Please don’t call me A Girl Called Jack. I have something to tell you.

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First published in the New Statesman on 20 October 2015. If you are a journalist or other media outlet, please scroll to the bottom of this piece and read carefully.


“URGENT: Legal warning: Jack Monroe has requested you do not publish her birth name (*******) in the future.” 

I love a Google alert. That particular nugget of joy pinged into my inbox courtesy of political gossip blogger “Guido Fawkes”, less than an hour after lawyers had sent the final letter in a lengthy dispute with the Daily Mail for an article written in August claiming that “Jack” was not my “real” name. The article was eventually amended, with no apology or admittance of liability, and the correspondence marked private and confidential was leaked – as though I, not the Mail, were in the wrong. On cue, the trolls filled my timeline with my deadname, with 140-character questions about my genitalia, sexuality, parenting ability, in gifs and memes and puerile attacks.

In hindsight, they did me a favour. Psychiatrists sometimes use a technique called “flooding” to help conquer phobias, exposing their client to their particular fear again and again and again until they have the coping mechanisms to deal with it. If I were being generous, I would thank Paul Staines and his griping band of internet warriors for saving me hundreds of pounds and several painful hours in therapy, as a seven-letter proper noun that once immobilised me now bounces off me. I recently had a group of bees tattooed on my forearm, a tribute to the English translation of the name given to me shortly after I was born. It was for my parents, and for the years spent in that skin.

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I wasn’t the first in my immediate family to change my name. My older brother adopted his middle name from the age of five, and my youngest brother, now nine years old, changed his name the year before I did. My parents have excellent taste in knitwear, but I think by now they’ve resigned themselves to their offspring exchanging their names for new ones. Everyone knows that Caitlyn Jenner’s real name is Caitlyn Jenner, and any media outlet who refers to her by her deadname is an insecure bullying asshole. And by the way, Guido, my birth name was “Baby”. I was a few months premature, and my parents kind of weren’t ready for me. I’m not sure they ever will be.

Three days before the Mail-Guido-Twitter triumvirate, I had come out as transgender. Non-binary, transgender, to be precise. It was National Coming Out day, I was on my way home from a 1,000 mile round trip from Southend to Glasgow via Manchester and back again to to talk about austerity at Scottish Green Party Conference, and I was tired of my closet full of Underworks binders and denial. I typed the words, saved the tweet as a draft, and tried to call my Dad. He didn’t answer, so I texted him instead before I lost my nerve. “How are things?” he asked. “Ok. I’m about to come out as transgender. I hope we can talk about it some time.” He replied three minutes later, three minutes I’m not ashamed to admit I spent gripping my phone so hard that the small crack in the screen now splits from top to bottom. “Of course you can talk to me. It matters not one jot how you express yourself. Unless you become a Tory. Then you can fuck off :)”

I breathed out, reassured him via Aneurin Bevan that “no amount of cajolery, no attempt at ethical or social seduction” would make me join the Conservative Party, and came out to the world with the prod of a finger.

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Love poured in, drowning out the few predictable hurtful, hateful messages, and many nonchalant but supportive messages of actually-not-surprised. I changed my Instagram username to MxJackMonroe to match my surprisingly progressive bank details, dropped the “A Girl Called…” from the title of my Facebook page, and am working on doing the same for my blog. I love and am proud of my first cookbook, as a reflection of where and who I was at the time, and have no regrets about the title, but my third may not carry the “A Girl Called…” branding. I’m not a girl. I’m not a boy either. As Ruth Hunt, CEO of Stonewall said at Labour Party Conference earlier this year, “not all transgender people will transition in the way that you think you understand it”.

Non binary, in simple terms, means outside of the binary gender norms of “male” and “female”. It’s somewhere in between, one of the many many shades between the society-imposed candy pink and baby blue. It’s being shoved in bars for looking like a “pretty fucking poof” with a skinhead and a short sleeved shirt and standing at 5’3’’. It’s being thrown out of female bathrooms in nightclubs by confused and sometimes angry toilet attendants. It’s the “What ARE you?” from ignorant, belligerent officers at US airports time and time again as my name and appearance don’t quite match up to the gender stated on my passport. It’s more than teenage tomboy angst, although that’s how it manifested itself for years, as I stole my brother’s poloshirts, gave up ballet for martial arts competititons, and prayed to a God I half-believed in to turn me into a boy “for a day”. If the book Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl? by Sarah Savage and Fox Fisher had been around when I was growing up, I might have understood myself before the age of 27.

I legally changed my name by deed poll immediately after leaving Essex County Fire and Rescue Service at the end of 2011. I had been thinking about it for years, but found the thought of strolling into the mess room and demanding that my colleagues call me something else terrifying – for all the questions I knew I would be unable to answer, for the potential for deadnaming and bullying in a not-particularly-tolerant organisation. Not a great place to be gay, let alone genderqueer. I missed my own passing out parade in 2008 because “female” dress uniform was a knee length skirt, sheer tights and high heeled court shoes. I asked the tailor to measure me for trousers. He refused. “It’s the way it’s always been,” he shrugged. “Old chief liked the girls in skirts.” He laughed. I didn’t. When I asked to change the rules, my Watch Officer handed me my copy of the Code Of Conduct, pointing out the uniform regulations that I had signed. I hung my skirt in my locker and let it gather dust, and stayed in bed while the squad I had trained with for 12 weeks proudly held their heads high for friends and family. I’m missing from my team photo, all for the want of a pair of trousers. I wore combat trousers to work every day, but my value on the parade ground was measured in a denier, a skirt length, a heel height, rather than personal qualities and attributes, skills, and rigorous training.

And so, with nobody to finally answer or explain to, I changed my name. I cut my hair short. I revelled in my hard, masculine body – before I left, I had been training hard with the hope of moving from the Control room to the fireground full time, spending break times and down time in the gym, downing protein shakes, visiting Service Training Centre in Witham regularly to test myself against the firefighter fitness standards and meeting them with flying colours. I was strong, broad shouldered, I could bench press the Queen* (*my weightlifting chart was, for motivational purposes, set at benchmarks like “12 tins of beans”, “a small marsupial” and “The Queen”). I had earmarked two trees in my local park that were the right distance apart for the bleep test. I was fit. I looked like this:

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But this wasn’t new. This wasn’t a 2011 reincarnation born of being spat into a world of unemployment and the loss of identity that my uniform gave me. I recently insisted on digging out the family photo albums one Sunday at my parents house – my mother is an impressive documenter, and an entire cupboard bulges with grainy snaps annotated in her intricate joined-up hand. Me, aged seven, in a baseball cap and jeans. Me, aged twelve, with a one-inch crop all over my head. Me, aged thirteen, insisting on wearing trousers to school like my friend Z. Sixteen brought the first of many skinheads, seventeen was my first bandages wrapped around my chest, forays into mens clothing stores with my meagre wages from whatever café or coffee shop I was working in at the time for ill-fitting suits from bemused middle aged men who harrumphed into their tape measures and shook their heads.

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Yet the increasing collection of tight vests, flamboyant ties, too-small sports bras and oversized suit jackets was punctuated with occasional “femme flails” into charity shops for tea dresses and sky-high heels, an enviable collection of costume jewellery and red lipsticks, rarely worn past my own front door. I gritted my teeth and put a frock on for a few hours for my parents wedding vow renewal, running home to change into my trusty ill-fitting suit after the official photos had been taken – though the gritted teeth did me no favours for those, and neither did my self-shaved head. We live and learn.

I found non-binary friends opening up to me about their feelings again and again, ranging from surgery questions to querying sexuality and gender dysphoria – and I answered them with ease, not stopping to ask myself why I was awake at night researching a double mastectomy on the internet, or foods with high testosterone levels, or bodyweight exercises for building shoulders and arms. I have spent about ten years as a sounding board for friends’ transitions and expressions, while burying my own. I confided in one former school friend down the pub one night while watching their boyfriend’s band, and they wrote down where they bought their waistcoats, taught me that a big scarf can hide a multitude of unwanted lumps and bumps, and that two pairs of thick insoles in a-size-too-big loafers can do wonders for your confidence.

I was living with a former girlfriend (NOT VERY RECENTLY – there has been some hurtful speculation about this and it is NOBODY in the public eye) when I first said the words out loud a few weeks later: “I’ve been thinking about getting top surgery…one day.” She hit the roof. “I fancy GIRLS babe, GIRLS. What the fuck?” She accused me of deceiving her, I retreated to the sofa for the remainder of our shattered relationship, our wedding plans reduced to whether I would wear a suit or a dress and her pre-emptively mourning the loss of my double-Ds. When someone tells you that the core of your relationship is your bra size, you hightail and run. When I was cast in a Sainsburys advert a few weeks later, I wore a chest binder to the audition to eliminate any awkward surprises later on.

A life lived in public is both a blessing and a curse. I am humbled and awed by the messages I receive from readers about learning to cook and their own stories of survival. People lay out their histories and their futures in my inboxes and letterbox every single day. As I said in a recent interview for the Women Of The Future award, I don’t consider myself a leader. I live my life and do what I love and feel strongly about, and every now and again when I turn around there are people behind me helping me on. I am here, writing and talking about this at last, because I stand on the shoulders of giants, those pioneers who have gone before me and pushed for these conversations, the activists who have tirelessly lobbied Parliament for changes to laws that unfairly affect transgender and non binary people, those who told their stories years ago, before Channel 4 had a “trans season”. Thank you to Ruth Hunt, Ruby Rose, Fox Fisher, Sarah Savage, Paris Lees, Rebecca Root, Captain Hannah Winterbourne, Laurie Penny, Bethany Black, Fish, Georgi and CJ especially.

And to old boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers and fleeting friends: I’m so fucking sorry. Sorry for all the times I vanished into myself, or into the distance, into bed or bottles or week-long benders, internally raging with disappointment and confusion and despair and self loathing. To my brother – I’m sorry I insisted on wearing a suit to your wedding like an asshole but I was right, nobody noticed or cared what I was wearing because they were so busy loving and celebrating you and your beautiful wife. Except ‘that’ Uncle, who told me I looked like ‘a fucking poofter’ and I cried in the gardens holding my young son, scared I had spoiled your day.

To the boyfriends – me coming out doesn’t ‘make you gay’ any more than it makes me deceptive. I had no idea – so how could you?

To the lesbian community – thank you so much for your love and support over recent years. Please don’t now reject me from women-only or lesbian spaces. The L-word doesn’t fit comfortably any more, not 100% of the time, but neither do my jeans and I wouldn’t dream of throwing them away. Allies and friends and supporters are important. Quibbling about genitals and testosterone isn’t.

To A – simply, thankyou. Your love and support gave me the space and freedom I needed to dig deep and finally thrash this out, and thankyou. There aren’t really the right words right now, so thankyou.

To Georgi, for sending me Ruby Rose’s video ‘Break Free’ last year, I will be eternally grateful for the puzzle pieces and the safety net of the last 10 years of friendship, love and kindness.

And to my parents – I have some great reading material and resources for you, to help answer any questions and to explain it to the children in a non-sensational and sensitive way, when they and you are ready. You haven’t lost a daughter, you’re gaining another son. Sort of. Oh god it’s complicated but e’ll get there. The GIRES website is a good place to start.

I’m sorry I kept it in for so long. The last two weeks since I came out, I have had no anxiety attacks, no panic attacks, no heart funnies, I have walked taller, laughed louder, sang out loud to myself. I will be donating my old ‘femme flail’ clothing and accessories to transgender support groups and womens refuges, with the exception of one very special pair of high heels and my Kate Spade bag that looks like a car dashboard, because gender norms are so passe and I could rock both of those with a full on beard, Conchita style, if it came to it.

Love and light and the weight of a thousand worlds thrown from my shoulders,

Jack Monroe.

Me, Captain Hannah Winterbourne and Fox Fisher.

Me, Captain Hannah Winterbourne and Fox Fisher.


NOTES FOR JOURNALISTS/MEDIA/ETC:

Name: Jack Monroe. Real name: Jack Monroe. On my passport and bank account: Jack Monroe. Name assigned at birth: None of your business, and of no relevance to your story.

Pronouns: Pronouns are how you refer to a person when not using their name. Please use ‘they/them/their’ in place of ‘she/her’ etc. They/them pronouns are grammatically correct when used to denote a single person, although common usage is plural. It might look odd at first but it’s definitely okay.

Photographs: I deliberately took the time to have updated portfolio photographs taken after I came out as transgender, please replace old stock or file photos with these ones. I’ll be adding older photos to the portfolio over the next few days, but please respect that I am at the start of a lengthy transitional period and using old photos with a much-despised Photoshop-enhanced chest (for example) is just not cool. I can’t erase those photos from the archives of the internet and nor would I want to, but don’t be an irrelevant, disrespectful, outdated asshole. It’s not about vanity, it’s about sanity. I spend 16 hours a day in a tight neoprene binding vest so I don’t have to see those DDs, I don’t want to see them when I open a newspaper. Use these: Portfolio Photos for Press & Media Use

Everything else: For everything else, here’s a handy style guide from All About Trans. If you don’t have one in your office, please print it out and stick it up until it becomes second nature and I and the wider transgender community will thank you for it.
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Thanks! If you have any questions please email me on justjackmonroe@gmail.com – I am very easy to contact for fact checking and quotes. Daily Mail, I’m throwing you serious shade over here. And that’s it.

Jack Monroe. Twitter.com/DrJackMonroe   Instagram.com/MxJackMonroe

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Categories: Blog

271 Comments »

  1. Thank you Jack. Since someone I know told me recently that they’re non-binary I have been really struggling to take them seriously and not mentally dismiss it as fussing or a phase. (I think maybe it’s easy to identify with a “victim” whose “trapped in the wrong body”, but stepping out of the cultural norms of gender altogether is harder to understand?) But somehow the way you express it makes sense to me and thereby helps me take them more seriously too.
    PS your dad sounds cool
    PPS I really like the weightlifting analgoies

    • Need to echo PPS here, not in having someone else close to me but in feeling that you have given me perspective. You explain yourself so freely that I can be but jealous of your creative expression and ability to communicate it. Love your blogging on all subjects.

  2. Good job Jack so proud of you for being authentic!!! It’s been wonderful sharing in your journey, and to be honest I was really excited that you came out as trans*. Be good to yourself and be you. You are loved and accepted already by so many. Best! 🙂

  3. Ahh yes. I’m also in the unsurprised category, but it’s a brave thing to say out loud especially if you’re in the public eye.

    I hope you well in future, whatever it brings. And I LOL’d at the Tory comment, for real 😉

  4. Hold tight and hang in there Jack. You have a lot of love and support out here.

    Kate Owens-Palmer
    Psychotherapist and mother of a gender curious daughter

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  5. Jack, you are very obviously a beautiful, generous human being. It matters not what gender you are. I’m a very binary female but I’m sure we’d get on a like a house on fire if ever we met! Wishing you happiness, light and love xx

  6. DearJack,

    You are real and life can be a bitch. I’ve been an opera chorister for my working life and had many colleagues who’ve been gay or bi or whatever. I’ll be 72 this coming week and wanted to be a C of E clergyman, but I never fitted the bill. I’ve finally recognised that squeezing oneself into a pigeon hole is not what it’s about. Please, please, please be happy with who you are. You always come over as honest and true and that’s more than most folk can manage. I’m sure that you will be a good mother and father to your son, and what more can be asked of anyone. All the best, Emlyn

  7. You are a good deal braver than I am. I’ve been non binary for 57 years and have been too afraid to admit it either to myself (call it conditioning) that changed as the pressure grew, or to those closest to me. Could I ever? Maybe not since the outside is 180 degrees opposite the inside unfortunately. The world may be ready for Jack it isn’t ready for Carrie.

    • I beg you to start, MH. You only get one life! Start slowly. Live authentically to yourself. Start going to another town and having a day out now and then as Carrie, and build it up. It doesn’t have to be one all big “coming out parade” (although that’s nice, too). You can start living a life more authentic to who you are. Sending positive energy your way Carrie x x

  8. Everything you have said is very important and I don’t wish to be flippant, but I just can’t get over what a brilliant writer you are to boot!

  9. Your dad is awesome – what a brilliant response! And I am in awe of how honest and well-written this article is. 🙂

  10. Reblogged this on But What Do I Know? and commented:
    Dr Jack Monroe is an inspiring speaker, who had heartbreaking things to say about living in poverty at the Scottish Greens Conference a couple of weeks ago, and well deserved the ovation that they got. Congratulations to them for, that same weekend, coming out as transgender and non-binary.

  11. “I don’t consider myself a leader. I live my life and do what I love and feel strongly about”
    I think as openly LGBT and fighting poverty, on the internet, as a public figure (public figure – heh!) you can’t help but be a leader – especially now that you’ve come out as transgender. I can’t imagine how raw things are, and I can only hope that the worst of the internet stays away from you. But there will be scores more of people – frightened, hurting people – you will actually touch, you will actually lead.
    Caitlyn Jenner is… a bit unreal, living somewhere in Celebrityville. You have bared your soul and fought for people who can’t give you anything back – you are everything human. You are brave

    I see you. I hope that you feel love.

  12. I applaud your bravery, Jack Monroe, and I look forward to the day when every type of human being is viewed as being whoever they identify as without discrimination. Sadly, it’s not today, but every equality movement starts with a brave minority standing up to be counted.

  13. Honest respect to you Jack. Its brasses me off that the bloody media and trolls tried to rip you apart. Your strength is awesome.

  14. I had tears in my eyes reading your post. You’ve been an absolute inspiration to me for years and I’m so happy that you are living your authentic life. You remain so brave, dignified and empathetic in the face of so much negativity and ignorance. I’m having a glass of cheeky rose in your honour right now 🙂 xx

  15. Am I the only one who initially just assumed Jack was short for something like Jacqueline?

    Though I think I did read your birth name in the Guardian or on Wikipedia at some point.

    Very sorry to hear the circumstances of the break up you refer to, and agree with the above about your Dad. And terrible how you were treated with that uniform at that ceremony 😦

    As for the trolls, try not to let them grind you down and keep up your amazing work.

  16. This has been an eye opener for me as I’ve never heard of “non-binary”. However, I applaud you, Jack, for being so open and honest in the face of what must feel like a personal attack on your very soul.
    It matters not one single fuck what people think or say about you as long as you are true to yourself.
    I must take a tiny issue with your dads comment (although I agree, he is wonderful): this isn’t about expressing yourself; it’s just about BEING who you really are. You’re not an art installation. You’re a human. Nothing more, nothing less.

  17. I don’t read crap in papers,I have minimal time for most news reports.
    All I know is that u inspire many people..not just us single mums trying to do the best for our little ones…but all of us just trying to plod on day to day.
    Stuff anyone who has negative bitching comments..it only shows that your life is infinitely more interesting than their own.
    We should pity them as they are truly sad little lowlifes.
    Hang in their Jack.you inspire so many people.. embrase all the positives. We all love u. Loux & crew xx

  18. Good for you Jack! I am so pleased you have had the courage to do this. I am proud of you, which is a bit weird because we don’t actually know each other! Also…how brilliant is your Dad?? Very best wishes, Karen x

  19. Wonderfully expressed, Jack.
    The world is too caught up in categorising things – male/female/trans, straight/LBGT, black/white, young/old- you get the picture. But you are wholly unique. You don’t need a label. You need only to live a life true to yourself. Do the things you enjoy, dress how you want, love how you want, figure it out along the way and let others catch up when they’re ready, or fall behind. You don’t owe kindness and explanation for those who seek to hate and degrade your being. Focus on the ones you love and what you’re passionate about.
    Sending love and good vibes from Australia x x

  20. Wow! I feel humbled….
    As someone who has followed your blogs and recipes for a while now, and this may sound odd, I am so proud of you!
    You’ve shared so much of yourself and I, in turn, have promoted you to friends and family, that I feel as proud as I would were you my own son or daughter.
    Too many people are too judgmental and you share with us in spite of other people’s small mindedness.
    Keep on doing what you’re doing x

  21. I had to google what non binary transgender meant, but you have done good work and you are a wonderful person that has been through a lot. Don’t think it matters ’bout much else.

  22. You are beautiful and you will always be beautiful as long as you remain true to yourself.

    I watched your speech at the SGP conference and you made my cry.

    Be happy.

  23. You are a brave, wonderful human being and a real inspiration.
    Plus your socca pizza recipe is bloody wonderful, not that that’s here or there.
    I present as female, but am also somewhere in that lilac in between land of gender, too. But you know, we never question spectrums when it comes to height or weight or Skin colour, etc. very sadly, modern society in most places still has a long way to go.

    And it’s brave, open, eloquent people such as yourself who are doing such a vital thing in educating others in empathy for those who have different genders. Thank you, and my warmest wishes to you. You’re doing so much good in so many ways. Keep going.

  24. 😀
    Call me unsurprised. Your dad is awesome and so are you. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either stupid or needs to take a hard look at themselves!
    I have loved your posts on food and politics and will continue to love them I suspect.
    You’re a very real person Jack and for someone like me (binary female) you and others provide a window which opens my eyes.
    I agree with what many of the commenters above have said. Haters gotta hate, but they can get stuffed, *we* know better!
    Do you have a particular pronouns preference?
    Sending love & hugs to all.

  25. Jack,

    Your silences seem to precede big news.

    Yay for you for the self knowledge and the acknowledgement.

    I am so sorry that your relationship took a dive over this, and hope that SB is making the adjustments as well as he can to changes.

    I add my applause to the group here, and trust we can offset the negative responses.

    Please keep cooking, pricing food, and keeping the eyes of the politicians on the possible solutions to the down trodden in all areas.

    And may family be more valuable to all as you need each other.

  26. I see my youngest to be the same as you… no matter what, believe in yourself; I will always love who you are regardless of what others believe

  27. Jack, you are my hero/heroine! Bravo/brava! I remember when you came out two or three years ago. I thought that was very brave of you. And now this. You mentioned a while back that you might be gender-fluid. I had never heard the term, but seemed to understand it. The other post today about your heart attacks was upsetting. We have all watched you bud, blossom, and flower from a single mom to a public figure. You are awe-inspiring. You were put on this earth to educate us all, I think, in how to be a real person. A human. You are tough, and kind, and brilliant, and inventive. Please, please, start writing a book for all the kids that feel like you and don’t know what to do.I couldn’t be prouder of you if you were my own child. I wish you lived in the US so we could be friends. Maybe we can be internet friends. I wish you would have an address where we could send you gifts, or donations to make your life a little more luxurious. I guess you have lost your partner, and I’m sorry. Try to ignore all the evil people. Run for Parliament!
    Ann from across the pond.

  28. I’m with your dad here.
    You’re still you & probably a more authentic and happier version of you. That can only be a good thing.

  29. Thanks. For your honesty, candor, courage, not always necessarily in that order. ‘Deadname,’ never heard the term, but immediately obvious. Tougher than me…

  30. Many times your writings have moved me to tears. Many times your stories have moved me to anger and despair. But this time you have moved me to smiles, for who cannot be happy when a young person becomes free and flies……
    Male, female, transgender what are these but a label for somebody else’s benefit. Your life is your own and I congratulate you on claiming it.

  31. I started reading your works when I was in a bad, dark place. You inspired me and helped to get me through. No once did questions about your sexuality or gender occur to me. You are one hell of a human being! Thank you.

  32. I truly admire your honesty and cannot begin to understand the pain and abuse you have suffered.
    I know you will think me naive but I fail to see what your gender has to do with anyone else except those you love.

  33. You know I’ve only recently found out about your blog and become a follower.I love the recipes,find the social content interesting and must admit the shallow man in me thought “hey she’s very attractive as well”
    So obviously on reading this bombshell I realise I should immediately, burn your book unfollow you and have feelings of revulsion towards myself. But bizarrely I don’t feel the urge to do any of those.For some strange reason despite new information about you,the blog is still good,the recipes still taste great and you’re still very attractive.
    I guess that must make me very strange in the eyes of a certain tabloid.
    Of course I couldn’t vouch for my feelings if you had come out as a Tory.

    Keep up the good work
    Rob

    • Great comments Rob – made me smile!

      Jack, we met briefly at a motorway service station coming back down from Scotland a couple of weekends ago – I accosted you and complimented you on your book (my daughter has it at Uni)
      I have been reading your blog on and off for a while now and thought what a very nice & down to earth person you were. After meeting you my opinion didn’t change – and after reading this, my opinion has still not changed. Lovely, articulate and ballsy! Good for you x

  34. Just when I thought I couldn’t admire you anymore then I already did. Thank you for all thar you do, and all that you are. You are an amazing human being, and a beacon of light in what can be a bloody depressing world. I can’t wait for your new book…. I’m soooo glad you’re not a Tory!

  35. I have so much I want to say but I’m so incoherent affer reading this this entry. You’re so brave, wonderful, and an inspiration. I want to hug you for all the work you’ve done and people you’ve directly and indirectly helped. I’m happy you get to be you Jack, I hope you get the support you deserve. X X X

  36. Hi Jack

    Still think you are a very inspirational person and keep up the good work being YOU.
    Love your books and don’t get bent out of shape over the mean people in this world. 😊😊😊😊

  37. I don’t really understand why it matters to anyone what you ‘are’ except for the fact that you are, clearly, an amazing human being. Your writing is incredible and inspiring to thousands of people I imagine. I can’t get my head around idiots who read the Daily Fail and then bully someone they don’t know (well, bully anyone obviously!). As for your name, it is yours to choose for yourself – my very girlie, pink loving, large breasted, tiny, 44 year old sister calls herself Jack after her much loved dad, short for Jacqueline but changed by deed poll. Hold your head high and be proud of who and what you are saying and all that you have achieved – much more than any trolling imbecile will ever do.

  38. I think you are an amazing, inspirational person x your blog helped me through many a tough week, and although our challenges are different, you have continued to show me how much strength we all have within. Thank you, thank you, thank you

  39. Dear Jack
    Live your life the way you choose and sod the ones that choose to think that they have a right to criticise.
    Take Care
    Rosa X

    Sent from my iPhone

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  40. It matters not one bit to me what your name is, what your gender is, what your sexual orientation may be. It matters that you are a good person, someone who cares and some who is not afraid to show that. I began to listen to you shortly after the election. I was sad and your thoughts, your opinions, your experiences resonated with me and that was enough. Dance to your own tune Jack, we are here only a moment so make it count. People like you are few and far between x

  41. I have nothing but admiration for you – it is your right to be as you want to be in life and standing up and saying ‘I am who I am’ is absolutely admiral. Thank you for sharing you clearly very personal story with the world (& me). And when the ‘trolls’ come knocking – just remember there are plenty of us who love what you do, how you do it and have nothing but the deepest respect for you.

  42. Was looking at a few quotes in relation to this – liked this one the most…
    “We spend so long trying to be what other people want,
    that when we look in the mirror,
    we see a stranger.”
    ― Anthony T. Hincks

  43. You are you, I’ve never question what gender you are or even what is your sexually preference, everybody is just a person trying to live their life, which is not always easy these days

  44. I really don’t get why idiots like the Daily Mail are even vaguely interested in whether you like girls or boys or both and whether you want to be a girl or a boy…….how does that have any relevance to whether your recipe for 7 different ways to stuff a chickpea works or not?

    As for the double D’s – how come they didn’t turn into a couple of deflated tea bags when you had a baby? Life can be incredibly unfair!

  45. Mazel tov! You are an inspiritational individual, talented in so many ways and beautiful beyond boundaries that should need no explanation but rather welcome and acceptance.

  46. Great article, Jack. Lovely to know your Dad’s so supportive. That little snippet said so much about what personal fears were going on in your head about what he’d think about you coming out. I could almost feel the relief myself!

  47. Thanks for sharing. I have a young daughter who has identified herself as a boy since she was two. After trying to make her wear pretty dresses, I realised it was making us both miserable. Now, despite years of constant protests from family, she dresses as she likes, has short hair, and wants to change her name. She may change again, after all she is so young, but I refuse to push her one way or the other. I just enjoy watching her grow. Stories like yours help educate those of us who have no experience in these matters, which is very important. My daughter came home from school yesterday, telling me that she fancied an older girl in school. In my world, nobody is prepared to talk about such matters. I always want her to be honest with me about who she (or they – perhaps I need to get used to that now!) is so that I can support her every step of the way. Thanks again for continuing to educate me and best wishes. Great photos BTW!

    • What an enlighted mum! You touched my heart!
      You might not be an expert in facing matters that were far from your world, but once you are at least willing to understand them, you are already one step ahead.

  48. Once again you’ve shown the world just how strong you are. I can’t imagine how much courage it took to say/write this. Ignore the haters and keep fighting. One day none of this will matter and it will be because of people like you. Well done.

  49. I am so pleased that you are able to live your life the way that you want to and hope that one day guidance on pronouns etc will not be necessary. I empathize with the heart issue having unexpectedly ended up in a cardiac unit and then having to wear a monitor earlier this year! Take care of yourself, love yourself and spoil yourself . You and your little one are the most important people to concentrate on.

  50. Good luck Jack. I must admit the word deadname was new to me. But google soon explained it. It’s your right to call yourself whatsoever you wish. People should respect that in all cases except where said people are setting out to deliberately deceive others for personal ill gotten gains. You’re not as you are very open about your gender indentity.

  51. I agree with all those who have commented that your gender has never occurred to me as an issue. Love your writing, and you really are an inspiring person. You are who you are – good on you, and stay that way!

  52. A brilliant article. You didn’t have to explain yourself to anyone, but in doing so in the public eye you will have helped loads of trans people to be more understood and accepted. You are amazing! I love reading your blogs and following you on twitter.

  53. I never comment on blogs in fact I think you’re the only one I follow! I started reading after being in a real shitty place work wise and was so inspired by your work. Your book was top of Xmas list and I got it but for me it was more than the recipes… It was you and the messages you conveyed.

    I don’t really know where Im going with this as I say I just felt compelled to write something, to say thank you and that I wish you a lifetime of happiness! xxx

  54. Bloody hell, stumbled across this article and I’m totally blown away! – did compose another post, but it got long and a bit mushy- so just one word- inspirational. Right, I’m off to browse the site for pumpkin and leek recipes (as originally planned).

  55. Near to tears by the end of this post. It seems an extraordinary thing that you have been driven to such personal disclosures for the perceived temerity of discovering and living your personal authenticity. I am in awe of your quiet heroism and wish you every happiness.

  56. I won’t pretend to understand how it feels to be trans, because I’m not and I’m happy in the skin I was born in (well, could do with losing a bit of flab but you know what I mean!). I can’t imagine what journey you have been on to reach this stage. Good luck with all you do. I really hope the media does’t give you a rough ride but respects the person you are.

  57. You’re an inspiration in everything you do. Ignore the haters, the ignoramuses, the bigots and the prejudiced.

    I’m sorry that something as personal as this has to be played out in the public realm but I salute your actions; you’ll provide encouragement for many others who may follow in your footsteps and will get society talking about these issues.

    At the end of the day, why do we care about peoples gender? Why does it matter if someone is male, female or anything in between? Does it affect who you are? Whether you are a good person or a good worker?

  58. As senior editor of a group of local newspapers, I thank you for the tips on writing transgender stories. I can’t promise we’ll always get it right, but I will try. As a self-identified lesbian I understand how clumsy use of the English language can be hurtful and unnecessary. Love you life

  59. I’ve been following your blog for many years and, like many of the commentators above, think you’re inspirational. But I do have one question – how come prejudice against the LBGT community is unacceptable but prejudice against Tories is? And no, I’m not a Tory and not LBGT. Though I’m about to spend a week on holiday with a group of friends which includes both LBGT people and Tories. Seriously though, Tories are people too – “Unless you become a Tory. Then you can fuck off” is pretty offensive. Maybe you don’t care, but then it sounds pretty hypocritical to get upset when people disrespect LBGT people. Yes, people choose their opinions and not their sexual orientation, but to dismiss the 11m people who voted Tory at the last election shows just the lack of respect that you’re complaining about.

  60. I hope things get easier, and I hope there comes a time when your body becomes more comfortable for you, however that happens. It particularly sucks if other people’s views on what boobs represent end up making you dislike yours. For what it’s worth, I think a growing minority of people are making fewer assumptions about gender based on body shape, and wait for social cues like clothing and manner, and direct instruction.

  61. You are totally awesome – YOU are one of those giants you mentioned in the article! You inspire me – a straight, white, middle-aged Grannie – how much more must you be inspiring those who are wrestling with their identity and with what Society deems one should be. I wish you much happiness.

    with love, Maggie xxxxx

  62. Congratulations Jack, and also a big warm smile for your dad who sounds like a wonderful parent and a great example for all other parents of trans people. Good luck on this new stage your journey 🙂

  63. Thank you for writing this, it really inspired me. I’m an androgyne meself, though happy in my female body (overall, and given that I can’t have both, I think the design is the nicer of the two). People don’t really notices any whiff of queerness to begin with, as I appear straight…until they ask me why it is that only gay men seem to fancy me! It’s largely true, and as most gay guys don’t really want to go out with someone in a woman’s body, I rarely have relationships. That’s been the only tough thing I’ve faced, though. I think I’ve been incredibly lucky, and feel deeply for those who have dysphoria but haven’t really got a viable option transition-wise. I hope so much that repositioning yourself publicly doesn’t bring any more grief, that your health doesn’t suffer again—and most of all, that you’re allowed to go back to just being a person rather than an issue!

  64. This is a new one to me, but some research and reading will help sort that out. A well informed ally is more useful. 🙂

    Live and let live – as long as you, your family and loved ones are cool, whatever the rest of us think is irrelevant as it’s none of our business. But thank you, as always, for being brave and honest. Good luck with this journey, wherever it takes you next.

    I might be willing to make an exception to the above if you join the Tories or accept journalist job at the Mail … 😉

  65. Wow what an article Jack. Doesn’t make a blind bit of difference to me. Makes me angry and sad that you have put up with a lot of unpleasantness.

  66. A quick question of courtesy/good form (if you’ll forgive an ill-informed old dude): when addressing someone whose name you don’t know, either in person or via letter, you would historically have gone with “Excuse me, Madam” or “Dear Sir” etc; what would be an appropriate gender-neutral version?

    Not taking the pi$$; genuinely want to know how to be polite…

    • Interesting question, Bill—for myself, I’d just take the sex/gender of the person out of it. So simply ‘Excuse me’, or ‘Dear friend/colleague/customer/etc’. Be interested to know what Jack thinks, tho. >:o)

    • I’m not Jack, but I’ll take a stab at this – with the caveat that, if they give an answer later, take their word for it. 🙂

      My general answer to this question is actually mostly a question, anyway: consider whether you need the gendered honorific at all. A quick “Pardon me, [may I reach around you to the grocery shelf/do you know the way to Santa Fe/your hair seems to be on fire…]” is polite and unremarkable, and doesn’t depend on your correctly guessing a stranger’s gender.

      I also can’t quite picture a situation where you’d know a letter-recipient’s gender before you knew their name. Historically, one often went with “Dear Sir,” because of course anyone receiving a business letter would be a man, but that’s not especially the case anymore. If you’re writing, say, a cover letter for your resume and don’t know who the HR director is, you stand a poor chance of guessing their gender, either, and run a decent risk of offending them even if they’re not trans; I’d go with something like “Dear HR Director,” or the dull-but-not-incorrect “To whom it may concern.”

      And an answer to a question you didn’t ask: if you are, for example, in a service profession where you’re faced with lots of people all day long, addressing all groups as you would address mixed-gender groups (e.g. “what can I bring you folks?” vs. “what can I bring you ladies?”) is generally unremarkable and safe. Similarly, “thanks so much for shopping at Store Name” is just as good as “thanks for shopping at Store Name, ma’am” in terms of feigned-cheerfulness-to-strangers, and infinitely better in terms of not misgendering your customers.

      Does that help at all?

      —-
      For Jack – congratulations, and I hope that getting the announcement over and done with is a relief. Best of wishes with the follow-up steps of making sure it gets into everyone’s heads. (Also, the mental image I’m taking away from this post is you bench-pressing the Queen.)

      • That does help – thank you!

        As to why one might wish to use Dear Sir or Dear Madam; if one does know the recipient’s name, but wishes to be formal polite (use of the first name might be too informal), then this sort of approach is called for and so on – it’s essentially a formal mark of respect.

        I’m probably just being an old fart about this stuff…

      • I was always taught that for a formal letter, if you didn’t know the gender of the person you were addressing, you simply used “Dear Sir/Madam” as that covered all bases. Perhaps it doesn’t now!

  67. I really hope the press & trolls leave you alone & let you try to enjoy your Son & family. You do not deserve to be ridiculed. We’ll done for continuing to fight back against the bullies. Good luck with the rest of your transition you’ve been an inspiration to many

  68. Once again Jack, you’ve made me laugh and you’ve made me cry. Your writing is outstanding. I don’t care what gender, colour, size, shape you are – keep on blogging your inspirational words please, but also take care of yourself. Your post about the heart incident worried me. Lots of love and very best wishes.

  69. Echoing the sentiments of many commentators on here, i will say that it’s a shame we feel the need to justify ourselves and life choices to anyone .Especially love the journalist tips at the bottom,nice touch! Who people are is of no relevance to me, the content of your blog and further inspirational tips are though! Live and let live is my motto! Please do carry on your excellent blog.

  70. When I first discovered you (probably through a Guardian article or similar, though I’m really not sure), I instantly got wildly excited to see a non-binary person in the media without that being even mentioned. I was a little disappointed when I later found out that you hadn’t come out and that (I assume because of the existence of Small Boy) the general consensus seemed to be you were a straight cis-gender woman who was just a bit ‘alternative’.
    Needless to say, I am delighted you’ve chosen to share your reality. I hope the freedom that brings you will give great joy and happiness. You are a constant inspiration on so many levels.

    -x-

  71. Congrats for coming out as yourself 🙂

    Just an administrative question. Will you continue to blog on this site (now that the name of the url doesn’t exactly fit) or will you retire it/post into somewhere different? I would like to know because I love following your blog.

  72. Be you.Be honest with yourself and with others.Be happy, life is short. Well done for being both brave and honest. Best wishes for a long, peaceful, happy life.

  73. I’d no idea about any of this Jack but what a powerful and thought provoking piece. It sounds to me that you are now able to breathe easier having looked the bullies, trolls et al in the face and shouted ‘Boo!’.
    Keep shouting Jack! Much love and best wishes.

  74. But in the post you did not mention food other than for testosterone… Unless it is a recipe for becoming trans. As long as there is a recipe in the post it is all good! As long as you are happy, then it really is all good! Hiding a pair of DDs? Yikes! Takes some work! Be who you are meant to be. If they can’t accept you for YOU, then they can all sod off! Am I right? And bring on the recipes! Maybe something like chicken pot pies with a nice gravy in a 5 inch/12.5 cm pie crust that can be made in batches and frozen for later consumption! Now those would be lovely! I always have problems with the gravy and the pie dough quantities for a dozen…It’s all about that pie! ’bout that pie! With gravy! (sung to it’s all about that bass) Hugs or handshakes!!!

  75. Love and care for your family and friends. Respect differences. Make the world a better place. It should be simple shouldn’t it? Know there are more caring people than haters- but we need to speak louder. You deserve the best and no one has the right to denounce that. Sounds like their insecurities.

  76. So fluently put, your words as ever ringing with the honesty, love and the truth of your heart. You are everything I admire in a person and more.

    I loved your blog from the day I found it, I seem to have followed your progress through good times, tough times and totally shitty times and each and every time you come through it all with an amazing grace and transparency.

    Love to you and to SB, you are building a life for you both with integrity and honesty, the best way to do it. xx

  77. Just wanted to leave some warm fuzzies as i love your blogs and have both your books 🙂
    You are fantastic!!!

    Hope it feels better when things are out in the open and that you have supportive people around you in real life 🙂

  78. with all the stuff you do and are, you are such a legend. i hate that you’ve had to have such a public and invasive scrutiny into your gender, and applaud any attempts to get this point squared so the rest of you can stop it reducing the shine on your good work. (but yes, much as it must be painful for you, you are making all versions of trans recognition/identity avowal work that little bit easier for everyone else. you are earning serious karma points. all power to your arm)

  79. You are, quite simply, wonderful. Reading this has warmed my heart and brought something really beautiful to a day full of chest infection and a rather fuzzy head. Thank you, Jack.

  80. Love you, love your dad.
    I am so glad that you have arrived at a much better place and hope that your future will be even better.
    Thank you for being such a wonderful person, for being so authentic, for being so gutsy, for being so courageous, for being so caring, for being you.

  81. Most inspiring and wonderful words storming gently through forests of ignorance and prejudice. May you continue strong and loved , to meet all obstacles with with humour and honesty. You bring shame on the benighted and we should all be proud you choose to engage with the world.

  82. Hey Jack we have all got our baggage in life to carry its how you deal with it don`t worry about the f***wits live your life and have pride in it. Its who you are

  83. You are amazing. I have always hated the ‘labels’ people give one another. It really is so unnecessary. I am not straight, bi, gay, female, male; I’m just me. I choose to dress the way I do because I like to be comfy but I like flowers and dresses. I put on make up because I like the way it makes me look. I married a man because I fell in love with him but I could equally have fallen in love with a woman. I want my children to know it really doesn’t matter who or what you become.

    Being you is what makes you so special and adorable. Thank you for sharing these difficult thoughts…you help to make the world a better place xxx

  84. We don’t love you because you are a girl. We don’t love you are a boy. We don’t love you because you are beautiful. We don’t love you because you are clever, talented, brave, principled, funny etc. etc. You are all of these.
    We love you because we have come to do so through following you through your books, blogs, interview and newspaper items and we have come to feel that we know you.

  85. I’m so glad that coming out has been such a positive step for you, Jack. 🙂 I hope you continue to go from strength to strength.
    The gutter press are transphobic scumbags, but I’m awed by the fantastic patience you’ve shown in calling them out on it and holding them to a higher standard. I admire you so much for that.

    You are too amazing for words! ❤

  86. Labels are for clothes, not people, although they’re initially handy to help a person understand things.

    Live freely now.

    You have my love and support.

    Joy. x

  87. Whatever label you choose for yourself your still a damned good cook and mother..I’m an old wrinkly bird , I’ve been around forever and times and people are always changing which isn’t a bad thing

  88. Hey Jack.
    We all love and respect you for the person you are and not for the label attached.
    So long at that label is not Tory of course! Otherwise “what your dad said”.

  89. I have always been a huge fan – I’ve told you how my boys come in from school, sniff and let out a whoop if they can smell a ‘Jack’ recipe. But I’ll let you into a secret, my blog name (sixdegreesofharmony) isn’t my birth name. And Mrs Farmer – which is what I go by now – isn’t my birth name either. And do you know what? No one minds. People either love you or they don’t… You can’t go changing small minds xxx

  90. I love the fact you now feel free and confident to share who you are and to do it so authentically showing us that you are working this all out as you go along. All the best, Mich x

  91. I had a similar conversation with my mother over my daughters choice of career earlier on today.. She (dd) is becoming politically active and has a very left pointing moral compass to the point she is almost in the Atlantic ocean. Mum said oh that might change yet when she starts to discuss ‘life’ with her peers at school, they are bound to have an influence on her and she will probably become conservative like the rest of us..! I said oh hell no way is THAT happening, I will disown her first.. mother dearest thinks my socialist views are ‘misguided’ and ‘a fad’ I will ‘eventually grow out of as I get older and grow up!’ I made it plain I had not influenced my dd in anyway politically and that what we were seeing now came very naturally out of the person she was learning to be, and that in no way could I see her ever growing out of her caring attitude and sense of right and wrong, Mother dearest feels that my dd will change her colours due to her grammar school education and its very hard to get her to understand that whilst non tories accept and respect others’ rights to follow any political compass point they want, your average tory (at least in my family) feel that those who arent right wing are misguided, brain washed imbeciles or communist at worst! So when I read what your dad said, I laughed out loud and thought, that really sums it up… those who are happy and accepting of other peoples lives and political alliegences even if its not what they do or like in life, and those who are so unhappy they seek to bully, coerce and change you to their will and ideology. I guess your life journey is much the same 🙂 I have a second daughter who may well be a gender fluid individual as they grow older. At the moment she wants to be a she, and wear pink gflouncy Halloween ball gowns and swan around with a wand.. last year she was more he, and we thought ok, if this is what we are heading to then lets find out what we can to make sure we get our bit right. We are now armed and ready for whatever comes next in her life. Its up to her, or him or them to decide who they want to be. Thats why i love what your dad said.. I am cool with any of it.. provided they dont turn into tories..!
    You keep doing what YOU want to do, only those who have nothing better to do in life but be nosy interfering busy bodies will make it their business to be bothered about yours… let them have the stress related heart attacks instead and you, well you Jack, KEEP LAUGHING, and KEEP BEING YOU! 🙂 x
    ps, love the bee tat btw 🙂 x

  92. What a wonderfully inspiring post! Well done Jack – I hugely admire your honesty in telling the press in particular what the can or should be writing and sharing about you.

    I hope many young (and not so young) people who feel “different” from the “norm” find your post and remember the most important thing:

    We are all people. End of story. We dont need to constantly define ourselves by size/shape/colour or gender. Treat others the way you would like to be treated – with respect, dignity and love, and the world will be a brighter place.

  93. Well put. May your life be authentically yours from here on out. ❤

    I think I love your dad, by the way. What a fantastic answer. 🙂

    And to Bill Ford-Smith – THANK YOU for asking the question honestly. Seriously. Many who don't live along the same binaries and publicly-considered "norms" would rather be asked the questions in an effort to learn, and you did so beautifully. You're not an "old fart," you're trying to learn, and I say it's brilliant of you.

  94. I am full of admiration for you and I wish you all good luck. I think (hope) that our children’s generation will create a better society where this will simply not be an issue. My kids made a new friend, and when I asked about them they schooled me: “They’re not ‘he’ or ‘she’, mum; you say ‘they’, mum, you just don’t divide people by gender.” So that’s me told.

  95. If you ever get chance, read Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein – it’s a great book written in the late sixties, yes OK a sci-fi book, but it’s about people who don’t fit into ideal pockets prescribed by society.
    I’d like to think that we’re slowly seeing a change in society and gender norms (even given dear old Germaine Greer’s video today http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34625512)
    Will keep following you as I have been for the last 3 years, Jack 🙂

  96. I think you are a terrific writer. And I have just bought your beautiful first book. The 2 recipes I have tried so far (Soda Bread and Carrot, Cumin and Kidney Bean Soup) tasted amazing. I kept some of the sop and had it the next day and it tasted – even more amazing! I have the ingredients to try some of the other recipes and intend to cook my way through the book..

    The only issue for me is that the book is so gorgeous I do not want to take it into the kitchen where it will get messed up.

    I wish you well with this next phase of your life; I hope you will keep blogging, cooking and writing recipes. And especially, writing and being honest.

    Your second recipe book is on my Christmas list!!

  97. Hello Jack, I read this on the bus yesterday, I was so moved. You truly are an amazing person. I wish you all the best and I’ve missed your blog updates. I’m glad you are back. I’ve been a reader of your blog for 2 and a half years. love your friend Mx

  98. I don’t take the time to read too many blogs but yours truly hooks me in. A very emotive piece. Thank you for sharing and reiterating that no matter what gender, colour or sexual orientation we shouldn’t be put in a box and who wants to be. We are who we are and that is what matters. You do truly rock!

  99. Jack this is a fantastic post. Thank you so much for sharing. It is so important for those in the spotlight to help share experiences like this. You are helping to save lives and change views.

  100. Hi Jack, I just wanted to send some love your way. I realised this year that I was non-binary gender and although I’m not changing my name or pronouns even just accepting myself as I am and being able to have no angst over wearing men’s clothes is brilliant. I’ve had some long and instructive conversations with transgender women and a friend who is also non-binary and this has been extremely helpful. My friends and family have always known that I am the most non stereotypically girly girl they’ve ever met so I feel no need to define it as they know – I had adults asking my Mum why I refused to play with prams and dollies and despised dresses as a kid and I overheard it all. I’m just me. Gender is a spectrum. It should be as simple as that. I’m not harming anyone and just want to live my life thank you. All the very best to you and Small Boy xx

  101. Jack, you are really quite amazing! Congratulations. I know that it seems like there are a thousand people (trolls, really) out there to get you but just remember that there are even more of us: people who support you and think that you are an amazing parent, role model and writer. You’re really an inspiration.

    You’ve been through so much and I hope that there will be so, so many brilliant things to come for you.

  102. Jack, you are an awesome person in countless ways. You have so much courage and you inspire me and many, many others. As for those who troll you on the net and in print, I have one thing to say: Karma will give you back three-fold what you hand out.

    You rock Jack, so many people love you for who you are. Never forget that.

  103. What a wonderful, moving post. I am so pleased you finally feel that you can tell the world who you really are. I really liked you before, for everything you did and for your integrity. Now I also admire you, you truly are a wonderful person and a role model. Good luck for the future x

  104. Oh your dad’s response was bloody brilliant! That is how is should be for everyone. The absolute bottom line should be whether you are happy and feel good in your own skin. That is all we need to hope for our kids.

  105. Bravo, Jack.

    After spending some time doing academic research in feminist theory, you learn pretty quickly how much gender identity really is a human construction. If people can create the rules of what a girl looks like or what a boy looks like in order to define whether someone is ‘in’ or ‘out’ of their collective (read club), then you absolutely have the right to determine yourself ‘out’ of those poles and ‘in’ somewhere else. Bravo for requiring that people become aware of how many people they push ‘out’ of their collectives by their language and definitions, and bravo for demanding that people deal with you, your authentic self, where you are at rather than where they are at.

    Thanks so much on behalf of all gendered people everywhere for demanding compassion, empathy and understanding of our fellow humans.

  106. I started reading this blog thinking how sad it is for anybody to have to justify their gender to anybody, and naivily wondered why you have to explain yourself, reading on I realised the horrendous reality of toilets in public places, and the insensitive questioning you have been confronted with, as somebody who restores old buildings for new uses and who has, quite accidentally insisted on no urinals and loos which are both male/female i will now ensure that all my charity’s projects do this as policy – no questioning , 100% privacy and equality whatever / whoever.

    You are an inspiration Jack

  107. You’re talking a lot about pieces of clothing, hairstyles, and accesories lately. Is fashion really very important?

    Your explanations make me think you are not what the queer theory calls “cis”. But many think no woman is cis, precisely because gender is so limiting. Women per se are in no way related to silk and pink and a list of acceptable hairstyles. The “cis woman” gender box is.

    Have you read Caroline Criado-Perez’s post about the cis label?

  108. Jack, I actually feel sorry for your ex-girlfriend here. Intentionally, or unintentionally you have portrayed her as intolerant… when in fact, the only thing that she is supposedly guilty of is being a lesbian (assumption based upon what you have conveyed here) who is attracted to the female form. Was she so wrong in accusing you of deceiving her Jack? You see, I have been reading your words even before your blog was created and already knew that you were transgender and that you’ve been thinking about top surgery for years. Cough *forums* cough.

    In the same way that you are not obligated to explain yourself, or be subject to ridicule for how you self identify, neither should your ex girlfriend.

    She’s a lesbian… attracted to the female form. That’s how she self identifies. And as I knew years ago that you were transgender and considering top surgery, was she really so wrong in thinking that you’d deceived her?

    I actually felt sorry for her when I read your words.

  109. Interesting – particularly in current context of Greer comments/non-comments.

    I’ll admit to being confused by the (to me) novelty of “non-binary” – although it is an entirely logical position. I have always understood “trans” as relating to “transitioning” or “transitioned” – “a move” from “one” to “another”; “non-binary” blows this apart implying recognising “a place” on a continuum with no obligation to complete any journey – because it isn’t a journey but a state?

    Is “trans” an appropriate term – or is it too embedded to change?

  110. Damn. It now seems quite obvious that they could find an appropriate position for you after your maternity leave if they wanted to, but they didnt want too. I was mad enough when they used your motherhood against you as a woman, but now I am mad because they would have used anything at all to get rid of the thorn in their side they saw you as.

  111. I had never heard the term “non-binary”, thank you for bringing it to attention. You are who you are, no matter the wrapping and you must do whats best for you. There will always be critics and trolls, think of them as the midges of the writing world.

  112. Thank you for sharing your story and for taking the time to explain things from the transgender point of view. I have a gender bending character who keeps demanding that I write their story but I was afraid to tackle it because I didn’t know anything about that and if I do something it has to be right and true to that character. I’m still not ready to takle this (I’m not sure I’m the right person to write such story but that’s a separate issue). Now I have some insight into what their life is like and they’re daily struggles and those of the very real people out there who are grappling with the same thing. My heart goes out to anyone who is unable to be or show their true self for fear of rejection or because of oppression of any kind. I wish you continued success and all the joy life has to offer.

  113. It’s really great that you got to come out, because all that matters is if you are happy. I hope that this article provides courage and strength to those who are going through the same things. You are amazing. In India, where I live, I see people being shunned on a regular basis. I hope that I can help them and people like you are a guide to me on what all I can do. Thank you so much. Lots of love and hope the world never brings you down for who you are

  114. I applaud you Jack. When my son told us he was bi sexual it came about by him getting terribly drunk before he could tell us. When we replied that we didn’t care what he was as long as he was careful and safe he was shocked as he visage the awful showdown and there wasn’t any coming. You are what you are. It is your life and you do what you think best to make yourself happy. Have a happy life what ever comes your way your are only here once and this is certainly no dress rehearsal.

  115. Bravo! Nothing happens if someone’s bisexual, gay or transgender. We can’t do anything with that as this was already decided by the Lord above! Crack out the good in it!
    You are truly an inspiration Jack!
    Beautiful one! Kudos to you! 🙂 -SOL

  116. I always get really annoyed when I get letters addressed to “Dear Sir or Madam” – makes me feel that they don’t care about identifying with me but it now occurs to me that for you – this is probably the best reflection on where you stand!

  117. Courageous post! Still learning. Some categories have some sexual ambiguity to them. In example, pansexual seems bisexual to me. In the end, no matter what you identify with, people will find a way to identify you. Thank you for sharing and shedding a little light. Sounds like the journey isn’t over yet. Good luck. Many blessings. Shutyamouthandcallmeugly.com

  118. its a great story, because it is address to those people to become gender sensitive so that discrimination to those LGBT community will be eliminated. keep it up…follow your feelings because the goodness of a person did not based on what is their gender it is about how you act or behave….

  119. Awesome post. Thank you so much for your honesty and sincerity I know how hard it is to come out and tell family and friends about gender identity. I am lucky that my mother was such a great support for me when I told her I didn’t think of myself as being girl nor boy. I still don’t care I’m proud to be who I am today plus gender didn’t make me who I am, I did. 🙂

  120. I am sorry i was not sensitive to the suffering of transgenders before but i still am strongly against any surgery that is not medically necessary.There are a lot of people unhappy with their body image but perhaps it is better to work on accepting your body and to stop identifying with the body but focus on the soul.Read Buddhist writing.Practice yoga and not remove body parts for the need to feel whole.
    Because it is a health risk.
    It is very courageous for you to write about your experience.
    Marlene Dietrich could be a good role model.
    The idea of taking hormones and having operations seems to me a health risk and focusing on the material body
    and it costs a lot.
    Connecting to your soul through mind body methods like yoga is free.
    Have you tried finding peace through that?
    It seems so sad that someone as pretty as you should think to become male when you look so feminine .We all have male and female components.
    can you not work on being soul focused and enjoy your beauty and keep healthy ?
    just writing out of concern
    i dont mean to judge.

  121. This is such a helpful and beautifully written post. As a member of the LGBTQI community, I am attempting to understand and keep an open mind to each letter of the ever growing acronym. Thank you for helping me understand your situation and other transgender humans. You are a light. Keep writing!

  122. I’ll admit to being somewhat confused here. While I applaud your honesty and the sheer beauty of your writing, I do not understand what you mean by describing yourself as “non-binary”. If you’re transgendered, you’re in transition. This I get. But being non-binary seems a lot like vacillating between being female and male. Unless of course that’s a state of nothingness one occupies while making up their mind whether to go into full transition to the opposite sex.

    • Uju, nonbinary means you do not identify as neither male nor female. It’s not about your biological sex or transitioning. It’s about what you feel on the inside. I hope that clears it up, I understand it can be confusing. Also, a little side note! The correct term is “transgender” and not transgendered, and not all trans people want to transition. It’s a common mistake.

  123. Even after reading your story I know very little about you. What I do know is that you are strong minded and courageous. These things and your willingness to fight for what you believe earn you my respect and my commitment to you right to self definition. Happy 2016

  124. ‘It matters not one jot how you express yourself. Unless you become a Tory. Then you can fuck off :)” ‘ I like your family! I love your blog, you have a wonderful sense of the world and seem to be one of the people who might make it a better place. ( your being friends , a childs view on religion was beautiful) Lots of love to you and your family. we need more people like you! Also I’m a coeliac, student, trying to become vegan and your food ideas are just the best!!

  125. Be happy, be well, be free. Good to read your story and I’ve sent it to a friend who is going through similar stuff. Thank you for sharing – the more people who out themselves the easier the world gets.

    And – erm, hope you don’t mind me saying this but… be gentle on those around you who don’t understand or who hurt. Give them time. Often their anger is just fear of loss/shock – and not just fear about you ditching the tits!

    We all know what that kind of fear/anger feels like.

    Me, I went off on one with some friends and family who didn’t give me an instant ‘ok’ when I came out as lesbian and I think I could have handled it better but then I was younger, less experienced and not so emotionally articulate.Most came round eventually. But that doesn’t mean you have to put up with cruelty either.

    I think you’re brave but I also know that when one doesn’t feel like there’s a choice, it doesn’t feel ‘brave’. It’s just all there is to do. But it’s brave nonetheless. You are just one of those people who can’t deal with pretence, gaslighting and all the rest and it’s a breath of fucking fresh air.

  126. I’m a 61 year old male, who for so long has wished that I was female. It’s too long now to do anything about it but never mind. You go Jack Monroe, I love you and everything do and stand for. x x x

  127. I see you. I hear you. I’m with you. Like so many, many others. Don’t stop when you reach the stars – you can go higher. x

  128. Dear Jack Monroe

    Thank you for going to the trouble of suing Katie Hopkins for her libellous tweet. It is important that twitterers get the message that is not okay just to say whatever you want about someone and walk away. What Hopkins did was tantamount to inciting hatred against you (or worse), and you even had the cool head to offer her a fair way out through apologising and donating to charity, something I would have been too angry about to think of if I was the victim of such a slur.

    Thanks again, as I said, what you did was important and every decent, honest person that uses things like twitter should be grateful to you

    Steve

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