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Grrl Alex

  • Posted on January 25, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I consider Brighton a kind place. I go anywhere I like and have had very few negative experiences as a transgender woman. I don’t pride myself in ‘passing’, but I do try without going over the top. I don’t call it a disguise, though I appreciate to some that it is hiding male traits. I call it revealing what I should be: it’s just how I feel about myself from the inside. If someone looks twice at mean and thinks: ‘OK, I think there’s a man under there’ I don’t really care. That’s just how they have learned to think, and it really isn’t as simple as that.

A few months back I met Alex Drummond, a unique trans writer among other things (I really admire her joinery skills). He was over from Wales for a conference, and I wanted to talk about publishing, so we met up at the lunch break and migrated to a café. Sometime into our lunch and conversation, one of the waiters calls over, across the floor: ‘Love the hair!’ I’m not used to flattery, so I turned round. ‘Thanks!’ replies Alex. Huh! Either I was passing very well, or really not at all. Alex, resplendent in black jumper, cross-checked skirt, black tights and rather nice boots, bedecked with beads (hmmm: we actually have the same bead bracelet …) is certainly distinguished by the long brunette hair.

And beard.

So what can it mean to be transgender? I thought I didn’t know, then I thought I did, then I met Alex. Stylish, individual, assertively ‘out’, he just doesn’t need to try in order to be himself. Even if I do hesitate every time I use a pronoun. But what I really respect about Alex is that he is authentic, if different, and unafraid to be an example – and has really done the homework including an transgender-themed MSc. I found that really useful, because alongside her autobiographical account of self-discovery (which I found both funny and very close to home), it helped me understand what my ‘normal’ could be.

Grrl Alex book coverI was really pleased finally to be able to publish the revised edition of Grrl Alex: A journey to a transgender identity in January 2012, including a Kindle edition – not least because I think the unconventional message has a lot to say to all of us transgender people, and to those we know and love.

Books I’ve produced

  • Posted on January 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I have lost count of the books I have produced since I began in my student days (a long time ago) but apart from being in the high hundreds, they have been very diverse. I began with academic publishing that included non-English and ancient scripts, and archaeological works that were heavily illustrated with line drawings and photographs. I worked on journals and monographs before moving into training materials and documentation and a long career in research publishing, heavy in bibliographic reference, tables and charts. Now I am working individually with authors as a freelance editor, book designer, and as a publisher (my imprint is Bramley Press). I also convert books into Kindle and ePub format, working within the constraints and delights of the flexible page!

Recent titles include:

  • Realisations: my own collection of poetry
  • Grrl Alex: A personal journey to transgender identity
  • Dreams of Gold
  • Cancer: The Complete Recovery Guide Series (8 volumes)
  • Whitebait and Tofu (Kindle edition)

I say more about publishing at my other site for Bramley Press.