In 2022, ARC conducted a survey of transgender and intersex individuals and their experiences of seeking help as a victim/survivor of sexual violence and/or family violence.
There were four parts to the survey – a transgender community survey (carried out by Gender Minorities Aotearoa), an intersex community survey (carried out by Intersex Aotearoa), a survey of agencies and organisations whose main focus is sexual violence or family violence, and a survey of other services.
This report is our findings on the quantitative data for the transgender community survey, including respondents who selected both transgender and intersex.
The 2023 census will count transgender and intersex people for the first time.
After many years of activism from a wide range of people in our communities, including protests, banner drops, submissions, and lots of other tactics, we’re here. This is a huge win.
While some of the wording and changes are not what we advocated for, and there are some mixed feelings, it is nevertheless a step forward toward a society which recognises trans and intersex people as part of the community.
So while we don’t stand behind all of the ways it’s being done, and we understand the frustrations with it, we also do support making the most of the situation, filling the census, and continuing to push for it to be better.
Here are the Census fact sheets, as well as links to find more info, and where to give feedback.
It’s so critically important that we have good data on what transgender people’s experiences are, so we can push for change and be heard. As an individual, it can be really hard to be listened to. But when we have research which shows 100, or 1,000 trans people share an experience, that’s hard to ignore. Take the Counting Ourselves survey.
What is the Counting Ourselves survey?
Counting Ourselves is an anonymous health survey designed by and for trans people, including binary and non-binary trans people from all across the country. It asks a wide range of questions about your well being – from healthcare experiences, to housing, discrimination, violence, safety, parenting, relationships, family. And a lot more.
It is quite long, but you can leave and then log back in later. The survey closes at the end of this month, so there’s no better time to start than now.
Who can take the Counting Ourselves survey?
You can take the survey if you are:
1. trans (binary or non-binary), and 2. aged 14 years or older, and 3. currently living in Aotearoa New Zealand.
It does not matter whether you use the specific terms ‘trans’ or ‘non-binary’ to describe yourself, whether you have transitioned or even plan to transition. This survey is for anyone whose gender is different from the sex they were assigned at birth.
The more people who answer the survey, the stronger the evidence we will have to advocate for change.
We are carrying out an assessment of sexual violence and family violence support services across the country to see how ready they are to work with transgender and intersex people. Please help us complete this important piece of work by filling out our survey.
If you are a member of an organisation that provides sexual violence and family violence services, the first survey is for you. Help us identify what current knowledge and capabilities are available for transgender, takatāpui and intersex communities, and how you could be better supported in your work.
If you work for a rainbow organisation which may handle these types of disclosures, the second survey is for you. Help us identify what current knowledge and capabilities are available for transgender, takatāpui and intersex communities, and how you could be better supported in your work.
If you are transgender or intersex, and have ever wanted to get support, tried to get support, or received services from any organisation in relation to sexual violence, partner violence, or family violence, the third survey is for you. Help us identify what current knowledge and capabilities are available for transgender, takatāpui and intersex communities, and how you could be better supported when you seek help.
The questions are about what kind of support is available and what kind of support you provide or have tried to access, not about violence that you have experienced. However, we understand that the survey may lead you to think about traumatic or distressing experiences. If you feel distressed or need trauma support while answering this survey, there are contact details for support agencies on the TOAH-NNEST website below.
Connection to communities is one of the strongest protective factors for transgender people.
While trans people (32%) are less likely than the general population (44%) to identify as having a religion or spirituality, almost a third of trans people have religious or spiritual beliefs, and may belong or have belonged to a faith-based community.
For those who have this type of belief, it is usually “somewhat important” to “very important”. More than quarter of participants in the Counting Ourselves (2019) transgender survey had left their spiritual or religious communities because of fear of rejection for being trans, especially Asian participants (52%).
Creating a resource
Gender Minorities Aotearoa is developing a resource to help faith-based communities be better for transgender people. The resource will be hosted on our website and shared with faith-based communities.
We have developed a short survey to help us better understand what needs to be included. We would like to hear about your experiences as a trans person, regardless of whether you (or other people) knew you were transgender at the time of your experience.
Your answers can be as long and detailed or a short and simple as you like.
We may use quotes from the answers you provide in this resource. Any quotes will be anonymous. If you’ve written anything that would identify yourself or others, we will remove this information.
The survey will run from December 2021 until early January 2022. It is currently open.
Gender Minorities Aotearoa is offering a free online course, Supporting Transgender People. This course is designed to increase your knowledge of issues affecting transgender people in Aotearoa, and to build your confidence in speaking about these issues and supporting transgender people. It is a 101 course and suitable for people with any level of knowledge on transgender issues.
The course takes 2 to 3 hours to complete, and is broken into 3 sessions. You can stop at any time and continue later by logging in again. There are links to further reading at the end of some sections – these are optional and are not included in the time allocation.
This course is suitable for families, friends, supporters, and professional development. A certificate of completion is issued at the end of the course.
What each chapter covers
By the end of chapter 1. you will be able to:
1. Differentiate between gender, sex characteristics, and sex assigned at birth. 2. Explain the meaning of words like transgender, cisgender, and non-binary. 3. Talk about the difference between intersex and transgender.
By the end of chapter 2. you will be able to:
1. Understand how stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination interact. 2. Distinguish between discrimination in public life and private life. 3. Recognise the impact of discrimination across multiple areas of life. 4. Recognise physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and social impacts of discrimination.
By the end of chapter 3. you will be able to:
1. Name protective factors which assist trans peoples well-being. 2. Identify ways to support trans people in your personal life. 3. Identify ways to support trans people in their public life. 4. Find more information.
Content warning: this course discusses stigma, discrimination, and violence experienced by transgender and intersex people. Some content may be distressing.