Many in Melbourne would know the powerhouse that is Aysha Buffet. A regular fixture in clubs for many years now, she is a performer that is hard to forget. But now, the woman behind the persona, Rian Difuntorum is reaching out for help, as she continues to take the next steps towards her ultimate goal and dream of having gender affirmation surgery.
“The journey so far has been really interesting. I’m grateful for drag because I think had I gone from just presenting a cis gay male to being a trans woman it would have been a lot more difficult had I not been a drag queen beforehand,” Difuntorum told Star Observer. “Just being able to have all that support is something I am so grateful for, it is incredible to have an entire community behind you.”
Throughout 2020, Difuntorum was able to create masks which helped to raise $20,000 towards her surgery. However, even with this she is still short in her ultimate goal of having a Peritoneal Pull Through Vaginoplasty, a surgery which is not common and isn’t available here in Australia. For this reason Difuntorum has decided to create a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for her overseas surgery, and is looking to raise $50,000.
“I wish public health really took care of not just the trans community but the LGBTQI community as well, but this is what we have to do for now. We have to pay for our hormones and pay for our therapies.”
“To be able to donate to three other charities that are incredible organisations that look after our queer community as well as women, that was the only way I could accept the generosity was to give some of that back.
“Being part of the community has meant a lot, particularly in recent years. I think for me, starting the GoFundMe, was a really difficult decision and it did take me a really long time. Though now having started my journey to raise the funds for my surgery, I’ve realised it wasn’t just about me. It was also about raising awareness and using my voice and my platform to speak for our community when there are some people in our community who don’t feel like they have a voice.”
Pausing for a second, Difuntorum added that “being a performer, that is my privilege, that I get booked for gigs, and people give me the opportunity to speak. The message of me being up on stage is a really big one, to see not only a drag queen, but a drag queen who is a person of colour, and also happens to be a trans woman. It’s a message in itself that any trans person has the ability to speak and be heard.”