Transgender Life

I don’t want this site to be solely about being transgender. From my experiences so far, it’s not even something I could write about every week – being in the closet is far more intense and frustrating and writeable. However, there are moments when things happen, unique to trans people. I’d like to share those moments with you, and let you into the mystery.

My Grail Story: Is Life Really Over After 25?

My Grail Story: Is Life Really Over After 25?

22/01/17 My Grail Story: Is Life Really Over After 25?

My beloved magazine lay there yesterday on the sofa, open at a certain page and left forgotten. I was alone and needed something to read; I picked it up. Empire magazine's expose on the coming of Trainspotting 2 ('T2' for short). Being based in Edinburgh, I'm aware of the film's extra importance to this city. Having grown up from teenager to adult in the 1990s, I remember sitting in a bar in Rhyl with 'mates' (the kind who don't give a shit about you) listening to the throbbing beat of the Trainspotting soundtrack, the words 'Lager, lager . . .' pulsating. My shitty growing-up phase, a closet transsexual, repressed, ungainly, dressed in shitty man-clothing of lumberjack shirt and I don't remember what else. Going to bars, watching women as the alcohol hit me, thinking, if only, but never . . .

The interview in the magazine was about the sequel, made twenty years after the ground-breaking original about heroin addicts in Edinburgh. The screenwriter, John Hodge (I think that's his name), jokes it should be called Manhood, about growing old, getting to 50, the best times behind you. He said once you're past 25, your best times are behind you. This is a startling perspective for me, from 12-22, those were the worst times. Don't get me wrong, now isn't great. Now is a period of transition. I have put myself in this position, a time of re-training, professionally and personally. Each morning I dress as a woman, as Gina, and go out into the world. It's cold outside, and a long walk to an empty study room somewhere in the centre of Edinburgh. But it's bollocks to say life's over at 25. I guess it was for John Hodge. I wonder what was so good, though? Did he shag all the time? I didn't, maybe that's what did it for him. Was he successful, already a screenwriter? Good for him, his talent crystallized early, but it doesn't for everyone. Did he have a cool car and a lovely apartment, to go with the success? Did he fall in love with someone who loved him? Those experiences aren't exclusive to your early twenties.

Life, I've decided, is a quest for the Holy Grail. Some people find that Grail early. Others give up in the Wasteland. It's good to have a Grail to look for. The more beautiful, ethereal, elusive, the better. I feel this pain as I'm stumbling along in the Wasteland, an acute sense of worthlessness, of a writing talent that might just be a figment of my imagination. A transsexuality that leaves me a freak, rather than some kind of fulfilled, courageous figure. Yes, I'm aware of these possibilities. But I'm too busy stumbling on my quest to care too much at this stage. I gave up a previous life of constant repressed longing. I've entered the Wasteland from a comfortable palace of utter banality. That warm, tiled, fully-furnished apartment in Saudi Arabia, free with all utilities paid for. A job so easy, with a decent salary.

Outside, as I'm writing this, Edinburgh is soaked in a wet mist. A long way away from Saudi Arabia, this shitty Celtic Wasteland, and yet I wouldn't trade this in for what used to be. I do, though, have to remind myself that somewhere out there in the mist, there's a Grail I was looking for.
29.01.17 Another Three Months Of Life Without Test...
14.01.17 Back From the Void


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Friday, 25 September 2020

Captcha Image

What's On This Week

My Latest Posts

July 01, 2020

Silenced by The Scotsman

​ On 11 June, The Scotsman published a deeply hostile article against transgender rights and activism in an opinion piece about the JK Rowling furore by its deputy political editor Gina Davidson. After much distress, I wrote a counter article which The Scotsman quietly ignored, after they had offered to pass it on to their Comment Editor. I experie...
May 11, 2020

The Book of Queer Prophets, curated by Ruth Hunt

in Books

  The Book of Queer Prophets: 24 Writers on Sexuality and Religion The historically fraught relationship between Abrahamic religions and LGBT+ identities provides the backdrop to The Book of Queer Prophets , a collection of twenty-four meditations by public figures who identify as both religious and LGBT+. The book's curator, the for...
May 09, 2020

Queer/Transgender short film: Mesmeralda

Joshua Matteo's short film, Mesmeralda , merging horror with esoterica, is now out on youtube . As with his previous work Metanoia , we see youthful trans actors racing through the empty streets of a moonlit New York, haunted by symbols and stalked by a masked figure of violent intentions. Mesmeralda , as described by Matteo, is the companion ...
March 08, 2020

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare

Sterile like the moon: the joys of transgender healthcare Summer, 2016: Gina's Big Bang, as transitioning begins A bureaucratic question in a sun-lit room. My medical practitioner asks me if I intend to have children. The question lingers, but the self-loathing is instant. No, I won't be having children. The practitioner nods. She moves on to the n...
November 10, 2019

General Election

General Election 12 December 2019 I spent the last election in an office, alone but for the company of a colleague. We watched the BBC's coverage while I drank wine, downbeat and expecting austerity and the absence of hope to triumph. Then we saw the exit poll and hung around, disbelieving at the sight of the kindled embers and lukewarm glow of a f...
October 05, 2019


October 05, 2019


Joker The trailer did its work, flashing images of anomie and fury perfectly pitched for these unstable times of precarious working conditions, grievance and institutional indifference. For these same reasons, Joker , directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix as the protagonist, has attracted pre-release criticisms like few other recen...
September 29, 2019

Resisting Whiteness event 2019

Resisting Whiteness one-day event, Edinburgh Returning for the second consecutive year, Resisting Whiteness came yesterday to the Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh, providing an intense and inspiring series of panels, as well as a wonderful spoken word section, and a final segment based around the documentary short Invisible by internationally-acclaim...
August 21, 2019

Hearty by Emma Frankland

Hearty by Emma Frankland Raw and dripping with punk aesthetic, this one-woman-show's one-woman emerges in ripped tights and a T-shirt that paraphrases loudly the words of anti-trans theorist Germaine Greer: Lop Your Dick Off. My first impression of Emma Frankland is edgily uncertain and in awe, her Lady-Gaga-looks combined with Heath Ledger's mesme...
August 21, 2019

Pronoun, Pass, & Amnesty International

Transgender drama: Pronoun To be clear at the outset, this was the production of a youth theatre group, not a highly resourced team of experienced, professional career actors – although some of the performances left a powerful impression, and the show as a whole achieved some remarkable moments. Pronoun , written by Evan Placey, follows the transit...