Nothing is permanent...

Tattoos are taboo.

Not respectable. A sign of deviance from the norm.

At one point in my life this was a truth universally acknowledged.

Nowadays, things are more complex, but the stigma remains; I, however, am changed beyond recognition.

Three years ago I realized that, despite what I had been told all my life, I was not a man.

This was thanks in large part to the growing awareness of trans issues and the visibility of trans people. Society tells us that the way we are born is immutable, permanent. For the first time, I realized that didn't have to be.

Despite progress, the process of transition is by no means a comfortable one. Bigotry and hatred run rampant. I am lucky to be surrounded by supportive friends and family, but even they cannot shield me from everything, especially when many in the British press seem intent on using people like me as a punching bag.

It has taken time, but through all this I have learnt a thing or two.

Taboos are made to be broken. Respectability is overrated. Deviance from the norm should be celebrated, not scorned.

Nothing is permanent. I may as well get a tattoo.

written by jo