An open letter to Aotearoa from 50+ Takatāpui and LGBTIQ whānau
We need to talk.
We write this letter to voice our profound concern at the hatred and abusive bullying that continues to be targeted at Takatāpui and LGBTIQ people in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Over the past few months we have seen continued homophobic and transphobic attacks upon our communities. We should not have to, and will not, tolerate such abuse.
We ask those that live on these lands to stand with us against all oppression that is targeted at people who do not conform to outdated views of sexuality and gender identity. We ask that you do not tolerate hatred in any form and to speak up when you see and hear it.
We ask you to remember we are your mokopuna, grandchildren, tupuna, grandparents, whaea, papa, mothers, fathers, tuakana, teina, tuahine, tungane, sisters, brothers, cousins, whanaunga, friends, colleagues, neighbours.
We wish to speak now to Takatāpui and LGBTIQ people who, like us, live with the homophobic and transphobic comments that are made by people who want to do us harm. In signing this letter we are voicing our aroha for you all, for us all.
We stand visibly so that you all know that we are here. So that those rangatahi and young people who are looking to see people who will stand up for Takatāpui and LGBTIQ rights know that we are here.
We stand visibly so that those who may be struggling with issues of acceptance know that we are here. That we are Takatāpui and LGBTIQ. That you are not alone. That being Takatāpui and LGBTIQ is something that is beautiful, strong, political, cultural, social, fun, loving, caring, intelligent, sacred, honoured, and powerful.
We stand visibly so that you see that we are from all over the country, that we are from all cultures and ethnic groups, that we do all kinds of work and that we are everywhere.
We are visible so you see us and so that you know we are here and we will speak back to all that continue to perpetrate pain and trauma on Takatāpui and LGBTIQ people because of who we are and who we choose to live our lives with as lovers and partners.
Being visible at a time when there is an increase in homophobia and transphobia is an important stand to take by those that can take such a stand.
One of the key aims of such abusive bullying is to silence those who are victimised by the impact of the hatred. But we will not be silenced. Nor will we let such views go unanswered.
If we are to make this country safe for Takatāpui and LGBTIQ people and their whānau then we must say no to homophobia and transphobia, and we must do it now.
- Associate Professor Leonie Pihama, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Māhanga, Ngā Māhanga a Tairi, Director, Te Kotahi Research Institute
- Dr Alison Green, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Ranginui, CEO Te Whaariki Takapou
- Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, Whānau a Kai, Ngāti Oneone, Te Aitanga a Mahaki. Rongowhakaata, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Founder/Chair, Tiwhanawhana Trust
- Usufonoimanū Pesetā Betty Siō
- Annette Sykes, Ngati Pikiao Ngati Makino, Te Arawa, Activist Lawyer
- Julia Whaipooti, Ngāti Porou, Senior Advisor, Office of the Children’s Commissioner
- Dr Tawhanga Nopera, Te Arawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa
- Sharon Hawke, Ngāti Whatua
- Maree Sheehan, Ngāti Maniapoto-Waikato, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Musician/Composer
- Associate Professor Mera Penehira, Ngāti Raukawa, Rangitāne, Ngai Te Rangi, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi
- Phylesha Brown-Acton, Director, F’INE Pasifika Aotearoa
- Te Ringahuia Hata, He uri nā Te Whakatōhea, Tūhoe, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui
- Renae Maihi, Filmmaker
- Gina Cole, Writer
- Laura O’Connell Rapira, Te Ātiawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whakaue, Te Rarawa, Director of ActionStation
- Joel Walsham, Artist
- Frankie Hill — Musician and small business owner
- Kristin Smith, Co-director Kūwaha Ltd
- Lexie Matheson ONZM, Academic Equity Leader, AUT University
- Sarah Jane Parton, postgraduate student, Victoria University. Tongareva (Cook Islands), Tahiti
- Scout Barbour-Evans, parent, student and youth worker, Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa and Ngāti Porou
- Geraint Scott, Train Driver
- Sally Dellow, Senior Scientist Engineering Geology
- Manisha Morar, student, Tauiwi
- Emilie Rākete, Ngāpuhi and Te Rarawa. Postgraduate student and community organiser
- Kendra Cox. Te Ure o Uenukukōpako, Te Whakatōhea, Ngai Tūhoe, Ngāti Porou. Community organiser and social work student
- Sandy Hildebrandt, BA, BSc, PGDipSci — Environmental Management
- Kate McIntyre, community organiser
- Merran Lawler, Kaiarahi, Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga/National Network of Stopping Violence Services
- Chaz Harris and Adam Reynolds, co-founders of Promised Land Tales
- Aatir Zaidi, Chairperson EquAsian
- Kassie Hartendorp, Ngāti Raukawa, ActionStation and Tīwhanawhana Trust
- Whetū Bennett, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Hāu, Tainui
- Fetū-o-le-moana Teuila Tamapeau, Makefu (Niuē) , Fagaloa (Sāmoa), Content Publisher Auckland Council and Freelance Digital Moana Navigator
- Henry Laws, community organiser
- Tabby Besley, Managing Director InsideOUT
- Toni Duder, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu and RainbowYOUTH
- Morgan Butler, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Tainui and Te Rarawa
- Anne Waapu, Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Ātihaunui a Pāpārangi
- Nishhza Thiruselvam, Eelam Tamil, postgraduate student, community organiser, Tauiwi
- Hans Landon-Lane, Performer & Communications Advisor
- Jack Byrne, human rights researcher, TransAction
- Will Hansen, history postgraduate student and Lesbian and Gay Archives of NZ trustee
- Bell Murphy, Feminist Self Defence Teacher and PhD Candidate in Gender Studies
- Kay Jones, Independent Contractor, Facilitator Wellington Bisexual Women’s Group
- Angelo Libeau, Crisis Support Worker & Development Coordinator — Rape Crisis Dunedin
- Max Tweedie, New Zealand AIDS Foundation
- Tommy Hamilton — re.frame project collaborator
- Stace Robertson, All of Us Project + re.frame
- Anya Satyanand, The Prince’s Trust New Zealand
- Nicole Skews-Poole, activist and campaigner
- Robyn Vella Facilitator Auckland
- Sam Sutherland, Computer Analyst
- Philip Wills (Kāi Tahu), Student
- Bronte Perry, Technician
- Val Smith, Educator and Artist
- Christian Rika, Digital media specialist, Ngāpuhi me Ngāti Porou
- Associate Professor Dr. Taima Moeke-Pickering, Ngati Pukeko/Ngai Tuhoe, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
- Murphy, Journalist
- Dr Clive Aspin, Ngāti Maru, Suicide Mortality Review Committee
- Matai Smith, Rongowhakaata, Ngai Taamanuhiri and Ngāti Kahungunu , Broadcaster
- Steve Lovett, Elam School of Fine Arts
- Elizabeth Wiltshire, Cross-Agency Rainbow Network
- Dr Keri Lawson-Te Aho, Lecturer/Researcher, University of Otago, Wellington School of Medicine, Ngāti Kahungunu; Rongomaiwāhine, Rongowhakaata; Ngāi Tāhu; Ngāti Manawa; Ngāi Tūhoe; Ngāti Pahauwera; Ngāti Irakehu, Ngāi Tarewa, Samoan, Tahitian
- Ricardo Menéndez March, Auckland Action Against Poverty Coordinator
- Dr Huhana Hickey MNZM MInstD, Crown director, consultant and advocate, Tainui (Ngati Tahinga) and Whakatohea
- Matt Jackson, HR Manager
- Te Miha Ua, Ngāti Te Kanawa, Ngāti Uenukukopako, Ngāti Rangiteaorere, Ngāti Rakaiwhakairi, Wairarapa Moana Hapū, Te Runanga o Awarua, Ph.D Candidate and Public Servant
- Peter R F Thomas, Operations Manager Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services, Board Director Te Rarawa Anga Mua and;
- Lifetime partner Eriata D Peri, Independent Traffic, Te Mahurere
- Dr Donna Campbell. Ngāpuhi and Ngati Ruanui, Senior Lecturer, University of Waikato
- Dr. A.W. Peet, NZ citizen, Professor of Physics, University of Toronto
- Riki Anderson Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tamatea, Ngāti Marau, Lead Te Atakura Coach, Te Pae Mātauranga ki te Ao
- Wetini Paul, Community Based Researcher, Te Whāriki Takapou, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāi Tūhoe
- Dr Lynne Russell, Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu, Senior Research Fellow, Victoria University of Wellington
- Samantha Higgs, Early Intervention Teacher, B.Ed, Dip. Tchg. ECE, Grad Dip. Ed Psych, Grad Dip. Early Intervention, Pākehā/Tauiwi
- Creek Waddington, Ngāti Pākehā /Tauiwi (Irish, mostly), radio presenter with Quilted Bananas collective
- Suzi Paige MBA, Operations Manager and Entrepreneur
- Zoë Elizabeth Hayes, Ngāti Uoneone, Ngāti Tautahi, Ngāpuhi, Funding and Resource Coordinator at Rape Crisis Dunedin
- Associate Professor Terryann Clark, Ngāpuhi, University of Auckland
- Lex Davis, Te Rarawa, Trustee Kauhkura Charitable Trust
- Dr Nathaniel Thomas Swire, Medical Practitioner
We thank all who have added their names to this letter since publication. We have closed that option now given the time it takes to continue to update.
However please make yourselves and your support visible in ways that work for you and share the letter with your whānau, communities, networks.
Leonie and Laura.
This letter has also been published on Dr Leonie Pihama’s blog here.