FOR queer Larrakia woman Laniyuk Garcon-Mills, coming to terms with her sexual identity was a long process.
However, now she’s “fucking rocking it”.
[showads ad=MREC] “I love it,” she says
“I love every single gram of myself. I love my Aboriginal heritage and I love my sexual experience, I love who I am.
“I’m very grateful to have an opportunity to share that with people.”
Garcon-Mills, 25, is one of 22 Indigenous Australians who contributed to a new book called Colouring the Rainbow: Blak Queer and Trans Perspectives.
Released in November, the book proved to be so popular it sold out in three days and is onto its second print run.
Author Dino Hodge edited the book, which is the first of its kind to catalogue the experiences of queer and trans First Nations people.
Colouring the Rainbow presents their thoughts and perspectives on Australian history and uncovers the often hidden world of queer and trans black Australia, telling it like it is.
The issue of race and sexuality are intertwined for Garcon-Mills who grew up between Darwin and Adelaide but is now based in Melbourne.
“Growing up I was exposed to a lot of racism directly to Aboriginal people, not general racism,” she told the Star Observer.
“That affected how I perceived myself, how I wanted people to perceive me and how I thought people would perceive me.
“That gave me the opportunity to camouflage myself into a wider identity and once it came to my sexuality those habits I’d learned from my racial experience, passed on to my sexual experience.”
She describes coming out as a euphoric experience and thinks Colouring the Rainbow is an important resource for raising the visibility of LGBTI First Nations people and creating dialogue within her community.
“This is has been one of the first books on this subject,” she says.
“The needs of both communities (LGBTI and Indigenous) are both often overlooked… it’s about sharing stories and making sure these stories are heard.
“It creates discussion. I’m already getting calls from my cousins and messages from people in the Aboriginal community that often don’t have much exposure to queer politics or discussion.
“It’s just getting the conversations going about being queer in the Aboriginal community and then in the queer community having conversations about being Aboriginal.
“It’s already had a huge impact on my personal life.”
All author royalties from book sales will be donated to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Youth Mob (antHYM).
Colouring the Rainbow is available from all good bookstores or online at www.wakefieldpress.com.au