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'Celebrate Bisexuality Day' completes our year-long programme of writing which celebrates significant days in the Aotearoa and international queer calendars. What an apt day to mark our finish line with - a day with 'Celebrate' in the name. US bisexual rights activists Wendy Curry, Michael Page, and Gigi Raven Wilbur started Celebrate Bisexuality Day in 1999, to draw attention to, and combat, the prejudice and faced by bisexual people, both from within and outside of the queer community.


Caren Wilson's editorial in the March 1990 issue of Bi-lines, the newsletter of the Wellington Bisexual Women's Group, gives us a snapshot of bisexual life three decades ago: "...we have to stay aware of the wider political reality. Heterosexuality is enforced and rewarded in this society. Lesbians and gays are vilified. We, as bisexuals, float somewhere between these two positions - and individual differences between us mean some of us get more of the rewards, others more of the punishments. This may change for each of us over time, as the way we live changes." Further issues of Bi-lines, and other queer newspapers, newsletters, and journals from Aotearoa's past, can be read by visiting the Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand, which lives at the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington.

Today, we're marking Celebrate Bisexuality Day with poetry by Stacey Teague and Tate Fountain.

Stacey Teague

kylie minogue’s gold hotpants permanently altered the chemistry of your brain

in 90s bedrooms          girls were secretly undressing their barbies

ripping the velcro off of their            pink playsuits

wondering what it meant to mash their plastic bodies           together


they coveted esmeralda toys from mcdonalds

had never seen the hunchback of notre dame

but they knew about    the way her dress fell off her shoulders

the soft white fabric     opening            draping over her breasts

corseted waist and       flowing purple skirt


then there was kylie minogue spinning around in her gold hotpants

ass fully out                gold heels clicking on the dancefloor

while they were sitting cross-legged on the carpet                10am on a saturday morning

faces too close to the television


they were tearing out pages from dolly and girlfriend magazines 

that they dutifully saved up pocket money to buy

plastered walls with pictures of models

beach babes    skater girls       women who rolled out of bed looking like that


somewhere among them         a picture of a home and away heartthrob

his hair             bleached from the sun             styled into small spikes


what about the mummy (1999)

taped off the tv and watched repeatedly

rachel weisz                charmingly flustered librarian

brendan fraser           lighting a match on his jaw

begging the question

is this movie good     or is everyone just hot 


as teenagers              they kiss their friends at parties for fun

                                      lips, tongues, hands, pressing


they write down sad lyrics                   with gel pens

            in flowery notebooks 

            leaden with longing and desire


they listened to bright eyes, rilo kiley, 

& death cab for cutie on their discmans

                                    on the school bus home

waiting for something to happen


then it is real life

             no glittery music videos

no disney princesses or australian soap stars to objectify

             this is how we begin


move overseas

kissing women they just met

on        subway platforms

late night apartments

mashing           their plastic bodies together


it’s less a clicking into place

than the cracking of a snap bracelet

as it curls around the wrist


they rewatch the episodes of the O.C.

where Marissa dates Olivia Wilde

the first time they hold hands

grinning at one another

             all dark denim mini skirts 

                          plastic bracelets and 

             thin eyebrows

it is short-lived

not to be taken seriously


don’t even talk about willow and tara


after their first queer heartbreak

they are born again     into new places

they can now survive anything


it’s the kylie minogue hotpants

to crying in bus stops pipeline 

that they never expected


now they collect childhood artifacts 

in the inventory of      their chests

until they open and                 decide 

                                         to let bloom

Tate Fountain

Save the Date

On euphoria



                        There she is. There she is, and she is singing.



                        ITS OWN KIND OF BODILY INERTIA

                        We clamber onto the bus and I remember spontaneity

                        and my own agency, and what it’s like to laugh

                        uncontrollably in a confined space with someone you

                        really, really love. We sit there, still and yet sprinting;

                        some teenager doesn’t pay her fare and the driver doesn’t

                        seem to notice.


                        And on the walk down the hill from the bus stop, the

                        air itself thrown open: a world of warmth, endless blue;

                        marigolds and violets and sun-kissed, diaphanous green.

                        We order hot chocolates. They’re too sweet. We are free.

                        We don’t owe anyone anything.


??/??              THE HEIGHT UNPRECEDENTED,

                        THE DEPTH UNBRIDLED


                        The ceiling is high, the walls are white, and there

                        are flowers everywhere. There is art, hanging; the

                        bookshelves teem with well-thumbed pages. Perhaps a

                        record player. And the last of the sun has set: one final

                        kiss through the open windows as conversation floats

                        out to meet it.


                        I get off the phone. My lover has been listening in,

                        watching me with a smile so wide it’s blinding. We look

                        at each other a moment. Then: rapture. Everything, all

                        of it, worthwhile. The news is good. The world is good.

                        It has come for me and mine.


A version of this poem first appeared in Starling, Issue 10. This version was first published in Short Films (Tender Press, 2022).

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Stacey Teague is a poet and teacher living in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. She is a publisher and editor at Tender Press.

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Tate Fountain (she/her) is a writer, editor, theatremaker, and producer based in Tāmaki Makaurau. Her poetry collection Short Films was released in 2022 with Tender Press. She has held various marketing, programming, and coordinating roles at festivals across Aotearoa, and is also the Editorial Committee Lead for Starling. She manages her desire to pursue floristry by releasing monthly bouquets on Substack.

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