Freedom Stories: Ashley’s story

Freedom Stories: Ashley’s story ——————————- acon Building our community’s health and wellbeing [Soft piano music] [Transgender girl walking across bridge in
park] ASHLEY VO:
My name’s Ashley. I was born in 1988 as Adam. I was born in Sydney, Australia [Ashley kneeling at park with ibises
and ducks] and I am currently 25 years old. Both my parents were born in Italy. [indoor close-up of Ashley] From as far as I can remember I’ve always
felt different. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what
it was but I just didn’t feel entirely like a boy. [Ashley looking at photo album of photos
of herself] I was cross-dressing at my earliest memories
in my sister’s clothes. [close-up] I never told anyone how I felt, I never told anyone about anything that
was relating to that part of my life. [piano music and bird noises] [close-up of Ashley at park, feeding birds] So I went on the internet and typed in
“boy feels like girl” and the results that came up was “transgender”. [Ashley at park on laptop] Television, for instance, portrayed Trans
people as a joke, a punch line. So when I found transgender online community to me, that was a relief. I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore. I felt that I could relate to people
because people were going through the same thing and… you know.. It eased up on the depression. It eased up on the anxiety because all of a sudden there were people who
are like me. I was on hormones for about a year and my mother and my father had some
money [POV looking out airplane window] and they wanted to help me with my transition. [old video footage of Ashley on plane
with mother] My mother, she went with me to Boston and she was pretty much there to support
me [Ashley as a boy in hospital room] and be with me by my side. With the FFS, which is Facial Feminisation
Surgery, I was recovering for about two weeks [Ashley in hospital bed with bandages
of face] and that was pretty much the majority of the
time I was in Boston. I was there with bandages on my face,
on my forehead, keeping the swelling down. As soon as I woke up I asked the nurse
“Can I have a mirror?” and she showed me and I was like “wow”
even though I was swelling it just didn’t look like me. So that was very interesting. I had a new face. [rapid montage of facial selfies of Ashley
from before surgery to after surgery] ASHLEY VO:
I wish I knew then that there were organisations out
there to educate and to help with depression, low self-esteem
and general vulnerability associated with transition. The reason I am so happy with my life
at this moment is because of the support networks I have made contact
with, friends I have made and the love and
support from my family. I wish I knew it was okay to be trans.

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