Three minutes to midnight as I start writing this. One more, and there’s an option of a knowing nod to an old Iron Maiden record. Larks, that dates me. Not the Iron Maiden reference, but I’ve just used the word ‘record’. That, or I’m some too-cool-for-school ageing metal hipster, with a love of record decks…. 🙂
I should point out I’m not. Even back in the 80s, I preferred tape or CDs. Records, well, despite the large album sleeves, which would, on occasion, have brilliant artwork on them, were not for me. Not portable enough and seemingly, too fragile to make the swap between friends. Tapes on the other hand, you could make your own mix and swap tracks with friends. I know, piracy. Shocking eh? 😉 But, on the positive for records, the sleeves sometimes had scenes you could study, or lose yourself in, while you had your headphones on.
Don’t tell the kids
By way of a strange intro, the above brings me around to something that was stuck in my head earlier in the week. At work, a colleague mentioned that they’d be brought in by the school, to watch the sex education video, that the teachers would be showing the class later on. My first thought was, “Well, it’s a bit late, if they’re now parents.” 🙂 Talk moved on we both mentioned what we’d been told at school.
See, I was a kid in the 70s and a teenager in the 80s. It was the era of strikes, Tories, AIDS and social change. Maybe it was me, being a young lad in a backwater town, but the government of the time, didn’t seem to get what was happening. Or maybe, that’s always the way of the world when you’re a teen. How can you have anything in common with people 30 years older than you? I’ll let the truth and irony of that statement hang, for your own amusement. 😉
So, for whatever reason, there was very little sex education at school. Perhaps this was a sign of the times – the past is a different country, and all that; or the Right Wing View that if we teach kids about doing it, they’ll do it more. Wow. They might even learn to enjoy it and respect each other. Where would that lead?! 🙂 There was also the Clause 28 nonsense, in which prevented Local Authorities – that’s local government / city hall, to our overseas readers – from “promoting homosexual lifestyles.” Yeah, ‘cos not telling kids about being gay will keep them straight, right?.I only got into being trans, because I saw Danny La Rue having such a fabulous time. 😛
But getting off my soapbox, not being given any real talk about it, didn’t mean I wasn’t curious. In that vacuum, and fuelled by growing realisation about knowing I liked to cross dress, I was drawn to the gay magazine programme, Out on Tuesday. Channel Four showed this for about an hour, and while it was mostly about gay people, there was the occasional mention of trans people, to keep my attention. Plus, it was a different world to me and I found that fascinating.
This being the 80s, there was a big AIDS awareness drive going on and yet, primetime – and straight TV (I bet those two words will affect Google searches 😉 ) – glossed over most of this, merely reporting the statistics and occasionally showing how to roll a condom to your fingers. There’s a life skill, eh? 🙂 Out on Tuesday, however, being Channel 4 and post-watershed, did not hold back. Perhaps being nonplussed by the idea of two people of the same sex enjoying themselves, wasn’t perhaps a great survival tactic – sh** the 80s was homophobic – but the presenters covered how to keep yourself and your partner protected. Going back to the ‘phobic comment, I doubt the word ‘transphobic’ existed then (although I’m happy to sit corrected).
I remember leaving home and after a year, I met the Ever Lovely Mrs J. My mum, bless her, said, “Oh, we meant to have a chat with you about that,” which given that my sister was a teen mum, you’d think they’d have been a little more forthcoming 😉 But, we never had our chat. I just said I was taking precautions and given that Mum was already worried about my cross-dressing, I thought it best not to tell her I’d learned about the Birds & the Bees from a late night show for gay people. 🙂
I had a bit of a dip earlier this week, on the old good-mood-o-meter. Nothing too serious, just a mild case of the Green Eyed Monster and it’s bessie mate, Pink Fog. It’s my own fault. I’d been looking at spring fashions – I see lace up heels are back in – and I rather foolishly listened to the negative voice, around body image.
|It didn’t seem that short,
when I packed that skirt 🙂
Spring fashions, like the – for me at least – seemingly unattainable summer outfits, are there to show your arms, legs and back. Areas that I would need to keep covered up, less I be mistaken for Chewbacca on his way to Summer Pride 🙂 But…. I’m just going to have to ignore that sea of negativity, and look at good things, because realistically, I’m just getting at myself and I also know, I need to make the best of what I’ve got, rather than wishing for the unobtainable. Perhaps then, I’m not too far away from regular women, who may also look at a magazine image, sigh and try not to think that that they don’t fit into the narrowband fashion seems to aim for.
On a brighter note, it was Chams this week and I was in a bit of a spin, over what to wear. Yeah, that awkward winter into spring period eh? Larks, it was cold that night and I was glad the Centre’s organiser had left us a portable heater, in the changing room. I gave up on the tights from New Look, I’d bought on a whim last Xmas. They had hearts running down the seam at the back, which looked great on the packet, but were just impractical to get straight on me. Plus, they were too short. Perhaps, I should have stuck with M&S. Lessons learned!
The evening itself was very busy and after chatting with Val, I caught up with a few regulars. Sarah had popped in, along with Alison (get well soon, Mrs!) and Sarah mentioned she’d been on a course with a guy in my department. Small world eh? We chatted about jobs and in a most non-British way, mentioned money and salaries. Well, it’s rare people change jobs for less, although it does happen.
Despite my best efforts at taking an age to get ready, the evening seemed to go by very quickly. But again, it was great to be ‘all of me’, so to speak. I also tried my new blue nail varnish from Boots, which I’m very happy with. Great colour. I had to turf some late hangers on out, at the end, while Val & I locked up. Then, it was off into the fog, and back in male disguise. Still, there’s worse things eh? 🙂