There are two moments in my life I will always remember. When I was four I knew I felt like and wanted to be a girl. I also knew that for some reason this made my parents angry. But it wan’t until I was eight that I realised I had a big problem.
When I was eight I had to attend a family wedding. Everyone had to have a new outfit and for me they bought a blue suit.
I can still see that blue suit hanging from the top of my Mum’s wardrobe door. It was like a grown up suit just like all the men would wear.
I hated it instantly. It even had a waistcoat. I didn’t want to try it on, I certainly didn’t want to wear it in public. I didn’t want to be just like all of the men wearing this suit or one like it.
I wasn’t even asking to wear a dress instead. I was so far from that expectation that it wasn’t worth even thinking about. Neutrality would have been nice.
I think I knew the clothes were irrelevant but heavily symbolic. I knew wearing a dress for a day wasn’t the answer. I needed their acceptance. I needed them to accept me as their daughter, sister, grand-daughter, cousin and niece.
I felt sick and upset as my Mum got me ready. I somehow avoided wearing the waistcoat but when I was dressed she made me look in the mirror and my heart just sank. I wanted to scream.
But the thing I realised was, this gender thing was going to be a big problem in my life and it wasn’t going to go away. I knew it would hurt me again and again in the future. I was helpless and powerless and alone.
When the time came I walked out of the house into the world, defeated, and I wore that suit …