Yesterday (Wednesday 31 March) was International Transgender Day of Visibility, an opportunity to celebrate transgender people’s contributions, while also raising awareness of the discrimination they face.
Marina Page, a domestic at Queen’s Hospital, experienced discrimination from her own family who disowned her when she told them about her plans to transition.
She said: “I’d been to Sparkle, a transgender weekend, and had been able to be Marina for all of that time. At the end of the weekend, I decided to be her full time so when I got back, I told my parents.
“Sadly they were not supportive and both disowned me. It was no surprise to me. In 2015, my mum died suddenly and I compromised and asked to attend her funeral in my birth name. I received a text barring me from the funeral and I no longer speak to my dad or sister.”
Luckily for Marina, who works for BHRUT partner organisation Sodexo, her colleagues at our Trust were supportive.
She added: “I explained my decision to change my name and transition which was really liberating and scary at the same time. Some were shocked but everyone was very supportive.
“The next day, I came to work dressed as Marina for the first time. I was delighted to receive my new Marina name badge the following week. I have been Marina ever since and everyone in the hospital has respected this. I started my permanent transition in August 2015 and changed my name by deed poll, it felt brilliant.”
Having grown up feeling different, it was only in 2014 when she came across Jazz Jennings, a transgender woman on YouTube, that Marina noticed similarities and began exploring transgender identity.
Marina, a member of the Trust’s LGBT+ network, which works to ensure our hospitals are welcoming, inclusive places to work and receive care, added: “When I think back to who I was five years ago, I’m a lot happier as Marina Page because finally I’m myself.
“I often think about my parents, especially when the usual family occasions come around. I visit mum’s grave regularly. I hope my story inspired others, especially those who have been in a similar position to me. At the end of the day, we are all human.”