Carmen Rupe

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Carmen Rupe

Ngāti Maniapoto

Carmen Rupe, better known as 'Carmen', moved to Wellington in the late 1960s. At a time when homosexuality was still outlawed in Aotearoa, this innovative woman established a number of sexually tolerant venues and was a spokesperson challenging sexual discrimination and prejudice. She often spoke to the press, after one interview where she suggested some MPs were gay or bisexual, Carmen was summoned by the Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon to appear before the Parliamentary Privileges Committee. 

Carmen’s lifestyle and beliefs were revolutionary to many – a vivacious performer, businesswoman, brothel keeper, LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS activist – she has become a cultural icon and role model.

In this extract from the documentary Carmen, Rupe talks about being summoned to the Privileges Committee.

Find out more about Carmen Rupe:

Listen to an interview with Carmen. 

Read more about Carmen. 

View Carmen's biography on the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

Image: Screengrab: Carmen. 

Catalogue Reference F8772

Year 1989


Director/Producer: Geoff Stevens

Excerpt: 0:03:02

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