The Vanity Fair Cover

I’ve kept quiet on the Caitlin Jenna thing. I wish her all the best, but I also had some problems when I saw the cover. It felt too… suggestive. Too posed, as if sex is the only reason someone transitions between genders.

But thanks to my friend Jenn Dolari, there’s now an amazing social media campaign which aims to show the myriad of faces of transgender people.

I had to take part, too.

As per my post on Tumblr:

Nikki VF cover

Because you know that there are some truly wonderful trans people out there doing great work to help and educate and inform.

And I’m just a lowly journalist who has had it pretty easy in life: I transitioned when I was at college. I had a supportive family. I live in a country where I wasn’t put in prison or relegated to a second-class citizen.

And in my time since – I’m now in my mid thirties – I’ve only ever had a handful of people in fifteen years kick up a fuss about who I am or where I come from.

Yes, when I came out, someone told me I’d never work with children, or have a family. Or have a life. Luckily, I’ve done all three. I have a career which I’m proud of.

Not everyone is so lucky. So it’s time for me to stand up too. Thanks jenndolari, who I’ve known now for many, many years, and had the pleasure of working alongside too.

As for the photo? It was one taken by someone who I consider a good friend and colleague. Although we’ve known each other for some time, this time we were working together we ended up talking frankly and honestly about my experiences transitioning. It reminded me that what now feels normal and everyday for me sometimes requires a little extra processing time for other people. Regardless, my friends are awesome.