How's things? Y'know, there are times when I struggle to get this blog off the ground. So to speak. I'll skip on work and weather reports for now and move straight.
The summer holidays - for the kids at least - have arrived. Nottinghamshire broke up this week, so Wee Man and Little Miss have been around the in- and out-laws, until the kid camp opens later on. Oh, the joys of working parents eh? :-) Is it the modern disease? The yearly trek to sports centres, science fairs and visits to grandparents, while mum and dad try to balance the holiday entitlement? Maybe it is, but we don't do bad, all things considered.
Talking of good news, the old bank balance seems to be doing better (touch wood!) than usual. I have stopped buying lunch at work, and I think that's making a difference. I've yet to stop my 3pm chocolate break, but a guy's gotta live you know! :-)
Out, but not Out
It was Chameleons yesterday, and as invents conspired with me, off I went. Oddly, there was no bag in tow, nor multiple outfits stashed in the boot. No, with the weather still being a little too warm for me, I decided to pass (Ed: first time ever! :-P ) on getting made up and I went to see friends instead.
In all honesty, I am glad I did. I didn't manage it last week and I found I really missed talking to my friends. Funny, a few years ago and the idea of a long spell of En Homme gave me chills - and not in a good way - yet, here we are and despite looking a bit like a Wookie on surf patrol, I enjoyed chatting and catching up with people. Rebecca also popped in - our self proclaimed Regular Irregular - so it was good to catch up with her too. There was a new girl along for the second time, but in all the confusion, I missed her name. Maybe we'll say hi next time.
Talking of out - see what I did there? :-) - the Government has finally seen sense and now marriage is legal for gay people. Funny, a few years ago and I'd never considered the matter - mainly as the Ever Lovely Mrs J and I didn't do a church wedding - but then, why shouldn't every adult in our society have the choice? At least this is a good start and well done to those who got involved and helped make it happen.
A little while ago, an email arrived in the Chameleons inbox asking for personal stories for a theatre project called All Colours of the Rainbow. Any excuse to rattle off some writing and I'm away. Anyway, you can see the fruits of the collective labours here:
Is that story my story or another's? Yes and no. It's some of me, some from friends and some dramatic license, but to the best of my knowledge it's true. Well, true for an occasional like myself and others, I can only speak for myself and not for everyone.
I am the lie in plain sight. I am the man you kiss goodbye when you go to work. I am the man who teaches your children, who fixes your car, who works in your office, who is part of your family. I am all these people... and I am more.
I am male from the outside. But, inside? I am a mixture.
A mask of masculinity, a twist of femininity learned from afar with curious eyes. A heady brew of confusion. I am trans; someone on the sliding scale of gender. Neither one nor the other, but betwixt and between. Too soft to join the boys, too rough to join the girls. The outsider who hides.
Away from your gaze, I am different and I am the same. A different name and a different garb dress me up. The same heart beats within, the same mind thinks throughout. Sarah, or Simon: I need to be both. I need to have time to be myself. To be all of myself: sometimes femme, sometimes homme. This may be at home, in a hotel, or out with friends. Trans friends.
Without this balance, my world tips and I am lost. Sipping towards the black waters that numb. Waters that drown. If I cannot breathe.....I cannot be. I have tried, tried to stop, but I cannot. I can no longer stop being trans, as you cannot stop being male, or female. Our cards are dealt, how we play them, therein is the game.
I have battled with guilt, lost and won. Promises made, promises broken. I have cried and I have wept, but I will always walk this path. My only choice was to accept. How I have laughed and how I have smiled when the path I walk echoes to clatter of heels, the brush of a skirt and the whisper of synthetic hair.
Would you know this to look at me? Could you see through the bravado, peek behind the mask? Have I given myself away? Those little tells: skin looked after and eyebrows shaped. The occasional spec of colour on too shapely kept nails. Perhaps you saw me gazing in the shop window, or picking out make-up on my own one day. Maybe...maybe you saw me as her.
Just smile. Say hello. Say you’re okay and that our secret is safe.
You might even like the real me.