On March 12th, 2008 I (A.Voss) started a simple blog with the purpose of peering above the wall of conventional thinking to see what was out there. Over the years I have disappeared down a number of rabbit holes, any of which could have beguiled me for a lifetime. I have always been determined to keep my sense of humour while questioning everything, even the stuff that ‘feels’ safe and right.
My spiritual, political and personal outlooks have shifted, sometimes subtly and sometimes to the point I feel I barely recognise the person I once was. No matter how good your intentions, you don’t get to 54 without making mistakes. Some of these mistakes were so big that they still reverberate decades after the fact.
I am not perfect. I do not have all the answers. However, I have lived an eclectic life. When I write, despite being crippled by dyslexia and without the trophies of academia, I feel I have something worthwhile to say. Something born from a heart and mind that refuses to just go with the flow. The road less travelled is a bumpy one, but boy it does have some amazing vistas, not to mention some stupidly amusing dells.
I hope you consider following me and my wife on my journey, as life continues to take twists and turns that even I cannot yet foresee. Thanks for reading.
Continue reading to find out a little bit more about the two of us that make up ‘The Family Voss’
A 90’s selfie aka standing in from of a mirror with a camera
oh to be young again (A is on the left – T on the right)
About A Voss
Born in the late 60’s into a sleepy Middlesex suburb on the Metropolitan line, it became obvious to me I saw the world differently. From an early age I enjoyed making people laugh, which I did often. However, society can be very cruel to its jesters. While I had a different first name in those days, you wouldn’t have known it as I was called moron, idiot and spack more often than anything else, obviously it goes without saying I did not like that very much. Bullied until my early teens, I grew up rather socially awkward and conflicted as I still am today. I am someone just begging for attention who would rather never be seen. I left school at 16 and never looked back. Taking a job in the family hardware store, I started creating artwork in my spare time. Eventually I held a few local exhibitions, but my art was as ‘weird’ as me and not really what the ‘norms’ wanted.
Then in 1993, I moved to creating art digitally whilst taking a course at the Art Institute of Seattle on desktop publishing. I found the medium I had been waiting for all my life. Upon quitting the course, I just let my imagination run wild. Purchasing my first digital camera in the late 90s, I coupled photography with my knowledge of digital manipulation giving me even more scope. I enjoyed turning people ‘typically women’ into warriors, vampires and fairies. I was lucky enough to have owned my own photography studio for a while, but I soon got bored dealing with people and their unrealistic demands. Returning to a more artistic side, I then created digital images for meditation and contemplation using photos I had taken in nature. Nowadays I am just happy looking after my wife and creating images for the pure joy of it.
So, like most ‘Arty Types’ as my father would call me when he was alive, I have always been ‘different’ and have loved and hated that in equal measure. I believe difference is good, even if in the eyes of those who seek to separate and alienate, I’m just another deluded fool. I know only too well what is said about people like me that don’t follow the conventional wisdom/dogma of the day and what can happen to them… Jesus on the cross comes to mind.
In early 2018 I finally started my long over due feminine transition. you can read all about that over 10 posts starting with – Fix Me (Hidden Journal Pt.1) and ending with Lost in Transition (HJ Pt 10) I have seldom subscribed to the pre-approved and pre-packaged ways of seeing this world and that includes the way I see life as a transgender person. Over the decades I have never been able to find a tribe where I would be truly welcomed or feel at home.
Note I have no wish to change people’s minds or get them to see the world ‘my way’. However, I would like society as a whole to ‘wake up’ and start thinking for themselves instead of following the flock. ‘When you follow the herd, you end up with other people’s shit on your shoes’… I seek only to reassure those who feel, as my wife and I do, that they are not alone. I think likeminded people do tend to gravitate towards each other, but we are seldom the types to ‘form a club’, in fact such an idea is an anathema to people like us. A few years ago, I would of said this is a site for ‘the freaks’ and meant it with love, now we have entered a more sensitive time I say it’s a place where difference is tolerated and indeed celebrated.
– A Voss
A shadow of our former selves 2015
About T Voss
So who is T.Voss?
Well that is a question not easily answered. I can make a list of things and roles I play in life but that is not me. I am so much more. But I will start the conventional way.
An Anglo-American born into a family with three older siblings and awesome yet feisty parents. My mum was English and married one of those American servicemen lol. In fact, my parents both were married five times. two times to each other, you would think they would have learnt.. I spent most of my early years travelling from town to town as a military brat, but these experiences made me who I am today. I am not afraid to try new things, I am comfortable talking to pretty much anyone, I love learning about cultures, history and traditions from all over the world.
Growing up was fairly easy for me. Initially, I was bullied because of my lisp and always being the new kid. But the bullies soon stopped when I grew taller and of course faster than them. I excelled at school owing to the fact I have a photographic memory now called an eidetic memory. I could just bring whole pages of information into my head, seeing them as if I was reading them then and there. At this early age I discovered my two passions in life maths and music. I whizzed through maths problems and adored music. I played the clarinet & saxophone and dabbled in various other instruments too.
I was always planning to go into the military like my parents and their parents before, but a cruel twist of fate at the age of 17 stopped all my dreams. I was accepted to both Annapolis Naval Academy and the US Coast Guard Academy but in March of that year I was diagnosed with type one diabetes, and I was not allowed to attend either prestigious school. So, I went completely the other way and obtained my degree in civil engineering in the UK. This is where one fateful night 😊 I met A. Voss at a nightclub called Paradise Lost (which kind of says it all really lol)
From that point, 30 years ago, we have been living our lives together, having some amazing experiences and also some heart breaking ones. We have both lost our parents now. And in another twist of fate, 5 years ago I was diagnosed with chronic pulmonary sarcoidosis. A disease which can be harmless to some, but not in my case. It ravages my lungs and body so now daily I take immune suppressants and thank god I can still breathe and live. I have overcome many battles in life but this one is quite a challenge especially in these dark times of COVID-19