HAPPY: Former Warwick transgender woman Heidi Ellis shares her story.
HAPPY: Former Warwick transgender woman Heidi Ellis shares her story. Contributed

'Some people reading this might know me by another name'

My name is Heidi Ellis.

Some people reading this may know me by another name.

I was born and raised in Warwick and lived a good portion of my life there in anguish.

I am a part of the LGBTIQ population of Australia.

I was open about who I was by the time I was in my late teens after suffering incomprehensible bullying for almost all of my childhood.

I was born Hayden Ellis, into a family of three older girls and a loving mum and dad.

No matter how much love my family gave me my struggles were not easy to avoid, believe me I tried.

I tried wagging school. I tried eating to make me feel better about my existence and then eventually I turned to drugs because nothing I could do could stop the feeling that I was less than everyone else or the feeling that I wasn't safe any more.

There is a lot to my story, some of which only a handful of people know.

I have told part of my story with ABC on the iView series, Moment of Truth, talking about the time I was hit by a car on Stuart Ave in Warwick on my way home from work purely because at the time I identified as a gay man.

There is a lot more I could say but the point I want to make is this.

The marriage equality survey results concern me.

Not for the reasons they concern some though.

I am concerned that 38percent of the population believe that myself and my partner of two years do not deserve the same rights and protections under the law and believe that our current rights are equal to those who are married.

I am concerned about the influx of LGBTIQ people coming in to the organisation I work with talking of taking their life or having attempted to do so due to the debate surrounding this survey.

I'm concerned that people continue to push the idea that safe schools is an insurgent radical gay sex education program when it is not.

I am concerned that rather than looking into the facts around this people voted no to my rights.

I am concerned that the continuous propaganda spread around about my community has enough weight to it that 38percent of Australians believed it.

Propaganda like being labelled paedophiles, sexual deviants and a danger to children and the 'family unit' in general.

None of this is true. Studies have shown this yet for some reason people still believe the lies in the face of objective truth.

I am a mental health worker here in Brisbane and I have held the hands of my people and looked into their eyes while they cried because they have been abandoned, abused, assaulted, raped and discriminated against.

They have been given poor service in hospitals and mental health departments.

And now the government, whether intentionally or not, has put our existence up for debate and has exposed us to even more ridicule and aggression from people who wish to do us harm.

I think that as humans we need to take a step back and have a look at what is happening.

Voting no is your right if you chose to do so but I will challenge you on it.

What impact does it really have on you and your beliefs if people ask for equality under the law.

More rights for one minority does not mean less rights for the rest of the population.

Nor does it have any implications on the education system.

I want to extend my love out to the people of Warwick who had the heart to vote for my rights.

Who had the wisdom to vote yes even if they didn't personally agree with it because it had negligible impact on themselves and incredible impact on the people they were voting for.

I love Warwick and I really enjoy visiting my family.

It's a beautiful town and I would love nothing more than to eventually come back, with my partner, buy some land, grow some fruit and veggies, go quad biking, go fishing, have children and be an accepted part of the community there.

So I implore you if you feel I or other LGTIQ people deserve that happiness and bliss then make those changes in your thinking.

Challenge your beliefs. Look into the facts about our people.

There are more of us than you know and you never know when you are talking with one of us.

So it's important that we start to shift the way we think and act towards minorities.

We won't hurt you. We want the same things that you do, heck I'll even go fishing with you.

I am just a person trying to be happy. That's all.

So be a part of my happiness. X



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