My interview with The Pin

The Pin:

On The Pin today: Faustina Agolley – DJ FUZZY  who made a comment particularly relevant to the recent tragedy that occurred in Orlando.

“Being a visible member of the LGBTQIA+ community is important in a time where there is systemic, obvious and covert homophobia, where Australia is the last English speaking country to not have marriage equality, where LGBTQIA+ people are six times more likely to suffer depression and take their own life, where people purposefully inflict violence on LGBTQIA+ people.”

This has been my most gratifying interview to date. An open discussion about Race, Identity, Culture. Read it all here.


DJ Fuzzy’s Oprah Tour Mixtape x Thump x VICE

I made a mixtape of the ‘An Evening Oprah’ Tour.

Thank you Thump for saying it’s “banger after banger.”

You can find the mix here.

And here’s the full interview with Thump’s Editor, Issy Beech.

What was it like DJing for Oprah?

More than my dreams come true.

From being glued to the tele, watching Oprah as a kid, then to fast forward fifteen years later and see Oprah in the flesh, dancing and twirling and asking for the volume to be turned up on choice cuts had me saying to myself, “Is this for real?! Is this really happening right now?! Cause I’m about to lose my marbles. Scream joy on the inside, Fo-Fo.”

Then to play a broad range of party songs and anthems to thousands of joyous Oprah fans while also giving Oprah the best possible lead-in – it was so humbling and such a privilege.

What is she like in person?

Graceful and full of love. When you’re in her orbit she gives you her full attention. And she gives the best cuddles.

Did you get an idea of her favourite song or genre or anything?

Personally, based on the time Oprah was born and the guests she’s had on the show, I knew Oprah particularly liked Motown.

I researched Oprah and found out that Paul Simon’s Graceland is one of her favourite albums.

Oprah loves Adele’s 25, particularly the song, “Send My Love To Your New Lover” so that got played in every city.

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Higher Ground” are songs that Oprah personally chose for the show. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” was played right before Oprah hit the stage.

And Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” was Oprah’s entrance song. It’s what Oprah is all about. “Going to keep on trying, until I reach my highest ground.”

And what are her fan base or VIP fans like?

Put up to 15,000 people, dressed to the nines in an arena anticipating seeing Oprah for the first time – or for some, the 7th or 17th time – the excitement is palpable.

Her VIP session was with fans who came in early to have a personal Q&A, take photos with her and sit up close to the stage for the show. They reminded me of how influential she’s been over decades – some of the fans opened up to Oprah to thank her for helping them overcome enormous personal struggles. It got emotional.

One cool moment – a man proposed to his girlfriend at the end of the Auckland show.

Big love to Issy at Thump, Josh at Vice, the Harpo Famly, Dainty Group, IMC, P-Money for his NZ intel, Nina Las Vegas for her ableton hot tip, KLP for her sister “rising tide” vibes and Caro Meldrum-Hanna for her awesomeness and filming the Oprah party in Sydney.

Sunday Life Article: “It’s My Party”

Dear friends,

In the lead up to co-hosting SBS’ coverage of the Sydney Mardi Gras, Sunday Life asked for me to write a piece about coming out in the age of social media. Please enjoy! Love, Faustina.

Sometimes the smallest action can set off a powerful chain of events. If I hadn’t chosen to dine alone one summer’s night two years ago, I may not have come to the realisation that I am a lesbian, nor have had the confidence to come out at a time when equality is still an issue in Australia. I’m sure my dinner for one was the reason why Brenda, then a stranger – with friends Michelle and Helen – initiated a conversation.

I had returned to London, the city where I was born, for work. The UK is renowned for creative television and I wanted to explore my options. My initial encounter with Bren, Mich and Helen was brief, but the instant connection I felt led us to make plans for later that week.

While Mich and Helen bailed, Bren showed up, a bright, direly Irish red heart with blue, jewel-like eyes and a chatty vivacious demeanour. And with the comfort of my anonymity, I felt secure to completely open up.

Bren had just come out of a relationship with a woman. I was shocked. Up until that point I assumed she was straight. Then she told me about Mich and Helen, a couple who had been together for almost a decade. The shock and surprise gave away to a sense of belonging. As she swiped through photos on their Instagram, particularly photos of Mich who, like me, is mixed-race, I thought “These are my people! This is me!”

It took a few more hours to drum up the courage to admit it out loud. As Brenda suggested we go and check out some men for me, I found myself saying, “I haven’t really told anyone his before but… I’m gay.”

No men entered our orbit that night other than the waiters who plied us with espresso martinis while a deep and meaningful conversation ensued til 3am. I had made a true ally and a friendship with a woman I felt I had known forever.

I went home and cried waves of emotions into my pillow, an outpouring of 30 years of repressed feelings. Elated, but also frustrated that it had taken so long. My mind was connecting all the dots; the feelings towards women when I was a kid and how I shut it down because I didn’t think it was right. All the gay slurs I’d heard – and even used myself – during my ignorant high school years.

I was making sense of all my social anxiety. The random – yet clearly intentional – gay girl dreams in my mid-20s; the steams of thoughts I’d never dare entertain. Then a bigger wave hit me – the overwhelming relating of having to tell my family and friends. What would they think of me? What did I think of me? I was realising the truth, hurt and emotion that comes with being a “minority of one”.

This idea is summed up succinctly in Magda Szubanski’s memoir, Reckoning “The crucial difference between Lesbian Gay Transgender Bisexual Intersex and Questioning people and other minorities is this: in every minority group the family ashes the minority status. In fact, it is often something that unites them. But gay people are a minority within the family.”

I wanted that summer with Bren, Mich and Helen to last for an eternity. They became my tribe. Life finally made sense. In their company, I felt whole. And never in my life had I felt so alive.

In LA, while armed with this new-found sense of self, I was apprehensive – no, terrified of dating. I delayed the obvious next step and borrowed a lesbian-living-how-to-guide from the library. When I told Bren she was bewildered. “What are you doing with an A-Z of lesbianism? Put the bloody book down and get out there!”

I told my family and a handful of friends. In the week leading up to my birthday I considered using the occasion to come out. I knew that being vocal in some way, would allow someone, out there, to feel the same sense of support. To extend the strength that Bren, Mich and Helen had given to me. And, in this small-worldly digital age, I also wanted to ensure the message came from me.

So in a gorgeous neighbourhood cafe in Beachwood Canyon, Los Angeles, I got together with a small group of friends to celebrate with a rainbow cake. After the birthday party, I posted my coming-out blog on my site, then an image from the night on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. By then, it was late afternoon back in Australia.

The response was breathtaking, with Snapchats and direct messages on Instagram from young girls and boys caught in a time I had just left. The tribe had expanded. They told me they felt included, more comfortable with who they are, some even wanting to celebrate with their own rainbow cake!

I’ve met incredible, intelligent women over the past year. Women who counsel gay youth on suicide prevention lines (in a time where LGBTQI people are much more likely to suffer depression and take their own lives than heterosexuals), journalists, academics and writers with impressive and inspiring bodies of work, to teachers and lawyers.

I’ve learnt about the evolution and need for events like the Sydney Mardi Gras Festival, now in it’s 38th year. I’m grateful to be out at a time when equality has become the centre of political and cultural debate. Not all of it is pretty, but every inch toward an equal society helps. My small decision to accept an offer of conversation from strangers helped me in ways I could never have imagined. How incredible would it be if we all acted, in some small way, to help eradicate the notion of a “minority of one” and instead foster acceptance for all.

My small decision to accept an offer of conversation from strangers helped me in ways I could never have imagined. How incredible would it be if we all acted, in some small way, to help eradicate the notion of a “minority of one” and instead foster acceptance for all.

Allow yourself time to think

Allow yourself time to think. Imagine. Even when being alone with your thoughts is difficult.

When we are kinder to the way we think, our worries can ease away, we can problem solve and allow our imaginations to take over.

This article may be useful to you.


Decisiveness is an admirable quality in a person.

You give clarity to a situation after thinking it through.

You’re honest with the way you feel.

Decisiveness is respected in others because you don’t string them along or leave them wondering.

Though on tender decisions, those that involve matters of the heart, requires a way to articulate yourself in the kindest and empathic way possible.

Trust life’s unpredictability

I used to be hell bent on plans. I thought that’s all we’re meant to do – plan and achieve.

So many plans were made that I left little room for anything else. Like, taking note of all the that was naturally happening within me and around me. I dulled that awareness and and allowed my stubborn-goal-driven-brain to take over.

That meant, by the time I could achieve/execute/seal the deal, it was sometimes a force fit. All to remain proud and committed to my goals. “Because it’s the right thing to do.” “Because I have to.” “I’ve wanted this my whole life.”

Then two years ago, someone who I seek counsel in told me that I wasn’t really in control of my life. Life and its spontenaiety is what really happens. I had to take notice and go with it.

This idea frightened me. Up until that moment I thought I was boss.

Yet when I reflected on my life, I figured out that despite the fact that I had ticked off a whole lot of what I wanted to do, disappointment also came when I committed to a plan that I knew intuitively didn’t serve me at that time.

So I started to learn to let go, relax a little. And that wasn’t easy…

Letting go doesn’t mean be lazy and complacent, it means loosen the tight grip on life and one’s so-called future achievements.

It also meant that I didn’t rest on my achievements, I gave permission to enjoy the process of being present.

It was a new way of living. I had to accept that I was uncomfortable a lot of the time as previously, I’d have blinkers on. I’d be so driven meant that there wasn’t room for openness.

So why do I trust life’s unpredictability?

My time in England last year showed me how.

This time, last year, I wandered through England to see family and pursue work opportunities.

I initially intended to only be there for a month. In that time, it was a challenge to pin people down for meetings because it was Summer.

Family commitments took over. The tragic passing of family friend’s parents meant it was all hands on deck packing up homes, looking after my niece and seeing off some of my family to Australia.

After my initial planned month, work meetings kicked in again. I then had to find a base to continue working remotely, which had me in Shoreditch.

And on this date, last year, while having an early dinner and working away on my laptop was when I met the women who made me realise that I was gay. The women that I have a unique and unparalleled bond to.

Four weeks turned to nine weeks and I fell more deeply in love with life and its surprises. No part of my imagination could’ve have had me expecting anything of what I experienced.

Had I remained stubborn old me and only chose to be in London for a month, I would have been sore about not getting the meetings I wanted, worried about the next work related thing instead of being present with my family, I would’ve delayed a necessary life realisation, missed core friendships.

Sometimes it is all too easy to say, “go with the flow”, “surrender”, “just be.” It takes a shift in the mind to practice it.

The only thing we can do is do our best, moment to moment, and show up for what life has to bring each day. Your plans can change, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay.

Marriage Equality: 7 In 10 Australians Want Me To Be Happy

I see an Australia even better than it is now. An Australia that allows its people to love who they love and live a life they want for themselves.

A government which backs marriage equality will finally give value to all people, and lift a weight off the shoulders of those who have had it too hard for too long.

I write from personal experience, as an Australian living abroad where marriage is legal, and from the shared experience of my friends.

Tomorrow marks a year since I met the group of women who I felt safe enough to come out to. These are the women who gave me my voice and allowed me to step into a confidence that I had never known. I was in England when I met them, a country that passed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act in 2013.

For the first time, life made sense to me. Two of my British friends, both professionals and over 40, have been in a relationship for 10 years, they share a home together and have a law that supports them. As soon as I was introduced to their world, my own life was realised, I kept saying to myself, “this is me.”

The same feeling swept over me when the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in favour of same-sex marriage. I currently live in Los Angeles. While same-sex marriage has been enacted in some parts of the US since 2008, to have nation-wide support on this human right made me feel visible, protected, and cared for in the eyes of the law and in every one of the 50 U.S. states. I felt connected to my gay friends more than ever and it gave us all a sense of belonging.

And in April of this year, when I had enough courage to come out, words had new meaning to me. I felt immense joy for knowing who I am. And the word pride had true gravitas, as for so long I felt different, confused and at times, ashamed.

I had a pretty happy upbringing, but I can’t help but think that it was our society’s derision and rejection of openly gay people that drove my sexuality so deep within me that it made it challenging for me to come out.

I’m old enough to know that I am not the only one that had a hard time with this. The stats around anxiety, depression and suicide rank higher than our hetero-sexual counterparts. A study by Concordia University, California says that those that are lesbian, gay or bisexual and exposed to homophobia are 14 times more likely to take their own life.

The rejection continues with the exclusion of same sex couples from legal marriage.

Polls show that more than 70 percent of Australians want the ability for people to live and love whoever they want, regardless of gender.

This is our opportunity to move from the sidelines, from supporting from a distance the forward thinking of nations like Ireland, New Zealand, England and the US, to joining them as leader in an important and necessary change.

Australia is so close to marriage equality. So much closer to equal respect. And so much closer to acknowledging its citizens as equals.

I’m hopeful that soon we’ll be able to increase the pride in our own country, and celebrate a government that supports the view of the majority of Australians, and continues to build a reputation for celebrating diversity.

This blog post also features in the launch issue of Huffington Post Australia