I start this post with a trigger warning if you don’t like emotional posts read no further than this because believe me this post going to be as emotional as it has it ever been in the history of tartan tights. You see this is a birthday letter to a younger blogger who though I haven’t met have has become one of my closest and most valued friends. Yes bloggers do form friendships before we’ve ever met and believe me I’m so glad I’ve found this one. So for those of you who can cope with the emotional stuff I hope you enjoy reading my birthday letter to my friend and virtual daughter Jessica Lauren Hatcher.
As a Glaswegian and a Celtic fan who supporters an independent Scotland, I used to hate this day and despised it with a passion you will find difficult to understand. Well it was the day after my birthday and was also my parents anniversary. I was their fourth year anniversary present but these weren’t the reasons I hated the 12th of July. The real reason I detested this day more than any other, was a so-called cultural event which barely registers a blip in the South west of England where you were born and raised but causes untold stress and fear in both Scotland and Northern Ireland. I refer of course to the orange walk.
To me this was the day that represented everything I loathed about being British. It was a day for the most obnoxious kind of protestant to parade and flaunt their hatred of catholics with tunes of bitterness on the streets of our towns and cities. It was a day for staying indoors and battening down the hatches to keep myself safe from the drunken hoarders who were littering my city with those bigoted bile ridden attitudes.
You see being a child of what some people in the west of Scotland would call a mixed marriage a protestant mum and a catholic dad, it is fair to say that I never had any issues with what church my friends choose not to attend on Sunday mornings but trust me Jess in Glasgow this was an issue and to some extent it still is. Though I will admit, the impact on my city is nowhere near as bad as it was in the years of my youth. So having set it in context you can see why this day divides both communities and families.
I have to say my attitude to this particular day has changed in the past year or so and there is one reason for that change and it’s you. Yes you have read this right you have changed my outlook to the 12th of July and changed it totally and completely You see to me it is no longer the day for prejudice and fear it is a day for princesses and fashion and if that last statement sounds like I am
wearing my rose coloured glasses then let me admit that I am and I am happy to do so.
I say this despite the fact that as yet we haven’t actually met , but in spite of this you bring out that softer maternal side I know I was born to have. It is and I’ll admit it very openly the biggest regret of my life that as a trans woman I can’t have children of my own. However I have to say that becoming part of that wonderful community you and I know as the blogosphere has given me the gift of virtual daughters from all over Britain.
Now you will know who I’m talking about when I say that Amie, Becky, Davina, and Jasmine have very big places in my heart but trust me missy, nobody can beat my golden girl. Why is this ? well I think it’s because I see slightly more similarities in our natures than I do with the others and you know how much I love each one of them and the reasons why.
To me you’re the most openly sensitive of all my blogging family and like me you wear your heart on your sleeve. I know emotions can
get messy on occasion and when that happens it can be a nightmare but if everyone was as honest as you then it would happen far less frequently than it does and the world would be a far kinder place because of it.
Now I can’t remember exactly when we started chatting though I would guess it wasn’t long after the 2015 General Election as that’s when I started getting involved in the blogger chat groups which now play such a massive part in my life.
What I can remember however, is that time when you were looking for guest bloggers to cover your blog whilst you were on a well deserved holiday. On reading that you were looking for bloggers to post for you, I seized the day and asked for a slot. To be honest I was gobsmacked when you accepted and gave me the chance to guest post for you. I thought the topic would be a challenging one for you but no, not only did you embrace it you also encouraged me to do something I had never done in any post until then and that was to use photographs in my post.
I must admit I was a wee bit apprehensive at trying this, but you told me I could do it and by sending you the photographs I wanted to include (and I have to say you did a fantastic job by the way) they you used them to highlight my story and give the maximum impact for the post
As far as I’m concerned our collaboration has to me has resulted in two significant benefits for me. The first benefit is blog related as due to your persistence I have learned a new skill and that is to use photography in my blog as and when appropriate. The second is a bit more personal and that is I have gained a friend who I hope will stay in my life for a very long time. I hope you realise the difference you have made to me and you know how proud I am of all you’ve done and all I know you’ll do.
On the face of it ours is unlikely friendship the middle aged trans woman whose a member of the SNP and has met our first minister on more than a few occasions and the shy young English girl who was still in her teens when we first chatted. But, and this is an indisputable fact it is that unlikely as it is it’s a friendship that’s worked.
I think I’ve said almost everything I needed to so this letter is almost over Jess, but I’ll end it as I started by taking you on virtual journey to Glasgow. There are people I need to tell you about and though they are no longer here among us it’s important that you know about them. You see 59 years ago John Smith married Mary Russell and four years later they brought me in to the world. Due to my biology they were never blessed with a grandchild Yet 21 years ago a baby girl was born 600 miles from the place they called home who if circumstances had been different would have been the perfect granddaughter for them a girl they would have loved and who I know would have made them very proud. I think you may know the girl
I’m talking about.
Her name is Jessica Lauren Hatcher.
Lots Of Love Always