Marney McGrath shares her story in honour of Transgender Day of Visibility

Increasing visibility through sharing experiences
As part of Transgender Day of Visibility, Esso Australia offshore operator, Marney McGrath has shared her story about a recent experience during a park run.

Marney, who works on the Barracouta and Bream platforms in Bass Strait and has worked for Esso Australia for seven years, came out at work as a transgender woman in October 2018. Marney is currently busy completing training to operate new equipment on the Barracouta platform that will manage new gas from the West Barracouta field which is on-track to start flowing soon.

She has shared the story below to help increase the visibility of transgender experiences and successes in our community.

As the interaction Marney outlines below shows, increasing the visibility of transgender people in our lives can help everyone to see that being transgender is actually no more of a barrier to anything anyone may want to achieve in life than any other aspect of our identity.

We’re proud of Marney’s contributions as an offshore operator working to supply essential energy to Australia and of her willingness to share her story to inspire anyone who wants to learn more about the transgender experience.

Marney’s story - Everyday visibility

A while ago, back before COVID19, around the time my ex gave her blessing for me to be known as mum, I had decided that my kids and I needed to get fit. A friend suggested I give park run a try, so I dragged my poor little kids out of bed one warm summer morning to give it a go. They were not pleased.

Not far into the run, a mum and dad and some of their kids started running alongside us. As we slowed down to allow my six-year old to keep pace, we started chatting. We talked about living in Townsville, as they had also moved there recently. As we were talking my son, who loves to talk, also joined in and was alternating referring to me as mum and dad. So I figured I better explain why this was occurring, rather than leave a mystery, and clarified that I am transgender. 

The other mum then proceeded to tell me that she had thought that I might be and wanted to know if it would be ok to ask me some questions, as her eldest child had recently come out.
She asked about my experiences at work and with kids and relationships. She had been resistant to her son wanting to transition because she had no idea what sort of life he would have. She said she was worried whether there was a future where her son could work and participate in the community and maybe even have a family one day if he desires. At the end of our conversation, she thanked me for showing her that all that was indeed possible.

This is why the visibility in Transgender Day of Visibility is so important. It’s not just about how the transgender experience is portrayed in the media but also the power of sharing the experience of transgender people in our everyday lives. 

Here is a photo of my children and I, as I struggle to get them moving during one of our park run sessions.
Image Marney after completing fire training at the Longford Training Ground and a photo of her and her children getting moving during one of their park run sessions.
Marney after completing fire training at the Longford Training Ground and a photo of her and her children getting moving during one of their park run sessions.