Queer and Here is a six-part video series showing the many faces of Aotearoa's rainbow community, supported by NZ On Air. You can watch the short version here and the full episode on Māori Television on Thursday nights. In episode five, director Ramon Te Wake talks about the importance of protection.
Protection. It's a word that holds a lot of mana for me. I feel like it's something you have to put in a lot of time and care to really get right. To really understand its purpose. But once you're in it, it's hard not to shape your life around it.
I've been fortunate enough to have a protective family and sisterhood around me since I was young. It has kept me grounded, safe and sane. Growing up trans, you need all the love and support you can get to survive. To be fair, I don't know where I'd be without it. It's also taught me to value the things that matter to me. Like family and relationships, community, our stories and our histories. To me, protection is what defines our series Queer & Here. Protecting ourselves each other and our history.
Episode five, as you probably figured out by now, is all about protection. I think it's an important reminder to the community that we must always try to protect each other because there is so much hate and fear and political manipulation out there. Ready to pounce on us at every turn. Trying to take away our humanity.
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We must always try to preserve our history as well. Whether it is through story or documentation. In part one, we meet Will Hansen, a historian in training at LAGANZ (Lesbian and Gay Archives of NZ) who shares with Aniwa a little taste of what LAGANZ does and what it preserves.
Louisa Wall, a string supporter of trans rights, talks about her sporting career - yes, she was a silver and black fern before she was in politics. But it is her legacy that will endure, even though she has recently stepped down as Labour MP.
Aniwa meets Sydney Heremaia, the Rainbow Youth coordinator for Te Tai Tokerau, who shares with us how he works with families to build stronger and more accepting and loving relationships, especially when it comes to their Takataapui kids.
And we meet one of the families that Sydney works with in Ruakaka. It's a powerful story, told from the perspective of the parents. This is a story of acceptance and protection. This is an episode not to be missed.