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Wednesday 28 June 2017

Support, finance sought for trans stories book

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 5th January 2017

A primary school teacher and author is hoping people in the glbti communities will assist financially, or by being interviewed for publication of a collection of stories and interviews exploring transgender New Zealanders experiences and lives.

Renee Hollis, is not part of the LGBT community but feels she is well placed to tackle the subject. She is the author of nine photographic books and seven educational e-books and has a keen passion for human rights issues. She says she hopes works like hers will encourage wider New Zealand society to be more accepting and open to gender diversity, commenting “education and awareness is the key to ending transphobia”.

Hollis’s particular focus on transgender rights comes after a tumultuous year for the transgender community. Just recently Transgender Day of Remembrance on November the 20th mourned the 226 trans people around the world who lost their lives to transphobic violence in 2016.

While lgbti New Zealanders enjoy rights denied to many lgbti people in other parts of the world, New Zealand is by no means perfect. Incidents of homophobic and transphobic violence are still unfortunately commonplace. “In New Zealand there's a bubble of people that think that because we've got the civil union were really great people but because we have such a strong notion of that, there's all this stuff that's happening under the surface that people don't realise or see,” says rainbow youth campaigner Sam Shore. “These things happen all the time. All the time. People getting kicked out of home after coming out to their parents and we've still got people being sent to corrective places."

Hollis says the key to ending homophobic behaviour is education and awareness, which is what her project aims to do. She intends to interview a diverse range of transgender, fa'afafine, and takatāpui New Zealanders who are willing to share their stories.

Each interview will be condensed to 2,000- 3,000 words and Hollis aims for the project to get started in later this year.

People who would like to support this project financially or who are interested in being interviewed can contact Hollis at .

[Editor's note: An earlier version of this news story stated that Hollis is a teacher at a Christian school. Renee has advised this was not accurate.]

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