March 31, 2016 In Irish Transgender News
So today, on Trans Day of Visibility, I started to reflect on my work over the past 5 or so years, which has primarily been with the transgender community in Ireland. I have worked with dozens of members of this diverse community, all of whom are experiencing and pursuing their own unique gender journey and authentic life.
What has been the purpose of my work if not to facilitate that journey, to make it easier somehow? Whether it’s assisting someone to have a voice that they are comfortable using in public, or to have the confidence to correct someone who mis-genders them, or to believe that they have something of value to offer the working world – the whole world – my job is to support gender diversity and help make authentic lives more liveable. It’s an honour!
The thing is, I find it hard to say that this is completely altruistic. It’s not. I am getting something from this work too. The trans community has given me the gift of truth. How can I, in earnest, do anything except pursue and embrace my own truth, my own authenticity, when this is what I advocate for and encourage every day? I have come to value truth, honesty, authenticity and love, above everything else in life. My new catch phrase is “Truth is Catching” – when you pursue your truth, when you discover it and value it, LIVE it somehow, you inspire other people do the same, it catches on and gradually the world becomes a better place. No journey towards authenticity is easy, and the journeys which rock major social norms to the core are most difficult. I’m not convinced we ever even arrive, but so long as we are on track, we are ok! The Journey’s the thing!
I am encouraged to keep on pursuing my own truth every morning when I read my newsfeed, good and bad, from trans websites around the world; on Saturdays when I meet my clients for voice work and gender exploratory discussions; on the last Wednesday of the month when I sit with a small group of jobseekers navigating the oppressive working world as gender outlaw. It’s an honour to be part of such a journey. The talent, self-awareness, empathy, determination and resilience I see whenever I engage with the Irish transgender community is awe-inspiring.
I sense another blog post coming soon – what my work with the trans community has taught me – but for now, to all the transgender people, families and allies I have met and worked with, and those I have yet to meet, I just want to say thank you for the privilege.
Love and Truth,