Transition

Love You Long Time

Still just an occasional visitor to my own blog. But that’s a good thing. It means that whatever catharsis it provides isn’t in dire need in my life right now. Hopefully things are continuing to move in roughly the right direction.

But we’re knee deep in December now and I’m approaching my favourite time of the year. Not Christmas, the End. Not in any kind of morbid way though. I just love what it represents.

I admit I wasn’t at all prepared for 2019. It was the first year without my Mum. I truly believed I wouldn’t be able to cope. But losing her was 2018 and she taught me enough that 2019 has mostly been about moving forward. And that’s what I am looking forward to.

Because we all have shit times. Even shit years. But in just a few weeks that endpoint is in sight. And that always grabs me in a way no other concept has. A fresh start. A Do Over.

I’ve maybe been sleepwalking through much of this year though but as the end approaches, I’m here, life is pretty good and I have really good people around me. And I at least have the sense to see that. But I do really look forward to the end though. And the start of something different. Hope it’s everything you need it to be.

Standard
Relatively Speaking, Transition

Everybody Needs Some Time

Going to kick off with an admission that I absolutely hate November. It’s the cruellest month of my year. It’s the month that took my Mother a year ago. My Father some 20 years earlier. It’s the month I last saw my nephews, just over six years ago. And this week it should just have also been my Mum’s 71st birthday. So I hate it with a passion that I just can’t normally muster.

It’s generally a month when I choose to retreat a little. I never feel more than ten minutes from breaking and that has never sat well with the Scottish Stoicism bred into me. I have no wish at all for that to happen in front of witnesses. Arguably, I’m perhaps just too proud to let anyone see me crack. But if it was ever going to happen, November would be the time and place to bet on. Although you’d still likely lose your stake. I’m way too stubborn for that.

Image result for boobies calculator shirt

I said upside down you’re turning me

On top of all that, I’ve been nursing a fairly horrible chest infection for the best part of a week and spent the last 4 days in bed. The tin hat on it all. So, quite truthfully, November has entirely sucked. Apart from maybe Tuesday. For the first time in a long while, November offered me an olive branch. After a very lengthy wait, I have finally got approval to see the Surgery department at hospital regarding Breast Augmentation. It was an odd little appointment date, sandwiched between my Dad’s anniversary and my Mum’s birthday. But an appointment that went fantastically well and which I left feeling a step forward to my transition being complete.

There’s still another wait of at least a few months. But November has grudgingly given me something positive to think about. And I’m of the opinion that has to be an improvement. Things do inevitably settle down and grief, loss and sickness all eventually pass. Still, a little too much to process in a single month. There is at least comfort in knowing that somebody up there likes me. And that they maybe twisted an NHS Psychologist’s arm for me this week. Thanks Mum, can you do anything with lungs though? That would be a definite blessing.

Standard
Relatively Speaking

Long Time No See

Oh, there you are! Not been back here in an age. Mostly because life was trundling along all by itself and for a while, I had nothing much of consequence to offload online. I suppose that’s maybe not a bad place to have been.

Today is a little different though. It’s the first anniversary of my Mum’s death. And I don’t know where I am with that. Except that I am probably more than a little lost. In every way.

It’s been a strangely, kind of, pedestrian year though. Sometimes I’ve felt I’ve been moving very steadily forward. Often I’ve maybe been hurtling backwards. The direction of that travel hasn’t really mattered all that much to me at any point. Life still just happens anyway.

But here we are, a year in, somehow. And missing her just continues to gnaw away at me. Although the notion to continuously call her has abated for now. It only occurs to me about twenty times a day.

However certain I am about the loss I feel, I’m still a million miles from actually grieving properly. Possibly because I don’t really want to lose the thought that I could just call her right now. Because entirely acknowledging she’s gone might make that idea recede somewhere I can’t find again.

But the rest of today will now very much be about celebrating her. Because there’s only so far weeping and contemplation of your navel will ever actually get you. And that wasn’t what my Mum was all about. I was lucky to have had her here for as long as I did, and particularly, for her just always being the Mum that I needed and the best friend I could ever have asked for. Cause enough to celebrate. Always and forever.

Standard
Transition

Hiding In Plain Fright

No song today. Instead there’s a lengthy video from the smartest woman in UK politics today. A video in which she annihilates much of the anti trans rhetoric that’s reared it’s ugly little head in recent times.

It’s such a difficult and scary time to be Transgender today. The utter ignorance of what we are is terrifying and the vitriol spewing out on social media makes daily life more and more treacherous to navigate.

The worst part of it, for me, is that the arguments against trans rights are woefully misinformed. They don’t even understand the rights we already have in law. Or that everyone has been living with them since 2004. Quietly, peacefully, nothing to report.

But the truth is that those who are passionately anti trans aren’t interested in that. Or evidence. It’s enough for them to have an unassailable belief. Whether it stands up to fact checking or not isn’t a problem for them.

As difficult as it is to be an out Trans woman in this landscape , it’s worth it. We’re a tiny percentage of the population, roughly 0.6%, so visibility is key to changing those attitudes. And they are changing. Slower than I’d like but still. Thank God for people like Mhairi Black though. Having articulate allies never hurts.

I may have lied about there being no song today though. This one’s for all those folk trying to push us back to a time before we had rights.

Standard
Transition

You’re The Best

So, had a lovely night out with one of my oldest friends last night. As relaxed as it gets, in the way you only really get to do with folk who actually know you. Warts and all.

And then a random entered my night. No disrespect to her but a drunken “You’re the best transvestite I’ve ever seen” was not as affirming as she intended it to be. Nor was it as offensive as it could have been, had I allowed it to be .

She was not actually trying to offend me at all. It was, to her, a compliment. And I chose to take it as one. And then I chose to take the opportunity for education. Because that’s more useful than pointless indignation. And this is a constant in my life.

She hadn’t even guessed initially. Which is progress for me. And she wasn’t out to hurt me. So that called for some good grace. And overall, our exchange turned out pretty positive.

I enjoy straightforward questions. I enjoy explaining the difference between transvestite and transgender. And I really enjoy being more devastatingly normal than they ever expected. Because that’s where the barriers are broken.

Tomorrow, when she tells her friends about it, I won’t be a negative experience. Because she has a better idea about what I am. Which is not what she is. But we found our common ground.

These are always the exchanges I enjoy. I’m hugely confident in approaching them. Because teaching people how small a deal my being transgender is, moves things forward. And one day, it won’t even matter.

Standard
Transition

It Ain’t Necessarily So

In the UK, Mental Health Awareness Week is drawing to an end. This year’s theme has been Body Image. Something that I struggle with on a daily basis. I possibly always will. And yet, I’ve learned to live with it. Most importantly, happily so for the majority of the time.

The mirrors in my home (and beyond) can be inordinately cruel. There are plenty of mornings that the only thing they are prepared to show me is the maleness I inherited from my old life. To give them their due, they are particularly effective at evidencing every last trace of Chris.

I eventually settled on trying to accept that this is no bad thing. Without him, I am nothing at all. So even a sometimes daily reminder is something I will not be sad about. However, there are still days when there is not enough makeup to hide him from me.

What you see is not always what you get

But that’s probably more about where my own head is at on any given day, than any radical changes in how I really look. The trick has been learning how to live with that kind of frequent insecurity. And yet somehow, I mostly have.

I just can’t control how I actually look, barring surgery that is unacceptable to me. I can’t stop myself from sometimes focusing too intently on the things I don’t like. But control is still possible. And therein lies a kind of peace. I do dress in a way that helps me blend in more quietly. Although I grow ever braver with colour. My make-up is also never too “out there”. Except the nights it deliberately is. And so I mostly pass without comment.

I unfortunately remain my harshest critic. The world at large is far kinder to me most of the time. But I’ve come to learn that this is sometimes just how it is. It’s OK to not be OK. Just keep getting up. And just keep moving forward. If you can manage that, the rest of the world might meet you halfway. Quite how I became such a positive cow remains an absolute mystery. But here I stand.

Standard
Transition

Any Port In A Storm

Been largely AWOL from my own blog for much of this year. Just been too busy at times, too settled at others and too lazy in general. But today I have oodles of time to make for it. Because I’m on holiday. In Crete.

Been coming here since 2014 but this is the first time I’ve approached it with a proper sense of adventure. Which is a polite way of saying there was fuck all resembling an actual plan. Just winging it all the way.

Which turned out for the best so far. The initial plan was Chania, Paleochora, Sougia, Agia Roumelli, Loutro and Chora Sfakia. Most of which hinged on hopping round the coast by boat. And then it got a bit windy and all boats were cancelled, meaning that plan was scuppered. So back we went to Chania. Although Scottish ferries would still have sailed. Sideways if necessary.

What passed for stormy weather!!!

Currently in Agia Galini though, on way to Matala then back up North to Heraklion before trundling swiftly back to Chania. Kind of have to be back because I’ve booked a tattoo appointment on Friday. As you do.

Going for a sort of Phoenix. Because that fiery little bird represents rebirth. And what the hell else is transition, if not being reborn as something else? But a tattoo is a daily reminder of how far I’ve come and Crete in particular. Let’s just ignore the little voice that says “Repent at leisure”. Nobody likes a killjoy.

Standard