I don’t know if you have been watching the TV series of Katie Piper ‘my beautiful friends’, but I have found it very inspiring. It was on TV for quite a few weeks and after I saw the first episode I just happen to stumble across her book in WHSmiths the next day. I devoured it in a few days (good for me, as I am a slow reader being Dyslexic). After which I of course avidly watched the programme each week.
If you are not aware of her, Katie Piper was a 24 year old beautiful girl trying to make her way in TV and modelling. After being with a new boyfriend for a very short while, he brutally raped her and forced her not to tell the police. Imprisoned in her own home in fear, he coaxed her out of her flat to meet him. Once on the pavement a man, who had been paid by her boyfriend, threw acid in her face. She spent the next few years having life saving and reconstructive surgery. The impressive thing which struck me was that she is not bitter or angry or vengeful and how she kept her sense of humour.
I found myself thinking of the similarities between the disfigured friends she made, in trying to set up a charity to help others like herself, and trans people. I was uncomfortable in my thoughts i.e. people in public stare, point, whisper (and are sometimes not so subtle) in talking about seeing someone different. But then people who are disfigured cannot take the make-up off, they don’t have a choice, they can’t take their face off. However you know my strength of feeling that being transgender is equally not a choice. If you are transsexual and transitioning you cannot help that your appearance may be something in-between genders. Both trans people and disfigured people are undoubtedly brave, as the public can be cruel when they see someone outside of the norm.
What I absolutely love was that several of the thoughts, concepts and beliefs that Katie has, and shared with others in the programme which really inspired them and I think in some cases changed their lives, resonate with many of the thoughts and wishes I have for trans people, both in this blog and in my book.
You can’t let what others think, or how others react to you, stop you from living your life as you, being true to yourself. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Celebrate being different, being different from others doesn’t make you any less beautiful; you are beautiful sometimes because of your differences. I personally genuinely think Katie is more beautiful now than before, you can tell she is a beautiful person. Just as Katie wants to make the issue of disfigured people much more known, understood and tolerated by the public more sensitively, that is exactly what I want for trans people.
I highly recommend you catch Katie and her beautiful friends on 4oD and hope that if you are living in hiding, that you can take some inspiration from the incredible people in this programme.