top of page

The Unspoken Battle: Confronting Transphobia and Mental Health

The Unspoken Battle: Confronting Transphobia and Mental Health

"Embracing a New Identity"

In the transformative phase of my life as a transgender woman, I found sanctuary in the form of my band Chambers. Newly transitioned, I was navigating uncharted waters. Yet, in this profound journey, my bandmate's unwavering support was my compass, guiding me through the maze of self-discovery.

A picture of Eleanor Churchill and Aeris Houlihan
Left - Ellie / Right - Me

"The Dark Abyss"

However, life has a knack for throwing curveballs and two years later, I found myself in the terrifying throes of a mental health battle. I yearned to be accepted as a woman, but the cruel world had other plans. I was met with a barrage of transphobic slurs from strangers.

These encounters often occurred in the confines of bars where I was simply enjoying my own company or perhaps sharing a laugh with friends. Men who recognized me from Chambers would eagerly disclose my transgender identity to anyone who interacted with me. The reactions? Often aggressive, brutal, and venomous.

The echo of their words gnawed at my self-esteem. It was during these moments, surrounded by the dull hum of hostility, I began to question my worth. I felt a profound pain, a resonant despair misting my existence. Was I worth less because of who I am?

"On the Edge"

One fateful night, with the remnants of many emptied wine bottles littering the floor around me, I found myself on stage at the Brudenell in Leeds. The world blurred around me, and I could barely strum a chord. I just about made it through the set, whilst lost in a fog of self-loathing.

That night, in a moment of crushing desolation, I succumbed to the unforgiving void. I attempted to overdose on painkillers. Hours later, I awoke, confronted with the chilling reality of my actions. Trembling, filled with regret yet with a glimmer of determination, I dialed 999.

A picture of Aeris Houlihan on stage
The night of the Brudenell gig

"Healing Through Music"

Back home, within the comforting embrace of my guitar, I sought to express my torment. I poured my heart out into writing a new song titled 'Disappear.' I shed the layers of pretense, letting the raw, unfiltered, intense emotions to flow. What resulted was a testament to my inner turmoil. It took a mere five minutes, a lifespan that felt both infinitely long and tragically short, to bring my pain to life.

"A Breakthrough"

We recorded 'Disappear' at the renowned Greenmount Studios in Leeds, under the supervision of Rob Slater and Lee Smith. As the first tender notes resonated through the studio, a realization hit me. I had transcended my creative barriers, reshaping my pain into something beautiful, potent, and resonant.

"An Unexpected Journey"

Little did I know this song, a product of my darkest hour, would resonate with countless others. 'Disappear' found its way onto a Netflix TV show, BBC Radio 1, reverberated across the Hull City stadium during Premier League matches at half-time, and featured on Tattoo Fixers, among other TV shows globally.

"The Power of Resilience"

However, my journey isn't about the accolades or the applause. It's a testament to the power of authenticity, of resilience in the face of adversity. When you bear your soul and commit to turning your life around, you will find that even in the darkest tunnels, there's a glimmer of hope. It's the strength to never surrender to despair. The courage to see life as a precious gift, every struggle as a stepping stone towards the person you were destined to be.

"The Healing Power of Honesty"

Embrace honesty. It's humbling, it's healing, and it resonates with people. Your story, your anguish, your victories can inspire others, giving them the courage to face their own battles. Your honesty, as raw as it may be, could be the beacon of hope someone else desperately needs.

A photo of Chambers performing at Hull City Hall
Taken at one of our last shows at Hull City Hall


bottom of page