Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Accidental Activist

When I was about 18 I had it all planed, I had started my career, I was engaged to be married, everything was set! I fully expected to be a middle manager of a major corporation, married to a nice girl with a couple of nice children. I expected them to go to a nice school, and of course we would live in a nice house.   Since none of that has transpired I have to wonder what went wrong, I do have a child and she is totally wonderful, but the word "nice" is not one that immediately comes to mind to describe her.   I did get married but not for another couple of decades; but the point is that I now a self employed gardener and musician, I live on my own in a tiny flat and struggle to make the money reach the end of the month.   I could ask what went wrong? But maybe I should ask what went right?

So much of my life has just happened, I know I have made some unwise decisions but mostly I have just gone with what felt right at the time so much of what has happened has happened more or less by accident. ~ it now seems I have now become an accident activist.

When I first started exploring my gender identity a few years back I thought it had nothing to do with anyone except me and my wife, I thought I would just work it out and spend a few evenings playing "Dress up". That was never going to happen!   Well I came out by accident, I became public by accident, I became ostracised (by some) by accident.   I never planed to be oppressed, I never planned to complain, I was just brought  up not accept injustice ~ I saw some I complained and suddenly found I was campaigning.

Well, over the last year there has been a lot flak coming at the Trans community from various sources, they are pretty vocal and have even managed to get themselves onto the BBC, I have felt obliged to "up my game". I think the best I can to do is to be present, to be visible and show people that we (trans people) are not sexual predators, that we are a risk to nobody indeed that we are the ones who are at risk. Strangely much of what I have always done has become activist ~ As a musician I will be affirming my womanhood again this month playing in the band for "Processions" Central London, and in a few weeks I will again be leading the Croydon Pride Fest Parade.

For trans people Pride has become more important again this year ~ The Government proposed changes to the Gender recognition Act has been delayed, opponents have seen this as weakness and have increased their campaigning, as a consequence I find that our identities are being questioned more and more. I will be marching in London, and leading in Croydon because my identity is not open for other people to debate, because we still have to go through a quasi judicial process to be able to assert our identity, because we do not have equal access to work, to healthcare, to services, and accommodation.

I know that we are not the only oppressed group, I know that there is much else to campaign about, I never planed to do this it has just happened by accident, but by joining an oppressed minority I am now so much more aware of all the other oppressed minorities ~ as I may have observed before ~ nothing makes you understand privilege like giving it up!

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