Friday, January 29, 2016

Pink Thursday

Hi,

I'm glad that working week is over. It was a bit of a slog. But, on to finer tales of daring do! Yes, it was Pink Thursday at Chameleons, and if I say so myself - actually, I don't, lots of our number commented on how well it went. For balance, I'm wondering if we should do a session for our transmen. I know I could spare some shirts and trousers.

Pink Thursday

Unlike last time, I was away early and despite the issues with the traffic, I didn't arrive too late. Plus, and unusually for Yours Truly, I only had the one outfit with me. I did have a chat with two new folk, as I got ready. That, and Alison was helping one lady with her make-up and hair. It's a sharing group, Chameleons. If anyone asks - and I know I've asked a lot of questions over the years - people are cool about sharing what they know. Not in a condescending way either.

Late autumn and early winter are two of our busiest months. I think the dark nights and Xmas party season plays into the former, while January/February may be something to do with New Year's Resolutions. Maybe I should ask our new folk for the proper answer :-)

Anyhoo, with January being a busy month, we decided we run an event specifically for new members: hence, Pink Thursday. An evening of advice around hair, make-up and clothes. Steph was on-hand to talk about slap, but due to not being 100%, bless her, she had to disappear early. Luckily, Sandi (aka Mrs Tracey) stepped up and helped a number of folk with make-up and wigs. We had a Bring + Buy sale running too, and I think the Centre was very busy that night. It certainly pushed away those winter blues and helped pep up the group's funds.

Amongst the wigs, was what looked like one of my first purchases. For old time's sake, I tried it on, but sadly, it was rather flyaway and wasn't an old favourite. If you're in need of something to keep the kids from the fire, or yourself away from the fridge; printed copies are available. But, please, don't have nightmares :-)

Val had created herself a name badge, which is something we probably should do, for those who help out. If you've ever emailed the group, and asked who to see on arrival; it's usually Val, Pat or Helen, who gets volunteered. They do a grand job.

Performance

While mingling and chatting with new faces and regulars, one lady, said she'd like a word. I don't think it was quite as ominous, as I've just made out :-) Later on, we got talking, Lindsay and I, and it was around a theatre production, one of her colleagues had been involved with. It was one of those 'small world' moments.

What had happened, is that a production around LGBT life had got in touch with Chameleons. Now, you know me; I enjoy a spot of writing, and you try to support folk where you can. I put the kettle on, had a think and then rattled off something. I heard nothing back for a while, and then I had some more emails about how the production was going ahead, and, my entry was in the show. Fame at last eh? :-) It was all anonymous, I should add.

Now, if you don't fancy reading the item below, there's a video link below it. All mod-cons here! :-)
The Mask
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 clatters with the echoes 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 speck 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.
Skip on a few months and I received a video of the performance.


Lindsay explained her involvement and how some of the lines resonated with her. It was great to hear the impact, that my evening of writing had had. How many out, or under cover trans folk were in the audience, I just don't know. But if it helped raise our profile a little, and made someone feel a bit more okay, about who they are; then it was all worth it. As to the people who organised it all, they've all gone on to do other things and good luck to them. They did a grand job, putting it all together and making it happen.

Take care,
Lynn

PS: Alexis, welcome back, mrs.

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