Advocate and Voice
To all the beautiful people. My name is Ryley. I am a 39-year-old Transgender male living in housing commission in New South Wales.
I was made a ward of the state in the mid 80s after my father was incarcerated, not long after he took me away from my mother in Sydney and moved to Melbourne. At the time of incarceration, I was placed with some people he knew, and at about 4-5 years old I was being sexually abused. Circumstances arose that my carer got in contact with my mother and I was soon able to have visits with her, without my father’s knowledge. Before too long, my brother 4 years my senior, started sexually abusing me. By the time I was 8, my mother was informed about my brother and the police were called and I was placed in Minali in Lidcombe then into to Mc Credie Cottage.
I went to court against my brother, but it was acquitted due to the amount of damage I had incurred. And with no support or understanding, I ran out of the proceeding. My carer wasn’t investigated until I was 21 due to jurisdiction.
I was lost in the system until I was 11.
I’d moved with my father 1992 and soon was on the streets. Eventually, I was moved to Melbourne in mediation housing and was placed in care with my mother. At 15 I was assaulted by her husband and was given an ultimatum to leave or my mother had to, so I left and spent 3 years on the streets and in an out of refuges.
I battled alcoholism and a heroine addiction for 11 years. And 4 overdoses and 7 self harms, the earliest cutting my wrists when I was 8 years old. I’ve been clean now since December 2006. Though I fight hard, I still battle and struggle internally every day.
Moving around from home to home I dug deep and made another statement against my carer in 2013. I believe he was arrested but later released due to lack of evidence. Whilst they had trouble locating everything, as Lidcombe had closed 1992. It was back and forth with Victorian lawyers, making me locate and contact every one involved.
2016 in April a detective called me and informed me my carer had passed away, and because of that, was no longer able to do anything. Not long after, another lawyer said he was fighting for restitution. Being held up on information lost and or no longer available, it was struck from the tribunal. Now back in place, he informed me that a forensic psychiatrist will need to prove me being transgender was due to the Chronic childhood sexual assault. Never been proven, it fell by the way side. I fell into another slump and I’ve been forced to move 8 times in the last two years, from the streets to crisis accommodation to transitional housing through the gender centre in my area, back to the streets and temporarily in linked to home motels until my housing was approved.
I am wondering if there is any one who can help me. I am desperate. These are thoughts almost every day. I feel useless and I feel like I’m being swept under the carpet again.
I took this leap of the past four years for those responsible to be held accountable, now I feel I’m being victimised for me being me. Although I firmly believe my heart is big and there will be light at the end of the tunnel one day.
I dream of being an advocate and a voice for those who haven’t been heard also. I may not have received justice, and I suspect I never will, but truth is far more powerful. I just need one chance.
Today I'm grateful as I have a roof over my head and I look forward to a somewhat normal life ahead.