Tag: bristol

Transgender day of Visibility 2018

Transgender day of Visibility 2018

Here we are again! A year a later and (for me personally) a year stronger.

Since I last blogged (and certainly since last years TDOV post) I’ve moved to a city that is much more diverse and accepting than where I used to live and I’ve started a new job too. About two weeks ago I also decided to take the next step in my transition. I’ve started to be femme full time. No more boy days, no more boys toilets and no more boy clothes. Just before I moved house I got rid of the last remaining hangovers from when I was still ‘in the closet’ and treated myself to another batch of new clothes from girly clothes shops in my new city. I’ve been more on-top of promoting my pronouns too.

I tell my friends that my pronouns are they/them/their although my new house mates and colleagues have automatically gone with she and her and I haven’t bothered to correct them. She and her works just as well for me as they and them so I don’t want them to change (if you’re reading this, you pick what you want call me, so long as it’s not he or him) and I’m happy being referred to in this way. All the new people I’ve met recently also call me by full name, Amelia, as opposed to Mel, the name most of my friends use. I like this too!

Today at work (I work at a big university, I have an office with big windows on three sides so every one can see in) I decided to hang the Trans Pride flag on my office wall above my desk in preparation for TDOV this year. I sent an email to my colleagues about what the flag meant and explained about what Transgender day of Visibility is too, information which a lot of people reading this might find useful:

‘Sunday this week is Transgender day of Visibility. It’s a day that occurs on the 31st of March every year (annoyingly clashing with Easter this year but oh well) and is a day that’s set aside to promote transgender people in society and the workplace.

The main aims of the day are to encourage employers and establishments to show their support of ‘my’ community as well as celebrating the contributions transgender people make to their workplace or community, in attempt to break down the stigma that surrounds our community (we’re just like anyone else, a lot of society doesn’t get that yet) just like the Pride marches in Summer do for the wider LGBT community. It is also to show solidarity and alliance to transgender people, particularly those who haven’t come out yet. Promoting support of transgender people in places like schools and universities is massively encouraging to young people who may be battling with gender dysphoria and not found the courage to come out, as it shows they will be accepted in the establishments in which they are students or associated with.

Showing support can be done by simply flying the Transgender Pride flag in a visible area of the workplace or in your car window, changing your desktop background to the flag colours or wearing a flag pin-badge.

If you want to know a little more about this day, there is some more detailed information on my blog:

https://girlbrainboybody.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/transgender-day-of-visibility-2017/

I have decided to bring in one of my own flags from home to hang above my desk so it can be seen through the window, but I’m open to suggestions of other places it could be flown if anyone has them.’

…and that’s that. I had a couple of replies asking where they can get flags from so I’ve ordered a load more to take to work and give to people to hang!

I’ve got a couple more ideas floating around that I’m going to write about in the not too distant future (hopefully) but until then, thank you again for reading and supporting me, if you have. Friends, pleeease start using my preferred pronouns!

I normally end my blogs on explaining the quote I use for the title, but as this has no quote I’m going to leave one here instead:

‘But we can stay here, and laugh away the fear.’

This is taken from a song by a musician that writes stuff I never thought would be the kind of music I would like, but is someone I have grown to love because of what and who their music connects me to. The quote has many meanings to me but the simplest interpretation is that I wouldn’t have been able to more forward in my transition at the speed I have without the infinite support of certain people around me and one person in particular fits the ‘together’ in this quote perfectly.

Transitioning becomes so much easier when you can let someone in and help you through it because at the end of the day, it’s a battle. Battles are easier to fight when you fight them with someone who believes in what you’re fighting for as much as you do. When this person has their own battles that you want to help them fight for the same reasons it makes the process even easier, you start to invest in each other, become intertwined and end up fighting everything together, sharing the effort between you to make everything half as hard. Battles are scary, daunting and fearsome things but moving forward, out of the darkness towards the light and my end goal is so much more obtainable when we stay here, and laugh away the fear.

Happy TDOV 2018.

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Long Live The Stag and Hounds. 

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and I couldn’t let that go by without posting something, so here’s a post.
I had a gig last night with my band, Ghost Of The Avalanche, and it was a bitter sweet show because it was the last ever gig we will play at a venue in Bristol called The Stag and Hounds, as its closing down at the end of the month. We pulled out all the stops, got some friends on stage with us and did everything we could to give the place a proper send off in true Ghost Of The Avalanche fashion and needless to say (I think it was) it was a success.

Live music for me (and loads of people I know) is a way of escaping battles in your head. It is a safe place, a place of acceptance, a place you can let go, enjoy yourself and know you won’t be judged. I’ve met dozens of people at shows who’ve said they’ve struggled all week because of whatever is going on upstairs but the couple of hours they have watched bands playing at whatever gig I’m talking to them at has totally erased all those thoughts from their head. I know that feeling well myself, and getting home after a show knowing you’ve had a few hours of ‘down time’ is a feeling like no other.

The Stag and Hounds closing down is a fucking phenomenal blow to the UK underground music scene. The bands were ALWAYS good, the beer and food is decent and cheap, the staff, sound engineers and infamous promoters are all legendary and every punter in there (at least when I’ve been there) is there for the same reason, a love of live music. Seeing it close is hard, knowing it’s one less place that people like me have to go to as a place of safety, acceptance and escape.

Last night we played a song called ‘The Park’ which is about me dealing with anxiety. I introduced it with a speech; telling everyone in the crowd to look after themselves, be open with each other, talk to your friends about your battles, that it is okay to not be okay and to look after themselves and one another.

I’m writing this to echo what I said last night. This is me talking: I am sad that my favourite venue is closing. I am scared I won’t find the exact escape I get in those walls anywhere else but I am thankful I got to spend so much time there and now it is closing, I will hold memories in that place for as long as I have the capacity to remember them. I’ve met a fuck-ton of amazing people in that place too, some of whom have become jam-mates (if you read this, waddup Matt from DC, that was fucking good fun last night!) and best friends. I love you mad people!

If you supported my bands as I played there in any way, thank you.

Long fucking live The Stag and Hounds. 

Footage of the show can be found here: https://youtu.be/R1lELlJ8sIw

Photo credit: Simon Holiday