Speak Or Forever Hold Your Peace

Did my first ever Spoken Word type thing on Thursday night at a local writer’s group. A collection of short pieces on the theme of gender, one of which was mine. As it’s Sunday and I’m intrinsically lazy, here it is instead of the usual blog….

Neither One Thing, Nor The Other

I’m going to let you in on one of the perhaps worst kept secrets in the G42 area, I am not necessarily as advertised. Not that it’s actually held me back in any regard. But it would be fair to say that, in most rooms, I have had a singularly different experience of gender than the majority of it’s occupants.

Gender has always been a curious thing in my life. It’s been a battleground, a safe haven and even a resolution. Sometimes simultaneously. But it has always been inescapable to me. There just wasn’t a small enough corner of the world in which I could ever hide from it. Although it took an awful lot of running in the opposite direction to come to that conclusion.

I have no words which could ever adequately explain to you what it feels like to question your own sex. Similarly, no answers were ever easily available to me. I suppose Incongruous is probably the only single word that even comes close. Although it still falls short by a country mile. But to know with utter certainty that you are not as you were intended to be is a very fearful thing. As is just knowing that it would not be wise to broadcast this knowledge. To Anyone. Surely that would only ever end in the lighting of torches and the taking up of pitchforks as you were ran out of town.

Oddly enough, the opposite turned out to be true, acceptance was ultimately one of the areas where the Male and Female genders largely converged. People are often just inordinately good. Capable of rising above race, colour, creed and to my great surprise, even gender. Despite my constant worry. And all those torches that had seemed to loom so heavily on my horizon. Ultimately though, my decision to transition was mostly only ever a storm in a D cup.

Spilling Words & Flipping the Bird’s

Chances are though, that you might already have correctly guessed that not everyone boarded the train at the same stop. And the very notion of Gender can be a polarising thing in itself. To ask someone to accept that it can change might just be too tall an order for some. I remain too much He for some and not enough She for others. And that’s a difficult thing to swallow. The idea that you can be rejected at your core by a stranger who has no frame of reference for who or what you are, and doesn’t really want to either, is entirely disheartening. But to also be entirely fair to those people, they do have a point. Here I sit, neither one thing nor the other really. The difference between us is that I’m entirely OK with that.

I already told you that gender had once been a battleground. Well, my war is over now. I am what I am. Take it or leave it. To somehow manage to land there is hugely satisfying. Because to have kept flitting backwards and forwards between genders was too exhausting. And all consuming. And I’m done with it.

It’s actually just delicious to waken to a world where you don’t and couldn’t care any less about how people perceive your gender. It doesn’t define me. Any more than it does you. It’s a lazy shorthand label that tries to fit you in a neat little box. And we’re more than that. Male, Female and anywhere in between. We are so very much more than swinging bricks or delicate little flowers. And unfortunately Gender is sometimes just a divisive little device that we still cling to while protecting whatever privileges we associate with it.

Having had a foot in both camps, so to speak, I’ve come to one conclusion about gender. Men and Women are far more similar than they care to admit. Although sometimes it’s maybe the same tribe, speaking very different languages. Maybe I’ve gotten the best of both worlds then. Straddling a divide, armed with the knowledge that a male life gave me, while trying to become fluent in Oestrogen a bit more every day. I probably have no more profound answers about gender than you do though. Although I can tell you one thing for definite, it takes more balls than you’d ever think to actually be a Woman.


One Small Step

Not much has been great about 2018 so far. Until now. Last night was the first time I have spoken with either one of my brothers for more than four years.

Easily one of the most profoundly emotional moments of my entire adult life. We are still so very far from resolved though. There isn’t any guarantee that we will get to be resolved either. But just to hear his voice was a pleasure of it’s own.

And although I thought I was prepared when I dialled, it turned out I was on a whole other continent in terms of being ready for the impact of an actual conversation.

I think we both held things together pretty well during a short talk. It wasn’t until I actually hung up that it hit me. And then I sobbed. And I sobbed. And I sobbed. Just because it was an utter joy to hear his voice.

No idea what happens moving forward. For now, even a chink of light is more than enough for me. A little hope is better than none at all.

Part of this blog has always been about recording how much I missed them. In case I never got to tell them in person. If it happens, it will still be a long journey but one step forward is a start. And that’s a happy place to begin today.


Sing When You’re Winning

January turned out to be one of the worst months I have ever faced in my life. February is frankly not a whole lot better, if I am honest. But there has been at least one surprising element in the face of a fuckload of adversity. It seems that no matter what happens, I cannot stop singing. Mostly to myself. Be eternally grateful for that fact.

One strange thing about this is that I have never been one for singing really. Ever. It’s just not me. But by far the strangest thing is the choice of songs my brain continues to throw up. I remain baffled by the number of Christian hymns that I seem to know by rote. It would seem that the four years as an altar boy did more than foster an appreciation of a decent frock. Colours Of Day, Our God Reigns and How Great Thou Art appear to sit at the Apex of my Ecclesiastical Hit Parade. On New Year’s Day I could not have told you one word of any of them.


This is a face that understands difficult times! Looks like he’s singing too. Probably Madonna.

The entirely unwarranted singing doesn’t stop there though. Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da also seems to be stuck on repeat in there between the bloody holy trinity listed above. Despite everything 2018 has dropped so far, I am still pretty upbeat. And maybe that is the point of all the singing. Just a reminder to myself, from somewhere deep in the back of my head, that I am actually OK. Christ knows why it’s hymns (I meant that) but so be it. Whatever works. I’ll take the comfort from it, however it arrived here.

And I can’t really legitimately complain that I’m somehow happy enough to be singing at all. Or even that there’s a distinctly religious element to my internal disco at the moment. I think I’ll just go with it. Whatever happens, The Beatles are correct that life goes on. Off to get on with it just now. Not that my plans are that exciting. Probably stay at home and do my pretty face because in the evening I’m the singer with the band 🎵 🎵 🎵


Pilot Error

Somewhat surprisingly, I’m already in my fourth month of being Post Op. At just 3 months I was discharged by my surgeon as my recovery has gone fantastically to plan. Textbook in fact. I do recall him advising me that I was essentially in the same position as a teenage girl with a whole world of awakening ahead of me.

And that’s where things stopped going to plan. Despite no longer needing an actual map to find the clitoris, I have yet to work out exactly how to drive the damn thing. Stick shift was definitely easier in this regard.

I’d liken it to an uncooperative cat, lolling around listlessly and too lazy to even respond to the occasional prod. Although unprovoked purring now and then means it realistically has the potential to work as intended.

Don’t try to run before you can walk might be a good approach though. As prepared as I thought I was for my transition, I actually wasn’t even reading the right book. It’s, ahem, a totally different ball game.

There’s an On button here somewhere

So my journey is apparently only really just starting now. And figuring things out as I go along will just have to do, despite my natural impatience. I’m not even sure that had my new arrangement arrived with a manual that I’d be any better off. But I’m resourceful enough and I’ll work it out eventually. And then? Oh, the places we’ll go 😉


Reports Of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

So, to recap, a week ago I thought I was regrettably finished with this blog. Perhaps even more regrettably, I am not. I will leave you to take your own position on how you feel about that.

The fact is that people get bad news every day. And in spite of that, they are not broken. And neither am I. I have so much to be grateful for and plenty to look forward to. My transition is barely out of the gates and I have more than enough experiences waiting to be discovered. Although I will admit that I rarely have any idea what I am doing on a daily basis. Winging it seems to work though.

But the blog stays. For better, for worse. I’m picked back up, dusted down and back in charge of my own headspace. There may yet be worse news ahead to deal with. And that’s OK too. I’ve been quite fond of saying “There is always tomorrow” as this blog has trundled along. I think we’ll switch that out for a fresher, more recent, mantra. “Is that all you’ve got?”