From the Outer

Jason and Jaqs.pngIn the early days my journey, after coming out and living full time as Michelle, I happened to make a new close friendship with Jason Tuazon-McCheyne. We briefly bumped into one another at Carnival in 2015 but it wasn’t until we came on ‘In the Spotlight’ at Joy 94.9, one week as a panel of community leaders discussing topics around the transgender community, that we really got to know one another. We discussed my struggles as a parent, and my reluctant feelings toward going out to the footy because of fear of abuse from homophobia.

We bonded instantly and found we both had crossed each other’s paths in my home state of Missouri where I had grown up and where he attended University. After that we started attending the footy together with his husband and friends as well as other events such as the launch of the purple bombers which he founded.

This friendship helped me become closer to a game I had followed for 14 years. A game which is ingrained in the culture of Melbourne. It wasn’t until we met that I actually felt a part of the game and welcome by friends to these events.

Jason had his footy story published recently in the book mentioned below and I had never known that I was actually a pivotal part of his relationship with footy as he was in mine and he talked about this.

http://www.blackincbooks.com/books/outer

Here is the books description.

From the Outer: Footy Like You’ve Never Heard It

“A celebration of our great game, From the Outer brings together 30 personal stories about Aussie Rules from unexpected voices: those who are female, Indigenous or gay; those with a disability, a foreign accent or even – perhaps most dubious of all – literary leanings.

Some are closet fans, some are out and proud. Many are ground-breaking and revolutionary, shaking up the institution that has dominated cultural life in Melbourne, and much of Australia, for generations. Some are actively involved in the game, such as Leila Gurruwiwi, panelist on Australia’s first all-Indigenous footy show; Angela Pippos, one of Australia’s first female sports commentators; and Jason Tuazon-McCheyne, founder of the LGBTI supporter group the Purple Bombers. Others, like Christos Tsiolkas, Sophie Cunningham, Tony Birch and Alice Pung, share their poignant, passionate experiences as spectators and supporters.

Engaging and surprising, From the Outer shows how footy can both thrill and devastate, exclude and unite, by shining a light on the diversity and splendor of the game.

Published by mishsheppard

Michelle's powerful combination of self and community shines through the platform of radio which has helped raised the public profile and national dialogue of transgender, gender diverse and intersex issues on a national scale. Surprisingly nothing is off limits with Michelle who connects with her audience brilliantly; obviously through her humor and unapologetic blunt honesty. She is often labelled as an inspiring advocate and role model for youth and adults alike and hers is a powerful story to tell. We know that when a woman has the support of her community, especially her sisters, she is unstoppable. Michelle’s wider support from the women around her, LGBTI+ or ally alike, has helped develop her own unstoppable resilience and body positive confidence that she inspires others with. Now a sought-after public speaker Michelle is admired for her bold public representation of the Transgender community as works to break through the barriers of unconscious bias, cultural and structural issues to ensure equality of opportunity for all Australian work spaces. Winner of the ANZ Excellence in Business Award, ‘LGBTI Jobs’ a relatively new project, they pair LGBTI graduates and jobseekers to companies that embrace inclusion initiatives. “We’ve started a business that helps anybody who’s in the LGBTI Community. We go to companies and see what they are you doing. This isn’t just for me, this is for the entire community and we are going to make a massive change.” Michelle was recently celebrated alongside some truly amazing individuals from our community as part of the ‘The LOTL Power List 2016’ as someone who does everything in their power to make life that little bit better for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities: sometimes with blood, sweat and tears; and sometimes just by being themselves. Michelle is also a finalist for ‘MTV – LGBTI Broadcaster and Presenter’ in the Australian LGBTI Awards 2017. Awards Globe Awards 2016 - ANZ Excellence in Business Award The LOTL Power List 2016 (28/40) Finalist for ‘MTV – LGBTI Broadcaster and Presenter’ in the Australian LGBTI Awards 2017

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