I had an amazing night at the DIVA Awards, with something very special happening at the end of the evening.
I was a finalist for the Hero of the Year Award, but although I didn’t win this time, it went to a very worthy winner, Nadia Whittome MP, who has bucked the trend in Parliament, by fiercely standing up for LGBTQIA+ rights and in particular for recently defending trans rights. She’s a thoroughly lovely person too.
Stonewall was awarded Charity of the Year and their CEO Nancy Kelley (who I had the privilege of sitting next to at dinner) made a really powerful speech, saying “If you are not doing something every day to help trans people you aren’t doing enough.” She has always been a fabulous ally to the trans community.
Dame Kelly Holmes won the Media Personality of the Year and when we met up after the awards ceremony she gave me a big hug and told me she was thinking about texting me when she was in her cab on the way to the event to see if I would be there! I was amazed, but she explained that the business card that I gave her when we met at the British Diversity Awards last month was still in her handbag, so that’s what made her think of me.
All of this was brilliant, but something really special happened towards the end of the evening when a young trans woman approached me and thanked me for giving her the courage to live her truth. I won’t name her, as it’s not my place to out her. She had never contacted me before and she said she felt a bit nervous about talking to me (I didn’t think I was that scary!), but she told me that my vlogs and social media posts had made her realise that she really could live her life as her authentic self. That meant so much to me. It’s one thing knowing your true gender identity, but it’s another thing doing something about it. For me, it was like I was on one side of a huge canyon and happiness was on the other side. I had to make a big leap of faith, knowing that If I fell, I would have just get back up and carry on until I reached the other side. I did fall a few times, but thankfully, I managed to reach the other side and I am so much happier now. When I push out my media posts, I have no idea who will view them and what effect they will have. I am so pleased that my activities are helping to improve the lives of others.
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