Photo by Brandless on Unsplash

I can’t tell him. We’ve been married eleven years.

But I love her more.

I love to curl the autumns of her hair around my fingers.

I prefer her pink plastic fingernails tracing my face and breasts.

The fake eyelashes and the brows and the thickness of her make-up sweat away to a sexy mess as we make love.

I wasn’t sure at first. Neither was she. (He introduced us not knowing how well we’d get along.)

Her awkwardness is endearing. She has this way of drawing both sides of the front of her hair back from her face with…


The Perils of Telling Your Non-Cis Story

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Writing stories about your experiences from beyond the gender binary, it turns out, is a sticky business.

Sticky as shit.

I recently wrote and published two personal essays on Medium on the subject of feeling ‘genderqueer’. Both were curated and both got lots of views.

The stories were: I Was Genderqueer for 37 Years Before I Finally Found Out, which I’m proud to say was my first and so far my most successful story on Medium, and: The Mutual Violence of a Female Body and her Genderqueer Mind.

Here’s what happened next:

I was asked by a reader “why the f**k” I needed to…


(A Horror Story, Starring OCD & Me)

Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

The horror of living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a far cry from the trope of the neat freak combing the carpet fringes and professing to be ‘a little bit OCD’. It’s much scarier than that.

Not that long ago, OCD fully succeeded in eroding my sense of reality, dragging me along a spectrum of insight towards the dark and delusional, bordering on psychosis.

This is the reality of OCD.

It wears you down slowly. You hardly notice how much it is controlling you. You let it get away with a little more, and then a little more, until you…


Try Making Boring Tasks a Part of Your Writing Practice

Photo by Chloe Skinner on Unsplash

Doing something dull and boring (for me that includes housework) could actually improve your creativity, according to a study published last month. I was really interested to read this as the concept supports a writing habit that I have found really helpful for some time now.

I prioritise my writing over most things (other than the people close to me) but this means that I often resent having anything else to do, especially those unpleasant tasks such housework, exercise, and preparing meals. Yawn!

I liked to fill my writing breaks with TV or YouTube, or catching up with friends online…


Photo by Javier Molina on Unsplash

Yesterday I cleared out my shed in a flourish of spring excitement, and decided that my spare bed base (which occupied most of it) would be best going to a new home. I had bought a new wooden bed frame during the winter, and this one had been ousted to the brick outbuilding. It needed the spiderwebs dusting off, but otherwise it was in really good condition, and I decided that rather than sell it, I’d gift it to my local community.

Marketplace is a very handy part of the Facebook infrastructure where you can buy and sell with people…


My dysfunctional relationship with my body

Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash

I don’t mind being within this female body

I just wish she would stay silent.

I don’t want to be reminded that she’s here.

She can sit at the table

but don’t let her speak.

My body and I have a dysfunctional relationship.

I need her in my life. She takes me places. She helps me get what I want. She blends me in.

I’m nothing without her.

But I don’t like how she behaves. How she tries to control me.

She tries to make me to do things I don’t want to do.

I have never wanted to hold a baby. They do not stir me. I…


Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

Revenge is a dish best prepared lovingly over a hot stove.

It requires a lifetime of

Stirring

Tasting

Evaluating, and

Adding, of suitable flavours.

It is a special recipe that cannot be rushed. Take your time.

Keep watch. Don’t let it burn or boil. You’ll ruin the flavour.

Once ready, let cool.

Serve a little time in the interim.

Hors d’oeuvre?

Now look. A cold dish. Very cold. Super super duper duper cold. So cold that it is an ice age away. Hell has frozen over. Until she hath no fury (so you think).

All quiet on the Western Front…


Photo by Sid Leigh on Unsplash

I live with a permanent level of anxiety. That is my normal. I have been this way for 20 years.

Sometimes it has been so bad that I have been unable to function. I needed medication and professional help. The rest of the time it exists quietly but constantly in the background, making life a continual challenge.

A small amount of anxiety is natural, even useful.

Natural anxiety helps us perform better, motivates us, focuses our attention, and protects us from danger. It is good to have some anxiety in our lives.

This doesn’t mean that severe anxiety is natural, however. There is definitely a difference between natural anxiety…


I was born into a female body. I have always liked the way it looked. I am a sister and a daughter. I am the granddaughter of many, many women before me.

I grew up climbing trees in Asia, and collecting insects and frogs. I had animals not dolls, dungarees not dresses. Most of my friends were boys. They were much more interesting. Girls always seemed to be plotting something, leering at me sideways, whispering, laughing at an inside joke. They seemed to move in packs. I stayed away.

They made fun of me at school for not shaving my…

Hester

Experimental memoir, magic, madness.

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