My intention from the beginning in creating this podcast, The Masks of Gender, was to bring Clarity into this fundamental way we humans create boxes to live in, see the world from, create difference, introduce power plays and so on. It’s about how we make our worlds, for me the most fascinating subject of all.

My decades of meditation practice, as well as my long study of aspects of consciousness, ways of seeing, combined with the insight that being what is called trans, transgender, transgressive, opens doors to the way we see the world, the way we make our individual worlds. And it’s not just about gender, it’s about our thoughts, beliefs, aversions, and so on, and the inner Self, the Tao, the consciousness which lies behind the mind.

This post is one of the insights, as opposed to conversations, I’ve been putting up since the beginning, in fact at the beginning, when I tried out my new podcast theme for WordPress – Podcaster – with a reading of a chapter of my book The Choice entitled The Boy on the Beach. It’s still there, number one.

In this post, I read a little from the fascinating and profound work of Byron Katie, which gives profound insight into a chapter of the Tao te Ching, then I take it further into my own experience. I hope you find it valuable, interesting, inspiring even.

The picture, by the way, is of me the baby more than sixty years ago, already gendered, looking a bit unhappy about the gender that I had arrived into, without being asked, but which created a destiny which taught me much, and opened the doors to being who I am today. All of us have our very own destinies, divinely hand-crafted with the gift of the challenges we need to find ourselves this life, if we are lucky and blessed.

The Reverend Jide Macauley, my friend Jide, is a great and lovely man, so honest in his heart it blows me away. After all he has been through – being a gay Nigerian Christian in a country that punishes LGBT+ people, being black in a white world in the UK, being openly HIV+, being rejected by his father and country, having to flee Nigeria, on and on, he has transcended all to become full of compassion, empathy and self-love which inspires me deeply.

Listening to our conversation before posting it, I was deeply inspired by his courage, deep Christian faith and love. Listen to this man, he is open and real and inspiring. Love to you, Jide.

Over the last few months I’ve heard Jane speak more than once with clear intelligence, wisdom and wit that I just knew she was prime for this podcast. How right I was. She’s clear, very smart, informed and is full of informed insight. And, as she said, far too clever when she was a girl.

She has a name in Brighton for her oral histories of older lesbian women, her own kind, which are truly fascinating, particularly in terms of the lives these woman led when they lived that infamous closet. As I’m round her age, I know from my own experience what a different world we live in, as society shifts and changes round us. Where are we going next?

So here, with me in my studio bedroom, where sound is pretty good (large bed, thick carpet, curtains and open wardrobe to cut sound bounce), we talked as two older women with our own perspectives on identity, gender, this shifting world, our chemical selves, the safety of the closet and more.

Jane is a gem, and I’m delighted to help give voice to her valuable contribution to this podcast. The wisdom of the elder. You know what? I’m getting to love doing this, deep talking and sharing the depths of great people with you.