Zara Cooper: ‘Asking someone in the queer community to not be themselves is robbing them of being alive’

Cooper tells us about discovering she’s gay after nearly two decades of heterosexual marriage and an upbringing in a Jewish community, and discusses how she overcame the accusation that she’s “selfish” for following her heart.

It’s imperative people have the support and freedom to come out, says Zara Cooper, the co-founder of Melbourne-based ‘barefoot shoe’ company PaperKrane.

Zara discovered she was gay after nearly two decades of heterosexual marriage to her high school sweetheart, the birth of her three children, and upbringing in a Jewish community. But something wasn’t quite right.

Until she came out.

“It didn’t just feel like exploring,” Zara tells OUTcast. “It felt like coming home.”

She continues: “I think what people don’t understand is if you expect a person who is queer and needs to explore that, to not do that for whatever reason, it is essentially the same as telling them to stop breathing.”

“I think people need to understand and respect that this is who we are. This needs to be given oxygen, this needs to be respected and cherished and allowed to breathe. Asking someone who’s gay or In the queer community to not be themselves is truly robbing them of being alive.”

Click here to find out more about Zara’s business, PaperKrane shoes.

Published by Rosie Pentreath

Founder and host of OUTcast Podcast. Rosie is an LGBTQ+ writer, digital producer and musician, often found travelling to some far flung place or other, to take photographs on a 1970s Pentax SLR camera or flick through a good book. Rosie has contributed to Reader's Digest, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Classic FM, BBC Music Magazine, Homes & Antiques, Music Feeds, The Fashion Spot and other arts and lifestyle publications.

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