FTM Aotearoa officially started in 1999. Prior to this date, some of us would meet on occasion and enjoy food, beers and a good catch up. It was during these sessions that the conversation arose about setting up something like this. How it shaped was left up to divine intervention.
Some guys felt that I should have set up a regular venue and meeting theme for guys while others wanted a more discreet arrangement. What eventuated was something that was naturally me. As instigator of FTM Aotearoa, I was more interested in getting on with the job of transitioning to a level of satisfaction. So I continued what I was already doing, (even before setting up FTM Aotearoa); that was, meeting some awesome people and making friends and family out of them. Yes, that's right! Not only did guys become acquainted....but there was also the option to become a part of a family (whanau)....something that alot of trans people either miss out on or are estranged from.
Already, there was a need to assist the wider trans community with some of our people dying without the support of family (whanau). This meant that some of us would rally together to support the deceased and ensure they had a decent funeral.
So my 'angle' (so to speak) with FTM Aotearoa was to be more family orientated and to bond spiritually - more than just to meet and leave after an arranged time at an arranged space. Don't get me wrong, these forums are perfect for a lot of people too. The only difference is that I am a Maori. For Maori, we like to really get to know people, and really be there for them thick or thin/right or wrong - its about whanaungatanga (family in the wider context). That basically is what FTM Aotearoa is about. PLEASE NOTE NEW CONTACT DETAILS firstname.lastname@example.org