The start of another week brings new opportunities and hope that today will be better than yesterday. It also reminds me that whilst any challenges I face now do get easier day by day. So today focus on the end game not where you are at now.
There are so many issues to consider when it comes to transgender and gender diverse people like myself. The issue that often we are marginalised by society and some of us by our family or friends. We are either accepted, misunderstood, rejected or tolerated by friends and/or family/society and workmates. I sometimes feel like I am a record that is being played and played again explaining myself and what it means to be transgender to those who don’t understand.
The issue of what knowing to ask and what not to asked when it comes to a someone like myself. Sometimes I get asked personal questions by some people such as what surgery I have had or even inappropriate questions about the details of gender reassignment surgery and how it is done which is a bit uncomfortable. I may also get asked why I haven’t had my Adam’s apple shaved or worse still my flatmate gets asked by someone who knows me second or third-hand has she had the snip yet.
People often may good intentions but don’t even think to ask if it is okay to ask me such questions and just launch in. This is uncomfortable and has led me to anxiety attacks for me in the past. People sometimes don’t consider what I am going through at any point in time nor consider that this may cause me psychological distress or bring on mental health conditions as it may with any transgender and/or gender diverse person.
It is worth noting that the Snapshot of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention for LGBTIQ+ People Statistics April 2021 Report (Ref. 1) shows that transgender and gender diverse are in the high percentage range when it comes to psychological distress and mental health conditions. These statistics and other statistics around mental health and suicide are a sad state of affairs and highlights the need for ongoing education when it comes to the LGBITQA+ community and the issues we face on a daily basis.
The issue around surgery is not only a personal decision for each person to make but also for someone like me it is the financial cost involved when it comes to transitioning from male to female. I have already had to take out nearly $20,000 out of superannuation to pay for my breast augmentation surgery and cover any amounts withheld for tax. One maybe surprised to know that “the cost of surgery and treatment of gender dysphoria will crack $100,000” (Ref. 2). When it comes to ‘surgery and medicare a lot of it isn’t covered’ (Ref. 3) most aren’t so the bills are left firmly at your doorstep to cover most of the expenses involved. No wonder it takes many years for someone to complete the full process of transitioning should they choose to do so.
Surgery aside coping day-to-day finding a job or transitioning in your workplace as a transgender and/or gender diverse person can be challenging and often a difficult process in itself. Challenging because you may not have a LGBTIQA+ friendly employer or work colleagues may not accept you. Finding work in your field could be harder if there is unconscious bias with employer(s) preferring not to higher a transgender or gender diverse person. Changing legal documents I found was another “headache” and exhausting process and now the State of Victoria has my gender as male yet Medicare and on my passport my gender is female as unable to change my gender on my birth certificate in New Zealand till I have gender reassignment surgery. One could say I am multi-gendered lol 😂.
Whilst I have only touched on some of the issues transgender and gender diverse people face I hope at least this raises a bit of awareness and understanding which make people in broader society think 🤔. If we all had more empathy for others then perhaps these issues would not be issues or would they? Only time will tell.
Ref. 1: Link to LGBTIQ+ Health Australia Snapshot of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention for LGBTIQ+ People Statistics April 2021 Report: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/lgbtihealth/pages/549/attachments/original/1620871703/2021_Snapshot_of_Mental_Health2.pdf?1620871703
Ref. 2.: Link to ABC article on the hidden $100,000 price tag on being transgender: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-02/the-hidden-$100,000-price-tag-on-being-transgender/9498918
Ref. 3.: Link to information on finder.com.au about costs of gender reassignment surgery: https://www.finder.com.au/gender-reassignment-surgery
I am grateful that I live in a country where I can be myself despite any transphobic behaviour I encounter. I am able to go out dressed as I please within reason and experiment with wearing wig figuring out my style etc.
2021 has been a tough year for most of us if not all so let us put it behind us and look forward to a brighter new year with a sense of optimism.
What are you grateful for and looking forward to?
Please check one of my old interviews on my YouTube channel and subscribe to my channel/follow me their and watch part 2 of this interview.
Today on Transgender Day of Remembrance we remember those such as Brenda Appleton who have gone before us to allow transgender people like to have more freedoms. Freedom to live our lives without fear or prejudice.
More importantly we participate in society and partake in modelling courses, get employment and do the things we want to in Australia. That said there is still a long way to go around acceptance or understanding of transgender people here and overseas.
Also in many countries transgender people have to live underground or in fear and don’t have the opportunities we take for granted. My hope for the future world is that this will change for the better enabling not transgender people to live their fullest lives but everyone is able to do so as well.
Beauty is skin deep. Real beauty comes from within as what we wear and how we act are just a reflection of our inner self.
Be Bold. Be beautiful. Be Brave and most importantly be you.
On Cup day I was lucky enough to be in the members at Atrium and sat next to Greg Miles. I was not feeling the greatest, a bit depressed for some reason whilst trying to enjoy the day.
The trigger that changed my state to a happier one was when a complete stranger – Kimberley Russell came up to me and said “I am inspirational and they read my posts on LinkedIn all the time. It was like the universe was reminding me that I still have something to offer of value to the world whilst at the same time both changing it for the better and inspiring others to do likewise.
It also reminded me that I am on a journey of transformation on the inside as well as on the outside. Funnily enough whilst writing this I have a current troll who left message calling me a transformer and asking where they can buy me. Thankfully I am unique and sorry not available to buy in the shop lol. However in some ways I am a transformer because as I share my journey with others it in some ways I hope transform even one persons life for the better.
If we all changed one life for the better then that is the most important thing we can ever do for someone else. Also what Kimberley in a funny sort of way reminded me that it is important to enjoy the journey because then you will reach your destination far more happier and wiser.
The bowler comes into bowl that dazzling reverse swing and as if magic the batter is blindsided and the bails are flying off the stumps before the batter can blink an eyelid. Batter you say? Wouldn’t that be batsman or batswoman? Well maybe in the past but the times are changing in the new more modern world and society we live in as “The Marylebone Cricket Club has approved amendments to the laws of the game which will see the gender-neutral terms “batter” and “batters” replace batsman” and “batsmen”. (Ref.1).
This well certainly get avid cricket fans talking and raise questions about this change and some “who will deride the change as political correctness can mad.”, however nonetheless these changes are made which not only reflect the fact that women’s cricket is now played but also that society is changing with more acceptance of gender-diverse people in it.
When it comes to using terms that are gender neutral one has to have a balance in the sporting arena. I can see why some people would not agree with this change and perhaps a more balanced approach of people who play the sport be asked their preference of what they be preferred to be called, especially when it comes to games on television. One would hope that this would have been discussed before deciding to make these changes.
At the end of the day the game itself is not changing the rules of how it is played but only the terminology. A person who comes out to bat whether you say batter or batsman still has the same role to play for their team, that does not change. If we can understand that to be a more accepting society which is inclusive of all then we have to make these small tweaks then so be it as long as done with as long as done with some degree of common sense.
It will be interesting to see what other terminology gets changed in cricket and indeed other sports to make them more inclusive or appear to be so to fit in line with the rest of society. Only time will time if it is beneficial for the game or not.
Reference: (Ref. 1): Link to article – https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/dismissed-batsman-out-batter-in-as-mcc-approves-gender-neutral-terms-20210922-p58tz3.html