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This special edition of the GenderGP podcast was recorded to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance 2019. Our head of counselling Marianne Oakes, is joined by Victoria Oldman, GenderGP’s Appraisal Pathway Lead. The pair discuss what TDOR means to them and the importance of looking after yourself when times get tough.

Make Time for Self Care - GenderGP on Transgender Day of Remembrance

On Transgender Day of Remembrance don’t forget to look after yourself.

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The GenderGP Podcast

Transgender Day of Remembrance Special – The GenderGP Podcast S4 E1

Hello, this is Dr Helen Webberley. Welcome to our GenderGP Podcast, where we will be discussing some of the issues affecting the trans and non-binary community in the world today, together with my co-host Marianne Oakes, a trans woman herself, and our head of therapy.

Marianne Oakes: Hi, and welcome to the GenderGP podcast. Today I’m joined by my colleague at GenderGP, Victoria, who I’m sure many of you are familiar with if you’ve been receiving emails and communications. So,hi, Victoria.

Victoria Oldman:Hi, Marianne.

Marianne Oakes: How are you today?

Victoria Oldman:I’m good, I’m good. Yes, it’s a pleasure to be here. I suppose, virtually.

Marianne Oakes:It’s great to have you here, actually. Finally, I think it’s been way too long. I’m about to say; unfortunately, I don’t know if it’s unfortunate or not,that we’re here really to talk about the Transgender Day of Remembrance, and to kind of just reflect on that, as two representatives of GenderGP who are part of the community. So, I suppose the first question is to set off the conversation is how aware you are. Is it something that you’ve ever been involved in? Is it something you provide? What does it mean for you?

Victoria Oldman: Wow, what a question, Marianne. Yeah, I mean obviously it’s a massively important day and a significant one. It’s not the easiest, I’ve found for myself.As a date just to deal with, it upsets, brings up a lot of difficult thoughts and memories and it can be quite a negative day. I feel obviously the focus is lost, generally, yeah. And so that’s quite tricky. I think it can be daunting perhaps, for, say, or more daunting people at the beginning of their journey than sort of further along because it’s almost like a flag, isn’t it? It’s almost like a wall comes up, a warning that says, look out, things aren’t great. And that’s obviously not the case but the subject matter of the day makes it a tricky one to process for many people.

Marianne Oakes:I agree completely there. I think I wanted to say for people that are further along the journey, potentially more well-adjusted to the changes in the life, that maybe, looking back and thinking,“God  it could have been so much different.”But you’re right, at the start of the journey it’s kind of,“Oh my god, am I going to be one of them they’re remembering?”

Victoria Oldman:That’s it. I mean, I think at that point you haven’t built up. It’s awfully tough to say that it’s something that that trans people need to do in general. You haven’t built up a certain degree of experience of just dealing with maybe that side of things. I think this was the beginning of how you’re going to make it. Where do we go from here and all or sorts like that but in terms of actually dealing with opposition, a lot of people haven’t read directly faced it or built up a certain way of handling, I suppose, that side of things? Whereas honestly and certainly hopefully people who are a little further in that sort of transition have adjusted to that a little and can just process it and sort of compartmentalise it a little bit better. So I think it’s a really difficult area, obviously.

Marianne Oakes:Yeah, I think in truth, if you’re not careful, it’s reinforcing the shame. Yes, if you’re not careful, depending on how it’s done. I’m just going to temper that though also, and say to me what I’ve realised is it’s very contained within the trans community. I just went when Abby asked me would we do this and have this conversation, one of the things that I asked some of my cis friends, did you know it’s Transgender Day of Remembrance this week?And everybody kind of look to me really puzzled and said, “What’s all that about?” you know.And then I felt really bad because I couldn’t tell them that much. I said, listen, we remember the people around the world that lost their lives because of their gender identity. But really outside of that, nobody is even aware that it’s going on. So maybe you know we’re looking at it from within. But when you look at it from without, maybe even seeing people at the beginning of the journey, don’t even consider it. So we’ve got to be careful how we approach it that way. Have you ever attended any of the memorials or anything?

Victoria Oldman:I haven’t, no. Again, perfect sample, isn’t it, of saying that maybe it’s not that awareness isn’t heightened. I guess even from within the community. But no, I personally haven’t. It’s a day that sort of sneaks up on you. And certainly, if you’re exposed to the community, then you will come into contact with obviously social media posts. But you’re right. You know none of my friends has any idea. No. And I do normally use it then as a day to voice that and to share that with them because it’s again because of the figures and stats that you know we look at things like this that aren’t very pleasant. They are hard-hitting. And so actually there is a positive message that can come out of it. I mean it does tend to resonate with my cis friends. It does actually grab their attention a lot more than anything else.

Marianne Oakes:Yes, one of the things that went through my mind last night I just looked at that. I think there are 250 people that are going to be remembered this year and actually globally. You know, some people might argue, I’d have expected it to be bigger than thatbecause one of the narratives coming out from the trans community all the time is about the suicide rates or potential suicide rates, and then you read that, and it feels like that. Well, I think it’s important to remind people actually there’s a lot more than that.There are people that have ended their own life because of their gender identity that we will never know that it was because of their gender identity. And if I’m honest, I sometimes think it would be good to have a silence for the unknown. And interestingly enough last week,  it was Remembrance Day for the two World Wars. I’m always a little sad about the young people, particularly in the World War,well in both WorldWars. But I think that you know the average age was something like 19 in the First World War, and actually, people forget that some of them that went over the trenches were trans and were gay. And that’s never a reference because actually society in them days didn’t want to acknowledge that men wouldn’t be like that if that makes—

Victoria Oldman:Yes.

Marianne Oakes:So  I think if we’re gonna have a day of remembrance it’s almost like the silent prayer for the unknown if that makes sense. I was just gonna move it along a little bit because it’s quite a sombre conversation, isn’t it?

Victoria Oldman: It is.

Marianne Oakes: And obviously, we deal in the realities of trans, and we come across some horrific stories, but we also come across some really happy stories. And I kind of I suppose, wanted to kind of just take charge. Is there anything you’ve done in the past to kind of deal with the bad side of this and to strengthen your emotional well-being? Was there a way that you dealt with these things?

Victoria Oldman:Yes, but to what effect? I’m not necessarily sure. I think more than anything it’s important to have a sort of a self-reviewof your own inner being and be sort of reasonable with that. I guess I see a lot of people regularly within the trans community. I myself have done it many times, stepping away from, say the social media side of things a lot. Just as a break, as a nice way of taking stock. I think it’s very easy to, certainly within the trans community, it’s very easy to—on social media, for example, you follow a bunch of people you know to connect to their phone it’s wonderful you’re making 70 friends, and as a community, we are incredibly kind and inclusive and sharing, and I love that. That’s one of my favourite things about it. But because of that, you can then you sort of magnify your exposure to everything, you know. And with every one person that’s able to shout praises about one thing they also do the opposite for 10 other things, that may be negative. And so you can sort of suddenly become exposed to an awful lot.So I think it’s important to really sort of review where you sit in everything and how things affect you day to day. And it’s totally okay to step away and sort of focus on yourself and your own immediate surroundings. That doesn’t mean you’re sort of turning a blind eye on the bigger picture. But it is important that you’re okay. And so I think it’s very easy to become overwhelmed. That happens to me regularly through work, through social life, through everything. And so just sort of taking the time to remember that actually you matter and you need to be okay, or allow yourself space to get to that point.It’s tricky you know as with anything sort of in the media like this, so anything from Pride to Trans Day of Remembrance, any sort of attention that gets sort of brought up brings both the good and bad. This as soon as you catch anyone, then you can get both sides of that coin say. I think it’s important, so pick and choose a little bit. Choose your battles—I suppose we’ve all got plenty.

Marianne Oakes: Yes, there is. And actually, it’s a balancing act. Just listening to what you were saying that I think the realities are social media is great in so many ways. It can bring people together and going back to when I was a child, going to sound like a dinosaur now, but there were no social media. I tell this story quite often. I remember finding the word transvestite. It was the first recognition that I’m not on my own. You know, and much as we kind of still not use that term now, as an 8 or a 9-year-old, it was life-changing. But now with social media, we can not only exploit our gender and make other people and connect it, you know we can make lifelong friends. But the downside of that is that we see what people really think. It’s almost like people that normally come across in your every day are really nice and pleasant who will be nice to you, maybe say horrible things thinking that they’re safe to say it. So what I’ve had to learn to do is balance that—Actually when I go out on the streets—When I go out into society and when to go about my daily, life actually is pretty good.

Victoria Oldman: Yeah.

Marianne Oakes:But it’s easy to forget that when I’m on social media. I think that’s an important thing to remember to treat the world as it treats you. And don’t misunderstand me. I’m sure there are people out there that get it really bad, and there is still pockets in this country where there’ll be discrimination. But you know generally speaking it shouldn’t. My experience is the world’s not quite as bad as social media would have us believe.

Victoria Oldman: Yeah. I would 100 per cent agree with that. I think again personal experience I’ve not really had any negative experiences. You know out and about doing my thing. But certainly yes socially can you can think the other way. I think the other thing to point out there as well, which is I guess different from an average conversation. You know when I was a kid there wasn’t any social media. If I had something to say to someone, I told six people and then I went home for the day. It could never go any further.And now obviously those six people could be six hundred thousand people. And I think while it’s one thing to see someone’s actual opinion written online it being how strongly they feel about it or not, I don’t know, but you also see them a degree of rallying, and you know that’s the thing that social brings, as it brings a crowd can potentially get behind something, both good and bad. And that’s where I think it starts to throw you because it’s not one person’s voice. It may not even be something that one person even said it’s just something that they shared because you know we cut corners left right and centre on social media these days and just someone wrote that I can put that here as well.And then that counts for my words. And so yeah, I think perspective and sort of keeping the scale correct is really important.

Marianne Oakes: One of the articles I read this week was about visibility because I think we’ve also got to mention here and I think this week and I’m saying I think because I’m not involved in these events, but apparently it’s been Trans Awareness Week as well on the build to Transgender Day. And I read the article about visibility in this thread. I argue for visibility all the time. Safety in numbers, you know. But the reality is what we were talking about was this hypervisibility.And what that’s done, it’s brought with you know this other wave to counter it. And that’s where these bond fights started now. You know the trans debate and that kind of thing, but I think we’ve just kind of again just got to remember that when we walk out on on the streets go shopping nobody’s actually throwing upon at us. And actually, nobody’s really that bothered. No, it’s in the container the social media that seems to be—I want to say the media as well, I think some of the right-wing papers.

Victoria Oldman:Yeah, that can be a little trickier.But I do think most of the times when I’ve seen anything negative aimed at the trans community or us, in general, it’s largely from people that I’ve never had any real interaction. Yes, because you’re right. No one really gives a monkey’s. That’s how it seems. So again it’s not that the way the social media works is that people feel like they have to have an opinion on something and they may not. It may not be true how they feel, or how they feel may not be something they feel they need to voice.But having a platform that says what do you think about this, suggests that they have to pipe in with something. So I actually think the things you see online aren’t necessarily terribly correct in terms of measurement of sense. No, it’s just this sort of group mentality and being so forced to be like well you need to comment. So pick a side, you know. But yes, people are fine. I think most of the time, you know. I like to think people are fine most of the time.

Marianne Oakes:One of the privileges I have is that the people come into therapy with me and I see them—you know we are talking about those right at the start, and little talk about I can’t come out. I can’t come out. You know my family are homophobic, my work colleagues are homophobic. I work in you know a very homophobic, bigoted environment. You know, my mates, my friends, you know. And as they go through the therapy, the ones that I’ve kind of been with on this journey for a while, eventually will come in and say, “You know I told my friend last night.” How did it go? Really well. And then suddenly this whole awareness starts to fold in the actually the people around me weren’t all demons. Yeah, they were friends. And I’m not going to say everybody we’re gonna talk to about this is gonna be great. But I think overwhelmingly my experience said the majorityare. I really just don’t care they just get on with your life.

Victoria Oldman: I think as well to add to that as people are so reacting well so things, let’s say in the example where someone may be coming out, it then becomes almost trickier for anyone to have an issue with it the more people that are so positive,and you don’t, I mean you’re almost the person that’s unreasonable, and no one really likes that either. So yeah, I think you spread your own little bit of awareness and then everyone else does as well. And so it does just so slowly sort of filter along the lines. It’s not uncommon that I’ve seen when someone does come out I start talking to people initially about it. As soon as they tell one person they then want to tell this, and when they tell thirty that turns to thirty thousand. It’s because of that positivity. It’s not you know it’s not that they’re having awful experiences and thinking I must just do this again. It generally does just flow really well, and it can be really hard I think to sort of hold back in that area where you just want to bless it without at that point and just that everyone has one bit of positivity means everyone’s great.I mean, chippy.

Marianne Oakes:Yeah I think that’s quite interesting actually that when we do stuff like, well, once the seal has been broke, it starts pouring out of this.

Victoria Oldman:Yeah, it becomes easier. I think for everybody.

Marianne Oakes: Yeah. The only thing I would say to temper that sometimes as well, is that we’ve got to be careful that we were being positive and being strong doesn’t become we’re not internalising the bad stuff.

Victoria Oldman: Yeah.

Marianne Oakes: And that’s why we do see sometimes somebody is doing really well on their transition, and you think,“Oh great.” You know the fireworks are going off everybody’s high fiving. And suddenly, there can be a crash, and it’s because this set a standard of you know people only accept me if I’m really positive about this.I think that comes back down to self-care.

Victoria Oldman: I think that’s a huge part actually because again, you know. So the journey takes you on many ups and downs and then obviously there are milestones within that. And for me personally, it was tremendously difficult before I came out. Then all of a sudden, very easy it felt, and then all of a sudden really hard again. And some of that’s because of expectations that maybe I’d sort of set for other people when I first mentioned anything, you know in this unit.They’re expecting me to turn up to some glamorous lady the next time they see me, and maybe nothing’s actually changed, and it’s 24 hours from when I’ve had space. And so I thinkit can be very difficult to sort of live up to your own standards, as well, that I think is at that point.And it’s about feeling like you’re making progress. You know that sort of initial coming out is a milestone that does start sort of things moving.The treatment’s another one of those, and obviously, everything takes time.And it’s one of those areas, isn’t it, where everything does take time. Nothing it’s fast enough. But also we’ve done lots of waiting in all sort of aspects of things, be it waiting for changes or waiting to discover things a little more sort of purely yourself and all sorts. So I think it’s tricky. I think that’s a really difficult one to sort of manage. And like you say it’s really important that we do look after ourselves.

Marianne Oakes: Yeah.Self-care is something that I think generally the whole population everybody in life needs time where they—I don’t know about you, Victoria,but sometimes I have to, especially working for GenderGP and being part of the community, I have to step out of it all. And personally, I’ve got music, I play guitar and sing. It’s an equal—or not an equal part, it’s an important part of my identity. But I cannot play the guitar and sing and think about anything else. I’ll probably spend an hour a day, not necessarily one hour but throughout the day minimum, just step out of it. So you know when I’m working—just read a horrendous email, and I just need to ground myself, I put my guitar up. I sound like some blues player here, don’t I?

Victoria Oldman:If it works though.There isn’t the one thing for everybody, but I think you know that’s important.

Marianne Oakes: But for some people, it’ll be going to the gym. For other people, it might be painting the nails, something that just takes your mind off the world. And I’m saying an hour a day. You know, I honestly believe, you know, half an hour a day could be enough and just recharge your emotional battery. I also feel compelled to talk about counselling, as well. I do think there are many people, and I’m sure will you’ll see the resistance sometimes that I’ve not got depression right now and I don’t need counselling. And I think what we forget sometimes is just by the very nature of the questioning our gender, in a society that is not fully educated in itself is emotionally draining.I’m gonna go back to that. Do you know? You know I can’t be skipping down the road, but I can’t be walking with my head down. I’ve got to be this perfect model of human, and you know be getting on with my life. We’re not allowed to be sexy. We’re not allowed to, you know, we’re not allowed to have any masculine traits if you’re a transwoman are feminine.

Victoria Oldman: I think that you’re not allowed to have any doubts. You’re supposed to tuck yourself in a little bit. If you are wobbling, or you know, that initial point is really difficult. You’ve just acknowledged things but maybe you but maybe not taking any steps at that point. And so where does that leave you? You know, in terms of progress or expectation.

Marianne Oakes: We talk about acceptance a lot in counselling, and this is in many areas of life. So you know when we talk about grief, we get to the point of acceptance. We’re talking about, you know, making big decisions. And I think acceptance if we had a trans model, the end of it would be acceptable. That we go through denial we go through—people always think acceptance is a happy place, you know. Have they accepted it? Now let’s get on. Actually, it can be really sad.It can be really like you have given up the fight. We’ve almost flopped, and sometimes we need to get to that point.But just because we’ve accepted, it doesn’t mean to say that every decision we make from we’re going to be 100 per cent sure about. When we talk about regrets, I’m trying to think of an example now. We can’t regret our gender identity, it’s not a choice. But what we can do is regret how we’ve dealt with it. So you know did it go into hormones at the right time? Did it even need to go on hormones? Did we have other choices? That’s where counts that I think is important. It isn’t about whether you’ve got a mental health issue. It’s about I’ve accepted who I am, and I need to manage that now going forward, so I don’t have any more regrets. And I think some people forget that actually that good. I’m going to say gender-affirming therapy. Abby, our wonderful producer,  she said to me somebody mentioned gender-affirming, and you’ve got to remember it’s not transgender affirming. And actually, our journey is about exploring our gender and what it means to us.And if we’re going to rely on social media and Reddit andthe internet, we get snapshots into other people’s journeys, and we think that’s our journey. And then two years, three years down the line we’re thinking,“Why am I still not happy?” because we haven’t actually been exploring our journey. And of course, I’m pro counselling, and I’m not saying I mean that everybody’s got to come into counselling, but I don’t think it should be dismissed as part of the process.

Victoria Oldman: Agreed. Yeah, 100 per cent. I mean it’s something that applies to all ways of counselling for all areas.It’s there to assist you. So yes I think I would urge anyone to at least have those discussions and see how it works, or you see how you feel about it. A lot of people are very blind to it. Or not blind to it but shut off to the idea of any sort of counselling.

Marianne Oakes:Going back to what you, or what we were saying before that we can buy into a narrative and think it’s our narrative of transness. And the thing with counselling. I’ll give you an example: a lot of people come to me thinking I’m gonna throw fairy dust on them and make everything okay.

Victoria Oldman: I wish.

Marianne Oakes: You know the truth of the matter is whether it’s me or whether it’s one of the other counsellors that we have at GenderGP orcounsellorsanywhere, good counselling anywhere is to create a neutral environment to work out what it is is right for you.And I always say a counsellor is a professional friend, but it’s different than ordinary friendship. My friends all want to rescue me. They want to tell me that I look gorgeous. They want to tell me that nobody will spot that you’re trans. And they want to hold me all the time, and you know, take care of me when actually I sometimes just need to go somewhere, and somebody just reflectsback to me the situation for what it is. And you know it’s not about how we look, and it isn’t.It’s about how we feel about ourselves, and that’s what counselling does. Am I going out into the world as inauthentic me? Or am I going out into the world as a facade of me which I’ve spent my life doing as a guy? Yeah, building a facade of maleness. I found actually in the early days before counselling, before I went into counselling, that I built a facade of femaleness. And both were equally damaging.

Victoria Oldman: Yeah. Yeah, sure.

Marianne Oakes:Have you had therapy, Victoria? I’m going to put on this fight.

Victoria Oldman: Yes. Yeah. You know I have. And it’s again it’s something that I’m a big believer in it. It’s super helpful. Initially, I was really cynical about therapy. I had numerous amounts over the years, but for me the way I sort of worked with it and it allowed it to sit right in my head as I used as a measurement of just time for healing. Yeah. Anything else. There was a case of, “Well I’ve spent a lot of people that have been counselling is not ready for me or I went once, and it didn’t really do anything.”And that was initially how I felt as well, and I think that’s quite a common feeling. But actually, once you’ve sort of attended for a little while, it then gives you, if nothing else, it gives you the options to look back and say I’ve just put six months into that. That’s six months worth of work at trying to help. And that counts for something and that then goes back into my brain and those who know me you’re actually you’re doing something here, and this is beneficial. But yes, enormously helpful.Like you say, just to have yourself reflected back, it’s super important.

Marianne Oakes:But it can be different things to different people as well.You know sometimes, it’s just a space to step out of society. You know the self-care actually. But for other people it’s to be challenged, even if they don’t want challenging,you know it isn’t until we challenge that we sometimes see how ludicrous our thoughts were. You know that actually, I don’t need to wear bright red lipstick, I can just wear soft pink.

Victoria Oldman:I think as well. And certainly with feeling that you know something such as gender identity you—it’s very easy to surround yourself with not, not yes people, but you certainly maybe you don’t surround yourself with some no people. And you can get a very one-sided side of things but also a very limited sort of network. Yes because you’ve done that filtering what you’re left with is like oh yes well I know Angela’s great. She’ll always be super, super positive. And Tony’s fabulous. But actually, outside of that, there’s more to it, and that can be quite an insular sort of bubble to be in.

Marianne Oakes:We don’t always get arounded view. You’ve used the right. We create our own bubble then, and that’s not always healthy. I mean, I do talk a lot about creating an environment to be able to transition in. What that means is if there is some real negativity. You know if you’re living in a hostile environment you’ve got to move yourself out. You’re not going to changepeople.In the same breath, it’s about building a life not building a bubble. I just want to go back as well to something you said before that you tried different counsellors and it didn’t work. And I think that’s still a myth, that all counsellors you are going to encounter will be great. Finding the right counsellor is so important. I’ve got nothing to back this up, but somebody said it to me once, and I believe, you know,eighty per cent of therapy is about the two people. It’s not about the qualifications of the counsellor. It’s not about their knowledge of trans. It’s actually: is this somebody I feel I can talk to? Is it something I feel I can trust with my deepest thoughts? And you won’t necessarily get that in one or two sessions it can take awhile, but you have a feeling about it. And when we were in L.A. earlier this year at the trans youth conference, one of the things they said is we don’t force children to have therapy because if they have a bad experience, they’re not going to come back to it later in life when they may really need it. And you know, on the one hand, I’m saying counselling can really help, but it isn’t always what’s needed at the start.It’s needed when it’s needed. People have got to want, you know, realise that I need to come into counselling, and not because my dad sent me. In fact, I’ll say this now, and it will upset a lot of people, I’m sorry, but with a lot of children, it’s the parents that should be sat with me not the children. You know what I mean?

Victoria Oldman:I mean I was going to say I mean you know initially the idea of off counselling I think it’s comes out that doesn’t have to play. As soon as you mentioned anything, be it there’s an old-fashioned way of thinking of course but, maybe you’re gay maybe you’re trying to make whatever.Instantly, the initial response for a long time was, “Well, go get your head checked.”That’s not it. You know, that’s not support.

Marianne Oakes: I sometimes try to think about this as if I was cis. How would I get my head around this concept if I’ve never questioned my gender? I think you’d have to be crazy to question your gender. Why would you? All evidence is against you. But when you are in our position, it doesn’t seem that complicated. It feels as natural to me as—

Victoria Oldman:Well, that’s how I always explain it, going on actually, it’s exactly the same. It’s funny, isn’t it, I think because you’re right. It would seem bonkers. It’s like me telling you the sky is green or purple or something. But actually, it’s identical. You know, the feeling is the same, as far as I’m concerned. That’s the case of how do I know. Well, I know the same way that my mom knows.

Marianne Oakes: I mean just to put a perspective on it, my father in law is left-handed and as a child, they used to take his left hand to the chair to force him to be right-handed because it was considered bonkers,to want to be left-handed.

Victoria Oldman: And so just to cut in there, he’s still left-handed of course.

Marianne Oakes:Yes.

VictoriaOldman:Interestingly enough, I’m surrounded by left-handed people show. But I can’t imagine why anybody would think to be left-handed—we can actually just expanding it a little bit. We don’t realise how right-handed the world is. And Vickie, my partner for 38 years, she’s left-handed. She’s the daughter of the father, and we now have a left-handed chequebook.

Victoria Oldman:Oh, wow.

Marianne Oakes:So, she writes all the checks. I never realised how awkward it is for lefthanded peopletowrite in checks, of course. And then she was speaking soon, so we can get the lefthanded chequebook. So even now, even though we think we wouldn’t question somebody’s left-handedness, the world is still very right-handed. And we’re trying to, talk aboutbeing questioned and our gender being bonkers. The world is a little bonkers, really, isn’t it?

Victoria Oldman: Can you imagine though the uproar if there was a bunch of social media posts about left-handed chequebooks. Yes. Still get the comments would all be outrageous. They’d all be the same sort of this is nonsense. This is political rhetoric. Yes.

Marianne Oakes: Political correctness gone wrong. And I should be able to have an opinion on this.That people who are left-handed are lesser in some respects.I’m going to kind of just start bringing it to a close. I think I want to go back to the Transgender Day of Remembrance, and kindof say that, no I haven’t taken a lot of notice of it. I’ve got a lot of friends that haven’t been invited on numerous occasions. I live close to Manchester. They have a service in the village. And they light candles. And I’ve always kind of made excuses not to go down and to come back to what I think we were both saying earlier, is something that I’ve kind of avoided having to think about. And I’m really pleased that people do acknowledge it.I do think for me, it needs to stay within the community.I don’t think really it’s about trans visibility and I think some people listening to this might be screaming at me. But I think there is a little part of me feels that if all we ever do is give the negative narrative that if you’re trans you’re going to die, or you are going to have a tragic life, or it’s going to be really really difficult. Then I think the narrative needs changing. We can only talk about the tragic side of it for so long before people become numb to it.

Victoria Oldman: Yeah. I also think that that side of things is something that should be reported in the same way as any tragic event that happens. You know, it shouldn’t take a day, a single day in November for us to go, by the way here’s a bunch of crime or anything that should have already hit the headlines.

Marianne Oakes: I remember Lenny Henry. It was comic relief, and he went out to Africa. It was a few months later, and they were interviewing him, and he said what he realised was that when we show these films of starving children on the telly, there’s just so much of it that we become numb to it. He said, and when I got out there, I realised that every child is a person and they’ve got a character. And it was heartbreaking. He said I wish I could take it. If everybody went out to Africa and met these children, we’d give our earnings over to it.And in the same way, I think, too much of that just numbs people. They get fed up with it, and they don’t feel they can affect it. And I think you’re right.We should have the same outrage. Certainly, if it’s happening in the U.K., we should have the same outrage as if it was any other tragic passing. So I’m going to support it, and I’ll always support it. And I do think it’s nice that we have our day to remember our people. But personally, I think it would be nice if it just stayed within the community and those connected to the community.

Victoria Oldman: I agree. I agree.

Marianne Oakes: I’m gonna bring it to a close there. It’s been lovely speaking with you. I’m hoping people listening to this feel that it’s been beneficial.

Victoria Oldman: I hope so. Yeah, I hope so. I think there’s something else to take in on the day, perhaps that it isn’t exactly the same format as everything else.

Marianne Oakes: Yeah. Yeah. An alternative view.Well, thank you for joining me today. Hopefully, we can do some more of these actually.

Victoria Oldman: Absolutely, I would love to. Thank you.

Marianne Oakes: Bye.