What I wanted from My Transsexual Summer was a lot different than challenging stereotypical gender binary ideas people have or breaking down barriers between cisgender and transgender people.
At the start of all this, I wanted the chance to tell my story. I wanted people to see the journey I was embarking upon. I wanted to meet and get to know other trans people like me. I wanted support. I wanted friends. I wanted a life.
All that I originally desired has come true tenfold. But I find myself wanting more. What this documentary will never tell because of time restraints is what else was going on in my life, what circumstances led up to me moving to Wales, what happened when I was living there and the situation I find myself in at the moment.
Before this summer I always lacked direction in my life, never being able to stick in one job, home or relationship. The last time I lived in the same house for more than a year was over ten years ago. I’ve never had a job for longer than eighteen months. I’ve never felt like I could be open with a partner one hundred percent because of these feelings inside of me so I flittered in and out of relationships. Nothing ever seemed quite right. I had this huge battle between masculinity and femininity raging inside me constantly eating away at me and devouring my will to give a shit about anything. I destroyed friendships, relationships, anything that did some positive for me, I just couldn’t bring myself to fight for the things that should have mattered.
But now I find myself giving a shit about stuff, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to do about it.
What the documentary won’t show is how I had somehow found myself in an abusive situation with the guy I was living with. I’d met him a couple of times before, when visiting Wales and he seemed like a nice guy, he was softly spoken, calm and chilled out and to be honest I was kind of attracted to that. He said I could come and stay in his spare room and he would help me get on my feet. He started taking me out to places and buying me drinks, cooking me meals and generally paying my way. I started looking for work and applied for job seekers allowance and housing benefit, which took months for me to sort out. During this time he was pressuring me into sex and constantly following me about the house hugging me and kissing me. I stupidly thought I owed him. I thought that he was letting me stay there for free and I had to pay him back somehow. I used to dread leaving the Retreat or driving back home from some filming trip. I didn’t know what to do, if I left I would be homeless, I knew barely a handful of people in the whole country and I didn’t want to feel like I was a burden to someone. Most of these people I had only known for a few weeks.
All this just ate away at me, my life was full of newness and excitement and joy everywhere but at home. Not that it ever felt like home. I’d come up with excuses as to why I needed to stay in my room but then when I came downstairs for a cup of tea or a smoke, he’d be there, following me about and kissing me. I told him on many occasions I didn’t want to, it was like he was challenging me every time he did it. If I resisted any more than I did then it would have caused real friction between us. There would have always been an atmosphere and the last thing I wanted to do was make things worse. Then he started insulting me. He would point out my belly and say I was fat. He would do this in front of people, again challenging me to react. I felt like I was stupid for getting myself into such a situation, I kept most of what was happening to myself. That, I regret.
What people don’t realise is just how vulnerable trans women are. I was so desperate for acceptance from someone, anyone as a female human being that I felt I had to do things I wish I hadn’t. I should have never let this happen. I had to leave. About a week before the documentary was aired I upped and left while he was out and moved down to Brighton, the only place in the UK where I knew two people in the same town. They have been amazing friends to me and I can never thank them enough for all they have done for me.
But boil it all down and I still feel like I’m in their way. I still have no home. I need somewhere to call my own. And I need money for that, which is one thing I don’t have. I don’t even know if I want to stay in Brighton.
All I want now is a job and somewhere to call home. And someone to love who loves me back. I want a normal life. No more drama, no more fucking about, I just want to get on with doing millions of people around the world do.
I’ve recently met someone though and love may be blossoming so I think I’m on the way to finally getting what I want. She’s the kindest woman I’ve ever met and makes me feel happy when I’m with her. I have high hopes for this girl.
But now I’m on TV and I’ve put myself out there under the scrutiny of the general public and opened myself up to all. I can’t run away and hide, I have to face this head on, I have to fight for what I believe is right and stand up and be counted. I have to deal with the positive and the negative from people about the show and at the same time I have to get on with building my life, wherever that may be.
The journey I have been on this summer has been the making of me and the people I met will forever empower me. I will get through this and my life will be amazing.
But I’m still homeless and penniless….