Back in December I kept seeing the same article popping up on Facebook and Twitter. It was a summary of ‘a day in the life of an ordinary trans person,’ and discussed the distress that the author felt on a daily basis just going through her normal routine.
Now don’t get me wrong, I can empathise completely with a lot of the things she said. And I’m very aware that I’ve perhaps had things a bit easier in my transition when compared to some other people’s situations. But ultimately I found the article to be a very negative and bleak read, and this is a trend I’ve noticed in a lot of the trans-related stories online.
It is definitely important to publicise the struggles that trans people face, that’s the only way we can raise awareness and make change happen. But I do worry a bit about the affect this can have on people at the very start of their transition.
I went through a long period of feeling very lost and confused. I was scared about how coming out as trans could impact on my life, I worried that it was wrong and should be kept hidden. If I had read at this point that going fulltime would mean I would get stared at everywhere I go, be abused and laughed at in public, and generally treated as a lesser member of society… Well, it probably would have taken me at least a few more years to bite the bullet, and made my decision an awful lot harder.
It’s important of course that people aren’t naïve and that they understand that many things will change. But, for me at least, going fulltime hasn’t made things that different. If I were to write a ‘day in the life’ article it would go something along the lines of:
0630 – Wake up, grumble a lot, crash around my room half asleep and get in the shower.
0700 – Quick splurge of makeup, I’ve got the routine down to 10 mins now.
0900 – Start work.
1200 – Lunch.
1700 – Go home, eat, snooze on the sofa in front of trashy tv.
2200 – Sleep.
I guess my point is that it’s just a normal day. Yes I still struggle with confidence, hate talking on the phone and sometimes feel awkward in toilets, but most of the time things are pretty mundane and the fact that I’m trans doesn’t really feature. There are many transgender people out there just living their lives, and it’s a pity that it often seems to be the more discouraging, depressing aspects of being trans which get all the air time.