Category Archives: Transgender issues

Just Staying Alive

Some of you may already know this, to others it might be news, but this is seemingly Transgender Awareness Week. Yes, I’m aware, shock surprise! ๐Ÿ˜› I know, there are too many of these days, or weeks nowadays, seems to be at least a day for almost everything now, doesnt there? Sadly, it needs to culminate, next Monday, with the Transgender Day of Remembrance, for those less fortunate than others, who have met their death, for one reason or another.

In truth the main thing that amused me yesterday, was the hypocrisy of a small number of so called Christians, after an announcement yesterday by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England. Clearly for some at least, and I suspect maybe a few more, they only accept his views when they coincide with their own. Yes, what happened yesterday was that he didnt support their ‘perfect’ view of events when he stated that he believed that children should be allowed to dress as they wish to, not necessarily to match their physical gender. To quote:

The CofE advised: โ€œPupils need to be able to play with the many cloaks of identity (sometimes quite literally with the dressing up box).

โ€œA child may choose the tutu, princessโ€™s tiara and heels and/or the firemanโ€™s helmet, tool belt and superhero cloak without expectation or comment.

“Children should be afforded freedom from the expectation of permanence. They are in a ‘trying on’ stage of life, and not yet adult and so no labels need to be fixed.
“It may be best to avoid labels and assumptions which deem children’s behaviour irregular, abnormal or problematic just because it does not conform to gender stereotypes or today’s play preferences.”

So if a young boy wants to dress up as a princess, or if a young girl wants to dress up as a fireman, then let them do so. They need to be able to experiment, and see what is right, or wrong for them. Lets be fair, at that age, it might just be a ‘dress up’ thing, and nothing more than that. 98% or more of those children will discover that it was fun, but they do have the right physical body to match their needs, and it will go no further. Perfect, you might think? Oh, I wish!

I know, its the ones with the loudest voices that you hear, and they tend to be the more militant ones, and as so often, this is the case with his statement. I’ve seen every comment verging from

‘He should resign his position immediately, for suggesting this abomination’ through to ‘So is he going to do service on Sunday in a dress?’, and other crazy comments. The frightening thing is, these people really believe what they’re saying is right! And then people wonder why so many, of all LGBT groups are nervous about coming out!

I heard recently on Around The Horn (US sports panel show) that with the recent retirement of a football/soccer player in the US, that there is now not a single out, gay sportsman in any major sport in the US. Yes, we all know thats unlikely to be the case, especially in some of the less macho sports, like golf, for example. But, in the light of peoples attitudes, no one wants to come out as such. Yes, there are a number of lesbians in sport over there, but no men. Not that I suspect its any better over here, I believe there is one gay cricketer, is that seriously it?

I hope that in a decades time, anyone famous ‘coming out’ as LGBT will be about as sensational news as the weather forecast, but sadly I doubt that will be the case. But yes, the hope is there.

The video, sadly, what too many transgender people just have to focus on doing, and not just being able to live life as they should be able too. No, not the Bee Gees lol!

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Working as a woman?

Confused? Oh, I hope so. Yes, I do, every day, I know. But as I’m sure all readers know (or should know), that hasnt always been the case. Indeed, technically, my current job is my first one where my passport states that I am female, but in at least 2 jobs before that, to some degree or another, I had already come out as a woman.

The first of those jobs, it was known by some, but apart from one day, I never dressed literally in a female style, but pretty much everyone that needed to know, knew.

The next job was the one where I officially started to transition, including the first name change, and acknowledgement of being a female worker, though reaction was mixed at best, and from some, not as good as that. A few insisted on using my old name, even though they knew it annoyed me, but it was a ‘mans world’, so maybe they just thought they were being all macho by doing so, instead of just coming over as jerks!

So yes, part of my choice to take redundancy from there was definitely related to that, though the new conditions of work werent really to suit, and the redundancy offer was good, so…

Now we come to my current job, and surrounding events, primarily tomorrow, and the tale of working as a Transgender person in the Civil Service. Some know which department, for others, does it really matter? I’ll be honest with you, the main line I will use tomorrow, is the comment that its the same as any other woman working in that department! Yes, honest it is. Oh, and do you know what, thats the best way for it to be. And before you ask, no, its no secret, and doesnt need to be, perfection! I suspect there might be 1 or 2 around the building who keep out of my way, just discreetly, but no, I’ve never had any negative reaction come back to me, from anyone!

So yes, for me at least, the talk tomorrow will give a very positive view of working as a transgender woman in the Civil Service. Officially, the dress code is smart casual, so I could get away with a nice top, and slacks. But yes, you’ve guessed it, its going to be a dress for me! I know, I’ve only worn a dress in the office a few times since starting there, for later events, but it has been done, so lets do it again!

Its going to be interesting doing the speech. I’ve performed to far bigger audiences in my time, but not in a while, but I’m sure I havent lost the knack. Fine, I havent got a script this time, but I’m sure I’ll survive. But yes, at this moment at least, I’m looking forward to doing this, I must say. Whether I might feel slightly differently at 11.00 tomorrow, who knows?

But yes, I am officially, just a woman, working in the Civil Service, who just also happens to be transgender, end of story.

The video, I’m told, is the original Helen Reddy version of this song. If you know different, then fine, but its what someone says, and 44 years on, I have to go by what they tell me lol!

Back on the high stage again

No, dont get excited, I havent got a movie, or theater offer just yet. But next month I’ll be doing a Diversity & Inclusion presentation for a large group of people (about 110, I’ve been told) in Leeds, about life in my Civil Service Department, ooh! No script, well, not unless I write my own, anyway. To be honest, I might do a few notes, but generally I’m pretty sure I’ll just go with the flow, so often its the easiest way with things like this. A fortnight on Wednesday, for those interested, though I’m pretty sure there will be no tickets for the general public lol. Yes, it is a piece on Transgender life, so yes, I do know the subject matter pretty well, I guess?

Seemingly the approach was made on Thursday, though I didnt pick it up until Friday, as I’ve cut back on my working week of course. A quick check for approval from bosses (its on a working day), and I replied positively. One moment of amusement was when she rang up later that day to confirm details, she mentioned the numbers involved, and asked if I would be OK with that, and then after she’d said it, remembered I’d said about being an actress, so…all fine! In truth, it will be interesting to see how I react, given its been a while, other than the wedding, where I have been ‘on show’ to this number of people, but I’m sure its just like riding a bike, anyway.

I have no great idea what the dress code is for a presentation like this, but I’m going to assume, unless told otherwise, its going to be business smart wear. So yes, I will wear a nice dress, and get my hair curled 30’s style, either on the day, or the day before, depending what time I need to be there. No, I wont wear anything as clingy as Harlow would, or as revealing as a chorus line dancer (Miss Johnson) would have to for such an event, principally because I have an obvious issue with too revealing (unless a surgeon is offering to remedy that quickly), and besides, its not fit for a moment like this. I think my ‘publicity manager'(Yes, Madi, I mean you) would love it if I went all flapper, and agreed it might be fun, but apart from the fact those dresses are quite short, they arent winter wear over here, and November might be cold lol! So I’m pretty sure that it will be 30’s look, to some degree. More classy look anyway lol. There is also the factor that I need something that I can hide the brace corset underneath, lets face it, only way I’m going to stand for about 15 minutes or so!

No, sadly I’m not expecting any Hollywood, or Broadway agent representation at the event, a girl can only wish! Nor do I expect them to be able to grab it on You Tube either, ah well…

But who knows, getting back on a stage might just get infectious, and I’ll see where it goes from there. In truth, my long term standing issues might make things complex, but…its a comeback at least!

The video, well, its one word different to the blog title lol! ๐Ÿ˜›

Well, if I have to take estrogen supplements?

Yes, fine, to keep people updated on matters…

Initially, as reported in the last blog, the view from the Doctor’s surgery, post X-Rays, was to wait a few weeks, see how things settled down, and then decide what the next step from there would be. I’m assuming that was based on what the hospital told them, and that a couple of days later, they saw the X-Rays for themselves, because when I came home from work on Thursday (Yes, now its kicked in, the medication is fine to allow me to go back), I got a message that the surgery had been trying to contact me, and I needed to ring them the next morning. No, it wasnt hard to work out what it was about, lets face it. Anyway, a few minutes before I was going to ring them, they rang me, and told me that having discussed the matter (and I assume, seeing the results for themselves), they had already decided to refer me for a bone scan.

I know, doesnt sound good, does it? Not surprised, but anyway…

Of course, one of the more fascinating options, if it does show as osteoporosis (and this referral is rushed, if they dont think it is), would be to put me on estrogen supplements, to try and build bone density, as they do with post menopausal women, which lets face it, I pretty much am! Yes, I would, given the opportunity, no surprise there.

The thing is, having got all my papers nowadays as female, but being very single, and being unlikely to find myself in a relationship, and not being a lover of unnecessary pain, or surgery, I had sort of decided that I wasnt going to ‘bob the bits’, or more technically correctly, go in for the sex reassignment surgery, which strictly would be the final step. Even more so, given the body is clearly in even worse condition than I thought it was lol! No, I dont think they’d do the knees/back/genitalia combo all as one!

But all the same, it did start me thinking, that if, and at this point, it is only an if, pre bone scan results, I did start loading up with estrogen supplements, should I take all this as a hint that I really ought to get my body changed, so that everything is fully female? Let me say at this point, I will only even consider this, if I do get to take estrogen tablets for osteoporosis, as otherwise, I’m pretty fine as am. But yes, I do wonder if this is a hint from ‘higher authorities’ that I should be doing the full transition, hmm?

Not saying yes, not saying no, but I suspect I would take less convincing if the seemingly inevitable happened, to take that big last step. But yes, at my age, and state of health, that surgery might still put me off! ๐Ÿ˜›

Right, video time. There are some great songs, that no matter how I try, an I going to be able to directly link into a blog, and tonight I’ve decided to provide one of those, as I cant think of anything that obviously fits, that I havent used before. So, a little classic Roxy Music, live…

The Sun Always Shines, With TV

So yes, its official now, I’m on an extended break, that just happens to include 10 days in an apartment in Hollywood. So yes, planning, and plotting is very much under way. I now at least have 1 definite booking, a walking tour of Hollywood, on my last full day in town. Yes, I know, not the best timing, but its only happening once a month, and yes, its got to be done, as I know the lady acting as the guide, not only through Twitter, which is where I first met her, but also in real life, given we toured the Hollywood Museum together, on my first trip across, just over 2 years ago. Since then she’s got married, become a mother, and yes, I’m proud of her for that.

The Brooks movies mentioned earlier in the week are almost settled, but technically not definite, due to my regular issue with US websites, of that unless you, and more importantly, your credit card have a zip code, they’re impossible to use on their site. So now I cant do anything until after I’ve got there, so just having to hope its not a sell out, as I will be annoyed if it is. Fingers crossed, it is the Egyptian Theater, it is quite large, but… Of course I have no idea if UK websites are equally bad for users outside of the UK, so forgive my grumbles if they are.

I’ve also been trying to work out when Clayton Kershaw will be pitching for the Dodgers while there, based on the 5 pitcher rota teams use. Having pitched last night (a win), and counting forward, it looks like I’m going on the 23rd. But yes, I’ll wait nearer the time, and will probably be an ‘on the day’ purchase at the stadium, though at what I can afford to pay, I’ll be so far from Kershaw that I would see him better on TV lol! Oh, and if anyone could arrange a meet with Vin Scully, I would be thrilled, schoolgirl like!

Talking of which… On my 2 previous trips to LA, I’ve tried both times to get tickets to see Jimmy Kimmel recording his show, with no success. It might be that the people controlling the tickets see a UK address, and dont let me have them accordingly, or I might just have been unlucky? Well, this time, I’ve changed my profile to fit the zip code of my apartment, and applied several times over for both him, and James Corden, so fingers crossed I get to see one of them at least.

Of course, in an ideal world, I’d be the one being interviewed about transgender diversity issues, and trying to get an acting break, but fine, I’ll settle for being part of the audience, I guess? Yes, you never know, but I suspect pigs flying are more likely!

Oh, and finally, I’ve got a lot of the packing done. Probably more dresses than I will possibly need unless something amazing happens, but better safe than sorry. Still got room in the case for more, but mustnt go too mad, as I really shouldnt need more, for 10 days, and I’m sure I will bring more stuff back with me anyway. Green Card, or working visa would be handy lol, but cant see it!

Right, video. This time of year, its pretty fair to say the sun shines most days in LA. Thankfully, the winter was very wet, solved a lot of drought issues, if not all of them. Oh, and I might shine in a TV audience at least. Oh, and how does this guy still look so good?

Your eyes adored me

So fine, you might have had a long wait for a blog, but then, assuming I can come up with an idea for tomorrow, 3 come along together at once! Yes, bank holiday weekend bonus for my readers. By the way, if anyone has any requests for tomorrow night, feel free to suggest away. I do have one amusing idea, but I would need to get permission off someone to post it, so possibly not?

One thing I knew I wanted when I started to transition was a decent cleavage. Not anything ridiculous, just enough to make it clear I was woman, but something more than the little natural bumps that I have. For many women, this choice involves lots of money, some invasive surgery, and a bit of a health risk issue. Yes, breast enhancement, or as it is better known, a boob job!

Well, given that I’m not a fan of health risks, and more surgery than I really need, and the fact I didnt have the money, I looked for alternative ideas, for ways to have a nice cleavage, without the pain, or the money. What I found, and have used are a similar breast form to the ones they offer to women who have had to have mastectomies, though given the price I pay, I’m sure mine arent as good as those ones. But given they’re made of silicon, they mould to the body nicely, they have a suitable weight to them, and in truth, in a bra, under an item of clothing where you cant see them, they give you a nice shape. Fine, they wouldnt work in a cleavage revealing dress, but as I hardly ever would need to wear something like that, not an issue. Alright, it might be fun if I could, but I get by without that, all the same.

As you might guess, especially given that I wear mine full time, other than when in bed (I have a foam pair for that time), they have a limited life span, of about 2 years, or so. For about 6-8 weeks or so, its fair to say that the left breast has needed replacing, because the skin surrounding the silicon has started to split, and though leakage is pretty much non existent, and therefore its usable, its not at its best. And then, in the last week or so, the right one has started to do the same, so I’ve ordered a new pair. Probably not bad timing before LA, in truth. So yes, I jokingly posted on Facebook that I’d put myself in for a boob job, but this is as good as it gets.

Mind, if someone wants to pay for me to go under the knife, and get a ‘natural’ pair of boobs, feel free to make an offer lol! I have to say, that in public life, my current system works nicely, there has been a few occasions when mens eyes have failed to raise higher than my cleavage, it has to be said. But fine, in the unlikely event I had to ‘lose a few layers’, it might come as a disappointment to some! So, as I say, if someone else wants to pay, I might brave it lol, would be more fun for September, and the wedding I’m a bridesmaid at, for sure. So…? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Right, video time. As so often, a clue in the blog title, though I did tweak it a bit!

Womb with a view?

Unlike some Trans women, I’ve never missed the fact that I didnt have the chance to give birth to children. I know, lived all my life as a woman, I might feel differently about the whole matter, but I doubt it! I might even be up on some of those women, given that I actually have a womb, that never developed, probably for the obvious reason, but yes, as I found out about a dozen years ago, I do have one! Too old to be a mum to my own child now, but anyway…

Do I think that at some point it will be possible? Yes, would be the answer, especially given that the initial development of an artificial womb is in the process of being tried out, admittedly not yet on human children, but give it a few years…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/04/25/artificial-womb-promises-boost-survival-premature-babies/

Also, at the moment, Trans women wouldnt be able to produce an egg, let alone conceive a baby from one, but I’m sure that in time, yes, that will happen, with genetic engineering, and all that, in the future. Even more so for those with a womb, undeveloped, or otherwise. Me, I’ll probably be forgotten by the time its possible, but it will happen, I’m sure.

Equally, I’m sure that Trans men will be able to father a baby too, probably using the same genetic tricks. Again, its going to be a few years, but equally sure it will happen. What I’m also wondering, especially for Trans women, currently without a womb, will these external wombs be able to be fitted internally one day? Again probably, but again, probably not in my time. But for future generations…?

Me, happy to pass on all this baby love stuff, but I know others feel differently, so…

Yes, that last line gives a big clue to the video. Shows how old I am, I had the single of this, so many years ago!

Back to life, back to reality

Well, I’m assuming it will be at least? As far as I can see, Transgender Day of Visibility, which was on Friday, was about the last landmark in LGBT history for a while, so I’m assuming I will now be able to drop back into quiet anonymity, much to the disappointment seemingly, of a number of my work colleagues. For those interested, the last article, which actually made the blog on the main Civil Service page, can be found here

https://civilservice.blog.gov.uk/2017/03/31/pride-and-prejudices-should-transgender-visibility-be-an-issue/

Yes, I’m proud to be the spokeswoman for Transgender people in the Civil Service, dont get me wrong, and the ride has been amazing, but fine, the boring old biddy that I am would say that I go to work to do my daily job to the best of my ability, and thats the main thing. Fine, I have enjoyed the whole ride, but fine, getting back to ‘normality’ in Bradford will be a good thing to do.

I know someone will tell me otherwise, but I’m assuming that until the same landmarks come around next year, I can go back to being a dutiful Administrative Officer, and leave it at that? I have to say the reaction to everything at work has been amazing, and fine, I’ve quite enjoyed the teasing about my 15 minutes of fame at work too. Fine, it will go on until at least Wednesday, because someone is going to mention the article to the whole team at the staff meeting then, but after that, and probably before that, for people outside Bradford…

I know one thing, if I get this much publicity, and interviews during my stay in LA, I will be thrilled. If so, who knows where it might lead, but no, I’m not expecting that to happen. Except, well, maybe…? Helped someone with some research this morning, and it may lead to a filming opportunity when I’m in California, so I’m told, but I really will believe that when it happens! No, not Jimmy Fallon, yet! Nothing to do with transgender issues, but thats all I’m saying unless its likely to happen! ๐Ÿ˜› Lets just say its something I would love to get involved in.

But now, as far as I know, life can go back to the reality of day to day work, with no interviews, no publicity, or nothing. Oh fine, a part of me is really going to miss that, but equally, getting back to just being another worker in the department, without all the other stuff, is probably better for my future prospects. Or maybe not? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Video time. If you havent worked out the song, long before now, be ashamed! Thanks to Sarah for reminding me of this one.

Delta dawned, and made me proud

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a member of a couple of airline loyalty schemes, 2 of my preferred trio from the past life. I have no idea why I never joined Aer Lingus, but besides that…Yes, the conglomerate now known as American, who gobbled up my other loyalty scheme with US Airlines, and Delta.

I’ve checked American’s site, and changing my name, and gender, while keeping my mileage stored there, not seemingly an issue. No, not actually done it yet, as it will be next year before I fly with them at the earliest. Irony, their miles only last 18 months, so I had to give back 1,000, to keep the other 34,000 via a charity scheme, but thats fine by me.

So then I look at Delta, expecting it to be the same situation, but no, you cant even change your name by yourself, let alone your gender. Must be crazy when people get married, but anyway…The big snag? Well, on their website, it says that to change such things, you have to send it in writing to Atlanta. Yes, fine if you’re in the US, but if like me, you’re in the UK, not a serious option, especially if you might be booking with them in a month or so. I know, I could open a new account, but again, I have about 35,000 miles on the scheme with them, and even if I’m never likely to travel enough for an international flight, fitting in a US domestic one, hmm, as they dont expire, ever!

So, nothing ventured, nothing gained, I sent in a question about the matter, and included in the attachment, the deed poll of my name change, and half expected them to say, fine, but you need to send it to our UK office or something. No, the first working day (Monday) after I did so, I came back home to a lovely email saying all was fine, account was changed, name and gender, and wishing me all the best for the future!

To be fair, the September trip, if its into Boston, and out of Boston, I’m flying Delta after that! I prefer them anyway, as you get more leg room options than Aer Lingus. If either way involves flying via Hartford, its probably going to be Aer Lingus, and make my knees suffer, simply because they have the direct flights, that Delta doesnt to that airport. But yes, if its only outward from Hartford, I might look at Delta, now, all the same.

OK, video time. Fine, it took me seconds to come up with this one. A not greatly edited version of the obvious song, but its live, and not only do you get Helen Reddy, you get Glen Campbell too

Oh, and while we’re talking transgender airline moments, 50 days from today, my first flight as a woman, cool! ๐Ÿ˜€

Do I need an agent?

And yes, before anyone gets any ideas, this blog might be a ‘slightly’ tongue in cheek look at recent events.

Firstly, it amazing to look back on the last few weeks, and realize just how much my confidence has been boosted by transitioning. Apart from the general stuff in life that I feel so much better about, the whole self publicity development has been amazing. A few years ago, if you’d asked me to do various pieces about my transgender life, for pieces to be published, and the like, I probably would have done it, but been concerned about the results. Now, in the last month or so, I’ve done a teleconference, a pair of interview pieces, and just loved every minute of it. Yes, there is a new one for work, coming out for Transgender Day of Visibility, on Friday, but given I havent yet got a snipped copy of that at home, you’ll have to wait for that one, assuming I can get it here. Please remember, I am not technologically minded in the slightest, so I do tend to rely on others to do the clever stuff. However, the first one, well…

You’ll have to blow up the image to see all the details, but I’m sure most can cope with that?

As far as I can see it, Friday marks the end of the LGBT Pride celebration season, so life might return more to normal after that. Though if Jimmy Fallon wants to interview me in May, count me in! Yes, I would, and probably love it, both for the campaign, and the publicity! No, I doubt he will see this! Is it James Corden the other one, a Brit, so maybe even better? Fine, I know… But yes, if I can make anything happen in Hollywood, for me, or for LGBT issues, then great! Just give me advance warning guys, so I can bring a nice dress!

On a more serious note, its sad to see events around the world relating to Transgender people, and of course, events in certain states in the US distress me greatly, but hey, thats politics for you…facepalm! I only hope that in 10 years time, there will be no need for TDOV, because its just an accepted thibng, but somehow, I have my doubts. Hopefully it will happen, though whether that will be in my lifetime?

Currently, I have 1 ‘meet and greet’ I’m planning towards for LA, with a Transgender Talent Agency I signed up with online. Whether it leads to anything, who knows? Whether there is anyone else that wants to interview me while in town, on LGBT, or Trans issues, or to rekindle my acting career, feel free to shout, and arrange. But maybe, after next Friday, until Hollywood, I might get to live a little bit of the normal life. Or maybe not, wouldnt that be fun?

OK, for once, the video bears no relation to the blog. Someone posted this on Facebook during the week, and it is so 70’s, that I just have to use it. Yes, fashion might have been an issue back then lol!

No, I know nothing about any of the artists, or dancers, before you ask!