Friday, July 26, 2019

When your label drops off

Hi,

Earlier this month I posted about having a spot of bother in getting off to sleep.... and that was before this week's heatwave. Still, having the air-con on a comfortable 19 made last night's trip (in bloke mode) to Chameleons much more tolerable. Anywho, one of the things my mind was doing, was going over what I might write for a presentation in a few months. No, not work-related, but transgender outreach kinda thing.

It's not so much that I don't know how to start it and I've got a brief from the organisation on what they want. It's more... it's more that I'm struggling a bit with the identity of saying I'm trans*. BTW, there's a rather good post by Jonathan that talks about a non-binary umbrella. This may help if you're new to some of the language.

You see, if we take the word transgender to be an umbrella term, which I do (rightly or wrongly), then I know I sit somewhere under that rainbow shelter.

But, here's the thing, I don't feel trans as in wanting to transition and I don't feel I can stand by the term cross-dressing. There's nothing wrong with either of those and I've no time for T related spitting contests. Really, it's not you, it's me, kinda thing. :-) So if I don't feel I can stand with those terms: what else is left?

Genderqueer? Well, not really. I mean, my presentation is bloke 99% of the time and 1%... umm... not looking like a bloke :-) I'm not mixing things up, so I don't feel I fit in here.

Does that make me bigender then? I mean, from a simple appearance point of view, I can see that possibility. Oh, and be careful you don't search for "big ender". That's a whole other thing. Who knew! :-D Jokes aside, I don't feel I have two genders going on, it's just me. Sure, a bit non-standard or even atypical (emphasis on not better or worse - just different, again), so it's close, but not together a perfect fit.

But, here's Rub 01: my appearance doesn't really change my personality or view of the world. I don't 'butch' up to be more manly. While I might watch my profanity a bit more in Lynn mode, I'm pretty much the same in interests, thoughts, and language. Indeed, given my mannerisms in bloke mode, I'm surprised no one has commented on how I sit. I know, this sounds a bit nuts when you read it back. What else did you expect from this blog? :-)

I feel that leaves genderfluid and I've been thinking about what that might mean to me. On the one hand, it seems to encapsulate the continuum that I seem to be on. Okay, I might physically appear as binary A or B, but what's going on in my head and my heart are not quite so singular. I mean, I think as the old social mask I wore has faded and possibly disappeared, I'm now just me regardless of how I dress. Sure, I don't share everything, but I don't hide my feelings, body language, and my male dress sense has shifted to colours and patterns I like on a Thursday. Still, male, but not that blokey.

So, Rub 02: I wouldn't say I'm distressed by all of this, but I would say that I'm a little perplexed and uneasy about what this might mean. I thought I knew who - or even, what I was - but the uncertainty isn't something I really like. Maybe it's like that gag by the late Mr Cooper: "I used to be indecisive but now I am not quite sure." :-)

Hopefully, with a bit of time, the idea of a new ID will be okay. Maybe I'll try it on for a bit and see where it takes me. Hell, I might even learn something new. That would be good.

Take care,
Lynn

Friday, July 19, 2019

"Boy or girl?"
Are they the only choices?

Hi,

It's been said about buses that you wait for ages and then two come along at once. So it seems with training requests at Chameleons. Nothing for a few months and now, there's three on the go.

Not that I am complaining, I must add. It's a chance to get out, try and help out would-be allies, and - if we're lucky - top up the group's funds a little. Balancing it all with privacy and work is the tricky part. Luckily, Val has offered to help with one of the events, bless her.

I think that education is key when it comes to talking about transgender matters. It's not just the stuff about terminology - which frankly, confuses me a lot of the time too - but about how to treat a trans person and how you might be able to help them.

With the above in mind, this week there's been a few articles in the news about LGTBQ+ education in schools. Now, there are some who argue that children should be children and that stories about how people have different relationships can be confusing.

Here's the thing: you can cure confusion. Spend a bit of time studying the subject, maybe ask a few questions, and what you thought was complex can be unpicked. Plus, there's no shame in getting things wrong - it's just an opportunity to learn.

If I look back to my own childhood, I knew I was different from the other kids. Not better or special, just different. Boy or girl? Are they the only choices? :-) Perhaps it was (or is) true for some of the other children in my class all those years ago, but if it was, I don't know.

I do look back - but not with regret - and I wonder, how life might have been different if we'd not had Clause 28, but that we'd listened, discussed, and tried to understood that there a lot of people in the world and not everyone is the same.

When I listen to Wee Man talk about his classmates, the fact that some are in straight or gay relationships is neither here nor there. It's just an everyday thing for Wee Man's generation and I think that's fantastic.

A photo from the Gender Spectrum Collection.
Funny, after all the nonsense about trying to hush schools in the 80s on talking about being gay, here we are again in 2019, with another group of people trying to keep the kids from learning.

A hint to parents who think like this: trust me, we've already started on our journey. We already know and sometimes, that's really scary. Maybe instead of saying we're not ready to hear about gay people and trans folk, maybe we could learn together and just be there for each other? Maybe we don't have to make up our minds now. Maybe we might think we're one thing, but maybe we're not. It's okay to change, isn't it? To grow, to think, to try, and maybe, just maybe, to accept and be ourselves.

L x

Friday, July 12, 2019

A fistful of win

Hi,

Last night was a meeting at Chams and through some good luck, I was fairly early. Unusually it was quite a quiet event given the high attendance last time. So it goes sometimes!

As I got changed I had to go back to my you-need-to-cut-down corset. I think one too many ice creams haven't helped and despite trying to, well, cut down a bit, I feel I'm not losing the weight yet. Must try harder. Still, at least my bloke jeans aren't too snug, so maybe things are just going slowly.

I don't know about you, but I have some goto cosmetics that I love to use. As part of that learning process, I've bought a few things that either haven't quite worked or that I've since found something better. To that end, I chucked out a lip stain, two blushers, and a pair of eyeshadow palettes. I'm really loving an old Urban Decay set for my eyes, and I think at some point I'll have to track down those favourites and stock up. But, if they're too pricey, I might take a spin on Nyx. As I passed the waste paper basket later, I did wonder what the Centre's cleaners think when they take out the rubbish. :-)

As to the evening itself, Trend Co visited, so we had the pleasure and expertise of Nicola and Steph. There might not have been a huge number of us that night, but I saw at least six people sporting new hairstyles by the end of the night. That made me feel good about the evening: Nicola & Steph make a few sales, get to have a chat, and the Chams folk get great services and products. That's a fistful of win in my book. :-) I know online can be cheaper, but I don't think you get the same service as you do in person. If there's a wig vendor near you, trust me, they're wise to people like us and you'll not surprise them.

I saw a few wigs that tempted me but I hung back to make sure everyone else got a good look. Instead, I was Executive Beverage Delivery Agent, so I was glad of my Birkenstocks :-) On a run between kitchen and bar area, one new member popped in to say hi. S has been emailing a few times and like a lot of folks starting out, she needed a little help in being reassured about the evening and she also didn't have everything just yet. No judgement, just observation. Anyway, by the end of the night, S had new hair and tried on a number of styles until she found something that was more her. Not bad for a first night out, I'd say! :-)

Community

In other news I'm applying for funding for the group and I'm going that will help us reduce the attendance fees, maybe even buy some things like a tall mirror or something to help with photos. There are also two training events on the cards and if we can get those sorted, it will all help.

Pride is revving up in town so it'll be interesting to see where that goes. I won't be attending, but a girl can dream, right? Maybe one day.

Oh and the Co-Op has released an advert featuring a transwoman and some of the money from the strawberry sales will go to help other trans groups.

There are, of course, a few people who are less than happy about it, but I think that will always be the case. Still, props to the Co-op for taking the risk.

Femulate: So long, thanks for all the posts

Lastly, I'd just like to give a shout-out to Stan's for her hard work in keeping her Femulate blog going. Not only for such a length of time but also so frequently. To think that all those multiple updates a week were pretty much from one person. But, I guess all good things come to an end, as they say. So long, Mrs, enjoy your retirement.

Take care,
Lynn

Friday, July 05, 2019

A short one

Hi,

With the summer son high in the sky and no meetings today, I went to work in shorts. Well, not *just* shorts, I did wear a shirt and trainers too. Standards, darhlink, standards. ;-) Not so much a 'dress up Thursday' but certainly a dress down Friday.

The odd thing about clothes is that there are some that feel very different and therefore make me feel different too. My skinny jeans vs bloke cut, a flowing top vs a shirt, a flowing skirt vs... well, okay, you got me. :-)

Going back to the shorts, I noticed that as I was walking at lunch that the length (just on the knee, natch) meant I had a similar feeling to that of a skirt. I found this a bit unusual given this was a workday and I'm very much in the closet when it comes to employment. Before anyone rings The Daily Heil, it was more a this feels natural because it's like a skirt rather than the concept that the mere sight of some femme clothing and I'm all of a flutter. Really? No, not really. :-)

It made me think back to my now regular choice of shirts: usually with a pattern, casual, and bright. Perhaps years of putting up with the corporate male drab* have now been cast aside in an effort to feel freer in how I look, even in bloke mode.

Indeed, I had a brief chat with a colleague from another department as her co-worker complimented her on her new skirt. I did nod and say it was very pretty. That prompted a comment on my choice of shirts and we had a brief discussion about the perils of complimenting people at work. Short version: we decided to be genuine and be kind to each other. :-)

* Oddly, I'm quite happy to sport a sharp business dress on some Thursdays, so it's not quite so cut and dry. :-)

Still, the wearing of things that make me feel okay is another item to add to the list of Things That Help me be Okay.

Take care,
Lynn