Where Am I Going With This?

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The title of this post is not an existential cry for help. I just couldn’t decide what to blog about this time. And so I’ve let the first song that came to mind decide for me. So far, so good.

I never know entirely what’s going through my head but subliminally this is a belter of a choice for my subconscious to throw me. 

I am very much not the man I used to be but I am me. And I wouldn’t be who I am without the man I was either. I never want to forget or fail to acknowledge that. Or everything that he gave me.

I did in all fairness  warn you I had no idea where this was going. Both versions of me really do hate this time of year. It’s about togetherness and all that is good. But since I began life as a Transgender Female it has only really been a reminder of loss. 

I do miss everyone I am estranged from. Daily. Sometimes hourly. Not at all in a debilitating way. That would probably end me. But I do pretty much manage to carry on by believing that the good will eventually out. And that is surely an acceptable, almost festive, premise. There is always hope.

When I look at my life, it’s really not how I ever imagined it would be. But it is pretty good. I manage to enjoy my life each day. I have people I love. And I think I have the same back. More than enough to make each day worthwhile.

And while this is a bit stream of consciousness for a change, I’m not at all sorry to put those feelings out there. Chris gave me some things, turns out Chrissy has other things to give me. And life is very much what you let it be. There is one thing I do like about this particular time though. The end of a year approaches and pretty soon everything will start to feel possible once again. 

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Today’s post was always intended to be about public scrutiny. My week started with a few more instances of it than I generally have to deal with. But a simple enough twist of fate has balanced it all out.

As it happened, this was also a week where I attended my trade union’s (Unison) LGBT Conference for the first time. It has completely negated what I intended to blog about. Because for once I was very much part of the majority and scrutiny was the last thing I needed to be concerned about.

It’s been an amazingly empowering thing to see the strength our LGBT community has in numbers and this is but one trade union. We do have other voices too. And I am but one.

I’m coming home invigorated and determined to increase my involvement around LGBT issues. Trans issues resonate particularly for me. Of course they do. But equality for every last one of us is equally important. Just seems like it’s time to really join the conversation. And then allow people to scrutinise that, if they wish.

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Tomorrow is notionally the third anniversary of my estrangement from my brothers. It happened slightly differently in real life, falling apart bit by bit. But it’s the last time I ever saw my youngest brother and my beautiful nephews so it serves as a functional landmark. I need that to make sense of it all.

The colossal lack of closure is as heart sore today as it was at the time. My transition ripped open a divide between us. And sadly, neither of any of us seem to know fuck all about building bridges. Not one engineer out of three.

But despite this awful little anniversary, I’m going to stay positive. Maybe it’s now just a year closer to resolution. Admittedly, maybe it’s not. But I just refuse to believe that’s all there is.

There are no guarantees in life that I am aware of. But I’m very determined that I’m going to speak to both my brothers again. Not today. Very unlikely it will be tomorrow either.  But eventually it will happen. And then we deal with what we deal with. I’m not naive enough to expect back what we’ve lost. But even something different would be welcomed. By me at least.They may still have other, very definite, opinions.

I stand by my optimism though. Whether it’s misplaced or not. There is always tomorrow I tell myself. And if it wasn’t today, all things remain possible. Maybe I’ll be posting something similar in another year. But then maybe I won’t. And that’s a good enough reason to get out of bed today. And any other. Because one day might be the day.

Walled In

Was left reeling this week by the election in the USA. To be entirely fair to the electorate, it was a Hobson’s choice. Forced to choose between two of the worst possible candidates for leadership in history. America went with Trump. And the rest of the world facepalmed itself.

But having thought about it for a while, that’s democracy for you. His victory was emphatic enough. However bizarre the People’s choice may seem to me, they chose him. And minorities across the USA rightly trembled a little.

But a few days on we find that what his supporters got, ain’t necessarily what they voted for. He has already backtracked a little on Obamacare and Iran. Before he’s even started. So perhaps it won’t be so bad as it seemed on Wednesday morning.

Maybe, just maybe, his own party can keep him enough in check that he can’t do too much damage.  And maybe I’m just wildly optimistic. 

I don’t believe that the people who voted for him are bad people. And it would be dangerous to categorise them as such. So many did that it can’t be discounted. They voted for something that was presented as being different to the usual elite they’ve had. Desperately failing to notice that Trump is part of that same elite wolfpack he promised to tackle, presenting himself as a friend to the blue collar worker, dressed as a sheep. Although prior to the result, the rest of the world also thought he was just a sacrificial lamb.

But he’s not going to build a wall, there won’t be coast to coast bathroom laws and despite being an isolationist, he will come to realise he needs the rest of the world too. I have no scientific basis for this, just faith that the people of America ultimately won’t allow him to do anything too crazy. God bless their little cotton socks in the meantime.

Apologies for the political interlude. Next week’s segment will get back to transition with “New Vaginas And The People Who Love Them”. We’ll be right back.

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Don’t Jump Before You Look

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My Mother is the most amazing person in my life. Hands down. However she generally struggles a bit with my transition. That’s a given. I am still He, Him, Mister and most often Christopher. She also often worries about the implications of my decision. And feels that, somehow, I have rushed into this. Like a 5 year plan is me being cavalier.

On balance, all of this is actually OK with me. She did not give birth to a daughter, nurtured me my entire life and transsexuality is sort of a major shock to anyone. Especially your parent. They were not warned this was a possibility. Treating them with extra care as a result seems appropriate.

My Mum’s thought processes have continued to amaze me though. While never directly saying she approved, she has given me clothes, makeup and advice. She was just my Mum doing the best she could for me.

But lately we’ve had some proper adult conversations and I’ve come to better understand how difficult my decision was and is for her. I am not faultless here. I get to be me. But I didn’t transition in a protective bubble and other people equally feel the effects viscerally. She has been exceptional in what she must find a very difficult circumstance. That’s my contender for understatement of the year right there.

She did have a genuine wonder why testosterone injections couldn’t have “fixed” me. Why would she not? She must have had countless questions she needed answered. I had to inadequately explain that more maleness was the last thing my psyche ever needed. I desperately needed less. 

But I entirely understand her question. It is fair enough. Why couldn’t her boy not be a girl? Better qualified people than her or I can’t even approach an answer to that. But she is unequivocally the best Mother I could have asked for.

Nothing will ever separate or disconnect us and I am enormously grateful for that. She is literally the rock my transition is anchored to. And I hope to tell her about this blog at some point. Until I do, she is just my best friend in the world. And a woman to base my own womanhood on. Mum for short.

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Same Old Story

The thing that’s offered me the most success in my transition has been repetition. It’s the single greatest tool that has allowed me to evolve. And my best advice to those in their own transition to adopt.

Just repeatedly performing the same actions has made everything infinitely easier. My makeup, for example, is done exactly the same way, in the same order, every day. It won’t win any awards but it’s functional and I’m good at what I have the confidence to do. At least people palpably stare less. A small win.

Clothing is no different. I found what worked for me and learned to repeat it with different colours until my own style arguably emerged. This allows you to blend into crowds and suffer less direct scrutiny. It’s just unfortunate that it had to be a crash course in learning. Natal women learn the rules over a significantly longer period.

And repetition of what I’ve been taught will eventually lead to an acceptable lady voice. Not that I’m at all distressed by the voice that brought me this far. It’s a work in progress that I sometimes hear myself. All to the good.

My point is, just keep plugging away. It all comes together. If it doesn’t work, don’t do it again but if it ain’t broke then don’t bother trying to fix it. The fun, I suppose, is in the learning.

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