Having The Confidence to Become Your True Self with Maddison Harrington

As a confident woman, seasoned speaker and successful lawyer for one of Queensland's largest University’s, you would never know that Maddy's journey to womanhood has been a little different to most.

Originally from New Zealand and now residing in Brisbane, Maddy is extremely open about her transition from male to female.

Maddison transitioned in her mid-20s, after knowing from a young age she was born in the wrong body. She shares her story and experiences to help promote LGBTI, and particularly, transgender, inclusion and awareness in both the Higher Education and Legal professions, and to dispel myths and misconceptions about transgender people. 

I was honoured to speak with Maddy on International Transgender Day of Visibility. Click below to listen to this very educational and motivating podcast on having the confidence to become your true and BEST self!

Listen below!

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In this podcast episode we discuss:

  • Maddy's story transitioning from a man to a woman

  • Life before transitioning

  • What it was like coming out to family, friends and the whole world so publicly

  • Advice for anyone going through a similar situation

  • Becoming a lawyer

  • International Transgender Day of Visibility and so much more!

You might remember Maddy being mentioned in last weeks podcast chat with Amanda from Courageous Ladies.

I was honoured when Maddy agreed to come on the podcast and so openly speak about her transition story the importance of International Transgender Day of Visibility and what it means to her.

You can find Maddy on Instagram @thatunilawyer

Maddy's story


From a really young age, I knew something was different about me.

I was never one of the guys and never really fit in as a male. The dysphoria between what people could see on the outside versus what my heart was telling me kept growing over the years until it became unbearable and I had to make a choice.

I have been transitioning for a year a half this month and it's crazy to think about my journey and where I am today because I never thought all of these amazing opportunities would come from me becoming my true self.

Don't get me wrong, having to reinvent yourself from scratch is hard but it has been so worth it for me.

Having The Confidence to Become Your True Self


I have seen so much positivity and opportunity come from becoming who I truly am.

I've made so many genuine friends that I never had before and have been on podcasts, invited to public speaking panels and featured on International Women's Day acknowledged by the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland as one of their inspirational women of 2020.

It's been scary but so worth it and as one of the first trans people to be recognised on that list, I've found a voice from within that needs to be heard.

We're just normal women or men, if you're a transgender male. What we were before transitioning does not and should not define us.

You will be accepted when you're true to yourself

The reason I was never really accepted before was that I had these walls up and this facade for fear of how I would be judged. But now that my exterior has changed, my attitude has changed.

I'm reflecting who I truly am because I have to! I am who I am and I can't change that, I'm just a woman at the end of the day.

I may have had a very different life to other women but becoming who I am and learning to live my best life has enabled me to do all of these amazing things.

Coming out


The reason that I came out, in the end, was because of the impending wedding that I had.

I realised that I could not be married as a man. It didn't sit right with me because I didn't want to be wearing a suit and tie, at my wedding... I wanted to wear a white dress and to be loved and adored by my friends and family as the real me, not as this facade of me.

Telling my ex the truth about how I was feeling was really hard because I loved this person with every fibre of my being but I knew I had to be true to myself.

It's sad but true that transitioning is a selfish act where you have to put yourself first. But it's essential because there are going to be people who put up roadblocks to try and stop you but you have to believe in yourself and what you're doing.

I had to stand up and say that this is me and the sooner we all accept that the sooner we can move on.

Hormones and being recognised as transgender


Hormones are great because no one "clocks me" which is a term we use in the trans community as in, 'does someone recognise that you're trans?'

I went to the chemist to pick up some pain meds and I bought some Naprogesic and the lady behind the counter was talking to me about how great it is for period pain and I was like ahuh, yep...

It's moments like that, that are so affirming, where I'm not seen as a man or a man in woman's clothing, like a lot of people may assume. I'm just seen as a woman, and I love that.

I'm past the point of needing to justify myself to people. I can just go into any store I like and try things on. I no longer have to say, "I'm trans can you help?" or "I'm trans don't mind me, I know I look weird right now" and things like that, that I had to do in the early days.

There's always the fear that a member of the public will say something like "what's a man doing here?" There's still that fear sometimes but to have gone from flying under the radar as a man to now being accepted as a woman and having this platform to use to push for change and acceptance, I'm so proud of that.

I am a woman but I can't hide the fact that I have transitioned. It is a key part of my life and my story that needs to be told.

International Transgender Day of Visibility


To me, International Transgender Day of Visibility is exactly as it states - it's to be visible and to show that the transgender community isn't a one size fits all. We're all extremely diverse coming from different backgrounds and walks of life.

There are conservative trans people, there are very left trans people but it doesn't matter because we're all people at the end of the day.

We all have our own political and social views and people forget that we're just human beings at the end of the day.

Some people tend to stereotype us from what they see on TV shows or online. It's important to raise the visibility of the fact that we are you accountants, your lawyers, your doctors, shop attendants or family members.

We have come leaps and bounds but there is still so much further we have to go. A large part of it all is just the acceptance of trans people as normal members of society.

One day I would like to see the day not need to be a thing but until there is more global acceptance and we reach that equal recognition, this day does need to be recognised.

Essentially we want the social recognition that we are your equal, we're not your subordinate or superior, we're just your equal.

For more on International Transgender Day of Visibility click here: https://tdov.org.au/

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