First Trans Candidate in 15 years to run for Board Director of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras 2018

Katherine Wolfgramme – Candidate for election as a Director of the Board for Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Katherine Wolfgramme is proud to announce her candidacy to the position of Director on the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Board for the election at the upcoming AGM on October 27th.

While canvassing support, she encourages people to check their Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras membership status, renew or join by Friday 12th October at http://www.mardigras.org.au/become-a-member

As the first transgender candidate in 15 years to the SGLMG’s Board, Katherine’s reasons to come forward with her candidacy include, in her own words:

• It is time for a visible trans presence on the Mardi Gras Board of Directors.

• I believe in social equity and that a trans voice needs to be present at Board level at Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.

• As a Director I would consult with the trans population – both binary, non-binary, gender-fluid and gender diverse and their relevant organisations/groups to help:

  1. Form a better understanding of trans culture.
  2. Ensure and promote true and proper trans inclusion and define what that inclusion would look like.
  3. Address the needs of trans people accessing services within the LGBTIQ community.
  4. Address the definitions of safe spaces for trans people within our the LGBTIQ community.
  5. Reduce the culture of patronage towards the trans population by being present at a decision-making level.
  6. Give voice to those whose voices are not always heard through inviting open communication with all trans people.
  7. Ensure the needs of the aging trans population are considered.
  8. Shed light on the hardships faced by trans kids, youth and help understand ways to support their parents.
  9. Put into practice what diversity and inclusion looks like on paper.

• It is time all trans people to be acknowledged for their true potential as human beings by being represented in all roles in society including leadership roles.

• As an adult, and upcoming elder, I have the social responsibility to send a clear message to our rainbow youth by being a positive presence and inspiring role model and showing them that all things are possible for their future, no matter where they have come from, no matter who they are.

• I am aiming to empower and set an example to all gender diverse people that courage is all we need to take our proper places within the Community.

• Help contribute to the easier accessibility for all community members to events.

• Contribute to the already exemplary record of good governance and financial stability of the current SGLMG Board .

“I believe in inclusion not exclusion, I believe an organisation born as a reaction to exclusion and discrimination should remain an example of tolerance and a beacon and celebration of acceptance, all members of the LGBTQI Community who work in any organisation and their allies should always be welcome and share in the Spirit of Mardi Gras.”

“In my advocacy I have sat on community committees, councils and advisory groups and I am the first transgender woman appointed to the Wear It Purple Board. – My track record clearly shows the spirit of my strong community service and my continuing intention to always do good for my community. Even in the face of adversity I will always endeavour to do what is right with the best of intentions. This is also reflected as my soon to be appointed official ambassadorship of The Gender Centre”

“Although in the past I have acted solely and on my own instinct, I do understand the responsibility of being a SGLMG Board Director and the importance of seeking counsel from all facets of the trans population, including elders, youth, conservatives, activists, friends & foes.”

“I believe I could make an important and valuable contribution to the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Board as it is always a great honour to serve my community and this will present new positive ways through visibility.”

Katherine is a self-employed Gender Diversity Consultant and Trans Awareness Trainer. She has spoken on Panels with some of the most respected female feminist minds in the country from all identities and has been invited to speak at some of the finest corporate and educational institutions in the country. She also works for one of the most popular gay venues on Sydney’s Oxford Street on the weekend, which keeps her in touch with other members of our community for the last three years.

She believes good governance is the greatest legacy a Board can provide an organisation with; and her own research shows that for the past two years Mardi Gras has been excellent in all governance areas. Because of this Katherine would like to endorse for re-election these incumbent Directors and looks forward to working with them and the rest of the Board if she is elected:
• Jesse Matheson
• Kat Dopper
• Christopher Brooke – Treasurer

For any further contact, interviews or enquiries: katherine@wolfgramme.com

Gender Euphoria, a fascination with my own reflection.

I have always been fascinated by my own reflection,  I do not believe it is because  I am vain, I believe it is because I transitioned into a woman and during that journey I struggled so hard, and  I fought so hard to achieve my goal that I celebrate that now by cataloguing my evolution from the very beginning going now into aging.

You could say my Gender Dysphoria has become Gender Euphoria!

Many artists have tried to capture a part of me over the years, which has always thrilled and flattered me.

I wanted to share some portraits of me from over the years in different mediums and styles, there are more I may share at a later date.

I enjoy the process of sitting for a portrait, and I find what other people see in me so different to what I see in myself – and that can be very interesting.

Here are a few portraits by artists over the decades.

First painting I ever featured in was by former Head of Victorian College of the Arts and Artist Gareth Sansom, which featured in his retrospective in 1991 at National gallery of Victoria.
1999 photographic portrait by Cameron Muir for the cover of the Christmas 1999/New Year 2000 Capital Q Magazine Cover.
Photograph by Toby Black, Perth 2005
Header for my column in OUTinPerth Magazine 2007 – Image curtesy of William Ainger
Photograph curtesy of Club West 2008
Daylesford 2012
Pastel by Peter Kirk, Daylesford 2014
A casual sketch by my friend Glenn Hanson aka Candice Box, 2016
“E” in  the Creating Equality Campaign for the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras 2017, Launch November 2016.
Photograph by Brenton Parry – Image curtesy of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras
by Ces Busby – image curtesy SX Magazine for Gay News Network
Fiji Mermaid – Untouched photograph by artist Yiorgos Zefirou 2018

Yiorgos Zefirou and I collaborated on a series of photgraphic portraits in the Grotesque Style in 2018, I enjoyed the process immensely.

My first blog post!

A lesson to live by.

I suppose, this being my very first blog post I should start with a small introduction!

I was born in Fiji in 1972, and arrived in Australia in 1974. Educated in Melbourne, I escaped to Sydney shortly after my transition.

Sydney is where I call home, the core of my friends live here, and no matter where I go in the world – I always return home.

My great grand parents instilled in my family the importance of community service.

I lived seven years in beautiful Daylesford, I enjoyed country life, and the locals just let me be me. It was wonderful.

About three years ago, my best friend got skin cancer, At that time I was living in splendid isolation in a most idyllic village called Daylesford, in the Victorian Highlands.  Words cannot describe the incredible sadness and devastation at thought of losing my best friend  -I just needed to be close, so I left my country idyll, and I moved home to Sydney without any employment prospects whatsoever, all I knew was I couldn’t be far from my friend, in case he needed me – he says I was much nicer when I thought he was dying, but, I digress..

I had just moved in with friends when I decided to look for a job, I didn’t hide my gender – and to be honest my resume looked so slim I stuck my short stint with Les Girls in to plump it up a bit, well it was very lucky I did, everyone was preparing for Safe Schools, and wouldn’t you know it, they were short of transgender counselors!!

But, but, B-U-T, I had to go back to school and do my Cert IV in Community Services! It was a horrifying prospect sitting in a classroom of young CIS Gender heterosexual people, but, life is lived by the brave, and I am nothing if I am not brave – and I was strangely excited and nervous too. I made lots of jokes about it – but I was terrified.

I finished my Cert IV, and wouldn’t you know my bad luck? Safe Schools was canned.

I wasn’t sure as to what to do, because that job as a transgender counsellor no longer existed, and I had just gotten used to a year of skimping and scraping, so I decided to further my studies for another year with a Diploma in Community Services! (yay) (just kidding).

Every member of my immediate family have degrees, including all my cousins, I have always felt a little left out because  I don’t have one, but as my Grandmother gently pointed out once, I am different, and it was my hope to finally obtain one,  I am not a natural student and I found the workload hideous, I just couldn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t (and refused to) go to university to get a Bachelor Degree in Social Work which would have taken a further two years – I just didn’t have it in me.

While I was studying I was also doing a lot of community service work within my community, bringing communities together, organising community events, writing articles, sitting on committees, charity fundraising  etc – and I can assure you the “etc” part kept me extremely busy. There were also social obligations family and friends, oh, I was also one of the faces of the Mardi Gras campaign 2017, my face featured on flags, posters and artwork across the city, we even opened the parade at Taylor Square, it was very difficult to remain modest under these circumstances, I felt like homecoming queen and poster girl. To be the most celebrated transwoman in the city for even just a beautiful moment was surreal, and a great honour, and quite frankly – bloody marvelous!

 

…back to not wanting to keep studying..

I complained to anyone that would listen that I just didn’t want to study anymore, which was lucky for me because a friend suggested I should be a gender diversity consultant because it was something I did anyway – and lets be honest, I can talk under water! During my student work-placement at The Gender Centre, my supervisor also said the same thing, she said that although I was a wonderful and inspiring caseworker, I would only be able to help at most 20 Clients a week, but as a consultant I could help generations of my peers to come – my supervisor made me feel very nervous and the idea was way too out there for me. But coming from a friend at a birthday lunch the idea didn’t sound so crazy – because its what I do already -because its what I’ve always done.

Several months of preparation, and here I am, writing my very first blog post, so you could be nosey..

Welcome, and please feel welcome to drop by again.

Katherine x

Turning Fear Into Understanding.

photo curtesy of SGLMG