2021: a look back

Hi,

Like the year before, 2021 seems to have been an odd fellow. We seemed to have a brush of normality, and yet, COVID never seemed far away. The long shadow of Xmas Before and the long winter that followed.

As a family, we’ve kept up with mask wearing in shops and in public places. Yes, I’ve not been as rigorous at Chams, but – and let’s skip any jokes about cheese & wine it’s-not-a-party umm ‘events’, sorry business meetings – with there being a small number of us, and by keeping social distances, we have remained okay.

The good news this year is that while the Ever Lovely Mrs J’s health took a bit of a dip, her changes to medication, diet, and lifestyle seem to be making a difference. At least, things – touch wood – are not getting worse. Plus, being more veggie orientated is apparently better for the planet. That and we’re both feeling more trim which is cool in my book.

We welcomed a new hound into our family after losing our boy dog in the summer. That was not an easy goodbye, but I think there are times when you know the best thing you can hope for is a good goodbye. We may have lost one doggo, but we’ve given another rescue dog a chance at a new home. He’s lovely, cuddly, and a complete doofus. He’s also managed to drag me into the hedge while chasing a squirrel. 😁 I think he’s ace and he’s cuddled up against me as I write this.

Wee Man started university this year and he’s doing really well, bless him. He’s traveling in from home, although we know he’s been looking at renting a shared house with his mates in the next academic year. I shall miss him when he moves, but isn’t that the role of a parent, to raise your child to be independent? I think he’ll pop back with washing and I tell myself it’s only term time.

Child 2.0 is doing their best given their mental health issues and while COVID isn’t doing their stress levels any good, their peers have been kind and accepting around their needs. We’re getting help and I am hopeful that the specialist will be able to help E in the way they need.

Also, it gives me hope that the next generation will be more open and awesome around sexuality, gender, and neurodiversity. Chams has had more contact this year from parents seeking help about their trans teen(s). It seems like there’s a groundswell of support and i think it’s awesome to see parents trying their best to support and love their child for who they need to be.

While I’ve not managed to get out during the day, Chams has remained open for most of the year and I have been lucky enough to attend. The getting out… well, somehow it helps. I think it helps make things seem normal and the time away from the routine is great too. For me, it’s not about being seen, certainly not in a look-at-me way, but the quiet acceptance of the public and trying to do my bit in raising visibility. Yes, I’m aware I may just have contradicted myself. 🙂 Perhaps I should’ve had an extra coffee before writing this. 🙂 Maybe when Omicron finishes with 2022, I’ll get my chance again.

Blog wise folk seemed to like these posts this year the most:

  1. Lessons Learned: Part VIII – Fake your shape
  2. Not if, but when
  3. Heroes in heels

Thanks to Calie and the team over at T Central for being kind enough to feature my blog and continuing to showcase posts from across the trans community.

A shout out to Stana for offering numerous T folk a spot in the limelight as a featured Femulator.

Other than the above top three, you could make the next batch a set of reading as you polish off the Xmas chocs 😉

I’ve noticed more of you taking the time to comment, share your thoughts, and thank you for that. It makes this blogging lark seen less one sided. Also, props to those of you who celebrated a blogging anniversary this year. Well done! If you’re thinking of starting a blog, or restarting an old one, it’s never too late to give it a go.

September saw the close of summer and as the shorts were packed away, it was time to reclaim the pins as they should look. Sometimes, it’s lots of little things that help you keep above water. Conversations around acceptance, self care, shared world views that trans rights matter (I say this as a parent and someone who remembers Clause 28 in the 80s), having my toes painted, my body look more in line with how I feel, and the time you lovely people take to share your thoughts here on YATGB. All of those things help when the light is a little less bright on days that could be better. That and remembering that for all the negative voices, there’s a lot of allies stepping up to help.

Media wise it feels quite the mixed bag, what with the BBC’s awful article this autumn. The positives of such is seeing allies step up to challenge online hate and state their support. Oddly enough none of them have any worries about having a trans person use the loo or changing facilities They – mostly women – talk about everyday sexism and cis men’s behaviour being the threat. If you missed it, here’s Lorraine Kelly speaking out and challenging narratives.

As David Baddiel pointed out in his recent TV show, it’s the quiet ones – a silent majority, if you will – who make the difference. I might add to that the recent research via a Reddit user on how much online hate in Twitter is the work of bots. How they’re used to build a groundswell of fabricated support, which then draws certain journalists in to write about a topic someone wants a piece on.

While the current administration have done something close to nothing this year to improve LGBTQ+ rights, other more progressive countries have taken steps towards self ID and banning conversion therapy. Stonewall continues to press for trans rights (thank you! 🏳️‍🌈) despite a few organisations stepping away. I guess equality only counts for certain folk? Humbug 😋. A shout out to the Good Law Project who challenged and changed the law to help trans kids and their parents.

So, however you are celebrating over the holiday period, I hope you are safe, feel loved, and that 2022 is kind to you.

L x

18 Comments

  1. Thank you Lynn for your regular chats throughout the year. Whether you raise particular important issues or talk about walking the hounds through your local woods, or show off some of your fashion successes, they are very welcome.
    May there be many more editions.
    And may the coming year, bleak though it promises to be, find us all, fiercely resilient, hopeful of a better world and cautious enough not to succumb to omicron or a later variant.
    Geraldine

    1. You are very welcome and thanks for popping by to share your thoughts, Geraldine.

      Let’s hope that 2022 will be better than the last two of the decade. 🤞

  2. Thank you, Lynn, and I hope 2022 is good to you and your loved ones.
    Special hopes that both WM and E find what they need in the coming year.

  3. Happy 2022 to you and yours! I wish you all the happiness that a full year can bring!

    My experience of students is that they are very much more alive to diversity and compassion generally. They have their momen ts, certainly, but they really are a mostly well-meaning bunch with the kind of expanded vocabularies that allow for a lot of acceptance and kindness. Also, with the shenanigans of the last couple of years, I’ve found them to be more aware of being a force for good in other people’s lives, they are less dismissive and indifferent to others – even if they aren’t actively kinder or nicer. So, yes, some empirical evidence to back up your anecdotal. 🙂

    Sorry, I’ve just had the most amazing week and I am clearly on a high!

    1. Apparently, research suggests that folk who are educated tend to lean towards a more compassionate and supportive world view. I think we could certainly do with a bit more honesty and kindness in the world.

      Thanks for sharing, Joanna.

    1. To be yourself and to be okay with that, what a gift that is. It’s… a work in progress. Perhaps, like good weather or shared laughter, to be enjoyed when present and remembered fondly when absent.

      Happy new year, Kandi, and thanks for the kind words.

  4. A nice summing up of 2021 Lynn thanks for sharing it with us all.

    Good to read Child 2.0 is doing okay, hopefully things will be okay for you all and they’ll get the help they need.

    Have a great 2022 Lynn.

    PS
    Lovely outfit photos.

    1. Thanks Lotte. Fingers crossed for the future and certainly for Child 2.0, bless them. I think they could do with things going their way a little more.

      Next year – or rather, this new year 🙂 – I’m going to launch ‘pose bingo’, given I seem to stand for a photo in a set number of ways 😁

      Oh, and a slow hand clap for the first person to say poser bingo 😉

  5. Happy New Year, Lynn.

    I enjoyed your summary of news, both personal and wider, and the Frock of the Month parade. Hope 2022 is better for you and the world generally. And look forward to reading your coming adventures.

    Sue x

  6. Happy New Year! for me 2021 was one of erratic blog posting, new ways of expressing myself artistically and new challenges.

    Thinking on the need to have others accept us as we choose to express our selves is an important one, it’s more than just wanting to be seen. You may even have just inspired my next post! Thank you

    1. Happy new year indeed, Paula. Yes, 2021 was a bit of a funny year – although not a complete ‘mare like 2020 🙂

      Glad to hear you have been inspired to write something. Acceptance from yourself, friends, family, and indeed the wider world is quite the subject.

  7. I can’t follow this comment without highlighting that you look great in black pantyhose (in the other photos you look cute too but that photo captured all my attention). That was a very complete look back. I hope this new year comes for you loaded with blessings. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jessica.

      The ‘look back’ is, I guess, the photos of events and/or outfits that either had stuck with me or where I felt okay about myself.

      Maybe it’s my skin tone, but chocolate shades for tights rather than barely black seem a little warmer in tone and more forgiving. It’s great to have a choice and mix things up.

  8. Hi Lynn!
    If Wee Man is now going to university then it’s been far too long since I was here!
    Will have to catch up and get back into the loop.
    Maybe even a new post if I can find Ed: !
    All the best to you and family for the new year.
    Abi x

    1. Hi Abigale. Welcome back 🙂 Yes, Wee Man is now out of school and off into university, bless him.

      Good luck finding Ed. Have you looked behind the sofa?

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