Nau Mai Haere Mai

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Being an ally

Respecting people for who they are, being inclusive, and encouraging others to do the same, can mean a lot in today’s world. Friends, whānau and community members can play a huge role in supporting sexuality and gender diverse people.

Scroll through the info below to find out how you can provide the best support to your rainbow communities.


Tautoko (supporting) someone who has come out to you

If a person is disclosing their identity or ‘coming out’ to you, it’s likely they will feel nervous, stressed, or uncomfortable, but they clearly trust you with this information. Therefore, it’s really important that you show them care and respect, maintain their trust, and keep this information confidential.

If you’re confused about what you’re being told, don’t worry. You don’t need to fully get it, you just need to be there. This may mean just listening to the other person share how they are feeling, or helping them access support services or talk to other people they care about. Ask them how you can help, and let them decide. 


Showing whakaute (respect) for other people’s identities

Asking a person for their pronouns, and then using them to refer to that person, is a great way to show whakaute (respect) for someone’s identity. If you do use the wrong pronouns for someone, this is called misgendering. It's important to try not to do this. If it does happen, an apology goes a long way.

Sometimes you might have other patai (questions) about a person’s identity. Whether or not you should ask these questions depends on your intentions. Why do you need to know this information? If it is so you can address somebody in the right way, or get to know them a little better, that's okay. It’s not necessary to ask people about their genitalia, or whether they’ve had gender reassignment surgery. Remember to be ngāwari  (kind) and ngākau aroha (compassionate).

If you are curious about something that is related to gender identity or sexuality, try doing some research first. InsideOUT has some great Youtube videos about Aotearoa's rainbow communities. 

Tangohia te wero – take up the challenge! Use this app, or jump online, and do some research to get clued up on all things gender and sexuality.

Making your kura (school) or wāhi mahi (workplace) more inclusive


How can you make your kura (school) or wāhi mahi (workplace) more inclusive?

  • Use, and encourage others to use, gender neutral language.

  • Normalise the asking and sharing of personal pronouns, and make sure that people are addressed with the correct pronouns.

  • Create a class or workplace guideline that states everyone must be treated with respect, regardless of their gender, sex, or sexual orientation.

  • Support campaigns and events that celebrate trans and intersex people, like Schools Pride Week, Out on the Shelves, Pink Shirt Day and Intersex Awareness Day.

  • Set up a student-led or employee-led rainbow diversity group, or queer-straight alliance (QSA) to provide peer support for your fellow rainbow students/employees. InsideOUT has an awesome resource to help make this happen. Check it out below.
  • Display visual representations celebrating sexuality and gender diversity, like posters that show same-gender couples or messages that affirm intersex and gender diverse people. InsideOUT has some awesome posters that are free to download:
  • Call out any discriminatory behaviour, comments, or put-downs around someone’s gender or sexuality. Challenge harmful language like when people use the term 'gay' in a negative way or as an insult. If you witness homophobic or transphobic bullying and discrimination, report it to your kaiako (teacher) or pāhi (boss).