My resignation as reported in Sydney Star Observer
COMMUNITY ACTIVIST LOOKS FOR NEW ROLE by Cara Davis
norrie mAy-welby blows bubbles at the APEC protests earlier this year.
Community identity norrie mAy-welby has resigned from the Sex Workers Outreach Project after 10 years of service. Or in mAy-welby’s own words, “Like a bird, I’ve outgrown this lovely nest, and I have gotten tired of banging my wings on the sides, it’s time to fuck off and fly.”
The queer activist, who identifies as male and female, will spend more time on creative endeavours including working as a cartoonist and performance artist.
“That involves taking off your clothes and dancing around to ‘walk on the wild side’ in front of 100 strange uni students,” mAy-welby said.
“The alternative free party scene that is happening in Sydney is very much where my future is.”
The community will not be without mAy-welby, however, who is adamant about staying active in the wider social justice movement.
mAy-welby started working for SWOP, which is auspiced by ACON, in 1997, after a brief stint at the Gender Centre.
Earlier in the 90s mAy-welby had been on the management committee of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, but was expelled in 1993 after allegedly speaking out “against the interests of the association”.
“We were discussing whether we would include bisexuals and transgendered people and they decided no, they were going to stay focused on gay and lesbian rights,” mAy-welby said.
The mAy-welby career has also included part-time sex work along William Street. “And that’s something I might be doing a bit more of now,” mAy-welby said. “I need to eat and I have grown too old for a boss.”
mAy-welby has also presented to Parliament in an effort to defend the rights of prison inmates, identifying to the Parliamentary Standing Committee as a “completely infertile human who is occasionally accosted by law-enforcement employees”.
“I feel connected to all of humanity and I need to speak out if something wrong has been done to any human,” mAy-welby said.
“There is no difference between me and someone else and I have learnt that from not being a man or a woman, I can’t separate myself by gender from anyone.”
So just which box does mAy-welby tick in this label-obsessed world – is it male or female?
“Whatever will be the most subversive,” mAy-welby said.
“Sometimes I write them an essay.”