Brotherboys are Indigenous transgender people with a male spirit, whose bodies were considered female at birth. Brotherboys choose to live their lives as male, regardless of which stage/path medically they choose. Brotherboys have a strong sense of their cultural identity.
Voices from the community
“My name is Kellum, I am a 35 year old FTM Brotherboy who has just started my transition. I feel ready now to finally make that change in my life. I grew up in Melbourne with the non-indigenous side of my family, who have always been supportive of the choices in my life. Since my youth, I have identified as a gay female but I was aware that I felt different.
I knew that I had a boy spirit trapped inside my female body although I did not fully understand the term “transgender”.
My birth mother was from the stolen generation. I searched for over twenty years to reconnect with her and the rest of my indigenous family. Unfortunately I only got the opportunity to meet her once, before she passed away. It’s been hard for me to uncover my family history, but I know I am from the Kamilaroi/Goomeroi nations from NSW and Qld area. I now have reconnected with more of my family members and continue to search for others.
I now live and work in a remote community in the Northern Territory where I am experiencing and learning about traditional culture. Being out in community it has been difficult for me to find information on Indigenous Trans fellas.
I thought I was the only one, I felt alone. Since starting my transition I have found a community of Brotherboys and Sistergirls and now feel a sense of strength to begin my journey.
I had no idea there were so many others who were just like me.” ~ Kellum Steele.
Kellum / Photographer: Self portrait
Kai Clancy is a Wakka Wakka Brotherboy from Queensland. He’s currently living in Melbourne where he advocates for Brotherboys rights.
“When I first began researching Indigenous transgender people I could only find resources and information on Sistergirls. I didn’t know any other Indigenous transgender men, this made me incredible anxious and alone. I was really worried what it would mean culturally to transition from female to male. This inspired me to break down barriers for other Brotherboys by self-producing a series of online Brotherboy resources. Now I feel that the Brotherboy community has grown and we are strong in our cultural identity together.” ~ Kai Clancy (Brotherboy), Sistergirls & Brotherboys Australia.