At 15 I tried to commit suicide in front of my family. I had had enough. This was an awakening moment for my family to realise that they just needed to let me be me. I moved in with my brother. I didn’t have any role models to support my transition, so I came out by wearing terrible makeup and clothing which only brought me negative attention. I moved home again and things started to settle down. I then met others like myself, whom Mum allowed to move in with us. At one stage there were 9-12 girls living in my room. We turned to the streets to survive. In my search for belonging, that is where I felt wanted. On the streets I could be whoever I wanted to be. I turned to drugs for a while to help calm the anxiety of everything I was going through. At 16 I met workers from Youthline and NZPC, they helped me see another perspective, that I could be someone one day. They helped me get a benefit so I had less reason to go back to the streets.
Today I get to work with people of diverse identities. I can give them the support I didn’t have. I work in schools and run a programme that aims to normalise diversity, with the hope that one day diverse young people can live in their communities without fear and isolation.