Top 10 Resources for Gender Minority Young People and their Whanau

Welcome to our Top 10 for Youth and Whanau!

The process of working out your gender, as well as telling your family, can be a tricky one. Sometimes our whanau struggle to understand or accept this too. Sometimes they really want to support us, but they don’t know the right words, or have a really good way to think about it yet.

This post is a collection of great reading material and videos for you and your whanau, which might help to make the process easier.

In no particular order:


Parenting and family

What are Affirming Parenting Practices?
Parenting practices that are based on affirming a child’s own sense of gender strengthen a child’s self-esteem and sense of self worth. While some of the parenting practices discussed in this section may be challenging for some parents to implement, it is important to take whatever steps you can to demonstrate to your child that you are with them on this journey.


Help! Is my child Transgender? 

What steps will my child take next?
Most young people will transition socially before anything else. This may involve things like changing their name, their hair, and their clothing. It might even mean redecorating their bedroom. This is something they can easily do without making any commitment to future changes.

Being able to socially transition is a huge relief to a transgender person, who has typically been living under enormous amounts of stress, anxiety, depression and often even suicidal feelings. 40% of trans gender students experience significant depressive symptoms, and 40% of transgender people attempt suicide. You can have a big impact on your child – most young trans people report dramatically improved mental health, stability, sense of self worth, and relationships with family if their family are supportive.


Takataapui: Part of the Whanau booklet & Trailer

Consequences:
Gender and sexual stereotypes impact negatively on all Māori but have a heightened risk for takatāpui. Ideas that takatāpui can be ‘turned straight’ or could ‘choose to be normal’ are direct insults to the wairua we inherit from our tūpuna.

All of our whānau are affected when disconnection and discrimination leads takatāpui to isolation, addictions, unwanted sex and pregnancies, depression, self-harm and suicide. It may be uncomfortable to talk about these things and acceptance of takatāpui might mean going against the teachings of your church. What is more uncomfortable is standing at the tangi of takatāpui in your whānau who have taken their own life because they could not be who they are.

Be an Ally:
Stand up for takatāpui especially if you know they are experiencing discrimination from the whānau or their school, workplace, marae or church. Whether they come to you or you become aware of issues, step in and say something. You may be saving their life.


Transgender NZ Issue 1. Hormone Replacement Therapy 


GnRH blockers – or ‘puberty blockers’
, stop puberty changes from happening. These are generally Leuprolide (leucrin, lucrin,or lupron) injection, every 1-12 months, or Goserelin (Zoladex) chip implant. These are generally prescribed to people under the age of 16, but not to adults as there are issues with subsidisation funding.

Anti-androgens – or ‘T blockers’ , stop your testosterone production, or stop your testosterone from affecting you. These daily pills, usually Cyproterone, or Spirolactone. Cyproterone and Spirolactone are quite different to each other, so talk with your provider about the different effects and side effects.

What physical changes can I expect over time?
T he next two pages show the main changes which you need to be aware of before discussing with your provider…


Yellow for Hermaphrodite – Mani’s Story

This documentary traces the life of intersex activist Mani Mitchell. ‘Intersexual’ is a term to describe a person with atypical combinations of the biological features that usually distinguish males from females.

Mitchell’s harrowing but ultimately inspiring story is told via candid and articulate interviews, as Mitchell talks about being made a “hospital freak show tour” by doctors, and growing up secretly ‘middlesex’. The Dominion Post’s Jane Bowron called Mani’s Story “one of the great survivor stories”. It won the 2004 Qantas Media Award for Best Documentary.


LGBTQI+ Aotearoa Then & Now

A documentary film about a small group of LGBT youths from Gisborne New Zealand who go back in time, 30 years ago, when the Homosexual Law Reform Bill was being pushed through parliament. What they uncover is nothing short of amazing, heart wrenching and inspirational. Hear their stories too as they share what it’s like to be LGBTI+ in Aotearoa New Zealand today.


Takataapui – Over the Rainbow


Takataapui – No Simple Translation
Maori culture has traditionally included and celebrated people of all genders, and their relationships to people of any gender. Maori culture includes all Maori people.

Despite Aotearoa becoming a Brittish colony in 1840, and the resulting laws and value systems being hostile to takataapui both historically and today; tikanga Maori continues to awhi and embrace takataapui whanau.

At it’s core, takataapui is a Maori concept that sits within Maori culture, with it’s own history and wairua, one very different to terms such as LGBTQI+. So, there is no direct English translation, but these are some whakaaro or ideas for thought.

Takataapui – Maori Genders
Takataapui is used more specifically for Maori genders, such as:

  • taahine – similar to mixed gender, sometimes non-binary, or transgender not-otherwise-specified
  • whakawahine – similar to trans woman
  • tangata ira tane – similar to trans man

Takataapui is often used as a gender of it’s self – Maori transgender not-otherwise-specified. Some also use takataapui to refer to non-Maori who are transgender and intersex.


Health Pathways

What is a health pathway?
‘Health Pathway’ is a generic term referring to the pathway from first contact with a health care provider – usually your GP – through the health care system to meet your medical needs.

In some regions of Aotearoa, health pathways are being developed by cross sector working groups – these may include District Health Boards, Endocrinology, General Practitioners, Mental Health, Student Health, Youth Services, Specialist Services, Transgender Takataapui and Intersex Community Leaders, and other experts.


Making Schools Safer for Trans and Gender Diverse Youth

While acceptance of trans people is increasing in society, an alarmingly high number of trans youth are still subject to severe bullying and discrimination due to lack of awareness around trans issues in schools.

However, schools can initiate positive change by incorporating sex and gender diversity education into the curriculum, encouraging trans students to comfortably express their gender by creating supportive social environments, and accommodating their needs.


Growing Up Takataapui: Whanau Journeys

“I got to a point where I felt like a volcano… I didn’t know what was going on, but I just felt unhappy and I felt depressed, angry and upset. Very angry. Not knowing who I was in terms of my own identity, I would spend a lot of time playing video games – ‘cause that was my way to escape” — Ariki

 

“All of the cultural messages of trans women are real bad so it’s difficult to learn anything good about trans women or the idea that you can be a trans woman and not just be a weird joke” — Emilie
“Patience is the number one key thing that this process has taught me… Know that it takes time and understanding to get to the point where it’s okay… It does get better. But it gets better by you trying — Nathaniel

 

“This has been a massive learning curve for Emilie’s mum and I, but I’m really proud of the whole family. They recognise that she is a wonderful human being, who is fiercely intelligent, argumentative, and always happy to get a free ride home from a party. Nothing’s changed” — Robert (Dad)

 

We also recommend our Glossary of Gender Terms and How to Use Them.

Please click on the category and related tags to see more posts on this topic.