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A Panel Discussion

F*ck and Other Words

Saturday Feburary 17, 2024 • 10:30 - 11:30am
Ellen Melville Centre, 2 Freyberg Place


A panel discussion chaired by Marianne Elliott of The Workshop.

Marianne is joined by campaigner Shaneel Lal, journalist Felix Desmarais and researcher Alex Ker to discuss how writers are impacted by, and responding to, the recent rise of anti-LGBTQIA+ campaigns taking place in the global west.

F*ck and Other Words will be supported by a live NZSL interpreter.

Free to attend, no reservation required.

This event is part of the 2024 Auckland Pride Festival. Find out more here.

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Alex Ker

He / Him

Alex Ker is a trans health researcher based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara whose current doctoral research explores the ways in which anti-trans campaigns are affecting, and are anticipated to affect, the wellbeing of trans people in Aotearoa. He is particularly interested in understanding the role of relationships and inter-group solidarity in challenging and resisting anti-trans narratives.

Felix Desmarais

He / Him

Felix Desmarais is an award-winning political reporter in the parliamentary press gallery, working for 1News. He is also an award-winning playwright, with his plays performed overseas and around New Zealand. Originally from Tauranga, he believes he is the first out trans full press gallery member. He is working on a memoir about his life and transition.

Marianne Elliott

Photo by Rebecca McMillan

She / Her

Marianne's ancestors came from Ireland, Scotland and Gotland. For 25 years she’s worked as a human rights researcher and advocate in Gaza, Timor Leste, Afghanistan and Aotearoa. In 2014 she co-founded ActionStation, building citizen movements for collective action. In 2018 she co-founded The Workshop, building narrative power for social change. She advises Digital Action, protecting human rights and democracy from digital threats. A sole parent to a preschooler, she loves stories, mountains and pūroto (tarns).

Shaneel Lal

Photo by Nic Staveley

They / Them

Shaneel Lal is the founder of Conversion Therapy Action Group, a group that led the movement to ban conversion therapy. Lal is the Young New Zealander of the Year, a columnist for New Zealand Herald and the author of bestselling book, One of Them.

Ellen Melville Centre

2 Freyberg Place, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1000


Ellen Melville Centre is in Freyberg Square, opposite the rainbow staircase in central Auckland. This event will be held on the first floor of the venue, in the Pioneer Women's Hall. The hall is wheelchair friendly, via an elevator, and has an accessible toilet.

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