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The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

YOUR STORIES
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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in NEW ZEALAND...
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Ramez (user currently living in LEBANON) posted for gay readers on 17/07/2014 tagged with illegality of male to male relationships
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Hello dear friends. I'm a 25 years gay from Syria, living now in Lebanon as a refugee. I'm atheist too. As homosexuality and atheism are not allowed in my country I feel very miserable and hope to leave to a free country like New Zealand or other to start a new life. Please let me know if there is any possibility. My e-mail: rmz76@windowslive.com
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LGB people have almost achieved legal equality in New Zealand. M/M sex was decriminalised in 1986. Anti-gay discrimination was added to the Human Rights Act in 1993. The exemption from this anti-discrimination law for the public sector was removed in 2000. We have openly LGT officers serving in the police, and LG officers in the army and navy. We don't have adoption rights or full marriage equality but many younger LGB people don't worry about that.

Bullying at school, especially for transgender young people, is still a big problem. New Zealand has high rates of suicide and of child abuse. Many intersex children report being abused and some are still genitally mutilated without their consent. Invisibility of some problems means that there tens to be media focus on problems when something particularly bad happens, like recent arson attacks on an older lesbian couple's business in a rural community. The violence has led to them leaving that community. Police are still investigating the crime, and many straight people in that community are outraged by the crime.

Life in bigger New Zealand cities is fine for most LGB people, and even for TI people who pass. It is legally OK to be transgender and there is some Government work to improve processes and policies relating to transger people at work and in the health services. Police will investigate crimes against transgender people but there are no laws against hate crimes. NZ was the first country in the Pacific to have a transsexual Member of Parliament. There are only limited public funds for gender reassignment treatments so many transgender people save up for private treament. Some MtF women work as prostitutes to pay for treatment. Prostitution is legal for NZ citizens over 18 years but not for international visitors.
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