Emeli Sande is quite big at the moment. She hasdone well in the charts in collaboration with Professor Green for Read All About It and in her first solo outing Next to Me But it is an unreleased track from her album (the video above) called River which caught my attention for an altogether more interesting reason. The album is entitled Our Version of Events and is out now onVirgin Records.The track was posted on the Facebook group Transgender Life Livvy James Livvy is a young transsexual girl who hit the headlines last September through no fault of her own when she took the courageous decision to return to school as Livvy for the first time, embracing her true self. Now it would be lovely if I could just say good on her, well done girly, and publish the post. However, I cannot.There is no doubt in my mind that once a transsexual displays their congruent identity they are not the same sex as they were born as. This is the central plank of the whole thing. However it seems a vile lynch mob of bullies would like to think otherwise. Livvy was mercilessly targeted by these vile people, and this is how they ended up in the media, wanting to tell their story, rather than letting others tell an inaccurate, vitriolic one.However Livvy is inspirational fulfilling her dreams and my hope for the future is that there will be many more Livvies who feel able to do the same. My hope is that people will not feel they have to suffer in silence because of gender dysphoria. My hope is that people will be able to seek help and treatment and understanding empathic ears. My hope is that people will hope with rivers and find their sea. Livvy also started a petition calling for the end of the usage of transphobic terminology in the press. It has reached the fantastic milestone of 2,000 signatures. I will place a link on my Links page. Please sign if you have not done so already. You will be helping me, Livvy and the entire trans community as a whole. Thank you in advance.I can say pretty confidently that Livvy and I as the River song suggests have found our sea.I finished counselling recently. This represents a massive milestone to me. It means that I am OK, sane and sorted. It does not mean I will never have a single emotional problem again. It merely means I no longer pay for others to sort them for me and I can put that money to good use.I do have some favourite moments though. The first was when she told me “I can call you Hannah too, if you want me to”. It was like the door to flipping Narnia had opened, though I doubt you would fit a wheelchair through the back of a wardrobe. We have to be a little realistic.The second was when she broke out into laughter at a really serious moment and we would continue to laugh together for about ten minutes solidly. Is that some form of therapy then? She has always been 100% faithful t0 her person centred perspective, which was empowering both as a trans woman and as a woman with a disability. So often your own needs get pushed to the back of the queue whilst the needs of those caring for you are given top billing, if you like. So Tina gently encouraged me to voice and take responsibility for my needs, thus ensuring they were met.She has seen me pass through two environments; JDM and my own bungalow here, helped me recover from an irritating incongruent childhod, and early adulthood, and turned up the congruence when it needed to be turned up, and thank God she did.But just as entering the arena of counselling makes you reflect and think about why you are seeking it, leaving it also makes you re-evaluate and re-visit how far you have come.
One of the guiding principles of the person centred counselling perspective as founded by Carl Rogers is that you will see the counsellor as real, and honest. That there will be no facade, nor fakery, nor trickery.
But perhaps the noblest thing I have realised is that the person centred counsellor merely holds a mirror up to the client. So once you as the client become stronger, you fulfill your own core conditions better, if that makes sense.. You become your own counsellor. Your conscious and unconscious are at one so you don’t need this third voice in your head asa check and balance your actions, and that is empowering.
I turn now to The Edge. I recently fought a lengthy battle to get a ramp to enable me to access the building. I got the ramp and that was resolved.
However, something was still hanging over me. It was kind of a hangover from my HB partying in Portsmouth but I could not quite work it out.
It was basically a realisation of how much I enjoyed partying with other trans friends. The Edge has been a great support to me and a big magnet for the South Coast LGBT community as a whole.
However, there are limitations as to what it can do for me. I have realised recently that being trans is a totally different modus operandi from being simply gay or lesbian, and that amongst the trans community there are things that don’t need to be made explicit because they are just known and this is very comforting .
Put simply, sexuality is about who you choose to go to bed with, gender is about who you go to bed as.
So what does this mean in practical terms? Well, you may see me at The Edge a little less, as I look to pursue other opportunities both social, and educational within the trans community. Also, I want to pursue things related to my own transition. Anything I can do to help myself I will. I want to show myself and what I have to offer to the world, so that I can give back a bit to my own counselling and maybe help others who are in that dark place I was once in.
None of these decisions are easy, but I am confident they are right. Some people may feel annoyed as they read this. If you do, comment. I am MORE than happy to account for myself.
But as to the gender and sexuality thing, commentators Roz Kaveney and CN Lester have made some interesting points on this. I am reblogging CN’s post in a moment as it is also WordPress based, and contains a link to Roz Kaveney’s post at LiveJournal.
So back where we started with Emeli Sande, I and Livvy have found our sea. But I see too many people just treading water, existing and unhappy. I do none of those things anymore and I do not see why others should have to either. I don’t want to see people floating, I want to see them swimming, confidently, like a paralympian on heat.
What’s next? I don’t know but I’m strapping myself into my wheelchair and I cannot wait to find out.