Maddy from That Trans Lawyer
Q1) Tell us a little about yourself!
Hey all! My name is Maddy, I’m 24 and a newly admitted lawyer in Brisbane, Australia – however I’m originally from Christchurch, NZ. I’m terrible at writing about myself, and oh, I am also a transgender woman.
Q2) Tell us about what you do, and why you do it
By day I’m a lawyer (and to my knowledge, the first openly trans lawyer in Queensland) for a major University, this means I get to deal with all sorts of interesting legal matters! Being an in-house lawyer means I deal with everything from simple contracts, all the way through to defending the University in court, which I find particularly fun and interesting!
I am also a huge advocate for raising awareness about the rights and experiences of transgender people in Australia. I’m incredibly fortunate to be asked to do a lot of public speaking, and I recently did my first ever podcast where I got to talk about some of the main issues being faced by trans people in society (everything from legal hoops we are forced to jump through, to how I deal with people who seek to deliberately do us harm).
Why do I do this? Because it’s 2019, and even though in Australia we have marriage equality, more work is still needed to progress (and normalise) trans people. Around the world the rights of trans and gender diverse people are under threat like never before. I speak out to disprove the negative stereotypes that are constantly used against trans people, and to show other, younger trans people, that transitioning isn’t a life sentence of pain and suffering (as I was told when I came out). I want to show them (and society more generally) that trans people CAN actually be successful in their careers, whatever they may be. I also want to show people that we’re not people to be afraid of, but instead, are people who right now especially, need as much love and support as we can get.
Q3) What makes you feel courageous?
Telling my story! I love being able to talk about my transition and the journey of self-discovery that lead me to this point in my life, a point where I am finally happy and comfortable in my body for the first time in my life! Being courageous to me started when I took the leap of faith and came out publicly on Facebook as being transgender as the clock struck midnight on January 1 2019. Since then, I feel courageous simply by living (and loving) my life whilst overcoming the many of the barriers for those who are trans. I am courageous, and I’m willing to live out, loud and proud, I’m proud of my womanhood and my achievements to date.
Q4) What is one thing you wish you could tell your 16-year-old self?
It will be okay. You will find your course in life, and you will be happy, that’s not to say there won’t be ups and downs along the way, but they will make you the woman you are today; everything happens for a reason, and whilst you want to live your best life right now, family and personal circumstances mean you can’t yet. But I promise, you will soon, and it will be magical. Stay strong and be yourself, don’t let the haters get you down.
Q5) What is one piece of advice you can give a fellow lady who might be lacking courage?
Be willing to say, “f**k the critics” and to live your life on your terms! I know it’s so scary to do, but taking that leap of faith and being true to yourself is that first big step towards being authentic, and happy – it’s your life, no-one else’s.