Writing is an outlet for meBy Sarah Savage
PHOTOGRAPH by Sharon Kilgannon, Alonglines.com
I've written a children's picture book. It’s brazenly about gender.
It’s aimed at children aged five to seven, because that’s when studies show that children become aware of their gender. The main character I don’t mention what their gender is, in fact the last page of the book is, are you a boy or a girl? I’ve deliberately made the whole book to be dripping with stereotypes and clichés about gender roles and identity and it’s intended as a springboard for an adult or a teacher in a classroom, to start talking about what gender means to that child. A huge part of me wanted to write a transsexual children’s book, in large letters, but I think I’ve done enough to get people’s attention and not quite enough to really rile anybody.
Writing is an outlet for me. I write about myself, about stuff that’s happening – about trans people in the media. Something will fire me up and I’ll just vomit onto a Word document and then I’ll correct the swear words and publish it. I just stick it all on my own website. Sometimes it’s about my past, sometimes it’s about trans people being misrepresented in the media, sometimes it’s just me writing a complaint letter, you know. I’m quite pleased with it actually. I looked at my year in review, and I’ve got about 40,000 views. I’m really pleased with that. Quite a few comments as well. Because I’ve got such a large social media following I guess, people listen to me. People read what I write, and they respect me and they take me seriously, which is something that I’d never, ever had before. This whole planning for the future thing is new, as well, because I never saw a future for me before I transitioned.
I’d like a more fulfilling life materially because I love cars and for the first time ever in my life, I want some kind of security in where I live. I don’t know whatever it takes. If it’s selling a load of books, so be it, or if it’s finding a job and progressing through the ranks then that’s what it’ll be. I think an opportunity will present itself sooner or later and I’ll make the most of it.
This is Sarah's testimony in Chapter Nine (Hope, generational differences, fulfilment, work, creativity) of the ground-breaking Brighton Trans*formed book.
To read more intimate, heart-breaking and heart-warming stories from transgender people, click here.
This page was amended on 19/12/2014