* This post is written by one of our volunteer content creators.*
* TW: Brief mention of abuse. *
Hi guys! I want to touch on the importance of honesty, transparency, and having a two-way traffic outlook on life. But before I go on, I want to clarify that this blog series is about MY journey and MY experiences to date. Everyone's journey is unique, so this isn't me telling you how to feel. It's simply a way to connect with others and make them feel less alone on their OWN journey.
When I first thought to seek information and support with my external transition from female to male, I was mostly advised to lie, to be deceitful surrounding my mental health, and to mention having suicidal thoughts and tendencies. I couldn’t justify this and later found out that it could have negatively impacted my journey and majorly slowed down the process. Regardless of my change of name, passport, and gender marker, the one thing that has remained a constant is who I am both internally and as a human being. I have always lived by my own convictions and life experiences, as everyone has their own story to tell regardless of whether it's good or bad.
I have been given many labels in this life that society has conformed for me to have. Yet the labels society dictates (Veteran, disabled and transgender) are a tiny part of who I am. Through my transition and similarly throughout my life, I have seen both the positivity in labels and felt the detriment such labels have made to my life - something I'm sure many of you can identify within your own ways. Honesty, transparency, and the belief that life is a two-way road are what I have incorporated as an asset into each area of my life, and not just through this transition journey.
As a child, from age six to my early teens, I was subjected to trauma in the forms of sexual and mental abuse. But I refuse to let those scenes define me. Instead, I believe these experiences taught me to have a strong spirit and have gifted me a unique insight, bringing home the importance of being true to myself and those around me. Despite this period in my life, I just wasn’t born a survivor but a warrior, the warrior that is Mr Adam McDonald – pleased to meet you!
All my life I have experienced prejudice and discrimination simply for being myself. Born female, meaning I was instantly given a label. Told that girls don’t play football, girls wear dresses. Yet I didn’t have any conformity for this label because that wasn’t me! Growing up I was told that being a lesbian meant I was dirty, shameful, and wrong. Was I those things? No. I was and still am true to myself. Unapologetically me.
Upon joining the army, I found out that being a lesbian in the British Army was against military law and would have resulted in a dishonourable discharge. But the thing that got me through was the innate knowledge that in this life, it's imperative that I remain is honest, transparent, and true to myself. Everyone is different and this should be celebrated. Our differences should be embraced regardless of labels. For me to be not only accepted but also to be respected by others, is to afford them the same love and respect I deserve and so should you, surely?
I will leave it here for now. Hopefully, I have given you some food for thought and invite anyone to join me in an open discussion surrounding your thoughts using the Facebook link below. Next time I will delve further into the topic of honesty and transparency, only this time in relation to the medical professionals I have met.
Love & Light - Adam x
* To catch up with my previous blog posts, please click HERE! *