Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Today I decided to start jogging again and I learnt that 1. I can no longer run, and 2. if I try to run anyway I turn a funny shade of purple and fall over.

Monday, 17 June 2013

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have graduated with a first class degree and am absolutely over the moon.

The Letter

I have worked hard for the whole three years of university and all that hard work has finally paid off. At times it felt impossible with all the other stuff going on in my life; transition, learning difficulties (that had a huge negative impact on my A Levels) and my whole family life being in turmoil. Yet I have managed to balance out all of that and come out on top. I did use to think that the saying ‘what doesn't kill you makes your stronger’ was a load of old twaddle but I think there is some truth in it, in the last few weeks since finishing my confidence levels have changed so dramatically even my dad noticed (and sometimes I doubt he would notice if I came home missing a limb).

Now having time to reflect I can look back at the whole three years of university, at the beginning I was really nervous, quiet and a less happy version of the person I now am. Even going back through my posts on here I can see a change – in march last year I made this post about feeling brave to wear shorts in public. This year I have been going out on the town, to pubs with friends and to lectures all in shorts without a care in the world. Maybe some of that is down to being too busy to worry about anything over than work but I think it’s more than that.

I feel my new found confidence is here to stay – it’s not a riding a high confidence but feels more like inner calm and strength, maybe it’s more self-assurance and belief in my own abilities than just confidence.
Especially in this last final year I have often thought “have I bitten off more than I can chew?”. I’ve worried about doing a dissertation outside of my immediate subject area and struggled with running the LGBT society and trying to do third year at the same time.  During these wobbles in self-belief one of my good friends would often say “don’t stress over not getting a first, only 8% of people get them so you are unlikely to get one anyway”. Whenever he said that I’d just think “well someone has to be in that 8%, why not me”. 

And much to my surprise it turned out that I could do all three really well. With the LGBT society we have won prizes this year for "Best designed freshers stall", "Most improved society" and "Society of the year". I got an A- for my dissertation and a First overall.

Winning 'Society of the Year' award.

 I guess that is what this degree has really taught me, confidence doesn’t have to be brash and loud and bold, instead it is just listening to that stubborn inner voice that quietly says “why not me, I can do it – someone has to”. 

Time to celebrate!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

I haven't talked about university for a while so here goes.

Originally I was sure that I wanted to go into Media and felt that was the career path I wanted to follow, I couldn't think of anything I wanted to do more with my life. So I went to university but on a whim decided to do joint honors with Criminology as I had always loved cop shows and am quite an academic person. After the first year I dropped media from joint to minor because I felt from the course that was offered that I hated it and discovered that I loved Criminology. Now in third year a new tutor has arrived and has said that we haven't been taught the things we should have been. So today we did a tv studio session where the small group of us that attended got to have a go at every role that it was possible for us to do with the equipment we had to film and direct a live chat show. And....

....it was amazing.

It was everything I had wanted to do when I first joined university. But I dropped Media to my Minor and have majored in Criminology so the degree I come out with won't be a media one. I love Criminology and I am so glad I chose to do it as a subject but I feel like this is a splitting point in my life. One path goes one way and the other goes a different way. Actually its more like the paths have split and I'm on one looking at the other.

Is the police force really the right path for me- a highly macho, conservative environment that's about doing what you are told and not thinking outside the box? I know that's a very biased view of it, the positive view of it fits me perfectly but I can't ignore the bad and that's not me.

I am creative, I do love creating media for all the reasons that I love criminology but if I choose the wrong one now I don't think I will ever get on the other path again.

I commentate at the local companion dog show every year and I love it, I love the buzz. I love standing there in front of a whole crowd, doing interviews with the competitors and spectators, imparting knowledge while still trying to keep everyone engaged and the fun of having to think on my feet for 2 hours, talking non stop, sink or swim. And I want to feel that buzz for the rest of my life, whether it is as a presenter or as a director or as a writer. Mr N (tutor) always makes the joke that he looks forward to hearing a radio play produced or written by me one day. That was always a joke because to me it seemed so distant, like something I couldn't achieve in any world ever but now suddenly it feels real. Like there is an alternative universe where I will go on and be like John Finnemore and write a radio comedy that makes it onto BBC Radio 4 and do sketch shows and be creative and happy and brilliant. And I don't think I am currently in that universe where that is my future and I'm not sure I want to be in the one I'm in.

Yesterday I was looking at Masters courses in Criminology. Today I don't even know if I want to do Criminology ever again.

I'm a bit of a mess at the moment. I think I have nearly driven my flatmates to distraction/murder with my violin playing and I've picked the skin on my hands and lips raw. But on a plus note my violin playing has been the best its ever been, turns out to make me less mechanical in my playing I just need a complete and utter life crisis.

Monday, 12 November 2012

I am officially a Mr!

Good news! The university have agreed to change my title on the university system from 'miss' to 'Mr'.

 Turns out that the letter that I sent attached to my name change document got 'lost' somehow as they have no record of having it and so were completely unaware that I wanted to change my title. I thought I was going to be in for a big struggle with them again and that they were going to insist on a gender recognition certificate before they made any more changes to my details. They were very apologetic, which may be slightly to do with the fact that they were responding to an email about my title that a tutor sent.
What I should be worrying about at uni

I think this shows just how much of a difference it makes  having help and support from tutors. I have two tutors who have my back on this issue and  it makes such a huge difference to my life for the better. I can go into university and not have to worry about it being me against the world, I don't 
have to worry that if something goes wrong that I will have to get myself out of it on my own. I now can sit around and worry about the things that everyone else worries about; essays, assignments, seminars etc...

I have no idea how I will show my appreciation to my tutors (Mr N and Mr D - for the sake of anonymity) who have gone out of their way to help and support me. I only wish I had confided in them earlier, I would have saved myself a lot of stress and anxiety.

 Due to negative experiences in the past and stereotypes learnt from hearing stories of other peoples bad encounters it is really easy to misjudge people and assume that they will not be supportive. One of the things I am learning is not to assume that everyone will react negative until they go out of their way to actively demonstrate to me that they will not. It is a delicate tightrope to walk as I also can't forget that for many people following a similar path to me choosing to confide in the wrong person has had terrible consequences.

 There is always that fear there, that someone will react aggressively, even though I know most people would never react violently or negatively - yet those who would look identical to those who wouldn't. Everyone is like Schrodinger's cat in this instance - they are both negative and positive before I open my mouth and talk to them and find out first hand if they are supportive or not. 
We have the same poker face

Sometimes it feels like a too much of a risk to assume that the person in front of me will react positively (even if that is what is statistically likely) as what I risk loosing if they turn out to be negative and non-supportive is too much of a gamble. However, I am glad that I made the leap of faith with these two tutors, I guess sometimes in life when you take a gamble you come out on top.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Inner ramblings of a bored student

Today was one of those lectures where the tutors dedication to interacting with the students was only matched by the students dedication to not. My stamina for enduring long silences is sadly lacking. I seem to only gain any enjoyment from people if I feel that they are gaining satisfaction from my presence, this is probably the route of my intolerance of awkward silences.

 The pressure from the student body to not break ranks, to remain silent or be seen as a know it all and teachers pet is quiet compelling. While on the other hand the rudeness of leaving a single person standing to confront a wall of unfriendly silence always seems to win over the former causing me to break ranks. By the end of the lecture I am sick of my own voice and am extremely stressed by the conflicting pressures to conform to opposite ideals.

I do not consider myself a conformist, but perhaps I am, the stress I feel when not being able to conform to the expectations of everyone in the room is testament to that. I do in general side with the minority, maybe that is individuality shining through, a feeling of solidarity with the underdog born out of my life experience, or maybe I am siding with the dominant figure of authority, the tutor, which is conforming. 

What people think of me, how to conform to their expectations of me as a boy and how I can be categorised does play heavy on my mind, but perhaps not in the way it does for most people. My main concerns lie with convincing people that I am human, a person, a person as worthy of respect and life as them. This has been a fight that most do not feel they have to engage in but I seem to fight and loose on a daily basis. Many a friend has said that they did not originally want to be my friend because of the way I look, that they did not even wish to speak to me or sit near me, and these are the kind people who do not go out of their way to voice their distaste at my existence.

I would love a slight more victorian look maybe? 
 I have cultured my image to be as inoffensive as possible, despite my occasional longings for a more unique style, have maybe gone to the point that I have removed too much that is human about myself, achieving the opposite of what I intended. Again I hesitate to talk about this due to the gender stereotypes placed upon such discussions of ones image.

Yet even my plain and conforming image does not shade me from causing offense to the casual passerby, today while walking down the park I passed three teenagers “Look at that guy on his own, loner guy, or is it a girl? Oi are you a girl or a boy. Girl or a boy? Loner guy. Loner girl. Loser” But I carried on walking and it didn’t bother me, I felt no fear from their calls or shame at their judgement. 

What’s the point? There are much more interesting things to see and do on a walk than worry about the narrow mindedness of people. Sometimes its just nice to stop worrying about how to categorise myself in the wider ideas of society, or in the minds of strangers and instead enjoy walking through the park as the light fades enjoying the sights and occasionally the view of people living their lives in houses on the outskirts of the park. I’m changing as a person, two years ago I would have been shaken by the name calling but now I am finding an inner confidence that is exterior to others and I like this new me. 

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Never throughout history has a person who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.

Today I got my name legally changed. I am now officially Kaye Eugene. 

It took a lot of thought; I was torn between keeping my initials the same KE (which I chose in the end) or having my initials as KT so that if someone dropped the birth-name-bomb (Katie) I could claim it was a shortened version of Kaye Tony. However, I felt that Tony didn’t really suit me, but Eugene did even though it is quite a quirky and old fashioned name, because in some ways I too am quite quirky and old fashioned. 

Mum was brilliant about it and toasted me at dinner. Dad wouldn’t even look at me and made a disparaging noise in his throat – I guess he has a long way to go to accept this but the problem is he won’t admit that he isn’t 100% happy with it. Whenever I try to talk to him about it, all I get is this fake bravo about how fine he is with it. My sister also disapproves and said I would regret it. I think both of them really dislike my middle name, and think I am calling myself Eugene after Gene Hunt. This isn’t the case, I looked through a whole list of names beginning with E and Eugene was the one I liked the most and that sounded good with my first name. I am happy with the name so I will not let their attitude bother me too much, having my Mums support makes all the difference and I am of the age where I don't need my families approval to do something (although it would be nice).

Kaye means happy and Eugene means born lucky/well. I guess that is true, I am now very happy to have a name that fits me and I have been born lucky to have such a wonderful and supportive Mum and to have such a good life. As cheesy as it sounds I do honestly believe that, it is easy to get caught up in all the bad and difficult things and forget to realise how lucky I am to live the life I have.

Cheers from my Mum and I

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

What is in a name?

I have an appointment booked with the solicitor to get a change of name, however my problem is that I have yet to decide upon a name.

My birth name was very posh, I was named after two grandparents with exceedingly British names and I will be keeping my initials the same (K.E.M). Trying to keep the middle name as posh as my birth middle name I think I will be going for Eugene. 

However,  I have more of a problem with the first. There is nothing that is posh that can be shortened to Kaye. My parents made a big deal about both my sister’s and my name having a posh long version and a shortened nickname, which makes sense.

The options so far are:

  • Kayden – sounds a bit chavy and is very masculine (not something I am overly keen on) and is a very modern name, it wasn’t popular when I was a baby.

  • Kaye – short and not posh but it is my name

  • Kaelan – gender neutral which is good but it doesn’t feel like me, but then neither does Kayden or my birth name. 

Maybe I should just keep it to Kaye and then if in the future I feel that not having a posher name is holding me back in life I could change it again. 

I just wish I had someone to talk to who knew more about this kind of thing.