Friday, September 25, 2015

Tick tock, tick tock


Last week, another year on the clock. Oh, don't mention clocks: this could be a terror threat. :-)

I did wonder, skipping back those *cough* 40 odd *cough* years ago. What was it like for my parents? Okay obvious joke, probably agony for one of them ;-) Did my Dad rush in from work, or had he been there since the start of labour? I may have to ask.

Skip on a few years, and a remember visiting my Mum, after my little sister was born. I also remember Dad taking us to the local toy shop (there were two in our little town). For some reason, he bought my sister and I toys. How this helps to adjust to a new baby in the house, I'm not sure, but I appreciate the gesture ;-) I got the Lotus from James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me. When I see the film, I think of that toy and then about my family. Memories, they're funny entangled strings aren't they?

Skipping forward many years, I was lucky enough to be there for both of my kids being born. It was crazy how the time shot by. I guess a mix of panic, repetition and being in the same small room for over 16 hours (we both had a kip) may have played a part. :-) That's not to belittle the experience in the slightest. It is, to coin a well loved phrase, but the beginning.

I look now at our two wonderful children and think that they're the gifts. Not fancy gadgets - although the YBF Primer and a Desigual dress from Mrs J, are awesome :-) - but the things we do as a family. I once read, don't connect things, collect memories. I'm slowly getting that message.

Take last night for example. I was going to go out, but Wee Man needed some help putting together an electronic drum kit together. Bless him, he'd been saving since Christmas and his birthday. Given his excitement, and soft touch that I am, I stayed longer, to put it all together. So, while I did get to go out, it wasn't in fancy attire. Still, there will be other times and he did have a big smile on his face.

Take care,

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Trans Rollercoaster


Last week I was checking through my RSS feed of blogs and checked to see what the good folk over at T-Central had been up to. If you've not been over, the site is worth checking out. They not only keep a long list of trans blogs, but they also do a feature post. Usually, posting a link to a trans blog article that's a thought provoking read. They also link to those who've just been babbling away to themselves (here and here). ;-)

Anyhoo, on Saturday, I spotted a link to a post called the Slippery Slope, which was written by Nadine. It's not the first time I've heard those words. Not from the My Husband Betty books, but from my own dear, Ever Lovely Mrs J. In fairness, it was a long time ago and during my.... not sure what to call this. I'll go with experimentation phase. That time when you're sort of out, at least to your partner, and you're finding your feet. Oh, a slow hand clap for anyone who says, try looking down your legs. :-) I'd run out of nail varnish remover and came home with red nails. A quick clean up and I was fine, although I did make the bathroom bin whiff of chemicals. Naturally, Mrs J was curious and then felt that it was all escalating. Which, given that I didn't wear nail varnish when going out before, can't be denied. That's not to say her (righteous) missive didn't sting. Sometimes, the truth hurts.

So, how do those two wee facts interlink? Well, I'm glad you asked. There is, I believe, the phenomenon of the trans shooting star. See how it reaches into the sky leaving a blaze of fabulous sparkles and carefree behaviour. Nothing can touch it.... except the gradual and unrepentant gravity of reality, or the heavy handed slap of guilt. We've all been there, or know someone who has. There's no shame in it. We - trans folk - get a whiff of freedom and we're gone.... hence the graph (below).

Joe's our stereotypical transgender person, we'll go with male by birth, because I don't what it may be like for our trans-men cousins. Joe starts off in life and slowly, the trans pressure builds up. He either can't take it any more, or he's careless; it doesn't matter, He's coming out and down the mood drain he goes. Joe may question who he is, and maybe his partner is questioning Joe on who he is too. Maybe positively, or maybe not: every journey is different.

Slowly Joe starts to get his head around things. He begins to be more open, maybe drop his guard. Those who've been through this, maybe begin to hear the gentle calls from Mission Control: We are go for launch. Joe's launch into the trans world is underway. Off he soars to the nearest shopping area, or Internet site. Plain paper packages arrive in the post. Credit cards start to get a little warm and he's pushing at boundaries neither partner knew they had. Off he goes, sky high looking fabulous and without a care in the world. All is fine in the high T-Orbit. Nothing can touch him.....

Except, the real world. Joe cannot live in a bubble. He has to come down for air and that high orbit high over the world, sure, there are other passing stars, but he's left some people behind. He begins to lose height and that re-entry burns him. He's gone so high, so far and yet.... he's still him. He's still Joe with this new world and his old one to balance.

Will Joe hit the icy waters on his own, or will his crash be lessened by his friends & family? Who can say. That's up to Joe. Maybe he'll share with his partner and find he doesn't need to be fully off planet, to have escape. Maybe he's happy with a few times a year, once a month, or just a weekend. It's not our call, it's Joe's.

Over time, Joe will learn some home truths. Maybe he won't like some of them, maybe he'll give up for a bit and lay low. That interstellar flight wiped him out. Slowly, but surely, he'll feel T-Call and he'll start again. Not at the blistering white-knuckle speed of last time, but a gentle pace. He's tasted freedom and he's felt pain. Maybe Joe's learned enough to balance both. Maybe he's learned acceptance and maybe he's lucky enough to have a partner who loves him - all aspects of him. Let's hope he has. No more boom and bust, or worse: doom and dust.

Let's hope that Joe can look back. Realise that what's happened has happened and where possible, learn a little. Learn to be okay with who he is and who he sometimes likes to be.

Take care,

Friday, September 11, 2015

A chance to be you


Not just something that sounds good for horses, apparently. Also good for bad puns and an opening when you're wondering what to blog about. :-)

Despite Saturday's gift of a morning to myself and plenty of time to pack, I changed my mind at the last minute (Ed: Not that this mind works better than the old one.), and swapped to what you might call a transitional dress. Something that's either summer or winter, depending how you wear it.

I have, thanks to some gentle cutting down on snacks, lost a little bit of weight. Not a huge amount, but enough to let my old clothes fit better and I was very happy to be able to wear my favourite blue ditzy print dress again.... even if I didn't bring it this time.

While I was getting changed, Sarah and Alison popped up to say hello and - as per - we got chatting. I mentioned that a recent video on social media, had asked trans people, what they took the word passing to be. Some started with one word answers, and then moved on to expand on their initial comments. One said prison, which may sound strong, but you don't know her back story. Did she feel trapped because of how people had treated her, or was she - so to speak - in a cage of her own making?

I used to feel it was important to pass, but that was many years ago. I guess it was a bit like trying to wish yourself thin. It ain't gonna happen. Likewise, for me, and a few others, passing is something that's not going to happen. I'm tall, got blokey shoulders and a jaw you can clear snow off the drive with. They all stack up to provide evidence that I'm not genetically female..... but, I don't care. Not any more, indeed, not for a long time. It was something I'll never do and I realised that aiming for this goal, was just bringing me down. Instead, I just aim to be content with how I look. If all goes to plan, well turned out too. That's all I can manage and on good days - like last night - all did go well. I looked in the mirror and thought: yeah, you'll do. :-)

Alison - who is now, shall we say, no longer in the boys club :-) - asked how do I identify. This was something that came up in the video too. She said that she knows I pick the label transgender and, possibly as I've said here before, it's because the word trans, at least to me, feels inclusive. Sure, I'm very part time; being a bloke/dad/husband all month, bar two evenings, or maybe a few hours once in a blue moon. That said, I don't feel different when dressed up. I might watch my language a little more, but that may more be able manners. (Ed: that or Lynn feels blokes are ruder, so she does that to fit in. The jury's still out.).

Someone asked: do I pretend. Yeah, I pretend to be a regular bloke :-) Flippancy aside, there's a truth in that joke. I do watch what I say and how I act. If someone I know is talking jewellery design, or the dilemma with what to wear to a work's do; I know to keep my trap shut. Much that I'd like to join in, I'm wary I'd either a) give myself away, or b) weird them out in some way. Then there's dodgy the question, when someone asks why do you have both ears pierced? I usually say I just wanted the variety, which isn't 100% wrong. :-)

That's probably the old bit about being in the closet I don't like. Having to old back. At Chams, and as I said to Sarah & Alison, I don't have to self-censor. Here, I can be me, regardless of bloke or lady appearance; I can talk about any subject (Ed: often at great length). Maybe that's the best thing about the social group: friends who you can just be yourself with. No masks, no lies, just you.

Take care,

[ PS: I had a telephone interview today and I've a formal interview next week. Fingers crossed! ]

Friday, September 04, 2015



You probably know that I answer the emails and keep an eye on the forum, for Chameleons. In the last two years or so, I've noticed a change -if you pardon the pun - in who contacts the group. Yes, a lot of our number are regular cross dressers (/waves), although we're seeing a gradual diversification.

Questions from women who identify as men, and also from younger people too. Okay, mostly teenagers, but still, I think we're, and to steal a well known headline, reaching at a tipping point.

It seems, well, at least to me, that the trans elements of society are making themselves known earlier. They are speaking up and early. I still see conservative type who are trying to push the genie back in the bottle. Good luck with that. You may as well try knitting with fog.

People are feeling what it's like to be free, and be true to themselves. I can only hope it leads to happier grown-ups. The full article is here and there's a GIRES leaflet here too.


[ Update: By some strange turn of the planets and Fate, everyone, bar YT, was out of the house on Saturday. The Ever Lovely Mrs J and Little Miss had headed out to help at a charity thing, while Wee Man, was staying over at Mrs J's parents. For the first time in a long time, I had a Saturday morning to myself. What to do, what to do? :-) After Hoovering and tidying up, I went through my second wardrobe: tried a few things on and put aide the items I no longer want. The less-flapjack-and-more-fruit diet seems to be working. My weight may not have dropped massively, but my shape is less boxy and I found favourite clothes that fit again. Woo-hoo! It was odd not bothering with any make-up, but it was warm and I wanted to get the housework and lawns sorted, rather than worrying about removing all the evidence. All in all, a very nice start to the weekend! ]