Tag: music

It’s all up in your head (pt 2).

Okay, so here’s the second part now I’ve got the information I need.

As most of you know, I’m a song writer and my favourite part of creating a new piece of music is filling it with words and lyrics. I can put together the music for a song in a matter of minutes but the words I write sometimes take months or even years to perfect. I have a song called Rubidium, about my relationship with my dad and things he said to me when I was young and how the things he said to me have affected me later in life. t tells a story of home what he’ said to me has affected what interactions with people close to me and how something he said to me taught me how to trust people and let people in. I spent the best part of five years writing all the lyrics to that song and when I finally got it recorded it felt like the closing of chapter.

All of my songs are about something important to me, I don’t think I’ve ever written lyrics that aren’t about anything random. I have pieces about dreams I’ve had, sleep paralysis, people I have loved or people who have loved me, my dad, what happens in my mind or places I have been. As it turns out, some of my songs have completely different meanings to people who have listened to them, the song above included. Rubidium is such a personal song for me but someone I know has taken their own thing away from it, something which rings personal to them. Music is a powerful thing like that and it always amazes me that as humans we have the power to interpret something so differently from its original meaning.

Which leads me on to this: ‘In My Head’ by a band called Glass City Vice. Whenever I write a blog post, I always get this song stuck – no pun intended – in my head. As with part one of this post, I’m lucky enough to know the band personally and am luckier to call the singer, Josh, one of my best friends (sorry babes, you’re getting it in the neck with this one!). GCV haven’t been a band for some years but their music (this song in particular) rings through to me. Why this song get’s stuck in my head whenever I write a post is because of what I said earlier, I’ve taken something away from this song that is different from what Josh had originally written about.

When I have particularly dysphoric or anxious days, I have to remind myself that whatever is happening is only happening in my head and that nothing is ever as bad as it seems. I tell myself ‘its all up in your head,’ a quote which by coincidence is the lead lyric in the chorus of the GCV song mentioned above. Josh originally wrote this song about his grandad but I’ll never know what Josh was trying to say to him. But I do know that – although he doesn’t know it himself – Josh is telling me that all my dysphoria and my anxiety is in my head. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems, and I need to be reminded of that sometimes.

Today has been a boy day. I slept badly last night and woke up feeling less than average today so I’m hiding at work in jeans and a hoodie and looking forward to getting home where I can have a hug and clear my head a bit. Until I can get home, I’ve enlisted music to help me to day, this song included. I’ve also relied on:

  • Tom Waits: Mule Variations (Come On Up To The House is a fucking masterpiece and if you disagree you can sit in the road and wait)
  • Nine Inch Nails: Still (beautiful ‘acoustic’ versions of some of NINs heavier songs)
  • Hans Zimmer: Interstellar OST (immersive, brooding soundscapes that pull at my heartstrings but also channel my thoughts back to reality – see the ‘Rage…’ post previously about finding light amongst the darkness)

Thanks to Josh and the rest of GCV for giving me something to remind me I’m okay. Everyone should have a song like this, something you can connect to and something you can use to bring you back to reality.

Nothing is ever as bad as it seems.

This two-part blog is named for the lyrics of ‘In My Head’ by Glass City Vice, which you can listen to here:



Yesterday was a day. I don’t know what kind of day it was, I think it was good, parts of it were certainly fun but I won’t find out if it was a successful day for another week or so.

Yesterday I had a job interview, the first interview I’ve had since coming out, which meant figuring out how to actually dress smart as a girl, as opposed to just throwing on some fishnets and a pencil skirt like I normally do when I want to be feminine. The position isn’t one where presentation is key, thankfully, so I managed to pull off a plain jumper and skirt combo and some heeled boots but by the time I actually found the place and got there I completely forgot about what I looked like.

On my CV in the ‘about me’ section, it says that I like music and all the other shit that people say they like. Mine also says ‘I identify as transgender’ but there’s no mention of being gender fluid or what my pronouns are. My full name (minus title) is on there too. My preferred pronouns are they/them but literally no one I know uses them, certainly not around me anyway. A couple of people have asked, and I tell them, but I also don’t really care that much. Any way… yesterday I was referred to as she or her all day. No one at the establishment asked, checked or batted an eyelid, I was just she or her. First time that’s happened since I’ve come out, and although not technically correct for what I want it was incredibly empowering. During the interview I was asked a question in third person and it threw me off a bit as I was she instead of he. Strange. But it was nice to be in an environment were no one even questions it and just assumes that’s how I want to be gendered. Strange to think they’re all (hopefully) discussing my suitability for the job today, referring to me as a girl and not a boy.

I left the establishment not feeling particularly confident about the job but feeling a new found confidence in myself because of the way I’d been addressed, so I decided to go shopping. I’ve just moved house and thrown out loads of old clothes and other things I didn’t want anymore and I felt like replacing some of them.

I bought some tights and a top (wow, much excite) as well as a couple of records. My feet were dying because I’d been in heels for bloody ages so I bought some flat Chelsea boots to change into as well. Needn’t have bought the boots as the next place I went to had half price DMs so I treated myself to a pair of blue boots then decided to go home before I spent any more money. I’ve wanted some DMs for bloody ages but didn’t just want the standard black or red ones that most people have so the blue ones (at half price!) were something I had to snap up. When I got home I started planning some outfits for the weekend because I’m going out three nights in a row and found out pretty quickly that DMs open up a whole world of outfit possibilities I never knew I could pull off. I peppered my Instagram story with loads of cute ideas and some outfits I never thought I’d have the guts to show anyone, let alone post publicly. I’ve got a bunch of dresses I don’t know if I’d ever wear out but dressing them down with DMs and fishnets or over-knee socks made them instantly more appealing to me. Amazing how much a pair of boots and being referred to as a girl can boost my confidence that much. Managed to put some outfits for the weekend together, too.

There wasn’t really much of a point to this post other than blowing my own trumpet and telling everyone that yesterday was in fact a really, really good day. Now I just have to wait and see if I was successful at the interview or not…

I’ve named this blog ‘Morphology’ as it’s a word I learned/learned the meaning of during part of my interview. In Science, it’s the study of the form and structure of organisms and their features and I thought this was a sort of good title to use as I’m constantly studying myself and learning something new. Yes, I know that’s not totally correct but I don’t care, I learned a new word *sticks out tongue at people trying to correct me*

For anyone who cares, yesterday I listened to:

  • Cancer Bats: Dead Set On Living and Searching For Zero
  • System Of A Down: Hypnotize
  • Alien Ant Farm: Anthology
  • DOT: DOT


Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I just wanted to write a sort of open letter to some people who have meant so much to me in the past few weeks. I think there will be a few new readers to this blog because of this post, please read some previous posts (for back story, if nothing else) if you have the time!

To the guitarist of a band that I have followed and worshipped for years, thank you for sticking up for the trans community that I am part of. In a world where there is so much division and hatred, for someone who I admire and idolise to come out as an ally of ‘my people’ means the world to me. Upon actually meeting this person and thanking them for their words of support, they were humble and inclusive, and expressed their own gratitude for my words of thanks back to them. That means more to me than you’ll ever know and has helped me cement my own pride in my identity in ways I never knew I could.

To the strangers on the internet who have taught me that it is okay to be upset about the breakup of band, thank you. I have cried my eyes out twice in recent days because one of my favourite bands has just played their farewell shows and the people who I share that connection with have shown me that this reaction is okay. I have no deeper love to anything than I do with music and I have lost a loved one at the break up of this band. The people who shared and felt this with me know who you are. You are my family. It is okay to feel loss and to mourn the passing of something other than a real life. People have the power to make unique and powerful connections with things and entities outside of ‘what is normal’ and people with these connections should feel proud of them and embrace them.

Speaking of family and powerful connections, I can’t even begin to find the words to thank the people I have spent the past few days of my life with. (Switching narrative here) I have typed out and deleted paragraph after paragraph about you and genuinely can’t find the words to express my love and gratitude for you all. You welcomed me into your home at a time that I feel most shut off from reality and included me like I’ve been in your family forever. Upon thanking you for your generosity and inclusion I’ve been made to feel even more humbled and loved. You are all there for me as I am here for all of you.

In a music documentary I have seen countless times, a fan describes his home as where his favourite band is. I always choked up at that line, knowing I felt the same about the people I have mentioned above.

My home is where my peers and idols accept, encourage and protect me.

My home is where a total stranger shares a unique and different connection to something so special with me, and where this connection inevitably strengthens at the loss of what originally united us.

My home is being included by my friends at a time of year I could never enjoy, and having these friends become my family.

This blog is named for the poem which is partially recited by Michael Caine in the film ‘Interstellar,’ a film that I watched recently with one of the people I’ve mentioned above. I interpret the poem as fighting the darkness and looking for the light.

You (yes, you) have so much light ahead of you, and the tools with which to capture it.

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

Bad Blood.

Today I had my first appointment at a gender identity clinic. A few people knew this and they all wanted to know how it went, so this post is is simply so I don’t have to repeat myself as well as explain a bit of what I want out of gender treatment.

So, today was like a prelim appointment before I see a specialist. I met with a volunteer at the clinic – an ex patient (lets call them J to maintain confidentiality) – and the session was a couple of hours long. It was for me ask questions and get direct answers (the internet is a dangerous place and everything I have learned from it was corrected in todays meeting) and also to give J the opportunity to explain exactly what the clinic can offer me and how everything works. These meetings essentially speed up the process when I see a doctor or a therapist as I (theoretically) will have already have had my questions and queries answered. My apologies about the excessive use of brackets, someone give me a grammar lesson!

So sometime towards the end of Summer my name will be ‘top of the list’ and I’ll be the next person to be assessed for gender dysphoria at that particular clinic (they do about two assessments a week i think). This will be done by a specialist doctor and a gender identity therapist who will hopefully officially diagnose me with the condition (although my GP has already informally diagnosed me, but then it’s pretty obvious I don’t want to solely be a guy any more, right?) and ‘suffers from gender dysphoria’ will go onto my medical record in some sort of medical record-esque way.

After this diagnosis I’ll basically then be offered a smorgasbord of treatments for me to pick and choose from with an end goal of (hopefully) my body matching what is going on in my head. I can have full surgical procedures to have bits added on or taken off (I’m not interested in surgery), HRT, laser treatment (to remove unwanted hair that HRT doesn’t take care of) and a number of other treatments. HRT and laser are my current wants; upping my production of oestrogen in an attempt to suppress production of testosterone is the normal ‘first treatment’ and will continue for the rest of my life. After that I can have anti-androgens to cease production of testosterone altogether which will render my reproductive organs more or less sexually useless as well as promoting the development of breast tissue and minimising other male characteristics like body hair, body odour and fat stores around my body.

Simply put, when I’m presented with these options, I’ll be jumping at having my beard tamed by laser treatment (it’s almost impossible to have it removed altogether) as well as taking the oestrogen boosters to minimise the ‘male drive’ in my system. If I start growing boobs while taking them then that’s a bonus in my eyes. I’ve wanted my own boobs for as long as I’ve been dressing as a girl.

That about sums up today and hopefully explains a bit more about what is happening in my head to anyone who is still trying to understand it. I have a ‘Gender Is Over’ pin badge which was on my jacket today and got masses of attention so I’ve added a picture of it along with a couple of other favourites of mine. A Google search of the slogan will direct you to their site (top result) where you can find out what it means, why it’s important and where you can buy one if you want one for yourself.

Timeline: I went to my GP saying I wanted a gender clinic referral in November 2015 and he put me in for blood tests immediately as you can’t be referred to a specialist without them. The initial test came back with a ‘prolactin spike’ (stress hormone in men and an indicator of thyroid or diabetes issues) so I was tested for all of these which took me to May 2016. I found out then I don’t have ‘bad blood’ (as my GP put it) and he processed my referral. This was accepted in June 2016 and I have been waiting since, until today (today was a volunteer meet and NOT something I had to have, I still have about four months to wait). You can do the maths; if you’re in the UK, want to see a gender clinic and your initial bloods come back okay you can expect to wait about 16 months, although this is expected to increase. I’m not getting into NHS politics.

Music: today included about 6 hours of traveling (I don’t drive so buses, trains and one of my best mates cars, Celine, were the rides of the day) so I listened to loads of music. For anyone who cares:

  • Russian Circles – Empros
  • Mastodon – Crack The Skye
  • The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation
  • Every Time I Die – Low Teens
  • Baroness – Blue
  • MUTation – The Frankenstein Effect
  • Andrew Bird – Are You Serious

I also spent waaayy to much money in Topshop and New Look while I was waiting for a connection but I got a fucking stunning dress and some other little bits so I really don’t care.

Until next time 🙂