Rest day ramblings

It’s a rest day today so I have no training or physical adventures to share. However, I do have another experience to share.

Yesterday I was interviewed by Marie Claire Magazine for an article relating to transgender men and women. The article is being written as a result of the Miss Universe rule changes to allow transgender women to compete.

The interview went well enough; though I was unhappy about the interviewer asking me about my bedroom activities. I thought that was totally inappropriate. She did respect my saying that topic was irrelevant and off limits but it did change the tone of the interview for me. It actually has made me consider withdrawing consent to the article but I know I have to hang in there and just let things take their course.

Why do the interview? Because I believe it is important for transgender men and women who are settled in their lives to be available as role models for other transgender people and their families. I think it’s particularly important to show families and friends that their transgender loved ones can still have a positive, healthy and fulfilled life; that being transgender doesn’t relegate us to second-class citizen status or to a life of unhappiness.

I have no idea how the article is going to turn out. I keep playing the interview over in my mind. Having studied journalism in my past I know that journalists and editors often try to find the sensational in stories. Hopefully the journalist doesn’t latch onto the few negative experiences I have had but focuses on the many positive and real experiences we discussed.

My name and photo will be in the article, which is a bit scary because magazines like Marie Claire often spend years (or decades) lying around doctors’ surgery and dentists’ waiting rooms. I’ve been in the media before: a newspaper and two separate radio programs. And I’m openly transgender here in my blog. But a magazine is very different. Written press is also more risky than audio. In my last radio interview with ABC Local Radio the journalist tried to sensationalise my story but I was able to hold my ground because the interview was live. But in this interview the journalise can go away, write her story and then the editor will start doing their work on it. That’s quite scary.

I don’t know when the article will come out but hopefully it will be positive. I’m going to try not to think about it while I wait.

In some ways this is still an adventure … not a physical one but a mental and emotional one.

8 responses to “Rest day ramblings

  1. I think you are an amazing role model! we shouldn’t edit or censor ourselves. your words may just strike a cord with someone and have the impact you wish for

    • That’s exactly why I decided to take the risk – because my words might make a difference in someone else’s life 🙂 … Most likely a parent or friend, given the nature of the publication.

  2. I am hoping that the journalist was just pushing the boundaries to see what you would say and won’t reflect on the article. You have a very interesting story as it is and you should be proud of what you have achieved.

    • I think perhaps she was anticipating what her editor might ask too. Because while she spoke with me and probably can appreciate I’m human, to a third party with a magazine to run I might be more story than human. That’s not criticism of the editor in any way. I’m just a realist. I know from jobs I’ve had in the past that sometimes the need to do your job means you have to protect yourself from human emotion to make rational decisions. For example, a story that includes discussion of a source’s intimate life might sell better than one that doesn’t. Increased circulation = increased advertising = increased profit = editor being praised for their work.

      I am proud of what I’ve achieved. Sometimes I reflect on the things I’ve felt or been through in the past and wonder how I made it through. When I was 18 years voicing my need to transition for the first time I was terrified. I thought I’d never have a career or friends or hobbies. I thought the depression and self-loathing would never lift. It’s taken a long time but at 32 years old I know I am doing alright … I have a great career, the best friends ever, a wonderful partner and a life filled with crazy hobbies. The depression has definitely lifted.

      The thing I am most proud of is that I’m not an angry person. I have empathy and compassion for people who can’t accept me because they have their own paths to walk. And I am not ashamed of my past; it’s what makes me who I am today. I have faith that there is a reason I was born this way; that there are things I have to learn and do in this body. It’s not my place to question this life I’ve been given – it’s a gift and I have a choice as to how I will live it.

  3. Even if they don’t write it up the exactly way you would like it, the exposure itself is good for awareness.

    • I hope so … And that’s the important thing isn’t it … because people who know me know me, and it doesn’t really matter what those who don’t think 🙂

  4. I ‘liked’ this as a voice of support. I hope the article turns out balanced and positive.

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