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Jenza Talk / Australia

My Melbourne working holiday: travelling as trans

On finding a job, hormones and a community. We love it when a WHV works out.

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Ello, I’m Dane. Originally from Yorkshire and currently (hopefully forever) calling Melbourne home.

I’m also trans. Whoopty doo. The thing is, for me to say that so openly and proudly is quite the big whoopty doo because before I moved to Melbourne back on a Working Holiday Visa, I was still hiding this part of who I am. I’d moved over from London after finding myself pretty unhappy with hopes that a new city would be the cure to happiness. Spoiler alert, it wasn’t. Not immediately anyway. Almost three years here now and I finally feel like I’ve really grown into someone more confident, happy and secure in who I am. **I have never felt so proud to be trans and I really do have Melbourne and it’s wonderful LGBTQIA+ community to thank for that.

Working in Australia

It’s not that gender identity defines me, or that I shouldn’t have to disclose it but there’s just some situations you find yourself in as a trans person that force you out of your closet to complete strangers.

Want an example? For a start, the first word in WHV - working. For those looking into a WHV and having high expectations of landing a dream job, I’ll be honest with you, it’s tricky! Possible, but tricky. After a few chats with recruiters, I was told finding a job working in social media AND landing sponsorship would be a goldust of an opportunity, and I should probably accept that I’ll only manage contract work here and there.

Almost admitting defeat of a full-time gig, I’d found out that an interview for a social media manager at a running company had gone better than I’d thought and they’d like to offer me the role. Now I should have been celebrating, but instead I felt a weird sense of being a fraud. Not because I’d lied that I really enjoy running (when actually, the only time you’ll find me running is if I’m about to miss the last 109 tram) but because they’d interviewed me before what I felt was my biggest secret was to be revealed via my banking details.

Then comes wondering if telling your new colleagues over lunch as they’re munching into a salad is the right time to share. Turns out, there’s no perfect time … but the look on someone's face mid mouthful of salad did break the ice(berg lettuce).

I’d originally thought I’d only be in Melbourne for a year, but as my love for the city grew, I knew I’d do what I could to try and stick around for as long as possible. That included farm work. I’d walked into that experience pretty naively and thought being a trans guy in the middle of rural Queensland wouldn’t be such a big deal.

That was until I got to my working hostel, handed over my ID to which the receptionist said ‘you’ve given me someone else's ID?’ to which I’d assured her I hadn’t, and awkwardly explained why the girl in the photo in my passport was in fact me, they’d replied with ‘well I haven’t met a transgender before’. I suddenly felt like there would be a strong possibility I was the only trans person within the radius of 250km.

Fast forward to the farm work, a pandemic, a job loss and today I now work for a beautiful company called The Digital Picnic (who have sponsored me - woohoo! ✨) and we’re fully cheering in my corner as I hit ‘post’ on a video I filmed of myself for International Transgender Day of Visiblity to their 50,000+ Instagram community. I also get to proudly walk into an office with trans flags in meeting rooms knowing that employees have been given educational training on gender diversity by my favourite charity Min us18, an Australian charity who are helping to improve the lives of LGBTQIA+ youth.

Hormones

If you’re transmasculine in the UK, you might be aware of how difficult it is to get your hands on that glorious sweet sweet testosterone. When I lived in London, my private doctor shut his practice which meant no more magical hormone prescription. I was then told by every single gender clinic (not that there’s that many!) that they’re not accepting new patients. My GP then told me that in order to get prescribed testosterone, I’d have to join the NHS waiting list to see a gender specialist which would be 2-6 years. Time I just didn’t have as the imbalance of hormones was severely affecting my mental health. So instead of walking out with my hormones to balance me out, I was popped on a waiting list and given antidepressants. Not ideal when I knew the cure to feeling so low was testosterone.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dane DiCaprio

Jenza Community

in, Melbourne

Originally from Hull, Dane now calls Melbourne home where he works as a Content Specialist for a Digital Marketing Agency. He's a proud trans guy who is happy to share his experiences with anyone who'll listen. When he's not scrolling TikTok, he can be found at gigs, shaking his hips at Beers for Queers or sampling an Aussie Pinot Noir.

Follow Dane on Insta @dane_dicaprio

".. there’s just some situations you find yourself in as a trans person that force you out of your closet to complete strangers."

Why am I telling you this? Well, on my first day of moving to Melbourne, a friend out here recommended a doctor to me and I got an appointment straight away to see him. I told him I’m trans and was wondering if a prescription for testosterone was possible. He began tapping away and I was preparing myself to be told I need to be on a waitlist to see a specialist. Instead, he printed out a prescription, handed it to me and gave me directions to the nearest Chemist Warehouse. I thanked him, and in absolute disbelief walked myself into the pharmacy and was handed what felt like gold. And I’ve been able to do that every month since I’ve lived here.
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Getting down with nature | Image @dane_dicaprio

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More Melbourne pride | Image @lennonzf via Unsplash

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Minus18 - Champions for LGBTQIA+ youth | @minus18youth

Community

If you’re new to the city and you’re looking for likeminded housemates, there’s a Queer Housing Facebook Group, as well as the main housing Fairyfloss Facebook Group which isn’t specifically LGBTQIA+ but there are regular posts from those who are. I landed myself the most beautiful bunch of Queer housemates when I moved over, and they were so great at bringing me along to events they’d think I’d enjoy.

I’m sure it’s the same in other cities, but if you are single then dating apps are a great way to meet potential friends too, and there’s always regular Queer speed dating events happening in the city if you are on the lookout for luuurve.

Back in London, I’d tried a few times to find trans community groups so I could expand my social circle towards having more LGBTQIA+ friends. For the few that I found, I’d turn up to be greeted by just a couple of people who’d then decide not enough had showed up so they were going to cancel the night altogether.

Obviously Melbourne is a heck of a lot smaller of a city than London but it’s actually incredible how strong the Queer community is over here, and the night life is so freakin’ fun and inclusive. There’s my favourite monthly event Beers For Queers as well as Sundaylicious and TomboyThen there’s the Midsumma Festival and Collingwood Pride to pop in your diary. Both were two of my favourite days this year! And if you’re a bit of a film buff like me, there’s also the Queer Film Festival.

So, if you’re LGBTQIA+ then I promise you’re going to LOVE Melbourne. And if you’re trans and struggling to find your people? You’ll find them here. And they’ll be some of the best humans you’ll meet.
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Dane_Profile_JENZA.png

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dane DiCaprio

Jenza Community

in, Melbourne

Originally from Hull, Dane now calls Melbourne home where he works as a Content Specialist for a Digital Marketing Agency. He's a proud trans guy who is happy to share his experiences with anyone who'll listen. When he's not scrolling TikTok, he can be found at gigs, shaking his hips at Beers for Queers or sampling an Aussie Pinot Noir.

Follow Dane on Insta @dane_dicaprio

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