Each month we’ll champion two amazing drag queens, DJs, or community heroes in the gay scene. This month’s spotlight falls on former Les Girls showgirl Colleen Windsor.

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What do you love about Australia’s LGBTI community?

I love that we can still, even in a more fractured world, bring all our tribes together through mutual respect. This is not the case so much overseas. But here in Sydney it’s been the making of us.

What motivates you to speak out about LGBTI rights?

Because they have not come easy. I’m old school, a bit battered and scarred by our past. Our young people must be told the stories, and hear the lessons. We must not go back, we must not be complacent.

What area do we need to focus on at the moment?

For me it’s trans children and young people. Society didn’t encourage me to transition until my mid-twenties and my family rejected me. Even so, the process was empowering, and the joy of living genuinely is real and complete. I want these kids to live all their lives authentically, not just some of it.

What does a typical day look like for you?

On goes the face and corporate day dress, then I get amongst it. I’ve had a successful public sector career for thirty-five years. I’ve always strived to make a contribution, and to show the benefit of workplace diversity, way before it was an organisational value. With that out of the way I spend some time each day writing. It’s my middle age passion and I have several projects on the go.

Who do you see as an LGBTI hero in the community?

I salute Alex Greenwich. He is committed to working for a liveable, sustainable, and progressive Sydney – and that is what I want. He’s given his heart and soul to marriage equality, a movement he helped lead for over a decade. He speaks for trans rights and our community institutions on the floor of the house. And of course, he’s the most handsome of them all – we must all return him next March.

Favourite LGBTI venue?

I can sometimes be found having a bevy at Stonewall Hotel in Darlinghurst. It’s a great mix of ages and tribes. I do like a good drag show and they have some of the best.

Favourite LGBTI anthem?

True to my roots, I can’t go past Gloria Gaynor’s “I Am What I Am”. Please remember it needs no excuses.

Best Pride moment?

Just one year ago being with friends and my community in Prince Alfred Park for the result of that postal survey. Can that moment ever be topped? So many emotions that day, but crowned in pride.

Advice for young LGBTI people?

When you hear your elders say “it gets better”, believe it, don’t let that thought go, dig deep, and work for it.

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