Teen Pride: I felt like I was 'incomplete'
What does Pride mean to you?Share your stories, photos and videos.
What does Pride mean to you?
As part of Auckland Pride Festival, five fearless teenagers will perform their heartfelt stories in Teen Faggots Come To Life.
We asked them to share their journeys as young, gay, transgender, fa'afafine, fakaleiti and bisexual Māori and Pacific Island artists. This is Raukawa's story.
My name is Raukawa. My piece is called "Takatapui" and it's about the exploration of sexuality, femininity and culture in my journey as a young Maori.
My life was pretty normal; a supportive family, good education, and being comfortable financially. But one thing always made it feel like I was incomplete.
Growing up as a person who doesn't know who they really are is quite a scary thing. Not knowing if wearing a dress or playing with a doll is right, why people bully you for just being who you are , or when your body changes into something that comes out of a horror movie, are just some examples of how life was for me.
I was "different" and it was quite hard as a Maori youth growing up in a place that was so close-minded.
Even my own family was hesitant to talk about my "difference" and it kind of made it worse for me.
I had nothing to really attach myself to and I became a bubble floating in a thunderstorm.
It's a weird thing to say, but I only knew "gay" when I was little because that was the only thing I was exposed to, so I called myself that.
But it didn't feel right because I knew I was something more. Only until I met one transgender woman did my eyes open to the LGBT community and I finally found an answer.
The process for Teen Faggots Come To Life has been quite tough because of the travelling I have to do, going back and forth from Rotorua to Auckland. But otherwise the rehearsals have been really great and the support from the other performers made it easier for me to work this piece during my travels.
I developed this piece last year at drama school. It was hard for me to create something on stage that represents my life.
It's no easy task when you have to open yourself up to strangers, yet I managed to pull it together and perform it in front of an audience and it was a success.
It's now been a year and I finally have a chance to perform it again but this time it will be stronger, it will be better and it will blow you away. Enjoy.
Teen Faggots Come To Life plays Thursday 13 - Saturday 15 February, 7pm The Basement
Studio, Lower Greys Avenue, Auckland City.