* 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 a two-way traffic outlook to my life.
When I first thought to seek information and support with my external transition from female to male, I was mostly met with being advised to lie and to be deceitful surrounding my mental health and even advised to mention having suicidal thoughts and tendencies. I couldn’t justify this and later found out it could have had a negative impact and slowed down the journey that I am on.
Before I go on with myself, let me just clarify, this is about MY Journey and MY experience of it so far, not me telling you how to feel. Regardless of my change of name, the change of my 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, the true belief that we should live and let live and that everyone has their own story either good or bad.
I have been given many labels in this life that society has conformed for me to have. I can also only stress that my disabilities and my transition from female to male is a tiny part of who I am and the labels society dictates – Veteran-label disabled-label transgender-label.
Through my transition and similarly throughout my life, I have seen both the positivity in labels and also felt the detriment that labels have made to my life and I'm sure you will identify with this in your own ways. Honesty and 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 6 to 12/13, I was subject to the trauma of both sexual and mental abuse and refuse to let those scenes of my life define me. I believe instead these experiences taught me that I have a strong spirit and they gifted me insight, bringing home the importance to me of being true to myself and to others. Through this period in my life 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. A label. Girls don’t play football, girls wear dresses. A label I didn’t have any conformity for because that wasn’t me! Being a lesbian where I was from originally was dirty, shameful, and wrong. Was I those things? No. I was and still am true to myself. 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.
One thing that has got me through is an innate knowledge that in this life, the one thing that’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 with hopefully some food for thought and invite open discussion surrounding your thoughts. Next time I will share my experience of honesty and transparency with the medical professionals I have met so far.
Love & Light - Adam x
* To catch up with my previous blog posts, please click HERE! *