Last week was a gruelling news week in which the consequences of poor mental health were splashed across TV screens and newspaper headlines around the world. The week began with the massacre of 49 LGBT Americans in the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando and here in the UK the week ended with the brutal murder of a popular Member of the UK parliament Jo Cox on the street of a small Yorkshire town.
Last weekend saw some of the leading figures in the world of transgender healthcare come together in Amsterdam for the 2016 WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) symposium.
We cannot really make sense of it all just yet. But we can be sad, we can be angry, and we can decide to continue the work that we started. This is a crime that stemmed from hatred, a hatred deeply-entrenched within the killer, as something that had been learned early on in life.
Although some countries have legislated against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in goods and services, this isn't universal across member's states. That's why it is important for UK influence to remain at the heart of the single market, to facilitate further anti-discrimination measures. It makes no sense for LGBT people to have protection at home, but subject to discrimination elsewhere in the single market. Retreating with a Brexit vote isn't going to change that unsatisfactory position.
Contrary to popular belief, transgender people weren't born in the wrong body, they weren't misgendered, they don't want to change sex, they haven't got some altered ego - they, like everyone else, were born with a gender that was set at conception. However, this gender was different to the one with which they were labelled at birth.
If this horrendous tragedy has taught us anything, it's that there are real people who will show up to our front door uninvited, and will gun us down because they're p*ssed off at us having a snog on the dance floor. We need to support each other, because when all's said and done, we truly are all in this together. We each need to stand up and be counted, put our fist in the air and prove we're not going anywhere. We need to channel the bravery, strength and courage of those who came before us, and use it to remain defiant, even when that feels like the scariest and most difficult thing in the world.
We saw my Dad every day. He came to dinner with us each Sunday. If we were away we phoned daily. He spent Christmas with us. Came to birthday teas. Attended school plays. He engaged with our family. Laughed at the children's antics. Enjoyed our successes, commiserated when we failed.
The term queer is generally acknowledged as more of a middle class phenomenon. As rebellious as it may be, it tends to belong to those who have had the good fortune of higher education, or those who have been lucky enough to be born into an 'arty' familial circle.
A recent report from the Women and Equalities Commission revealed that for members of the transgender community, the significant discrimination they face in day-to-day life does not always stop when they step into the consultation room.
As a trans woman I had many years of having to use the 'wrong' toilet facility and it was terrifying. I always felt exposed, vulnerable, like something dangerous could happen. I didn't want to see men peeing or hear men's' conversations, my friends went into the women's and I prayed for an empty men's bathroom.
It's an exciting time to be gay. Well, it's an exciting time to be me. Feel free to grab a bucket to vom in. I am newly engaged and therefore an absolute bore to anyone who has to spend any time with me...
There is no Perfect Time. This means that those with a tendency to procrastinate (and, as a supreme procrastinator myself, I can understand this) can find reasons to put it off indefinitely. If you're repeatedly telling yourself the time isn't right, a little self-examination may be in order.
Lately, I have noticed myself really fancying straight boys - whether it's my colleagues in comedy, the boy I've made have a dance-off with me in the club or my uncle.... Just kidding, I don't fancy my uncle. He's not attractive!
I hope that Nicky Morgan will publish the Government's response soon, Transphobia is not inevitable, nor is it unbeatable, we need our legal rights. We need to continue working with trans activists and allies to continue the fight for real equality.
You should realise when you are riding roughshod over someone's pain and should f*****g shut up and listen a bit if you actually want people to engage with your point of view, and maybe agree to disagree. Instead of feeling they have to run away, or block their ears and go la-la-la. Or no-platform you, which is the institutional equivalent.
Nowadays, of course, we'd all want to know if Stella was "really" trans rather than drag; we, in our way, are just as keen to categorise anyone who strays outside of their allotted gender role as the Victorians were. Stella's mother told the gentlemen of the jury about how the school-age Ernest liked to dress up as the family chambermaid...