Monday, June 20, 2011

Topp Twins in Toronto

This summer I had the opportunity to see the Top Twins live at Womad.
Their music set was fabulous and had me and all the rest of the crowd laughing, singing along and kicking up our heels to the great music.
But what I really enjoyed was ‘Ken and Ken’,
They did an hour long show on the food stage and their fabulous warm hearted characterization of the typical kiwi bloke was so neat to see live.
My partner had heard me rant about their political awareness work for nuclear-free New Zealand, the bastion point protests, and gay rights. I had tried to explain how most kiwis knew these twins who were gay, and they felt like family.
In essence, anyone with a TV could be educated out of fear of the “otherness” of gay people, by the sheer goodwill and approachability of these women.
I think I told him; “If you don’t love them, there is something missing in your chest cavity.”

He loved them.

After their food show I hovered by the stage hoping just to say hello and get a pic with either Jools or Linda. I was pleasantly surprised that when I approached Linda and she took the time to step away and grab Jules so they could both be in the picture.
I’ve met Zach Braff, Mandy More, Jon Cryer and a bunch of other celebrities and I’ve never felt out of depth.
With the twins I only just managed to stutter out an awkward blushing “I love you both – you are AMAZING” before they saved me from idiocy by making inane chit chat and posing for the photo.
I will treasure that photo forever.
While waiting to say hello, I saw a young woman throw herself at them and gush that they gave her courage to come out, and a heavily pierced woman break down in tears, unable to express exactly why they meant so much to her.
They have impacted an entire country.

I was pleased to see this write up on the Women’s media centre website by Emily Wilson.
An international audience is starting to sit up and take notice of the pair, now that their film “Untouchable Girls” won the audience award at the Toronto film festival.
It’s a shame they aren’t getting tvnz show spots for their shows, because the two of them are both still very keen to work, and it is simply a lack of interest from NZ broadcasters that stands between the NZ audience and them.

I will be very embarrassed if they get better recognition from an international audience than their own home, where they work so hard for their communities.

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