Counting Ourselves is an anonymous online survey about the health of trans and non-binary people living in Aotearoa New Zealand. It was designed by and for trans and non-binary people.
This survey has collected information that we hope will improve the lives of people in our communities, by showing us:
Our first survey in 2018 has been used to advocate for better healthcare for trans people and to change other laws, policies and practices to improve the lives of trans and non-binary people in Aotearoa. Completing this 2022 survey will tell us what has changed since then, including the improvements and ongoing challenges.
Counting Ourselves is informed by Kaupapa Māori research. Below is an extract from Dr Tāwhanga Nopera’s description of what this means for our research.
A Kaupapa Māori informed approach offers non-Māori researchers a hoa haere; an allied pathway towards empowering people’s lives. . . .
A Kaupapa Māori informed approach is committed to including Māori people, our perspectives, voices and strategies as a means to improve life outcomes for people being researched.
You could take part in this survey if you are:
It does not matter whether you use the specific terms ‘trans’ or ‘non-binary’ to describe yourself, whether you have transitioned or even plan to transition. This survey was for anyone whose gender is different from their sex assigned at birth, whatever term you use to describe your identity. There are many terms that people in our communities use. For example, these include:
The more people who answered the survey, the stronger the evidence we have to advocate for change. The greater diversity of people who answered, the more we can say about the health needs of people in different parts of the country, at all stages of their life, and for all our identities and communities.
We expected it would take about 70 minutes to complete the survey online. The time taken was less if you skipped some sections or longer if you decided to write more about your experiences.
The survey was this long because there is so little information available about our communities. If you wanted to take a break, you could exit the survey and come back and finish it later. This option worked if you used the same device and browser and had ‘cookies’ enabled in your browser. Our survey software anonymously remembered which response matched your browser and where you were up to.
We really appreciated it if people completed the full survey, but it was totally each person’s choice how far through they went and how many questions they answered.
The Health and Disability Ethics Committee (Southern) granted us ethics approval for this survey (reference 2022 FULL 12683). If you have any ethical concerns about this research, you may phone them on 0800 4 ETHICS or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of these questions have been taken from large New Zealand surveys so that we can compare our experiences against the wider New Zealand population. For most questions, you just needed to select from some ‘tick box’ response options. For some questions, you could write your response in more detail.
We only asked questions about things that are important for our communities to know. Some questions are about difficult topics that might have been hard for people to answer. These include questions about hurting yourself, suicide, and experiences of being treated badly by other people, including emotional, physical, and sexual violence. We let people know when we are about to ask these sensitive questions and gave them the option of ‘skipping’ past these ones without seeing them.
If you want to talk to someone about some of the sensitive issues raised in the survey, you can text or call 1737 to reach a counsellor 24 hours a day through the National Telehealth Service.
We listed some other helplines next to specific survey questions too and have a full list on our Support page.