Back in the zone

Hi,

It is with appropriate cheerfulness that I can report I had a thoroughly good night out at Chams. I think it’s important for the mood to be just so, because otherwise, I feel there’s a risk of a visit to SmugTown, and no-one likes those folk 😉

If I compare last night out to the first meeting of the year, things were all very different. To start with, I made the effort to pack in advance, set off home so I could get a good shave, and we had lots of interest from new visitors.

Indeed I think there were about four people who said they’d pop along, although one sadly couldn’t make it. So it goes! You do what you can to support people, however sometimes other stuff gets in the way, and they have to duck out. So it goes! Still, at least with regular meetings, there is always another opportunity.

After making a bit of a mess with the payments last time – the first meeting was supposed to be free. Oops! – this time I kept hold of the payment sheet Val kindly runs off, so folk knew if they got a freebie or not. Frankly, I really needed that as January has been quite the expensive month, what with insurance payments and upcoming birthdays for the extended family. Yes, too much month at the end of the money. 🙂

Outfit-wise, I had a few items in the bag: butterfly top, a new dress, a new red skirt, and a backup – because you never know! Well, the dress wasn’t really me, so that needs to go back. The sleeves were a bit too boxy for my liking, and it’s not like I need any help in the shoulder department. The red skirt was lovely, but I now need to buy an underskirt (slip?) as it’s not lined and I don’t like the semi-opaque look in that area 😉

So, it was over to the backup! Now, I’m a little conscious of my knees, so I felt a bit nervous at said skirt length. I did toy with the idea of switching to boots – less leg – although Diane, Nicola, Steph, and Val were kind enough to allay my fears. Thanks, ladies ♥

Once downstairs I met a few of the new folk – including some irregular regulars, who’d come back after a long time away. Always good to see old and new faces! I had a good long chat with a new lady, Joanne, and she seemed really happy with how her first time had gone. I asked her about how she’d found the group, and she said that the Our Stories section of the website had helped her see that she’d fit in okay. “Five points to Chameleon House!” 😉

Everyone seemed in good cheer and the place was pretty busy for us. Andrea ran her discussion group, although I think the lack of warmth in the other room made it somewhat quicker than usual.

The next meeting isn’t for a good few weeks, so I was really glad I made the effort. I certainly feel a lot better for having had a night out as all of me.

Take care,
Lynn

12 Comments

    1. I'd like to hope so, Calie. The first visit can be very stressful. The reasons are varied, but often are a mix of fear of not fitting in, being judged, being hit on, and/or being found out by someone they know.

      The group doesn't judge or out people as we all know what it's like to be trans and it ain't always easy. No one gets hit on because that's a strict no no.

    2. Our group has a monthly lunch in addition to many other activities. We call it the Drab-Gab. There's always newbies. Our last lunch was this past Friday. We had 11 in attendance. Three were new. The lunch location is always kept secret and varies each month We try to get an isolated room if possible or otherwise request a table in a corner of the restaurant. We also check out each first time attendee prior to allowing them to attend. Last, but not least, no one en-femme can attend and this includes cis-women. This might sound like overkill, but the intent is to make the new attendee feel as comfortable as possible. Some are incredibly nervous. Some, like the three this week, are just fine with no nervousness at all. It just gives them a chance to meet us for the first time in a safe setting with everyone DRAB. I think we're into our 10th year now.

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