Happy IDAHOBIT Day!

May 17, 2018

Uncategorized

My name is Skye Lacy and I am 18 years and 27 days old. Thus far in my life I have; grown up in a small coastal town, moved to Melbourne with my family, come out to friends and family as bisexual, been thrown out of the closet to the entire school, started a Stand Out group at school that was a student and teacher collaborative group, come out as pansexual, volunteered with Banyule Council’s Rainbow Space (formally known as Queer Sphere), come out as non-binary, been the 67th person chosen to have an article written about me for Banyule 100, ungendered my high schools uniform policy, and have just recently started my UNI course in gender sexuality and diversity studies.

When it is written in quick succession like that it does sound very impressive, like I’m really someone who took my identity and ran with it in a very public way. But, surprise, it wasn’t always like that!

If you throw your mind back about thirty seconds, you’ll recall me stating that I grew up in a small coastal town. Now, it’s really not as bad as you may be thinking, my family and friends have always been extremely accepting and I diffidently knew gay and lesbian people growing up, I just had z e r o understanding of what the heck that meant. In this period of my life I’m going be honest and say that I really did not have the higher brain power, I mean the tools and education, to even dip into trying to figure out the complexities in why I found my best friend attractive. Thus I just ignored the heck out of it until later in life. Needless to say, moving to Melbourne with literally no friends gave me a lot of time to think, and also way way WAY to much time on the internet.

Alright, now we are in Melbourne, starting year nine at Viewbank College (honestly my family was setting me up to be friendless, YEAR NINE, what a terrible year to move into). The gay capital of Australia and also where baby Skye put on their big person shoes for the first time! I did not want to be in these shoes. They were black leather school regulation lace up shoes designed for the sole purpose to suck the life straight out of you. I hated Melbourne. HATED! in full caps with an exclamation point. Did not enjoy.

But then ya know its been a year…ish and actually these black leather school reg lace up shoes are the most comfortable shoes you now own. Thus the first steps towards the person you see here today were taken.

I went to the school counselor. Why, you may ask? I had no friends, was probably depressed and had/have anxiety. She was the very first person I ever came out to as bisexual, shout out to Rose, and was absolutely amazing with support and just being an awesome human. From there I told my parents and, again, great response – amazing parents and family, shout out to them, it went well. Where it all presumably went to actual shi-oot is when I told a few friends, whom of which I thought I could trust, and then the WHOLE year level knew in the following days. That, that was absolutely not fun. I literally had come out to Rose only one week earlier.

So I kinda just went “okay @me”, what the flipping heck are we gonna do now because we are not happy, this sucks and I don’t know who to trust right now”. So, I did the literally the only logical thing, and went and cut all my hair off and kinda just really threw it in their face that heck YEAH I like who I am. That was kinda the starting point, taking this bad situation and just running with it, like okay how do I literally embody my gayness to the extreme.

The next thing that happened is that I was approached by a teacher from my school to start a teacher/student collaborative support/safe group (obviously there was no solid plan). The way they approached me was hilarious, “Skye, we know you have an interest in this area….” *awkward shuffle* “we were wondering if you wanted to…” I was just standing there like you know I know that you know I’m gay. Wew, cracks me up every time. But that was it, I was like okay well this is my issue now, this is the part of me is what I’ll be known for during my time at high school and probably during the rest of my life, I have to be ready for crisis of my self, of my friends, of my community. So what did my small 15 year old self do? “Hell yes, I’ll start that group, sounds freaking awesome, where do I sign up???”

That really, like I said before, decided how I was going to go about the rest of my life. Leading a school group where little year 7s and 8s rely on you to be out, proud and loud about who you are as a person means that you do just that because honestly they are so cute who can say no to their little prepubescent facessss. During my time there we ran two IDAHOT days at school and marched in 3 pride marches, however, the best thing that I achieved during my time there was being able to ungender in the school uniform. What this means is that from about Julyish last year anyone who is a student at Viewbank College is able to wear what ever uniform they please. Shorts, dress, skirt or pants. Anything for anyone. It was just so amazing to see that happen, both a huge step in the right direction and the ability for people to be who they are or wear what they want, which is amazing.

During this time I also did volunteering with Banyule Youth Council’s Rainbow Space. This gave me the opportunity to give direct feedback to the Council about what needs to change and how. It also allowed me to learn the skills on how to run a program, running and organising two IDAHOT days during my time there, both were amazing experiences.

Then, to me it was a surprise but literally anyone I told was like of course, I got chosen by Banyule to have an article written about me as a part on Banyule 100. Crazy stuff. That was overwhelming, i was having my photo taken…professionally!! Seriously no one is ready for the awkwardness of photo shoots, least of all me.

And right now im studying gender, sexuality and diversity studies at Latrobe Uni. It’s great. No one is ever surprised when I tell them what I’m studying. I think that just goes to show that I’ve been on the right path for years now and that everyone who knows me can see that.

Now, on a more serious less ego stroking note. One thing that should’ve stood out during my speech is that I live a very privileged life. Every turn I took, every time I came out, every thing I did there was support support support. Family is supportive. Best friends are supportive. People I meet are supportive. My best friend who is a christian and I honestly was scared as heck to come out to her, was freaking supportive. So yes, I was able to do all of these amazing things because the whole time I had a mountain of people supporting me, cheering me on and standing in my corner.

Not. Everyone. Has. This. And not only does not everyone have this but there are some people who don’t even know what being supported is like, they have never had this. Especialy in the LGBT community.  Not only on a basic level, where you think there would be acceptance no mater what, like in the family or by schools, but even in a bigger more commercial level, like social media and just media in general. Some of the things we face growing up as part of the LGBT community is; being kicked out of home, LGBT youth have some of the highest rates of homelessness from any minority group, being bullied, mental illness (struggling with your identity is really freaking hard regardless of anything else in your life), the oversexualisation of our identities… What I want people to take away from this is that marriage equality wasn’t the end game, we aren’t suddenly not a suppressed minority in modern day Australia, there is still change to come.

If there is anything that you can learn from what I have told you about it is that people who are given the support and chance to achieve will. Regardless of anything, race, gender, sexuality, living situation etc. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to share with you what I have been able to achieve in my small 18 years and 27 days because I got the support that I deserve. Support your friends, family, people you don’t know, dogs, cats. How hard is it to look someone in the eye and say “ill stand by you”

-Skye Lacy

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