Transgender New Zealanders

Transgender and gender diverse are umbrella terms that cover a wide variety of gender identities. We will use the word transgender in this section, although we acknowledge you may identify a different way.

Other words that people might use to describe their gender identity, including Māori and Pacific terms include aikāne, akava’ine, fa’afafine, faafatama, fakafifine, fakaleiti, gender diverse, genderqueer, māhū, non-binary, palopa, takatāpui, tangata ira tāne, trans, transsexual, vakasalewalewa and whakawahine.

Not all transgender people want to conform to binary gender norms. Gender diverse people may identify as binary or non-binary. Each person’s gender expression (how they present to the world) is unique. Individual transition goals may include different aspects of social, medical or surgical care.

Some gender diverse people experience distress as a result of the discrepancy between their gender identity and the sex that they were assigned at birth (often referred to as gender dysphoria). Timely access to gender-affirming health care can relieve distress.

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