Thanks, first, to Chris, who observed that this blog might be suitable material for publishing. I can’t say the thought hadn’t crossed my mind. Equally, though, i’ve also thought its not right for same.
Which is not to say i don’t have a trans book within me…but the obvious one that this blog might give rise to isn’t it.
Why i do it
Let’s put that into perspective. As others have commented, i am very public. Always have been. I don’t embarrass easily: and i’d rather put the whole me (or a large chunk of me) out there for criticism than be forever skulking in the shadows.
Two or three other reasons for being “out there”. I love writing (could you guess?). I know that i write relatively well, and by writing about my own experiences and conflicts, i hope that others can learn. Nah: not “learn to do it how i did”: but discover some of the issues i have along the way, so if/when they hit the same issues, even if they solve them differently, they know they are not alone.
Please tell me i’m wrong
Last is a habit from my past as a consultant. I’m clever enough, and for a consultant that’s a trap. So, so easy to turn up at a client, do an audit or run through a discovery process – and then pontificate on the correct solution.
I won’t say i’ve never done that: nor that i was always wrong. But basing any solution on your own cleverness is dangerous in the extreme. You get too introspective, too confirmatory, too un-self-critical.
My eyes opened with one consultancy that forced all of us into a structured approach that gave as much weight to the lowest waged on the shop floor as to senior management. Listening, listening, listening, i found how big the gulf between high level intent and actual delivery. And on several occasions, i felt quite humbled by the way in which someone earning very little indeed had insights into company processes that their bosses and their bosses’ bosses didn’t have.
As work, so elsewhere: during my divorce, i quickly learned the worthlessness of the confirmatory saccharine words of comfort. Nice to be soothed: but massage does much the same trick. Much, much more useful were those rare friends who’d stop me in my tracks with a contradiction: an insight i hadn’t seen.
Most valuable of all, nowadays, are those who tell me: “Jane: perhaps you’ve got this wrong”.
And whilst i enjoy the positive feedback i get from this blog, and i’m not about to encourage you all to turn terrorist on me, i do value those who take issue. Even where i push back, there is usually far more to be learnt from disagreement than simple nodding on.
The book not here…
And back to the book potential. I think i’ve done to death the trans 101 interviews: the clichéd stuff where journalists ask me about being a woman trapped in the wrong body. Its far, far more complicated than that.
And whilst i hope those who’ve followed me this past year have been amused, entertained and occasionally educated by my blethering, the story in these pages is … the story in these pages.
There’s nothing especially special to my experience: nothing much different other than i am prepared to serve it up compete with blood and pee and KY.
…and the one that might be
That said – and here’s where the pitch does begin: there may be stuff yet to say about the nature of transition, the nature of being trans and the experience of becoming.
Hence my starting to theorise…dangling my thoughts out in front of you in the hope that some will come back and tell me why i’m wrong. And if, in a month or so, the theory holds water, adds insight not just into the trans condition, but into female experience, human experience in the round…maybe, just maybe there’s a book in that.