Dear National Media Editors
The Mail on Sunday article last weekend regarding medical support for 9 year olds who suffer from Gender Dysphoria clearly shows that still many of you have a keen interest in the lives and impact of medical treatment on Trans people and so I thought it would only be polite to share some of the realities you seemed to have (I am sure a simple oversight) missed in the article.
As a Trans woman who transitioned aged 21 I often wonder what it would have been like if I had been given access to medical support when I was a child to transition to be the person I am today. Here are some of the major upsetting events in my life that would of changed completely if at aged 9 I had got the help now available today:
- I wouldn't of started cutting myself, pulling my hair out and self harming aged just 9,
- I wouldn't of spent my whole childhood lost and upset hating myself and wanting to hide from the world for simply being me,
- I would of been able to speak out about the abuse I was receiving at home to someone who cared, instead of just hiding it within myself (You can read more of this impact here http://www.disabilitynow.org.uk/article/tales-love-and-hate),
- I wouldn't of spent half my life with counsellors and psychologists trying to put me back together after years of not being able to be “just me”,
- I wouldn't of tried to kill myself with overdoses upsetting everyone who was close to me,
- I wouldn't of had to be saved by a security guard when I tried to hang myself while struggling to access health care,
- I wouldn't of spent endless nights crying on my own in my room wishing I hadn't been made the way I had,
- I wouldn't of been left emotionally and sexually vulnerable seeking out affection where ever I could find it and now have the media seeking to shame me for it,
- I wouldn't still wake up each morning having to plan how I hide years of testosterone damage just so I can leave my house,
- and finally i'd of got to live 19 years of my life as me not just the 7 years I have had since my transition.
I know my life isn't important enough for you to publish the real facts about it and the reality is many trans people share these experiences too, however it is only fair that when you look to write about trans people and our lives you share with your readers the full reality warts and all not just a stark judgement based on a snap shot in a person’s life or a shocking headline about a medical pathway you know little about. I just wanted you to know I am not ashamed about being me I haven’t always made the right choices in life but that is part of being normal and If you had shared mine or many other Trans people’s childhoods you may well of made many of the mistakes and choices I made too. If wanting to help others and make a difference in the world is a reason for you to want to shame me and any past mistakes I can't change that, but we get one shot at life and I’m grabbing it with both hands to spread love and peace to others.
So In future when you are talking about whether Trans people should get access to treatment at any age or you are looking to cherry pick scandalous stories from our pasts you might stop and look at what made them who they are and what are the real facts not just a shocking story you think would look good in a headline.
Trans, Human and Proud of my life warts and all