I know I’ve been known for taking hiatuses in the past, but I’ve had a few things happen in the past few months that should probably be made clear. Things will probably be changing around here in the coming years, and I think it’s time to give you all a heads up.
Just before I turned 16, my parents bought me an stock, manual SR20DE PS13 Silvia. Sure, I’d like to say that I contributed and helped out with the purchase thanks to money I’d earned from working at KFC and a little computer store, but really, it was gifted to me.
Our family has never been rich, but at that time we were pretty well off, and so my parents had set aside a bit of cash for my first car. As a child, I used to walk around with my grandfather in carparks naming each and every car we found, so it’s not exactly like my parent’s didn’t see my passion for cars coming. But still; to own a Silvia at 15, I felt super blessed.
So why an N/A Silvia? My birthday sat just-after the cut-off for a number of legislative changed involving power restrictions for young drivers. My parents really wanted me to get something safe and simple like an Impreza, but even as a young teenager, something about the silhouette of an S13 made me fall in love. But if I’m honest, there was more to it.
I’ve never really felt comfortable in my own skin, and as a child and then a young teenager I jumped from hobby to hobby desperately searching for belonging. When I was around 15 I started to really struggle with thoughts of suicide. Stupidly, I thought that owning a ‘cool car’ would help me through my issues and make me happy again.
As I aged, I felt myself become less and less connected to my own reflection until at 17 I could walk past a shopfront window and for a half second think I was looking at a stranger. I started getting counseling at around this time, which helped to some degree, but never really alleviated my problems.
Over the last few years I’ve become much more consciously aware of my behavior. More aware of my wish to be socially seen and evaluated by the appearance of my car rather than my own. And honestly, the thoughts of suicide never really subsided for any longer than a few months. But it was on those dark nights when I fell in love with the Silvia more. Even if it was just sitting inside the old girl while it was parked in the garage. Gripping the leather wheel, sitting deep into the seat. I always felt calmer when I was with the old car.
In the last few years though, my mental health got worse. I realised that I couldn’t keep living the way that I had been, and had to really take stock of life and work out where I was going. So I took the Silvia off the road for a while and started to seek real help for the issues I’ve consciously tried to hide for almost all of my adult life.
Today, after nearly seven years of depression, anxiety and stress, after several years of counseling and a six month period of assessment I started hormone replacement therapy for gender dysphoria. I identify as transgender.
For some of you this news is probably going to be pretty shocking. I’m sorry if it is. For some of you it might be upsetting. I’m sorry if it makes you feel that way. But I’ve reached a point where I now know that continuing to hide my issues and pretend they don’t exist was going to end up with me vanishing for good. And through even the earliest steps in this process; for the first time in my adult life, I’m learning what it feels like to want to live for me.
So what the hell does all this mean looking forward? I’m not sure honestly. I don’t have a roadmap for any of this, and I’m not going to pave my life down in stone now and allow myself to be railroaded into something that I don’t want. But I feel like I need to try what I haven’t yet done, and for me that’s transitioning. Will it fix me? I’m really not sure. Will it make me happy? I really don’t know. Do I want to start dressing in pink and wearing makeup everyday? Fuck no. Do I really want to be a woman? Jeez man, I don’t know.
What I do know is that I want to be able to reach a point where I can look myself in the mirror and see my own reflection staring back at me. I want to be able to move through the world and feel comfortable in my own skin. Honestly, I’m still the same person I’ve always been, I still like the same music, I still fucking love 90’s styling. I love cars and photography. And really, I can’t see my appearance or dress sense changing radically soon or ever. I’m not making life changes because I’ve been inspired by Caitlyn Jenner (I don’t think we share much in common – she’s a republican for example), but women like Laura Jane Grace have helped me work up the confidence to stop being miserable and do something about this shit.
If you don’t want to come along – that’s fine.
If you can’t be supportive – that’s fine.
If you’re surprised by the news – that’s fine.
If you’re unsure how you feel about all this – me too.
Don’t expect things to change fast.
But please be prepared for some change.
If you’ve got questions, please ask.
If you’ve got concern’s please tell me.
I just want to be happy.
And I want to live for me.
So that’s what I’m doing.
And I’m going to keep building cool shit while I’m here.
Still not dead.
More content soon.