Just about 10 years ago


We’re a few weeks into the new year. Have you given up on your resolutions yet? Not that I’d judge you, that would be rude. 🙂 Plus, I’ve not set any. I’m going to carry on the following ideas from last year.

Firstly, making a note of good things that happen, and pop these notes in my Memory Jar. That’s going reasonably well, and it seems to encourage being grateful and/or concentrating on the good stuff, rather than the bad.

The other one is not getting angry about work. In days gone by, we’d plan and we’d implement things. Some areas would not go well, because others (Ed: she means management) would either interfere, or refuse to adjust their course.

“Iceberg ahead! Turn the ship.”

“Pah! Full steam ahead!. We’ll ram it head on. It’s the last thing they’ll expect!”

Etc. 🙂 But, I’m taking the new approach of explaining in clear terms – and no technobabble – what the risk is, and then… Not getting involved any more. It’s taken me a while to realise, I can’t make people listen and I can’t make them care. So, if they’re happy to keep aiming at the proverbial iceberg, I shall be elsewhere preparing an exit strategy (namely, keeping my colleagues out of the firing line, and planning how to unf**k things). It’s not a great state of affairs, but it’s keeping me calm.


Thanks Val

Much as I really enjoyed the Christmas break, a little bit of me wished there’d been a Chameleons meeting, a little sooner. It seemed a long time between the Xmas Party (still over the moon about the outfit) and last night’s meeting. Yet, oddly, when it came to getting ready last night, I wasn’t really with it. (Ed: okay, what changes? :-P). Not so much disorganised, but more a I could take it, or leave it, feeling. But, as I’ve got the keys to lock up, my presence, was required.

Being late, meant I was late getting ready, but I think that’s part of the ritual of going out: the getting ready and getting to chat with friends. I think I’ve blogged about this before. It’s a chance to talk with those I wouldn’t get to chat to, when I’m downstairs. Not that I ignore them, we all just get caught up in conversations and evening can go by so very quickly.

Likewise, when it comes to getting changed, it’s usually Pat and Val, who are last to leave, so the evening goes a little further, as we all lock up. Reasons to be cheerful eh?

Not so recent

So last year, I had a 10 year anniversary of this blog. It’s not exactly a decade – 9 years, 11 months, 19 days – but it’s not far, since I started going to Chameleons. Crikey. That’s a lot of time. Wee Man was a toddler back then (he’s at secondary school). Over Christmas, I remember worrying if I was asking too much, from the Ever Lovely Mrs J, in checking if she’d be okay about me going out.

Both Claire and Fyona asked what it was like when I walked through the door, for the first time. It is a long time ago, but I don’t remember being nervous. I was concentrating on not getting lost in the wilds of Arnold (Chams isn’t there now) and hoping the people I’d arranged to meet, would be there (Maddie and a lady who’s name I’ve sadly forgotten).

Ah, young Jedi

I remember Sandi greeting us and showing us the changing facilities; some loos. The Nuthall one is so much better – which makes us quite lucky. Anyhoo, it was time to open the bag and get ready. It wasn’t until I put my hand on the door handle, that I realised I was going to meet other trans people. They, may someone have mercy upon their souls, were also going to meet me – whatever state I was in. That’s when the nerves kicked in. Still, I’d come this far, so deep breath and go and face the music….

That’s pretty much how it all started and I’m still learning, still meeting new people and still having fun. It’s… if you can forgive the cliche – very much a journey. There’s been some bumps and even some breakdowns, along the way. But, there’s been some great times too: making new friends, coming to terms with who I am, and learning to accept myself. Sounds a bit nuts, but that was probably the most difficult part. The acceptance and support from Mrs J has grown over the years. We can share a joke about it and occasional trans conversations don’t freak her out.

Something, perhaps, for the Memory Jar.

If I have any advice to give, to anyone who’s reading this and you’re not part of the trans community: it can happen. You do have to work for it and you do have to be brave. But, going back to that journey, it’s like a climb up a steep hill. Sometimes it will scare you, sometimes you’ll need to go back to go forward, but you will keep moving. Perhaps, most of all, there will be people with you to help you along. That, I think, is the best part: friends.

Take care,


  1. Erm, I think the first pic is a bit better than the other. Very cute. Well done!

    Re icebergs and things, it seems to be an inevitable feature of organisations once they get above about 100 staff. Ours is similarly thinking stupid now and there is little I or anyone else can do about it. Sale to a bigger company is inevitable, not that that will fix anything.
    Chin up! Get a copy of 'Office Politics' by Oliver James from Amazon – it won't make you feel any better but it may help you cope with everything.

    1. Oh, you should see some of the earlier photos. Terrible. Just rolling the mouse of them causes Gok Wan to wince. 🙂 Maybe that's a hidden part of being more out, that others help you learn what works and what doesn't. Thanks for the kind words, mind.

      Perhaps when there's under 100 staff, there's a survival drive to Do The Right Thing, because you can see how easy it would be for a small firm to perish. Big institutions? Ah, what does it matter? That paycheck will roll in no matter what happens! 😀

      Thanks for the suggestion about the book. I'll have a look at that. I've been enjoying one about Clean Language (oddly, very useful for therapeutic conversations) and also Know Your Strengths. I think I've yet to hit Peak Management BS, as the last two have been recommendations from friends. Makes a change from science fiction. 🙂

  2. Having worked for many organisations in the public and private sectors, they all have their own unique dysfunctions. Which kinda leads me to my early photos and memories of my highly anxious first visit.

    A happy anniversary.

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