Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Monday, 17 October 2011

I'm sorry Kevin

I have been thinking about how much has changed in recent years, it is now relatively simple for us girls to go about our lives, indeed even to share with each other through the Internet.   Certainly before the web there was very little chance of finding anyone else to talk issues through with.   Even if we do not join in with the fora, we do at least know of their existence.   Not so long ago most of us were isolated, fearful of talking about our "interest" in case we were branded as perverts, or worse.   I understand that it is not too long ago that the Police would routinely have arrested any one wearing gender inappropriate clothing and attempted to prosecute for indecency.  

With that background it must have been so very difficult for those pioneer transgendered people to go through transition, rejected by society and often family as well.   ARound 20 years ago there used to be a trombone player in one of the pro bands I gigged with, I'll call him Kevin.   Now Kevin was a lovely sensitive musician, and a very fine trombone player, it must be said however, that he could be a little difficult to get along with.   I like to think that I can rub along quite well with most people, I have a pretty broad spectrum of interest so can usually find some common ground.   With Kevin it was different, he was so competitive, his motorbike had to be more powerful and faster, his football team better, his PA louder, I could go on but I think you get the picture.   Typical competitive aggressive too much testosterone young man.

Not us! we can actually play the instruments
Well you would be wrong, I was!   I recently played in an orchestra with an older trombone player with the same surname as Kevin, when I mentioned this it came out that the older man was Kevin's father, that they did not see each other, that they did not talk, and that Kevin had transitioned.   This was not the term the father used, I would rather not repeat some of the language he used to describe his son.   He would certainly not accept that Kevin was now his daughter.

If only I had known before, I don't know what I could have done, but looking back Kevin was clearly in pain all the time, fighting against his own nature trying to show how macho he was.   I hope that if I had known I could at least have offered some sympathy, understanding and compassion, I think he must have needed it.   I don't know what name Kevin uses now, but if you are reading this then now that you know who you are I hope you know who I am, and I'm sorry.
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