National | LGBTQI

'Queer and Here' show celebrates LGBTQI+ with Māori

Aniwa Whaiapu Koloa-Matangi grew up not really knowing much about his takutāpui identity.

“I wasn’t really a thing for me,” he says.

Now he's the host of Queer and Here, Aotearoa's latest series focusing on the LGBTQI+ community, starting tonight on Whakaata Māori at 9pm

Koloa-Matangi told teaomā it was "a whole new learning journey for me and I get to bring the audience along with me".

Koloa-Matangi says his whānau was supportive of who he was as he grew up. “I grew up being Aniwa and that was just accepted”.

'Loved and supported'

Koloa-Matangi said he had learned so much through the show. “There is so much history. I got to meet some incredible people and some amazing pioneers of the LGBTQI+ community who have paved the way, allowing me to live the way that I am today.

“They have been through so many peke and heke, with so many triumphs and downfalls that allow our generation, and people like me, to have a platform to talk about queer life in Aotearoa.”

One of the show's focuses is normalising self-care and Koloa-Matangi showed this by doing an HIV test and recording the process for the audience.

'Wasnt taught in school'

“It’s not taboo. What else is really important is these weren’t things that I was taught about at high school.”

“I didn’t get the chance to be educated and know about HIV and know where to go and get tested and what the process looks like.”

“I think it was really important to show that these are the standards in educating rangatahi Māori and beyond that all rangatahi and people in general about things like HIV because it’s normal.”