My first day at Tafe, I still maintain going back to school was the bravest thing I’ve ever done.. and I’m pretty brave, but leaving the safety net of my community and meeting a classroom room of young straight people was a terrifying prospect to me.
I never quite felt comfortable not being open about my journey to them, I always think things made hidden will always come out and the only person who suffers is the person hiding the secret, so, in my first semester I did my disability presentation on Gender Diversity, it was so wonderfully liberating and though some were surprised, my classmates were very accepting.
During the presentation I told my fellow Community Service and Social Work classmates that it would probably be the first and last time in their life they will work beside a transgender person and the next time they will meet someone like me will be serving them in their new jobs at the front line – it was very liberating for me.
Its so important to always be in control of your own narrative because the story will inevitably be told differently by someone else.
So much has changed since then, the experience and education was life changing.
Being a transgender woman doesn’t define who I am, but being open about my gender and sharing my experience gives me the freedom most people can only dream about. It empowers me and gives me strength, so I celebrate my journey and acknowledge that I transitioned from one gender to another – to find peace and happiness and contentment….what more could any human being wish for?
I love Mardi Gras in Sydney, it is like Gay Christmas, we wear our best, act our nicest and there are parties everywhere, one of my favourite this year was at Chuuka Restaurant in Pyremont.
It was a lovely Sunday afternoon, motor tricycles ferried us from the street to the end of the Wharf.
DJs played on while drag queens swayed and we all laughed and chatted to the effervescent sound of free flowing French champagne and an eye popping abundance of delicious morsels arrived from the kitchens – classy, sydney style.
Thank you Star Entertainment Group and CMO George Hughes for your wonderful hospitality at Chuuka, a restaurant I will definite return to.
YIORGOS is a photographic portrait artist who has a remarkable
way of making photography look like paintings.
The Voyeur was taken at precisely 3pm when the light is most beautiful, I do love my skin against a black velvet foreground and background, the Venetian mask adds mystery to the portrait.
I love this painting because I think as a trans-woman I often feel like I am on the outside looking into a world that is not mine, studying custom and culture that belong only to non-transgender people.
If you know me you will know I only wear kaftans, rain or shine I will be sporting an elegant mu-mu, I have many kaftans from many designers but my favourite is Camilla…
Camilla Kaftans are a sentimental favourite for well heeled Sydney women, much coveted by those who wish they owned one and much loved by their wearers, to the point that most women know her different collections and recognise a “Camilla” from a mile away, their popularity has reached a point where a kaftan from any other designer is called a fake “Camilla”.
Their resale vale is very healthy, thus why though expensive Camillas are good investments.
With shock and delight I took a call from Camilla Head Office to invite me to participate in a Mardi Gras Campaign with Camilla Franks – The Goddess of Kaftans… needless to say I said yes without fuss or stipulation, haha.
Camilla has an abundance of energy which made the photoshoot nothing short of magical.
To top off the daydream, I was paid in Camillas – Thank you universe.
21 Feb 2020 What Matters. This weekend we are celebrating What Matters. We celebrate acceptance, inclusiveness and above all, equality. We will be parading through the streets in the name of love, so very proud of our LGBTQIA Tribe. We love you endlessly and this weekend, we honour you.Happy Mardi Gras, with love Camilla xx
I was invited to recite a story that had inspired me as a young LGBT person along with 7 other giants of Sydney’s Gay Community at The National Art School, the event sold very quickly this year and it is no wonder, the settings and surroundings were truly spectacular, and the many recited words were an inspiration to hear.
The air in the room was cultured and refined, cosy and welcoming, and uber elegant.
Congratulations Terese Casu and Dino Dimitriadis on such a thoughtful and visually beautiful and unforgettable event.
Owner of the Merrivale Group, Hospitality Moghul Justin Hemmes flew to Melbourne and approached Poof Doof Melbourne’s owner Anthony Hocking to partner in a venture with him by bringing his legendary gay night to Justin’s legendary venuethe Ivy, situated in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.
Justin believed the very unpopular lockout laws in Sydney would soon finish and his super club needed a new energy and a new direction to enliven his Ivy Precinct and the central business district.
I was approached by Poof Doof’s General Manager, the handsome Nic Holland to run the door because I “know everyone darling“, many of you who know me also know I have always kept a weekend job to keep my foot in the door and keep me in touch with the LGBT Community.
I am not sure anyone foresaw how quickly Poof Doof would become a huge hit, or foresee the gay community travelling away from Oxford St to party. I suppose Justin knew, that is why he is so successful in the hospitality industry.
Offensive slang is often fought against, as a trans advocate I too have had offensive transphobic slang words forbidden, when quizzed about this recently I only had one reply..
Poof Doof is owned by a gay man, celebrated, loved and frequented by thousands of gay people every week, I think it is wonderful that gay men are now in a place of such privilege that they can take a hurtful word and have fun with it, the trans community is not there yet, but I hope with time and more social equality this will one day happen. One must also consider that I am no longer an stakeholder of the P word, so I have not right to comment on the subject.
Working with Poof Doof Sydney is like being a part of a good hearted family with the best of intentions for the community.
…And it is amazing, people have said to more than once “Katherine, I was expecting something amazing but this is even more amazing than I thought it would be”, what makes Poof Doof amazing?
It is the community inclusivity, young drag queens dancing next to muscle men who are dancing next lesbians who are dancing with twinks who are dancing with trans people, ages ranging from 18 to late 60s all accepting each other, this is what Gay Sydney once was back in the 1990s when Gay Sydney was the envy of the Gay World.
The music too is incredible with a DJ Line up of World Class DJs from Sydney and abroad.
Anthony Hocking aka Hockers is a master of the vignette, so there will always be something visually spectacular every weekend, from dancers, to drag queen, to new lighting and pyrotechnics – every Saturday you will come away with a visual memory to savour until your next visit!
Every facet of Sydney’s Gay Community is welcome, every colour, creed, class, body shape, gender and sexuality is welcome to come to our wonderful club, but be warned you must come in peace and with respect for all aspects of the gay community.
I know this because I am in charge of the door, my job is to keep the riff raff out and to lovingly welcome The Family, The LGBT Community through, and I look forward to welcoming you to Poof Doof every Saturday Night at the Ivy in Sydney.
Poof Doof is situated in Angel Place on Ash Lane in The Ivy Precinct every Saturday Night from 10pm until 4.30am
We are delighted to announce your ChillOut Festival 2020 Ambassador, Ms. Katherine Wolfgramme . Katherine Wolfgramme is an out and proud transgender-woman, a true pioneer for positive change for transgender rights and visibility in Australia. Since her transition 30 years ago Katherine has changed law in one country and changed the language in another. She has been a driving force through her community service and community development work with a particular focus on promoting Transgender Day of Remembrance and Trans Day of Visibility. Katherine holds many titles including The Ambassador of the Gender Centre, Board Associate of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and former Public Officer of Wear It Purple among many other things. Katherine is also a contributing writer for Melbourne and Sydney Star Observer, with a mission to raise trans visibility in a positive manner. Her community service work has won Katherine several awards, nominations, and accolades. A former Daylesford resident herself, Katherine believes she was inspired by the strong women of Daylesford who taught her to remain strong and true to her beliefs and opened her mind to modern-day feminism. Katherine tells us that she “is so proud and thrilled to return as Ambassador of The 2020 Daylesford Chillout Festival and support the elevation of the health and wellbeing of our community”
Michelle Bauer, Festival Director of Daylesford ChillOut Festival.
This is the very first time I have I have been involved in filmmaking -let alone as interviewer, writer and producer!
In my capacity as The Ambassador of The Gender Centre, I collaborated with film maker Leah Pellinkhof to create a film in partnership with her company Playhead Productions and Queer Screen – Mardi Gras Film Festival and film assistant Grant Kay.
The film comes in six parts which have already been released daily over this week in celebration of Trans Awareness Week or the film can be played as an 11 minute presentation.
It is our vision that the film be shared and used as an educational tool at work, or school or just for you in the future.
The most important thoughts in the Trans Community are voices from the Trans Community, so we must thank the four brave voices of the film who came forward to share their thoughts, hopes and fears Kalypso Finbar, Jules Low, Imogen Brackin and Billee Ward.
Enormous thank you to the director of film maker Leah Pellinkhof whos generosity of spirit enabled her to see my vision and inspired her to create such a beautiful film for the future.
Tomorrow is Transgender Day of Remembrance, it would be a perfect day to share this film – link below:
The Albion Centre is running courses for medical services providers to help teach cultural safety for transgender people accessing medical services.
It was absolutely a pleasure to return to speak about my experiences over three decades of accessing medical services since transition to a class of doctors and medical service providers from around NSW at The Albion Centre.
Reciting my history reminds me about how so very far we have come.