A new help­ing role for Amy

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By MON­ICA TISCHLER

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.

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