The transgender guide to sex and relationships: online course

The transgender guide to sex and relationships: online course

The transgender guide to sex and relationships is a free online course designed to provide interesting, fun, insightful, and practical information for transgender adults.

It aims to assist you in exploring ideas around your body and sense of self, what you like and don’t like, your needs and limits, communication, sex, and relationships.

The course takes approximately 12 hours to complete, and is broken into 6 Chapters. You can stop at any time and continue later by logging in again.

Here’s a quick outline of what you’ll learn.

What each chapter covers

Chapter 1. Foundations

In this chapter, you’ll explore the idea of sexual well-being, learn some interesting history, delve into some of the ways that power can affect relationships, and look at some positive – and negative – ideas about trans people and sex. You’ll also reflect on some of your own ideas about partners.

Chapter 2. Self

You will explore genital development, and language used for genitals, along with some of the ways which transgender and intersex people feel about their bodies, and some common myths and facts. Then, you’ll take a deep dive into your own sexual preferences.

Chapter 3. Communication

In this chapter, you’ll explore having conversations about consent in sexual situations, how to recognise, discuss, and manage trauma memories (or triggers), and you’ll learn a variety of tools and techniques for communication.

Chapter 4. Relationships

In this chapter, you’ll investigate different types of relationships, and discover ways to identify and express your needs and boundaries in a relationship. You’ll look at ways to determine who should get to make which decisions in a relationship, and looking at problems in relationships and how to solve them together. You’ll also look at some safety strategies.

Chapter 5. Safer sex

In this chapter, you’ll master the use of barrier methods for safer sex, gain insight into living with HIV, establish the steps to get STI testing, review ways to identify and manage risks in a wide variety of sexual situations, and learn about steps you can take if you are sexually assaulted. You’ll also learn how to help prevent sexual violence in your community.

Chapter 6. Better sex

You will gain an improved understanding of sex toys and pornography, explore flirting and initiating sexual contact, take in strategies for identifying, experiencing, and working out your emotions, gain skills for enhancing your sexual experiences, practice giving and receiving touch in non-sexual situations, and gain improved confidence in giving and receiving touch in sexual situations.

The transgender guide to sex and relationships is designed by and for transgender adults, including binary, non-binary, and intersex trans adults.

It contains sexual themes, and discusses sensitive topics such as sexual violence and trauma.

You must be aged 18 years or older to take this course.

Sponsored by

With support from

Special thanks to

Feeling Myself – a sexuality workbook for transgender adults

Feeling myself is a sexuality workbook about discovering what feels good to you. It looks at managing dysphoria, exploring sensory experiences, types of touch, and the thoughts, feelings, and fantasies which you like or dislike.

It is from our online course The transgender guide to sex and relationships. It is designed for transgender adults, and may not be suitable for younger viewers.

PDF – read online or download

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Знакомство с собой – Russian translation

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Sexual Violence and Family Violence Support Survey

Sexual Violence and Family Violence Support Survey

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.

Who this survey is for

If you are a member of an organisation that provides sexual violence and family violence services, the first survey is for you.

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.

Support while answering the survey

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.

Who this survey is by

The Anti-Violence Resource Centre, or ARC, is a collaborative project between Intersex Aotearoa and Gender Minorities Aotearoa.

Gender Minorities Aotearoa is a national transgender-led organisation that provides peer support, healthcare information and a wide range of advocacy services.

Intersex Aotearoa is an intersex-led non-profit organisation that provides advocacy, education and support for those with intersex variations in Aotearoa.

Informed Consent 101 – a 3 minute guide

Informed Consent 101 – a 3 minute guide

Check out our 3 minute video on informed consent in gender affirming healthcare. You can also download this video as a PDF.

To change the speed of this video or see subtitles, use the controls panel in the bottom right corner of the video.

We also want to give a shoutout to AusPATH – you can find their Standards of Care in our health information section here. These standards are some of the best we’ve seen.

While mental health referrals are good and can sit alongside an informed consent process, they should be offered as additional support, and should not be part of getting informed consent.

#TDoV #TDoV2022 #TransDayOfVisibility #TransDayOfVisibility2022 #InformedConsent

Submission on the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill

Submission on the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill

The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill submissions close tonight at 11.59pm, 9 December 2021.

There is still time to make a submission, even if it’s as simple as saying “Please name transgender people as a priority group. We don’t want to be lumped into ‘rainbow’, we want our unique disparities addressed and our unique needs taken care of”.

Our submission

We agree with and support the intent of this Bill. However, we feel that amendments are needed and that transgender people, as a population facing severe health inequities and unique health needs, should be named as a priority population in order to fully achieve the purpose of the Bill. These inequities particularly affect irawhiti Māori, who are marginalised within the healthcare system as Māori and as transgender people.

Transgender healthcare

The Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation recognise social determinants of health as the most significant factor contributing to the health outcomes faced by particular populations. Māori, Pacific peoples, and disabled people are all groups who face discrimination across all areas of life, which is why they are priority populations in the new health system. In addition to this, disabled people have unique healthcare needs. Transgender people also experience extensive discrimination: the median income for transgender people is half that of the general population; they are more than twice as likely to experience discrimination than the general population; one in five transgender people experience homelessness; transgender people experience high or very high psychological distress at nine times the rate of the general population. For Māori, Pacific peoples, and disabled transgender people, the disparities with the general population are notably higher. For example, one in four non-Pākehā transgender people have been homeless, and 60% of disabled transgender people have experienced discrimination in the past year. 

Transgender people also have a unique relationship with the healthcare system, resulting in a considerable number of unmet specific needs. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health is clear that gender affirming healthcare is a medical necessity. Despite this, national data shows that the healthcare system has been unable to meet the needs of the transgender population. The 2019 Counting Ourselves survey asked transgender people throughout Aotearoa about their access to various gender affirming healthcare treatments, including: hormone replacement therapy, mastectomies/chest reconstruction, breast augmentation, permanent hair removal, mental health support, facial feminisation, voice therapy or surgery, orchiectomies, hysterectomies/oopherectomies and genital reconstruction surgeries. In all cases, there were high rates of unmet need (19-48%), and the recurring reasons for the unmet needs were cost, and a lack of clarity about the healthcare pathways available for accessing treatment.

Tan et al. in their study on the mental health of transgender New Zealanders conclude that:

“Transgender people have greater healthcare needs due to gender minority stress experiences and their need for gender-affirming medical interventions, and yet our findings suggest that they experience inequities and gaps in accessing both gender-affirming and mental health services. It is very concerning that healthcare services, which should be supporting transgender people during some of the most difficult times of their lives, may present obstacles to accessing medically necessary healthcare, may exacerbate mental health symptoms through gender minority stress and pathologisation models, or may be avoided for fear of unhelpful and non-inclusive treatments.”

Other research highlights harmful trends in the provision of gender affirming healthcare, demonstrating a consistent tendency for healthcare practitioners to employ an outdated pathologising model, where patients were expected to prove that they are ‘trans enough’ to access treatment, and transgender patients feel pressured to fit into a binary idea of gender to receive healthcare. These trends are at odds with the Health and Disability Act, which requires a healthcare code of rights that guarantees healthcare services to provide treatment of an adequate standard, and “in a manner which respects the dignity and independence of the individual.” Further, it is more specifically a violation of the current Code of Health and Disability Rights, which specifies assumed competence as a foundational part of informed consent in healthcare. This reveals a systemic inconsistency between transgender people’s rights within healthcare, and the standard of care provided in Aotearoa. The Human Rights Commission’s Prism Report highlights unmet healthcare needs as a critical human rights issue faced by Rainbow New Zealanders, and commented at length about the high rates of unmet need for gender affirming healthcare.

The recent bill to ban conversion practices makes exceptions for healthcare practitioners, despite the many transgender people and organisations (including Gender Minorities Aotearoa and the Professional Association for Transgender Healthcare Aotearoa) who submitted that transgender people often experience conversion practices in healthcare settings so that legal exceptions for healthcare providers leaves them vulnerable to those practices. Research from New Zealand has connected these experiences of conversion practices in healthcare settings with higher levels of psychological distress and discrimination. The disparities faced by transgender people in the healthcare system are clear and well-documented, yet still transgender people are overlooked in the Government’s Health and Disability System Review. 

At the highest level, transgender healthcare is invisible in the government’s health system review, and neglected in legislation. At an intermediate level, transgender people face barriers around accessing healthcare due to unclear or non-existent pathways, and a lack of funding for necessary treatments. At the ground level, transgender people regularly encounter healthcare providers who do not understand their needs, and who subject them to pathologising frameworks which violate their rights. Leadership is urgently needed to address these barriers and the adverse health outcomes they cause.


Transgender people should be named as a priority population for Health NZ. This should be reflected by the inclusion of a transgender healthcare strategy as part of the Minister’s responsibilities in Section 10.1(a) and 29.1(b), and by adding a new Section after Section 40 which outlines the contents and process of a transgender health strategy in a similar manner as the Hauora Māori, Pacific peoples and disability health strategies.

This bill should include explicit reference to the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994. The Code of Rights within healthcare settings set out by the Health and Disability Commissioner should be added to the objectives in Sections 12 and 18, as well as the role of the Minister of Health in creating Government Policy Statements for all priority populations.

Make your submission