30 Nov 2021

Episode 8: Your Questions Answered

From Let's be TRANSparent, 5:00 am on 30 November 2021

Transitioning and exploring one's gender identity is a journey for not only your young person but the whole whanau.

You are not going to wake up one day and have all the answers, there is always going to be more questions.

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Joe and Pauline Stockhausen get your questions about gender transitioning answered Photo: Supplied

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What do you do when your extended family are struggling to be supportive of your young person's transition?

When Chris and Jo's pre-school child, Jet, came out as transgender her grandparents, Chris' parents, struggled to understand.

“It was really about making sure they understood that this wasn’t a decision that we’d made, it was something driven by Jet,” said Chris.

Sometimes it is about finding a neutral resource that your family members can access that allows them to understand what is happening and that they are not alone, there are millions of people going on the same journey.

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Chris and Jo had to help their extended family understand their daughter's transition Photo: Supplied

What if your child isn’t ready to come out to your whole family, or the reaction to coming out isn’t want they imagined or hoped it would be?

“It’s kind of just rolling with what happens and always prioritising the safety and needs of your child because they are the vulnerable one,” says Ary Jansen from Rainbow Youth.

Ary is no stranger to dealing with families struggling to come to terms with their young person questioning their gender assigned at birth.

“Sometimes it might be helpful to do some of that educating of your parents, brothers or sisters, aunties or uncles, away from the child so that they don’t necessarily have to hear responses they might not like,” he says.

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Rainbow Youth's Ary Jansen says the main thing is to prioritise your child's safety Photo: Supplied

Transitioning, both for the person and their wider whanau isn’t going to happen overnight. It is important to remember this is a process that is going to take time. And despite the initial reactions of family, friends or loved ones, time does tend to make things better.


Useful Links

RainbowYOUTH - Rrovide support, information, resources & advocacy for Aotearoa’s 
queer, gender diverse, takatāpui and intersex youth.

Outline - An all-ages rainbow mental health organisation providing support to the rainbow community, their friends, whānau, and those questioning. 0800 OUTLINE

Gender Minorities Aotearoa - A nationwide transgender organisation. It is run by and for transgender people; including binary and non-binary, intersex, and irawhiti takatāpui.


You can also find more information on the Let's Be TRANSparent website

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Or email us at joseph@transparentpodcast.nz


Let's Be TRANSparent was made by Motuihe Group for RNZ

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Photo: Supplied

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