A conversation with Claire Prosho
TRANSGENDER WOMAN, BISEXUAL, ADHD
1 hr 23 min. Recorded on 22 March 2022.
Claire’s pronouns are she/her, and she is a transgender woman. Find out what that means to Claire in this episode.
We also talk about the lack of female role models in the 70s, trying to reconcile the expected side and the authentic side of us, the entanglement of gender, mental health and neurodivergence, feeling like yourself for the first time, reframing gendered activities, identifying as vs identifying with, gender alignment rather than transition, and having more stories to tell.
Terminology: GIC = Gender Identity Clinic. CW: suicide
“The pain and depression…of hiding who you really are every day. That old me, that me that everybody thought they knew, wasn’t me. But that makes it harder for people who know you to adjust, because they think it IS you.”
TRANSCRIPT [expand to read] – COMING SOON
I’m a late transitioning trans woman who finally ‘came out’ to myself as transgender in 2016 after 13 years of exploration, and a lifetime of depression, nervous breakdowns, suicidal thoughts and mental illness.
Grew up in London and rural Essex in the 1970s, with all the shame and stigma associated with feeling different, and repressing who I was because of that.
I used genderfluid for 3 or 4 years before I finally accepted that I was actually pretty binary! Although working out and accepting I was transgender helped my mental health I was still experiencing some pretty severe problems, and after an almost 2 year battle with the NHS mental health services I was finally diagnosed with severe combined type ADHD, and am waiting for an assessment for ASD.
I’ve been married for 30 years (this year) to my wonderful wife Heather, who has been my biggest (realistically only) source of support, help and encouragement in both exploring my identity and transitioning, as well as throughout my entire life. In 2019 I was effectively forced out of my job due to bullying, but used that as I started my own little social enterprise business delivering trans awareness workshops, training and speaking on trans issues. This led to an unexpected opportunity to do a TEDx talk, and I’m also involved with my local Pride (apparently I’m the trans rep!), as well as working with both the local NHS Trust and Police on improving understanding and interactions with the trans community.
I also do a little writing and investigative journalism, I’m a huge Sci-Fi fan and space enthusiast, and a lifelong gamer!
You can find Claire on her website clairestranstalks.co.uk and on Twitter @CTransTalks.
What we discussed & useful links
- Thunderbirds and Lady Penelope
- Caroline Cossey as Tula in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only
- Steph’s Place, a website dedicated to feminist transgender women in the UK
- Claire’s TEDx Talk, A ‘radical’ idea; Transgender people are people [watch below]