Blimey, where did the week go? I’m pretty sure I remember Monday coming around quite quickly and then everything else is a bit of a blur. Sorry today’s post is a bit of a long one. Like last month’s rain, the words just kept on coming.
Talking of the weather, the summer seems to have finally arrived in the UK. This is a rather nice change from the water and floods of yestermonth. Mind you, we got off quite lightly round here compared to certain areas of the country. I was talking to a chap down in Gloucester the other day and he was still waiting for the water to be declared safe.
I nipped out to visit Chams the other night and I had a very nice time. The weather being what it was, I just wasn’t in the mood for all the finery so I went in bob mode (for a change). It’s kinda weird doing that because when you go dressed up, it’s a bit like a disguise in a way. Last time I went I got changed back in to bloke gear before leaving and one of the new ladies thought I was the caretaker. Perhaps it was the overalls and brush I had with me, but joking aside, there is I think quite a difference between the two appearances (Ed: bloody understatement!). It’s odd because when you see yourself dressed up, you can look through the clothes (so to speak) and see the person underneath. Others, on the other hand, see the full display as it where and don’t always make that leap.
Sadly Nottingham Pride didn’t go quite as well for the group. While we did manage to get a leaflet together, we ran short of people to man the stall. I’m not going to grumble about it because it’s one thing to be out and about, but quite another to front a stall for the general public. I guess we come back to that old mantra, don’t ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. Maybe the leaflet can be re-used [shrug]. Perhaps I should put it on the web site as a PDF. Some to mull over the weekend.
Talking of help, Becky posted a piece on her blog about young trans folk asking for advice. I think it’s a bit of a tough one. Advice on what exactly? Dressing up tips? Coping strategies? How to dance in heels? Hell, I’d like to know some of those secrets! 🙂
Looking at the matter seriously – and this followed a conversation I had with some of the new folk at Chams the other night – where do you start looking? I mean sure there are forums and things, but they can be rather scary and not always helpful. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd in there. Some places are very nice and helpful while other times if you ask a frequently asked question, you can get a rather frosty response. I’m not keen on the latter because new blood keeps a site alive and really, good manners go a long way. We were all n00bs once! 🙂
I suppose if you try and look at it from ‘what if I was starting out today?’ then it becomes a little easier. I know as a teenager the whole trans thing really freaked me out which seems pretty much par for the course. I have the occasional up & down but in the main, I think I’m mainly okay with it.
My main issue with it all is the thought of the upset I may be causing those close to me. However, short of stopping completely – which in my heart of hearts I know is never going to happen – what else can you do? Suppressing things just makes your miserable (note to self: see last month’s post) and is a pointless exercise. So, the lesser of two evils: go out, have fun and come back in a cheery mood, or deny everything and turn into a right mardy so & so. That’s not really any choice is it? 🙂
Okay… so how about these for starters. some are from my own fevered brain, others are things people have said to me:
It’s not as bad as you think. Yeah, it’s not something your mates may do and Joe Public finds it rather amusing. Really though, is it doing anyone any harm? There are far worse things you could be doing to yourself or other people. I won’t lie to you, there are times when you wish you were ‘normal’ but being TG is in your blood you can’t escape it.
Does that sound a bit like a curse? No, it’s only bad news if you let it be. Speaking personally, I’ve had some truly wonderful times being out in T mode. The fun of getting an outfit just right, the smile on your face when you finally workout how do your make-up without looking like Emily Howard or getting *those* shoes in the sale (and they fit!).
There are times when I’ve jacked it all in and thrown everything out (a long, long time ago) in an effort to ‘go straight’. It didn’t last. I might as well have tried holding my breath. I let things get on top of me and in the end, I had to go and see someone to get my head straightened out. There’s no shame in asking for help; sometimes you fall over and you need a little help getting back up. There are no bonus points for doing it all on your tod.
…And The Ugly
Try not to judge yourself against the photos you see on-line of other TG folk. Some people photograph really well, some are a dab hand at make-up and some are wizards with Photoshop. Good lighting, the right pose and the perfect shot make all the difference. If you like looking at photos, fair enough, but don’t use them to mentally flog yourself. “I wish I looked that good!” Well, newsflash, chances are you unlikely to unless you’ve got a couple of grand to spend on surgery or you’re one of the 0.1 percent of the TG community who look *really* female. Maybe you should make the best of who you are because all the wishing in the world won’t change anything.
I’m 30 something and like most TG folk out there I first became aware of who I was early on in life. So that’s what? 25 years or so? That doesn’t make me an expert and I don’t profess to have all the answers. I can only pass on what worked for me and others. It may be very different for you because only you know what’s right for you.
There is only one thing that will give you peace and that is acceptance. It won’t be easy and there’s no fast lane junior management track to get you there. It takes time and quite probably a few tears along the way, but one day you’ll find that you just don’t give a sh** about the bad things anymore. Maybe you’ll find that its easier not to put a macho front and be who you are; no him/her, just a person with a touch more glamour than the next guy. Sure, you’ll still have your off-days but that’s part of living.
Oh, before I go, just one more thing (a la Colombo), if anyone says they have all the answers; don’t believe them. 🙂
So that’s it. I don’t know if it’ll make a lot of sense to folk out there, but it kept me interested for 10 minutes while I emptied my brain. Abuse, witty remarks and/or good ideas to the usual address.
[ Today’s lyric is Lucretia, My Reflection by the Sisters of Mercy ]