What a journey you have been on... Not only have you embraced the trans-life, but you had to move far away from home to feel safe to be who you are. What were the reasons you had to leave home?
My journey is something I am most proud of. It made me the person I am today. Going through all kinds of hardships helped me become grateful for everything and made me capable of helping and guiding others from all walks of life.
I had to leave to find home elsewhere, because a place where I am not welcomed and where I am ridiculed doesn’t give it a concept of home, but rather that of a graveyard. If my own people don’t want me, I don’t want them; so I went away looking for a place where I can simply live as myself and be loved, even celebrated for it. And I found home here amongst the Australian society.
What lesson of love could you teach those who fear transgender people?
I’ve been contemplating this thought in the memoir I am working on, where I explain it in more depth and detail, but if I’m to simplify the answer, no matter how harsh it sounds, then I would say: We cannot teach those who do not want to be taught. That is the blatant truth. We can’t change people who don’t want to change. What I can teach them is only one thing, and that is the fact that love starts within oneself, and if one has hate in their hearts, the problem is with them, because we were born to love, yet hatred is then passed on like a plague.
You are also an artist. How do your struggles manifest themselves in your works of art?
The fact that I wasn’t looked after growing up forced me to lose my dream of becoming an artist, and I had long forgotten about it until I became homeless in 2019 when I was 26 years old. That’s when I started making a living as a starving artist, and my story showed up on the news here and there, which slowly helped build my artistic repertoire. And because I am self-taught, my artworks are what I call "je ne se quoi of an abstract nature" with which I portray my feelings, thoughts, memories, everything about me—the past, my future, and the present—in colours and different brush techniques
As you begin to literally embody the gender you identify with, what positive changes can you see?
With a true and sincere sense of self, everything changes for the better. One who doesn’t know who they are, like I didn't, won’t be able to live with themselves, let alone with others. The one and only reason I suffered my whole life and had to become homeless upon graduation was because I was deprived of my sense of self ever since I was young and as far as I can remember, which led me to isolating myself from the world. But it was when I started hormone therapy in 2017 that my confidence slowly started building up, since I caught up to my true gender at last. But as luck would have it, homelessness also came hand in hand to help build the best version of myself I could ever be. And, in the end, it reshaped my identity as a whole—to the point that I am now the total opposite of the person I used to be. It's almost like we don’t even have anything in common apart from being very kind and helping, but also very introverted and stubborn.
If you could say something to those who repress their identity for fear of persecution or feeling ostracized from society, what would you say?
Fly. Spread your wings. Paint your own path. Find yourself a better place away from unnecessary noise and drama. The world is vast, and just because you were born in one spot on the map, you don’t have to make yourself suffer where it is deemed hopeless. So, changing your own life is in your own hands, but you have to be very smart with your planning. I came to Australia without money, without family, without friends, and even without a grasp of the English language, but I kept fighting for the sake of freedom and freedom alone, because it is more valuable than the richest currency in the world. And after nine years of a restless fight: here I am, I found my resting peace at last once and for all.