I would just like to express my deep gratitude to all of you at Spectra for the tremendous support you are giving to those of us in the trans and non-binary communities.
I am very nearly 62 years old, and have been borderline trans, or something resembling it, for pretty much all my life, though in the past have often failed to recognise it for what it was, due in part to the lack of information and resources available, the terrible isolation that for so long seemed to be part and parcel of my “condition” and, I suppose, an unconscious tendency to “brush it under the carpet” and attempt to live a “normal” life in the hope that it might fizzle out. But it never did.
I could tell you a (very) long story of how continual suppression and denial of something that I now recognise as fundamental to me and my ability to live as my “best self” has impacted on my general well-being, but we’ll save all that for another day, (you lucky people!)
Suffice to say that over the last few years I started to emerge from a very long period of chronic depression and subsequent chronic alcoholism (and abject self-neglect) to come to realise, at least partly, what might be “wrong” in my life. Bizarrely, Covid and lockdown (I was living alone at the time) helped enormously in giving me the space and time to think and explore, and the subsequent (intermittent) relaxing of restrictions gave me the opportunity to re-enter the world outside with a clearer mindset, and, most pertinently to this particular message, to discover there WAS a world out there that would not require me to view myself as some kind of “freak”. And Spectra has been instrumental in facilitating this.
Meeting others who have been through or are going through something comparable to what I have experienced (and continue to experience) has been an absolute revelation. As has meeting those (often younger people) who have had (comparatively) little difficulty in accepting who they are, and have shown me by example how liberating and exhilarating that can be. The in-person meetings (disrupted, as they were, by the pandemic) have been such a lifeline to me. If only there were more! Though the online meetings have also been invaluable, and are clearly of vital importance to those who do not live in London, and who may be particularly exposed to an isolation beyond that which is often sadly experienced by us trans people as a matter of course..
The experience and accumulated wisdom of Spectra’s staff/facilitators shines through, and their sensitivity to each of our very varied life experiences is invaluable. I really can’t thank all of you enough for providing, in the first place, a forum for us to meet and make sense of things, and secondly, for providing a gateway for us to explore life on our own terms, cognisant of who we are and confident in how we live our lives.
You are doing great things!!!!! Thanks so much!