What prompted you to write Escaping the Unicorn Basket?
Several things made me want to write about my experiences.
The first was simply education. I would hear people I know talking about drag queens and referring to them as transgender because they assumed cross-dressing and being trans were the same thing. Many small misconceptions like that made me realise how little literature talked about trans people in their day to day lives. I hoped my story would give curious and open minded individuals some basic information in a palatable form.
A few months back, a colleague of mine travelled to Thailand, and this birthed an incredible number of horrible trans-related jokes in the office. (I am not out in my everyday life so the jokes were not directed at me, but they were very upsetting.) It highlighted the fact that to many, trans people are objects of mockery and ridicule.
I wanted to be able to tell a real, relatable story with an authentic look into what being trans is like (not the romanticised versions that have started cropping up on social media). I wanted to show that my life does not revolve around being trans, it’s just one of many things that make me who I am. I am not a victim and do not want to be seen as such. I hoped that if I let people see a little bit of what it’s like to be me, they would understand that I, like most trans people, am a regular guy with his own ups and downs.
Finally, I wanted to get people talking about topics I touch on such as: mental health, race, religion, friendship and more… Maybe if we started talking more to each other and practiced kindness, we could make the world a better place.
What advice do you have for a young person who thinks they are transgender?
I would tell them, there is nothing wrong with feeling more masculine or feminine (or neither). It is okay to be yourself. Do not be pressured into being one way or another by peers, social media etc.
Take your time!!! There is no need to rush into medically transitioning. (I started transitioning at age 25ish… )
Seek professional help! See a therapist or mental health expert as soon as you can. Please please talk to your doctors and adults you trust. If you have any doubts, then wait… Medically transitioning is not something to be taken lightly. You can transition later in life when you are safe, financially secure, and are in a state of mind to make life decisions.
If you have never experienced dysphoria at earlier points in your life, and suddenly think you are transgender, then it is unlikely you are transgender.
Part of being a teenager/ young adult is exploring who you are as an individual… There are lots of questions, insecurity, and the need to belong to a group. Explore your feelings with a therapist/ in a safe space. Do not start hormone therapy/ medically transitioning if you have even the slightest doubts.
Medically transitioning is not going to fix everything you feel may be going wrong with your life. Do not go into it expecting surgery to be a quick fix. Please do your homework, know the risks, complications, and potential outcomes of any surgeries you may be considering.
Last but not least, do not give up hope. Keep putting one foot in front of the other until you get where you want to be. Whatever you may be going through, reach out to people around you. *hugs*