I'm an artist, photographer, writer, and advocate from Ōtautahi, Aotearoa.

Kia ora!

Nō Ingarangi ōku tīpuna
E noho ana au ki Ōtautahi
Ko tēnei taku mihi ki ngā tangata whenua te rohe nei
Ka mihi hoki au ki ngā tohu o te rohe nei
He kautohu au i Qtopia,
He Rainbow Advisor au i Pegasus Health,
He Vice-President au i Professional Association for Transgender Health Aotearoa,
Ko Jennifer Shields toku ingoa.

I’m Jen - I’m an artist, photographer, writer, and queer community advocate from Ōtautahi, Aotearoa. My specialty is trans healthcare of all kinds - gender affirming care, mental health support, peer work, and improving access to general healthcare. My academic background is in arts and sociology - I studied at the Elam School of Fine Arts, and studied sociology and queer history at the University of Auckland.

I’ve been working in rainbow community advocacy for the last ten years, with a special interest in healthcare, gender affirming healthcare in particular. I’m passionate about ensuring rainbow folk around Aotearoa are able to access great, competent, and caring healthcare no matter where they live. I’m currently interim Director at Qtopia, a social change and social support service for the whole LGBTQIA+ community; Rainbow People Health and Wellbeing Advisor at Pegasus Health; and Vice-President of PATHA, the Professional Association for Transgender Health Aotearoa. I’m currently leading a national training programme for Aotearoa’s primary care workforce around trans health equity.

Outside of my rainbow community mahi, I’m an artist, a photographer, and a producer of art and live events. I’ve had the privilege of producing the Ōtautahi Tiny Performance Festival since 2019, was Gallery and Programme Manager at the Centre of Contemporary Art Toi Moroki for two years, and co-founded Glitterbox Pursuits, a queer arts and events company with Audrey Baldwin.

I ran a New Zealand music radio show on RDU 98.5FM for a number of years, winning Host with the Most; have written for NZ Musician magazine; and have the honour of having been a member of FEM SCREM, labeled Ōtautahi’s punkest band.

I have a sick love for public speaking, which I attribute to (in a fit of teenage overconfidence) volunteering to play piano with Amanda Palmer in front of a crowd of thousands at at the age of 16. At Qtopia, I run professional development workshops weekly; I’ve run public speaking workshops for Artist Life School; and most recently chaired a panel on the Importance of Writing Queer Joy for WORD Christchurch.