Saturday, 29 December 2012

An introspective look back at 2012

Well, that was quite a year for me, starting in January with my journey to Peru to finally get my FFS done - then with a visit in the Autumn to Istanbul in Turkey for more surgical procedures you might well describe it as a cutting edge year for me.  Sandwiched in between I took on some voluntary work, working with other 'protected status' groups on the Independent Advisory Group which works with our local Police Authority with the aim of stamping out hate crime.  I was also put through an intensive training course in the Summer and early Autumn for my other voluntary work which involves telephone support on a national suicide helpline - which can be very challenging, sometimes desperately sad but other times extremely satisfying and uplifting. 
This has also brought about a number of new friendships and also made a few more people aware that transsexual people are just ordinary people much like themselves, it's just that we had a struggle in our past in order to become our true selves.
One of the nicest things somebody said to me this year was when I met an old friend (who knows about my past now and who has read this blog) and upon the initial greetings hug, whispered in my ear, "Carol, you really are the bravest woman that I have ever met".  I, personally, have never considered it a brave thing to do, a necessary one indeed and the only choice that I did have at that long distant point in my past was to either transition or die - not really much of a choice for any person to make as I suspect the vast majority of people would choose to live.
So what new challenges await us in the New Year??  No doubt there will be plenty although with the public becoming more and more aware of trans issues, I have a feeling of great optimism - yes, there still many countries where we can still be imprisoned and even executed for trying to be our true selves, but there does appear to be increasing acceptance and understanding of our plight and with legislative steps now taking place in other parts of the world to secure equality in employment and other rights, then people will not have to face the terrible discrimination that those of us who transitioned many years ago had to face.
As this blog rapidly approaches it's first anniversary, I am heartened by the sheer number of views that it has attracted (well over 11,000 at the time of writing), so I would like to thank all those who have taken the time to read all or even just selective parts of it - and especially to those of you who have taken the time to leave comments or ask for more information.
A happy New Year to all my readers, may all your dreams come true at some point in 2013
Thank you
Carol xxx

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Boxes, litlle boxes

I had an interesting discussion in an online group this evening where people were complaining about the trans label and hated being put into boxes.

My argument is that that boxes or labels are important - but we all have a million boxes, we cannot be placed into just one box alone. You could have a box/label such as 'Sports orientated' where an athlete or a gymnast might be best described, you have others labelled 'Intelligent', or 'House Proud', or 'Psychotic' or 'Blonde', 'Beautiful', 'Fat', 'Thin' etc etc. They are all boxes which help define or describe who a person is - even 'Male' or 'Female' are boxes.
There is nothing wrong with boxes per se, it is just our attitude to them.  Nobody would object to being put into a box which described them as beautiful, or witty, or intelligent or caring.

Labels are just there to give more definition as to the type of people that we are - they are merely adjectives which help to describe or elaborate on a particular noun.
It is only when those labels are used in a pejorative way as a means of insulting or demeaning a person that they become objectionable.