(My “You Got This From Your Couch” Talk transcript)

By Alex Papadopoulos

Alex Papadopoulos (@imalexnowuk) is a UX Designer and a PhD Adventurer at UCL, committed to the noble cause of making the world suck less. He is a founding member of Queer Wave, the first LGBTQ+ film festival in Cyprus, a peer mentor at Spectra, an organisation that helps LGBT people who need support, and part of the content design team at TransActual UK. An optimist by choice, he is always on the lookout for projects that can make the world a brighter and more equal place.

Video of this talk is available here

Starting a new job…

In theory, the Net Promoter Score is supposed to tell you about customer satisfaction. The question “Would you recommend [product X] to a friend or colleague?” is based on the assumption that if you are happy with [product X] you will definitely talk about it with your friends or even recommend it to them, which will inevitably bring more people into the brand etc.

It is not an unreasonable metric, and it can give some valuable insights to what might happen in the future, but it’s not the whole story, for three reasons.

The first one has to do with…

Elliot Page: Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

If you have been anywhere on the internet the past three days, you must have seen somewhere the news title “Elliot Page, Oscar nominated actor of Umbrella Academy has come out as transgender” in one form or another. I have seen multiple of these titles, most of them respectful enough to use his correct pronouns and name when referring to him, which is amazing news for humanity in general.

Netflix, Wikipedia, IMDB, and many other places have promptly changed his name everywhere, and 1.2 million people have already “liked” his post on twitter.

You might be thinking “yes, and?” or…

Dear 2019,

People say you were terrible. And I can’t really disagree, because in a lot of ways, man, you fucked shit up. The world is collapsing, and you just stood there calm and content, being the year you are, and waited. I’m pretty sure you, too, were tired of humanity’s shit. And, honestly, I don’t blame you.

This letter is not to throw shit at you though, surprisingly enough. Because you see, for me, and probably for a bunch of other people, 2019 was the most exciting year of our lives. …

Amongst other things, because the world is pretty scary as it is right now, if someone asks me what are the things I am most afraid of, I’d probably include spiders and public bathrooms in my list. Not necessarily together, although I must admit they would make a pretty freakish combination.

Public bathrooms scare me. There, I said it.

I’m not the first, nor the last trans or cis person to say that. I can only talk about my experiences though, so today you will get (another) transgender person’s views on why bathrooms are indeed scary for some people.


I had promised myself that I would keep myself out of this discussion. I figured there are enough people out there to justify the answer to the much repeated question “But why do people need pride parades?”.
My immediate circle, I thought, knew why we celebrate Pride and they did go to the parades as well. Or so I thought. Turns out, it’s more complicated than that.

I will spare you the historical retrospection, on the very valid and very serious reasons why we came to celebrate pride month, and I will not try to add to what everyone else…

by Sophie P. (She/Her/Hers or They/Their/Theirs)

(Sopheh is a full time advocate of making the world suck less. Other than being a nerdfighter and a wizard-activist, Sophie is a smartypants technology freak,an aspiring user experience researcher and a proud Ravenclaw. You can find her on twitter @sofatsos and occasionally on medium @sopheh where she writes her thoughts about LGBT issues and other random stuff going through her head.

This piece is part of our series of writing from trans people for our Protego campaign, which fights for trans rights and safe spaces. If you have a story or perspective you’d like to share, email katieb@thehpalliance.org


and music and buses and people from the past.

I dream about people who were who they said they were and people who lied.

I dream about destruction and fire and pain.

I dreamed that I had a choice and I chose destruction.

I dream about love. I dream about affection.
I dream about caring and deeply understanding.

I dream that the world is mine and I choose what to make of it.

I dream about transforming. I dream about staying the same.

I dream about breaking and building, and breaking again.

I dream about people, and I dream about dreams.

It’s funny, because the dream is always the same.

So, as I was walking towards the tube the other day, I had an epiphany. One that I experienced a few times before, but I always pushed it towards the back of my head in order not to think about it much. It came in the form of a thought, a very specific one. It went like that:

“I should have stopped speaking to half of my friends.”

I like to believe that I’m not an asshole.
I also like to believe that I love my friends. …

I was diagnosed with depression when I was thirteen (I was freaking thirteen; I cannot even imagine now how a depressed thirteen year old can perceive the world) and I struggled with it for years, with diagnoses changing from teen depression to dysthymia, getting to a point in time when everybody (including myself) were convinced that I had Bipolar disorder, type two. Which might be true. But I’ve stopped putting labels anymore.

All these years have gone so fast but at the same time they were slower than death itself. I felt crappy and sad and empty and I could…

Alex Papadopoulos

PhD Adventurer, UX Designer, Full-Time advocate of making the world suck less.

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