A new helping role for Amy
Amy Brosnahan didn’t have an easy journey coming out as transgender.
She says she faced criticism from her family, teachers and fellow pupils at high school which made her spiral into depression.
The 18-year-old is now determined to give something back to others in her position.
‘‘I want to help other transgender youth by listening, being there for them and helping them stay in school instead of dropping out.’’
Brosnahan will study to become a youth worker through a course offered by Youthline and is excited to guide other young people struggling to come out with their identity.
The Aucklander developed a soccer ball-sized tumour in her stomach as a result of hormonal treatment last year and will begin the 25-week course once she’s recovered.
Brosnahan came out when she was 15 years old and in year 10 at school. She left the following year and says there’s still a lot of stigma toward transgenders and fa’afafine in schools.
‘‘I was the only white transgender and I did have it hard. There’s so many still in denial and they stand on the line watching the other fa’afafine get mocked. They know if they step over that line, they too will be faced with the mocking.’’
Growing up, Brosnahan always identified as female.
‘‘When I was five I walked into the girls’ bathrooms at school with all my friends and the teacher pulled me out, telling me to use the boys’ one. It was when I was in intermediate that I realised I wasn’t into girls – I wanted to be a girl.’’
She says her family is still struggling to come to terms with it.
Brosnahan made news headlines when she went to the Human Rights Commission after being denied entry into the beauty contest Battle of the Babes because she was transgender. Organisers later reneged and she made it through to the final next month.
Helping others: Amy Brosnahan, 18, didn’t have an easy journey coming out as transgender and is now becoming a youth worker.