Friday, October 11, 2019

This is not the group you are looking for.
You may go about your business.

Hi,

The other week an email arrived in the Chameleons inbox. It wasn't from a trans person, someone related to some who's trans, nor a training enquiry. It was from someone who identified as an Admirer. For those who've not heard the term before, in general, Admirers are usually men and they like transgender people: generally male to female, but it can be the other way around too.

The guy was respectful and it's probably the second email that the group's received since I've been handling the inbox. I don't know if Admirer folk are quite rare, or that they get the vibe - correctly - that Chams is a social & support group for trans people and their family. It doesn't matter if you identify as a cross-dresser, genderfluid, someone who's part-time, bi-gender, or someone going to (or it) full time. So long as you're trans - or related to someone who is - we're very welcoming.... to a point :-)

That point is that the group is a safe place. We may have even been a safe space well before I'd heard of the term, but it still stands :-) There are a few things new and would-be attendees want to know: who'll be at the group, what goes on, and will I be safe? The latter is a key theme that runs through all the emails, newsgroup posts, etc.

Much as Admirers may be a minority and I think it would be rude - and somewhat rich - to judge them for their likes, I think their needs and the needs of the group aren't compatible. It's not so much the person, as the behaviour and the reasons they want to attend. Phrases like 'to make contact' don't help. I made it clear that he couldn't come along, but that there may be places in town (some of the LGBTQ+ bars) or web sites (URNotAlone or TVChix), that may be more suitable.

Plus, I've seen men in more mainstream life not leaving women alone or treating them disrespectfully. Maybe staring or commenting when they think they're out of earshot. Frankly, it's that behaviour that's a bit grim, and I don't want to invite men into the group if that's a possibility. All of that's before you get into horror stories from fellow T people. You know the sort: the guy who doesn't pick up on I'm not interested or I'm not into guys kinda thing, to blokes who are *ahem* a little too touchy-feelie.

So, here's my question, for guys who have an interest in, well, people like us, where do they go? Are there groups for them too, where they talk about their feelings and try to understand? From what little I've read online, it seems the get a difficult hand. We're not interested, they're not fully understood by their peers (straight or gay), and with pervy blokes giving them a rep, how do they feel about that?

__________________

In other news, I've struggled a bit with the new fashions out this autumn. I don't know if it's me or them, but not much is making me want to invest. I've even cleared my cupboards out of things I no longer wear, and with last month's birthday money, I've a few quid to invest. But, maybe it's a little too early for retailers to get into their stride, and we're not yet at Halloween or the run-up to Christmas glamour.

Still, the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones also had a chuck-out, so I decided to try a skirt she no longer wanted, and having had some time 'working from home' this week, I washed and tried to restyle the wig that Steph (TrendCo) recut for me all those months ago.

Oh, Mrs J also mentioned Snag Tights to me, and they do a variety of sizes and fits: tall, plus-size, and various fab colours. I'm hoping to try those on and post a quick review here. There's also some shoe-stretchers I bought from Amazon, and they're currently in use on the nude courts I bought in the summer.

Sizing, it's a bit of a risk. The skirt in the picture is a 16 and while it's not roomy, it's not the wrong side of tight. Well, not unless I visit Ye Olde Pie Shoppe too many times ;-) Compare that to a lovely pencil skirt (size 16) I picked up in a local charity shop and that was not going to go on. Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm more 17 than 16. :-)  Ah well, all part of the learning curve and what doesn't fit can be added to the Bring & Buy box for Chameleons next month.

Take care,
Lynn

Friday, October 04, 2019

What did you wish you knew, or had someone near you understand?

Hi,

In an online article somewhere far, far, away I caught the line: what did you wish you knew or had someone near you understand?

Well, there is a question. Two. perhaps. :-) Here's my thoughts on this and if you have your own, please feel free to share via the contact form, in the comments, or feel free to not to. It's all very calm here at YATGB.

What did you wish you knew?

That as a young man, that life would get easier as I got older and that I'd meet someone very special to share things with (the Ever Lovely Mrs J, of course).

That it's okay to make mistakes and to learn from them, is sometimes the best - and the only - thing you can do.

That when I started to learn who I was - trans-something-or-other - than it's not about passing, but making the best of what you have. You can practice your make-up skills, learn what works (and what doesn't), try different styles, and the Return in 28 Days option can be a good friend.

That going to a social & support group would be one of the best things I ever did.

That sometimes it's best to ask questions when you're not 100% sure and to listen - properly listen - rather than waiting for a chance to throw your own comments into the conversation.

That sometimes I'm my own worst critic and I that I can change that. Not to BS myself, but to be kind, as I wouldn't say such things to a friend.

What did you wish someone near you understood?

That for me, this isn't a kink: that being trans* is part of my identity and it doesn't switch off. Sure, sometimes it's quiet and sometimes it's noisy: but it never really goes away. I am always me, not matter how I look.

That only being a man - or more accurately, only looking and behaving like a bloke - is suffocating. I am happier when I am able to express who I am. This doesn't mean I have to be dressed to be happy: it just means I need the option - the freedom? - to go there or feel that my body looks how I feel it should.

That having smooth pins makes me feel okay about my body, and if I feel okay about my body, that helps me feel okay about me.

That I'm doing the best I can, with who I am, in the world I live in.

That I don't always get it right and for that, I'm sorry.

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Take care,
Lynn