(Image sourced from nzherald.co.nz)
There are few people I've known who could outdo me in the minority stakes - Mahinarangi Tocker, who died today following an asthma attack that left her without oxygen for a period of minutes, never let me forget it. She trumped me well and truly - my gay, disabled, vegetarian comedian status could never beat her place as a Maori, lesbian, crazy (her words) musician. And she was a comedian as well, really - her humour knew no bounds. Though our paths crossed too few times, when they did it was always hilarious. I still laugh when I remember us discussing how the voices in our heads knew each other, and though I never quite understood her idea about iPods for wheelchairs, I knew that, somehow, they could have caught on. I will always have the upmost respect for this gorgeous woman who so staunchly supported the kaupapa of mental health, queer rights and musicianship, yet never let these labels define her. She was, is and always will be a beautiful soul who experienced life uniquely and expressed herself creatively, richly and dynamically. And though she struggled with herself at times, she could equally laugh at herself. That, in my estimation, is the quality of angels. My dear friend, colleague and minority soulmate, I'll miss the laughs. Arohanui e hoa aataahua. Rest in love.
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