Friday, June 28, 2019

Little Moments

Hi,

It's been a busy, almost frantic, last few days, but I'm feeling good about life. Friday has been a welcome and quiet cornerstone to the working week. A little too much travel and rushing between meetings meant Monday through to Thursday was a little too full on. Sure, it's good to be busy.

My Thursday night out went very well. Outfit wise I had a backup plan as well as a new full-length skirt and two not yet worn tops from last year's summer sale. The skirt was also in the sale and had the added benefit of the Ever Lovely Mrs J's blessing. Shopping can be cool, but shopping guilt free is even better in my book. :-)

Not the stairs. :-)
As I got changed, somehow my makeup came together - at least I was pleased with it :-) - and I did my best to help Michelle - someone new to the group - with their slap too. Playing it forward and all that. That's why we're here and it's good to be kind to others. Bless her, Michelle sent me a PM on our forum to say thanks. How lovely is that?

As I left the changing room upstairs, I was struck how the skirt felt as I moved. Okay, it's been many years since I started cross-dressing, but every now and then, there's something new to discover. Maybe its how your earrings move as you walk, the feel of skinny jeans when you're used to a bloke cut, how your posture changes in heels, or even the sun on properly bare legs. I guess it's not part of my every day, so when those little moments arrive, I try to take note and remember them. I don't think of them has having gone, but instead things to think back on and smile.

Back to last night, Val and I popped outside to try getting a photo that was anywhere else than the usual staircase. Katie's support worker - we'll keep her name on the QT - kindly offered to take the snap. X is very good with photos. Funny how some people just have the gift for it. Indeed, later on we had a chat about photography and X was curious if others would be interested. I'm hoping she keeps up on things as X really has the eye for it.

Later on, I had a chat with some new visitors. They were regulars at Leicester Chameleons, who meet once a month on a Saturday night. Listening to them talk about the group took me back when I used to go all those years ago.

Talking of groups from back in the day, it is Stonewall's 50th Anniversary. Despite a few bigots trying to wind back the clock, LGBTQ+ people and their allies are not going to go away. I may not be out & loud, but I am proud of our community. I do what I can either as an ally at work, helping at the group, or running training events for organisations. There are days when it feels like I'm lurking in the shadows, but maybe that's my imposter syndrome talking.

Instead, I'm going to ignore that, think about who we help at the group, who we talk to in our events, parents & carers of trans kids who email us, and when we do go out, we're just us: living our lives as best we can. So, for those who came before, thank you, and to those who come after, keep going. The road to equality is long, but we will get there.

Lynn
x

Friday, June 21, 2019

Rocks

Hi,

There are days in which I feel I'm carrying a bag of rocks. I'm not sure how they get in, but there they are. Lumpy black and brown, rough-hewn shapes that clack and grind against each other. I don't remember picking any up, but I notice the extra weight when doing any mental or emotional heavy lifting.

There are times when I forget about the bag, and it rests on the ground, sullen and silent, biding the time in which it knows what distracting activity I'm in will end at some point. Lunch in the sunshine, laughing with a friend, or being lost in the moment: in all of those things, the bag is forgotten. Not empty, just ignored.

Thursday nights or rare daytimes that pass with a swish of finery, the tap-tap-tap of heels, and dash of lipstick. When I remember to think to check the bag: it's empty, almost gossamer wisps.

The spring in my step and joyful thoughts at the time grabbed boosts my spirits. Days pass, but then, I hear the grind of stone.

So it is, and so I keep track of good things and try not to listen to the rocks. Let the twist and grunt, because moments will drive them away, and outings free me.

L x

Friday, June 14, 2019

Gratitude

Hi,

Today has been mixed and there's a point to this in a mo. I broke my new travel mug (boo) and before home time, I had a meeting with someone I can only describe as an arse of the first order. :-) The thing is, I could - and perhaps in previous years - have reflected on the bad things that happened and this would - mais oui - have coloured my view of the day.... and dare I say, not accurately.

So, many moons back, I started to keep a diary for positive stuff. A daily log of three good things that happened to me. I find this Gratitude Diary - I believe that's the term - really helps.

Rather than think back on the broken - the mug and the travel cup I bought (see what I did there? :-) ) - let's look at the better things.

I paid the money for the group into the community account. That's propped the funds up with enough moolah to cover another two meetings. We are doing okay in terms of money and this is a worry that's gone away. Okay, we're not exactly millionaires, but we are not limping from month to month, worrying that the venue would close its doors on us.

Last night two old regulars - Sarah and Alison - popped by to say hello. We had a good old natter about various things, but Alison mentioned that it's been pretty much ten years since she first came to Chameleons. She's transitioned now and you can see she's much happier in herself. Ali's a different person to who she was all those years ago, so seeing a friend grow is really cool in my book.

If I think back to today, yes, I could look at the things that had not gone as I'd liked. But, rather than that, what about looking at what was better? The rain let up for a bit, I got to the bank without any major hassle, I had a tasty lunch. I collected my new maxi skirt and its very pretty. That saved me a trip into town looking for one and the Ever Lovely Mrs J was cool about me ordering it too. All of these things are, in my book, moments of goodness to be cherished.

Going back to Thursday's, I think you could look at my outings as two nights in a month when I'm all of who I am. Or, I could look at Thursdays as a time where I have the choice to appear as Richard or Lynn. Neither is better or worse: just different. Well, okay, my Richard guide is a bit more sweary, but we'll gloss over that. :-) Sure, it's an effort to get a good shave, pack a bag, but I think the effort - although not always the result! :-) - is worth it.

I guess what I'm saying is if there's any point to this post, is enjoy the moment. Rather than rushing to the next thing or worrying about what might be: just enjoy as you can.

Take care,
Lynn

Friday, June 07, 2019

Just for fun

Hi,

The other day the Every Lovely Mrs J sent me a link around How to be an Ally to Trans People (link here if you're curious), bless her. We had a bit of a chat - and a few laughs about the training we'd had over the years - some good, some great, some that *ahem* might need a spot of improvement.

Now, occasionally I get to do a bit of Q&A around what it can mean to be Trans*. Through Chameleons, I've had just under a dozen or so training opportunities with various organisations in and around Nottingham. Now, not only does this get me out a bit (which is cool in my book), but it brings funds into the group, and lets me fly the flag a little. Sure, I'm pushing on an open door, but people are genuinely curious and I think that's great. Much as there are occasional steps backwards - not mentioning a certain bigot coming to the UK this week -  as a rule, things are improving.

For kicks & giggles, what if we twisted the not-so-PC questions that we T folk sometimes hear? I mean, what about the idea of an event to celebrate being straight as per the news this week? What if we ran the following questions at a seminar as people walked in?


  • When did you decide you were cis & straight? Are you sure it's not just a phase?
     
  • Are they real? [points to top] I mean, they look pretty real. Can I touch one?

  • So, what's in your - you know - underwear? [waves hands around the groin area] Do you think you'll keep things as they are?
     
  • Does having your family jewels loose hurt? Wouldn't you be better tucking them away? I mean you don't want them to flop around in your trousers right?
     
  • Is this a bit like doing drag then?
     
  • Who helped you with your makeup this morning? It looks pretty good.
     
  • Is that your own hair? You didn't buy it then? It looks very real.
     
  • How long did it take you to grow a beard? Do you think it'll get fuller as you leave it?
Some of those are a bit near the knuckle, so treading carefully might be a good idea. :-) I'm not sure I'm quite brave enough to take the above approach - it is meant in jest - but it does seem like a lot of fun. But, maybe when you've been asked the Trans equivalent of those, maybe it's more tired than amusing. I hope that's not the case.

Still, I think when used appropriately, maybe a bit of humour can be used to break the ice and hopefully change some views too.

Take care,
Lynn