Tuesday, 23 March 2021

MTF seafarer tells her transition story

Transgender Pride flag, designed by Monica Helms

When even just one trans seafarer tells their story it changes global understanding of maritime pasts. It challenges oppressive normativity.

So it's useful that you can now read online, free, Michelle Clarke's interview about her transitioning. Go https://tinyurl.com/Michelle-Nautilus. I wrote it.

Michelle (born 1955) was trained at Plymouth School of Maritime Studies  and became a First Officer in the Merchant Navy.Her story is just published in Nautilus International Telegraph  21 March 2021. 

Michelle Clarke today.
 Image courtesy of Michelle.

Here's an extract:  "it was not until her marriage ended in 2016 that Michelle truly became herself, changing her name by deed poll and wearing feminine clothes full-time.

"The years leading up to this had been very tough for Michelle, with many physical and mental health problems ...

"Since 2016 she has been healthier and happier. She is educating people about transitioning on a range of  courses run by her new business, National Gender Training: https://nationalgendertraining.co.uk/.

And she's hopeful about the future for gay and trans seafarers.

"'There's still bullying and a masculine culture at sea,' she acknowledges.

"'But it's very enlightening to see the shipping community embracing the LGBT+ spectrum, and organisations like Maritime UK and Nautilus pushing the drive for greater acceptance. I want everyone to know that trans people are just like anybody else.'"

See From Ship to Shore and a Whole Lot More, her autobiography, which is due out later this year.

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