I've associated with the LGBTQI community most of my adult life and spent eight fabulous years sharing houses with gay males. I was to meet the 'T' in LGBTIQ when I managed brothels. Spending five years working in a transsexual brothel, of the 12 years I worked as a brothel manager, were the years I loved the best. I learnt so much from these ladies and grew to really care for a few. I understood by their stories these ladies are true warriors in choosing to be who they really are and that their world was a judgemental and dangerous one, too often lethal.
I still am in contact with six of these lovely ladies, one is now highly respected as an advocate for the transgender community in Sydney and another is well on her way to becoming the same in my home town of Melbourne. Then, there is the one who became midwife to the book I gave birth to. Without Kaz, I'd not be where I am now and you'd not be reading this. Kaz and I became so close that I chose to spend my 50th birthday with her. I treated myself to a 10 day trip to Sydney for that birthday and gorgeous (in more ways than one) Kaz was ecstatically my hostess.
Kaz was there to pick me up at the Airport. Now, I knew Kaz and Deni Hines were acquaintances but I was still very surprised to see Deni as the driver when I jumped into the back seat of the car. ‘Well, hello Sydney!’ was what exploded in my mind. Kaz must have filled her in somewhat about me for Deni turned to me and said, “so, I hear you have a smother”. This gorgeous soul was to become the cherry on top of my trip to Sydney. We three loved our music and a laid back party atmosphere developed between us, where singing, grooving, talking and laughing became our norm. They tried to show me the sights but I was entirely happy where I was. I had a chocolate croissant every morning, hand-delivered by Deni, and got to groove and talk each day without having to go anywhere. Deni loved to hear about my job, especially celebrity clients.
In conversation one day Deni mentioned the song, ‘You Don't Own Me’, that she felt is as powerful for females as ‘I Am Woman’. Not only do I wholeheartedly agree but tell her it's one of my all-time favourite tunes. She then proceeded to sing it to me acapella. I was enthralled at such talent giving me a private mini-concert and was in bliss, thinking to myself it doesn't get better than this.
On the last day of my holiday, Deni dragged me out of the house with Kaz, even though I protested, and it was to be the perfect ending to my visit. The three of us eating ice cream while sitting on a stone fence in a famous Sydney street and that great Australian sun shining down was to become a favoured memory etched in my mind. The afternoon continued thusly bittersweet for the holiday that had gone too quickly.
I surprised Deni by showing up to her album launch a few short weeks later. It was one of the best concerts and weekends ever.