SUNDAY #21 – Collaborating

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(October, Halloween, 2014)

I first met Freya in a night-club on Halloween. I was made-up as a zombie suffragette, and I stumbled in to her and her friends at the bar. They kindly complimented my ensemble and told me I should’ve won the prize for best costume. Unfortunately, that crown had already been bestowed on the head of a man dressed as a giant sanitary towel. To this day, that irony hurts more than the worst menstrual cramp.

Freya & I got chatting. She told me she’d never been to the area clubbing before, but she was having a good time, even though she was designated driver. I probably mumbled some drunken nonsense about a) people stealing my hat, and b) how I loved the walls of the watering hole we were both in. We went our separate ways after taking each other’s Facebook names, and I woke up the next day looking like death (I still had all my zombie make-up on, which frightened the life out of my friend in daylight).

After I’d recovered from the vodka-based anarchy of the previous evening, I went online to find that Freya had messaged me. She asked the usual ‘How are you? How’s the hangover?’ before revealing the unusual: ‘I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m transgender. I just like to let people know, to be sure they’re ok with it’.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised by Freya’s message, but I genuinely hadn’t realised she was a transgender girl when I met her. I thought she was just a girl in a club on Halloween, wearing devil horns. She felt comfortable enough to tell me details about her transition, and all I could think was ‘good for her’. It’s hard enough trying to be yourself in a county/country that is obsessed with the way women look, let alone trying to be yourself when you feel you’re trapped in the wrong gender.

Up until this point, I had never met anyone, male or female, who identified as being transgender, but I knew it wasn’t something which bothered me in the slightest. ‘Live and let live’ – as my Mum reminds me – and that was my thought process when Freya bravely told me about her situation.

Later in the evening, she uploaded a vlog about her night out. I watched it, and I was humbled beyond words when she mentioned how meeting me had brought up a lot of conflicted, but good feelings for her. You can watch the video below (she’s quite the Youtube star these days!)

Since October 2014, we have kept in touch through emails and messages with the intention of meeting up in person to talk over coffee. Unfortunately, due to studying/work schedules/location/other issues, this hasn’t been a possibility (but it’s still in the pipeline and that’s what counts!)

Through messages and watching her vlogs, I learned that Freya also suffers with Bipolar Disorder and is on the autistic spectrum. I sympathise immensely with her struggles, and celebrate her victories whenever she shares them with me. This is why I was so flattered when she asked to record my blog entries as part of a new podcast series for her Youtube channel. She said reading my entries aloud helped her to practice feminising her voice, as well as introducing her followers to a female/feminist perspective on art, culture, and life in general (I’m definitely not the best critic on any of these subjects, but it’s kind of her to consider me in this light).

Freya’s offer was too good to refuse, and she’s already recorded several of my blog entries. They’re released every day, 8:00am, on her Youtube channel (click here to watch & subscribe). I’m grateful that she took the time to read, record, and enjoy them. I look forward to more of her vlogs, and that cup of coffee we still need to drink! Listen to our first podcast below:

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