My Trans Voice

Trans Voices, a poetry and spoken word night by trans people, was amazing. I don’t think I can put words to how I feel about it just yet; I’m still overwhelmed and slightly shaking.

I’ll review it and the other speakers later when I am actually capable, but for now I’ll just say that it was so emotional and overwhelming to listen to them, and their experiences shared through their poetry.

I was not a scheduled performer, but I just had to have an outlet during the other performances, so I jotted some notes down and performed two of those poems as the penultimate performance. This post is for those who weren’t there, whom I wish to share my experiences with:

Losing yourself


Sometimes I need people. I need people so they can be real instead of me.

I need to be unreal; I need to be fiction. I lose myself.


I do not need someone else to be. I do not need to be “the old me”. I do not need to be “Jake” and “he” and the perfect grandson.

I am not your thing: I am mine. Even if I don’t always exist.


I am unreal. Iris is not here. She walks through the door, exits the kitchen, and he is back. Jake. The one who never exists, who never existed.

That’s who they want.

Is that why I don’t want to be? Is it unexpected to lose myself, if you lose me first, Dad?

Begging, wheedling, pleading

Begging, wheedling, pleading

I am the denier, the gatekeeper
It is my duty to hold the line against
the hordes grappling and groping,
desperate to reach inside

He was a comrade in arms. He was
the first comrade in arms. She
showed me the place I didn’t know
existed so near; she showed me the
genderfluidity I did not know existed
at home

They were sweet and gentle; she was
a rock and my shield. Together we
repelled them.

What happened? What changed
hir? Why is she now one of

Begging, wheedling, pleading
Ze is among the hordes
Grappling, groping, desperate to
reach inside

I am the denier, the gatekeeper
I force him out
The door is locked

He is the hordes
Discriminated against,
Kept away

Why am I now the villain?


Trans*Code & TransFlare

(Part of) the twitter sentiment analysis team during planning
(Part of) the twitter sentiment analysis team during planning

Yesterday was Trans*Code, a hackday for trans* people and allies. I am transgender, though not out as such in real life; I was one of several for whom Trans*Code was their first social experience in their preferred gender role.

But before I wax lyrical about my experiences (very positive, by-the-by), I would just like to talk about my team’s project from the hackday.


In short, Transflare is/will be1 a “bat-signal” for trans* people in the form of a phone app. The core idea is to send out a Flare with a short message attached to verified Helpers2 nearby. As the project is pretty much @cmantito‘s baby, I should probably leave it to them to do the full announcement, but I think it is a great example of the creative and useful projects to come from this hackday.

Transflare is open-source on github: cmantito/transflare. Contributions are welcome and much desired!


As I said in the introduction, Trans*Code was my first event I’ve ever attended openly not as cis. I was still cross-dressing, though (as in dressing like my birth sex, bleh). I need new clothes! And a sense of fashion!

But anyway, back on track, it was an incredibly comfortable and very welcoming safe space. As a topic-focused hack day, I feel that it was possibly more productive than others: rather than inventing a target audience, we were that audience. So from fashion advice for non-traditional body types and gender expression, through a listing of non-gender-exclusive public toilets, I could see myself using every single one (well, maybe not the tweet sentiment analysis, no matter how cool!).

I especially appreciated the way that the teams were organised. @NaomiCeder wrote the proposals up on a whiteboard, each proposer pitched the project, and attendees were left to choose projects we found interesting; mercifully, the teams ended up pretty balanced.

Besides the hackday, the BBC Microbit was demoed and looks damn cool. I pity the primary-age children now required to make Conway’s Game of Life on its LED matrix3.

I just wish I had had more time at the hackday to talk to everyone! But every single person I talked to was so lovely, and actually inspirational. I now feel confident about “coming out” to everyone, and certain that it is indeed what I want to do.

Thank you all – attendees, volunteers and organisers alike – for the most wonderful couple of days. I look forward to seeing more of you in future!

  1. As of time of writing, it is still in the early stages of development 
  2. Helpers are trusted members of the community whose identity is verified. The current plan is an in-person web of trust model, but this is subject to change. 
  3. This isn’t official or anything. But it is inevitable. 


Trans*code aims to help draw attention to transgender issues through a topic focused hackday

I just discovered Trans*Code, and am now really exciting to be attending. In fact, this could well be the first social event I attend where I’m openly trans! Now I just need to come up with a good name to use, rather than my birth name… hmm…

This Trans*Code takes place in central London from the 27^th to the 28^th of March. You can get tickets via Eventbrite Trans*Code