Friday, September 13, 2019

Akin

Hi,

Ah, hello Friday, you end of the week minx, you. The call of a distant bell reminding you that the weekend approaches and it'll be down tools o'clock for the much-awaited weekend. I hope the week has been kind to you and yours.

It would have been a week ago when I went to the conference to give a little talk (blog post here, if you're curious). A few things lingered about the event long after everyone drifted away. They were the good feelings that I felt that I'd done something to try and help. Not just from answering questions, but also from the kind feedback from both the organisers and some of you out there in blog-land. So, thanks. It's appreciated. ♥

The other thing was the question of  How does it feel when you're able to be your other look?

I mentioned last time that it's like the stress metre slowly turning down from 11, or perhaps finding that the heat's gone from the boiling pan and the water turns from boiling, to steaming, to finally, still.

At work the other week, a group of us were sat post-event enjoying a much-needed recharge. Using, of course, the British Standard Unit of Power: a cup of tea. The conversation drifted and colleagues spoke about how they unwound. One said playing their guitar worked for them, one said it was baking, another loved dancing and another going for a long run.

As someone who loves to cut some rug, I could identify with the dancing. While said colleague's was more organised - stylistically speaking - the movement, the option to improvise within the tune, and perhaps to give yourself into the moment; well, all of those I could agree with. Indeed, the Jogger asked if Dancing Person got, well, a little antsy if they didn't get to go out and get this type of exercise? Both agreed that for them, this was the case. Symptoms of restlessness, a tension within they couldn't push away, or indeed, feeling a little out of sorts. Hmm: sound familiar?

In my 20s when I'd regularly be out at music clubs dancing the night away, I would indeed feel the pull to be on the dancefloor and in that moment shake free the tension. Again, I wonder if we trans folk are not as unique in our needs as we think? Perhaps with more understanding around cis folk's loves, we find that we're more alike than not. Okay, other than the ability to rock to wardrobes, but I think you get my point ;-)

An eyeopener for me was a social event where a number of the Ever Lovely Mrs J's Internet friends had come together in a hotel, and social media was alive with questions of is this too short? Do these heels work with these tights? Trying a new lippy, but not sure. Not fishing for compliments, but seeking reassurance that they didn't look a sight. If I'd swapped the names out of trans people I know, the story would be very similar. Again, similarities.

So it is then that as I got changed on Thursday evening, I could feel the tension slipping away as if the music moved me, or, in the case of the Running (Wo)man, the pound of the pavement under her feet as she pushed herself to clear the housing estate and run into the nearby park.

Laying out my clothes and picking out my makeup is perhaps part of the ritual. Which eye palette to use? The Ever Lovely Mrs J had gifted me with swapsies on an eyeshadow palette that wasn't really her, bless. Which lippy? Choices, choices, choices. So too is the earlier Very Close Shave (™) and the slow application of shapewear and padding to give you a figure that's definitely not him.

I didn't feel elated or excited, but content: happy in my own skin as I stepped into my shoes and brushed my wig into shape. All that was left was to shoulder my bag, ask Tanya to lock upstairs as she left, and I head down to catch up with friends - new and old - at Chams.

All in all, it was a good night. A long and heartfelt conversation with a couple visiting for the first time. IMHO, it's always lovely to see someone trying to support their partner, so props to them for that. I tried on some new shoes - a further chapter in the quest for some nude heels :-) - and these felt so comfy after kicking off my heels. It seems the 8s are a little too small and the 9s a little too big. Oh the humanity! ;-)

Val's kindly taken away the signing in sheets to see if we can find a pattern about attendance, and how that might influence the funds for the group. Evidence-based decision making? Whatever next ;-)

Take care,
Lynn

6 comments:

  1. "Not fishing for compliments, but seeking reassurance that they didn't look a sight. If I'd swapped the names out of trans people I know, the story would be very similar. Again, similarities."
    Yes. I've posted pictures where what I am looking for is reassurance that I am not going to frighten the horses or make a spectacle of myself in the street. Inside the house there's only me, where it doesn't matter so much (except to my self esteem) but where I am never sure that what I see in the mirror is what other people would see looking at me.
    Nice shoes (and legs), Lynn. They go well with that dress too. Glad you had a nice time.
    xxx

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    1. Yes, I think the Ever Lovely Mrs J summarised it nicely with: "Well, no one wants to look like a berk." :-) Perhaps that's universal.

      Plus, if we don't have people we see regularly who can give us helpful feedback, how do we improve? I've seen a few posts on transpassing (Reddit) and it seems folk are really putting themselves out there. Mostly the feedback is constructive and helpful. I've seen a few that are a bit sharp and while they may be technically correct, I think there's a way to say things without sounding like you're being mean.

      I did try it once over on BookFace and it was pretty quiet, although I did get a nice PM from a partner who offered me some advice about my top choices.

      Someone said to me (I'll spare their blushes) about my application technique with blusher wasn't helping me, and having listened and subsequently learned, I'm happier with the look. They've either given up or I got it right ;-)

      Thanks for the kind words on the outfit. It's my go to corporate outfit. :-D

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  2. Nice legs, Mrs! How many trans people declare at some point that dressing or some such way of expressing their real self is the key to de-stressing. Probably all of them. And the transformation is part of that for many. Glad that Chams provides a regular opportunity and a welcoming environment for being happy in this way. Sue x

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    1. Thanks Sue, that's very kind of you to say so. It seems the whole package of transforming, being with others like you, and feeling that your body looks how it should; well, they all help add up to help, IMHO. It ain't always easy getting there, but I think it's worth trying when you can.

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  3. Do like the shoes btw, I can squeeze into an 8 but I'm a 9, especially if socks are involved which cuts off the number of shoes you can buy that are not black court shoes.

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    1. Thanks, Lucy. Lucky you for getting into an eight. I guess it depends on the style and the store about being able to do that.

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