For most people, any place you visit in the world, it doesnt matter when you go, you’re the same person when you return. For me, things are a lot more complex!
There are a large number of places in the world that I only visited as a ‘man’, and have no plans to go back to, now that I’m officially a woman. Including in fact, the 2 places where I spent more than two thirds of my life living, the Medway Towns in Kent (62-83, and 02-03 when I knew I was Transgender, but hiding it ) and Yeovil in Somerset (83-99). Why, I just think it would be a bit weird going back to either of those places now, to be honest, and the first has more bad memories than good now, anyway. The latter, might be interesting to visit again, but I know in my heart, it wouldnt be the same, so…I must admit, I havent been back to Haworth (where I was born) in a while, for the same reason, found it weird going there again now, as a woman.
Beyond local places, and of course, New England, and Rochester, NY, I have tended to avoid places from that era. And given I had no great memories of the areas on my first visits to those places (it was 1 holiday), they werent a problem
From 2000 onwards, which brings in most of my US trips, it gets complex, as thats when I finally worked out who I was, and that I had the wrong body! But, for a few years at least, in public, I stayed behind the male persona, even if I knew it was a lie. So places like Richmond, and Seattle saw me as a man, even if I knew otherwise, which is probably why it didnt feel strange going back to both as a woman since I fully transitioned. Technically San Francisco falls into the same boat, but not directly, as by then, at home at least, I was living as a woman anyway. And one day, sometime soon possibly, Chicago will fall into that group too.
I was going to add Toronto to that, but that was my first trip as a woman, so…that was special in that sense, to be honest, and yes, I will be going back again. Interestingly, Canadian rules on Transgender folk, and passports is complex, to say the least. Technically they wont let you fly out of the country, if your look doesnt match your gender, and I have two large bumps nowadays that say otherwise, but…if they want to offer me a job, accommodation etc, because they wont let me out again, then fine!
Now, getting back to where we started, going back to a special place, I knew as a man, as a woman. Yes, its going to happen this year, I just hope I dont regret it. Thankfully, it will only be for a week, so I’m sure I will cope, and after more than 30 years, it will all have changed beyond recognition anyway.
Jersey, in the Channel Islands.
I first went there, either at the very end of the 70’s, or the very beginning of the 80’s, and went back more than a few times. Why, because of a certain woman, a receptionist in the hotel I stayed at. Hey, the hotel is now long since gone, I suspect St Helier looks very different by now, but so do I! Fair to say that I wont recognise anyone, or they me, but…it will be the first time I’ve done this sort of visit, and its going to be a bit strange. But given the US trips this year are September, and November, I wanted to get away somewhere, so…
But yes, I’m looking forward to it, and see how I react to returning somewhere like this. Hey, I might even get back to Yeovil, if it isnt too bad lol! Medway Towns, no chance, even if this is the 40th anniversary of leaving school there, and I could go back for Founders Day in July. Hey, I might be the only female pupil they ever had, being a boys grammar school lol, and they dont know it!
I think this video is right, I do want to go back, just not sure how strange it will all be