Barrier methods for safer sex
This booklet discusses using barrier methods for protection against sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.
It is designed for people aged 18 or older, and may not be suitable for younger viewers.
This booklet discusses using barrier methods for protection against sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.
It is designed for people aged 18 or older, and may not be suitable for younger viewers.
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.
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.
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”.
#TDoV TDoV2023 #TransDayOfVisibility #TransDayOfVisibility2023 #TransgenderDayOfVisibility #TransgenderDayOfVisibility2023
Learn how to organise community events, with advice from queer, transgender, and rainbow activists. This is your 101 guide.
Scroll down to read the post, or use our PDF version.
The kaupapa – or foundational principles and ideas – will help to determine who should be in the organising committee, what kind of event to run, how to promote the event, and how to ensure that the event is accessible, appropriate, and useful.
To determine the kaupapa of an event, ask yourself three foundational questions:
Who: what priority group(s) will the event serve?
Consider whether your event will prioritise a particular age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, immigration status, disability, parenthood status, occupation, or experience. Always put the people first.
Why: what need(s) will the event address?
Ask what has inspired this event – what is it that the priority group needs?
How: how will the event address these needs?
Ask how the event will meet those needs – for example, if the need is social connection/addressing isolation, then the event will need to create opportunities to make friends, or make meaningful connections. If the need is housing, or disability justice, then the event should work toward a goal based on that need.
The kaupapa is the foundation, so it’s important to allocate enough time to go through all the details of who and why, before moving on to how. This will help you build a picture of who should be on the organising committee, who should be welcome or not welcome at the event, whether it should be open invitation or if there needs to be a higher degree of risk management.
All members of the organising committee should be in agreement on the kaupapa.
The organising committee should reflect the priority group. If it doesn’t, consider why you are organising for people whose communities you may not be a part of, and how appropriate it is to organise for or on behalf of a group to which you do not belong. Inclusion of organisers from the priority group must be meaningful, rather than tokenistic.
If it is still appropriate – for example, if you are older queer people organising for queer youth – then you need to do outreach to young queers and get them involved in the organising in meaningful ways: they have the expertise on their issues, even if you have the expertise in organising.
Strong systems are the key to effective organising, and systems must mitigate risk and be resilient to unexpected changes.
Sometimes organisers can’t make it to meetings, can’t be on time, or can’t follow through on tasks. A good system recognises this and has ways to make sure that everyone knows what is happening and that all tasks get done.
Consider disability needs. Many disabilities are invisible, so it’s important to ask everyone what they need to ensure they can attend meetings and carry out tasks.
Simple accessibility planning can include holding meetings in mobility accessible venues, limiting fluorescent lighting and the use of perfumes and other allergens, providing food that caters to everyone’s needs, making meetings accessible via online video conference, good facilitation and minutes in meetings, and taking turns to volunteer for childcare duties or providing financial support for childcare.
It can help to decide in advance where and when meetings will be held. This might be the first Saturday each month, every week on Tuesday, or some other regular time. If meetings will be held online, set up a recurring event on a video platform and make sure everyone has a link to this.
Having a good, clear template for taking minutes at meetings is important, along with a central place to keep the minutes where everyone can access them. This might be a shared folder in Google Drive or a book which is kept at a shared office. Use what works for everyone in the committee.
Decide at the beginning on what process will be used to make decisions, and stick to that process. This could be a matter of majority vote, unanimous consensus, or something else. Sometimes it helps to make a visual diagram or flowchart together, so everyone is clear on how decisions will be made – especially if there are any disagreements later. Remember to include a quorum (number or percent of the committee which must be present to make important decisions), and give more flexibility for simple decisions.
You can download our guide to using a consensus process here.
It’s important that the committee understands it’s financial position, and that there is no chance of money being misused, or accusations of financial mismanagement. If the group has a bank account it is best practice to require two signatories to make any payments from the account. If not, cash should be kept secure, and a clear record of income and expenses should be maintained.
By planning a budget early on, you’ll know how much funding you’ll need to carry out your event. Remember to factor in any koha or payments to performers, speakers, presenters, etc.
One of the most important parts of organising is to take care of yourselves and not over-commit. Everyone should be honest with themself and their co-organisers about how much capacity they have to contribute.
It’s important to create the opportunity for everyone to participate to the extent that they are able. It’s ok for some people to take on a lot of responsibility and for others to only take on a little bit.
Look after your well being and make sure that you and the other organisers have support and time out, and that you are kind to each other, communicate well, and check in regularly.
Let the committee know if you commit to something but later realise you can’t do it- feelings of being overwhelmed happen, and people can make adjustments.
Be kind to people, listen to them, disagree with them without putting them down as a person. Don’t gossip about people behind their backs and, above all, have empathy.
Where possible, receiving input from a wider group of people can help you to plan better events. Think carefully about tools that can be used to facilitate discussions and receive suggestions, such as feedback forms, hui, or private groups (in person or online).
Remember that some platforms – particularly on social media – are only accessible to people who have an account on the platform (e.g. Facebook). These often can’t be organised or searched in the same way as platforms which are designed for office use (e.g. Google Drive/forms/spreadsheets).
If you have organising discussions online, you need to be very security conscious, and ensure there is a robust process for who has access to that information.
Be aware that anything you put online could end up public.
It’s vital that your target audience is aware of your event, has a clear idea about what it will involve, why they should attend, and how they can access it.
Your marketing/advertising is your first point of contact with the world, so make sure that imagery reflects your objectives and the tone of the event. Choose strong messaging for your posters/social media/blog page. Your advertising should appeal to your priority group and reflect your kaupapa.
Ensure that your advertising includes important information: what’s happening, the time date and venue (if that’s public info), whether there is wheelchair access, food, childcare, and non-gendered bathrooms, and how to make contact or register to attend. People will exclude themselves when they are used to being marginalised and excluded, so events should be clear that they are inclusive.
Use plain common language; don’t use activist/industry/community jargon, and don’t use euphemisms.
Consider whether it’s appropriate for people to register before attending the event – the size of the venue and the resources available for food and other things might be determining factors in this. Other factors can include safety, limiting numbers, and whether participants need to meet a certain criteria (eg. are they part of the target group).
If people need to register, consider keeping the location off advertising and sending it directly to registered participants instead.
If it’s an open invitation with the address on the advertising, consider security risks – for example, if you throw an advertised party for young trans people, then it’s your responsibility to make sure no anti-trans campaigners show up and threaten the safety of participants.
A safer spaces policy – or SSP – is a bit like a non-discrimination policy and code of conduct. It is more commonly used for group than for an event, but sometimes events have these as well.
In Te Ao Māori we have kaupapa, tikanga, and kawa, which outline the foundational principles we expect to be upheld, and the specific behaviours we want to see or not see. This is a great approach to safer spaces.
A good safer space policy is one that tells people about the culture of the space, and encourages learning and self empowerment with community support. It should contain minimal jargon, and explain itself clearly in common language.
Many safer spaces policies have been written for and by white cisgender women with a view toward preventing sexual violence against themselves. This is a good goal, but it’s necessary to think more broadly and with more nuance about the people who need to be safe, what they need to be safe from, and how to go about promoting a culture that supports healthy and sustainable communities.
A SSP might include principles and behaviors in relation to racism, transphobia, fatphobia, ableism, transmisogyny, sexism, alcohol and other drug use, violence and self harm, and a number of other social justice and safety issues.
There may be a particular time when it is especially important to have an event – such as during Pride month, trans awareness week, or while a topic is particularly relevant. Consider whether there are other events that you don’t want to clash or compete with.
Make sure you have enough time to organise. Without an adequate time frame, you may need to limit your ambitions. Give yourself time to have committee meetings and do the ground work, and to contact and confirm anyone you would like to have attend; such as speakers, entertainers or presenters.
Allow time for event promotion, and give attendees enough time in advance so their calendar isn’t already full.
Consider how cost might be a barrier for your event, and how mitigating this might be achieved. If it’s necessary to charge entry, consider a tiered pricing schedule, low cost tickets or sponsored tickets. If you need to raise funds in advance, make sure this is possible.
Choose a venue with good public transport access and easy parking. Choose a venue that will be comfortable for your audience – for example a marae feels very different to a conference centre.
The physical needs of attendees are important, some people need elevators etc for mobility. Other accessibility considerations include lighting (many people can’t be under fluorescent lighting), chemical sensitivity (some people struggle with strong smells like incense and cologne/perfume etc), noise and sound (can everyone hear the speakers, etc), places to sit down/lay down.
If your event seeks to include people whose first language may not be English, or D/deaf people, then having interpreters will make a big difference for their inclusion.
Carefully considering the layout, and having support people available can make your event more accessible to blind people. Using a large font in documents and presentations, and dyslexia friendly colours are also things you can do to remove physical barriers to people being included.
For overnight events you should consider proper beds for those who can’t sleep on a mattress or use a sleeping bag. Look for ways to better cater to people with larger bodies, and higher mobility needs, like providing a variety of types of seating, and seats set aside with easy access to the exits. Make it clear to people that these seats are reserved for people with mobility/access needs.
Consider whether your event is accessible for children, and for parents and families with childcare considerations. Childcare subsidies and child friendly spaces/activities/helpers will mean those families can attend without worrying about their children. The gendered division of caring labor is an important part of this as an accessibility concern.
In workshops/discussions have the MC or facilitator give a shout out to parents at the beginning of each session to say that kids are welcome and to remind speakers to just use a loud voice or speak into the microphone if there is any noise in the room. Make it comfortable and not a big deal.
Make sure your sound equipment is appropriate to the size of the room/crowd.
Look for venues with non-gendered bathrooms/changing rooms/sleeping spaces. If they aren’t available, work with your venue to modify what exists. Gender Minorities Aotearoa has non-gendered toilet posters available which can be used to cover gendered signs.
Any environment where bodies are a focus or semi/nakedness is expected will pose additional accessibility barriers for people whose bodies are often stigmatised. This can include stigma because of ethnicity, size, disability, gender etc. Careful consideration for mitigating risk and perceived risk are important.
Events such as pool parties can trigger a wide range of trauma issues, especially for people whose bodies are policed or othered routinely. For some, being casually naked in front of others may feel normal, or even empowering, however this won’t be the case for everyone.
People with more stigmatised bodies are more likely to opt for clothing or private stalls in bathrooms and dressing rooms, etc. It’s cool to feel amazing about showing your body. It’s also cool to keep it private if you want to.
Providing food can be a crucial part of your responsibilities as a host, and it also can make your event more accessible and interesting to more people. However, it can also be a big cost and a lot of work to do properly. If you are providing food, there are several things to cover.
Food is often a consideration that requires attendees to register, meaning you can ask each person about their dietary needs.
In general, it’s a good idea to provide gluten and lactose free options, options that suit vegetarians, vegans and also people who eat meat, halal, kosher, and a variety of other options. This must be done in ways which do not attach any value judgements to anyone’s diet. The only appropriate thing to say about someone else’s food is ‘Yum! that looks good’.
Make sure there is enough food. People should be able to have as much as they need without worrying about taking too much, and without being shamed by others.
Spaces designated for eating should be well thought through. Some people may not be comfortable eating around others, or in a noisy crowd, and appropriately spaced out or secluded eating areas can be a good idea.
Tikanga is an important consideration for serving food in Aotearoa; make sure that Māori hygiene is followed with regard to eating surfaces (as a general rule – no bums/feet/hats on tables, no kitchen cloths used to wipe floors or bodies, kitchen laundry should be washed separately, don’t make table cloths from used sheets).
Bear in mind that there are HEAPS of issues around food/eating/not eating for HEAPS of different reasons and try to make it non-stressful/not a big deal while providing options – casually. Don’t make a big deal about people with eating or food issues, make it work without added stress to them.
It’s important to think about the cultural ways people can be marginalised, and how leaning too much into the dominant culture can create barriers to attending.
We live in a context where all of our cultural assumptions and norms have an extensive and often violent history. Many things which seem commonplace or normal within the dominant culture – Pākehā, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied; are actually harmful. For an event to be truly inclusive and effective, it’s important to be aware of these factors, and challenge racism, Eurocentrism, colonisation, transphobia, transmisogyny, heteronormativity, sexism and ableism.
For example, events about gendered violence that centre the perspectives of Pākehā, able bodied, cisgender women leave a lot of women out of the conversation. Not only is this a problem for inclusiveness and working together in solidarity, but it also means the analysis that results from the event is much weaker and less useful.
The more diverse the input into organising the event, the more likely that the event will cater to a diverse range of people and perspectives, and will attract a diverse crowd. More diversity means better results.
This guide is being released for Transgender Day of Visibility 2023. #TDoV #TDoV2023 #TransDayofVisibility #TransDayofVisibility2023 #TransgenderDayofVisibility #TransgenderDayofVisibility2023
March 23, 2023
Today human rights organisations Gender Minorities Aotearoa, InsideOUT Kōaro, and Auckland Pride filed for judicial review in the High Court. Our case follows the Immigration Minister’s decision to allow Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, a known anti-transgender activist, to enter Aotearoa New Zealand. In addition to the judicial review, we are seeking an interim order to prevent Keen-Minshull from entering the country until the judicial review can take place.
Keen-Minshull (also known as Posie Parker) has a long history of organising and participating in anti-transgender rallies in close connection with neo-Nazi organisations, including rallies in Australia last week which broke out in violence.
“As community organisations deeply committed to the welfare of the communities we serve, Gender Minorities Aotearoa, InsideOUT Kōaro, and Auckland Pride believe that Keen-Minshull’s presence in New Zealand poses a significant threat to public order and a risk to public interest. This is outlined under Section 16 of the Immigration Act,” says Ahi Wi-Hongi, Executive Director of Gender Minorities Aotearoa and spokesperson for the groups.
“The facts in this case are clear, and the Minister’s failure to act is putting our communities in danger. We are not opposing freedom of speech, we are opposing the measurable threat to public order and the safety of transgender people.”
Managing Director of InsideOUT Kōaro, Tabby Besley, says “There is no place for transphobia in Aotearoa, and there is no public interest in the abhorrent views espoused by Keen-Minshull”
Executive Director of Auckland Pride, Max Tweedie, says “We are determined to challenge this decision in order to protect the well-being and safety of our trans, non-binary and takatāpui communities in Aotearoa.”
OutLine Aotearoa and RainbowYOUTH are also in support of the action to prevent Keen-Minshull from entering the country.
“As an organisation supporting the mental health of Rainbow communities across Aotearoa, we are concerned for the immediate safety of trans people, as well as the longer term impacts of the stress, fear and anxiety her visit will cause for many of our trans and non-binary whānau.” says OutLine Aotearoa Chief Executive Claire Black.
RainbowYOUTH’s Executive Director Pooja Subramanian said “Now is the time to lead by example that trans and gender diverse young people deserve protection from systems that are meant to support them, and we are calling on the Minister to enact that.”
Gender Minorities Aotearoa, InsideOUT Kōaro, and Auckland Pride will update their websites and social media as the case progresses. In the meantime, the organisations encourage anyone affected by the current events to take care of each other, to take time to focus on wellbeing, and to reach out for support.
“We are aware of protests being organised in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and encourage allies to go along and support trans communities at these. We are also asking allies to support this cause through donations towards legal costs such as filing fees.” Ahi Wi-Hongi says. “While we expect our costs will be minimal, there is always a risk of escalation in taking a legal case, and every penny helps.”
Any surplus funds will be used by the organisations filing the case to continue advocating for the rights and wellbeing of transgender and rainbow communities.
“Shootings at mosques, and other terrorist attacks, do not come suddenly from nowhere. Rallies against human rights attract the worst kinds of extremists, and absolutely foster hatred and incite violence. We must take reasonable steps to prevent this, and we believe that’s all we’re asking for.”
Read the 26 April, 2023 update here.
This page is about our online peer-to-peer infoshare group, Transgender and intersex NZ.
If you would like to join the group, please read the rules booklet first, then click the button to go to the group and answer the joining questions.