I started an end of year post full of confidence and hope that the world had turned our way.
The media has long found us a cheap and easy target and in consequence the public are regularly told that we are some kind of freaks rather than victims of one of nature's cruel jokes. The year seem to start badly and the British press managed to drive one poor, well loved, school teacher to take her own life. Not their first victim buy a long way but soon after there was a sense that things really were changing.
It must help that now a fair number of celebrities have become involved with transitions themselves, or within their families, which makes the excuse of ignorance harder and harder to use, everyone now knows that we exist and that we can be most successfully treated. It is perhaps only because the system is now so well organised and so many of us after treatment melt back into society unseen that progress is as slow as it is to that eventual day when transition will be no more news worthy than a hip replacement...
A recent short radio series about the work of the gender services at Charring Cross Hospital in London was so matter of fact and unsensational I was not sure at first that I was not dreaming.
Sadly over the christmas period there was a report of an American teenaged child who took their own life because their "christian" family decided that they were not to be allowed to have any kind of treatment because it went against their beliefs! The child was aware that any delay would make a seamless transition impossible and they would have to undergo a sickening puberty with all the associated discomfort and emotional distress. An online farewell note was published with a planned delay and still the parents tried to pretend that they had not killed their own child!
The "christian" excuse seems a little flimsy when I think of one of this season's gatherings here at home and the number of devout christians attending including one preacher and two canons, all very happy to be my friends...
My projected post got deleted and I only decided to try another on the theme when a new story broke about yet another celebrity couple happy to work with the wishes of their transgendered child and under the bright lights of publicity.
I have lost count of the number of transsexual commentators on radio programmes this past year and not always to put over our message, we can be treated just like anyone else and the sky does not fall.
A new year is ahead of us and I do hope that this progress continues to make it easier for the countless sufferers to gain the courage to speak out and get the help they need. Perhaps the days of stigma will pass within my lifetime after all.
The last couple of months slid into winter has taken it's toll on my circle of friends, we are reaching the age where we are the frontline generation facing age and health issues