It’s All Greek To Me

Escaping today for some Autumn sunshine. This does not mean you are in any way safe from this blog. They have Wi-Fi in Crete. Admittedly, I might not have the time between cold beers on the coast and eating everything that sits still in front of me longer than 3 minutes. Except goat. Once bitten, twice shy is all I’ll say on that front. Looking forward to returning to Chania though. It was the first place I travelled abroad as a woman. A year of change sees a different woman returning there though. This time it will be entirely without trepidation. And that’s something to celebrate. Yamas!

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Confidence Trick

I did say I wasn’t going to blog this weekend. I lied apparently. But I’m currently too pleased with how things are going not to write something. A week of firsts for me has pushed my confidence to an all-time high. Seems worth a mention here. After recent events and having to involve the Police in my life, I was genuinely surprised to find myself casting off my wig and showing the world myself. Au Naturale. I didn’t think I was there yet.  And yet I am.  Cord cut,  security blanket tentatively back in the box.  And it’s been OK. Friday then saw me sitting on a discussion panel at the Scottish Queer International Film Festival answering strangers’ questions. Something my male self would never have been able to do. Tangible progress then.  But the biggest and most personally satisfying thing came later on Friday night. Found myself at a Pamper Party with some lovely ladies. Naively I hadn’t realised this would ultimately involve being in front of people without makeup. I rely heavily on that suit of armour.  Or so I thought.  Surprisingly it was remarkably easy to strip it back and just be.  I knew I was safe,  no different to any of the other girls and I learned that I do have the confidence NOT to wear makeup.  That might seem small.  It’s huge to me. So,  a small week of firsts and a boost in confidence has left things looking pretty positive. The next time I need to do something new I need to remember this feeling.  And just do it.  What could possibly go wrong?

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Hair-Um-Scarum/Chatterbox

Experimenting with a double post this evening. Essentially so I can forget about blogging for a few days and enjoy a well earned holiday and the joy of monthly financial solvency unencumbered. Despite an online setback mentioned previously, I’ve found that my confidence remains surprisingly high. So much so, that my response to the world was to dispense with my NHS wig this week and just see how it went. It went surprisingly well. No better or worse reaction than the bewigged version of myself. I retain the right to use a wig when I see fit though. I am a lazy bitch and half an hour is bed is frankly half an hour in bed.

If you know me in real life, you already know I like to talk. A lot. Too much perhaps. But for a variety of reasons I find myself on a discussion panel at an event this Friday which is part of the Scottish Queer International Film Festival (www.sqiff.org.). It’s part of an event called Open Windows (http://www.sqiff.org/event/open-windows/). I’m sort of looking forward to contributing and grateful to LGBT Health & Well-Being for including me on the panel (www.lgbthealth.org.uk). I’m hopeful it will be a useful experience and that I can make some sort of valid contribution. If nothing else, it’s a day out. The good news now is that I have no plans to blog until well into next week. Even then it will mostly be a virtual two fingers to tell you I’m going on holiday.

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Resonance

There are literally millions of us on the planet. Individually vibrating with our own unique frequencies. And yet, that distinct difference is also a thing that makes us all the same. But we don’t define ourselves by frequency.

We rely instead on lazy labels like White, Black, Gay, Straight or in my case, Trans. It’s labels like this that obscure the fact we are all just people. Might seem a little philosophical today but bear with me please.

I’ve grown more and more interested in the idea of Equality. It’s a concept we are still forced to fight for. Despite the Suffragettes, Rosa Parks, Stonewall, we never seem to learn not to define each other by such narrow terms. I don’t think that’s good enough.

And finally, at 42, I feel motivated to do something about it. I’ve never been a particularly “Right On” Eco-Warrior sort of person but maybe I’ve never found an idea that really resonated within me. The idea that we all deserve equal treatment does just that.

To that end, I met with the Equality Network last week with a view to doing some volunteering for them. As time goes on I’m getting more interested in Trans Advocacy but also the inequity of Equality in general. Equality should be for everyone but sadly it’s not. Even in this day and age. I want to live long enough to see that change. Doesn’t feel like too much to ask.

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Rollin’, Rollin’, Trollin’.

A weird sort of week. Found myself having to report an online attacker to the Police. Which felt alarmingly like an admission of weakness. But I’ve never felt weak since starting my transition. If anything it has empowered me. And I hope that’s why I did call the Police. I refuse to allow an anonymous internet coward to attack me without consequence. What if I had been fragile? That’s just not acceptable to me. The suicide rate amongst transsexuals is abnormally high. I could just as easily be the type to crumble when belittled and ridiculed. Although to be called “an inhuman pollution” perhaps goes beyond that too. But I am blessed with confidence and an amazing support network. He wasn’t to know that. I’m also a transsexual in Glasgow in real life. Accordingly, I am battle hardened to comments in the street. Not all of which are derogatory to be honest. But abuse me to my face and you may find you lose your teeth. I don’t categorise myself as a victim. And even though it was just empty words on the internet to me, he will learn not to abuse those he thinks are easy targets. I’m determined of that. The next person he picks on might not be so fortunate.

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Sticks And Stones

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been insulted online by a stranger, had my gender status thrown in my face, my possible sex discussed within earshot on the bus and been accosted in the street by a septuagenarian alcoholic. These are just part of the daily life of a transsexual. All of these had two things in common though. Attacks on my gender I can deal with. If that’s all you’ve got I can cope. I’m resilient enough to shake words off like raindrops. But the second thing is far scarier to me. On each occasion, the surge of hormonal anger I felt pushed me towards actual violence. That I cannot cope with. I didn’t lash out physically but I wanted to. Badly. In a “Let’s Get Medieval On Your Ass” way. And now I’m concerned that at some point I just might not have the self control to walk away. Hormones are a steep learning curve for definite. But even with the downside I’ve just discovered, my life is still better than it ever was. I’ll take the positive in that. And for those who still choose to see me as a man? I’m luckily still the kind of man who chooses to turn the other cheek. Take your pick from left or right posterior.

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Golden Years

I haven’t given too much thought to my retirement as yet. It’s always seemed such a long way off. But now, completely by accident, I have discovered a surprising fringe benefit to my transition. Nearing the end of my Real Life Experience and weighing up the surgical option, it seems I have more to gain than just a designer va-va-va and inner contentment. Upon finding myself “complete” and obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate, I will also qualify for equal treatment with all other women in my acquired gender. So what?, you may be thinking. This has huge implications financially that had never crossed my mind. My eventual surgeon’s scalpel will shave off more than the obvious. With a flick of the wrist, a couple of years may be lopped off my retirement age as well. A bit of an unexpected result as it will equally apply to my state and private pensions. So I’m ironically cock-a-hoop about my future for now. I do however realise you are also probably thinking “The lengths some people will go to, to get out of work”.

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