My past has passedBy E-J Scott
PHOTOGRAPH by Sharon Kilgannon, Alonglines.com
I’m out to all my family. I maintain a very good relationship with them, but I’m very conscious that I don’t live in Australia and that makes everything so much easier for me; my past has passed.
The truth of the matter is, when I go home I shave off my moustache, because I have such little contact with them that I don’t want to spend the two weeks that I’m there with them staring at me inadvertently. Mum and dad still slip up on pronouns all the time; they don’t think I’m a man. I have a younger brother, who’s my best mate, and he doesn’t have a problem with my transgenderism, but he and dad have a sacred bond that is father and son and that is not the same bond that I have with dad; I was his daughter. So, when it comes to real issues of masculinity, I’m ostracised from that intimacy that they share.
My brother doesn’t have a problem with my trans status at all, but he doesn’t understand why I had to transition. Because when I was a young, radical, queer ‘dyke’, for want of a better description, I was a raging feminist, I still am. And my brother was brought up by me lecturing him, you know – “Women can do anything. Women are strong.” I instilled that feminist ethic that he still holds today. So he didn’t understand why I needed a male body to be me and why I needed to do what I needed to do.
I still don’t have a lot of the language surrounding having to explain that. I don’t have the answers for that. I don’t know why I have such a deep-seated problem with my own physicality that I literally had to change gender, because I don’t believe in gender binaries, so why on earth did I need to be a man? I don’t know, and my brother doesn’t know either. But I just have to say to him, “Look how much happier I am” and every time we have this conversation that’s where he stops and he’s like “Absolutely, there is no denying that, you are happier since you transitioned”.
This is my absolute truth, since I have transitioned I am happier, calmer, more focused. I do not suffer from the depression that I was riddled with and that crippled my entire life before transitioning. I have a selfassurance about me that was not there previously. I’m not nearly as angry, even though I’ve probably got thirty more things to be angry about by being trans. It doesn’t manifest in anger, it manifests in action.
This is E-J's testimony in Chapter Two (Background, childhood, family, parenting, friends, school) 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