Topics: Health, Indigenous

Tu wahine! Transgender and proud

By Mere McLean

Performing for Waioweka, Te Mihinga-a-maru Patterson started the transition to becoming transgender in 2004.  She says if it wasn't for the support of her family, she would not have been able to continue her journey or join the rōpū.

Patterson says "I made the choice to become a transgender in 2004. I was only 11 years old at the time when I became transgender."  

Her strong family support and a passion for Māori performing arts made her transition easier.

"My school at the time was Te Kura Kaupapa motuhake o Tawhiuau under the guidance of Pem Bird, they hold a part of me when I was transiting.  I really want to thank my family whom have nurtured me, my group who have supported me, my parents who are my back-bone, who are always there for me no matter what."  

This will be her first time performing for Te Matatini and it won't be her last.