Friday, June 27, 2008

"I need high heels just to stand up..."

Hi folks,

I'm in a fickle mood this evening. I've got a post queued in drafts that I could use to fill space and earlier I was going to run off a tongue-in-cheek commentary on substituting the word 'golf' for dressing up. Y'know, along the lines of 'I think about golk most days. I've got a cupboard full of clothes for golf and my wife doesn't understand me'. Anyhoo, the latter ran out of steam so I canned that idea.

So what's been going on? Well, holidays and work stuff out of the way, the fates smiled and I found myself attending a somewhat rainy meeting with the ladies who do (Ed: no, not like that) at NottsChams. It was great to catch up with friends - as it had been a month - some regular faces were absent, some others had returned.

Something - or rather, someone, was missing. That person was of course Daphne. Her not being there made it feel as if something had changed in the venue. Like the place had been redecorated and it no longer felt the same. I'm not saying she was part of the furniture, but you get my drift. The group - hell, the group dynamic if you want to be clever about it - had changed because she's no longer with us. I think the loss of a friend makes you think. You think about them. You think about the people they knew and sometimes, it makes you think about your own life. Where are you headed? What if you where no longer here? Not who would miss you, but who would look after the people you leave behind. Family, friends, etc. Sh**. Cheery thoughts eh? :D

On a more upbeat note I did a bit of shopping this week. Work had been difficult and I needed the distraction. I bought some new jeans for a few bob. They're white and I feel both very 80s and a bit like a one of the Manic Street Preachers (have a look at the Motorcycle Emptiness video. You'll see what I mean). Hoping the weather would improve and having tried some wedges when we (Chams) had a lady selling shoes visit, I picked up a pair at a bargain price. I wasn't sure but a quick jaunt around town made my mind up for me. I kept them as they fit better than anything else available, weren't insanely high and were a good deal less pricey than the others I tried. The photo was taken by Tracey (so a big thanks to her!).

Trousers again. This is proving to be a worrying trend. It'll be flats next. Well, at least if I could get some in my size. :) Talking of shoes (well, this is a tranny blog), I did see the most darling pair of coffee coloured Mary Jane's in New Look. Maybe when the weather turns eh? :)

I hear that it's that Sparkle time of year. To those of you making your way up to Manchester: safe journey and I hope you have a good time! It'll be interesting reading about it.

[ Today's lyric: Statuesque by Sleeper ]

Friday, June 20, 2008

"T.V., is it the reflector or the director?"

Hey peeps,

Everything fab + groovy in your world? I hope so.

I'm beginning to wonder if there's a Friday afternoon curse on creative thoughts. Well, as much as blogging is an act of creation. Mind tends to be a burst, nay, stream of consciousness and if I'm lucky - and I guess I should include you (dear reader) - the creative vibe will kick in and they'll actually be a point to today's little piece. (Ed: I would make a welcome change, wouldn't it? :D ) I suppose I should start keeping an ideas book!

Earlier in the week I saw a couple of ladies (from work) back in their opaques. I should point out they weren't in just their tights, I don't work for Pretty Polly after all. :) It wasn't that warm, but the bright sunshine and then seeing the dark tight 'winter look' threw me a bit. Still, at least they're weren't cold! No doubt the fashionistas will be flogging bare legs this winter to address the balance. :)

Jo (Angel) has posted some links to YouTube showing a Japanese game show where they take a few young chaps and make them over into young ladies. I suppose it's a bit like a homespun version of He's a Lady (if you remember that). I think the nearest we came to a show like that was Boy Meets Girl, but the strange competitive elimination process to the latter seemed tacked on. Still, such is life in the media I suppose. Everyone else is doing that so we better do the same.

So this last week I've been looking through YouTube... Well, perhaps wading through would be more appropriate. I think my interest had peaked due to the lack of recent dressing. Funny how a month off makes you miss it! I stumbled on to a stash of clips from American sitcoms with a CD / drag element, only to hit a bit of history.

Do you remember Silver Spoons? It was a sitcom from the early 80s on ITV. I was quite young, not yet a teenager, and I remember the episode fairly well. I remember being glued to the set (so to speak) as the young lad in it dressed up as a girl to be a 'date' to his clueless pal.

It was my earliest memory of seeing someone dressing in that way. Someone trying for a *convincing* look rather than going for the comedy option.... or at least, what my memory told me (God, that wig. You can almost hear the static from here! :D). Yes, ironic that we're talking about a sitcom where the cross dressing is played for laughs (see here), but the plot was that he (the young kid) should *look* like a girl. Despite the jokes on posture and the difference in body language, it hooked me in. There's someone like me, my brain cried, but deep down I knew that wasn't the case. This was just a sitcom. Tranny characters don't come along (as a rule) in 80s. Hell, in some shows you never saw anyone black! :)

As a young kid growing up in a small town, the TV was one source of information. Certainly, our local library van didn't hold any answers to my questions. :) I suppose now, a youngster would open their browser, hit a search engine and learn that way. How things change eh? But back in the day and in my confusion - perhaps naivety - I wondered who else would be like me. After all, who wants to be alone? I guess I went looking for affirmation that other people like me existed. There was a word in the dictionary, so trannys must exist right? :)

Channel 4's gay magazine, Out On Tuesday wasn't aimed at me, yet I watched it whenever it was on. One of the side effects - by the way, if you're one of the Religious Right, grab a pen now :) - was that what the programme reported on, made me re-think and challenge the cr*p (even hate) that my school mates would say about gay men and women. After watching a few episodes, I began to wonder about the statistic: one in ten. If that was true and there were 700 boys at my school (single sex you see. No wonder I'm warped :D). So that's what? 70 gays guys, 7 trannys* and maybe half a TS? :)

[ Ed: 1 in 100? Possibly, possibly not. But if that number was true, the number should be 5. Lynn is 6th and her mate 'B', who told her before he left for college. Lynn's tranny radar is terrible! Birds of a feather eh? :D ]

Two other programmes stick in my mind from that time: First Tuesday's report on Florence, Italy. According to that programme, the city was positively bursting with transvestites. :) What was interesting to me was the interviews of the CD folk on there. They lead fairly ordinary lives (so to speak), held down jobs, *were* married and I took comfort in that. Sure, I was a bit different, but it wasn't the end of the world.

The last 'big impact' programme was a series with Philip Hodson (Hodgeson?). It was on late Saturday night (again, ITV I think) and he'd look at adult behaviour each week. I was about to turn over when I heard him talk about 'men who like to wear women's clothes'. That had my attention! :)

Anyhoo... that's enough from me. What about you dear reader? Did you see positive or negative images in the media, or did you just disengage altogether?

Take care,

[ Today's lyric: Disposal Heroes of Hiphoprsy's Television: The Drug of a Nation ]

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"There's something in the way that you're talking,
The words don't sound right."

Hi folks,

It's been strange coming home to dear old Blighty (Ed: That'd be 'England' to you non-natives). The holiday was great: lots of relaxation and family time together. No need to rush out to work or panic over getting the kids ready for bed. No school-work to plough through and bedtime stories could go on and on. Just plenty of warm sunny days lazing in the pool or around the coast. We should do it more often.

Perhaps then that when I came home and read my email, the following took me by surprise. Well, actually, not completely surprise (stay with me, I'll get to the point in a mo), but I'd hoped (Ed: she means 'prayed' but she won't say it) that this wouldn't happen. A good friend of mine, Daphne, took her own life on May 12th. Weeks before, we talked about the difficulties she faced at home (bullying from someone in her local village, lack of a job and the problems in her selling her house) and you know how it is, you do your best to listen, to be a good friend and help where you can.

One Thursday there was just her and myself talking, everyone had yet to arrive. We had a good heart to heart and I said to her: "No matter how bad it gets, please don't do yourself in. We need good souls like you in the world." Daphne said that she'd walk away before she did anything like that. I took her at her word.

A few weeks later and she kindly gave me a bracelet. A lovely silver one made up of bright silver squares. "Something to remember me by," she joked - her eyes alive with her usual humour. We talked about the usual stuff and parted company. That was the last I saw of her.

Daphne was a kind soul. Someone of great intelligence, understanding and humour. She had many stories to tell (the one about the missile base - yes, really!! - still makes me laugh) and.... and I don't know what else to put. I only saw her at group meetings but we'd always gravitate towards each other. Partners in crime if you will. I - like the rest of the group - will miss her.

It's funny, if she'd moved away and I'd never seen her again, that would be okay in someway. I'd know that she was still around and (hopefully) enjoying whatever she was doing. With death, well, unless there is an afterlife, I know I won't see her again.

Perhaps it's melodramatic, but the world seems less bright withour her.


[ Today's lyric: Fall At Your Feet by Crowded House ]