One of the amazing things about transition is one I completely didn't expect. People have seen me be vulnerable and real, and it has helped them know they can reach out with their own real issues, and I'm only too happy to help. In today's society it's too easy to put up Instagram versions of lives and pretend everything's perfect. But we've had real things to work through, and no real way to do so while still hiding. Old friends we haven't seen for years have seen and felt this, and reached out to share their own challenges. So have tens of newly out trans people and their families.

Together, we've experienced adversity and kicked it's arse. But it doesn't stop.

Someone I care about has been diagnosed with cancer. Apparently minor, and treatment is at hand, but still it's the same C word that took away a childhood friend's mother only a couple of years ago. It hurts everyone, including me.

One of my children needs a brain MRI, and nobody except us seems to care enough to ensure that actually happens. The lack of care of most health professionals involved has been astounding, and it hurts me to think that there could be a real problem, and each day ticking by it may not be diagnosed.

My job has just been moved so I have a two hour commute each way, and I'm really, properly tired. It comes to an end at Christmas, which means I'll be job-hunting again. I probably already should be, if only I could focus on it.

But I'm ok. These are all but challenges with arses waiting to be kicked, and sharing them with others helps.

I saw my counsellor again a few weeks back and it helped. He even said he takes inspiration from me.

So - R U Ok? If not, find someone to share with. That might even be me, or someone actually qualified at this stuff. But make sure it's someone.

Back when I first came out and started transitioning, Liz and I really struggled to find two things:
- Any support or social groups for her to be with others in similar situations
- Many other couples where both wanted to make the relationship work in a new, modified form.

So I set up two secret Facebook groups to address these missing areas. We now have a public page and website over at https://tgdsupport.info/ where people can find these groups, and request access by telling myself and the admin of the non-transitioning partners group a bit about their backstory.

Hopefully this is another step providing important types of support that we ourselves found lacking only a few short years ago.

Half a decade or so ago when I started on the crazy ride away from the gender I was assigned at birth, I was desperate to hold my family together, or at the very least least have tried my damnedest and made sure they knew there were others in similar situations. That they weren't alone.

But there are very few families like ours, and even fewer who had written down their stories with anything resembling positive outcomes. We felt very very alone.

Today both Liz and I became part of the solution to this problem, with our stories launched alongside many others in print in a Rainbow Families guide for Trans and Gender Diverse Parents that we would have loved to have found ourselves all those years ago.

We hope that this resource helps anyone questioning their gender in a family situation, and anyone who's loved one is struggling with their own identity.

Thanks Liz not just for having the guts to stay with me, but for going the extra mile and being brave enough to talk about your experience for the benefit of others 💜🌈👭

I find the unwritten rules around this frustratingly hard to grasp given I wasn't raised to understand them. Thanks to those women who have watched me get it wrong and guided rather than laughed.

And gents - the world would be a better place if you were in on this too, rather than having to constantly try to out-do each other. I tried and failed at that, and it didn't help my mental health at all.

It's impossible to be the best at everything. Just be the best you can be (factoring in issues you can't control), and help others to do the same.

As per the drop you might hear today on Kinderling Kids Radio, this International Women's Day I'd like to pay tribute to my wife Liz Gould, because she stuck by me during my transition.
And that's just one reason that she's an amazing, strong, inspiring woman that I am completely privileged to share my life with 💓

Well timed for Mardi Gras, here's the interview I did with Feed Play Love (aka Kinderling Kids Radio Conversations) talking about living in the country, parenting, transition, family, community and Rainbow Families, if you feel like listening would be a constructive use of 31 minutes of your life.

It was all first-take with no notes or preparation, and my first time being interviewed so I'm reasonably happy with how it turned out, even if there's quite a lot of nervous rambling going on!

Thanks to Shevonne Hunt Presenter and Cinnamon Nippard for making me comfortable enough to do this.

You can listen on the page, or there's links in the comments below for your podcast client, or just search for "Feed Play Love".