Week 0 – Identity
Week 0. Seems a good place to start. I’m pleased to have an extra week for this project as I’m intimidated about the prospect of such long term work. Forming my initial proposal was easier than I expected as there was little pressure to get it ‘right’. However, with the template provided it was actually easy for me to hang my mess of ideas on the framework provided.
I recently hit a large milestone in my life, which was one year undergoing Hormone Replacement Therapy. It was a point in my transition I genuinely believed I would never see. As a result I have had the rare opportunity to be able to explore identity, gender and human happiness in a fundamental way. I visited Copenhagen in the Summer with my girlfriend for Pride Week. I’ve always been sceptical of Pride, seeing it as a provocative, often over-sexualised parody of what I and other people struggle to cope with everyday. I wrote another post about my thoughts there, so I won’t repeat myself here. Link to Pride Post.
I have also been competing in the Converge Challenge 2017 with my Social Enterprise Open Ears. This has given me valuable insights into the deaf community and how others perceive them. I really enjoy being able to understand those little things that affect them and not me.
In my lifetime I have grown up through the emergence of social media and the idea of online personas. I try my best not to engage fully with this, I have no smart phone and don’t participate in Facebook/Instagram/Twitter as completely as most of the people I spend time with. However this is starting to hurt me as in a professional setting it is expected for me to have a website, blog, and a social media presence on many different websites in order for people to take me seriously. I find it challenging to know what to write where, how to interact and how much of me to present publicly. As a result of transition I have also deleted most of what was there before a year ago which leaves my presence feeling quite skeletal and empty.
A result of this is being in a position where I’m more in control and more aware of who I am and what I want to say online. It feels much more manufactured than I think is necessary and I wish I didn’t feel the need to engage with it all as I don’t think it helps me personally.
So between transition, Open Ears, and the start of my final year of study, the question of identity has been at the forefront of almost every aspect of my life over the past year. It’s almost a selfish desire to want to explore this topic as I really want to be certain of my own identity and who I want to be before I enter my life after University.