Russian translations – healthy relationships resources

Russian translations – healthy relationships resources

This year we worked together with T-Action, a transgender organisation in Russia, to bring you Russian translations of some important resources.

The resources are about healthy relationships with yourself and others. We are releasing these for Trans Day of Visibility, 31 March 2023 #TDoV.

Trans people in Russia are currently illegalised, and it is illegal to “promote” being transgender in Russia. This means that being visible poses very real danger to a trans person, and makes it incredibly hard for organisations like T-Action, which do similar advocacy to us at Gender Minorities Aotearoa.

Trans people cannot be visible without freedom from laws that criminalise us.

We stand together with trans people in every country where laws are hostile to trans existence. We are very grateful to T-Action for their continued work to support trans people, for reaching out to us, and for translating our resources.

We hope that these translations will benefit trans people in Russia, as well as Russian-speaking trans people in Aotearoa, and across the world.

Message from T-Action

Visibility is a form of empowerment.

We become stronger not only when we become visible to the cisworld, but also when some trans communities become visible to other trans communities. 

On Transgender Day of Visibility, trans initiative group T-Action announce a precious collaboration with Gender Minorities Aotearoa. We proudly present you a Russian translation of resources from “The Transgender Guide to Sex and Relationships” – as translators Aleksandr Grin, Inga Grin and Anna Polyakova believe, one of the best materials on the web, created by trans people for trans people. 

In a situation where any talk about transgender and sexuality is prohibited by outrageously unfair laws, an ability to access such materials is a necessity for Russian-speaking trans people. We are grateful for the opportunity to publish the translation on Gender Minorities Aotearoa website.

As we all continue to face challenges and discrimination, it is important to remember that we are not alone, the community is looking after us and ready to give us a place to belong, listen and help.

Despite the geographical distance and cultural differences, we can find common ground and work together toward a world where trans people are free to live, love, and thrive without fear of discrimination, rejection, or violence.

About T-Action

T-Action is the major trans organisation in Russia operating since 2014. Our mission is to empower transgender people, strengthen the trans community, and raise trans awareness and trans sensitivity in society.

In 9 years of its work, T-Action has made a “trans revolution” in health care services in Russia:

– Educated hundreds of medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other professionals about transgender physical and mental health.

– Conducted research projects about the life of trans people in Russia with medical institutions – that had never been done before.

– Changed perceptions and beliefs about transgender people in the Russian medical, media, and social field. Organized programs, research, and activities with professionals from different areas.

– Organized a Trans*Fest – a unique annual festival with educational events made by the community for the community (not for the people outside, as many trans-related events have to be). Each Trans*Fest is visited by hundreds of trans people throughout the country, both online and offline.

– Empowered many transgender people themselves to be proactive, to know, and to protect their rights.

In current times T-Action was declared a foreign agent and as a result, announced its liquidation. Instantly, a new group was founded with exactly the same goals and activities which works with and for so-called ‘kilkots’.

Within the trans community, Kilkot is a well-known mascot of our group – half-cat, half-fish, a kind of cat-mermaid – and our audience is well aware of it and associates it with us. This way, our audience easily understands the context, and, in the end, it’s just fun if we are accused of “propagating kilkotism”.

See the translations

#TDoV TDoV2023 #TransDayOfVisibility #TransDayOfVisibility2023 #TransgenderDayOfVisibility #TransgenderDayOfVisibility2023

Transgender day of visibility 2022

Transgender day of visibility 2022

March 31 is Transgender Day of Visibility, and we’re asking you to bring visibility to trans issues by writing letters to healthcare decision makers.

Your letter could be your opinions, or your own personal experience with gender affirming healthcare – whether your experiences were positive or negative. Personal experiences touch hearts, so speaking about the impact which healthcare struggles or joys had on you and your emotions can be a strategic decision.

A flood of letters from trans people can make a huge difference, going far, far beyond raising visibility.


The government is planning to replace the District Health Board (DHB) system through the Pae Ora healthcare reforms, so now is a great time to raise the profile of trans healthcare. In our Pae Ora Legislation submission, Gender Minorities Aotearoa focused on the current failure of the healthcare system to meet gender affirming healthcare needs. 

You have a legal human right to receive appropriate healthcare, and you have a right to be heard when the government fails to provide it.

For the system to work, there need to be changes at every level: better funding leading to increased capacity to meet the demand without unreasonable surgical requirements, better administration creating better and consistent health pathways and better trained doctors who are not themselves an obstacle to transgender people getting the healthcare we need.

For these sweeping changes to happen, we need Health NZ, and the Ministry of Health, to show strong leadership by first acknowledging the problem and then taking effective action to fix it.

What we want

We call on the government to establish a healthcare system which meets the needs of all trans people. This means a system which acknowledges our rights under the Code of Health and Disability Consumer Rights to access necessary healthcare via informed consent/assumed competence. This also means a system which sustainably provides:

  • Voice therapy/training
  • Permanent hair removal by electrolysis, laser or IPL
  • Chest binding prosthetics (binders)
  • Chest reconstruction (double mastectomy and contouring)
  • Breast augmentation
  • Fertility preservation of both eggs and sperm
  • GnRH puberty suppressants (puberty blockers)
  • Quick and accessible readiness assessments to establish capacity for informed consent (only in situations when they are really needed)
  • A diverse range of hormone therapy options to suit the diverse needs that exist
  • Hysterectomies and oopherectomies
  • Orchiectomies/orchidectomies
  • Clearing the backlog for genital surgery, and a sustainable funding plan
  • Improved access to psychologists and counselors when needed
  • National, standardised pathways that relocate more responsibilities into primary care (GPs)

Where to send your letter

Your letter could be directed to the healthcare officials within the Ministry of Health, or the acting officials of the future Health NZ. It could also be directed to MPs who have more influence over how funding is allocated at the highest level, MPs who are already committed to championing rainbow rights, or MPs who hold a responsibility to speak out on healthcare issues.

Government healthcare officials

Health and Disability Review Transition Unit
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6160

Dr Ashley Bloomfield (
Ministry of Health
133 Molesworth Street
Wellington 6011

Martin Hefford, acting chief executive of the interim Health NZ –
Ministry of Health
133 Molesworth Street
Wellington 6011

Members of Parliament

This includes MPs who have influence over the yearly budget, MPs whose portfolios cover healthcare, and MPs who are already supporters and who will be likely to amplify our concerns

Hon Grant Robertson MP (
Minister of Finance
PO Box 18 888
Parliament Building
Wellington 6160

Hon Ayesha Verrall MP
Associate Minister of Health responsible for Rainbow Health
PO Box 18 888
Parliament Building
Wellington 6160

Hon Andrew Little MP
Minister of Health
PO Box 18 888
Parliament Building
Wellington 6160

Dr Elizabeth Kerekere MP
Green Party spokesperson for Health and Rainbow Communities
PO Box 18 888
Parliament Building
Wellington 6160

Chris Bishop MP
National Party representative for the cross parliamentary rainbow network
PO Box 18 888
Parliament Building
Wellington 6160

Dr Shane Reti MP
National Party spokesperson for Health
PO Box 18 888
Parliament Building
Wellington 6160

Act now for better healthcare - a person waving a transgender flag

#TransgenderDayOfVisibility #TransgenderDayOfVisibility2022 #TDoV #TDoV2022

Security Systems, Visibility, and Safety

Security Systems, Visibility, and Safety

So it’s transgender day of visibility and I wanted to write something about the last time I felt really visible as a trans woman.

This happened a couple of days ago. This was while I was traveling back from Australia to New Zealand, after having spent a lovely couple of weeks with my girlfriend – who is also trans – hanging out, seeing some bands play, catching up.

When I’m with my girlfriend, I feel she sees me for who I am. I don’t have to be cautious about how people will understand what I’m saying through the lens of my gender. She truly accepts me as the gender that I am, and so I can share parts of myself that otherwise would open me to scrutiny – things like my sexuality, silly jokes, and simple thoughts I have about my existence as a trans woman.

But this isn’t the way that I normally experience visibility.

Crossing borders between countries is always a stressful action. The ever-increasing militarisation and restriction of borders across the globe continues to inflict exclusionary and hegemonic violence by enforcing imperialist political agendas on regular people.

I am an anxious person, and struggle with social interaction, especially when I do not understand exactly what is expected of me. This can make things as small as booking a haircut quite stressful to me. When faced with officials from the Australian Border Force, who have the power to imprison me indefinitely, or simply make me miss my flight, this anxiety can be quite high already.

I don’t know if it’s this anxiety or paranoia, but I feel as though I am often singled out for extra attention as I pass through customs. Not to the nearly the same extent as people of colour suffer, but I do think people notice something about me, my transness, my anxiety and paranoia, and decide I am suspicious.

This is the visibility that I am used to.

This trip through the border was no exception. As I placed my belongings in a tray to be scanned, and was left clutching my passport as if a security blanket, shoeless and nervous, I was beckoned over to the body scanners.

Body scanners in Australia use radio waves – which bounce off skin and metal, and pierce clothes – to render an image of your body. The idea is that they will make items hidden beneath your clothing visible. Automated target recognition then paints yellow indicators over the image, to show where “suspicious” objects may have been detected.

If these objects are detected, you will not be cleared to fly until a pat-down has followed up, investigating the suspicious areas beneath your clothes.

I stepped into the cylinder of the scanner, and raised my arms above my head, following the mandated procedure to provide a clear image.

My body, rendered visible to the machine’s logic, was detected as suspicious. I stepped out of the machine to be greeted by an image of highlighting my crotch as a “suspicious area.”

The security officer monitoring the machine asked me if I had anything in my pockets. I felt like crying. I knew had nothing in my pockets. I know how my body is seen as abnormal and wrong. I knew exactly what was happening.

My transness, rendered visible from beneath my clothes, painted me as a target. According to the logic of the airport’s security theatre, my genitals needed investigation.

I wanted to cry, but again I know that if my sadness was visible it would register as hysterical or suspicious according to the security protocols and manners required of me. Trying not to shake, trying not to let my anxiety and upset become visible, I tried to lightheartedly suggest setting the machine to “male” and seeing if I was still suspicious.

The woman at the machine accepted that, and I stepped back into the machine. When I stepped out again, the panic fully set in. Australia has a “no opt-out” policy for body scanners. There was going to be no way of escaping this. The machine had not targeted my genitalia this time, but had rendered my breasts as a target for investigation.

I had a brief discussion with the security forces, indicating my body, pointing out that the detected “objects” were parts of my body.

The security officer asked me if I wanted to be patted down. I was trying hard to still keeping my voice steady.

Images of breaking down crying, my emotion getting me carried off to gosh-knows-what ordeal went through my head. It kept me calm on the surface, and deepened the wide panic inside.

I told them I would prefer not to be patted down. They told me I would not be cleared to fly unless I accepted. They asked if I wanted a woman to do it. Most of the sexual assaults I’ve experienced have been by women. They asked if I wanted a private room. Most of the sexual assaults I’ve experienced have been in a private room.

My body, my private parts, had been rendered visible, and they needed to investigate.

I made it on to my flight.

I spent a couple of hours by the gate before the flight. Teary-eyed, crying, trying not to be too obvious in my stricken state, not wanting to call any more official attention to me.

I’m home now, safe, tired, not too physically traumatised by the event, but I still can’t stop crying when I think about it for more than a minute.

The way the airport made my body visible, labelled it a target to be investigated. My self, the body I can only change with expensive surgeries – which are only really available overseas. The idea that my body is suspicious.

My body, made visible, is unsafe.

Scoop article here.

International Transgender Day of Visibility 2016

International Transgender Day of Visibility 2016

Today, March 31st, is international transgender day of visibility.

”It’s a day for the people of New Zealand to stand up and say we want everyone to be equal – to be respected as human beings, and to have access to human rights” says Ahi Wi-Hongi, National Coordinator of Gender Minorities Aotearoa (GMA), ”regardless of sex or gender.”

”Without resources such as safe housing, without freedom from violence, and without supportive communities, visibility is meaningless” says GMA spokesperson Adeline Greig. ”So often, trans women and other gender minorities are subjected to the public gaze in ways that harm us.”

“Visibility must go hand in hand with an acceptance of gender minorities as deserving of respect and rights” GMA youth spokesperson Kiran Foster says.

“Recently, gender identity was once again rejected from inclusion in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act as a protected group; since then, Family First has released a document encouraging schools not to accommodate the needs of transgender students” Foster continues. “It is important that people are aware that we exist, because that enables them to make space for us in their world views and communities. But without that space, visibility is incredibly dangerous.”

”In Australia, the anti-bullying programme Safe Schools has come under vicious attack,” says Wi-Hongi, ”and we’re also seeing a targeted push-back against rising trans visibility in the USA, with 44 anti-trans bills introduced this year alone, 23 of which target transgender children.”


”However,” says Wi-Hongi, ”just yesterday in New Zealand’s capital city we saw the world’s first transgender woman symbol replace the ”green man” walking symbol on the Cuba st traffic lights. This year has also seen both Wellington High School and Onslow College take up the call of transgender students and their supporters and move toward genderneutral bathrooms. We’re seeing progress in the medical sector. We want to see visibility translate into positive actions which improve the lives of transgender and intersex people”

”The takeaway message,” says Wi-Hongi, ”is that visibility alone is not enough. The people of New Zealand are good, caring, and progressive people. We are world leaders – we led the world on women voting, we elected the worlds first openly transgender Member of Parliament, we are the only country in the world to protect sex workers by decriminalising their occupation,” Wi-Hongi says.

”Let’s continue to be at the forefront of human rights – let’s make 2016 the year we carry the torch for transgender and intersex whanau”.

Scoop article here.

Transgender Day of Visibility 2017

Transgender Day of Visibility 2017

Today is Transgender Day of Visibility – an international day to recognise trans people for who they are.

With recent media on trans people, we are getting to see more trans stories in the news, on TV, and in films.

The increased awareness of our existence is good, and now we need to move from existence to humanity – what are trans people’s lives like?

For many trans people in NZ, this question starts at home – trans people, especially if they are Maori (takataapui, taahine, whakawahine, tangata ira tane), are extremely likely to face housing discrimination and live in unsuitable, unstable, and temporary housing, which creates all kinds of stresses, health problems, and risks.

With the housing crisis currently facing low income earners in many parts of the country, Maori transgender people are some of the worst affected by this – especially if they are raising children.

Kim* talks about being homeless for the past few months, saying ‘it’s not the first time. Every year I have to go out and find a new home for my kids. Landlords look at me; Maori, transgender, with kids, and there’s no way they want me living in their house.’

‘It’s because of stigma, prejudice, and discrimination,’ says Ahi Wi-Hongi, 32, National Coordinator of Gender Minorities Aotearoa. ‘We need to have a good look at the enormous struggles which trans people are going through every day of their lives, and we need to take action to provide basic resources to these people – to these human beings. Maori trans people are routinely homeless – not just once, but many times throughout their lives’.

It’s amazing that there is so much scope for visibility now, Wi-Hongi says, ‘but we’re not just here for titillation and entertainment. It’s important that visibility is about respecting us, recognising our struggle for equity, and increasing our access to basic human rights and resources’.

Scoop article here.

Today is Transgender Day of Visibility