Focusing on the present
Today is a day that comes around only once before it becomes ‘the past’. Today is a time frame of 24 hours that goes as quickly as it arrives. Today is also what makes up our history. What we do today can and does affect our lives.
Tapatoru would like to contribute to today in many ways. There will be opportunities when Tapatoru would like to be with trans friends and whanau to enjoy ‘today’ and contribute to good memories.
Eventually, Tapatoru would like to organise the types of gatherings that would extend to our Maori trans whanau and that would inspire them to join in and enjoy themselves. We believe that our whanau deserve more than what is currently out there, and that we need ‘by trans – for trans’ events, so that our spirit feels connected and we embrace connectedness through unified action and a united voice in things we would like to do for our aging Maori trans whanau.
We know that life is too short because when we do meet up, we look around to see who is not there or who has passed away and we reflect that with sadness. So we now need to make the most of our time together and one step further would be to assist Tapatoru in its work through support and participation.
GROUND-BREAKING DOCUMENTARY FOLLOWS FOUR TRANSGENDER YOUNG PEOPLE OVER FIVE YEARS
NOVEMBER 30, 2020
A recent documentary Transhood follows the growing up of four trans children for five years in the heartland of America.
The documentary Transhood, released on HBO in the US last Friday, tells the story of four transgender people and their loved ones. The documentary has been filmed for five years and tells the story of the strengthening of the gender identity of young people of different ages. The children were 4, 7, 12, and 15 at the start of the documentary.
The age of the youngest child, Phoenix, is 4 years. Parents point out in the document that no surgical changes are made to those under the age of 18, which is often overlooked in public debate.
For 4-year-olds, the process of change is purely social – which also has a huge impact. Also included is Avery, who was already quoted in the media at the age of 7 and appeared on the cover of National Geographic, among others.
The documentary is filmed only in the United States, and not in any of its metropolises. Transhood is filmed in director Sharon Liese’s hometown of Kansas. It also highlights the grim change that happened when Trump won the 2016 presidential election.
Moving and thought-provoking, the film explores how these families struggle and stumble through parenting, and how the kids are challenged and transformed as they experience the complexity of their identities.
Directed by Sharon Liese, Transhood captures the nuanced and authentic stories of four courageous families. While every journey is different, they share their honest and varied experiences as the young people display incredible resilience, facing rejection from their peers, body dysphoria and escalating political rhetoric that strives to invalidate LGBTQ+ lives.
All the while, the older kids navigate the minefield of adolescence. Sharing their most vulnerable moments, the parents reveal their ambivalence, doubts and missteps as they too transform over time.
Amid the politically and religiously conservative Kansas City community between 2014 and 2019, the parents grapple with their own adjustments to parenting while often facing resistance from extended family.
Through intimately shot verité footage of these families, Transhood takes us into the lives of:
Jay, who we first meet at age 12 and matures markedly both physically and emotionally throughout the film, struggling with a painful “outing” by his peers. He starts hormone blockers and while his mother is supportive of that step, they argue about their differing views around the very personal issue of disclosure.
Avery, who is 7 years old when the film begins, is eager to help change the world for other trans kids and, with her parents’ support, becomes a high-profile advocate, and National Geographic even features her picture on the cover of their issue on gender. Over the years, Avery grows wary of being in the public eye and makes her feelings known as she decides to pursue a different course.
Leena, who we meet at age 15, takes her family and best friend on an unexpected emotional journey as she becomes increasingly uncomfortable with adolescence. As Leena deals with the disappointment of her first love and works towards becoming a fashion model, she also experiences her personal goal of gender confirmation surgery when she turns 19.
Phoenix, who is a self-proclaimed “girl-boy” at 4 years old and later identifies as a girl but ultimately identifies as male by age 7. As Phoenix’s gender fluidity impacts the entire family, parents Molly and Zach struggle with their marriage and differing views on how to be the best parents to Phoenix.
One of the children, Jay, chooses to conceal his identity from a friend, as you might guess when it is revealed it doesn’t go well and the friendship breaks. It is not uncommon for transgender people not to immediately reveal their identities.
“It’s natural for us because we’re scared so much,” Jay stated in the documentary.
The oldest filming of the documentary is Leena, who dreams of a model career, who is seen heartily shopping for swimwear with her father. Later, viewers get to witness how his first relationship fails. Leena also talks about sex correction surgery. In between the stories of the families, transgressive public speeches from politicians and Youtube channels have been cut, reminiscent of the reality that prevails in America.
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TO BE WHO I AM
In 2006 the Human Rights Commission launched the world's first inquiry by a national human rights institution into discrimination experienced by transgender people.
The focus was on three areas: experiences of discrimination, access to health services, and barriers to legal recognition of gender status. The Inquiry process placed emphasis on participation of and accountability to the widest possible range of trans people.
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NEW ZEALAND's OWN BEN: TRANSGENDER AT 10 YEARS OLD.
Transgender teen co-writes kids' book
A transgender teenager has co-written a children’s book which she hopes helps other trans youngsters.
Florida 14-year-old Jazz Jennings hopes I Am Jazz helps transgender kids who are struggling. You can buy it on Amazon here
"They shouldn't be afraid to step out of their shadows,” she’s told People.
"I hope this book will help them to be who they are and stay true to themselves … I want them to know it's OK to be different and unique, and that they should be proud of themselves and who they are."
Jazz has also featured in a documentary I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition and has incredibly supportive parents.
She is an honorary co-founder of the Transkids Purple Rainbow Foundation who speaks at universities, medical schools, conferences, conventions and symposiums and successfully fought to be able to play girls’ soccer after being banned.
OUR TOP VIDEO's
By Mike Wesley-Smith
Monday 14 Mar 2016 6:57 p.m.
Ben Brockwell-Jones is a remarkable young boy.
Why? Well, Ben was born a girl.
He was born Anoushka-Mei Lewisa Jones and it only took him a few years to realise what was wrong and to recognise that inside, he was male.
He started wearing boys' clothes when he was three.
He is transgender, which simply means he identifies as a male even though he was born female.
It is important to stress that gender identity is separate from a person's sexual orientation -- that usually develops in the second decade of life.
There are many Kiwis like Ben out there. A 2012 survey of 8500 students revealed four of every 100 young people said they were either transgender or unsure of their gender.
Ben is now 10, and with the full support of his family, he is about to face the next step in becoming the gender he wants to be.
Story went to meet Ben to speak to him about his journey so far.
Watch the video for the full Story report.
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