Orange Triangle

Orange, you may have noticed, is the colour used on the Trans Media Watch twitter account. I chose it – it’s meant to be positive. After all, aren’t we trying to effect positive change, achieve great, wonderful things?

I don't have a triangle, will a rectangle do?

I don't have a triangle, will a rectangle do?

I’m quite a positive person really. I like to moan, but then there’s so much to moan about… But would I work towards a better future if I didn’t hope that it was posssible? Of course not. I’m full of passion that things can improve.

Lately, I’ve felt like I’m being criticised every time I go online. Little comments here and there, well-intentioned criticisms (which could have been expressed more delicately) alternating with the decidedly downbeat. It was OK to start with. Drip drip drip. Part of having a public profile.

“Come on, you know you have three silent supporter for every vocal critic,” as my good friend Stephen reassured me. On that basis, I have a lot of supporters.

I was in the process of writing to Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic the other day to express my disapproval at their intention to attend “Transgender: Time to Change”. But as I was writing it, I heard the conference had been cancelled. Turns out there were low ticket sales – no one was interested in such a debate. Debate’s moved on.

Immediately I stopped writing: my automatic response to scrap the letter. But Christine Burns suggested I send it anyway – congratulating the clinic, one of the worlds oldest and most respected of its kind, for making such a wise decision. Though I was really supportive and pleased with the decision, it had never occurred to me to send my thanks. So there you go – even I’m guilty of it.

Whilst I’m here I’d just like to say how good Charing Cross has been to me. They’ve done a few things which I’m really not happy about, but I’ll save my criticisms for another time. I understand many people have had bad experiences at the clinic, but it’s been quite good to me. I thought I’d express that, because I have never, ever heard anyone else do so.

I’ve had some really traumatic things happen to me during my life. The only way for me to deal with this was to turn them into positives. I once felt suicidal – now I am having a great life, precisely because of those bad times which made me into the determined campaigner and charity worker you see today. And I will not be brought down. I will not become distracted from the good things I am doing.

Here’s my list of the wonderful things in my life which, when I came to write it, I discovered all happen to be people. I don’t always tell them, but they should know how much they mean to me. I always find writing cathartic and creating this list has made me feel good. Really good. I want to send those happy vibes back out. I want you all to know how positive you are in my life and how positive I am that we can make a difference for the better together. I daresay I’ll be accused of bragging, being elitist, self-congratulatory, sycophantic, soppy and cliquey – but only by negative people.

The majority will appreciate the sentiment. Of that I’m positive.



6 thoughts on “Orange Triangle

  1. Dru says:

    Guilty as charged, one of the Silent Seven here! (number picked at random to sound Enid Blyton-esque…) Yes, it’s unpleasant to be attacked online even when you know you’re in the right. You’re doing good work. Well done. I’ll try to be less silent in future…

  2. Megan Abigail Cooke says:

    Ignore the negative comments, anyway we are all entitled to free speech!. I feel sorry for the people that do criticise you, I like to think it’s because they are jealous of who you are, what you stand for and the respect that people have for you (eek I’m starting to sound like some weird stalker type of person ;)).

    I try to do my best where I can but it’s people like you, TMW, Christine, Jane etc that make my life easier and better and whilst at times you may not always be correct or not everyone agree’s with your view, you have the guts to stand up for what you believe in and 99% of people out there would never do teapot them!.

    On the CX note I emailed them the same day I found out their withdrew to say how much it meant to me to see them taking that stance.

  3. misswonderly says:

    The targeting for criticism of a trans individual by another trans person (or people) is sometimes deserved … quite often not. Too frequently though the issue seems to be not the actual criticism but the manner and tone of its delivery … the vehemence, the pillorying in a public forum, the assumption in advance that the criticised person is already beyond the reach of reasoned dialogue. Perhaps this requires a degree of introspection. What do we really know about the person we are criticising? Have we tried a quiet word/email in their ear? Is the attack we have singled them out for disproportionate considering there may be far worse people in this world who would seek maliciously to control our existence or even deny our very right to exist?

    And … yes, if something aroused in us an equally strong positive emotion, would we tell them about it? Would we praise them in public with equal enthusiasm?

  4. Thanks peeps, I would like to point out that I wasn’t fishing for compliments though!


  5. Lesley says:

    I want to fess up to being a silent fan! I found you through yout Julie Bindell coming to tea lemon drizzle cake and even bought a loaf tin with the promise to make it soon. I really enjoy hearing your perspective, you sound spot on to me.

    p.s. I am an LGBT worker, so well-used to hearing a few moans about what I should be doing, it can get wearing depending on how sensitive I am feeling, and being part of the community too makes it a wierd situation sometimes. Deep breath, big hug and onwards!

    • Hey Lesley – thanks for fessing up! Not checked this blog for a while but appreciate you leaving a comment. That goes for the rest of you too, inculding another secret fan, Dru – who I had also been a secret fan of myself!

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