About Me

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NSW, Australia
I'm made it past 50! married for over half my life, have 3 kids all grown and I'm loving this part of my life.I was a nurse in my younger days but an unhealthy dose of rheumatoid arthritis put a damper on my career,so I'm at home with the internet.

Friday, April 23, 2010


When and how are young people going to be able to leave home in any major city and outskirts in Australia?

Anglicare Australia's, Kasy Chambers said rent more than 30 per cent of a person's limited income was generally regarded as not economical.

Students who have to leave home to study because they live in country towns, are severly disadvantaged.In Canberra, Room rental STARTS at $150pw ...thats a ROOM, not a bedsit or unit. A ROOM. It's usually room only, so they are at the mercy of the other sharers who may use more electricity or internet than them but have to pay an equal share.

Affordability =30% of income? On YA for students living away ,the over 18's get $480 a fortnight..that includes rent assisitance!!! 30% is approx $80 per week affordability for rent.... repeating my self Canberra a ROOM starts at $150 pw, room only, and they still have to pay utilities.

Because we live in a SMALL country village, rents are a bit cheaper, so my duaghter studies by distance.... so after her rent,phone, elect, and car payment...she has $60p/w left to buy food and petrol and anything she needs to replace like if her shoes wear out or, she needs a coat for winter etc.

The rent in the larger regional towns is still over $220 per week for a 2 brm house, this sounds so cheap compared to Sydney doesn't it? But, jobs are scarce and families susually have only one working so its stretching the affordability level. A student has no hope of renting a house in a largish town like Wagga or Orange that have smaller univeristies and larger tafes.

I don't know what the solution is. There is a commonwealth grant available to help with accomodation for uni students, but not for TAFE students. Perhaps any full time study should be eligable ofr an accomadation grant.

I blame negative gearing brought out in the '80s to minimise tax and encourage mum and dad investors, apparantly so everyone could have and afford an investment house. Well a few mum and dads have more than 40 houses, each collectiing rents to pay the increasing morgages from all the borrowing,while the rest of mum and dads struggle to pay the rising rents along with the students who starve so they can pay the rent and study the courses of their choice or talents.

Throw the disabled, mentally ill, disfigured , GLTG and single parents into the mix looking for affordable accomadation and that adds up to a lot of young people trying to get ahead by studying,that are living in poverty.

Just in Canberra alone the afffordability for students in non existant.
The rent for a tiny 1br unit starts at $290 per week. This is a city that has a large University and a large percentage of university students ,many from overseas,all looking for an affordable place to live............AND EAT!!!

Anglicare Australia's state and territory offices looked at advertisements for rental properties in newspapers this month.

The organisation's executive director Kasy Chambers said rent more than 30 per cent of a person's limited income was generally regarded as not economical.
The results of their in-house survey, released Friday, revealed there were virtually no homes listed that welfare recipients and single parents could reasonably afford.

On that basis, Anglicare found there was no affordable housing for Youth Allowance or Austudy beneficiaries in Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and Tasmania.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Carlotta- He did it her way

He did it her way,that is the title of Carlotta's biography.I really enjoyed this read, her complete honesty is apparant behind her wicked sense of humour. The thing that made me laugh the hardest in whole book, was that she is such a glamour puss, she doesnt feel at home without a feather boa, so to speak,so, when she was cast on Beauty and the Beast as a panelist,she hated it as they made her look like a librarian.Funnily enough, to me she looked the best she ever had and I took her seriously as a woman. She hated it though, she lives to be on stage.

Carlotta was born Richard Byron sometime in the 50's....a girl never gives away her age.
In 1963 she began her career as an original member of the long-running Les Girls cabaret show, performed entirely by scantily clad and glam dressed males, which started in 1963 in the heart of Sydney's Kings Cross.She Eventually became the show's compare, which is how I saw her back in 1980 when I was 17.I can tell you there was no "political correctness" back then and Carlotta delighted in giving the homophobic a hard time.
She did put on a great show, we were all amazed...'where do they put it? etc It was all a bit of a giggle at ouryoung age.
I lived in a bubble,I had only just realised that lesbians and gays were real people the year before!
Ha! I was at the very first Mardi Gras in sydney in 1979.......only it was a New Years eve mardi gra and the gay and lesbian group had a protest march in the crowd...I didn't notice !!! People saY Hey your a 79'er... wow.......but really I didn't know anything about it!!!

I digress...back to Carlotta.
Sometime in 73 or 4..she can't remember(honestly???) She went to Hong Kong and came back with breast implants and it was widely reported she had a sex change while there but she hadn't. That happened in Australia.Carlotta was in fact one of the first three people to have gender affirming surgery performed in Australia. It was performed by a British surgeon at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney. She was the only celebrity of the three and her story made huge headlines here. She paid just $5 for her op - for legal documents, waiving any right of compensation from the hospital should the op go awry. She signed,happily went under the knife, the op was a success, and she's never looked back.
Around this time there was an Asutralian Soap called Number 96 which was literally a shocker. It liked to shock the Asutralian asudience. I wasn't allowed to watch as a kid.It was set in a block of units and floowed the lives of the tennants. there as the gay guy, the first gay kiss, plenty of boobs and bums and Australias first full frontal female nude.inot this mix is the character of Arnold, mild-mannered and puny , oddly, young Arnold would be hit on by a stream of glam young women falling at his feet.Arnold's new romance was with a lovely blond showgirl Miss Robin Ross, played by a glamorous newcomer named Carolle Lea, Arnold was surprised to learn Robin had been born male and was a transsexual. At the time it was a daring and contraversial, they had secretly cast Carlotta in the role.
quotes from her bioraphy:
The joke was that Arnold fell in love with me without realising I was a man. He thought I was a genuine showgirl. I remember Abigail(another acress on the show..blonde...boobs and bum ) used to turn up to work in these baby doll nighties. She was always getting into trouble for being late, but she was so pretty"
“Number 96 was my first real acting job and I was petrified. What made it worse was they kept me locked up on set because my true identity was supposed to be a secret. Pat McDonald, who played Dorrie Evans, was wonderful. She would pick me up in the mornings and tell me to just be myself. The funniest scene from Number 96 was when they had me in the dressing room and my flatmate walked in and caught me shooting up with this hypodermic needle that must have been fourteen inches long. And she asked me if I was a drug addict and I said ‘No, I’m just injecting some hormones’. Which I thought was hysterical because the only hormones I ever took came in pill form.
“Eventually Arnold Feather asked Robin to get married so it was essential to the plot that I revealed that I was a tranny. The way they did it was for Arnold to put his hand up my dress and say ‘Miss Ross, I mean, Mister Ross’. It was quite scandalous for its time. As soon as that episode finished the phones didn’t stop ringing with people complaining.

“The original ending would have shocked them even more. It was planned that I would be in the bathtub when Arnold walked in so I stood up in surprise. They were going to film me from behind so you’d see Arnold having a look and then fainting. It would have been a better ending but you might have had half the viewers fainting as well. Fred Nile would have had a coronary.

“Because my identity had to be kept a secret they locked me in this very small dressing-room on set. I called it a cupboard, it was so small. When it was time to film one of my scenes they would order everyone out of the studio except the crew and the actors involved. At lunch breaks I would have my meals sent in to my room, while all the others went out to eat. It wasn’t exactly fun."
“Abigail once said that she thought I had better tits than she did, but hers were pretty damn good, and they were real. She had trouble relating to me as a man (this was before my sex change) so she always referred to me as a she.” Producer Bill Harmon had always insisted that Carlotta’s true identity be absolutely kept secret, to the extent that Carlotta’s contract specified she could not reveal her involvement with the show to anyone - not even her closest friends. TV Week reported that the day after the revelation that Robin was transgendered the switchboard at Channel Ten was jammed by amazed viewers wanting confirmation as to whether Robin’s portrayer was male or female."
Carlotta says she was pleased that the script was not in poor taste and did not ridicule “female impersonators”. “I was delighted when I saw how beautifully the writers handled it. Various ways of revealing my true identity were discussed. But the final outcome was that I would confess to Arnold - an ending I much prefer. Sadly even Number 96 was not ready for a transgendered character full time, and Robin made no returns to the story. “Although I love stage work I would really love to be given a chance as a serious actress. People like me are seldom given an opportunity to prove themselves on television and I think Number 96 has been a real breakthrough. I’m hoping now that other doors will open for me. I wouldn’t mind playing a female impersonator, but naturally I would prefer to play a straight female role.”

Carlotta returned to Les Girls and has been with the show in one form or another ever since. seh has made jsuest appearances on TV her most recent being a panelist on Beauty and the Beast.

I had this wrong, I thought Priscilla was inspired by Carlotta but its the other way around,her show continued in the Les Girls building until 1993, then,inspired by the film "Priscilla Queen of the Desert", they took the show on the road. The show is still touring, though I haven't seen anything on her website since Dec last year.

I must get her book and reread it now,with a new insight :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Becoming Chloes Mum

10 months ago I had 3 kids,2 boys and a girl,now I have 2 girls and a boy.
It's been an interesting journey, one I didn't plan on ,yet here I am.
Here on blogger and in some forums I've been congratualted for being a great parent.If there was a medal though,I think I'd have to give it back. I don't feel like I've done anything extrodinary. I love my children. beginning. middle. end.

I told my kids they could tell me anything.I told my kids they could be anything. Those words came back to haunt me June last year. I had to put my money where my mouth is so to speak. Adn I did. gradually.
At first I did some ostrich mothering,head in the sand and changing the subject as if not listening would make it not real.My son was so excited by what he was about to embark on that it was all he could talk about and I went thrugh the motions for a little while,not really believing. Within a few months though, it was obvious that my son was living a lie and really meant to change his life to her life.

My child was one of the kids that overcompensate with maleness,so that no one would know,so by the time he decided to make the change, apart from long hair and a habit of shaving under his arms, he was very very male. Motorcycle, heavy metal male.
This made it very hard to understand,but inch by inch I got there. I now realise how unhappy my son was,Chloe is really happy,smiles and laughs and it's a joy to see.

The thing that made it extroadinarily hard for me is that I thought I had a very close relationship with all my kids. So..How could I not know? How could my son have been so very unhappy all these years, and I not know? It made me question myself as a mother and his dad had the same feelings as a father. These thoughts make me more sad than any thing else other than the death of my mum so I try not to go there to often.
I have said something I can't take back and that is that had I known when he was say 10 i would have taken him to a pshychiatrist. I've done much reading since then and understand that it is a medical problem not a psych one and just hope Chloe forgives me for that one.
It has been a fascinating journey watching a very male person change like a caterpillar to a butterfly into a young woman. the hormonal changes have softened her face,the laser hair removal has been amazing.My son had a 5 o'clock shadow at about 11am,very hairy!!! chloe has lovely skin and has just a little hair above her Italian hand me down...I have the same,so ahs her sister LOL
Her breasts are not growing quickly enough....a puberty lament lol and she has some dreadful weepy mood swings from the HRT. All the emotion of a 15 yr old girl...glad shes not living at home LOL
At 22 she is making her way into the world at full speed ahead. she was only on HRT about 6 weeks or so when she changed her name to Chloe legally, changed her licence, work and super details and started living full time as Chloe. Brave ,Brave Chloe, but it has gone well,work has been fantastic.Chloe has a growing circle of friends where my son was pretty much a loner.
Her biggest concern now is her voice which is still very manly and she gets very dissapointed if she's reffered to as Sir or Mr.
There have been some tricky moments. I was trying to help chloe get a room and was ringing around and explaining that chloe has a male voice and is in transition(some ppl adveritise for female boarders)Most ppl were great but one asian lady was no no I do not want this ..I want a real girl!.Then there were the ones who answered the ad,which had explained everything but still when Chloe was asked for and she said in her male voice "thats me" she got hung up on.Most of the time she takes this all in stride,but every now and then it gets to her.

If you see someone you think perhaps used to be a guy,err on the side of caution and refer to her as Miss,don't stare obviously trying to figure it out,she is trying so hard to "pass",so make her day and say Miss :) I know it means the world to Chloe.

As I refered to before it hasnt been all peaches and cream. I was loathe to tell my husband that it was all systems go. He was very quiet, I didnt push and let him ask questions when he was ready and then he'd be quiet again for a while. He is now,and this has taken all 8 months, referring to his son as Chloe.For a long time he jsut thought his son was wearing dresses,he didnt get the whole change and the hormones.And then it clicked. He saw a couple of stories on the TV,listened to me read some of the forum posts. He is and advocate of the underdog and when he heard stories of discrimination and parents disowning thier kids he was angry. He has channelled this anger into acceptance and would be chloes biggest advocate if she was discriminated against or picked on,he'd be there. But... and thers a but.. i'm still not sure if he'd go to the movies or shopping with her just yet,he still seems frightened of telling his family as if it has somehow will make him look like a bad father. For fathers especially I think it is hard to get past a sense of wrongness. me, I wish I lived closer and could do more with chloe, I went to visit a few weeks ago and we went out to lunch with her girlfriend and her mum.It was a great day and I finally saw Chloe with out seeing my sons shadow. She is becoming a lovely young woman and i really wish her and Jess the best.

There is a lot more I could write,its where to start lol
perhaps I'll take questions and write about them one at a time.
If I can help anyone who is a parent or in transition in any way,ask away :)