An open letter to Aotearoa from Takatāpui and LGBTIQ whānau

Dear Aotearoa,

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those that live on these lands to stand with us against all oppression that is targeted at people who do not conform to outdated views of sexuality and gender identity.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.

Ngā manaakitanga,

1. Associate Professor Leonie Pihama, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Māhanga, Ngā Māhanga a Tairi, Director, Te Kotahi Research Institute
2. Dr Alison Green, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Ranginui, CEO Te Whaariki Takapou
3. Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, Whānau a Kai, Ngāti Oneone, Te Aitanga a Mahaki. Rongowhakaata, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Founder/Chair, Tiwhanawhana Trust
4. Usufonoimanū Pesetā Betty Siō
5. Annette Sykes, Ngati Pikiao Ngati Makino, Te Arawa, Activist Lawyer
6. Julia Whaipooti, Ngāti Porou, Senior Advisor, Office of the Children’s Commissioner
7. Dr Tawhanga Nopera, Te Arawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa
8. Sharon Hawke, Ngāti Whatua
9. Maree Sheehan, Ngāti Maniapoto-Waikato, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Musician/Composer
10. Associate Professor Mera Penehira, Ngāti Raukawa, Rangitāne, Ngai Te Rangi, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi
11. Phylesha Brown-Acton, Director, F’INE Pasifika Aotearoa
12. Te Ringahuia Hata, He uri nā Te Whakatōhea, Tūhoe, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui
13. Renae Maihi, Filmmaker
14. Gina Cole, Writer
15. Laura O’Connell Rapira, Te Ātiawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whakaue, Te Rarawa, Director of ActionStation
16. Joel Walsham, Artist
17. Frankie Hill – Musician and small business owner
18. Kristin Smith, Co-director Kūwaha Ltd
19. Lexie Matheson ONZM, Academic Equity Leader, AUT University
20. Sarah Jane Parton, postgraduate student, Victoria University. Tongareva (Cook Islands), Tahiti
21. Scout Barbour-Evans, parent, student and youth worker, Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa and Ngāti Porou
22. Geraint Scott, Train Driver
23. Sally Dellow, Senior Scientist Engineering Geology
24. Manisha Morar, student, Tauiwi
25. Emilie Rākete, Ngāpuhi and Te Rarawa. Postgraduate student and community organiser
26. Kendra Cox. Te Ure o Uenukukōpako, Te Whakatōhea, Ngai Tūhoe, Ngāti Porou. Community organiser and social work student
27. Sandy Hildebrandt, BA, BSc, PGDipSci – Environmental Management
28. Kate McIntyre, community organiser
29. Merran Lawler, Kaiarahi, Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga/National Network of Stopping Violence Services
30. Chaz Harris and Adam Reynolds, co-founders of Promised Land Tales
31. Aatir Zaidi, Chairperson EquAsian
32. Kassie Hartendorp, Ngāti Raukawa, ActionStation and Tīwhanawhana Trust
33. Whetū Bennett, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Hāu, Tainui
34. Fetū-o-le-moana Teuila Tamapeau, Makefu (Niuē) , Fagaloa (Sāmoa), Content Publisher Auckland Council and Freelance Digital Moana Navigator
35. Henry Laws, community organiser
36. Tabby Besley, Managing Director InsideOUT
37. Toni Duder, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu and RainbowYOUTH
38. Morgan Butler, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Tainui and Te Rarawa
39. Anne Waapu, Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Ātihaunui a Pāpārangi
40. Nishhza Thiruselvam, Eelam Tamil, postgraduate student, community organiser, Tauiwi
41. Hans Landon-Lane, Performer & Communications Advisor
42. Jack Byrne, human rights researcher, TransAction
43. Will Hansen, history postgraduate student and Lesbian and Gay Archives of NZ trustee
44. Bell Murphy, Feminist Self Defence Teacher and PhD Candidate in Gender Studies
45. Kay Jones, Independent Contractor, Facilitator Wellington Bisexual Women’s Group
46. Angelo Libeau, Crisis Support Worker & Development Coordinator – Rape Crisis Dunedin
47. Max Tweedie, New Zealand AIDS Foundation
48. Tommy Hamilton – re.frame project collaborator
49. Stace Robertson, All of Us Project + re.frame
50. Anya Satyanand, The Prince’s Trust New Zealand
51. Nicole Skews-Poole, activist and campaigner
52. Robyn Vella Facilitator Auckland
53. Sam Sutherland, Computer Analyst
54. Philip Wills (Kāi Tahu), Student
55. Bronte Perry, Technician
56. Val Smith, Educator and Artist
57. Christian Rika, Digital media specialist, Ngāpuhi me Ngāti Porou
58. Associate Professor Dr. Taima Moeke-Pickering, Ngati Pukeko/Ngai Tuhoe, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
59. Murphy, Journalist
60. Dr Clive Aspin, Ngāti Maru, Suicide Mortality Review Committee
61. Matai Smith, Rongowhakaata, Ngai Taamanuhiri, Ngāti Kahungunu, Broadcaster
62. Steve Lovett, Elam School of Fine Arts
63. Elizabeth Wiltshire, Cross-Agency Rainbow Network
64.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
65. Ricardo Menéndez March, Auckland Action Against Poverty Coordinator
66.Dr Huhana Hickey MNZM MInstD, Crown director, consultant and advocate, Tainui (Ngati Tahinga),Whakatohea
67. Matt Jackson, HR Manager
68. 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
69. Peter R F Thomas, Te Rarawa and Ngāpuhi
70. Eriata D Peri, Te Mahirehure
71. Laura
Dr Donna Campbell. Ngāpuhi and Ngati Ruanui, Senior Lecturer, University of Waikato
72. Dr. A.W. Peet, NZ citizen, Professor of Physics, University of Toronto
73.Riki Anderson Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tamatea, Ngāti Marau, Lead Te Atakura Coach, Te Pae Mātauranga ki te Ao
74. Wetini Paul, Community Based Researcher, Te Whāriki Takapou, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāi Tūhoe
75. Dr Lynne Russell, Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu, Senior Research Fellow, Victoria University of Wellington
76. Samantha Higgs, Early Intervention Teacher, B.Ed, Dip. Tchg. ECE, Grad Dip. Ed Psych, Grad Dip. Early Intervention, Pākehā/Tauiwi
77. Creek Waddington, Ngāti Pākehā /Tauiwi (Irish, mostly), radio presenter with Quilted Bananas collective
78. Suzi Paige MBA, Operations Manager and Entrepreneur
79. Zoë Elizabeth Hayes, Ngāti Uoneone, Ngāti Tautahi, Ngāpuhi, Funding and Resource Coordinator at Rape Crisis Dunedin
80. Associate Professor Terryann Clark, Ngāpuhi, University of Auckland
81. Lex Davis, Te Rarawa, Trustee Kauhkura Charitable Trust
82. 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 that 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 those in your whānau, communities, networks.
Ngā manaakitanga.

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