The much awaited Out in the City is coming up as part of the Pride Festival and we can’t wait! We’re looking for volunteers to help out at the Binders fundraising stall – we’ll be selling our gorgeous transgender diversity mugs, giving out info leaflets, writing down the items sold during the day, and accepting donations; and all while having a great time! GMA staff will be there at all times, and we can show you how to do sales on the day so don’t be shy if you haven’t done this before! We will have stall shifts of 2 hours, so if you’d like to donate a couple of hours to a great cause we would love to have you.
All money raised will go towards our national free binder programme; providing free binders for trans folks who need one and can’t afford to purchase one. These are absolutely life-saving medical devices that aren’t funded by any DHBs, so you will be directly supporting trans people in need.
Simply click the rainbow button below to fill in the contact form, and Sophie will get in touch with you before the day to confirm the shift roster and let you know what time to rock up. Day: Saturday March 27th. Place: Michael Fowler Centre, 111 Wakefield Street, Te Aro, Wellington.
One of the most important things in a relationship is having your own autonomy – or getting to make decisions for yourself. If both or all partners get to be in charge of their own lives, then you have a great foundation for making room for each other and growing together. When one person controls another person, it’s easy for the relationship to become abusive. In a healthy relationship each partner should have control over themself.
Some of the decisions you should be free to make include decisions about
Sleeping and eating – what, where, when, and how much.
Medications, hormones, surgical decisions, self care, and time alone.
Declining to be a partner’s sole source of support, or having boundaries to the support you can personally provide.
Where to go and who to spend time with.
Social reputation, which information is shared with whom.
Ability to say no: to sexual activities and physical intimacy, alcohol and other drug use, unsafe situations like drinking and driving or transphobic social situations.
Diary, journal, passwords.
Important documents eg. tenancy, immigration, work, school, WINZ, identification, passport.
Private communication and support networks, such as social media, email, phone, personal messages.
Personal expression: clothing, hairstyle, language and mannerisms.
Income: how it’s made, how it’s used, and who can access it.
Culture, cultural knowledge, values, language, history, beliefs, spiritual or religious practice.
If you are controlling your partner
If you are controlling your partners decisions, there are steps you can take to relinquish control over them and let them make their own decisions. The same is true for anyone who is controlling your decisions.
For the person in control, the first steps are often the hardest: recognising that controlling a partner is a problem, accepting that they have been participating in an unhealthy dynamic, and taking personal responsibility for making changes.
Anxieties, fears, insecurities, and beliefs or values can all play roles in how comfortable we are accepting that others can change, and allowing them the freedom to do so. Some people find it helpful to talk with a counselor or another adult they trust, or look for resources about healthy relationships.
Good communication can support a healthy relationship, be it with partners, family, or friends. Active Listening is a specific kind of communication, which many people find useful for enhancing understanding.
This article is part of our series “Sex and Sexuality for Trans People”.
Active listening is a form of therapeutic or empathetic listening, which focuses on understanding the speaker’s perspective, and encouraging them to explore their thoughts and emotions. Like most skills, active listening takes time, effort, and practice to learn. Other types of listening include critical listening (listening to evaluate the information or message), and informational listening (listening to learn). Active listening is neither of these: it’s purpose is help you listen thoroughly and understand the speaker’s point of view. Often active listening is used when supporting someone, building trust, and discussing difficult experiences. It can help the listener focus on what is being said, rather than their thoughts about it.
Show you’re listening and make it easier for the speaker to continue by giving feedback. This may include facing the speaker, making eye contact, leaning toward them, nodding, or saying ”yes” or ”mm hmm”. Assure them with verbal or non-verbal cues that you want to hear what they have to say.
Defer judgement while you listen. Remain open, rather than quickly forming an opinion. If you find yourself disagreeing, try to see the situation from their perspective – it doesn’t mean you have you have to agree. Remember that the point is to understand their experience.
Allow for pauses, give the speaker time to reflect and explore their thoughts. Avoid rushing toward problem solving.
Reflect back what was said with questions, such as ”so what you’re saying is…”. Mirroring means using the same words as the speaker, and shows that you are listening. Paraphrasing is putting it into your own words, and shows that you are trying to understand.
Listen for the message, as well as intent and emotions. Listen for what is being said, and what is being left unsaid. Watch and listen for non-verbal cues. Tone, facial expressions, and body language can help you understand the emotions and the strength of the emotions, as well inconsistencies between what is said and non-verbal cues being expressed.
Name the emotions
Name the emotions without making a judgement on the accuracy of the facts, for example ”it sounds like that was really frustrating for you”. You can validate the speakers emotions without having to agree with their reasons. For example, ”if you thought x it’s totally understandable why you felt y”.
Ask questions to encourage the speaker. Relevant questions help build or clarify the speaker’s thoughts. Open ended questions invite them to elaborate. Ask what they’ve tried or or what solutions they see rather than offering advice. If you don’t follow, ask for clarification – ”what did you mean when you said…?”
Don’t interrupt the speaker with your thoughts or actions, and try to stay focused on what they’re saying rather than thinking about your opinions or something else. Never interrupt or finish a sentence for the speaker. Changing the subject (even subtly) can make the speaker think that you are uninterested or have not been listening.
Summarise the speaker’s main points at the end of the conversation, so that you both know whether you have understood them correctly. Be concise, and be prepared to be corrected. After the conversation, the speaker and listener should have the same understanding of what was said.
March is PRIDE month in the Wellington region, and our friend Mindy, age 14, is #GoingCoastal on a 160km walk from Castlepoint to Kāpiti, together with her mum Kylie. She is aiming to raise funds for GMA to support other young trans people, especially those who might not have an amazingly supportive family like hers.
This is Mindy’s second walk to fundraise for GMA – in 2019 when she was 12 she raised over $1,400 with #MindysWalk from Carterton to Kaitoke, which you can read about here and here and in the news here.
Huge thanks to Mindy and her family, and to everyone supporting young trans people to thrive.
Below is the letter from The Affiliation, sent to the ‘international’ pride parade committee 24/02/2020
24th February 2020 Wellington Rainbow Affiliation Towards Hope (‘The Affiliation’)
Dear Wellington International Pride Parade Committee,
The Affiliation affirms that we welcome an open and honest public consultation process. We do not believe that closed door meetings are appropriate, as these concerns are not just from a few individuals, or a few organisations, but countless members of our community who have been asking for an opportunity to have a say across a three year period. For example, see the attached screenshot on your public Facebook event showing a comment from 33 weeks ago from a community member, asking if you would be holding community consultation. Their question has still not been addressed, despite the most recent comment only being a few days ago. Holding a private meeting will not address the public’s concerns, or give them an opportunity to have their ideas heard.
Open consultation with your Wellington rainbow whānau should not be a point of fear, but rather a part of your mandate. Talking with the community is necessary in order to hold a public community event. If there is no willingness amongst committee members to hold open and honest community consultations, we suggest that you find committee members who are willing to do this.
Please see additional comments below, which were sent to us from some of the 140+ individuals and 14 community organisations that have so far signed the letter calling for the community to boycott until the International Pride Parade committee holds open and honest public consultations.
We will also be publishing this letter publicly.
Wellington Rainbow Affiliation Toward Hope.
Quotes from rainbow people who sent us feedback on the letter which The Affiliation penned 17/02/2020.
“I love Pride month and usually feel very connected to my community, but I don’t feel heard or represented by WIPP.”
“Any local Pride event should engage and be run in consultation with the LBGTQIA community with whom it seeks to represent.“
“Who is the parade for if it isn’t for our community?”
“Pride parades should always be places where community is the focus and the most vulnerable and marginalized are given the love, care, support and empowerment they need. They should also be about challenging the aspects of society that are harmful to our greater communities. They can be bright, fun and colourful but style and presentation should never come before the above mentioned values”
“I have never felt included or welcomed regarding WIPP. I’ve never had any interest in going, it’s just so clearly not marketed toward me as a participant or even an audience. I’ve never understood why it claims to be a pride event when it doesn’t seem to want rainbow people to even attend.”
“It often feels like our voices aren’t being heard at all, and the WIPP’s blatant refusal to communicate only highlights this. I would love to see more inclusion from communities, and to have more interaction between the Queer Community and the WIPP as a whole.”
“I feel that WIPP did not consult the relevant rainbow groups in depth enough and instead pandered to corporations with false misleading intentions that ultimately caused pride to be a corporate, shallow and soulless wreck last year.”
“WIPP has been completely uncooperative and is out of touch with the Wellington Gay community. It doesn’t represent us or have our best interests at heart. It’s time for change.”
“I’ve flown to Auckland for OurMarch last year and this year and don’t see WIPP as representing the whole community in its current form.”
“Pride Parades should be governed, led and for Rainbow communities. “
”Pride is for queer people to be free to represent ourselves. It’s not a place for the most vulnerable members of our community to be excluded. If organisers of a “Pride” event can’t see that, they need to sit down and hand over the reins to people who can represent our community in the true spirit of PRIDE.”
“Pride is about the community and as such needs to represent the community’s values and views.“
“I would like to see the community once again joining together to celebrate their Pride in a parade that’s for everyone. In the current setup I can’t see this happening and want to join the voices raising awareness about this issue. I haven’t attended in recent years as I can’t see the community supporting it.”
“I remember these conversations far too well – saddened to hear that people in our community, especially those that are already minorities or marginalised, are being silenced. “