This is the last post for 2020 so some reflection is probably in order. In January, at the beginning of the year, I was living in Essex with my great friends who have supported me through my transition. All seemed relatively ordered. I was working on my development sites in Devon and travelling every week to Devon to check up on what was happening and move things on. Although it meant being away for two to three days at a time I was able to stay with my daughter to break the journey.
In February I was introduced to a company in the South West who needed some help restructuring and I started doing some consultancy work with them. I did this while I was in the south west combining it with my normal work.
Then we all know what came next. The dreaded pandemic. Only a few weeks in because of my mature years I was isolated. My friends divided the house we share into two parts and were absolute angels making sure I was protected. This continued for six months, no travelling and I learnt the art of Zoom Meetings. A real bonus was that some of the people I needed to meet also discovered virtually everything could be done remotely too. When the pandemic seemed to be easing it seemed both sensible and necessary to move nearer my work. In August I moved to live on my own within half an hour of Bristol which made travelling much easier when necessary.
The company I was advising had reached a crucial stage as a result of the pandemic and I found I needed to go in virtually every day. This meant I suddenly found myself a business woman rather than a self-employed developer. Until this time I had always worked on the basis that probably nobody else would employ me so I had better become self-employed. Now there was a workforce of some thirty lads I was working with. I was quite anxious as to how I would be accepted; in fact it has worked well and I have had nothing but acceptance. The result of this has been to boost my confidence significantly in relation to living in the community as a transwoman. This acceptance has included the professionals that I have had to deal with in assisting the company.
This year we have had the issue of safe spaces for women and the significant increase in transphobic behaviour resulting from this as fuelled by the stance taken by JK Rowling.
The government looked at the question of self ID and the issues around Gender Recognition finally coming to the view that there was no need to change very much as the Equality Act was already effective in relation to the issue of safe spaces confining themselves to pushing Self-ID off into the long grass, making some gestures about increasing the number of Gender Identity Clinics and reducing fees for a Gender Recognition Certificate. However, all of this prompted me to write to my M.P. for the first time and has made me more political as a member of a minority group. Thinking that was settled for the time being the Equalities Minister is once again looking at the question of safe spaces for women. Something to keep an eye on in the New Year.
I was saddened this year by the death of Jan Morris who had had such an impact on my life and understanding of what it was to be transgender. She was a shining light of just being her and getting on with living life.
Taken as a whole it has been a positive year despite all of the hardships brought about by the pandemic. I have learnt so much about living as a transwoman on my own in the community and at work. Next year I want to capitalise on that and continue to grow in confidence and just lead my life wherever that takes me.