Friday, May 26, 2017

To dress, or not to dress?
That is the question.


As I write this, I'm sat using the Ever Lovely Mrs J's laptop, far away from Jones Towers. It's half-term, so despite a bit of rush, we managed to get the kids out of school early and up to the North of England. Me being me, I'm using some remote control software to connect back home. I'm always slightly concerned that one day, a holiday home owner will find YATGB. Oh well, plain sight and all that eh? :-)


With the weather turning warmer, I've ditched my usual walking boots and switched to my Converse trainers. Yes, in Richard mode, I have two sets of shoes. Three, if you count some interview / posh dos. Four if you include Wellies. :-P As to m collection of heels, flats and sandals, well, I'm not sure I've got the mental maths skills to count.

But, as I walked up the hill from dropping of Little Miss at school, I found myself having to switch my gait to a more blokey stroll. It seems the tap-tap-tap of basketball canvas shoes is a bit too like that of flats, and some setting flicked over in my head. Bugger. Right. Straight arms. Heavy shoulder movements. No hip swaying :-D

So, what is it about shoes that changes us so much? Clearly heels are very different blokey stompers, but flats? Yes, I'd say different again in that you do have to walk slighty differently. For a start, they're not always as well held on as a laced shoe. Plus, the thinner soul makes you stay away from any pavement gravel.


If I'm honest, Thursday night was a bit of a wobble. It was a case of to dress or not to dress? That is the question.  Given the heat and being tired, I was not in the best of moods, shall we say. Not angry or miffed, but just a bit, well, meh, really.

That mood very kindly fed into the feedback loop of well, this is your last chance for a month. True, given that the Ever Lovely Mrs J is away on business again. Ah, oh well. Val has very kindly locked up and sorted the money from last time, so I owe her - so to speak.

Still, the temperature had dropped a little by the time I got in and I had a good long chat with Pat, as we got changed upstairs. I was pleased to find my recent corset is a bit too large, and thanks to light lunches plus bike rides, I can get back into my old one. That and my size 14 summer cotton trousers - a blessing in hot weather - are wearable once again. Okay, so that's a just about 14, but it's the step in the right direction.

But, I was glad I went  I did manage to remember the jewellery the Ever Lovely Mrs J had wanted shot of. At a quid a pop, give or take, we had a few extra pennies to put in the group's bank account. It all helps, plus folk get something new to them at a song. I do like to see people enjoying things new to them.

Given it was bright outside, we switched the photos around a bit. But, tradition says you do need to have a snap on the stairs. :-)


Happy long weekend!

Take care,

Friday, May 19, 2017

A little respect


Apparently, it was IDAHoBiT the other day.  A day to push back against homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. Ideally, we wouldn't need a day to remind certain folk not to be, shall we say, a little less accepting of us, than we'd like. But, hey, 50% of the human population is female, and we've still not quite cracked the idea of treating each other equally. Humans, eh? :-)

Skipping back a few months ago, I was surprised to receive an invitation to give a talk about trans people. Or, more particularly, the work - if you can call it that - Nottingham Chameleons does for the Nottinghamshire trans folk. I say surprised because to be invited back means I can't have behaved that badly when I was there. :-) So, reasons to be positive eh?

I managed to juggle some time between meetings and those yes-I'm-still-enjoying-them-training-sessions, to... ummm... give another training session. This time, the event was a little more personal. I did say, as before, that I can't speak for authority for all trans people. Much as I may occasionally want to know what goes on in the head's of others, realistically, I can only say hand on heart, what goes on in mine. I can generalise, but it will always be that.

We were a little late starting, as I was in the crowd of attendees, and the organiser slipped out to see if the guest speaker - Muggins, here - had turned up. After some confusion and some polite laughter, we started. Apparently, I wasn't supposed to make any political gags, given that it's the UK Election. Still, it's not like we have any Right Wing media establishments who aren't in need of polite satire.... :-)

I started with around 12 slides and as the questions came in, I abandoned my planned script, and just improvised through it. I covered some of the terms we use, some of our trans history and how the language had changed, as the trans community had changed.

The audience were engaged and asked some interesting questions. One asked how she could broach the subject with some of her very religious colleagues, but not cause an arguement. Some around not saying the wrong thing, some around clarifying what I'd meant, and also what would I, as a trans person, like to see happen next.

As I heard Erasure sing in the car ride home - really, they should sort out their own transport :-) - my answer would be, A Little Respect. Enough for us to just be who we are. To be able to go about our working and social life as we like to appear, and just be.

I think I was pushing on an open door with this audience, and I hope they can take the message to others and keep the acceptable vibe going.

Maybe one day, we won't need a day to remind folk not to discriminate. Wouldn't that be good?

Take care,