Tom’s Story

I have long had the belief since I was very young, and growing up in a country that wasn’t my original home land, that to get through life you shouldn’t make waves or rock the boat and stay below the radar.

Since having children this philosophy has been changed. My wife and children have taught me that there is no shame in being who you are. If you want to dye your hair purple, green, pink or all the colours of the rainbow, you should, without the fear of being judged or bullied or victimised or being outcast. Unless what you are doing is compromising the safety of others and yourself, then you should be who you are with no reservations.

People need to get a real perspective on life. We need to be able to celebrate life in all its diversity not be fearful of the different or unknown.

I have watched as both my children have achieved above and beyond what I thought they were capable. I have watched as my daughter left home and through health issues and minimal employment, made a home for herself and her partner. I have watched my son, in front of a large unknown audience, bare his personal struggles with life as he has been dealt out and come through with his head held high and confident in who he is.

I owe my family a debt of gratitude for opening up my eyes and mind into believing that, no matter who you are, if you are a good person and have sympathy, tolerance and compassion for every other good person out there, you should be able to walk through life without fear.

Life is too short to think that your way of seeing things is the only way. That society says you have to fit into this box or that box, that you can’t be this or that because some book says so.

So now I tend to not be quiet, behind the scenes, staying under the radar, not make too much noise because I’ll get noticed and I correct where there needs correction.

I have learnt that there is no excuse in being ignorant or uniformed with all the accessible information at your finger tips. That relying on second or third hand hearsay or what the social media want you to believe, is not the way to form an opinion about anything.

That to be true to yourself you have to be who you are.

This last statement I have learnt from my son, who has the courage, strength, will and tenacity that I hope to emulate through his actions in being who he is, a very proud transman.