We all long to belong, but for some of our young people, particularly our LGBTQIA+ and Māori youth, belonging and inclusion is not made easy. How can you work out who you are and where you want to be in the world when when your school community acts like you’re invisible and your gender identity doesn’t connect to your cultural identity?
Intersectionality, or the complexity of having multiple identity labels, can result in people feeling cut into every smaller slices. Lex Davis, Ngāpuhi, educator and takatāpui, discusses one approach helping young people navigate this space. He shares the story of an action research project with young Māōri with diverse gender identities. The research output of that work together is called Ko Tātout Tēnei, This Is Us. This work created space for young people to share their stories and learn about takatāpui, a traditional maori term for people in same sex relationships. For some students learning about takatāpui allowed them to feel integrated and whole – bringing their gender and cultural identities together. As Lex says of this process, ‘it gives you a place to belong, a place to stand’.
Listen to the journey that Lex Davis and Josh Hough facilitated for a group of young people and the amazing recource they created to support and challenge schools to do better in looking after their LGBTQIA+ communities.
Lex Davis is Ngāpuhi, takatāpui, and an experienced educator. Currently Deputy Principal at Ormiston College, Auckland, in his previous role as Lead Professional Learning Facilitator at CORE Education, Tātai aho rau Lex led equity and wellbeing work to enable and amplify Māori and LGBTQIA+ voices.
Resources and links
Kō Tātou Tēnei – This Is Us: An action research project highlighting the experiences and aspirations of ākonga Māori who identify as rangatahi takatāpui – members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Download your copy.
Takatāpui resource site:
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