about the author

A brief introduction to Julie Clarke, author of the book Becoming Julie and author of this blog.

The author, Julie Clarke

The author, Julie Clarke, at home on the Isle of Coll

The first thing I want to do is tell you a little bit about myself. I live and work on the Isle of Coll, which is a Hebridean Island off the west coast of Scotland.

I am a transgender woman, that is I was born male and have over the last fifty years made the long and complicated transition to becoming my true self, that is I have become anatomically a woman. My journey really started at the age of seven when I realised I was different from other kids. It has taken me from an innocent beginning as a child in the 1960s and then through turbulent teenage years, full of confusion, then as a young adult looking to the future but always being held back and victimised because others saw me as being different.

From my days as a young adult working as a professional drummer in a variety of rock bands, as well as working in the very male-dominated fire service as a firefighter, to where I am today working for a large Scottish ferry company.

It has been a long and harrowing difficult, emotional and sometimes dangerous journey, which did push me to breaking point many times. But I have not just survived, but have thrived as an optimistic and confident woman living and working successfully within mainstream society. This is the story I tell in Becoming Julie.

The author, Julie Clarke

Julie Clarke

This is not a book on the subject of transsexualism, rather a story about my going through life, as a transsexual. Also, I saw myself as being different, even from other transgender people. I didn't want to be part of that social scene at that time, I just wanted to be like a normal female. The book is a diverse and wide ranging true life story, which is far removed from what most people would see as normal. However it gives an intriguing insight into the life of someone who has faced the prejudices of most of the population throughout their life. Much of that life story is about being rejected by society, which has made me strong, and has taught me to persevere and to never give up, which has made me the successful woman I am today. What this true story does is tell how I took on a world that wasn’t ready or willing to accept someone who believed that they were born into the wrong body.

My story is full of hope and, although harrowing at times, also contains many lighter moments and anecdotes, and is more optimistic and less serious than other books of a similar genre. This is absolutely not another ‘misery memoir’, but is a celebration of the strength of the human spirit against all the odds, and is an inspiring and uplifting story of personal triumph over adversity. However this success didn’t come easily as my life has been a rollercoaster of high’s and low’s, trials and tribulations some with far reaching consequences affecting not just me but those around me.

Another important aspect of my transition has been centred around the Hebridean Island of Coll, which has been my home for the last eighteen years, this makes my story all the more unique as the anonymity of the large city does not exist. But the eyes of the small community were all ways on me and the Islanders had their own way of dealing with, and eventually coming to terms with what was sometimes a very difficult situation.