“I am making this request because I believe it is in my best interest to live a successful and happy life without the burden of having a… lets face it an emotionally absent, ultimately abusive ignorant “mother” and family … I’m choosing to no longer allow myself be consumed by that! I have however chosen to live my life through emotional freedom, live it successfully and thrive in doing so which is why I’m asking you to never contact me again, starting with immediate effect!
I do not want you contact me on my birthday, I do not want you to contact me on Christmas day; I just do not want you to ever contact me again! This decision was not made lightly, nor was it made with the intent to cause hurt. This decision was a long thought out conscious one made by an adult. I just want to be happy and I could never do so being in contact with a “family” that will never acknowledge me as a human being. I no longer choose to apologize for just simply existing, you’ve made me do that for 22 years and I’m tired.
I wish you all the best and I expect you to respect my wishes.”
I drafted and edited this letter so many times and in so many ways, quite like we all imagine leaving that dead end job and finally saying enough to that tyrant of a boss. I have imagined conversations we could’ve had as a preventative measure. For years, I fantasized moments where my mother started a conversation, acknowledged my humanity or even attempted to apologize for the years of ignoring my existence. I imagined all the catching up we could have had over tea or a walk in the park, discussing why I acted in response to certain things or why she thought this or that, making clarifications for things she just did not want to or could not understand. I absolutely longed for us just to have a conversation, for us to just be friends and for maybe one day for her to just look me in the eyes and for the first time in my life, tell me that she loves me and for its authenticity to be totally read as nothing but a fact. I needed that primal and very first longing to be met more than anything, to the point where I had almost become completely self destructive over it. This letter was my final chapter, the final closure and my absolute last resort. A finalization that I would not longer allow anyone access to emotional dominion over me.
I finally sent this letter as a response to an email she sent wishing me a “Happy Easter Son”, three weeks after she had kicked me out saying “I can’t stand you! Look at you, pack up your things and get out.” All whilst laughing in my face.
From a very early age, I knew that this life was going to be one of difficulty. I knew that everything that would be essential to my survival here on this planet would be nothing but a battle, an upheaval. I knew this because I was made to know this. I knew this because I saw the way people like myself were treated. I saw the way my gay neighbors and there “lifestyle”. There love was both a source of ridicule and a source disgust. I noticed the indifference by the majority. Not to mention the trans experience, as much then and I believe so now, most people don’t understand the difference and group it as the same. I am made to know this as even very recently I was notified by my old Gender Identity Clinic that my doctor had not been sending or referring me to resume my treatment (which I was told was done well over a year ago) even being described by a receptionist at my GP after revealing my status, a “transgender bloke”. I know this because I was beaten, hated, strangled, laughed at… and or totally ignored from day one and mostly from my primary care takers, which was only reinforced through each stages of primary and secondary socialization! I knew this because no matter where I went, what form I chose as mode of help to elevate any further pain, that it would continue like the repetition of a scratched record, static and motionless. I knew it because of my pathology, my mind set, my ability to think outside of the box, over and outside of the current collective train of thought. I knew this when I was approached by one of my mothers previous work colleagues and told “oh your the one she told me she can’t stand… who thinks it’s a girl”.
The same mother who tricked her child into being psychologically assessed for illnesses they simply do not have nor informing them of the results. Essentially making them believe that they are the problem and that everything that makes them who they are, the very basis of there existence, their very essence, is fundamentally flawed. That act does nothing but psychology destroy a person. “Oh your brother punched you? oh okay. Oh you got attacked on the way to school? Oh you deserve it.” Because again, ultimately you are the “problem”.
For me, coming of age represented nothing but freedom. I was able to access help for the first time and take direction with my own life! I reached out to an amazing charity, ‘The Albert Kennedy Trust’ in London, to whom I don’t think I would be here to this day if they hadn’t helped me. I moved in with two loving intelligent gay men, my foster fathers for almost two years. Fundamentally, my life changed and for the first time I was no longer a victim of circumstance but rather I had the power and could actualize my own direction. I was free. I was able to deprogram my mind of all forms of negativity, I was allowed to flourish and for the first time I felt at home and safe, I found sanctuary. I was taught self esteem through being able to voice my opinions, taught that opinion mattered and was valid. More importantly, I was able to see a psychologist and get the right diagnosis, to which I was informed that I had nothing wrong with me, that “the issues lie with my mother being unable to ever acknowledge my gender”.
When you create life, you also have the responsibility to nurture that life. A responsibility to ensure that the quintessential basic life skills that are needed to survive are taught and then reinforced within the immediate environment, that being the same family structure that you have brought that life into. Skills like self esteem, your opinion matters, how to love and authentically receive love. Basic skills and most importantly support. Without them, that life is essentially set up to fail in an already not so nice world, that at points is unable to understand anyone of difference.
I haven’t had the best start to life, but all that has done is humbled me as a person and made me so incredibly grateful for everything and treasure every moment! Recently I have received a tremendous amount of support both financially and emotionally from some really unexpected sources and great friends through a Go Fund Me campaign, that was set up by my loving friend Blake Wood, (https://www.gofundme.com/tschan) which was shared via social media by Kelly Osbourne and completed by Kim Jones and Dev Haynes in under 22 days. I’m so incredibly grateful and humbled by all my friends people who I don’t know on a first hand basis and those who donated anonymously… Thank you!
I’ve been lucky enough to be rewarded based upon a residual image, used as a model in a few campaigns and have my first cover coming out. I’ve been able to travel to places I would never be able to afford to go to, which I think is the most therapeutic and educational thing. It literally takes you out of any current overwhelming situation and teaches you how to dream and how to look above and beyond the current horizon and forecast a brighter future. I do however frown upon publications, agencies and casting directors that choose to exploit the current trans narrative as a hot topic, sensationalize and use it to create instant traffic without understanding nor paying the subject any fee. I am not disillusioned by it and believe that it furthers the problem and is in effect false advertising in its truest form.
The main goal of me writing this article and using my own words, is to speak for those who haven’t been afforded the opportunity to be given a platform a voice. To educate any parents who are struggling with the same issues or that simply doesn’t know what to do nor understand the different life they have brought into this world. I pled with you and ask you just to have an open mind, please just try to listen. Educate your self in all matters that encompass this world and know that this is not your fault or an act of rebellion. By rejecting that child, you essentially leave them to the harshness of the wilderness. This world can be very unkind place to begin with and especially towards things that they do not understand. When you’re young and homeless, you are open and vulnerable to so many things. Number one being predators. When you don’t have access to the workplace you don’t have access to housing, it’s simple as that. All of these issues are directly linked they have a direct correlation and have a domino effect.
Know that being gay/ transgender/intersexed is actually something that is predetermined. Mostly, if not predominantly, caused by genetics and based upon hormonal levels, brain chemistry and composition that was altered due to interference at the very early stages of development in the womb. It’s simply not based upon a matter of choice nor is it a battle between nature and nurture it is a biological fact.
I would like to end this article with a quote that I love and live by as a thought;
“Using femininity as a palette in a patriarchal society is akin to an act of treason”.