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’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.