Updated: May 10
Tell us about yourself - who are you and what do you love doing?
Climbing got me into the outdoors, learning to trad climb with college friends taught me to love the adventure, slippery VS, cold hands and warm tea. Now In my last year of university and still climbing, I now sea kayak, build boats, learn gender theory and play board games. My transness is important but unlike my gorgeous cheekbones is not my defining feature. The further along my transition I go, the more I identify with the term queer, and love it for all its ambiguity and freedom.
Give us three words that you identify with most?
Strong, Caring, Fabulous. What brings you the most joy outdoors?
Being outdoors allows me to be myself, I become immersed in an environment that I have learnt to be comfortable in. When climbing for example I quickly forget the stress and pressure of life, I am forced to focus on the challenge in hand, the people I am with, or the expedition ahead. My solo trips are where I am most at ease, although scary at first, I came to realise that they allow for introspective analysis and independence, both elements that I have benefited from, and now even enjoy. What has been your biggest challenge to date?
My transition, particularly relating to personal and social acceptance.
Self-acceptance I feel to be a loaded phrase and is through around a lot when speaking about being trans. For me it took a long time to learn self acceptance and to love my transition, some days I still don’t, but for anyone to expect an easy path in life was always unreasonable. Today when I say, ‘I love who I am’, I acknowledge the conscious and continuous effort needed to do this, and that I love all of me, not just the gorgeous bits I want others to see. Throughout my self-care I’ve wanted to challenge myself while also taking great care to create the space to facilitate that, both mentally and physically. Being outdoors and having the space it allows to ‘breath’, away from binary spaces and judgments which has really helped throughout this process. If you could share a core value or abiding principle with others, what would it be? I feel privileged enough to be able to briefly share element of my story with you, but to ask for my advice I feel asks too much. I have not to experience, judgment or wit for that question. Instead I would like to direct you to some advice that resonate with me: Hang loose, but stay vibrantly alive. Edith Sampson (1965) – and I urge you to listen to Andrew Scott perform her whole speech here: Choose One of Five — Figures of Speech (almeida.co.uk) Tell us one small change we can make as individuals to help our community?
Ask people their pronouns and/or say your own! It really does make a massive difference to a trans person in the group.