Shane Cucow, an incredible activist and marine conservationist, kindly took some time out of his working holiday/adventure around Australia to share some of his story with us.
What are your pronouns Shane?
I use he/him pronouns.
What was your experience of growing up queer? I grew up as a gay kid in Mandurah, Western Australia, a coastal city where gay people were rarely talked about except as a joke. It was incredibly isolating, knowing I was gay but trying to figure out what it all meant, while being afraid of what people would think. When I did come out - none of my family had a problem with it at all! Turns out they all never said anything because they assumed everyone else in the family hated gay people. For me this was such a powerful moment, when I realised how important it is to talk about sexuality and gender, because you never know who is sitting nearby, crippled by the silence.
Since then I have found an incredible community of people, and I have never felt more loved or nourished. I feel very lucky. Right now you're traveling around Australia. What prompted you to hit the road? After two years of COVID isolation, I was itching to get away from the computer screen and back out into the world. I missed my people so much! I made the decision to give up my lease and drive around Australia, working remotely from the road so I can spend time with the incredible community of people I've come to know around Australia. While on the road I am also visiting some of the incredible projects I work with as an ocean conservationist. I am also meeting many of the powerful activists I have been inspired by over the years. Did you know you can just ask your role models to grab a coffee??! They often say yes! What would you tell 12 year old Shane?
You never know what someone else is thinking, and it is rarely as bad as you think. Our imagination is far more creative than reality! It's scary, but if you are honest, open and caring with people, you will build the most incredible relationships with people.