We seem to be having a bit of an epidemic of high profile transitions recently, Caitlin Jenner over in
the States, Kellie Maloney, and now India Willoughby, I am glad that these ladies find that it is now possible to come out, be authentically who they are yet still remain in the spot light of publicity. It is good for all of us that they are able to come out in public, tell their story, and so help to normalise the whole concept of being Transgender.
However I am a little sad that so much of the coverage dwells so much upon the anguish that our situation can give rise to. It is great that so often at the end of the story we get the "Now I'm the person I always knew I was I'm so happy" bit. But there is so much more.
By being Trans I have had some wonderful experiences that very few women of my generation could have had. I am quite sure that any 13 year old girl who wanted to play the Tuba would have been heavily discouraged, or even prevented. In those days girls played the Flute, Oboe or Violin, my Youth Orchestra had a couple of girls who played trumpet and that was considered to be worthy of comment! Through playing music I have met so many wonderful people and been to wonderful places. There have been times when my music has kept me sane, it is a gift to be able to play, and a gift that is a joy to share with others.
In those days anything involving quite that level of physicality would not have been encouraged, or indeed even available.
Women now play very good Rugby, in many ways a purer form of the game than many men's teams. Women seem to approach sport differently to men, striving to be the best they can, rather than simply to defeat the opponent. In retrospect I think I played like a woman, although if anyone had suggested that at the time I would have been most offended.
When I started work although equal pay was a legal obligation it was still a very unequal world, women in senior positions were very much the exception, and I am quite sure that some of the career opportunities I had would not have been as open to me had I been recognised as a woman.
But perhaps more than any of these I have an insight into both the male and female that few (although a growing number) people will ever enjoy. As my journey progresses I increasingly feel that rather than having been deprived of the opportunity to live authentically as a woman, have been blessed to experience so much, thathas been denied to most people.