A white ceiling slowly rolled-by alternating with large roman tiled beams. Large round pillars titled in an old roman style with a modern twist drifted alongside. It was my place from everywhere. You wouldn’t think it was there buried deep in the centre of one of the biggest cities in the world while the world rushed around outside. I pushed the water slowly again with my arms and kicked my feet once to push myself again floating on my back in the swimming pool.
Further below tube trains raced packed, even with the financial district switched off and the weekend fast approaching, through the centre of the arteries of the city that, somehow, manage to keep flowing without a heart attack.
It wasn’t particularly a plan to get away but more that I needed to fill my time off or I’d waste it and come to the end and think ‘what on earth did I do?’ I’d cobbled together a trip away with a bag of clothes and toiletries and within a few hours I was slowly floating away my problems in the hotel swimming pool just staring at that ceiling. Pains and aches had gone and a zest to do things had surfaced.
Weeks on from that day I feel drained again. Fatigued. I still go to work each day. I still get up early and I still run when I can but the fatigue itself is draining. It’s hard to get through the day let alone think about and deal with the gender thing. But this is physical fatigue. Plop on top the politics of gender identity and things get a bit heavy.
Sometimes I find it’s best to just turn off from the mediaopinion on gender. Only the last couple of weeks we’ve heard of a school pulling a book from the children’s learning that teaches about trans people; fear for some reason. It’s always easy to knee-jerk when children are involved but then what is wrong with teaching children about the real world. No amount of teaching will ever makea child something they’re not, people are who they are, there is only discovery. In my day it was about race. We learnt about cultures and skin colour and this is the kind of thing that make us better as a society by starting at the beginning.
The problem with reading and watching the news about these things I find I can easily become blinkered to what the world is for transgendered people daily. It’s one view and usually concentrate and highly defined which can feel negative and daunting. I’ve learnt to let go of the news in this respect. It’s freeing to just realise that while there can be dangers from those who aren’t tolerant, those who are of an opinion really just amount to just that, an opinion. And some of those people are in it just for a career in controversy and hate without consequence for themselves. Let’s not name names.
Yet, when I’m running at an event amongst other people, I’m a world away from all that nonsense what some people think about gender identity. I just run. I just chat to people. I am me without worrying about whether people have an aversion to transgendered people or not. If I had to deal with that during times like that then I would be more than fatigued and drained.
Even talking about it now feels negative and draining. Yet if I just ignore it I rarely see or hear it from day to day. That time in work a several weeks ago was the first I’d heard negative transphobia in a very long time and a little this week elsewhere that I guess would generally be put down to banter.My thought at the time was, ‘how little you know.’ and put it down to that with a secret wry smile.
So I think I’ve found a way of dealing with light weight transphobia by just brushing it off and doing without it and may be that’s good preparation for if the time comes that it becomes directed at me rather than just idle gossip in the air. And all the hard-line terrifying transphobia seems to be held in the news, the media and social media, which has an off switch. It’s a bit like turning off the TV and going outside for a walk in the sunshine. You kinda just leave it where it is and it goes away.
All this was a million miles away as I lay floating on the surface of the water in the quiet swimming pool and the sound of trickling water. If switching off the TV was the escape then this place was where things like this were forgotten. I know that my time was short there but that hour felt like it was lasting forever and even though I knew I would have to pack up and leave that weekend that once again I would likely return and you never know how much I’ll have changed by then.
Until next time