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Sunday 11 October 2015

Shorty gets with the programme

Posted in: Television
By Phylesha Brown-Acton, with - 11th July 2013

Phylesha Brown-Acton has made a special appearance on Shortland St, playing a trans woman who faces discrimination from a paramedic. She says it reflects a real-world issue which needs to be continually addressed.


Phylesha writes following her Shortland St experience:

The reality of how Transgender people are treated in health services throughout New Zealand can vary from place to place, most transgender people speak of their experiences in health services as inappropriate, uncomfortable, confronting, embarrassing and discriminative!

Last night’s episode on Shortland Street (Series 22, Episode 5288, Wednesday 10 July, 2013) featured a Transgender character named "Hannah Hepburn" played by myself, a business executive with a urinary tract infection. Ambulance Paramedics "Ula & Dallas" attended the call out to find Hannah hurdled over in pain in her boardroom, Dallas assesses Hannah's pain by palpating her abdomen as an assessment to determine her condition, Dallas asks if Hannah could be pregnant? Hannah replies No, he then asks if she is sure to which Hannah responds "NO, I am Transgender" The look on Dallas's face is awkward/shocked/disgusted and he backs off without an interest in continuing to assess her pushing Ula a trainee paramedic to continue the assessment.

Hannah no longer receives the proper level of care throughout her ambulance experience and is mistreated for being merely "Transgender".

This is a living example of what Transgender people experience and endure in their daily lives and it needs to be continually addressed and have Government, Health services, Policy and legislative decision makers discuss proper guidelines for appropriate levels of care for Transgender people! and forms and legal recognition that supports their gender identity.

Thank you South Pacific Pictures, for addressing this issue on prime time television, I hope it takes the level of awareness and discussions to another level! This can no longer sit as an issue on the shelf, Transgender people in NZ are one of the most vulnerable groups in society and it needs to be addressed and the rights of Transgender peoples in NZ upheld in order for their health and livelihoods to be improved!

You can watch the episode here

Phylesha Brown-Acton, with - 11th July 2013

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