Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


What’s it Like Being Transgender in New Zealand?

Media Release 8 July 2013

What’s it Like Being Transgender in New Zealand?

A New Kiwi Play Aims to Start the Conversation

Last Summer while many of us were enjoying some of the best weather in years, Robert Gilbert was interviewing transgender New Zealanders in Auckland.

The Christchurch director, playwright and Rangi Ruru’s Director of Theatre Arts, is developing a play that explores the world of transgender New Zealanders in contemporary society, and is using group funding to get it off the ground. www.boosted.org.nz/projects/trans-tasmin

“There are very few theatre plays that look at transgender issues which is curious when themes around cross-dressing, androgyny and transgender have been around for thousands of years, and were explored in the earliest of written theatre literature, for example The Bacchae by Euripides,” he says.

With the working title TRANS TASMIN, the play is almost at the stage where it can be workshopped and further developed however to do this, Gilbert must raise $6000 by August 11th.

“Boosted is an all-or-nothing fundraising model; the project needs to raise 100% of the money to get funded or it doesn’t happen,” he says.

Gilbert became interested in the topic when a friend underwent gender change, he observed that society and even the law were largely ignorant of the real issues facing transgender people and their families.

“I wanted to look at the way society sees Transgenders, how they see themselves – both before and after. We still seem to see men becoming women as slightly comedic, a la Mrs Brown,” he says. “We are still freaked out. You’d think in 2013 we could just treat people as people.”

TRANS TASMIN which will look at discrimination in New Zealand society, misunderstandings and fears about the transgender community, will be presented in a theatrically challenging context by including aspects of Euripides' The Baachae within the text. One of characters is Tasmin Mahika, a Māori transgender woman of Ngai Tahu descent. She is completely comfortable with herself as a woman. It is others who struggle with her gender identity, once they find out.

“It’s my intention to write a play where the issues of gender role, and transgenderism in contemporary society are seen against a backdrop of an ancient Greek Tragedy. The scenes will be linked by the character Simon Greenwood, who is a first year university student studying The Bacchae. He is able to view his own contemporary challenges of having a transgender girlfriend against the gender-role themes in The Bacchae,” says Gilbert.

The playwright hopes that audiences will come away with a greater understanding of the transgender community, and perhaps have more tolerance and compassion for New Zealanders who are different to them.

“TRANS TASMIN is not going to hit people over the head with the issues, it allows real people to tell their stories in a way that many who know little about the transgender world, can understand and even empathise with,” he says.
ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Cricket: Dramatic Win Puts Black Caps In Finals

In Parliament: When Parliament resumed at 2pm the House passed a motion on a voice vote admiring the performance of the New Zealand cricket team in last night’s World Cup semi-final and wishing them well for the final on the weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Moon Shot/Kills Switch: The X Factor Judges Removed

MediaWorks has today decided that Natalia Kills and Willie Moon are no longer suitable to judge The X Factor and have removed them from the show. MediaWorks CEO, Mark Weldon, said that last night on The X Factor both Kills and Moon made comments that were completely unacceptable. More>>

ALSO:

Tessa Nichol: Up Up & Away In The Wairarapa

It’s an overcast morning in the Wairarapa but the mood on the ground in Carterton’s Carrington Park is anything but grey. More than 20 hot air balloons are getting ready to take off into the cloudy sky to mark the start of this year’s Wairarapa Balloon Festival. More>>

Golden Shears: Scotsman Wins Golden Shears Open Final

A Scottish shearer who settled in New Zealand to farm in Taranaki has become the first shearer from overseas to win the Golden Shears Open Shearing Championship. More>>

ALSO:

Shipped On A Bottle: Young Change-Makers Take To The Sea On Plastic Bottle Kayaks

With the aim of harnessing innovative design to construct kayaks solely from recycled materials, the “waste positive” project Plastic Bottle Kayak brings adventure into Kiwi classrooms. The call is out now for classrooms to send in messages and artwork to be inserted into the bottles. More>>

TV3 Video: Auckland Arts Festival Kicks Off

The Auckland Arts Festival kicks off March 4, with artists from New Zealand and all over the world on show. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news