It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update, but to be honest, I haven’t had a lot to say and with work and the ongoing health issues I have just been really too tired to put pen to metapphorical paper.
However, I now have something that I need to share. Some of you may know that I have been working on my book for a number of years, and finally I have secured a publishing deal with Unbound. I approached Unbound because their pioneering publishing model means I can write exactly the book I want to write. But of course, first, the book needs to be funded. With Unbound, readers choose which books get written and published by pledging support. If we reach the funding target, then production can begin and the book will appear a few months later. In return for supporting this book, you’ll get different levels of reward, from your name in the back of the book to signed copies, a lovely poster-sized copy of the cover artwork. You can even if you want you can get a visit in person from me for your group or club.
There will also be regular updates on the Unbound website about my progress editing it, and about the whole production process.
To back the project visit Unbound here https://unbound.com/books/falling-upwards/
This is not your typical trans woman transition story, this is the story of someone who spent the first 27 years of their life struggling to come to terms with childhood grief, served with a side salad of parental abuse, with a topping of school bullying.
An initial glimmer of hope in the form of non gender typical activities such as ballet, then crushed following an outburst to a child phycologist that things would be better if I was a girl.
In the mid 80s pre section 28 era this was too much and my parents (who were a non out same sex couple) were encouraged to make a man of me. This meant an increase of discipline at home, which went much further than necessary, social isolation and enrolment in a quasi military cadet force to toughen me up. Suffering from suicidal thoughts and depression throughout teenage years.
Due to bullying and issues at school, I never excelled academically and upon leaving school at 16, I drifted through several jobs with no clear aim. Finally ending as a University technician.
Moving out into my own flat, the continuation of the depression and over use of alcohol to numb the pain, the sudden suicide of a close friend. Fallout of death lead to me getting into a relationship, which over time became abusive, and controlling.
The start of cross-dressing and the beginning of the examination of my gender.
Death of first my grandmother and then my Mother lead to a disintegration of relationship and the loss of virtually everything I had, girlfriend, kids, house everything.
Then coming out as transgender, and starting transition, issues with employment being suspended over announcement and facing a disciplinary panel.
Finding love and a new family, then suffering a series of physical attacks against the house and car, which lead to partner taking overdose, having to deal with that while also keeping a lid on my own emotions.
After a couple of disastrous job moves, finally finding a place where I could be open and happy and respected in the offices of The Daily Telegraph.
Being present in the newspaper offices and having a first hand account of some of the key events that shaped the start of the 21st Century like 9/11.
Regime change at the paper and the impact on my partner who then ended up having another breakdown, eventually both of us accepting redundancy and taking that money and using it to move to Spain.
Early life in Spain, career break teaching English the toll on my self confidence, restarting the tech career and the realisation that I had slipped into a serious state of depression due to the self imposed exile. The gradual coming out of my shell and conscious decisions to pull myself back in the light of public life. Founding of the company and resuming of trans rights activism.
Then just as I start to write the book, learn about the death of my sister leading to a reunification with family after 20 years.