I could have written this last year, or a year from now, no idea why I chose now, but I was just thinking about it and decided a blog would be good.
This time (September) 6 years ago, so 2008, I was getting prepared to move to halls of residence in Manchester, a 4 hour car journey from where I had lived the majority of my life in a housing estate in Berkshire. I was terrified, I remember being so anxious, about pretty much everything, but especially meeting the flat mates I would be living with for the next year.
6 years on and so much has changed, back in September 2008 I was an 18 year old female, I had just completed my A levels where I achieved two C grades and was going from one form of education (a secondary school and sixth form) to a music college. I had an idea of what my life would be like then, who knew that 6 years on it would be completely different to how I had imagined. I thought I would complete my 4 year degree course in 4 years, I would graduate and then try to find work as a musician and I presumed I would still be living as female.
Well things are very different, firstly I guess the biggest change is that I now live as a trans man (and yes I identify as a trans man, not just a man, the trans part is important to me and part of my identity) I now live openly as a homoromantic (gay and asexual) trans man, this is definitely not what I expected when I was 18.
I didn’t complete my degree, I did however, get a 2 year diploma of higher education in music and although it took me 5 years to get that, I am actually a bit proud of myself for achieving it, with everything that I went through and am going through.
Although I studied music and got the diploma and I still play my horns, I am not looking to go down the music pathway in terms of jobs, but am actually looking at and slowly working towards becoming an outdoor activity instructor. It will take me several years to get there I know that, as at the moment I have no qualifications to work as one, so will need to do lots of short courses to gain the qualifications, I also know that currently my mental health is too unstable for me to be working. I am however, looking at and wanting to apply to volunteer in the Peak District and do the course to become a volunteer ranger in the Peaks ( a bit like a tour guide at a museum, but outdoors in the Peaks)
I had no idea 6 years ago that I would be diagnosed with severe and enduring mental health problems, even though I knew I had mental health problems and have had since a young age I vowed I would never tell anyone. I however ended up telling a friend one evening over MSN and she eventually persuaded and took me to the GP. I had no idea that my mental health would land me in hospital, both general and psychiatric and would lead to be being sectioned several times.
I didn’t think I would have a need to attend a LGBT group of any form, I was living as a straight cis female, but the LGBT youth group I went to for 4 years was one of the best things ever and although I know longer go and will not be going back, it was amazing, I met some great people there, but mostly I got some amazing oppurtunites through it. I was on a panel ith 4 others, including former basketball player John Amaechi to launch the start of the LGBT history month in 2011 for the NW as the theme was sport, I went to Frankfurt and Aberdeen with another young person to delivery a presentation on LGBT young people and sport. I did my badminton level coaching course and got to coach other young people at the group in badminton sessions. I am trained as a peer educator and still do peer educating, where I go with a youth worker and maybe another young person into schools or places where adults work with young people and tell my personal story of being LGBT. I also learnt so much at the group, both about LGBT issues and other issues.
In 6 years a lot has changed, even more has changed than is in this blog, but these are the main things, if I listed everything I could be writing for ages and you would be well and truly bored.