I’ve been coming to Dolphins for about three months, ’cause I’d just moved in with my dad and he brought me here. We usually get around 100 people and they come from all over the place. It’s just a bit of fun; a chance to get into character, be someone else for a night.

My character Volandra is a bit of a slut. She wears a skanky outfit, short skirts, low-cut tops. She plays around with the girls and shows them a bit of leg. She flirts with all the girls and I become a lesbian for the night. I got my inspiration from Paris Hilton, ’cause I think she’s a cool skank.

My dad’s partner Jay does drag here at Dolphins, so he suggested it to me one day and I thought I’d give it a shot. My dad said, Give it a go, give it a try. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. You gotta rehearse, you gotta know your songs, and you gotta make sure that you can actually dance in the shoes and make sure you don’t get too drunk beforehand. It’s a lot of fun.

I live with my dad and Jay, who I call Uncle. I grew up in the Fairfield area, so I’m a Westie. I was a fat kid, and I was very shy, so I never told anyone I was gay until I was about 17, in the final weeks of year 12.

I’d known since I was 15. A lot of people suspected it ’cause I was always hanging out with the girls. I was one of the girls pretty much. I never admitted it, and I was always saying, No, no, I’m not gay.

Coming out, I just had to be comfortable in myself talking about it. One day, I told my mum, Pull over the car, and she asked, What’s wrong?

I said, I’m gay.

She said, Oh, okay, and she gave me a hug and a kiss, she was so happy, she was proud. My mum knew my dad was gay, and she didn’t mind. As long as she knows that everyone is safe and happy, she doesn’t mind. My mum’s cousin is gay and my dad’s sister is a lesbian.

I only found out that my dad was gay this year. It was a bit of a shock, but I’m really happy with it; he’s happy and we’re all happy. I’d just moved in with him and I saw that he and Uncle Jay were sharing the same bed. He told me that they were together, so I said, Oh, that’s cool.

I wish I’d have come out earlier, when I first knew. I think a lot more people are getting more accepting now. There’s a lot of people who know someone that’s gay now and there’s a lot more gay parents out there, which makes kids understand that it’s right, it’s okay, it’s not wrong.

My dad was very supportive, he was just always there for me. He said that as long as I was safe and happy, go for it. You are who you are, can’t change that. It’s great having a gay dad, ’cause you can talk about things, it’s so much easier. There’s my mum, and my dad’s gay, so it’s pretty much like talking to two chicks.

Dad knows what I’m going through and I know that he’s been through it, and it helps me understand where he’s come from a lot. I asked Dad a lot of questions, like when he was a kid in Mudgee.

He says, Don’t hide nothin’, like I had to, but don’t go overboard ‘cos if you go overboard, you’ll kill yourself. And don’t take shit from no one.

So we understand each other. With coming out at work, he told me, Just relax, be yourself. I’m always learning a lot from him. He lets me know everything, ’cause my mum doesn’t really know anything about gay issues. He got me stronger, he toughened me up. I was a bit of a wuss before I moved in with him, and now I’m a bitch!

I’ve been going out with my boyfriend for about three months. He and my dad get along like a house on fire; they joke around and talk about me behind my back. We’re just one big happy family now. Like when I was on the mobile to my boyfriend at Dolphins. Dad grabs the handset, and yells into the phone, Get yer arse down here and give him some support!

Once, I brought one of my exes home and my uncle came home and caught us with our pants down. He just closed the door and walked away into the lounge room, and I thought, Oh fuck, we’d better put some clothes on and go say hi. I told my dad afterwards, he just laughed.

I would like to grow up to be like my dad: stronger, wiser, and independent. The only thing is my dad’s a slaughterman and I don’t want to kill meat. I can’t really stand the sight of blood -“ I pass out.

I just love being gay. I tell myself that I made myself gay, ’cause I’m just happy and I love the way I live. I realised that I was gay before I knew that dad was gay. Something just clicked in my head, and I’m happy I did. I’m happy the way I am now.

Interview by Barry McKay

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