‘For me, the best thing about being trans has always been that we have the capacity to experience gender as an adventure of our own making, with the help of our friends and lovers.
‘The conventional stereotyped (and socially constructed) conservative concepts of binary gender – men stand this side, women the other, boys in blue, girls in pink - and the permitted, strictly curtailed scripts and roles (emotional, sexual, psychological) attached to them, so rigidly and unimaginatively enforced, always felt (and still feel to me) like prisons. They attempt to discipline and reduce who human beings can be, and limit how we can love, how we can feel and how we can express that. As a trans woman, having broken out of Pentonville, I have no wish to break into Holloway. I prefer gender freedom.
‘Personally I don’t want our extraordinarily rich and complex gendered trans culture to be predominantly defined by heteronormative medicine and its prescribed “correcting” and “normalising” interventions. After all, medicine only relatively recently, and under sustained pressure, stopped defining homosexuality as a psychological disorder; and, in the 21st Century, it still defines our very nature as transgender as being disordered.
‘I know that my femininity is in my very essence as a person and that it is no more or less because of what genitalia I have. My natural hormone system regulates my body and energy well and gives me a strong and healthy sex drive. This allows me - through connecting with others attracted to this kind of femininity - to experience a deeply felt, conscious and unconscious, emotional, psychological and sensual affirmation as the feminine person I am.
‘Being trans has never been an easy or straightforward experience - there is too much prejudice and too little understanding as yet in wider society; but it’s a wonderfully rich one, allowing a perspective full of insight across gender.
‘All you have to do is accept and embrace it, emotionally and psychologically. After doing that, the choice of props, costumes and supports as to how, where and when to express and enjoy it is up to you.’