Story: Gender diversity


Starring Elz Carrad, the 2020 New Zealand web series and feature film Rūrangi told the story of Caz’s return to his former home in small-town New Zealand. Written by queer activist Cole Meyers, and directed by Max Currie, the film was made by trans and gender-diverse people both in front of and behind the cameras. The story deliberately avoided the clichés of past representations of trans people. Meyers said in an interview in 2020:

So much of trans representation is filtered through or created by cis [non-transgender] people’s understandings of our lives. Which means it’s a case of not seeing ourselves, or not seeing ourselves from the inside – of always seeing ourselves through other people’s eyes. It’s really hard to recognise our truths or value our truths if we are constantly being told that the right way to be “ourselves” is to be what other people want, to judge ourselves by what makes sense to other people.

These inaccurate representations of us can range from confusing – or just not that helpful – to actively dangerous or lethal. In the sense of both violence done to us by systems, structures and individuals and the self-harm from the tragic or hopeless (or non-existent) possibilities we see for our futures.

Interview in Mindfood, 21 July 2020


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How to cite this page:

Johanna Schmidt, 'Gender diversity - Transgender/transsexual people', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 March 2023)

Story by Johanna Schmidt, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 4 May 2021 with assistance from Gender Minorities Aotearoa