Hey everyone, I am finally back to my blog, which feels wonderful as well as scary. It is not because all that much has happened, or because there has been some magnificent life changing moment, it is because I finally have built up enough to say. I already have a few blog posts on the brain so you will have to put up with me for a while yet!
I always said, right at the start of this process, that I would only continue making posts if I had something of substance to talk about. My last post was a run down of Trans Pride 2017 and truth be told I may not have been completely honest with the readers. It was not that there was any bare faced lies or fibs on the post, just that I left out some key messages that, looking back, I wish I had confronted at the time.
Lets take the story back to 2017 where I am very proud to be trans, very proud to be a mini advocate in London for the cause. Life seemed to be going so well, my health was in good order and work was not all bad. I had made a great friend at Sparkle that year and although my love life was still (and is) a mess, at least there was a steady rate of decent dates. But there was something missing, something that was intangible or barely noticeable at the time.
I had thrown myself into the world of trans at the end of 2014 and could barely think of anything else throughout those first few years of transition. As with any fledgling transition there is lots to say, plenty to discuss, discover, explore and experience. Just read through my little blog to see that, and that is just one person. That ride of excitement does start to tail off however. While at Trans Pride in 2017 something changed inside me, something that I had not felt since before the start of my transition. A feeling of being an outsider, not belonging to my own community, different? This awkward buzz that had been a distant memory was starting to chime again.
There had been a blog I read many years ago about the time in a transition when you ‘ascend’ being trans, when you ‘make it’, the time that there is more in your life than just ‘being trans’. The stirring pain inside was a realisation of sorts, all the excitement and the whirlwind of transition had come to a perfect stop. Balanced elegantly on the edge of a deep drop into a murky world of society. The bubble had burst, no longer was my entire life focus on ‘being trans’.
The rest of the summer of 2017 was spent thinking hard on my identity. Just being the trans person at work, at social events or in my inclusion pursuits was not enough anymore. My brain had been awoken to the fact I was almost a caricature of a person. It dawned on me quite quickly that everything that had made me Faith had been neglected during the previous years filled with doctors appointments, speech training, hair removal and creating a distinctive style. I summed it up by comparing it to the two dimensional video game characters I love so much, they serve one purpose and never change, have no soul or depth. The irony that I had become a parody of myself and had little depth to my personality left after exploding into the world with energy and love at the start of the transition. It was true, if of little comfort, that I had lived, breathed and conquered transgender. So why did I feel like an empty shell? An emptiness that was never again to be filled with ‘just being trans’.
The rebuild job started with a simple summary of what I had lost, friends, countless friends. I now only had one friend left from my childhood. Apart from family, anyone else in my life now had only been there for a few years, had mostly only known Faith, and not the dead carcass that used to exist in the space I now occupy. Transition truly had stripped all my memories away. Nobody around me would remember or be affected by my memories. It was as if my life was only a few years old. Identity, I had no identity….except being trans.
After the fallout of realising moving away from my home town had allowed many of those close to me to drift away forever it would have been wrong to wallow in self pity, that is just not my way. A redesign of life was on the cards, reaffirming what made me, well me. Making sure I come back with a bang. I started with something easy, something I knew would perk me up and stir an interest to redevelop myself as a person. Old Movies! I poured my attention and focus to watching my silent films and the classics, discovering new ones and learning more about directors, actors and writers then I had ever done so before. Ahhhhh, back to feeling like me a little, I had something tangible to fight the emptiness that had tore me up inside. The comforting gleam of those silver screen beauties and hard, rough men made me fell alive again. The quotes, the slow string ensembles in the background, the quirky characters used as comic relief or to move the film along. The familiar sense of the inevitability that society will win out, bad things happen to bad people and the guy always gets the girl. The unrealistic nature of mid-20th century film making was comforting as an escape and as the summer dwindled and the nights began to draw in the next phase of my re-branding was appearing on the horizon.
A new position was announced at work, a role for someone to take up the diversity and inclusion banner and move our initiatives forward. This was a great chance for me to put my passion for fairness and equality into practice. I had always enjoyed working with our volunteer networks, putting on events, engaging minorities, spreading best practice and other bits and pieces. But now there was a chance to do this as my actual job rather than just off the side of the desk and in my spare time. It was also an opportunity to bring my mini advocacy work from within the trans scene to life. I had used this knowledge to create our workplaces trans policy in the summer and having the chance to do this across a wider diversity spectrum had me salivating. I smashed the interview and after a little hiccup found myself in the role.
While I am still in this position at work now things have changed but that is a story for another blog I plan to write around glass ceilings and other such matters.
For the most part what had started out as a humbling summer of loneliness quickly exploded into an autumn of energy, with my love for films rekindled and a brand spanking new job that really appealed, to not only my skills, but my passions. My soul felt satisfied and although I still miss my friends I have managed to fill the void with real substance and not just trans stuff. There is still a little missing but I had enough to get through 2018 and have mustered the strength to start writing again. And not just writing about transition, I have reignited other passions and hobbies. But for now, this is enough, I am feeling happy to have this blog back and hope to make some new friends as well as reform some old ones.
Great to be back,