Plymouth Pride 2017, a Transgender Diary Entry with Transgender Artist & Model Sophie Lawson

Future me here *waves* it’s four years since I wrote this diary entry and rereading it made me quite emotional. This entry is all about Plymouth Pride 2017, a day where I felt totally at peace around people for the first time in my life. I was with the Not Alone Plymouth transgender support group, but I left the group in 2018 and haven’t really kept in touch with them. Strange how that happens isn’t it. I do miss them, but seeing these photos made me so happy, and so grateful to have experienced this day with them.

It’s funny, but I watched season 3 of Drive to Survive yesterday (I’m a massive F1 fan) and something Guenther Steiner said popped into my head.

All good things must come to an end. 

*end of Future me*

Plymouth Pride 2017 was one of the best days of my life for so many reasons. Last year was my first ever Pride event, but back than I knew no one. I was totally alone, still presenting as Kevin, creeping around the event until I finally ran off crying, feeling insanely lonely. This year, I was with friends. I was happy. I was proud. I was me :) I find it so insanely beautiful reading last years Plymouth Pride Diary Entry now, for everything I dreamed about, everything I wished for, has actually come true.

Thanks to the Not Alone Plymouth Support Group, I now have friends. The Universe brought these people into my life and I am so thankful. Thankful to the Universe, and thankful to Amber and Erin, for creating Not Alone Plymouth, a group full of such lovely, unique people.

80% of the day was massively positive. I did things the me of 2016 wouldn’t have thought possible. I was there as me for starters :) 100% me :) I wore a little rainbow TuTu, proudly waving the Trans Flag, marching through the streets with the Not Alone Plymouth Support Group. I even had random people coming up asking for Selfies, and I felt totally at ease.

When we got to the Hoe, a big grassy area over looking the ocean, I was still content. A few of us went for a little walk, and I managed to pluck up the courage to ask Claire for a selfie together :) I’m so happy to have this photo. Claire is so nice, she’s helped me a lot over the past few months, so it’s cool to finally have a photo together :)

There were other highlights too, I saw my Boss from work and ran over to her, we hugged and had a little chat. When I think about that it’s kind of insane. My boss from work, saw me as me :) I’ve never been to work as me, she knows I’m Transgender, but this was a first, for someone at work to see me. Yet it seemed so natural. I didn’t even think about it till I got home. My Boss from work has seen me as me, and she totally accepted me and I didn’t feel awkward or anything :) I also saw two girls I used to work with years ago, I ran over to them too and said hello. They had never even known I was Transgender, let alone seen me as me. Again, this was amazing, because they just totally seemed happy and accepted me as me :)

I also got a photo with Pixie, who runs Safe Haven, the scene of my Night Out With Vanessa back in April. Pixie is one of those people who is just pure niceness; so happy we got a photo together :)

Plymouth Pride 2017 did however highlight how much Social Anxiety will hold me back if I don’t find a way to overcome it. About two hours into the event, I started to get overwhelmed with negative social anxiety based thoughts. I was among friends. I was me and totally proud of being me. I was in a safe environment. I had zero reason to be uncomfortable, yet Social Anxiety doesn’t care. It will take you down to china town without a care in the world. It started filling my mind with negative thoughts and unfortunately, I let it get the better of me. I don’t currently have the skills to intercept it. I ended up running away from the event without even saying bye to anyone. I ran away as I needed to be on my own to process what was going on. I felt overwhelmed.

That night, I was up till midnight thinking. I realised I have to do something about Social Anxiety now else it will continue to hold me back from truly being myself around people. I researched online and found Sam Schaeffer, someone who had life crippling Social Anxiety too. I could relate so much to his story. He left me inspired, for not only did he overcome it, but he’s now helping others overcome it too via his online course, iOvercameAnxiety. I signed up to it that night and started working on it the next day. I can safely say, this is going to help me so much :)

Plymouth Pride 2017 therefore, was a pretty epic day.

I felt so many different emotions; the best being a taste of what it feels like to be relaxed around people.

And you know what …

I think I like it :)


Satoru Fujinuma