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Wednesday 08 April 2009

What you picked as the Best of 2008

Posted in: Community
By Kitten Power & Matt Akersten - 31st December 2008

We asked our readers to choose their favourite things of the past year, and the results are in!

The votes are counted and now it's time to "pass the envelopes please..."


A wide range of community events and nights out were mentioned in this category, including the Heroic Gardens Tour, Gay Ski Week, Family's Mr. Gay Auckland final night and Wigs on the Waterfront.

Wellingtonians loved their Out in the Square, Christchurchers had a great time at their Oscars, and Hamilton Pride Week was a hit in the Waikato. Aucklanders gave honorable mentions to Sohomo and the Queen of the Whole Universe pageant, but with a huge number of votes, the Big Gay Out picnic day in Coyle Park came far out in front. We can't wait for the next one in February!

Oh, and one voter was confident that tonight would be a highlight: "New Years to come – fingers crossed".


She came, she sang, she conquered. Kylie's legion of gay fans have stayed true, voting Kylie X 2008 at Vector Arena the best New Zealand concert of 2008 -by a sizeable majority.

It was the first time Kylie had played in New Zealand and the long show was obviously worth the long wait, with reviewer Campbell Stodart writing: "For close to two hours were we treated to a memorable and often nostalgic array of Kylie hits. I can see why the tickets for her first show sold out in 9 minutes".'s second favourite concert of 2008 was Rihanna and Chris Brown – also at Vector Arena.


The gay community just loves ABBA. Mamma Mia! The Movie and its soundtrack have taken out both the best movie and best album categories... maybe hardly surprising given the massive ABBA prize package on offer! Just what is it about ABBA that we love so much?!

The Dark Knight was voted second most-loved movie of 2008, while Sex and The City was also popular.

From the New Zealand films, Rubbings From a Live Man was described by reader Joe as his favourite: "challenging to watch but an invaluable archive of one of our most interesting and enduring people."

Britney Spears' Circus came a close second in the best album category, while Pink's Funhouse, The Killers' Day and Age and Grace Jones' Hurricane all rated well.


This category made us appreciate how lucky we've been to have experienced so much good theatre this year... and not just in Auckland! Christchurch had The History Boys and Le Cage Aux Folles, Palmerston North had RENT, and Wellingtonians enjoyed The Little Dog Laughed at Downstage. Silo Theatre's The Little Dog Laughed picked up many votes in Auckland, along with White Trash Omnibus and the Queen of the Whole Universe, but it was the big touring shows that got the most votes: The Phantom of the Opera and of course Priscilla Queen of the Desert.


An epic work, Chris Brickell's Mates and Lovers, A History of Gay New Zealand has been voted the best book of 2008 by our bookworms. The photo-laden tome took three and a half years to research and is best described by a reader as "a priceless treasure of who we are and how we arrived here".

DNA was voted the best magazine – we think the Aussies conquered this category with their great mix of compelling articles… and perhaps all those photos of gym bunnies in their Speedos?


She was the pop artist with one of the weirdest names of 2008, but Lady GaGa's frightening fly sunglasses have failed to detract readers from loving her. Her catchy track Poker Face narrowly beats Beyonce's Single Ladies and Britney Spears' Womanizer as your favourite song of 2008.


Lots of diversity here, with American comedy/dramas Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty and Brothers & Sisters (all feature gay characters and storylines) all doing well.

Local shows rated highly: Outrageous Fortune and the ubiquitous Shortland Street "with its fabulous diverse story lines, from asexual Gerald to a guest appearance from Mika."

Then there was The L Word, with its incredibly loyal fanbase of lesbians and several gay men alike: "I am an avid watcher and can't wait for season 6 to finally arrive. It is going to be extremely emotional to see it end, I think I speak for every L Word fan when I say that. The drama just keeps getting better."

But the biggest number of votes went to the Happiest Gay Couple in the World: Rick and Steve!


We had so many difference choices, and it's difficult to pick any one winner here. So we'll leave you with some of the most popular, extraordinary, funny, personal and powerful moments of 2008 – in your own words – and let's raise our glasses and toast to having many more amazing moments in 2009!

* Grant Robertson's election to parliament

* The opening of Club Ivy

* Helen Clark's speech at the Big Gay Out

* The creation of LGBT academic scholarships by GABA

* Mr. Gay Auckland's beach attire (a big beach ball… and nothing else)

* Bambi's Memorial

* Miss Moles 26th Oscars in Christchurch! I've been to every one of them!

* Being able to live out loud and in colour

* The GLBT community getting together for the Big Gay Out Day... the day we stick together standing tall and proud of who we are.

* The rainbow flag flying on K' Road atop Naval & Family

* Wellington being confirmed to host the Asia Pacific OutGames

* The Queen of the Whole Universe

* Kissing freely in the street

* Being on stage supporting safe sex

* Chris Finlayson named Attorney General

* Polyfilla's return to NZ

* Boy on boy action on Shortland Street

* My partner caring for me when I get sick

* Going to FLIRT! For me anyway it was just really rewarding being around so many gay women and seeing how happy they are to be out and proud!

* Showing a gay Japanese tourist around Auckland's bars

* Kylie's concert

* Lesbians kissing at Christmas in the Park

* During Helen Clark's concession speech after losing the election where she acknowledged gender diversity amongst NZers

Kitten Power & Matt Akersten - 31st December 2008