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.


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.


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.


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.


So Shall You Grow

Not been here for a wee bit, although the blog is always rattling around in my head in some form. But as I was adjusting to having a life again, I guess I just had nothing spectacular to report. You should be used to that by now.

But every now and then, I have proper news. that would be this week. Because actual transition stuff is happening again. And I’m back in a sharing mood.

My Gender Reassignment Surgery was never intended as a fix of anything. And it wasn’t. Instead it gave me a full stop on a certain chapter of my life. But the sequel was always in the offing. And Monday brought the first page of that story to the forefront.

Always adjust for ballast

Although I could have had Facial Feminisation Surgery, I liked the face that echoed both my parents instead. I could have had a tracheal shave. But an Adam’s Apple was never a chief concern either.

The only extra thing I ever considered was breast augmentation surgery and this week has brought me a step closer to that becoming a reality. A referral to see Psychology with potential surgery to correct that at the end. Happy Days indeed. No guarantees at all but a positive start to the Spring. And good enough reason to put in an appearance here. Seems my transition tale isn’t totally over.


More Comebacks Than Elvis

I’ve been accidentally absent from this blog for a little while. Taking my own life back simply got in the way of weekly musings. I’m mostly of the opinion that the break was a good thing.

But, a quick recap might be in order. From my surgery in 2017 till now has been a rough enough journey. My jubilant expectations of last year were savagely beaten to a pulp by my Mum’s terminal diagnosis and subsequent death. And so, I really had sort of felt a little bit defeated as 2019 started.

The truth is, I’m not. As horrible as things were, life really just goes on. Relentlessly. It’s up to you to get back onboard. So I kind of have. And that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. Misery may love company but I’m a wee bit too busy to indulge her.

A very happy St Patrick’s Day to you all

To be back in my own home is still just a joy of it’s own. To have actually been able to return to work is hugely satisfying. To be continuing to build bridges with my brothers is a constant blessing. And life, as my Mother taught me, is always what you make of it.

Coming out of the limbo that was 2018 has been pretty surreal though. Having the freedom to socialise at will still carries a fair bit of guilt. It’s as if I’m neglecting something else. Or someone else. But I’ve decided that someone is perhaps only Me. And that every step back to normality is necessary. Unfortunately for you, that also means this blog is back again. Christ knows which direction it’s headed. We’ll find out soon enough.


If It Ain’t Broke

Been thinking about revamping the page a little. Whether it actually happens remains to be seen. Procrastination is my middle name.

It’s not that I think there’s anything wrong with it but I’m pretty sure WordPress can do more than I currently use it for. Exactly what, I do not know. But it’s slowly niggling me.

As casually thrown together as the page was, it was still a reflection of where I was when I started it. Even the little photo at the top had a purpose. A line of dolls. Because back then there was always an element of feeling like I was just dressing up. And that’s no longer true. I’m fairly confident I’ve gotten over that completely.

But a slight facelift might not be a bad thing either. I’ve gotten as far as a new logo at least.

But then I still like the old one. It’s just simpler. And I’ve maybe done enough rebranding for one lifetime already. So it’s the back burner for this notion of change for today. It will come but probably not ever on a Sunday morning. I get most of my procrastinating done then.