Hellooooo!! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I figured I’d better get my arse back on here and let you all know that I’m alive!! Seriously, I’ve been meaning to do an update but with so much going on, my head has been everywhere.
Life has been weird, to say the least – especially thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m not going to go into that too much as I’m sure you all know what that’s about. One minute life was going well, I had my consultation for breast augmentation, business was going well, mental health was good…then suddenly, BAM!! At the end of March, the UK was put into national lockdown. Everything came to a grinding halt as we were all ordered to stay at home. All non-essential business and services were closed and online video became the only thing that kept us connected. I’m not gonna lie, for the first 2 or 3 weeks of lockdown, I had a complete meltdown. I just couldn’t cope with the sudden change and the lack of control – especially when everything I’ve been working for was placed in limbo indefinitely. Just before lockdown, I was nominated for a National Diversity Award as “Positive Role Model (LGBT)”, interviewed for ITV and ready to go ahead with breast augmentation surgery. Suddenly, nothing. Each day lost structure, instead replaced with uncertainty and Animal Crossing: New Horizons (don’t judge) It was so tough to get back on top of things. But I did. I did more than that…I exceeded even my own expectations, by becoming even more visible – which for somebody who hated attention or got anxious around complete strangers is a real U-turn!!
First of all, I was announced as a brand ambassador for London Transgender Clinic (LTC), which was an absolute honour. Since I first went to them towards the start of 2019 for my facial surgery, I’ve switched all of my other trans healthcare needs to them. The level of care and support of everyone there has been absolutely live-saving. If visibly working alongside such an amazing team at LTC was enough, I started doing video interviews too. Showing my face is one thing, but to talk as well? Argh. Those closest to me know that I hate my voice and it triggers so much dysphoria. But, I had to push myself. And I’m glad I did. Soon after doing my first interview, I was invited to be on the other side things…and to interview someone I’ve always looked up to for inspiration during my transition: Carmen Carrera 😱 I won’t lie, I was so scared but she was amazing to talk to. Even during the interview I learned a lot that changed my outlook and my activism.
That was it for me. I was much more focused, I saw the bigger picture and knew I had to do more in order to create positive change. I did more interviews, appeared on panels and talks, discussing all sorts from my own transition to dealing with transphobia. You can see some of them via this link. My passion had been dowsed in rocket fuel and I was off. Focusing on the greater good also helped me deal with anxiety. In the past I never felt like I was allowed to be somewhere or that I wasn’t welcome around people. Now I had reason…not that I ever needed a reason to exist!! I felt empowered and I wasn’t going to let people (or myself) get in the way of being able to do more with my life. “Go big or go home” has always been something that stuck with me. If you’re going to do something, do it properly. And so I joined Gendered Intelligence as one of their activists and trans spokespeople!!
Something else that needs a mention is my body confidence. Before you rush ahead, no…I still have very little. However I did throw myself out there with this post on Instagram. I’m not going to much more other than I nearly bailed on posting that. At one point I was ready to send everything back and tell them I could no longer do it. What changed? My outlook. All bodies are valid, and I realised that even more during lockdown. There’s something about the world coming to an end that really makes you realise that some things are just so insignificant. My lack of breast tissue growth whilst being on HRT has always been slow. That photo in particular was me trying to accept that…as awkward as I was. Luckily I was then able to go ahead with my breast augmentation surgery a few weeks after. There’ll be a separate post about that, so stay tuned!!
With our business allowed to reopen in July, we decided to wait a while longer. Nobody was really paying attention to Government guidelines and we didn’t feel it was safe yet. Tbh, I don’t think even the Government know what they’re doing. The way they’ve handled the pandemic has been a bit of a shit show. With extra precautions in place and a healed Bert and Ernie (oh yeh, I named my new boobs Bert and Ernie…I’ll explain that one soon!!) we reopened to welcome our customers. As much as things are trying to be normal again, they aren’t. The pandemic is ongoing and we have to adapt. In any event, I could never go back to how I was before lockdown. I’ve grown so much since March and ended up doing things I’d previously only dreamed of. I’ve met so many amazing people and I feel really fortunate. It’s just unfortunate that it took a global pandemic for me to realise my own abilities.
Main image: via Google