My Dream Job

‘Job’ probably isn’t the right word for this post. I guess dream career would be better. Today I want to talk to you about my dreams for my future career path, why I want to do it, and how I plan to get there. Today I want to talk about how I will become a BSL interpreter. 

Image of wooden board on wall with 'My Dream Job' written. The blog URL is in the bottom right corner.

I have always loved languages since I was small. I grew up with my mum speaking a mix of English and French (she wasn’t French, she just thought it was good to use both so I learnt more French), and I loved it. I took French up until GCSE level (age 16), and I did German for a while too, even at GCSE. I didn’t do brilliant on those exams because sadly I got the two mixed up and spoke French in my German oral and visa versa! But I loved them both. 

For a while I also learnt Braille, though I didn’t get too far as school got in the way. I then fell upon sign language and loved it from the start. I quickly taught myself basic phrases such as ‘my name is’ and the Alphabet. When I went to university I was lucky enough to have a course where BSL was a part of the curriculum, I had a lot of ups and downs at uni and ultimately I left the course. However, this didn’t waver my love. 

I got involved with events back home. I signed at the Trans Pride event, and again at the Trans Day of Remembrance event. I have done both of these two years running now, and my confidence has slowly gone up. 

I haven’t practiced as much as I should have though. This is my own fault and something I know I need to improve on from here on out.

I spoke about my goal to complete my level 1 by the end of 2017 in my goal setting post a few weeks ago. That is still my plan, and I am slowly moving forward with it. Another thing I’d like to do is work alongside Fran, an interpreter I have signed with for all of the things I mentioned before. I plan to meet with her and discuss progress and terminology within the trans community so we could work out signs. 

I mentioned wanting to be an interpreter, but I didn’t go into the full extent of my dream career. The reason I am not fighting to do all of my BSL at once is because, alongside it, I am doing training in mental health. My dream is to be a BSL interpreter for Trans° people with ill mental health. 

I hope to be able to help people with things such as appointments, day to day activities, and the like, who need support from a BSL interpreter. I would also like to work expressly with the trans° community as I know, certainly in Brighton, there are very few Trans° people who can sign professionally. This means that cis people are required to go into trans exclusive space, which can be very problematic for the space, no matter how trans aware the person may be. 

I also need to look into business courses, as the role would be self employed. The problem is that I am on a low budget and a fair few of these courses cost money. 

I shall not be detered though. I am going to get there, and I will reach my goal. One day I shall be able to do the job I want for life, but for now, I am working towards it. 

° By Trans I mean those who identify in any way away from the gender they were assigned at birth. Including non-binary folk. 

What is your dream job? Are you working towards it? Let me know in the comments, I will definitely reply! 

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4 comments

  1. Hi Kai my name is Chris but my dad still calls me Katia. I am also trans living in Canada. My dream career is to be a firefighter chief. I have been working at my local LGBTQIA shelter in Nova Scotia and volunteering at the fire brigade but experiencing a lot of discrimination. I’m interested in deaf studies but know that the sign language is different in Canada. We use the US sign language and I’m pretty savvy. How are you able to work events when youre not certified? I’d love to but events wont let me because they say I’m not good enough 😦 Another thing, why do trans people need specific sign language terminology? What words would be different? Just curious 🙂 Would you consider coming to Canada and teaching a course on BSL? How is the trans deaf community in Brighton? What can cis people do to assist the needs of people like you?

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    • Hi Chris!

      Sorry I only just saw your comment. BSL is very different to ASL or French sign language, which I know are the two main versions used in Canada. I know I’d consider helping teach it, but I think at this point in time I’d need a little more learning first!

      I am very privileged to know a lot of people in the community and they are encouraging of supporting learners to interpret here. I usually work alongside a qualified interpreter at events, and there is only one performance I have not done that with now.

      With regards to specific language, it is because there are words in our language that are not commonly used. For example, non-binary is not a word that I could find in BSL. Therefor we had to come up with a new one to make sense. Else, we would be finger spelling everything. The same way as language is always evolving, it is just another example of that.

      The trans deaf community in Brighton – to my knowledge – is not huge, but there is a large LGBTQ cross over. I personally am hard of hearing, but I am not yet as involved as I’d like to be still.

      With regards to your last question, I’d say the best thing would be to educate themselves. Read stuff, learn about it, and take steps to be independent learners rather than just asking others (though, when it is said it is okay, do take the chance respectfully). I am always open to more questions, and if you’d like to talk more on the topic please feel free to shoot me an email or find me on social media 🙂

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  2. Sounds like a good career choice. Good luck.
    I know someone who is a BSL interpreter at a college and now has just been accepted onto a BSL interpreting post grad course. She seems to really enjoy it.

    I’d say my dream job would be something based on history (especially Tudor) research. So perhaps working for a museum or something doing research. Not 100% sure. I’ve looked up a few museum roles and what I like is that the ones ‘back of house’ don’t involve too much human interaction! So yeah something researching the history periods I love that doesn’t involve too much human interaction!

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