Troy Petty

Where are you from?

I had the fortune (some would say otherwise) of growing up in Esperance. Although Esperance has always been first and foremost a tourist town there’s a fantastic underground arts community there that is only getting stronger year-on-year. Tonnes of tourists visit the town every year, so today there’s a resident community blending with an ever-changing nomadic tourist population that gives us this epic cross-section of different peoples.

What was your childhood like? 

Like many kids in Esperance I was spoiled for choice for things to do outside. Although we had to keep an eye out for the occasional insect or snake, it was always relatively safe to run around the dunes and beaches that our town is blessed with. I surfed almost everyday and through doing so ended up mingling with loads of backpackers throughout the summer, an experience that certainly shaped how I approached my sexuality later in life.

What do you do for a living?

I’m a tour guide living and working in Perth. After spending a few years working the bars and hostels in Esperance, I knew that I had to get out. I used my service and and experience with tourists to move to Perth and built up a reputation as one of the city’s top guides. I still love meeting new people and now I also get to show them around what has become my surrogate home!

What are you aiming to achieve here? 

Throughout my teenage years I couldn’t help but notice the damaging effect that unprotected sex had on young people, both backpackers and Australians. Through my interactions with young people, whilst I was a teenager and also as an adult working the bars, I often came into contact with individuals who had been significantly damaged both psychologically and physically by their various sexual misadventures. I hope my writing on here serves to help young people who might feel isolated by what has happened to them.