Full Circle

Rainbow Reflection

This month has been crazy hectic. With so much going on, I’ve not really had chance to write about what I wanted to. However, with this week being Trans Awareness Week, I thought I’d make the time – especially as it’s also been an important couple of weeks for me. A perfect chance to reflect on recent events.

Being transgender isn’t just about wearing makeup or a dress in public. That’s just on the outside…and even then it’s an attempt to match the outside with the inside. It’s about self acceptance and allowing your true self to exist. With so may Instagram accounts focusing on looks, it’s often too easy to forget about the other stuff: the things that transgender people go through every single day in an attempt to keep the dysphoria at bay, or to feel better about their body until the time comes when they can do something about it etc. It’s not something that’s documented much in photos. It’s as if people are too scared to? I get that it’s a personal side they’d rather not share with the online world…but maybe that’s what the world needs? Since starting my transition, I’ve lost a lot of weight to get from a size 12 to a size 6, started laser hair removal on my face (which really fucking hurts!!) and I’m looking for ways to speed up access to HRT. I still have really bad days and complete meltdowns but I never expected the dysphoria to disappear overnight anyway. By sharing our transition experiences and opening up about what we physically and mentally go through, the rest of the world can begin to understand more. Give them facts so they don’t make up their own stories. The more accurate trans-related things there are in the media, the more people will realise we’re just humans too. We have an equal right to exist. Plus it desensitises the world, allowing us to get on with transitioning and existing without prejudice or hate.

Earlier this year, I saw Courtesans for the first time. Hearing them play live and meeting them afterwards was a life changing moment for me. It opened my eyes up to so much positivity – especially during a time when I was in a really bad place with suicide and self harm being regular visitors at my door. You can read more about it here. At the end of October, I went back to Manchester to see them play again whilst they were on tour with Wednesday 13. It was 6 months after the last gig and the first time I saw them since coming out as transgender, which Sinead had been such an important part of. Seeing them again was a big thing for me. It was also the first time I could go out as my correct self and not give a shit about what anyone thought. It was amazing to see them all again but even more so as I could see them as me, and vice versa. It showed that a lot has changed in just 6 months. Looking back at the photo of me with them 6 months ago, compared to the one taken after their recent gig was proof of that.

After touring with The Birthday Massacre last year, it was good to see them back in the UK to promote their new album Under Your Spell. We went to see some of their shows including Bristol, which happened to be Halloween (obviously there was a Halloween party!!). It was so good to catch up with the band again and hear what they’ve been up to. As with seeing Courtesans again, this was the first time I’d seen The Birthday Massacre since I came out as transgender and started my transition. It was also the first time I’d seen the guitarist who was also in the band I played with during the tour, so it was a bit of a reunion really. I won’t lie, I was a bit worried about seeing The Birthday Massacre. It’s kind of dumb really as they’ve openly support LGBT rights for quite a while and they’re genuine, caring people. It’s nothing to do with them though. It’s all me. I guess it’s because I haven’t spoken to them, whereas with Courtesans I had. They’d seen photos of me and knew what was going on, whilst for The Birthday Massacre, it would be a total surprise. My worries were clearly just in my head and short-lived as soon as I saw them though. Aside from the congratulations from Falcore, nothing was said and I was treated just like anybody else. It was great. After the last night of tour in Wolverhampton, we ended up having a bit of a party back at their hotel where we took another group photo. Like the photos with Courtesans, it showed the change in me since the last time that happened. The only difference being that this was 12 months on, rather than 6.

Following tour last year, a few of us had talked about getting The Birthday Massacre’s logo tattooed on us, or at least something to represent the tour. I mean, it’s not every day you get to tour with one of your favourite bands, right? Thing is, when tour finished, we all went back to every day life and the idea got shelved. This time round, it happened. Not just getting tattoos to represent our time on tour though…we tattooed Sara, Nate and Owen from The Birthday Massacre too. I don’t know what’s more nerve-shredding: being their tour support or tattooing them!! It was such an honour. It meant so much to me being able to spend time with them and not only tattoo them, but to have matching tattoos as well. A bond and a memory that’ll be with me for life. Literally.

Bunny Buddies
Bunny buddies

So yeh, it’s been a really significant few weeks for me personally. A lot has happened and with things coming full circle, it’s been so good to move important aspects of my life to the next level, whilst giving closure to other things. My latest tattoo also serves to represent how far I’ve come in the last 12 months. Despite the incident after seeing Eva Plays Dead again, it was so important for me to share moments with 3 bands that mean so much to me. Together with the photo I had with Eva Plays Dead a couple of weeks ago, it’s amazing how 3 photos at 6 and 12 month intervals can capture so much of my journey and give me the chance to step back and reflect on how far I’ve come, the people I’m lucky enough to know and the experiences I’ll forever the grateful for.


Featured image: via Google

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