Marilyn and the ‘Stranger on the Shore’


It is sometimes said that Marilyn had a dual identity – that of Monroe, the glamorous movie star, but also the insecure Norma Jeane. The same could be said of Peter Drouwyn, the Australian surfer who now lives as a woman, Westerly Windina, on the Gold Coast. In a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, she described how Marilyn Monroe inspired her to make a life-changing decision.

‘ ”Peter’s gone now,” she says, matter-of-factly. ”He was always a compromise on the real thing: the girl [inside him]. He was a stranger on the shore and he always knew there was something wrong. But although he’s gone, I still have his memories … they’re the only memories I have.”

”With Peter, there was always a shyness and confusion – almost a feeling of insanity – when he had to do things in front of a camera. He started having terrible panic attacks at the age of 12,” she turns and indicates an image of Marilyn Monroe on an etched wall mirror, ”like that girl there. She had panic attacks. Peter bought that picture in 1979 and carried it with him ever since. Why would he do that? I think it was because he recognised someone who was a part of him, or part of me, for a long, long time.” ‘

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