Tony Lee Blackburn: Full Interview
TRANSCRIPTTony Lee Blackburn
Interview with Paula Smith
13 June 2019
PS: Interview with Tony on the 13th June 2019. So, tell me about your relationship.
TLB: I’ve a relationship with Charlotte, and it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve basically liked her from day one, that I first saw her at 2BU. She’s – makes me happy, she’s amazing, I wouldn’t change her for anything…
PS: Okay, anything else you wanna say about that?
PS: You want to talk about your coming out? So when do you know that you weren’t… who everyone thought you were?
TLB: From the age of four. Erm, I’ve always known myself as a little boy, not a little girl. And, from this day on, I’d say to myself, and to everybody else, that I’m a man with the wrong parts…
PS: And so when did you start your transition? When did you start wearing male clothes and taking on a male name and everything, how did you decide on all that?
TLB: I’ve started wearing male’s clothes from the age of, er… from the age of three.
PS: And when did you – is, is Tony the name you chose?
PS: And how did you decide on that name?
TLB: One of my mates was called Tony, and I’ve got my name changed in 2017.
PS: And what does the name Tony mean to you?
TLB: It’s easy to spell, and it’s comfortable for me, it’s easy to say.
PS: How does it make you feel?
TLB: It makes me feel more like a man.
PS: And what have – what’s the most difficult part of being a man?
TLB: Erm, well, people keep saying, ‘oh it’s just selfish, being transgender’ and I get bullied over it.
PS: That’s not nice.
PS: Do you get a lot of support?
PS: Who supports you most?
TLB: My family supports me. They all knew, but I didn’t come out with it until 2016, properly. But my grandad’s more supportive, now.
PS: And what is the next step for you? What would you like to do next with your masculinity?
TLB: To become a male, a proper male. Be happy with Charlotte. To move out, and have my future.
PS: And what is your favourite thing about being male?
TLB: I just feel more comfortable and I’ve always wanted to be it, I can’t really explain much.
PS: And what is the most frustrating thing about other people, and you being male?
TLB: They keep calling me a she, which really upsets me. I can’t think of anything else.
PS: That’s okay. And when did you hear about 2BU Wakefield? How did you find out about it?
TLB: Erm, I found it out on a site, Geoff told me about it. I would say to myself, if it hadn’t been for 2BU, I wouldn’t have met Charlotte, I wouldn’t have got with her, so.
PS: And, do you like coming here?
PS: And what’s your favourite thing about coming here? Apart from seeing Charlotte.
TLB: It learns me so much, about learning disabilities, transgender, learning a bit more about it.
PS: And what’s your favourite thing to do with the group?
TLB: Go out [on] trips, go out places.
PS: So you feel like you have more social life now?
TLB: Yeah, I feel like I’ve got more – a new family.
PS: Yeah, a community as well? I know it’s quite difficult, cos um the gay community as it is, the LGBT community, is quite difficult to get in to without that barrier, to have that barrier it’s even more difficult. So, cos nightclubs aren’t nice places, I don’t like them, so, they make me uncomfortable. So this kind of place is brilliant for people who want something different. Would you – if anybody was listening to this recording and hear that you have a learning disability and that you are transgender, what would you say to them about coming to this group? Would you recommend it?
PS: And why would you recommend it?
TLB: It learns – it learns people of how it feels to be in the wrong body and… I’ve forgotten.
PS: Do you feel safe here?
PS: And you feel like it’s a family?
PS: And would you like that family to grow a bit bigger, yeah?
PS: Okay, good. Is there anything else you’d like to say about yourself and about – anything you’d like to say to other people about how you are and how you live? No? That’s okay.