Well, it would seem that my last post generated a good deal of reaction from people, mainly via Facebook and other social media.
In one sense for me, this is a good thing, as it shows the blog receives traffic and the statistics now are healthy and looking good.
However, this reaction had a difference. People overwhelmingly did not like the post. They did not like what I had decided about The Edge.
Some feel ditched, some are surprised. But the overwhelming emotion seems to be shock. The majority of my friends, and readers it seems, did not see it coming.
But I did promise that I would come back, and I said that I would deal with anything and defend myself.
However, I do not feel I need to defend myself so much as explain and clarify. That then, is what I will do. Let me say a few words about blogging in general.
Firstly, blogging is an intensely personal pursuit. Just as Facebook and Twitter for example can be classed as dialogues between you and other users, a blog can be classed as a monologue between the writer and the writer because quite simply, you cannot see the face of your reader. But I am mindful of people reading, and that people care. I am enormously grateful for that, and thank you all for it.
However, my blog also guarantees something else to my readers, honesty. In the media there are endless opportunities to edit, re-edit, cut things out and move them around. A voiceover can be read out many times, until the emotion and the inflection are exactly right and what the client is looking for.
But I try as much as possible not to allow myself this luxury with the blog. For me, as the author of it, it is analogous to a priest’s Confession Box. I come in here and pour out my soul, unedited, uncut and uncensored. Naturally there is a high risk that when making that confession, I will be talking about things that may be judged, may be unpopular, and may be tough.
But if I have to censor my own writing in order to appease and satisfy others, then it would be time to stop. I am not going to do that. As long as I can write, that writing will have honesty at its very core.
So it was with my trip to London. Going to a fresh place, with fresh people , and doing fresh stuff gives you a fresh perspective.
Frankly, all the wrangling over the ramp at The Edge wore me out, and the trip to London was extremely beneficial in helping me to recharge my batteries.
You know, there were so many times during that period when I was not able to go to The Edge that I felt like giving in, but I did not. It was only a week, but a week felt like forever.
But I am glad I got the ramp. I feel in my heart that I not only have a responsibility to myself as a person with a disability, but also to others with disabilities as a whole minority group. They can now access The Edge freely and without any barriers of accessibility and that to me is a good thing.
So what of me?
I have decided not to go any more. I have shared my highs and lows with you all, but I want to zoom in in a bit more detail on why, or even pan across!
It is my firm belief that life is divided into epochs, or sections of time. People and places come into our lives for a reason, and this was the case with The Edge.
It boosted my confidence no end and brought me friends. It showed me that I was worth knowing and life was worth living.
So why leave? Well because with ups, there are inevitable downs. People began to turn to me for advice about relationships that I felt unqualified to give. I felt like a sponge soaking up more water than I could actually hold.
I began coming home stressed, rather than relaxed, and this is not a healthy state of mind.
I did keep this from most people, and pretend very convincingly that all was well, so much so that the post came out of the blue. I will not be back at The Edge for the forseeable future as my battle is more than one of sexuality. Gender and sexuality are two distinct categories, and it is good in my eyes they feel distinct. London opened up a new world, and a new can of worms.
But unsurprisingly, an abundance of support came from the trans community itself. A good friend of mine, Michelle Hughes had this to say;
Hannah, that was so well writen, lovely words with feeling, i fully understand where your coming from having gone through most of it myself but without the disability side of it, but clearly that isnt & shouldnt stop you from making your life just how you want it, i only wish i could have started my transition when at your age intsead of waiting until i was past it lol, although i have lost a fair bit & people along the way i now have inner peace that my body matches my brain ( the voice still needs work )
the very best of luck to you Hannah i really hope your happiness goes from strength to strength Chell xx
I am confident my happiness will go from strength to strength as Michelle suggests.
You only get one life on the Earth, it is up to you how you create, mould and develop it. But I know this. I have left The Edge, do intend to move to London and believe this will be positive for me.
I understand that people may miss me, feel ditched, confused and upset. But The Edge is 2-3 days out of every week that are good to ok. I want 7 that are brilliant, amazing and trannytrastic, because it is my life and I am living for myself, no one else.
I know that with all of your support, The Edge and you as an LGBT community in Southampton will move forward and go from strength to strength. I want a clean break, so I stay focused on my goals. You all mean a lot to me, but I also mean a lot to myself. I have sought to clarify my position, and if anybody disagrees with that, there is not a lot I can do.