'Sista Girls' by Bindi Cole
The term ‘Sistagirl’ is used to describe a transgender person in Tiwi Island culture. Traditionally, the term was ‘Yimpininni’. The very existence of the word provides some indication of the inclusive attitudes historically extended towards Aboriginal sexual minorities. Colonisation not only wiped out many indigenous people, it also had an impact on Aboriginal culture and understanding of sexual and gender expression. As Catholicism took hold and many traditions were lost, this term became a thing of the past. Yimpininni were once held in high regard as the nurturers within the family unit and tribe much like the Faafafine from Samoa. As the usage of the term vanished, tribes’ attitudes toward queer indigenous people began to resemble that of the western world and religious right. Even today many Sistergirls are excluded from their own tribes and suffer at the hands of others.
Within a population of around 2500, there are approximately 50 ‘Sistagirls’ living on the Tiwi Islands. This community contains a complex range of dynamics including a hierarchy (a queen Sistergirl), politics, and a significant history of pride and shame. The Sistagirls are isolated yet thriving, unexplored territory with a beauty, strength and diversity to inspire and challenge.
how has your day been?
I woke up for three hours ago, but so far it has been a good morning.
I saw this kid who cosplayed Aya and got their dad to cosplay her father with them on Närcon and it’s honestly my favourite thing.
"Unfortunately, not paying attention to race and gender does not make gender-race inequalities go away, precisely because these inequalities are institutionalized and not just ideas in people’s heads."
Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Chapter 1: The Social Construction and Institutionalization of Gender and Race in Revisioning Gender