Shane's story

Shane: OK my name is Shane.  I’m 41 years old, I’m a Capricorn. I was born in Melbourne but I grew up in regional Victoria but I’ve been back in Melbourne now for the past eight years.

Growing up where I was treated differently and where I faced discrimination mostly was at school. So primary school I remember feeling just different so I was highlighted and teased just for being different for being a boy who never got dirty, for being a boy who never played sport, for being a boy who hung out with the girls instead of the boys. So I learnt from an early age that I wasn’t like other boys. And then high school came along and things just intensified so then the abuse was targeted at my sexuality or my, you know I was very young but you know what was apparent to everyone else but myself.  
The older I got the more anxious I became. I felt that every day had the possibility of presenting something really quite hurtful to me because that was my experience. So even as an adult going to a work  place or walking down the street or you know, I just had this, I guess it was an irrational fear of being hurt.  

I became that person who got up in the morning, not feeling so great, had a shower, jumped on the tram, got to work and couldn’t step in the office building because I was in tears and I was just racked with anxiety and you know having to call my boss from downstairs saying “I’m so sorry, I just can’t come in,” and even now it’s really hard to believe that that was me but it was.

And so I eventually, feeling that way eventually led me to seeking counselling and I’ve had counselling now for 12 years and it’s only now in the past year or two that I actually like myself.

I think what I would like to see change in the world is that whole notion of choice. You know I can’t believe that people still think it’s a choice. That parents still look at their gay sons or daughters and think “You’ve chosen this lifestyle”.
I would love to see more education around that, just people being more accepting, more loving and it makes the world a better place. To have gay people in the world it’s great.