At 63, Bianca’s life is a testament to grit, bravery, and the game-changing magic of figuring oneself out. Raised in the restrictive societal norms of the 60s, Bianca’s journey, marked by a stringent Catholic upbringing, was one fraught with challenges and discrimination.

“I grew up in a very catholic household and went to a religious school. At the time, these environments were pretty terrifying for someone who didn’t play the ‘right’ part in society.

“I was heavily bullied for not being typically masculine. I learned pretty quickly that showing any sign of femininity was wrong.”

Bianca’s resilience is nothing short of remarkable. Battling kidney disease and liver failure, she underwent a critical liver transplant right before lockdown struck. With her immune system compromised, Bianca found herself isolating more than most during those challenging times. It’s a real testament to her strength.

Navigating the hurdles of extended treatment to boost life expectancy and manage pain with medications, Bianca now contends with chronic fatigue and a noticeable decline in her fine motor skills. “I’ve certainly been through a lot in my life. But I’m not one to give up without a fight!” This resilient spirit encapsulates Bianca’s determination to face life’s tribulations head-on.

After the pandemic, or as Bianca playfully calls it, the ‘transdemic,’ she found solace in different LGBTQIA+ community and support groups. It was during this time that she stumbled upon the Rainbow WISE program, a tailored initiative providing support for LGBTQIA+ individuals with disabilities.

At WISE Employment Marrickville, Bianca encountered the Rainbow WISE consultants, Gemma and Izzy, and despite initial apprehension due to past experiences, their conversation left a lasting impact. Gemma and Izzy understood Bianca’s perspective, providing the acknowledgment she needed, ultimately laying the foundation for her triumphant return to the workforce. “When you’re comfortable and confident, anything is possible. We organized a trip to the hair salon for Bianca so that she felt powerful when stepping into an interview.” This thoughtful gesture not only boosted her confidence but also played a pivotal role in her successful reintroduction to the workplace.

Gemma and Izzy played a key role in helping Bianca smoothly rejoin the workforce, emphasizing the importance of inclusive workplaces. Following their guidance, she secured a position at Merlin Entertainment, a global leader known for championing diversity and inclusion, running iconic establishments like Sea Life and Wild Life.

“When I went to the interview, I was very transparent. I essentially said ‘you may have noticed I’m transgender,’ and they replied with ‘that’s okay – most of us here are gay. We’ve even got gay penguins!’”

More than a year into her position, Bianca didn’t just land a job – she found a second family within Merlin. The welcoming environment helped her conquer those initial fears, letting her embrace her true self without holding back. “I was terrified when I first started that I would get abused for being trans or for having a disability, but I’ve received so much support from the team.”

Bianca’s journey extends beyond employment; she remains a staunch advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights. Whether she’s speaking at Pride events or actively participating in initiatives that uplift the queer community, her story is an ongoing commitment to making a positive impact.

“The world is slowly changing and people are finally beginning to understand that supporting trans folk is about achieving better outcomes for everybody.”

In the narrative of Bianca’s life, every twist and turn reflects resilience, the search for authenticity, and the powerful influence of finding support where it matters. Her journey is like a theme song for those navigating identity complexities, a celebration of the triumph that comes with being true to yourself in a world that’s slowly recognizing the beauty of diversity.


WHO IS Angel | A Non-Binary Icon in Melbourne's Ballroom Scene


Personal Transition, Public Regression | What are trans struggles?


About Author

Walton Wong

Meet Walton Wong - a 28-year-old, Melbourne-based part-time writer and full-time hot mess.

He is a homebody at heart who enjoys binge eating, drinking cocktails, and memorising the words to real housewife fights, often simultaneously.

Walton is originally from Papua New Guinea, which means he brings a unique – and welcomed – perspective to the Gay’s Guide team.

Please head to our contact page if you’d like to share feedback on A Modern Gay’s Guide or pitch a story that you’d like us to cover.