RainbowYOUTH and Tīwhanawhana Trust Release Resource to Help Whānau

After the release of the ground-breaking resource, Takatāpui: Part of the Whānau, Tīwhanawhana Trust Chair and takatāpui activist Dr Elizabeth Kerekere has collaborated with RainbowYOUTH to release the second resource in a series about takatāpui* well-being.

Growing Up Takatāpui: Whānau Journeys is a print and digital resource which is informed by interviews with seven takatāpui rangatahi and their whānau about the importance of whānau support. Featuring whānau of different kinds, the resource reflects the challenges and triumphs they have gone through together. It sheds light on how whānau support can improve the well-being of takatāpui rangatahi using the Te Whare Tapa Whā Maori health model.

Dr Kerekere noted that “our takatāpui rangatahi often experience discrimination, violence and rejection because of their diverse sexes, sexualities and gender identities. Studies** show that this leads to higher rates of depression, self-harm and suicide than for their heterosexual and cisgender*** peers. Because whānau support is the Number One protective factor for our young people, we have created this resource with whānau, for whānau.”

Toni Duder, Communications and Operations Manager at RainbowYOUTH and project manager found the interview process “humbling”.

“Being able to meet and listen to the stories of these incredible people was a ‘I can’t believe I actually have this job’ kind of moment. These stories are taonga that we are so excited to share in a way that hopefully helps those who are struggling. I’m very proud of this resource”. 

Available for free around Aotearoa, the resource was developed for whānau who are struggling or need more information to better support their takatāpui rangatahi. It is also relevant for takatāpui who are struggling to communicate with their whānau. It is also relevant for takatāpui who are struggling to communicate with their whānau.

Duder says that the funding received from Te Ara Whiriwhiri, Te Puni Kōrkiri and It’s Not OK have meant that the resource’s reach will be considerable. “We were able to develop a website to make the resource more interactive and accessible,” says Duder, “we’ve included audio excerpts from the interviews, and we’ve provided links to other resources that shed more light on takatāpui issues. We want this website to be a thing that can grow as more resources are published, and will act as an awesome digital library of takatāpui content”.

Dr Kerekere adds that “whānau remains the core place of identity and belonging for our young people. We hope this resource serves as a reminder that if we put our children at the centre, we will transform our whanau”.

Those wanting to visit the website or order resources can visit: www.takatāpui.nz


*Takatāpui = a reclaimed term to embrace all Māori who identify with diverse sexes, genders and sexualities such as whakawāhine (trans women), tangata ira tāne (trans men), lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer.

**Lucassen, M.F.G., Clark, T.C., Moselen, E., Robinson, E.M., & Adolescent Helth Research Group. (2014). Youth ’12 the health and wellbeing of secondary school students in New Zealand: Results for young people attracted to same or both sexes. Auckland: The University of Auckland.

***Cisgender = denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their sex assigned at birth.

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