18 February 2022 – Rovaniemi, Finland


i’ve been thinking about the “post a pic of yourself when you were younger that has the same energy now” story thing. i keep on thinking about this photo that my granny had in her living room of me taken when i was about three, standing in the ranunculus bed that I remember planting with mum. i feel i look completely like me there. i can’t tell you why, but i have always loved this photo because i am purely myself. •

as a person, i think i have always been firmly myself. i’ve tried things, personas, and friendships but when they called on me to be someone i’m not, i would exit the situation when i was brave enough… or when it naturally petered out. •

i’ve always just been alison. i identified growing up with characters like nancy blackett (rambunctious, wild, fearless), and titty (steadfast, thoughtful, imaginative) of swallows and amazons. george from famous five always rubbed me up the wrong way with her spikiness but i appreciated her desire to live outside gender. •

anyhow, what i’m trying to say is that when i look at myself, i just see me. alison. gender has never been a ruling aspect of who I am because I have always found it immaterial. •

when someone calls me a girl, i feel a bit wriggly. when someone calls me sir in a shop, i laugh a bit, like i’ve tricked a bit of the world – but i’m also not a sir, no thank you. not that i really care. •

i don’t mind being called she/her. she/her pronouns are also like a comfy soft worn in brown velvet coat that feels nice and familiar. i like being a daughter, niece, granddaughter, auntie. i’ve grown up with these, and they are a part of me. •

the thing is that they/them makes me feel sparkly inside. makes me feel like me, like alison. so if you’re cool with the singular use of they, and you would like to… know that calling me they makes my heart sing. and if you relate to me with she, especially family, go for your life on that too. just remember that sometimes i feel a fairly large step to the left of female in that i am myself and only myself. like i always have been.