Passing

These days I tend to live for the moment. I get on with my job and then enjoy the time I have left to indulge in my hobbies and be with my friends. I try not to worry about the future or politics or other issues going on in the world. I think I said this somewhere else already. Anyhow!

Today is the first anniversary of the death of my father and so I decided to take the day off work to spend time with Mum. A small group of family went to the graveside and we placed a wreath and stood silently for a minute or so.

A couple of days ago, I received news about the death of one of my support and social groups members. I didn’t know her very well but I did speak to her on several occasions and she was a nice person. She had gone through her own trials and tribulations to get where she was, out and proud, full time and so on. She was not as old as me, probably twenty years younger. I was stunned and saddened at her passing. I don’t, at this time know why she died. I may never know and it started me thinking.

What about the people at my group who are closeteers (closet-ears)? Still completely secret from their familes; if no one in their family and friends circles know about them, how will we get word of their demise? They will just disappear and we at the group will know nothing. We won’t be able to mourn or attend any service for them. It’s so sad. I knew about most of the sacrifices and compromises, pain and humiliations that I would endure when I came out. For me it was a price worth paying. The end of life thing? No, I had not really considered it. I know that some of my friends are part timers for lots of reasons; some of them are happy enough with their arrangements and some are not. At least they have someone who knows, a partner or friend, and we at the group would get to hear the news.

Then I went further.

What happens to me when I get to an age when I can’t look after myself? Will I be stuck in an old folks home. Will somebody take the time to put my wig on and pull the odd whisker out my chin? (No luvvies, the hair is not mine. I wish it was.) Will I be left sitting looking like a dishevelled freak for the fun of others?

Perhaps I will go out with a bang and not have to worry about the gradual falling to pieces.

At my funeral service, will the family honour my wishes and remember me by the name that I have now or will they insist on using the name I was born with? Will anyone even bother to attend? I suppose I will be past caring by then.

Oh what a dreadful topic. I’m going to put my head back in the sandpit.

Dignity

These days I take a perverse delight in people noticing me. Gone are the days when I used to shrink from scrutiny and avoid eye contact or just walk with my gaze fixed on the ground in front of me. I often travel as a passenger on a train to my depot, depending upon the shift times, and when I walk through a carriage (I’m looking for the buffet car) nearly everyone looks up at me. I wonder, sometimes, what is going through their minds at the moment they see me. Is it the uniform? Are they thinking “Oh crap, where’s my ticket?” in the belief that, because I’m in a uniform,I must be the conductor. Are they thinking “What the f….?”? Or is it “Mmm, she’s nice!”?

I will never know and I don’t care.

Sometimes when I walk into a room or an establishment, the Western Movie Syndrome occurs. You all know what I mean; maybe someone out there has a better title for it.

The gun slinger (me) walks into the saloon through the swinging doors. The piano player stops playing and looks up at the gunslinger and his cigarette falls from his gaping mouth. The gamblers look up from their card games and their expressionless poker faces turn to looks of astonishment. The bartender places his hand on the shotgun under the bar. Every one stops what their doing to look and the room becomes silent for a moment.

What happens next?

Everybody goes back to their business!

I’ve not had the room clear or people dive for cover, or shots fired. Have you? I think I would pee myself from laughing if it did.

People look at people. Because your a tea lady you suddenly become more self concious and more aware of people looking at you. Don’t be! Relax, stay calm and enjoy the freedom. The more uptight you are, the more people will latch on to that agitation and you will make the situation worse. If you feel that you have been ‘made’ or ‘outed’, whichever term you use, don’t worry about it. Be yourself!

Some of our kind strive for the ultimate goal of being able to transition and be accepted as a natural woman, their past is gone and nobody notices. The younger you are, the easier it probably is to do that. Sadly, for most of us, that is not going to be the way it works. My body has got some mileage on it and, despite the restoration work and modifications, some people are gonna notice the filler and respray.

I am a woman, the software installed defines me. I got the wrong hardware at birth. Maybe it’s the other way around. At this time, medical science cannot do anything about the software; but it can go a long way to altering the hardware. Do I need ovaries and a womb? I don’t think so; after all, there are natural born women in the world without such pieces of equipment. Usually, after an illness or something, they have to be removed.

All I want is to be treated with dignity and respect and be refered to as female, with the proper pronouns and so on. Why is that so hard for some people?

Coming out?

I am in a small boat. It is called “Heidi Aweigh”. It has developed a leak but as long as I keep baling out the water, I will be fine. Will it get any worse? I don’t know. I look around me and all I can see is a vast expanse of water. It is cold, dark and still and I cannot see the bottom. There is no land in sight, anywhere. I have nothing with which to try and test how deep the water is, no rope or stick, nothing. Do I stay in the boat and wait for the leak to get worse, go down with the boat and drown? Do I jump into the water and swim away, uncertain of the direction to take, then tire and drown? Will I be attacked by some horrible shark or creature and dragged to the depths or eaten? So much uncertainty.

Today I have courage. I stand in the boat and pinch my nose, shut my eyes and jump. I steel my self for the cold plunge and then…..

Holy Cow! The water is only eighteen inches deep. It doesn’t reach my knees. I stand there for a moment in disbelief and then I walk away from the boat. I can see the odd fish come near out of curiosity and some larger creatures but I kick and splash and they go away. Eventually I look back to see where the boat is and I see there are other people in the boat. I call out but they can’t hear me. I wave but they can’t see me. I decide I must go back to tell them the water is quite shallow, but as I walk and walk I do not seem to get any nearer to the boat. It is hopeless; I must turn and walk away. I wade on in the dark water still uncertain of a direction.

I have been wading for three and a half years now. I know there is land here somewhere.

Legs

The uniform I have to wear for work is only what I can describe as unisex. Women can wear skirts but the company issue ones are not practical for climbing in and out of trains. They are too pencil like and one cannot lift a leg up without having to hike up the skirt and flash one’s sacred areas. I bought some skirts of my own which are more A-line in design and allow a little more freedom of movement.

I recall one particular warm and sunny day last year, I decided to wear a skirt to work. It turned out that day that one of my managers decided that it was a good day to come with me to do one of my periodical assessment rides. They do these now and again just to check that standards are being maintained. He is a nice chap and there was a pleasant informality about the whole thing. He observes what I’m doing throughout the journey and ticks his little boxes (or not), and we chat with the occasional test question thrown in to tick another box. The total journey time was about three hours. On the return leg of the journey, as we rolled into a station, he spied a rather good looking young lady on the opposite platform on his side of the train. She had quite a short skirt on which prompted him to exclaim out loud.

“Phoarr! Look at those legs!”

I think he had forgotten for a moment who it was he was riding with.

I like good looking young ladies myself (yep, I’m lesbian). I don’t have any testosterone so the animal bit in me has gone. I tend to be looking at their shoes or clothes or posture so I can copy it.

Anyway, back to the story. After his remark, something came over me and I immediately said, “And what’s wrong with my legs then?” As I lifted the side of my skirt up almost to my panties to show a long, smooth, white leg. He turned and looked and blushed and spluttered “Err, nothing; nothing at all.”

He was a little quiet for a while but our conversation soon continued

I couldn’t help it. The little girlie devil that sits on my left shoulder made me do it. I seem to like teasing people now with my antics and innuendos.

I think back to the days when I was a Closeteer and so frightened and ashamed of what I was and look at me now. I’m writing to the whole world about me.

I am proud of who I am. I will be in Norwich at Pride in July. Anybody lucky enough to be able to come, you can meet me on the Oasis stand.

A fine lady?

Yesterday, I had to take a taxi ride during the course of my work. I walked out of the station and was greeted by a very courteous gentleman of err… east African origin, I think. His car was a big black Mercedes and as I rode in the back I felt quite regal. His english was quite good and we had a small amount of conversation on the journey. As I was getting out of the cab, he called me a “fine lady”. Well! I didn’t really know how to take that. At first I was flattered but then the cynical bitch inside me took over and I wondered if he was just humouring me. Surely he must have realised from my voice that all was not as it seemed. Perhaps he was visually impaired and half deaf.

Oh My God!  Did I just endure a forty five minute cab ride with a half blind driver?

Noo!   Go back to being flattered!

What’s in a name?

Names and titles can all get a bit confusing at times. My (mature) children still call me ‘Dad’ although I did tell them to use my first name if they felt happier about it, especially in public. My grandson sends me cards with ‘Nanny’ on them. Mum sometimes still uses male pronouns when referring to me but she is allowed to. She is the one who has known me the longest time and I accept that it is a big adjustment for her. I don’t like anyone else doing it and I correct them. Mum is Mum so she is privileged.

I won’t tolerate being ‘dead named’ either. For those of you who don’t know what that is; it’s when I’m addressed by my former (male) name.

One or two of my work colleagues still ‘dead name’ me. Ok, I know that some of them knew me in a former life, but they have had years now to adjust and get it right. Sometimes I ignore them, sometimes I snarl back with my proper name. It’s mainly the men (jerks). I think they are deliberately being obtuse most of the time.

“The bitch is back”

Hiya all!

Did ya miss me?

Hmmm….   Probably not. As Elton said “The bitch is back”, and hear I am. I’ve been to some dark corners of my mind lately but I have come through and I’m ready to bore you all with my blogs again. When I get dark and moody, I withdraw from the world and my friends and well…. shut myself off from everything. The depression is chronic, the anxiety attacks are horrible and the self induced loneliness is all my fault. Loneliness is bad enough without me having to make it worse for myself. Thank goodness I have some beautiful friends who don’t get the hump with my rudeness and patiently wait for me to re-emerge and seek their comfort. One of my friends in particular, I will call her ‘L’, is a real sweetie. She will know it’s her I’m referring to and will probably read this, but so what. I publicly declare she is the sort of friend everybody needs. She is an angel and though I wind her up from time to time because we don’t always see eye-to-eye on a few things, she is still there for me. I am the ‘glass is half empty’ person and she is the ‘glass is half full person’. Yin and yang I guess. If she ever needs a kidney, she can have one of mine. Only one mind! I have one or two dear friends that I would do that for, but there is only one kidney up for grabs so it’s a case of ‘first come, first served’.

Drugs can help. I mean the legal ones. My doctor is a smashing fellow. He listens and thinks and then he gives me the drugs. Seriously though, he is the greatest!

Talking to someone helps; someone you can trust, whether it’s a friend or a professional stranger, a counsellor I mean. I know some of you out there will struggle to find somebody to talk to because of your circumstances, country, religions, et cetera.

You could always drop me a line (oops, that’s done it). I am not a professional. I am strange…. I mean a stranger and I like to think I can be trusted. I will reply to you eventually. I probably won’t be able to provide any positive help either. Yep, I’m pretty useless, but anyway, you never know. If, in the unlikely event that I am absolutely bombarded with messages, I will just tell you all to p*** **f and leave me alone. No, not really. I will be a little more polite about it.

That’s it for now. I will think of some more rubbish to type and come back later.

Stay safe y’all!