We have a new columnist here at Shona. Alexandra Day has offered to write us regular pieces about her journey, her life, her family, and her opinions.

Oh Hey Alexandra! Tell us about Yourself???

Alexandra picture

My name is Alexandra Day and I am a transwoman but that is not all I am.

Perhaps a slightly pretentious start but I think it perfectly summarises the manifesto of these articles and why they exist. It’s a form of counter-attack to mainstream media’s fascination with being trans without actually acknowledging the person going through that process or their life outside of it. That being said, I’m getting ahead of myself so let’s begin with who I am and go from there.

I’m Alexandra, a 25-year-old media graduate who lives with her parents and sister in Ballycanew, Co. Wexford. I have a veracious appetite for absorbing pop culture but in particular, I love film, television and video games. I also enjoy live music and stand-up comedy and secretly hope that one day I can develop a ten-minute set that’s funny enough to try out in a few comedy clubs. I’m also passionate about social issues and activism and believe that by engaging with these conversations sincerely, I can become a more well-rounded and empathetic person. I’m currently living in Wexford but would love to engage more with activism and groups that tackle similar issues when I move back to Dublin in the next few years. Living in a rural area has also had an effect on my potential career, which is working in film and television. Ideally, I would love to work in production or in a smaller distribution house that takes great care in what they release. Unfortunately, I’m not currently able to commit to these ambitions due to not living in a city and ongoing personal mental health concerns (a topic for another article), although I want to try to change both of these things over time.

13133376_10153462952652056_4797652468057265473_nI’m transgender and currently going through treatment in Loughlinstown Hospital, having started on testosterone blockers four months ago and hoping to start on oestrogen when I go for my latest appointment in mid-September. I made the decision to come out as trans after struggling with depression and confusion over my gender identity throughout secondary school and the majority of college. I’m happy to say that, while the three years since then have been a challenge at times, I feel more comfortable in my own skin now in a way I never felt growing up. For me at least, there has only been validation in accepting my identity and moving forward with treatment. This has only been further cemented by the love I’ve received from my parents and my sister. Their unconditional support means more than I can articulate and our relationship has only grown stronger through this experience (though this is not the case for all trans people, a topic I want to return to in a future article).

So, what is this series or articles going to be about? As I mentioned at the beginning, my main aim in writing these articles is to provide an open channel for trans issues as well as deconstructing the many myths and misconceptions that seem to exist around trans people and transition. Primarily though, I want this series to let other trans women and gender non-conforming femme folks know that they aren’t alone, even when it seems that our education, medical and government institutions could do a lot more to acknowledge and help us. It will be a hybrid of personal diary and discussion on social issues and I invite you to engage with the conversation through the comment section below as I want to engage and learn from the experience of others.

So, that’s it for now but I start in earnest in two weeks, when I’ll be back to let you know what I’ve been up to and what issues our community is facing. I hope that you’ll join me throughout this series and if you want to engage with me further or you have a story that you feel needs to be shared, please feel free to contact me @lexsophieday on Twitter. I’d love to talk and want the series to reflect the many diverse and amazing stories that our community has. Until the next article, take care.

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