Living in a world of darkness doesn’t mean we must surrender, but to survive we need to occasionally unleash the diva from within.
In a world where society dictates from the moment we are born what, and who we are expected to be, a young boy struggles with the pressure of living up to the expectations of others. Desperately seeking acceptance and finding only rejection, he is isolated and on the brink of despair.
There seems to be no escape from the years of relentless school-ground bullying and victimization he suffers. He feels as though his spirit has been crushed, but this young scared boy still harbours a burning desire to break free and be true to himself. As he grows up and into himself a tremendous loss triggers a series of changes in his unhappy life, and onto a journey of true self-discovery. Armed with the knowledge of past experiences and a newspaper advert which is the key to a life of happiness beyond his imagination he finds a wonderland of pleasures, and through determination and sacrifice, he leaves a life of secrecy and sexual defiance behind him. Discovering the world of drag, its his epiphany and he becomes more of a man than he thought he would be, and more of a woman than he thought he ever could be.
Skye’s story is familiar to all of us; we’ve all trodden the same path, or at least part of it, it’s a walk away from hate, despair, fear, loneliness and hurt and into the light of acceptance, brilliance, joy, love and self-acceptance and growth. There’s nothing unique about Skye’s walk into the light, but as she points out, the unique thing is us, each and every one of us and we all walk the same path but end up in such astonishingly different wonderfully empowering places, and that’s the joy of this memoir. Skye is very honest and this brings a tender intimacy to this book, even when talking of pain and distress. The chapters covering Skye’s discovery of the gay world and then the World of Drag are wonderful, exploding with anecdote and colour, bringing an electric zing to the page and I found myself smiling as I turned the page.
Skye’s prose is very Australian and I liked this, it’s blunt and to the point but also has that careful weighing of meaning that all Australians seem to have in their speech, they know how to say something. There’s no British evasiveness or self-depreciation and this allowed the Drag Creation that Skye is to be as refulgent, expressive and fun as Skye looks. This also throws into high contrast the startlingly vulnerable and honest asides that pepper this book and keeps reminding us that under the seven feet Majesty of wig, heels, glitter and sequined beauty is a small boy with wide eyes and a heart full of hope.
From Darkness to Diva is an empowering tale of overcoming fear and insecurity, with an uplifting message of triumph and the power of good strong love and forgiving and cherishing your birth family, which speaks as much to us as out LGBTQ folk as it does to those of us who are still on the journey to find themselves.
You can learn about the extraordinary life and talents of Skye High here.
Out August 28th
For more info or to pre-order the books see the website here