My Idea of a Rebel

By Robbie Campbell

This morning @ 9:25am


I'm in my home in Penicuik, Scotland watching the time as I have to drag myself to work. My wife and kids have left for the day and the craziness of a typical family morning has abated. At last I have some time to enjoy the silence that is as rare as finding a priceless diamond. I watch a chat show, eat white toast and butter and sip strong coffee. To be clear, I don't watch TV all that often and I certainly never watch The Jeremy Kyle Show - Scottish people are always portrayed on that show as lunatics so I only watch it occasionally, if the house is empty. An arrogant blonde woman with stubs for teeth is introduced. She drones on for what seems like an eternity without me knowing exactly what her issue is or why she is there. The target of her vitriol is a smartly dressed transgender person who seems to have heard the same diatribe many times over. I learn that she is called Amber. Amber is 21, she was married to the toothless blonde’s daughter but apparently couldn't live a lie and decided to transition to become a woman. Two more family members come out and repeat the same insults: 'freak', 'weirdo', 'crazy'. I'm sure she has heard it all before. So out comes Amber to a delighted applause. She is quiet, demure and intelligent. She doesn't resort to the name calling like the other three, she is her own master and my idea of a rebel. Amber impresses me, she holds herself with quietude and dignity. She conveys her thoughts and opinions to the host and audience with grace and humour. She is a beautiful person who has made a difficult decision – live and let live the host tells the pejorative idiots on stage. It strikes me she is more attractive and together as a person than any of the blockheads who try to demean her and judge her. Perhaps they do that because they don't understand her. As an armchair observer, Amber seems more womanly than any of the idiots hurling abuse at her. Her eyes are a cool blue colour and her cheekbones as sharp as a knife edge, she wields her femininity like a magic wand. She is a strong and resilient woman who isn’t affected by the name calling – her quietude is louder than words. When she leaves the stage the audience are as impressed with her as I am – she leaves, waving like a Gladiator leaving the Colosseum in Rome. I can't take the smile off my face as she walks off, and I stick two imaginary fingers up at the uneducated. Never underestimate the underdog indeed, the original rebel.


gender, identity, real rebel