It’s been a bit of a mixed week this time around. Mostly good, with what really shouldn’t be a big deal. Shall we get on with it then? Oh and a brief apology as this week’s entry is rather lengthy.
The Trans Factor
Channel Four recently started a new series called My Transsexual Summer. I guess that’s following the idea of X number of folk of a particular type, get them under one roof and film them. There was a show earlier in the year called Seven Dwarves which featured – wait for it, wait for it – a number of vertically challenged people who shared a house. AFAIK there wasn’t a bird from a glass coffin who did the housework. 😉 Okay, that’s the last of the fairy tale gags, I promise! I guess it was a sort of old school fly-on-the-wall reality TV programme. As opposed to ‘reality TV’ where no celeb folk are interviewed, labelled (the funny one, the cute one, etc) and the subjected to events that wouldn’t happen in the real world (Big Brother, etc). Maybe it’s unfair to be so overly cynical of television programmes, especially as I seem to watch less and less these days, but a bad show leaves bad vibes.
I did watch it and I did feel for those of them transitioning. I mean, there are ups and downs associated with being trans. The whole coming to terms with it, being able to be yourself, buying the right clothes and going out. That last point splits into two: firstly, as a common-or-garden crossdresser, I spend my working life in Bob Mode and I don’t have to face the Big Bad World in Lynn Mode unless I want to. To that end, I guess I’m shielded from the discrimination that full time trans folk may be exposed to… and as if on queue, there was a brief part showing bigots doing what bigots do best (Ed: that’s right, acting like a w***er). That was something the Every Lovely Mrs Jones picked up on. She said that it was one of the things she worried about when I went out. Not so much Chams, but out to trans events; what if you bump into some thugs? You only need to be unlucky once, etc.
I suppose the personal safety bit comes back to a conversation I had with Maddy. Things such as being careful where you go, avoiding dark/quiet alleys (unless you’re a vampire, vampire slayer or even both), etc. I don’t consider myself to be female, although when it comes to being out and about, I do find myself thinking is where I’m going safe for a woman on her own? Simple things like avoiding dodgy areas or not being on my own when it’s kicking out time at the local lager lout venue.
Worse things happen at sea!
I’ve been running low on the anti-miserablist tablets for a while. That was mainly due to me feeling fine and as such, I didn’t feel I needed to go back to the doctor. Errk, wrong answer, Hans! Not getting my finger out to go see the doctor meant I was down to taking one every other day and yes, I did notice then. I started to feel like I was starting to circle around the dark, or perhaps more accurately, I could feel the depression beginning to come back into my thoughts. I think it was temporary as provided I’m on the happy pills (not that they actually do that), I’m okay. I suppose it was a combination of brain chemistry, thinking over what I saw on Transsexual Summer and the Trans Force. The latter has been quite strong of late. What really worries me – terrifies me at bad times – is that’s the route I’m headed for. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re walking that path, good for you. I’m not here to disrespect your choices, what I’m talking about it my fear of losing my family, the people I hold dear, the idea that going full time is my only route out of depression. Well, it scares the sh** out of me.
So I did my best to be honest with the doctor and not do that typically English thing of stiff upper lip / putting a brave face on it. I answered his questions as best I could and tried not to steer the conversation, just let it happen. Now, I’ve got another few months of tablets to keep the Black Dog at bay and I’m on the list to talk to a therapist. The doctor’s word were: “for some, the medication is keeps you going until the issues are over, but if the underlying problem hasn’t been addressed, they’re not much more than a sticking plaster.”
It made sense to me and I should be getting a call later in the month. Going on from the worry about full time, that fits in with a conversation I had with Sam. She asked, where is the compromise between the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones and myself? It’s a tough one to answer, because each couple’s relationship is complicated and unique to them. What works for one, may not work for another and other cliches. Without being rude, I suppose I can see her point of view. Equally, I can see Mrs Jones’ wishes and 99% of the time, the fully carpeted legs / arms and non-pierced ears are fine. Just flights of fancy….. yet…. there are times when I feel locked away. I guess it’s only human to want more, but at the same time, I’m fairly sure that going too far down the trans route will mean I run the very strong risk of losing the lady and children that I love. I don’t want to pay that price. It’s too high. Ahh, but if life were simple, we wouldn’t need blogs eh? 😉 I’m hopeful that talking to someone professionally will help. Maybe it’s not all trans related doom and gloom, merely an aspect of who I am? Maybe there’s another something lurking within my psyche, or – as a mate once said – maybe you’re just a morose c***. 😀
Out and About
On to brighter news! It was time for Chams again and all went well. The previous tenants departed on time and I had a nice chat with a member of the local council about it. The chap in question pretty much repeated the local clerk’s position on the matter of us staying and that he – and the rest of the borough massive – were with us. If we’re happy, they’re happy. Good news eh? Oh and I got an email along the same lines.
It was also an evening of new folk. We had a visit from a young lad from Sheffield way. Bless him, he’d been waiting outside patiently and then after seeing me draw the curtains upstairs, he came up to knock on the door. “Is this the meeting?” comes a voice from behind the door.
At this point, I’ve got most of my lady gear on and I’m just putting my lippy away. “Which meeting would that be?” Thing is, we’ve had folk come to the centre on other business and you really don’t want to be exposing Joe Public to a half-made up trans person at the best of times. Hell, it’s not always safe to expose some of them to a fully made up one either. 🙂
“The Chameleons Group?” At this point, I let him in and we had a good chat while Gayna and I finished getting ready. I’ll leave the personal background aside, but the ‘L’ poor dear had been outted by an ex. Why do some partners do that? I think it’s really low. What was good is that while some friends had been a bit funny about it, most were not and just accepted him. Maybe there’s hope for us all yet eh? 😉 His current girlfriend seems much more accepting and encouraged him to come along. I think it’s cool when folk fight the fear and come along.
Anyways, downstairs and feeling much chipper, I mingled and chatted. Later on Amy turned up and I had remembered to bring in my spare wig for her. She seemed very happy with it and as Maddy said, the jump between your male self and you with a wig on really helps with the self image. I wasn’t giving it away, so I let Amy hang on to it for an evening’s test drive. I’ve had a lovely email from her, which makes the organisation (well, what little I do) very worth while.
Val had been snapping pictures of the group on and off for a few months now. Not so much the posed images we all know and love, but more crowd scenes: images of folk talking, life shots if you will. Anyway, her ‘Valbum’ was brought in and I’m hopeful I may be able to get a few to share within FlickR. I think it’s a cool way to capture what’s going on in the group. Talking of snaps, Gayna kindly volunteered – or was volunteered, I’m not sure! – to take a group shot of us.
We also had a visit from two new folk: one lady had been before, but many moons ago, whereas the other hadn’t been out before. Understandably she was very nervous, so you do you bit to make people feel at home. Try to reassure them, get them a drink and let them settle in slowly. Jayne, bless her, also popped in to the kitchen to have a chat. It’s good in that it lets people circulate and they’re not stuck with having me prattle on…. like you are now….. Bugger. 🙂
The evening few by and I enjoyed catching up with new and old friends alike. We had a quick photo session and then I joined the girls for a swift half at the local gay pub. I had said no previously, however this time…. I decided to go. I’d heard that the parking was right outside, so it was less than a stone’s throw from the car to the bar. I didn’t stay long because I was conscious of the time and I didn’t need yet another late night. It was fun to be out after what would normally be going home time, that and a little long to chat.
Talking of night’s out: Sam’s planning Invasion Nottingham which I’m keen to go to (16th December). Not just because of it being a good night out, but because of all the hard work she’s put in. I think it’s great that folk grasp the nettle and organise stuff. Mrs J is cool with me going, so it’s a case of sorting out something I can dance in. Step on! 😉