Friday, April 28, 2017

Accepting your weirdness


Some weeks are just the passing of time, whereas some, are more a series of small, but happy events. This time around was one of those. Firstly, I was on Single Dad Duty for the early part, as the Ever Lovely Mrs J was away on a course. This meant early starts (I really don't do mornings) and being organised, rather than loafing about until nearly school time, with a coffee and my smartphone. How single parents manage it all, I really don't know and hats off to those that do. But, the Every Lovely Mrs J has returned and not too tired either, so it's all good. It's a week's respite and then I think she's got another week away.

Work has been going well, which always worries me, in that does Fate's evil vindictive relation have something up their sleeve? It's a worry, but perhaps it's best to enjoy the good while you can. Wow, that's cheerful, isn't it! :-) So, good stuff: I had my performance/development review, which while I won't be getting anything extra in the pay packet (again), I did get some kind feedback from colleagues. It seems I'm helping them, making them laugh and in some cases, inspiring them too. So while there won't be extra pennies in the pocket, there are good thoughts to be had, knowing I'm valued. That did put a spring in my step.

Talking of work, at least two female work colleagues - and then a lady on a podcast - expressed their love for RuPaul's Drag Race. Now, maybe you'd think that comedy, mad cross-dressing and some song & dance would draw me to the show, faster than you can say Size 9 Shoe Sale. Trust me, it's not easy after a G&T, and certainly not with these teeth. :-)

Both H & S extolled the fun of the show and also Ru's occasional wise interjections. Particularly - and please don't quote me on this - "if you can't love  yourself, how can you expect anyone else to." Well, in my head they have Donny Parton's accent around them, but I guess both icons will just have to have a sing off, to see who gets to own that phrase ;-)

I've seen a few T folk who seem to tip towards the showier, flashier end of the spectrum. Perhaps, almost drag. I'm not judging, merely pointing out. But.... it's not really me. I guess I'm just too square to be that fabulous. More High Street than High Drama. But, hey, again, not judging.

But differences aside, I can agree with RuPaul's words about loving yourself. Yes, stop sniggering at the back. I can see you :-P Learning to accept who you are is damned hard. Perhaps slightly more so when you feel somewhat less than standard issue. I've said it a few times, but that doesn't make it any less or more true.

Thanks to Valtography
Talking to a new girl and a regular (Helen) last night, we did all hit on the phrase of "just what the hell am I doing?". That moment when you take a look at yourself and your confidence - or perhaps, whatever it is that drives being trans - creaks or even crashes. So it came to me last night: I was tired and when I looked in the wardrobe, while I could see many pretty tops, trousers, leggings, and dresses... none of them spoke to me of an outfit. Maybe there was an element of that tricky Spring/Winter weather, where it's not yet warm enough for fancy fabrics, but the sunshine means you don't want to be still sporting opaques and boots.

Thing is, I could have shrugged and turned in, but I knew that if I didn't try and pick something, I'd be kicking myself come Thursday night. So, you pick two, hope and turn in for the night. Perhaps, when your confidence takes a knock, you just have to take a moment and do it anyway. Plus, as Jack Burton says: "Tall guy, weird clothes. First you see him, then you don't." :-)

Still, all ends well, I think and Thursday night was a good one. I didn't go with my much loved Desigualnumber, but a pink dress I've had many years.  Plus, I managed to get to the Centre quite early - at least for me - so I wasn't too long getting changed upstairs. I had a good chat with some new and old folk alike. We were quite busy, which is excellent news for the group's funding and it's great to catch up with old friends too. That, also, puts a spring in my step. Reasons to be cheerful, eh?

Take care,

Friday, April 21, 2017



As a kid of the 70s, I read my fair share of comic books. Yeah, in a world with three TV channels and no YouTube, there was a lot more reading going on. :-) As to comics I wouldn't say I read loads, but a fair few and mostly UK ones. For some reason, I never quite got into the American ones. Possibly because they always felt midstory, and quite possibly because our local newsagent's range was fairly thin. Hey, welcome to living in the sticks in the pre-Internet, pre-eCommerce world. :-)

Ignoring the WWII and sports strips, the more fantastic stories were the ones that caught my eye. Superheroes: present and past. Not everyone gets the Marvel or DC treatment, so some I guess are much forgotten.

But if there's a point to this nostalgia, other than I don't remember any trans* specific characters, but this was the late 70s; hardly a time of political correctness, let alone equality. But certainly, the idea of someone with a secret identity struck a chord. Chuck into the mix the idea of said hero (or heroine) having to rush getting changed or be found out, well, I don't even need to say any more on that do I? :-)

The thing is, as someone who does hide who they are, it can be quite tiring. I'm so glad I don't have to pretend when I'm around the Ever Lovely Mrs J. The fact that I can be just me, rather than putting on the mask of male behaviour, is incredibly liberating.

So, if there are any would-be superheroes, if I had one bit of advice - other than when you do meet your nemesis, don't pull your punches and do fight dirty :-) - it would be this: don't spend your regular life pretending. It's really hard, watching what you have to say, and keeping what who you are a secret. Instead, try being all of you, but, do leave the cape and the power gauntlets out of the office. You know how these things escalate ;-)

Everyday Heroes

On a related note, I heard from Sandi that one of our oldest members at Chameleons passed away at the weekend. The lady in question was Jane. She, along with a friend Rhona helped keep the group going through the 80s. I really don't know when she handed the torch on to Tracey & Sandi, but I'd guess it was a fair few years. Still, making a trans group a success, especially in less open-minded times is, at least in my book, quite an impressive feat. Hats off to you, Mrs.

I should add, that if you're pushing the gender envelope. Either by being out, helping others, running a website or keeping a group going; keep on doing that. Please keep on being you and doing that awesomeness that helps makes it easier for this and the next generation of trans people.

Words on an image

Over on social media, Tania made a comment about the complications around running two wardrobes. Sometimes, a line just comes to you and I did say I'd stick the quote as a meme. Well, all the cool kids are doing it. ;-)

Take care,

Friday, April 14, 2017

Time: it makes fools of us all.


As I write this, it's the wee hours, although the schedule option will pop it back to Friday night. I wasn't home late from Chams, although the Ever Lovely Mrs J, who was up reading, wanted to be fast asleep before I turned in.

I could have given the time, rather than 'the wee hours', but there's those odd English phrases. The small hours, still of the night, witching hour, etc. All very colourful and, like much about being British, suitably vague and nonspecific! :-)

So, not late back and not early there either. Hmm..... As I got changed back into my bloke clothes back at Chams, I thought back to the night that had been. Much laughter, stories shared, chocolates snaffled, new people greeted and personal journeys shared.

Cheer up, you old mare
Yet, as I stood half dressed, in full makeup and sans wig, I couldn't help feel a sense of loss. Not sadness, as that's too strong a word, and not quite regret. After all, the night had been a good, if quiet one, numbers wise. Tania popped in too, and despite Facebook exchanges, we'd not spoken in a while. Val was kind enough to take my photo (see right) and later, Nicole did a group shot. I won't be sharing that, as not everyone wants their face on-line.

So why the sense of loss? Honestly, I don't know. I have a long weekend to look forward to and I felt fine as I got ready. Despite much fine food on the recent Jones Family holiday, I've gained 5lbs but lost two of those this week. This meant I could still get into an old red skirt and my pink top was the right side of fitted. All of which is a step in the right direction and again, reasons to be cheerful.

Perhaps there's a feeling that it was all too brief? Piling on the slap and tightening the corsetry around 8ish, and 'turning back' around 11.15.

Yeah, it's weird being trans. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's all fine.... except when it isn't. :-)

Maybe Val was on the money with her comment about for me, it's a short span of time when I'm in Lynn attire. Thinking on that, 8 to 11ish, that's what? Three hours? I'm not always ready by 8 either, due to traffic and leaving home. Still, better than snatching an hour every other month, like I did back in the 2000s.

Still. Chin up. Face the sun and enjoy the fresh air of springtime in the woods. Onwards.... Oh, happy Easter BTW.

Take care,

Friday, April 07, 2017

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more...


A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with Andrea, a friend from Chams. We were both in bloke mode, and had met up for a coffee and a chat.

We were discussing - amongst? other things - the concept of confidence. That strength of character, that both helps and drives you, to be, well, you. I think confidence, like cool or self-acceptance is that elusive something that's easy to chase, but not so easy to find.

That intertwined with being out & about makes for an interesting ride. There's the whole trans journey: dressing at home, getting online, making friends, wanting to get out, to be out. Out, with others, or going solo.

Whichever it is, there's the nerves. That on edge feeling as you push yourself and go further. Either the controlled risk of being on social media, to being in public. I've heard people talk of a rush: is it the act of being brave, or the survival of the trip?

Ready? Let's go.
We spoke about a long-ago meal in Leicester, where I had to walk back to the car park. Alone. Alone and at just before closing time. Funny thing was, all was fine when I was out with (trans) friends, but as it was time to go... Well, I've blogged about it before and ask you can do, is take a deep breath and step forward. Luckily, nighttime and distance helps a 6' bloke when in a nice pink dress and heeled boots.

Andrea was kind enough to say I was okay at distance. We did share a chuckle about that. The trip back was thankfully uneventful, despite my nerves. Thing is, I'm only a part-timer: there's those of our number who have to do this all the time.

But, like a ride down the BMX track, a jump from the diving board to the water; you survive. Plus, it feels good... At least, once the nerves have settled. Perhaps that's the rush that pushes us on. Wanting to capture that feeling of being alive. That, or alive or all of yourself.

But, hey, maybe I'm just odd ;-) What about you dear reader, what drives you on? Fun? Adventure? Self-acceptance? Too much caffeine? :-)

Take care,