Featured artist: Shannon Crees

Simone Curry

Featured artist: Shannon Crees
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Simone Curry

Simone Curry

Audio: Simone Curry reflects on personal experiences of homophobic treatment.

Simone Curry was literally ‘born on Oxford Street’, at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Paddington, and spent most of her childhood in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Her father was a carpenter and her mother an opera singer, although they separated when Simone was eight. Simone’s mother was a lesbian and, after the separation, lived with a number of female partners. Simone, however, was unaware of the significance of this. Her mother was ‘very much in the closet and very much of a generation that was afraid to be out.’

After stints in Tamworth, Kempsey and Europe, Simone returned to Sydney just before the Mardi Gras at age 22. It was at this time that she discovered her sexuality, which she described as an ‘immense relief.’ She obtained a degree in photography in New York before doing a carpentry apprenticeship in Sydney, and now runs her own carpentry business called ‘The Handywoman.’ She and her partner have a daughter, Mia, who is 18 months old, and a five-year-old son, Billy, who has begun school at Wilkins Public School, in Marrickville. They live in Roselands after living Marrickville for some time.

Simone’s family is ‘absolutely out and proud’ and they are committed political activists. Simone started a Marrickville chapter of Rainbow Babies & Kids in 2010. This group for LGBTIQ parents and children has now been running for four years. She finds the support that it provides her and her son immensely valuable. Simone has attended ‘every one of the rallies,’ regularly writes to politicians and has organised Rainbow Babies contingents for the Mardi Gras. She plans on joining Parents and Citizens Association at Wilkins Public School and being ‘very active’ there to ensure that the children of LGBTIQ partners are actively included and welcomed.

Simone is optimistic about the future and prospects for greater equality. She says: ‘We’re very lucky. We’ve made leaps and bounds over the last 30 or 40 years. We just need to cross the final bridge.’