Photography: Lily Austin
Edited: Olivia Suleimon + Ebony Boadu
"I got abducted and was held hostage for a period of time and some pretty heavy fucked stuff happened. I was working as a trans girl in a car park in St Kilda in Melbourne. I escaped that situation and went straight to the airport, got a plane to Sydney and rocked up at my mum's studio apartment and was just like,
'I can’t really explain what’s going on but I just need somewhere safe to be.'
While I was in that situation, they increased my heroin habit ten fold. I was using thousands of dollars worth a day, which obviously I had no way of paying for; not only was I racking up these weird debts with them which I could pay off with sexual favors but I was also spending all the money I was also earning on trying to stay afloat and from there I just went straight on a really high dose of methadone. It’s been about 3 years."
"I ended up getting work for Rolling Stones and Vice magazine as a 13 year old; it was really weird. I feel like there was a lot of novelty factor involved because of my age and it was not that long after ‘Almost Famous’ had come out. it became really gimmicky and I felt really gross about it so I stopped doing , 'rock' photography.
I stopped because that’s what it became with out me really meaning for it to, just because that was the only thing that was interesting in my life at the time. Instead, I just decided to stop doing that and focus on my own creative output and my own music and my own stuff.
I continued photography but not in a professional sense and I continued to document the world around me. Since then i've come back to photography, I've had a ten year retrospective at the centre of photography in Melbourne last year and that was showing a lot of the work from the lost years if you will, where I was not really present or doing anything."
"I started writing as a form of therapy when I was stuggling with drugs. I started keeping journals and trying to write things down as they were happening. I didn’t know if I was going survive however long or whatever so I was just trying to record everything, as much as I could, but I wasn’t very good at it because I was a junkie and too busy doing other things most of the time. After I escaped the whole hostage situation I started writing about different experiences from my life; both past and present.
Initially it was a way of dealing with trauma and after a while I started putting some of the stories up online anonymously; I got some really good feedback so I just kept going [ http://cocksuckerbruise.tumblr.com]."
"I identify as a trans-female and I have always identified as female. My mum even tells me that when I was a baby, before I can even remember, i'd be asleep and she would put me in a nappy and i'd wake up and if it was a boys nappy i'd be outraged and rip it off and throw a tantrum and be like,
“Who did this to me?”
I would insist that I would only wear the pretty girls nappy with rainbows and unicorns and princesses and stuff; that’s something so instinctual and I obviously knew, even before I consciously knew that there was something about me that wasn’t male."
"What I want people to know about me is that despite the fact that I was born male; i'm not male, i'm a lot closer to female. I see gender as more of a spectrum and not like a line with 2 extremes but more like a circle or something.
I see gender as individual, I feel like everyone is their own gender, but for the ease of communication I identify as female and present feminine, people and strangers often think im a girl, but a lot of the time they don’t because I don’t subscribe to typical feminine ideals either.
My idea of being a female isn’t some exaggerated idea of femininity, like you girls are wearing the types of things that I would wear and I would still see that as dressing female whereas if I go down the street in an outfit like that people just see me as male, so I have to do subtle things to increase my femininity but at the same time i'm not doing it for anyone but myself.
But as females you guys would understand that you don’t want to dress up everyday and just because I want to wear a tracksuit down the street doesn’t mean im not a trans woman, just because I don’t want to shave my legs doesn't mean i'm not a trans woman just because I have a dick doesn’t mean im not a trans woman. I feel like gender is not physical and that is most important thing for people to understand."
"Caitlyn Jenner is such a bizarre and unique example of what a trans woman’s experience actually is: she’s white, she’s right wing and she’s super wealthy and she transitioned overnight and she doesn’t have to try and get a job. She has access to whatever she wants so her transition was probably the easiest of almost anyones ever and for her to be face of transgenderism is really wrong. Well… its not wrong but she just needs to educate herself a lot more if she’s going to take on that role because the reality for transwomen is that murder is the biggest killer worldwide closely followed by suicide. You can't say that about many groups of people- that murder is the biggest killer. "