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“You’re the One That Was on Uncle’s Wall!”: Identity, Whanaungatanga and Connection for Takatāpui (LGBTQ+ Māori)

Logan Hamley, Shiloh Groot, Jade Le Grice, Ashlea Gillon, Lara Greaves, Madhavi Manchi, Terryann Clark

2021 Aotearoa New Zealand

Takatāpui (Māori LGBTIQ+) challenge static notions of relationality and belonging or whanaungatanga for Māori. Explorations of Māori and LGBTIQ+ identity can often polarise experiences of family as either nurturing spaces or sites comprised of actors of spiritual and physical violence. However, such framing ignores the ways in which cultural practices for establishing rela- tionality for takatāpui extend beyond dichotomies of disconnection or connection within families and into spaces of new potential. In this paper we outline a bricoleur research praxis rooted in Māori ways of being which underpins the research. We engage in photo-poetry as an analytic tool, constructing poetry from our interviews with Waimirirangi, a twenty-year-old whakawahine (Māori term for trans woman or trans femme) and bring them into conversation with the images she provided as part of the broader research project. As the interface between her ancestors and future generations, Waimirirangi demonstrates the potentiality of whanaungatanga as a restorative practice for enhancing takata ̄pui wellbeing.

takatāpui; Indigenous LGBTIQ+ identities; re-membering; photo-poetry; case study; whanaungatanga; relationality