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Queenstown (pun intended) was the appropriate
destination for Gay Ski Week 2004. Picture 200 gay
men, six lesbians (ok, four committed and two straight girls
having a 'moment') plus US born, Australian adopted DJ Kate
Monroe with her partner, and you've got the contingent.
I arrived, camera in hand at the opening party ready to
capture the festivities for LOTL only to find a pseudo Aussie
hetero bbq under way at the Copthorne Hotel. Read, men in
one corner, women in another. Sadly, the women were
outnumbered. One would think a town boasting bottle shops
called Beaver Liquor and fast food joints called Furgburger (the
first g is silent) would not be hard pressed to find female on
female bunnies of the ski variety. Six it was, or sex if you're a
kiwi and the majority of chicks were. All the more men for
straight old me -- though I was having flashbacks to my fag hag
days comparing skin pores with the boys at the Exchange.
Opening night set the tone for the week. It was going to be
male heavy with loads of cocktails, hilarity and number
changing. Neck tags were distributed so you could find your
fellow gay ski weeker at all hours, just look for the black knotted
band and wave as you sashay down the mountain. One select
group of revellers took to coding their band; knotting it one
way or another determined your sexual position preference.
How Sydney, I thought as I left mine loose and dangling.
Queenstown is party time with 120 drinking establishments
to get one well and truly piste. The licensed venues are brought
to you by the letter "B" -- Bar Up, Bardeaux, Bunker Bar and
Boiler Room are four of the most popular holes in town. Gay
Ski Week kept the theme going with Buffy and Bimbo, two
tired old drags from Auckland. Selling NZ drag to a room full
of Sydneyites is like selling coal to Newcastle. Don't bother. Do
sell us snow, however, and lots of it. The kiwis know how to do
powder, the contingent weren't happy the town was dry but
they sure were loving the dry powdered slopes of Coronet Peak
and Cardrona Ski resorts. Champagne piste picnics and sunny
skies had guests bathing topless in the sunlight. With the best
NZ ski season in twenty years, this was one happy gay week --
or is that gay happy week? In the south island ski fields
apparently fifty centimetres really means fifty centimetres.
I have never been one for group tours defined by age,
gender or sexuality as I think they create stereotypes. Contiki
was never my thing in the eighties and still isn't now, but this
week changed my mind. From opening night there was a
camaraderie amongst the group that crossed country of origin,
age, sexuality and gender bias. The stunning alpine Lord of the
Rings (pun not intended) lake setting helped the mood along.
Never short of friends to ski with, I picked myself up a
group of four young Bris Vegas boys who henceforth became
known as my Hobbit Boy Band. When not with them I was
accompanied by three 'masculine' looking men I met on the
plane who revered me with tales of their encounters as we
journeyed up the chairlift. Mad keen skiers, these gay boys
were focused. When one dislocated his shoulder he simply
strapped it up and was skiing the next day, minus his poles and
one arm. Thankfully his doctor provided industrial strength
painkillers which we all could enjoy.
The mid-week treasure hunt had the back lanes of
Queenstown filled with party goers searching for clues. The
wine tour had the bus filled with booze and the White Out
party DJ'd by Kate Monroe had the room filled with sweat as
the week peaked on Friday night before the Kiwi blokes refilled
the town for homophobic week.
Next year I would like to see more events for the chicks ...
a health spa crawl, complimentary blow wave and mulled wine
around a fire. Forget that, next year I would just like to see
some more chicks.
SKIING IS SOOOO GAY. ALL THAT
SCHUSSING, CARVING AND GROOMING
WOULD HAVE CARSON ON QUEER EYE
SALIVATING WHILE THE MAGIC CARPET, T-BAR
AND SUPER G MAY WELL BE LIFTED FROM
THE L WORD. BY RACHAEL OAKES-ASH.
For further info on Gay Ski Week 2005 please visit
GUS AND KATE
Exclusive self-contained studio apartments, centrally located near beaches, shops and
restaurants on The Great Ocean Road, Lorne Victoria Breakfast Included and Spas
Available Off Peak Rates Available & Discounts for LOTL Readers
PH (03) 5289 2044 FAX(03) 5289 2508
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