Dec 08, 2016 2:09PM

Indigenous Sistagirls Successful In Mardi Gras Crowdfunding Campaign

See ya in Sydney!
'Crystal' (2009) - Bindi Cole

A community of 40 Aboriginal transgender women living on the Tiwi Islands (off the coast of Darwin) will be able to rep themselves at Mardi Gras for the first time ever thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign. The GoFundMe campaign that's been running since September has currently made $7,575 (exceeding it's goal of $6,500), meaning that ten Sistagirls will be making the fairly epic journey down to Sydney for the festivities. The funds will also go to helping the girls create a fab traditional-themed float.  

This comes as huge news for the isolated group whose participation will help to increase visibility around issues faced by Sistagirls and Brotherboys in the Indigenous community. Speaking with Mashable, senior Sistagirl Sean Kerinainua said that suicide and limited access health services are just some of the challenges faced by trans women in Tiwi. Despite this, she was hopeful that coming together as a community could help combat these issues. "The main focus was saying that for too long we have been discriminated against and not accepted in community. We said 'The more we don't stand together, the more family members you will lose who identify as Sistagirl, gay or lesbian.' Since that time, the main thing that is good is that there have been no suicides," Sean said.

She also said that participating in the Mardi Gras parade is going to be a huge deal for the Sistagirls.  

"Mardi Gras is such an inclusive place. I think it will be overwhelming and a culture shock for us, coming from a really small community … to thousands and thousands of people in Oxford Street! [Being involved] will give us confidence in ourselves." 

You can head here to help the Sistagirls out with a donation or head along to a fundraising party that's taking place in Sydney this Friday to do your bit IRL. 

Photo: Bindi Cole

Lucy Jones