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

 
Gold For RNZ: Muslim Post-9/11 Series, Kim Hill Win In New York

The Radio New Zealand podcast series Public Enemy has won a gold award for excellence for its presenter, Mohamed Hassan, at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards announced in Manhattan today. RNZ National’s Saturday Morning host, Kim Hill, also received a gold award for Best Radio Personality. More>>

Human Rights Commission: Give Nothing To Racism

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. More>>

Louis Vuitton Series Win: Emirates Team NZ Will Challenge For The America’s Cup

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match starting next weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Monterey: Rodger Fox Big Band Invited To Celebrated Festival

The Rodger Fox Big Band has received an invitation to perform at the 2017 Monterey 60th Anniversary Jazz Festival in the USA in September of this year. More>>

AntARTica: Scientist’s Painting Discovered In Antarctic Hut

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust has discovered an almost perfectly preserved 118 year old watercolour painting among penguin-excrement, dust and mould covered papers found in an historic hut at Cape Adare, Antarctica. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Set In Stone

Tthere are over a thousand public war memorials scattered around the country, commemorating over 30,000 New Zealanders who have died in wartime, and most of whom are buried overseas. More>>>More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland