The lockdown means waiting longer for my operation. I’ve had to wait for a long time anyway. It’s frustrating, but if you’re trans you have to be patient. There’s no other way around it as a trans person. This is just another thing you have to wait for, one of the many things I’ve had to wait for. It’s not a new experience.
The first time I was going to get surgery, I was quite anxious leading up to it and though oh my god… soon! What I have done this time is try and not think about it as much as possible. Normally working is a good way to stop thinking about it, where as now, I play computer games and watch films. It’s pure escapism. I always think of this thing a comedian said… he said “yeah I just put a film on for a couple of hours and forget that I exist”. If I’m not planning things with friends or on a zoom… I just try and forget I exist”. Thats not a bad thing. That’s something that games are absolutely brilliant for. I just wanted to get out of the world during lockdown.
I wasn’t a sound designer and didn’t know what I wanted to do before I transitioned. The first month in lockdown I kept going out the back in the garden and noticed how quiet it was. You couldn’t hear any traffic. It reminded me of my home town, you barely hear cars quite far away. I really noticed that. Sound effects our mood so much, people in cities are slightly more stressed because we have this background sound around us and we don’t realise that it effects us. And when it stops, people feel relaxed and they don’t understand why. For some people it’s going to be a completely new experience of silence, and now people have that idea, maybe they are trying to recreate that.
In a small town standing out is a crime and that’s why you don’t get… it’s not a good thing to be different and to stand out because you face ridicule. Other people see it as a weakness and a thing to be commented on, but if you get into the arts and into a city people comment on that difference, but in a good way. It’s more a view of oh my god that’s so cool I never thought of that. How interesting that you think that way. I moved to Manchester because of the music. I purely moved to Manchester because I loved the music scene. Manchester has a very specific personality, which is what I think is really interesting about it. It’s very D.I.Y. It creates its own, you could… it’s kind of like that thing of you can be who you want. People will still ridicule you, and I don’t mean that in a bad way cause, I think that can bring you down to earth a little bit. It’s honest, there is less pretence in Manchester, I think that’s what it is, it celebrates difference.
Being trans isn’t the problem, it’s the people around you that don’t accept it. Some people don’t see that, and when I say that, I mean the people who will actively stop you from transitioning. There’s not a problem with being trans, gay, black… it’s the people around you that have the problem and don’t accept you. Sometimes you don’t realise that, I didn’t realise it. It took me a long time to realise that I was strong enough to do it. It gets to the point where you think. I can’t not do this anymore, and that’s why trans people are so die hard about themselves. I honestly think if you asked the majority of trans people, what would you do if, the entire world were going to stop giving you hormones and they were never going to come back, I think most trans people would kill themselves because I don’t think they would want to carry on in a world where they couldn’t be themselves. Thats why the suicide rate, or even attempt rate could be quite high because it’s just, you know for me it wouldn’t be worth it.
I always think about if there would be a big climate disaster, and I couldn’t access hormones. I would just kill myself because I don’t want to live with that lie. Fingers crossed it’s never going to happen, but I wouldn’t want to live that lie. It would be a lie and it would be going backwards to a point where you wouldn’t be happy… so it’s interesting to think of it in that way. I would be going back to, I would still be trans, but It would just be horrible to go back physically. It would be the most traumatic experience. It would be horrible. But… you know anyway, that’s a hypothetical situation.