“I hope to be able to achieve that next year, because this year it will not be possible, unless something happens in the opposite direction overnight. I am confident that we will eventually achieve it. For any pioneer it is impressive and more in me he answers that.” Because of the obstacles that must be overcome. Charlie Martin, the first woman cross Who will try to participate in the token 24 hours in Le Mans, The iconic endurance car race that takes place every year in Sarth circle, Very close to the mentioned city. However, he is in a great professional moment with other short-term goals to achieve: “This year I continue to compete at Britcar and hopefully we can win the championship, because we started in such a great way.”
At the moment his case is still exceptional (“I’ve heard that there is more from the beginning, from information I read on the Internet”), but there are more transgender people involved in this sector, “engineers and mechanics…”, but no, They are always “visible, for whatever reason, because doing so is a very personal choice.” This was not his case, and he hopes “it will open the way for people to see that in my sport they can be their true selves”.
Charlie Martin, who will turn 40 on August 24 and have been competing on fifteen of them in the motoring world, showed his gender transition from 2012 in su canal de YouTube GoCharlie, and since then it has become a standard for LGTBI Community.
Question: Did you receive support in the sports environment or, conversely, have you encountered difficulties?
Answer: I got great support from my friends and media. When I “got out” in sports, my story got a lot of attention. Things have been written about me and my interviews have been very positive. I felt it was important to give a positive image rather than saying that something was wrong or that someone was awful. At first it was hard and I left everything, because it terrified me, if I’m honest, I was afraid of not getting support. There are people who haven’t treated a transgender person and don’t know how to react, so I felt very vulnerable during that time.
I don’t think people weren’t good. In England it is sometimes very common to worry that something we can say might be inappropriate or offensive and end up hurting, so we choose not to say anything. When you receive this response, you consider it passive-aggressive, and you build your own narrative in your head as to why these people don’t talk to you or act this way. This is the first hurdle I encountered, so the important thing is to establish a dialogue with these people, so that I can tell them what it was like, why I was doing it… Build yourself a network of people who support you, which is crucial. It’s something that, as a mutant, no one is explaining to you, so you have to do it yourself. At that time in my life I wasn’t very confident in myself, so it was a scary situation.
Q: In Spain, the law of transgender people is debated, and the biggest obstacle is the so-called self-determination of the sexes without the need to undergo medical examinations. There are those who use the argument that in public places, such as a prison or bathroom, a woman can see her safety as threatened. What would you say to these people?
R: There are people in the UK who have used this argument, saying that there are women-only places where they feel unprotected, because a man can come to say that he is a woman legally, and therefore there can be… It is very frustrating and disheartening for many converts because it undermines their human rights. People who want to do this kind of thing – refers to hypothetical assaults – will do it anyway. In all societies, there are bad people who commit crimes, but making these kinds of statements puts transgender people into question.
When a person goes to the bathroom, he uses the bathroom for his purpose and not for any other purpose. I have heard many stories in the UK, especially of transgender children, who are afraid to go to the toilet because on many occasions they have been challenged in an aggressive manner. There are people who do not go to the bathroom all day at work or in schools for fear of these situations. In the world of sports, there is also a lot of debate in this regard, especially in the United States, where transgender people have been banned from playing rugby. They have to change a lot of things…
Q: You lost your parents when you were very young. Was it particularly difficult not having them by your side in your transition?
A: I came out of the closet With my mother when I was 11 and with some friends from school. My mother, in a way, has always known. We’re talking about 1995, and it wasn’t as easy as it is now. To understand what it meant to be transgender, my mother would now be showing YouTube videos or blogs of people who were in transition, but there was nothing of that sort before. It’s hard for anyone not to have their parents to support them. I am fortunate to have two older brothers and a half sister who have been very supportive. I’ve also been very lucky with my friends. It’s something you get used to and live with, but it’s very sad.
Q: What would you say to children and teens going through a process similar to your plan?
R: Never doubt your right to be good to that person you know you are. Don’t let people make you feel bad. Don’t let anyone force you to be something you’re not. Be the best version of yourself. We live in an age where, through the Internet and technology, it allows you to connect in a much easier way with other people who feel like you. It’s amazing to be able to connect with them and get their support. In my case, it wasn’t there and I had to figure it out myself, so the process was much more difficult.
Q: I suffered from anorexia, depression and felt very lonely.. where did you get the strength to overcome all these problems?
R: My mother was a very strong woman. She was a kind, gentle woman, but with great strength. She had been battling cancer for two years and seeing how she struggled through the process made me admire her so much for all that she had to go through. She was always smiling and was positive. It taught me a lot and I think a lot of her strength came from her. The transition was something that terrified me because it affected so many aspects of my life, my relationships, my family, my career… After a while, I started to think that I had experienced the most terrifying thing for me, and that it turned out very well. we will.
I felt happy and gave me a lot of strength because I realized that since then I will not be afraid of anything. He did something that seemed impossible and anything since then seemed possible. You know that sometimes when you suggest doing something, a suspicious voice arises; However, now I’m going to take more risks in my life, and I’m going to do things I want to do. Also, the less he feared, the more successful he was. When you add up all the things you’ve done that you didn’t see yourself able to do at first, that’s when you realize you’re stronger and more capable than you thought. The resilience I have today arose from all of that process. When you believe and trust yourself and accept yourself for who you are, an amazing process begins.
Q: What do you think is the best way to combat transphobia?
R: The main thing is education, because I think a lot of the stigma that trans people have to fight is based on a lack of understanding, education, and empathy. Since I made the move ten years ago, I’ve struggled in conversations with a lack of knowledge and connection to the issues we have to face. When there is more understanding, more empathy is generated. I think it’s an essential part of social change in a permanent way. These people, once they understand that, they can share it with the rest of the people and that’s a very powerful thing. For example, if a person chooses another person while in the bathroom because they are transgender, they may meet someone who tells them that this cannot and should not be done. These people are also an ally of the community.
Q: One of the important issues is the lack of professional opportunities that transgender people find on many occasions, and in some cases, they are on the brink of social exclusion. Is your government taking measures to improve this situation?
R: I cooperate with Stonewall organization and one of its areas of work is with the government in matters relating to legislation to protect society LGTBIQ +. I’m no expert, but I consider the UK, compared to some European countries and the rest of the world, to have a good degree of protection, but there are many things to continue to do. For example, waiting lists for treatment or to go to a specialized clinic. When I was making the transition, I had to wait four months for my first consultation.
There are people who have to wait two or three years to start the process. This is madness. If you go to the doctor and tell him that you have depressionThey won’t tell you to come back in two years. This was the situation I’ve been in and I don’t know exactly what it will be like now, but I think a lot can be done to improve it, in terms of changing your identity and recognizing your rights. As a trans person who has gone through transition, I feel privileged to be able to live my life without feeling any stigma or feeling vulnerable in society, but I know there are many people in the process now who need this support and believe that it can be. Improvement.
Q: Beyond sports, what other vital goals have you set for yourself in the next few years?
R: Getting to Le Mans would be a huge achievement. Now most of my energy is drained by my desire to compete at the highest level and to be up to the task. I would like to continue competing for a long time. I like to live by the sea. It’s something I’ve thought about for a long time, whether in England or France, and I’m passionate about it and speak the language too. I also want to continue being an ambassador for transgender rights, because it’s something I care about so much and I don’t want to stop doing it. In fact, I don’t think there will come a time when he will tell me that there is nothing else that can be done in this regard. I am a person who likes to keep busy. I would also like to travel more. At the moment, I focus very much on the things that make me happy.