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.
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.
Turning Fear Into Understanding.