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Female to male transition gave me ‘super-powers’

MEDIA RELEASE | 6 November 2017

Female to male transition gave me ‘super-powers’ Wellington TEDx event told

“Since coming out, my driving has improved, people laugh more at my jokes and I’m a better leader...” says Alfie, a transman who was born female.

Alfie spoke at a workshop aiming to broaden gender conversations at the TEDxWellingtonWomen’s event on Saturday. More than 100 delegates attended the afternoon of ‘mind food’ at the St James Theatre.

Explaining how his experience was a stark lesson in how differently women and men are treated in society, Alfie said: “It’s like I gained all these ‘super-powers’ overnight just because I had transitioned to male.”

Event co-organiser, Hannah Wignall says, “We all have the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes figuratively. However, Alfie has experienced this first hand and is determined to educate people on the, often subconscious way we treat people depending on where they sit on the gender spectrum.”

The event, affiliated with the popular TED Talks in America, is part of the annual series that focus on women. The Wellington audience took part in workshops and watched, via a big screen, speakers that had just completed their talks the day before in New Orleans.

Producer and TEDxWellingtonWomen licence holder, DK, says: “ TEDxWellingtonWomen forged a new approach to highlight the importance of everyone being a part of the conversation: most tickets were sold as doubles with the request that buyers brought someone with them that identified as having a different gender.”

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Organisers took this gender-parity approach with the aim of getting more ‘voices and ears around the table’ to be involved in important conversations such as sexual harassment, pay equity, and discrimination based on gender and race.

Alfie helped lead a workshop on behalf of InsideOut, a group that works to make Aotearoa a safer place for young people of minority genders and sexualities.

A second workshop was run by CoLiberate a new Wellington ‘mental health gym’, in association with main event activation partner, Powershop – this aims to get people thinking about maintaining their mental health with the same attention they pay to their physical health.

Wellington City Council was a major sponsor of the event.

Fans can follow TEDxWellington on Twitter, Facebook or sign up for emails on the website for news about tickets and other updates.


About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today's leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED's annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Monica Lewinsky, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a "wish," or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

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