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Trans Community To Rally Against Hate

From: Pōneke Anti-Fascist Coalition and Queer Endurance in Defiance

This Saturday the transgender community, whānau and allies will rally outside Tākina/Wellington Convention Centre starting at 11.30am against anti-trans confederation “Inflection Point NZ,” who are hosting a conference to encourage parliamentarians to restrict trans people’s ability to exist in public space.

“Trans communities are continuing to face attacks from the far-right. As New Zealand First gear up to push their anti-trans bills through Parliament, they are working with pressure groups who are urging them to move faster and go further in pushing transgender people out of public life,” said Pōneke Anti-Fascist Coalition and Queer Endurance in Defiance member Tristian Cordelia.

“NZ First was responsible for the conference booking at Tākina Convention Centre showing the close ties between the Party and this strange association, where people who claim to support women's rights like Rachel Stewart and Jan Rivers are joining forces with fundamentalist conservatives like Brian Tamaki and Bob McCoskrie who have consistently campaigned against women’s and queer rights.”

Cordelia continued, “That these former foes are now joining together shows not only how deep their transphobia runs, but also how desperate they have become! They are afraid of what happens when people have full autonomy over their own bodies, when people free themselves from the shackles of cisnormative binaries and allow themselves to flourish in all their beautiful diversity.”

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Rangi Curtis, Queer Endurance in Defiance member, explained “We are not alone; we have the people on our side. We know that reactionary transphobia doesn’t sit well with most kiwis, who know trans people in their workplaces, whānau, and wider communities. The shadow of the intolerant Victorian society that colonised New Zealand can be seen in these remnants of homophobic and transphobic beliefs, but a bicultural imagining of Aotearoa which blends queer history and transfeminism with kaupapa Māori philosophy and takatāpui activism paints a colourful world I think most of us would love to see - one where no trans child or adult has to fear a bathroom, a sports field, or a classroom.”

Historian and Pōneke Anti-Fascist Coalition member Will Hansen added, “We owe the progress that got us here today to the leaders of our community in the past. From Carmen Rupe to Georgina Beyer, Aotearoa has a proud tradition of whakawāhine leadership, which we honour by continuing to stand united in the face of bigotry. 2024 marks 50 years since the first trans protest on record in Aotearoa, when activists in Ōtautahi held a sit-in to defend their access to public bathrooms during 1974’s Gay Pride Week. Since then, trans communities have only grown stronger. In March last year, when right-wing demagogue Posie Parker tried to rally popular bigotry in Aotearoa, we turned out in historic numbers to prove just how unpopular this imported, reactionary transphobia is - now that New Zealand’s right wing is making us a political issue to rally their voter bases, we need to act again.”

“We are unafraid, we are united, and we are not going anywhere,” said Hansen about the event.

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