Hello dear friends, family, and strangers,
As I’m sure most of you know, I have spent my life in pursuit of two things: adventure, and making a meaningful impact for those in my community (both locally and globally).
Almost four and a half years ago I came out as transgender, I would like to begin by sharing with you some things that I haven’t shared before. I came out because I have known deep down that I was a girl since I was about 3 years old. I also came out knowing so little about the trans (and even greater queer) community. I started by watching public trans figures. Now, I don’t mean the super public trans people of the world, I mean the YouTubers who so vulnerably shared about themselves, the athletes who do interviews, and the everyday individuals who write about themselves. I identified with and felt seen by the strangers on the other side of the screen. They were saying the things that I felt about myself. They gave me the confidence to finally begin the process of socially transitioning. By this, I mean not just telling my closest friends, my family, my partner that I am a woman, but actually living everyday as the woman I am, and being seen as such by society. The feeling of knowing I am a woman was always there, but I never would have found the confidence to take the steps to live as myself if it were for those fighting to be visible.
As I began to transition in everyday life I became immersed in the incredible community of trans people. Every single one of them are one of the most amazing people I have ever met. Each bringing their own unique experiences, culture, world views, and personality to this vibrant community. I am so proud to now be a part of this community. However, if it were not for those trans people willing to be in the spotlight, I never would have had the confidence to come out myself.
The trans community is once more under attack, it honestly never really stops. There will always be powerful, white, men in Washington who are trying to squash the things they don’t understand, out of fear and misunderstanding. Trans people have always been here, we will always be here, one of the big questions is how safe we are going to be. Staying visible, refusing to be silenced or stopped is our most powerful tool. No matter what They do, it cannot keep this community down.
As I watch anti-trans legislation, bill after bill, get flung at the trans community, I can no longer sit by and simply just exist. I have a unique set of skills and talents and it is time for me to put them to work for myself and my community. Very few people have sailed around the world, solo (like, more people have been to space). Of those people not very many are women. Not a single one has been openly queer, and none have been trans. Have you figured it out? I am going to circumnavigate the globe aboard Swirl. What is a better way for me to use my accumulated skillset to better and further the movement of trans safety, acceptance, and inclusion?
This last trans day of visibility I talked a lot about how I have a ton of privilege and how I am bound and determined to use that for the greater good. This is in part what I was talking about. I have a unique skill set, a nearly ideal boat for a quick circumnavigation, and the drive for adventure. I’m coming at this with a lot of the skills and techniques I learned mountaineering, climbing, and thru-hiking. From a lot of stand points, I am viewing this as just the next ultra-long distance trail.
I have the privilege of passing, I don’t have to worry about being constantly outed everywhere I go. At the end, you best know at the end I’m going to do my darndest to make sure the whole world knows that a transwoman conquered the feat of circumnavigation.
A little FAQ:
Am I taking my current, tiny boat?
Yes! There are many advantages to Swirl, and her size is even part of it. I have put so much time and money into this boat already and so she’s modernly updated and also totally ready to go already. Having a boat that deals with big waves one at a time can actually be safer than a larger boat that can span waves putting more stress on the hull.
Do you have a route all planned out?
Yup! But I’m not sharing specifics with the whole internet for my own safety. It’s a fairly standard equatorial rhumb route though.
Aren’t you scared?
Terrified. But I have an excellent knack for problem solving in high stress situations (I kind of thrive in that environment) and I have an exhaustive skill set that I have the confidence in to keep me safe.
Will we be able to follow along on your journey?
Heck yeah you will! Patreons will have access to my location, updated twice daily while I’m offshore (when approaching or departing shorelines I will go dark, again for my personal safety). Patreons will also have access to my journal updated as often as I have internet. My YouTube channel will have all of my adventures (youtube.com/sailingsvswirl) so make sure you’re subscribed. Of course I will update Instagram and Facebook along the way as well.
Is Soot going to be a circumnavigator?
I sure hope so! I have a contention plan if he doesn’t do well with the first offshore passage. Most every country I will be resupplying in have very lenient guidelines for cats aboard boats, so that shouldn’t be an issue.