Lily Maynard

TranSage – the tale of Chrissie & Nigel

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This is Chrissie. Chrissie is TranSage. Chrissy was born in 1973, but she doesn’t feel 45. She’s always hung out with people younger than herself, using the same slang phrases and jargon as people half her age. Chrissie knows all about the latest up-to-date technology and social media. Her clothes are the latest fashions. In fact, Chrissie feels uncomfortable and awkward around people who were born around the same time as her. They seem boring, staid and she doesn’t share their interests and goals.

Chrissie works out and is careful what she eats. She buys a lot of expensive body lotions and uses hair colourants to cover up her spattering of grey. She has good genes too. Chrissie’s skin is great. People often think her 28 year old niece is her older sister. Chrissie can dance half the night without getting tired and run for the bus without getting out of breath. She listens to Radio X. Chrissie can drink five bottles of WKD and snort a line of coke and go to work the next day without a hangover. Her doctor says she has the liver of someone half her age.

Chrissie wants to get her passport changed to say she was born in 1993. Why shouldn’t she? She identifies and presents as someone much younger than herself. Why should society’s narrow view of what a 25 year old should be restrict her like this? People’s refusal to tell Chrissie that she actually really is 25 really upsets her and she has become depressed recently. She knows how she feels. Chrissie says that society’s refusal to let her change her age is oppressive and cruel.
Chrissie would like to go on an 18-30s holiday and purchase a 16-25 railcard.
Should we all be obliged to tell Chrissie she is 25?
If not, why not?

This is Nigel. Nigel is TranSage. Nigel was born in 1973 but he doesn’t feel 45. Nigel has always had friends much older than himself. People his own age view him as a bit slow and placid. Nigel has never really caught on to the internet, although he owns a mobile phone and has an email account. Nigel likes reading books about World War II and doesn’t understand ironic beards. In fact, Nigel feels really uncomfortable around people his own age. He has no desire to hang out in wine bars and would rather go to bed early with a nice cup of Ovaltine and watch East Enders repeats.

Nigel has never had good health and started going bald in his early 20s. He’s had trouble with his posture since he was a teenager and often gets back ache. He has mild arthritis in his fingers and he hasn’t run for a bus since 1993. The last time he liked a song enough to dance to it, the Spice Girls were Number 1. Last week someone in the supermarket called him ‘grandad’. Nigel listens to Radio 4. Beer gives him wind. His doctor says he should take it easy.

Nigel wants to get his passport changed to say he was born in 1953. Why shouldn’t he? He identifies and presents as someone much older than himself. Why should society’s narrow view of what a 65 year old should be like restrict him like this? People’s refusal to tell Nigel that he actually really is 65 really upsets him and he has become depressed recently. He knows how he feels. Nigel says that society’s refusal to let him change his age is oppressive and cruel.
Nigel would like to go on a Saga (50+) holiday and get a Senior Citizen’s travel pass.
Should we all be obliged to tell Nigel he is 65?
If not, why not?

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