‘It was not Love’ – Painting by Joylene Lobo
Artist: Joylene Lobo, Bondel, Mangalore
Sally’s Real Life Story
Hi, I’m Sally. I’m an animal lover, a music lover, and a music lover of all kinds and both kinds, country and western. But hey, don’t hold that against me, alright.
I think that going back in terms of the types of discrimination that I faced is that in the first part of my life I went to an all boys’ school and it was very much expected that you would be the sporting hero, that you would be masculine not show emotions, not sensitive, and so there was this, we’ll say feminine and/or female part wanting to express itself but that was not a good or safe place to do it, and I copped a lot of stigma and a lot of bullying in particular for pretty much all of year seven and eight for not being we’ll say the standard masculine male.
Particular examples of discrimination, I mean well that’s maybe because obviously early on I did experience discrimination that people were sort of denying who I am and one that was really critical was when I got to the really critical point of needing help after trying to shove aside the truth about my gender identity for years.
I did go to a health professional who tried so called conversion therapy on me which is probably about as discriminatory as it could get, because at that point I was at a pretty low state I had no, to be honest, real self esteem, and at the time I needed it most I was actually being pushed back pushed further in the wrong direction, further away from who I was, and that was quite horrendous.
There’s one, and it’s a difficult one to talk about, in that one day, or evening to be precise I was driving in my car minding my own business, and two people — I was stopped at a set of lights — two pedestrians came across in front of me came across in front of me and for some reason started banging on my car yelling at me which was sort of… you know, I was a bit shaken by that.
So when the lights changed and I moved off, and I realised I was shaken, I Pulled over to the side of the road. And the next thing I knew, and this is really… you know obviously distressing to recount, but also I can understand that people hearing this might be distressed, that one of the pedestrians put his fist through the closed driver side window and shattered it, punched me in the side of the head and face six times,and just walked off and I spent the night in the Emergency ward of a public hospital.
And the other situation that I am… that I still can’t deal with is I won’t go to the footy because after I came out and was living two and a half years, we’ll say before making a permanent transition when I was going and hearing phrases like, “Er, you’re playing like a girl, you’re playing like a poofter,” that was really off putting when I was still say at a somewhat tender stage and you know, come on, to deny someone going to the footy and doing.
So I think… you know, I really would like to see some change in that, and to be able to go along and cheer my team I just — I won’t say which one it is, so that we can keep 16 out of 16 people, and not lose 15 out of 16 of our listeners. Discrimination’s really… has impacted on me in terms of mental health, depression, that sort of thing because how can it help to have a really critical part of you being devalued, and often really severely to be told that “Oh you’re not really who you are; you don’t know your own life.”
I’d really love it where it got to a situation where a transgender person, or anyone who identifies as gay, or needs to identify as gay, or lesbian, or bisexual, or intersex as well could walk into any health professional and know that they’re going to get a basic level of support because what happened to me with the first health professional who was doing very much the wrong thing was that the only thing that saved me was I had a supportive friend.
The person I spoke to put me through to a Psychologist who said, “Look, I can’t help you, but I know someone who’s just done their Masters in sexuality and gender, and could.” And that was the turning point, which was great.
I think if the world didn’t have discrimination against transgender and similar groups, I think it would be amazing One of my big personal transgender heroines is a woman, and she basically invented… made a significant breakthrough in multiprocessing in computers, we would not have any of the computers, laptops and smartphones, that we have now without her.
So, and she had to go through discrimination. So if we didn’t have the discrimination we might have a heck of a lot more genius and amazement in the world, which would be fantastic.
You are engaged? Because without commitment, nothing happens. You have to be committed. Through the storm, and the rain, and the anguish, and the pain, and the disappointment, or you’re not going to make it. It is a commitment, it is not a feeling.
While he played golf, I studied. While he was shooting hoops, I was studying. While playing games, and sitting and eating, and joking in the restaurant, I was studying. You can’t get out of something. Something you’re not willing to put into it. You have to put your Everything Your everything! Your dear mind, your power energy, your effort, your discipline, your tenacity! Nothing will jump out of the fire. If you don’t throw something there, it won’t happen. But if we fight every day, one of them will be my day.
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