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Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Kaylee Martin

THIS week­end South Perth res­i­dents are en­cour­aged to ‘check out’ a hu­man book and help break down dis­crim­i­na­tion as part of an in­ter­na­tional move­ment com­ing to the An­gelo Street Mar­ket­place.

WORK­ING to break down prej­u­dice and dis­crim­i­na­tion, the Hu­man Li­brary move­ment is bat­tling stigma all over the world.

Now the in­ter­na­tional equal­i­ties move­ment is com­ing to the South Perth com­mu­nity as part of the An­gelo Street Mar­ket­place.

The Hu­man Li­brary en­cour­ages res­i­dents to ‘check out’ a hu­man book, lis­ten to their unique sto­ries and learn from life ex­pe­ri­ences.

Rachel Oliver and Lind­say Evans are among the col­lec­tion of hu­man books, ea­ger to share their sto­ries at the mar­kets this Sun­day.

Last week, both Ms Oliver and Mr Evans of­fered the South­ern Gazette a taste of what was to come.

Their sto­ries could not be more dif­fer­ent.

Ms Oliver said the Hu­man Li­brary would pro­vide her with the plat­form to in­crease ac­cep­tance on a sub­ject she held close to her heart.

“I’m a trans­gen­der woman, and while it all sounds like a bit of a mouth­ful, my life is much sim­pler than most peo­ple think,” she said.

“As a trans woman, I’m very much about education.

“I want to get across that we’re nor­mal peo­ple in ex­tra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances, I live the same as ev­ery­one else. I’m not odd.”

Mr Evans, a mu­sic teacher and lec­turer, has a story filled with anec­dotes from his ex­pe­ri­ences with older stu­dents who’d picked up in­stru­ments later in life.

“All I hear from par­ents all the time is ‘oh I’ve al­ways wanted to play but it’s too late’,” he said.

“But it’s never too late and that’s what my story is all about.

“In my ex­pe­ri­ence peo­ple al­ways have learn­ing an in­stru­ment on their bucket lists.

“You don’t have to be a ge­nius, there’s no mys­tery or magic in a per­form­ing art.”

While the ex­pe­ri­ence of re­veal­ing per­sonal sto­ries might seem daunting, Ms Oliver said she was not wor­ried.

“I’m not ner­vous at all,” she said with a laugh.

“One of the ben­e­fits of tran­si­tion­ing is the im­mense con­fi­dence you de­velop, it’s al­most as though you feel you can go any­where or do any­thing.

“If you can han­dle tran­si­tion­ing – the big­gest event in your life – you can do any­thing.

“I’m more than happy to dis­cuss my­self and my jour­ney.”

The Hu­man Li­brary will be at the An­gelo Street Mar­ket­place this Sun­day. De­tails at www. south­perth.wa.gov.au.

Pic­ture: Will Rus­sell www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d451032

Rachel Oliver and Lind­say Evans.

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