I am Amber Hall
I am Amber Hall. I joined Virgin Media as a Resolutions Case Manager in February 2019 after finishing my Masters in Biotechnology. In celebration of National Inclusion Week, I wanted to share my story. As a transwoman, I think it’s important to be visible, because I know I could have done with some trans representation when I was growing up.
When I first started properly questioning my identity it was because I spoke with a transwoman living openly. That helped me in ways I couldn’t even understand at the time. I just hope that my story can help someone else who is struggling with their identity.
I knew I felt different when I was about 11. I’m sure ‘regular’ people don’t think about what it would be like to be a girl every single day for years. That should have been a dead giveaway, but my tiny child mind couldn’t truly comprehend the abstract nature of gender. When I was 15, I levelled with my mum about the fact that I occasionally liked to wear women’s clothes. It became apparent in the following years that there was more to it than that. I remember breaking down to my partner at the time saying that I was confused about why I wanted to live two lives: a man moonlighting as a woman.
Through her understanding and support, I felt I could finally start expressing myself. I was allowed to explore that side of me. However, things weren’t easy. When she broke up with me unexpectedly, it cut me to the core. I was extremely confused by this storm of emotion and crippled by a fear of being shunned by my friends and family. It took me to a dark place. I found myself contemplating suicide. It was that night that I looked at my own reflection and thought, “If I want to die, I might as well try living first.” I keep that in mind as much as I can. Nobody should have to reach that point before they confront issues with their gender, sexuality or identity.
My identity is an outlet for the things going on inside my brain. You’re hungry: you eat. You’re tired: you sleep. You’re human: you express yourself. My identity follows on from that expression. It’s not to appease anyone or achieve anything other than fulfilment. My identity is a reflection of the true Amber.
As it happens, I’ve got a really supportive network. All my family, friends and peers have been exceptional. I have to shout out to my mum, dad and brother – I really couldn’t ask for a more loving and understanding family.
My colleagues at Virgin Media have been great. I feel proud that I can bring my whole self to work. I’m seen by others the way I want to be seen and the way I’m happy to be seen. I simply can’t pretend to fit in. I am who I am and there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyday Inclusion to me means feeling included and bring treated well by your peers. Working within an inclusive environment gives me a sense of belonging; I’m more open and comfortable to further explore my identity.