More than 200 people have donated over $5,000 for pro-inclusive feminism stickers and posters in response to anti-trans messages

PRESS RELEASE: 12 September 2018

In response to a recent increase in anti-trans messages on social media, and a series of stickers spotted on the streets of Wellington, not-for-profit community groups ActionStation, Gender Minorities and InsideOUT have crowdfunded giant posters and stickers that feature messages such as, “trans is beautiful”.

Image: A massive poster in a black frame on a wall on Queen Street in Auckland. The photo is taken from an angle with the poster on the left side, and a footpath that is under construction on the right. On the poster is a black and white illustration of a young pākehā transgender woman looking at the viewer and smiling. There is large pink block text which says trans is beautiful.

“The best way to stop hate toward marginalised and minority groups is to spread love. These posters and stickers are about letting trans people know that we care about them.” says Laura O’Connell Rapira, Director at ActionStation.

The crowdfunding campaign was launched on Tuesday 4 September at 8pm and by Thursday 6 September, the groups had recruited 70 volunteers from all around the county for putting up posters and stickers and raised more than $5,000 for printing and posters.

‘’We’re very touched. We have a lot of confidence in kiwis to care about each other, to do the right thing, to support equality. The fears these anti-trans extremists are promoting are based on bad film plots, not on real people. They are the same fears some had about gay men 30 years ago, but the homosexual law reform passed and Earth is still turning. Trans people are ordinary, diverse, we’re whānau, we stock your supermarket shelves, drive your ambulances, develop your software. Most of us are very ordinary, and some of us are exceptional characters, but real humans nonetheless,’’ says National Coordinator of Gender Minorities Aotearoa, Ahi Wi-Hongi.

“We hope that the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration (BDMRR) bill for birth certificate changes will be widely supported, so trans people can easily obtain an accurate birth certificate. The current process disadvantages those who don’t know how to navigate the Family Court system, or can’t afford a lawyer to help them. The bill would make it similar to the process for passports, which is what the Human Rights Commission recommends.’’

Since the posters have gone up, Gender Minorities Aotearoa, which is a cross cultural and transgender-led national organisation that assists transgender, intersex and takatāpui people with information and services related to their wellbeing have seen an increase in people reaching out to them.

“These affirming stickers and posters are just a small way to signal to our trans and gender diverse whānau that we see and respect them for who they are,” says Tabby Besley, National Coordinator of InsideOUT. “We hope that the support received through this call to action sends a clear message to them that they are not alone.

“The trans young people we support tell us a lot about the daily discrimination and barriers they face just for being themselves, whether that’s at school, home, work, or when accessing professional services. We know that these experiences have a real impact on people’s wellbeing, and messages that deny trans people’s existence and basic human rights contribute to this harm.”

Trans people experience some of the highest levels of sexual and physical violence in Aotearoa New Zealand and young trans people are five times more likely to attempt suicide.

Image: A massive poster in a green frame on a wall on Karangahape Road in Auckland. The poster takes up the left half of the image, and the right half shows the footpath under a green awning. On the poster is a black and white illustration of a young Māori trans woman looking at the viewer and smiling.There is large pink block text which says trans women are women. Near the bottom is a small Gender Minorities Aotearoa logo which has a transgender symbol in a circle and says Gender Minorities Aotearoa, takatāpui, transgender, and intersex nz. Underneath the logo are 3 URLs genderminorities.com, thegendercentre.com, and takataapui.com
Like what you read? Give ActionStation a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.