Rainbow Counsellor Elijah Michel returns to express to offer advice to those attending the peaceful protests in support of trans communities.

For those attending the peaceful protests against the visiting anti-trans speaker in Auckland and Wellington this morning, a few words of wisdom and encouragement:

Stay safe – there are talks of various groups of people who are unkind to others as part of their day job supporting this speaker and her affiliates so be mindful of your surroundings at all times, including traveling to and from the venue


Stay wise – if you are still closeted as such, wear something to hide your face (especially with smart devices and facial recognition capability) and be careful not to potentially “out” others

Stay mindful – as we know, many who speak out the loudest against people with different gender identities and sexual orientations are battling internalised gender dysphoria/homosexuality themselves, projecting their hatred of themselves onto others. Having some awareness of this can help us not to take their hatred personally, and perhaps to even help them be their authentic selves in future

Stay calm – it is natural when defending our reality and our right to exist to be overcome with emotion and that can in turn affect our actions. If you feel yourself heating up, take some deep breaths and find someone safe to hug. It is better to be angry and upset outside than angry and upset in a police cell. People who exude hate are not worth our precious energy, so preserve it for those who do

And last but not least, and perhaps the hardest thing to do…

Stay compassionate – people indoctrinated into religions that exclude others for something outside of their control have little else to base their understanding of humanity on.

I also believe many ciswomen who are not accepting of transwomen in public bathrooms are coming from a place of trauma and therefore fear. This does not condone their words or actions of course but lends a little understanding as to why they behave this way. Obviously, they are uneducated about the effects of HRT, the fact that not every person with a penis is a predator, and that many transwomen are heterosexual and not interested in them on a good day!

Aside from that enjoy the beautiful weather and fresh air, and stand strong together amongst our courageous community and our wonderfully wise allies.