Murray | Ponsonby

“I mean, the people that know me in the last few years know I’m trans, and luckily the world is catching up in time for me to be able to stay alive, but boy I bloody near didn’t make it.

I usually try not to surprise people too much. In fact I work incredibly hard not to surprise people too much really, so it’s sort of like, backwards from what I’m used to answering. It’s hard to do it politely, and it brings out the anger and the frustration.

I like it when people share their own experiences and their own lives, and don’t feel that they have to hide behind an image that they have to keep up. I’ve had to do that all my life to the point of being bloody boring, and self-destructive. The people I admire the most are the people who do things, like build things, create things, or take care of people.

As a kid I felt I couldn’t be open to anybody, my parents, my brothers. To keep a job I couldn’t be open, and I just slowly became more and more suicidal through my life.

I’ve had three years of counselling, and hormones have taken away a good chunk of that stress as well. I’m just on my way to my counsellor now, so it’s taken me three years of counselling, and I still haven’t quite got suicide issues under control, but I think I can see the end in sight now. Just trying to get over those self-destructive behaviours.

I was talking to my brother about three years ago, and we were talking about accidents, you know the way men talk about accidents or close shaves, and his surprise stories ran out way quicker than mine. When I was waiting for his next story, he looked at me like I was a real idiot, so I changed the subject very quickly, and went away and thought about it. I thought, oh no I’m doing it to myself quite deliberately, and I thought, I have to do something. I’m not able to survive in the life that I’m living at the moment.

I was very scared to go and ask for help, extremely scared. In fact, I was almost more scared of the help offered than I was of just taking chances being alive. Anyway, I’ve got through it, luckily the help services are a lot better nowadays than in years gone by and, and my fears weren’t fully met so, thank goodness.

I was always scared that if I just slipped and said the wrong thing, that I could lose my job, and lose my family and, and New Zealand’s not that big a place. You know? If you lose your job in one go, there’s a big risk you’re not going to get another one so easily, especially in the area that I worked in. That was extremely scary for 40-something years, and some people in society like to say, oh we’ve changed, and that’s true, but I think what they don’t realise is that a trans-person’s experience, it’s the odd negatives can still cause a lot of problems.

I’m more fortunate than most trans. I’ve got my own house, but I see lots of trans who are at regular intervals kicked out of houses. You know, it costs them quite a lot of money to then get a new place. The people that have the most difficulty getting and holding jobs are having the most difficulty getting and holding a house, and half the time they’ve got to pay privately for doctors. They’re disadvantaged in the medical system like that. So, Jesus they have a hard time, and so yes we’re a lot better, but fuck I still want to fight doctors and fight a lot of employers.”

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