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Transgender Awareness Day 15 August 2007

Media Statement

13 August 2007

Transgender Awareness Day 15 August 2007

In August 1966, at an all night café called Comptons, in the city of San Francisco, transgendered people for the first time fought back against the harassment, abuse and discrimination heaped on then by the wider community and specifically the local Police.

Claudia McKay, President of Agender NZ says “This is still significant today. Because all transpeople wherever they are, need to acknowledge those who first stood up and said ‘No more’ to the abuses suffered by this community literally for centuries, within western society.”

“A second significance is that in a few weeks the Human Rights Commission will release the results of its enquiry into discrimination against transgender people in Aotearoa New Zealand. We believe that our community is one of the most discriminated against of any minority group in the country and this enquiry, which is the first National enquiry of its type known to be conducted anywhere in the world, will shed light and make recommendations that if acted upon will significantly improve the lives of thousands of transpeople in Aotearoa New Zealand.” She said.

Ms McKay says “Much has changed for transpeople since the rebellion at Comptons Café forty one years ago. Many of those who were there are now dead, those that are alive can say it is easier to live as your true self now, and yet, even now many people in the wider community do not understand, or carry misconceptions about us that all too often shows its ugly side in words and deeds.”

On August 15 we honour our hero’s and challenge New Zealanders to be tolerant of all difference, not just those considered to be politically correct.

We will have a stall erected in Midland Park in Central Wellington on Wednesday from 11am to 2pm where the public can meet and learn from and about the trans community who are, in reality, part of the whole, not some separate unit to be abused and discarded. We contribute to society and want everyone to know it.


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