What a difference it is living in the big city compared to a little Island in the Straits. The free feeling I get to just be me, living in this big place.Home is where the heart is but, really, there is nothing on a small island for a sister girl but support from very few family members. The support is so enormous in the city. There are places I can go to get counselling and get treatment where I can finally start to transition. People who are just like me and from all corners of the world I have never been to.

Transitioning in a small community is the hardest thing ever. Especially when there is no support provided. Coming out was not really a big issue because, once you laid eyes on me, in an instant you knew I was “fabulous”.

Family is the biggest thing in my culture, but being so different to my other siblings it was a little hard to understand and accept, but it was all about timing and eventually things turned around.

The one who found it too difficult to understand and accept was my father, because in our traditional ways this was not part of, or documented, in history in the Torres Strait Islands.

The power and strength I have today and the person I have become is all my mother’s work. She was my rock and foundation throughout my life with the help of a little family understanding of my situation.

Lani Dorante is a volunteer for the 2 Spirits Program – a program of Healthy Communities that promotes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sexual health.

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