I first got in touch with other trans people in 2003 and had my first makeover at the Boudoir in 2004, which was my first physical contact with the T world. Since then I have been in touch almost daily with other trans people and, from about four years ago, started to meet up with them regularly. This contact over the last decade has been an exhilarating, affirming and positive experience.

Until now.

Over the last two or three months I and many others have been subject to a much greater than average degree of online trolling and abuse. My favourite website, Angels, for example, seems to have collapsed with many people leaving because of the aggression. I’ve taken it up with the moderators but the problem seems to have worsened. It is very sad, rather like seeing the face of an old friend being punched whilst bystanders watch and then turn to leave. Note that my disappointment is by no means as intense as that of other members who have contacted me about it and expressed some strong views.

But more troubling than this is the personal aggravation that I have been subjected to all of a sudden.

Just for instance, the wife of a TGirl I had been happily meeting up with these last couple of years apparently thought I might be a mistress having an affair with her husband whom she’d only just found out to be a transvestite. Being put in that awful and undeserved position has shocked me, not least because I had previously been led to believe that she knew of his crossdressing. You can imagine how enjoyable it was to have an unexpected phone conversation at work with an angry wife on such an intimate subject.

Other friends whom I have taken to lunch seem to have decided that I don’t shape up to some new-formed ideals of theirs and have attacked me very unpleasantly and quite unexpectedly after some years of friendship. One even set up an account on a site specifically and exclusively to send me a nasty email, before closing that account so I can’t reply. How cowardly is that?

Worse are the communications from some political groups contacting me via another ‘friend’, without any agreement on my part, who somehow think that I may be interested in their form of violent protest and even sent me a magazine revelling in photos of policemen and others with their heads kicked in.

Whilst abuse of trans people is certainly wrong, the abuse, supremacism, hate and violence put out by certain trans people and organisations are totally unacceptable. Many people at Sparkle, the national transgender celebration last weekend, pointed this out, too. There is an unease and dislike in the mainstream trans community of a minority of snobs and bullies. I am in no doubt that daring to point out and take a stand against this antisocial behaviour will lead to further attacks on me, but I feel people should know where much of the malice in this walk of life is actually coming from. I will continue to live my life positively, law-abidingly and in the mainstream. I know the law and my rights after twenty years of working in the field and always apply them, exactly as I did last month when my frail, elderly neighbours were targeted by nasty conmen and I called the police, or this month when seeking legal advice for redress for breach of contract. I contacted police and security last year on both occasions when transphobic attacks were made on me in public. Being trans and therefore vulnerable does not, however, put trans people themselves above the law, or above social norms either. I am necessarily involving a lawyer and police in dealing with some of this latest behaviour.

Do not attack me, bully me, troll my posts, lie about me, impugn my integrity or threaten me again. I will take action against people who do so because I always act against persons who harm me. Whilst I am a gentle person who dislikes conflict, I have overriding senses of justice and self-preservation.

I will be getting back to my positive outlook again soon, but after a decade of joy followed by several weeks of sudden abuse, you will, please, my dear readers, need to bear with me a bit. I’m so sad, sorry and shocked to have to write this bad news here but it explains why I have posted nothing this last month.

I would like to thank my many friends for all their love, help, support and encouragement these last few weeks and to the organisers of Sparkle which helped me feel positive again. More of that and other good news in a short while as I gradually get back online.

Sue x