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! 😛 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: “Pupils need to be able to play with the many cloaks of identity (sometimes quite literally with the dressing up box).
“A child may choose the tutu, princess’s tiara and heels and/or the fireman’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!
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!
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! 😛
No, if you think I’m wearing a yellow polka dot bikini, you’re going to be disappointed! Not even post surgery, if/ when it happens, lol! 😛 But the video, well, maybe…?
Fine, after the deservedly serious nature of Monday’s blog, lets get a little more fun, if only to allow me to let off some steam.
One issue I have with standard swimsuits for women, and the cut of them, is the fact that they really arent designed for pre-op Trans women, lets face it. Fine if there is only me, or people who know, and no one else, but otherwise, some might object lol! Me, in an ideal world, I’d go with the burkini, because it hides all issues quite nicely, and besides which, I love the design of them. But yes, for a white Trans woman, I’m just concerned that it might cause more issues than its worth, if I got one. And before anyone says anything, I’d be more concerned about white right wing men, than I would from Muslims! Sad, but true.
So in truth, I’d pretty much given up on the whole idea of swimming, or even wearing a swimsuit ever again, but then along came my back issue, that you already know about. Lets face it, one gentle form of exercise that would do me good, involves swimming, or even just walking across swimming pools full of water, working against my back.
Now in a perfect world (joke), some surgeon would immediately offer to remove, err the obstacle to wearing a swimsuit, with no recovery issues whatsoever. In a practical world, it would take time to arrange, and post surgery, it would be a while before you swam again!
There is however, one intermediate option, to get a swimsuit with a skirt! It enables me to swim as a woman, the skirt will hide the obvious issue, sounds good? So yes, I’ve ordered one today. Just hope it arrives before I fly out on holiday, as that will be a good time to wear it. Not just in water, but if I’m relaxing outside, at the place where I’m staying with my friend, if the weather is decent, then perfect! I have another friend (the one getting married) who would probably get me in water too, but I suspect we wont have the time. I suspect the Friday will be lively, in preparation, and I think she should have other plans for the Sunday than me! Then on the Monday, its back to NYC, and home. So…?
So yes, if you’re on Cape Cod in a fortnights time, and see a middle aged woman relaxing, in a cute swimsuit, complete with skirt, it might just be me! Well, unless someone wants to buy me a burkini, because then…? 😉 Just hope it arrives in time now!
OK, video time. Yes, its the obvious song from the title, but not the obvious version. Sorry, Brian Hyland, but… This version actually topped the charts here in the UK in 1990, and its just one of those songs that gets stuck in your head, so apologies!
Who, me, would never do such a thing! Its funny, at the time when various firms either said I hadnt got the job for the most tenuous reason, or more likely, never bothered to contact me at all, I might have got angry about it, but in truth, now, I’m very grateful that they did! Because, in truth, after about 15 months (from being made redundant, to hearing I’d got the job) of effort, I struck gold!
Great place to work, interesting job, plenty of great workmates who dont care if I’m trans woman, natural woman, or whatever. I swear that if I did actually turn up as a fully chromed robot, as long as I was happy with that, they’d be fine for me. They also dont seem to care if I get my ‘bits’ bobbed or not, as long as its my decision. I’m just treated as a woman in that place, and its wonderful.
You might ask why I’m writing all this today? Well, there is a simple, but good reason, it was on 22nd August, 2016 that I first walked into my new place of employment, as a worker, for the first time, and as they say, the rest is history! As I see it, hopefully, body permitting (and thats questionable at present?), its 1 year down, just over 6 and a half to go, as thats the date I’m due for retirement from the work force, as things stand. I know one or two saying that retirement at that point is purely optional, and I might have a think at the time, as 7 months later than that date, would mark the 50th anniversary of my first official job! As I say, I dont think it will be all my choice, or down to my physical health by then?
Seriously, the only thing that will have me leaving, of my own choice now, is the sort of acting role that I couldnt say no to, and there might be a few of them lol, though probably not offered to me! But fine, if it happens…I might try to make an arrangement for after the dream is over, lol!
No, I’m not going to pick out any names, too many lovely people to do anything like that. But this ‘old crock’ just wants to show her appreciation, not only for the lovely way I get treated at work generally, but the quickly obliging way things happened, when (hopefully just for 12 weeks) I had to cut my workload, things got sorted out, just like that!
So yes, to all those places who turned me down for a job with them, in hindsight, thank you so much! I just wish it didnt take 17 months, from being made redundant, to starting to work there, but maybe these things are meant to be?
If you havent worked out the video from the title, I’m shocked! Though its not the original one, a more recent live one from Noel Gallagher instead.
Well, indirectly, though they wont know about it at the time,yes, they will.
Assuming that the fairly obvious is correct, and after the bone density scan, they do decide that my issue with my back is osteoporosis related, there are a couple of fairly obvious supplements I could be given to try and ease, and hopefully cure the issue, to some degree at least. One is calcium supplements, which would help to strengthen the bone, which I’m pretty sure is needed. The other one, and more relevant to this blog, is (o)estrogen supplements, as would be given to menopausal women under these circumstances. Yes, I’m sort of doing the double spelling thing here, as both options seem equally used, though I will settle for the estrogen version from now on, when writing this. In fact, its quite possible, and some say quite likely that I will get both!
One thing I’ve always said is that if the situation arose, where I felt the need, or desire to have the actual Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS), then I would get it done. In truth, the main reason I’ve put myself off it, is the surgery issue, I’m not one of those people who love pain, in that sense at least! So given I have no sexual desires, and no partner, or potential partner who wants to get close in that way with me, I’ve passed on the matter, up to now.
But yes, I have had a think about it, and I’ve come to the conclusion that if a doctor, or group of doctors think I should be on estrogen supplements, then maybe I should take that as a hint that I really ought to take that last step to womanhood after all. I know, its still going to hurt, but I’m not sure it could be much more hellish than the pain I went through before getting on serious painkillers for the fracture in my back. And hey, lets face it, if anyone ever actually enters my new vagina sexually, I will be amazed. But yes, going to meet my maker, as a proper woman, it would be nice, I must admit.
But equally, I’m not going to be the one that actually makes the decision for me, as in truth, I’ve got a life now that suits me fine. All my paperwork says I’m a woman, and thats the main thing for me, but all the same…? So yes, if I get put on estrogen supplements, for my osteoporosis, I’m going to take that as a signal from a doctor, or ‘higher person’ that I really ought to become a woman for real. I know, a proper get out, but at least this way, I know its destiny, if it happens, which is fine by me.
I suspect its fair to say that therefore, a number of people will be hoping that the doctors do decide to put me on estrogen, so I go ahead and do it. There might be one or two hoping otherwise, but I suspect the vast majority who know me, and know about me would love to see me do it. Hell, I’d probably be glad I did it, after its done, but just at the moment, yes, the pain issue concerns me!
But yes, if in about 6 weeks time, or so, I announce that the decision is estrogen supplements for me, and I try to get out of this, dont let me! An angel will have contemplated my fate, made that decision for me, so…it will be done! Mind, unless someone wants to pay for me to do it privately, the length of time it might take on the NHS, well who knows when it will actually happen lol?
Oh fine, I might have given a couple of clues to the video here. This is a delightful live version, from the concert in Manchester that happened after the awful events there at a concert earlier this year.
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! 😛
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…
Oh fine, I’m lying, I only wish I had known I was a woman all along, but anyway…Yes, the clues were there from an early age, but how was I to know?
But yes, one thing I’ve known for 18 months at least, is that at some point, I’d complete the full circle, and fly somewhere on a passport that said I was a woman, and tomorrow is that day. I know, no one at the airport is even going to realize how special that moment is to me, because to them, I’ll just be another woman checking in, going through passport control, and other stuff.
So after that, I’ll have had the full set, a male passport while ‘living’ as a man, a male passport when I’d transitioned in every way except the passport, and now, finally, the full female self. And a different name for each too!
I know, its silly, because everything in life is equally important, but for a traveller like me, this passport, and the chance to use it, is just so special, all the same. But yes, that moment when I will do the last thing I did as a man, but never as a woman according to the legal niceties, has only a few hours to go now, cant wait.
So, if you’re flying through Terminal 1 at Manchester Airport tomorrow, and see a very happy old lady, there’s a fair chance it will be me!
I will be amazed if anyone has heard tonights video before, unless like me, you’re a big Rocky Sharpe fan. But yes, the clue is in the blog title
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?
Now, just for once I’m going to get serious here. I know, I’ll soon get over that, but for better, or worse, thats what some people think will happen with this issue, and to some degree, they’re wrong. In fact to a large degree, but anyway… Oh, in case you were wondering, and I suspect that all readers outside the UK, and some inside the UK wouldnt know, this week is Mental Health Awareness Week.
I’d love to say that my first contact with a Mental Health unit was when I began transitioning, because back in 2004, when that happened, the only way you could start to transition was with a visit to such, and for want of a better term, be declared mentally ill, because you felt you had the body of the wrong gender. Yes, seriously, just 13 years ago! In truth, I have no idea if that rule still stands, and if not, when it was stopped, so please dont ask! Try Google, lol!
I think in hindsight, its not hard to see now, that the serious depression issues I had in the 90’s did relate to the whole transgender issue. No, I didnt know that was it back then, but after that, it hasnt been hard to put two and two together, and actually make four about it! And yes, its far to say that I was still battling depression all the way up until 2010, when I finally took the first real steps to transition, and lived life as I should have done for more than 50 years! I wouldnt say things are perfect, even now, though its pretty much so, all the same. A lot of stress doesnt help, so yes, the 15 months or so without a job didnt help, but I’ve fought back now, hopefully to a good point.
The thing is, for some people, when you talk about mental health issues, they think back to the asylums, and the ‘crazies’ that used to live in those places. For better, for worse, and I generally believe for worse, those places are pretty much gone now. Medications, and treatments are a lot better, but the opportunity for some to just get away from the cruel world, for a short time, or longer, well its fair to say some still need it.
But most issues nowadays come down to depression, stress, and other related illnesses brought on by modern life. Hopefully minor, but sadly some more serious, but yes, they definitely exist. For me, the worst is hopefully in the past, but for others, not so. And yes, I guess I’ve looked into it more than most, mainly since 2004, but I saw some of the other side of it before then. Anyway, one of the related things happening at work, is the instigation of more mental health first aiders at work, and yes, I will be applying for such a role. Its not as a medical position, more of being someone there to aid, and support those who need it, like I needed it in the past, when this sort of role didnt exist.
But let me just say, that trained or otherwise, if you see someone feeling really down, and its safe to do so, talk to them, try to help them if you can, or set them in the right direction to get help, just saying…
I have in the past, tried to bring videos of groups to peoples attention that you might have missed, and tonight is one of them. Not their greatest hit, by any stretch of the imagination, but its apt, in a sense, for tonight.
And yes, if you want an ugly wife, I am available lol! 😛