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Takatāpui resource first of it's kind in the world

Mon 30 Nov 2015 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

A groundbreaking Takatāpui resource may be the first in the world to offer information about suicide prevention and wellbeing for indigenous LGBTI people. Acknowledging that Takatāpui embraces all Maori with diverse gender identities and sexualities and is based based on whakapapa, mana, identity and inclusion, the new resource is is based on the PHD work of Elizabeth Kerekere, which focuses on takatāpui histories and identity. Takatāpui: Part of the Whanau is a collaboration between Wellington based Takatāpui community group Tīwhanawhana and the Mental Health Foundation. Tīwhanawhana’s primary purpose is to build the takatāpui community, telling it’s stories and leave a legacy that will inspire others. This is the first time the two organisations have worked together. Judi Clements, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation says the Mental Health Foundation identified a need for a resource that spoke specifically to takatāpui, their friends and whānau. “We found that there was a real gap in information and visibility for takatāpui – people who work with this community have found that there was very little information that spoke directly to them, and this can result in some myths and inaccuracies being circulated,” she says. “Takatāpui are at particularly high risk of suicide and suicidal behaviour because they can experience double discrimination,” says Clements. “Takatāpui experience health inequalities associated with being Māori and they also face homophobia and transphobia from within whānau, hapū and iwi as well as from wider New Zealand society. “On top of this, Takatāpui can also experience discrimination and racism from within the wider ‘rainbow’ or LGBTI communities in Aotearoa.” The resource will be supported by a series of videos featuring five takatāpui speaking of their experiences, the kinds of support they have needed, how they navigated their place in the world and, where relevant, on their marae. Clements says the interviews discuss the positive aspects of being takatāpui, and how the individuals have coped with feelings of distress. The series will emphasise the importance of not denying takatāpui connection to their culture and community. The resource is available to download here.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 30th November 2015 - 11:02am

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