Joël Murray identifies as a transgender non-binary queer person and recently spoke to Star Observer about their lived experience 

“I feel like my whole childhood narrative is trying to fit in and responding to external stimuli, and that really had an impact on my mental health and sense of identity. I had been questioning my gender for a long time, not really understanding how it was a social construct,” they told Star Observer.

At first, Murray correlated their experience to that of gay men until they moved to Melbourne. That was when, they realised that they were not like them. They had to come out five or six times in their life. They came out regarding their status as living with HIV and hepatitis-C and spoke to audiences about HIV transmission and sexual health. “[My aim] was not to try tell people what to do, but rather inform and empower individuals to be conscious of the decisions they make about their own sex lives,” Murray had previously said.

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 Joël viewed their experience as a “trans experience” because it is not congruent with the gender they were assigned at birth. “There was a particular video [from ACON’s transhub] about ‘Am I Trans Enough?’… I didn’t have the language to describe what my experience was, thinking that everyone had to medically affirm their gender, when not all people want to undergo medical affirmation. At first, I was like ‘oh yeah, non-binary, that feels right’ and the social pressure of having to conform to something I wasn’t, lifted,” Murray said. “It has been an evolving space over the last years with me… feeling confident and comfortable using my pronouns as they and them.”

Murray expressed their gratitude for the support networks they have from other trans people, because they are really critical. They finished the My Trans Story panel by singing a song from Sunday In The Park With George.

“I am going to change the lyrics to contextualise it,” they said. Murray is setting it up to make it seem as though they are having a conversation with their late grandmother in the first half. The conversation is about how wonderful they are as trans people and how much she would have loved them, and the second half is about the advice she used to give.

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