Feel The Same

Sophie Lancaster

Music, something we all connect with. It doesn’t matter what genre you’re into; when you hear music you love, it touches a part of you that nothing else can. I remember when I first picked up the guitar and started teaching myself some basic open chords, my dream was to make music that connected with people. To be on stage and have the crowd singing your song back at you because they relate to it. The first time it happened, I’d already switched to playing drums and I remember being sat behind my kit, completely overwhelmed. Such an immense feeling. There’s no more band and crowd split, we’re all just people. People who’ve struggled or experienced so much, and are together in 1 room.

Since I started this journey of self-discovery, music has played an important part. Like a best friend, it’s always there to help me find clarity or to just say the things I couldn’t at the time. In fact, a lot of the titles to my blog posts are taken from songs. As I mentioned in a post a while ago, I felt something when I saw Courtesans play earlier this year. They connected with me in a way that not only made me feel welcome, but a part of what they stood for. I felt a kind of peace, along wth a sense of empowerment. It didn’t matter what I looked like or how everyone chose to dress or present themselves. Everyone in that room was united, brought together by their music. They recently played an important gig at Bloodstock festival but I was down in Newquay for Boardmasters, so I was gutted I couldn’t make it. Given what Courtesans stand for, it was perfect that they played the Sophie Lancaster stage at Bloodstock, which is named in memory of someone who was murdered just because she was different. In 2007, Sophie and her boyfriend were attacked by a group, as they made their way home. They chose to look and dress differently, and were singled out for it. Tragically, Sophie paid the ultimate price and died from her injuries. Since then, the Sophie Lancaster Foundation has been set up to stamp out hate and intolerance, with its roots in the music industry. It’s been embraced by so many people. It’s just a shame it took something like Sophie’s death before that change came about. Here’s an interview with Sinead and Saffire whilst at Bloodstock, which sums up exactly why I love Courtesans.

Being somebody that chooses to look and dress differently, a part of me has always lived in fear of being attacked. That part of me is scared that as I transition, that hate will become more obvious and physical. There have been many times where people’s attitudes and moods change as soon as they realise I’m not a biological female. Whether it’s checking me out from behind only to be disgusted when I turn around, or having somebody become angry at me because I was using a male toilet.

The toilet thing is an awkward one really. If I use a male toilet, people get upset…if I used a female toilet, people get upset. If anything, I try to avoid using public toilets.

There’s still a lot of hate and intolerance towards people who are different. I get that some people are resistant to change, that’s fine. It’s their choice. However, they have no fucking right to let their choice affect the choices of others, let alone cause them harm. From transgender to goths to those with different colour skin or beliefs, we’re all people too. We’re not going anywhere and we certainly shouldn’t have to hide or live in fear. We’re united, thanks to music as well as people like Courtesans.


Featured image: via Google
Featured videos: Interview with Sinead & Saffire (via Louder’s YouTube page), “Feel The Same” (via Deceiver Of Fools’ YouTube Page)

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