, names the Aro St Community Hall (now the Aro Valley Community Centre) as one location that provided an alternative social venue for lesbian women.

These venues could make for their own tour across the city, coming and going throughout the decades as sites were demolished, leases came and went, and the energy necessary for the lesbian community to not only participate in their own social circles, but organise and maintain them, waxed and waned to keep itself alive. Not only would these spaces occasionally overlap with political gathering, such as hosting meetings for organisations like Sisters for Homophile Equality (SHE), the act of forging a community through a tight knit network of likeminded people was in itself a political effort to ensure the marginalised could maintain the margins they possessed.

Want to learn more?

Outlines: Lesbian & Gay Histories of Aorearoa is a collection of voices who participated in the first Lesbian and Gay History Conference, held in Wellington in 2003.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Walking Radical Wellington


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