Youthline: More transgender Kiwis getting in touch

(3 News)
(3 News)

Caitlyn Jenner's transformation from male to female has been splashed around the entertainment news websites, but it's also being credited with helping young people discuss gender identity.

Her public coming out made headlines around the world and the visibility of Jenner's journey as a transgender woman is helping Kiwis on the same path.

Shaqure Tarawa knew at the age of nine she was meant to be living her life as a woman and she says having someone speak out publicly makes a huge difference to how the trans community is received.

"They are seeing people who are out there and being public, and I think that's valuable; it gets people talking about it."

Youthline says more and more young people are getting in touch to ask questions related to their own sexuality and gender.

It says its text counselling service has opened up lines of communication with people in need of someone to talk to.

A Youthline survey identified that young people feel embarrassed about asking for help and the anonymity of texting and the internet helps to break down that barrier.

Clinical psychologist Beth St Claire says isolation is a dangerous thing for people feeling anxious or depressed.

"To have a text that you can send out and have someone reply and get back to you and not judge you, [who] is willing to talk to you about whatever you need to talk about, absolutely it's a lifesaver," she says.

Ms Tarawa says reaching out, and getting help can be the hard part, but the ability to get support is proving a life changer and a lifesaver.

3 News