I enjoyed a pink enclaveBy Rory Finn
PHOTOGRAPH by Sharon Kilgannon, Alonglines.com
I remember when I was a kid, maybe a teenager, seeing a documentary on BBC Spotlight, about a trans woman who was a bus driver near Exeter and being quite fascinated by that.
Clearly she was having a really hard time. A lot of my mates were gay or bi or lesbian and my mum’s gay so I enjoyed a pink enclave where I was living at the time. I remember my best friend, when I was sixteen, expressing trans feelings and wanting to explore being a woman and I was actually a little transphobic back then and I said, “No, no, this is madness, don’t do it”. It’s really ironic that ten years later I go back and see him and he’s still he and I’m now he when I was she.
The TransFabulous arts festival in London really stuck in my mind as a formative experience. It was quite a pivotal point for me. I remember seeing this guy who was an acrobat. He was just doing these amazing things with his body. Lifting himself up with his little finger and you could see every muscle in his body and he was just wearing pants. Not only was he just amazing with his body but you are also thinking “Oh my god you’re FTM. You’ve had all your surgery. You can’t tell”. And not only that, but “You’re now performing half naked with the most amazing body that you’ve toned every
single muscle of. You have this amazing strength”. And realising that actually if I was so inclined and
trained as hard as he probably did (which is never going to happen), there’s still that potential that
I could do that with my body. So it made me think further out of the box.
It’s quite easy for us to think that we’ve been dealt a really bad set of cards about our bodies. We’re
never going to achieve stuff with them and for whatever reason we don’t. Maybe it’s because we
can’t be bothered, maybe we’re not quite built that way. The point is that it’s not the gender issue that’s the reason why we can’t do these things.
This is Rory's testimony in Chapter Eight (Media, representations, role models, internet, research, gender theory) 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