VIDEO: The life of a transgender teen in Lismore
AN 18-YEAR-OLD transgender sex worker has published an animated You Tube series about her life in Lismore, in the hopes of becoming a Lismore council-funded "village artist".
Vaylira Passionfruit's, Vaylira and the Lismore Crew, was published this year, inspired by the cartoonist's experience of growing up in Lismore.
Ms Passionfruit was kicked out of home and taken in by the Gender Centre Refuge, in Sydney, aged 17, before recently moving to Melbourne to work in a trans-inclusive brothel.
"During a dark time in Sydney where I was very suicidal, I told myself that art was my defining skill and I would use my art to erase the void in myself and problems in the world."
Ms Passionfruit credits the centre for saving her life and after legally replacing her "dead name" has begun the journey from male to female, using estrogen supplements and testosterone blockers.
"It's like all these locked doors in my soul suddenly became unlocked."
Ms Passionfruit wants to "become a local legend" for the LGBQTI communities of the Northern Rivers.
"My ambition is to eventually be funded by Lismore City Council to be the village artist, perform my music at pubs, make comic strips and satirical pieces and be funded a proper wage to create my cartoon show," she said.
"I really think I have a lot to offer my community and have a strong passion for community values and local knowledge in a world where it is all overlooked by globalisation.
"People are so fascinated with the big names like the Kardashians, Trump, Disney and Drake, all of whom don't care about Lismore and probably don't even know where it is.
"I think that focusing on the parts of the community that aren't looked at as much by society is extremely important.
"I hope to do a lot of advocacy and didactic commentary around a lot of contemporary issues in society around the region."