Menu

Danger Music: Hong Kong to Kabul

Danger Music by Eddie Ayres.

Eddie Ayres learnt the viola as a child in England, studied in Berlin and London before playing the viola for eight years with the Hong Kong Philharmonic. As Emma Ayres, she moved from Hong Kong to Australia to present a long-running and extremely popular radio program on ABC Classic FM, while teaching music privately and professionally.

When Emma hung up her headphones at the end of 2014, there was a public outpouring of emotion. This tattooed, intelligent, warm and witty woman had made her way into the hearts of many Australians.

Too much to lose

What the devoted audience didn’t see, however, was Emma’s daily struggle to live within her woman’s body. For 16 years, she knew that she was transgender but to take any action seemed impossible. Emma believed there was too much to lose – family, friends and her career.

In 2016, Emma accepted a position teaching cello, viola and double bass to Afghanistan’s children at the world-renowned Afghanistan National Institute of Music. Amid the chaos and unpredictability of life in war-savaged Kabul, Emma realised she had to accept her future and returned to Australia to begin transitioning from female to male. In 2016, Emma became Eddie.

‘When I realised I was transgender, it was a life-destroying moment: I knew from then on that I would never be happy until I did something about it. But to do something about it meant possibly losing everything. It turned out that I lost everything because I didn’t do anything about it.’

Catch Eddie Ayers at Byron Writers Festival in conversation with former Sydney Morning Herald music editor Bernard Zuel on Friday 3 August and in the session On the Road Again with This Restless Life author Brigid Delaney and Kari Gislason, who wrote The Promise of Iceland and co-authored Saga Land with Richard Fidler.

Festival tickets at www.byronwritersfestival.com.

• See more news and articles on the 2018 Byron Writers Festival.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsors Vast Furniture & Homewares Ballina and Falls Festival Byron Bay.