So last week we missioned up to Nelson (about an 11 hour drive… have I mentioned that my boyfriend is amazing?? – I don’t drive so he shared the driving duties with one other person, who’s also rad too!) for a queer youth hui. We took up some people from the youth group I’m privileged enough to run, and a few other awesome people. It was a chance for young people across the country to get together, hang out and share ideas and stories about being queer in New Zealand.
I feel all stirred up inside now that I’m back home – I shared some pretty incredible conversations with people, and feel inspired to create change in our small (sometimes smallminded) city of Dunedin, parts of it was really hard, and other parts felt like I had come home.
Sometimes I feel like I get weighted down and anxious about being trans, I feel like it’s a lot to ask people to change their name, and pronoun for me, and feel frustrated as they try and figure out what label to put on Joe and my strange little relationship.
Tuakana is a Maori word for someone older than yourself, and it’s a really beautiful word I’ve only just learnt. Recently, I’ve had two ideas stuck in my head from two very inspiring Tuakana in my life, two people who probably barely know the impact they have on my life. One told me recently to make no apologies, to be, and know that other people will step up to that. The other talked to me about the power of being, and sometimes the way to make change, is simply by being, and being strong in that. I am trying to follow these words.