Friday, March 27, 2015

Not everyone's the same, but we've got a lot in common

Hiya,

There is much to be said, in my humble opinion, in the pleasure of the first cup of tea, of the day. With the new job, I'm out and about much more than I was, and some days, you just don't make time to get a brew. Instead, it's more a quick cup of water, or swigging the diet soda I bought at lunch time.

Still, at least I'm up and about. I did read on the BBC News site, the amount of sitting down we do in our comfy office jobs. Much as I'm current sat down and staring at a screen right now, I'm not so screen focused as I once was, and that, for me, is a good thing.

So yes, between paragraphs, I'm enjoying the first cup of the day. Little pleasures eh? Oh, and I passed my two exams from last week. Reasons to be cheerful eh? :-)

Chams

A few people were kind
 enough to say nice things
about this dress. Woo!
It was time for the regular meeting at Chameleons, so with a bag packed and down to one outfit this week. By the Sacred Hosiery of St Charnos, what is wrong with the world? :-) Okay, I did pack shoes and boots, but you have to be prepared.

Well.... not 100% prepared. Earlier in the week I bought a new nail varish (love it!) and two new lip pencils. I've had a problem with a stronger lippy colour bleeding a little (why so serious?), and this seems to be the answer. So, I read up on how to apply, did the deed and then when I came to put my Rimmel Apocalips on.... Oh, the 80s shame! The liner was a little darker than my lippy..... Bugger. Don't panic, Jones! Ah, a careful repeat application, blot and retry... and I was good to go. Phew, nearly stuck in a time warp there... :-)

Oh, the nail varnish? Boots No. 7 gel look finish. Wonderfully reflective and goes on well too. Thumbs up from me!

Community and Debate

Talking of make-up (see what I did there?), we had a visit from two (genetic) ladies, V & A. They wanted to do a bit of a sounding out exercise, to find out what our (trans) community would like from a web site they were planning. They're looking to put together a site that will have a forum, series of how to documents/videos and a directory of trans friendly businesses. People such as image consultants, make-up artists, maybe hair/wig-dressers and that type of thing.

Personally, I think it's a good thing they're looking into this. Yes, it's a crowded market, because lots of these services are available elsewhere and as Val put, not all of us are loaded. Yes, it takes you a while to work out your look and what works for you. Sadly, both of these don't always go hand in hand, and I'm sure we've all had a few *ahem* 'fashion moments', where we've looked back and thought, what was I thinking? I know I have, but that's all part of the learning curve, I feel.

I think the value lies in the quality of the videos/documents they put up, and their understanding that as people get more confident, so they will just go to a regular store. Pat added something along the lines, that you have to be careful not to add a mark-up to your products, just because of who you're selling too. A & V were keen to point out that they didn't want to do this and I pointed out that competing on price, given the power of high street shops and Internet shopping, is going to be very hard. Instead, offering very good information and a quality service, may be their strength over the competition.

At one part of the evening, I did have to summon my mum's Polite but Firm Teacher's Voice. You know the one... :-) V's brother-in-law, is on the cusp of starting to transition. V talked about 'him' and 'he' and her 'brother-in-law' and then the question came up - in innocence, I hope - asking was he comfortable being addressed as him? V answered politely that her brother-in-law hadn't started to transition and then matters began to slide.

Now, I can understand that when you transition, or when you're in 't-mode' (for us part timers), it's more polite to use the pronouns that match the person's presented gender. I know I sometimes get it wrong and I feel bad when I do. Hell, it's not like I don't know who's coming to the meetings and yet, once in a while, like with Jake, I mess up too. We're all human, I guess.... except during a full moon. :-)

It felt a little - as another member said - that some folk seemed to know what's best for V's brother-in-law, more than he did. Points such as, you don't just switch this on [sic], or 99% of cross-dressers don't go out and are in the closet. Umm? Evidence please? Steph politely pointed out that that may be down to personal experience and that everyone is different. Before we got into a debate about what-is-it-be-trans, I politely turned the group back to the discussion around the original debate. I think things went okay after that. I do know the presentation was quite long. But speaking personally, I was glad of the change and I think if they can help just one person, that's a good thing.

The evening came to a close and I was late setting off, as I waited while V & A packed up to go. In the end, I stayed with Pat, Val and a few others, as conversation blossomed again. This time around self-acceptance and learning to accept who you are. Sometimes, I think that the trans thing can lay us low, and yet, when you have talks with others - regular non-trans folk - who've also struggled along the way; that we're not that dissimilar, when you come down to it. We all have our doubts, not all of us fit in, and yet, with time and maybe a bit of help, we get along.

Take care,
Lynn

11 comments:

  1. Do I have skirts and tops in my wardrobe that I think I should never have bought? No, not at all. Never. Wouldn't do it :)

    Though for some reason I never quite get around to getting rid of them (though as I now have clothes outside of the wardrobe as they don't fit in it anymore I may need to...

    As for the pronouns during transition. That one is hard, and I had people go down two routes. My parents called me Stacy in private no matter how I was dressed. I can't say how great that was and what that level of acceptance meant. There were a few other people who did this as well and it really helped in my acceptance of myself.

    And there were the people who knew, but only used Stacy when I was presenting as Stacy. For very good reason, I think that my secret may have come out earlier otherwise... But, there was always the fear that it meant people thought I was putting on an act (though I am sure that wasn't the case).

    Stace

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    1. Throw them away! Make a gift of them to the charity shop, or friends and then..... you have space to replace them :-) Or not. I've read that we wear 10% of our clothes, 90% of the time.

      May I say, I think it speaks very well of your parents that they did what they did. Not everyone enjoys such good people in their lives.

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  2. Rather than "trans friendly", their endeavour sounds more "TV friendly" – which is fine, of course; it's useful to provide these services. But it does make me wonder what they think trans is all about :/

    As for “99% of cross-dressers don't go out and are in the closet” – maybe that was true once, maybe even quite recently; but it's not true now, I think. Cross-dressing isn't quite so stigmatized as it used to be. And the internet has pretty much changed everything.

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    1. I'm not sure I get what being trans* is, let alone someone - well - new to all of it. :-)

      Perhaps I've not explained the evening as accurately as I should have. I think that their hearts are in the right place and they are trying to be inclusive, by catering to lots of us. Alison asked if we'd (as in trans massive) would have a private room away, and V&A were keen to point out that that would only be the case if you wanted it. They went on to say, that lots of existing (non-trans) customers often wanted a private one-to-one around make-up and hair, due to shyness or a lack of confidence. Understandable.

      I think CD folk can be much maligned by various parties (I'm not suggesting you do, BTW). It's like... there's this kicking race, with *ahem* serious full timers at the top, passable CD folk (rare) next, regular CD folk and then fetish folk at the end. A bit like that famous sketch with Mssrs Cleese, Barker and Corbit.

      "I am a cross dresser. I look up to her, who is full time, but down on him, because he only wears ladies pants." :-)

      Comedy aside, I wish it would stop. I don't think it helps anyone and I also think it's a rare few who proliferate that view. I've not heard it from any of my close trans friends, be they - if you pardon the terms - 'post' or 'pre'.

      On the upside, being trans is, as you say, not so stigmatized, and that's something to be grateful for and keep working with too.

      IMHO..... :-)

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    2. Regarding the "kicking race", you might like this new post on one of the blogs I follow :)

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    3. Oo, ta for that. An interesting read!

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  3. I have commented on the evening on the Chameleons Forum - but just to say I was also thinking the dress looked great but didn't get chance to say it.

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  4. And on the comedy theme, you could have the four Yorkshire cross-dressers sketch- 'We had it tough. We used to have to work an 18 hour shift down't pit wearing stilletos.'

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    1. "Bah, we couldn't even afford high heels. We had to staple rocks to the back of our feet. Twenty six hour shifts too." :-)

      Thanks for the kind words re: the dress, Claire. Your comments on the forum were welcome too. It's good to know what people want from the group.

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  5. I am a stalwart of a cup of tea in the mornings too :)
    Unfortunately there is a long way to go for acceptance of us in society. I feel we are at the beginning of this. I hope that with us coming out that it will help the next generation so they don't have to go through what we have gone/ are going through.

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    1. Tea puts the Great into Great Britain... IMHO ;-)

      Yeah, there's still a way to go, but I think each year that passes, we move more into acceptance. Maybe, one day, as Tracey, once said, we'll just be background and will be free to wander around without drawing any attention. Here's to that. :-)

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