Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the "Story So Far" Page above this and the "New Readers" tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Wear Sun-screen

If I could offer you one tip for the future, sun-screen would be it. The long term benefits of sun-screen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my [writing] has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. Slowly but surely the edifice is semi-rebuilt and I end up feeling not a little sheepish.

I think it's viable to argue that, one day maybe,
perhaps, with a following wind and a lot of squinting,
assuming a distance, myopia in the viewer and bad
lighting: I could probably aim for something that
approximates enough the look on the right to bring an
image like this to mind.

In my dreams, maybe.
There have been ructions: my father phoned on Wednesday, he has bowel cancer. It sounds... bad. We arranged that I would take the eldest two down next Sunday, so he can have a face to face chat with me. Given his tone... I suspect it'll be about wills and potential death. He doesn't have a prognosis yet, but the doctor commented that the tumour is "big and bleeding". The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

The HDD came back unmolested, no problems, they scanned for the malware and found nothing and so looked no further. My laptop has the malware and, though I told them I needed no data from it, they've sent it away to save the data. This data is mainly student work downloaded from online storage so I absolutely don't need any of it. Oh well, they were trying to do right by me, I just wish they hadn't! I'm on a loaner laptop, about twenty years old but at least it works.

Oh, yeah, bought some new trousers that
might not match the jacket, but may match
the idea being shot for...
The tooth has been seen. Temporary filling applied, I'm suspicious of it and eating on the other side of my mouth, but at least it no longer aches. I have an appointment to get a proper filling in November. Apparently it was the filling that failed, not the tooth, and it took the side of the tooth with it when it went. It was a decade old I guess. And, at the same time, the blister is slowly healing. I've been able to walk rather than hobble for a couple of days: hurrah!

On Thursday I had a chat with Miss Warrington. I have been getting steadily more excited about the new Matrix film now that I have had explained to me precisely how the first film (and, indeed, the sequels) are, in fact, a trans allegory. It's... well, it's kind of obvious now I look at it (surface level: living in a world where things seem off but not knowing why; the red pill is oestrogen; Trinity is filmed to be attractive to lesbians. Going deeper: the relationship twixt Neo and Trinity is not a hetero one at all; the posters merge Trinity and Neo's face a lot; Cypher was supposed to be a woman outside the Matrix and a man in it - hence the conversation with the Agent, it's transition regret - there's more, but that'll do for now). But, that aside, I really enjoyed the first film (and then buried how much I liked the follow ups in the welter of bad press) and the trailer reminded me about how much I enjoyed it. I mean, I was friends with a bunch of sci-fi geeks when the first one came out and went to see it with them at a Film Society showing for the first time. We discussed it a bit, you might say, and of course I played with the idea of being in the Matrix but being a woman in a pod with a male avatar - because of course I did and I read the fanfic that did that different ways. Been using scenes for my whole career (the fight and jump program scenes) with Sixth Formers after their first essay: "everybody falls the first time".

Surprisingly enough, Real Life Comics sort
of sums up my thoughts (emphasis on sort of).
It's been doing that... a lot?
Anyway, Miss Warrington was also talking about the trailer and on Thursday we were able to have an actual chat at the end of the day. Her day off is Friday this year. She took the first half hour to talk about Her week and the students She was teaching, how Her lessons were going, Her recent switch to more colourful and playful clothing. And then we talked about the film a bit (Her dress had white rabbits on it, as did Her earrings). Then She asked after me. I didn't mean to, but I shared the reason for the blister - She laughed, called me a glutton for punishment, but then made some recommendations for shoes. Alas, we got no further as we were interrupted by Alice and thus segued back into the Matrix until Alice started talking shop and I took my leave. Daughter to Dance, then shopping, missing my usual Thursday night gaming session (I only got home at 2145).

Wore the pink accented glasses to work every day but Thursday (went with blue to match the tie, but it didn't feel right, so went back to pink), and my bralette on Thursday and Friday. Got changed into my flares most nights, been in my nightie and stuffed bra every night apart from Tuesday and last night (goodness, I wasn't prepared for how much of a part of my routine that has become) and... Yeah. Leaned into the whole Mx thing and I do feel soooo much better than I usually do at work. My hair is now long enough that I can do a high ponytail to keep it dry when not washing it. I... I like that. And even when it's unbrushed and messy I feel like I'm looking at myself in the mirror of a morning. With everything, that has been a real tonic. I even had a chat with a female colleague who doesn't know about how to straighten hair (or at least avoid the strange kick-back I'm developing) that went... well, rather well actually.

Not gonna lie, would love to dress
like this for work.
All this time wasted - since at least the early 1990s - knowing that something was just... off. And, also, kind of knowing what it was that was off too, but not wanting to know because of the feeling that it was somehow wrong. But, I know now. As in, I know in a way that doesn't allow for plausible deniability. And the clock is ticking. Or not. Not sure my father would be supportive were I to tell him what I now know. A conversation back in London where he and my brother agreed that trans people were "looking for attention" and that "God doesn't make mistakes" so therefore "trans people don't really exist" because they're just obnoxious potential perverts desperately seeking attention. My father has regularly suggested that I just "give up" cross-dressing and still believes that this makes me to blame for my divorce as it puts him "in danger of supporting" Tilly over me. Maybe a different clock is ticking. Certainly next Sunday isn't the time to tell him. If there will ever be a time.

In all of this, I have never thought of myself as being in the wrong body. It's mine. Baz Luhrmann told me how it was the most perfect instrument I would ever know. It's hairier than I wanted in places that I didn't want hair but that sort of thing can be solved without changing my body or even who I am. And it didn't do some of the things that... well, I knew it wouldn't do (I'd read the Body Book) but still kinda hoped that maybe it would - like a mistake had been made in the admin when I was born or something, you know? Like, maybe I'd be lucky enough to have gynecomastia? I wasn't. And, I'm off on a tangent.

But trust me on the sun-screen.

Monday, 13 September 2021

Go ask Alice: when she's ten feet tall

A new Matrix film out? A trailer that references the bits in the first (and only) film of the trilogy, the bits that reference Lewis Carroll and a prominent trans director? Is it my birthday? Oh baby do you remember; he's been through all this before, spent the summer getting nowhere.

No. It is not.

A targeted malware attack on my place of work on Friday, meaning I had to hand in my personal portable HDD this morning. Cue feeling a little sick with worry - I have downloaded more than a few captions over the years, sometimes one has something to hide (should have hidden it, shouldn't you?). And musing on Section 28 and it's place as the Death Star hiding a moon, protected by that shield projector based on the self-same moon and run by the Empire. Not a cannibalistic teddy bear in sight - all the better to eat you with. From pain comes pity.

Pain on the feet, constant and irritating, coming and going; a day spent stressed at pushing a little bit further: brown alice-band, pink accented anti-glare glasses, baby-blue socks with white heart details (women's ankle socks). And, tonight, my back molar crumbled while eating tea. No, again, the whole nightmare scenario of the shattering of a bit of tooth. Of course, because I had been so blithe and, well, happy. It's how it always goes. I shouldn't be surprised. I'm the paper cut that kills you, I'm the priest that you ignore.

What will get me first this time, I wonder, what will bring the cascade down?

Already I have been moved sideways because I fell apart and confessed to my ultimate boss that I couldn't do what was requested of me, stating baldly that he needed to get someone else in my position as I was unable to do what he wanted. Dark calculus. An e-mail seeks clarification on pronouns because I have been using Mx, but on the work system. Am I tragic or a joke wrapped in my invisibility cloak? Well, quite. How long do I have?

Tomorrow I must phone my dentist, book the time off work when I get an appointment. I must await the return of my HDD with bated breath, be ready for the questions and potential recriminations. No one escapes judgement forever. I must actually phone my GP, seek an appointment for a referral to a gender clinic. My vector isn't so far removed from the locus of that potential co-ordinate. Indeed, it lies on the path I seem to have begun. Better all at once than never. Maybe revisit my visit to the psychotherapist and try again. Wary of AGP and misinterpretation, the sum of all my fears.

Because I've waited long enough.

One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small and the ones that mother gives you don't do anything at all. "Well, hello, my hollow Holofernes" I wink, but you don't get the joke.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Mistakes were made...

Walking in heels is fun. Going Out pt 3
was a serious contender for a post title.
Today was the day I decided to finally go for a walk in my boots with the 3" heels.


I had dug out an old pair of jeans that I noted had wide legs - 34" waist, 32" leg - from a long time ago when I really was getting fat and wore them on Friday night and Saturday when the children were over. Why had I ditched them? A belt dealt with the waist size issue (I'm still higher than 32" but not the 34" I was when I bought these jeans) so... Oh, right, a massive hole in the pocket big enough to drop my credit cards and phone. Right. Anyway, I switched to my new flared jeans (female tailoring) today to take the eldest home and thence on to charge the car (I am so interesting, I know). And, on return, I thought: I wonder what these jeans look like with my boots?

Fair reader, they looked good.

The length of the leg and the size of the flare was such that you could not tell I was wearing heels (and the legs still grazed the ground) so I decided to go for a walk - no one could see the heels and no one could stop me.

About the point I realised I had a blister.
The App struggles mightily with this
t-shirt. It is 15 years old though.
Initially the main issue was that the area in which I live suddenly seemed very busy compared to previous walks. I usually see one or two people on a Sunday, sure, but today I saw so many more - there was a gentleman going very slowly in a mobility scooter on the pavement (surely he heard the clip-clop of the heels and noticed my much reduced stride?); there were three families with young children on the way to the canal (they all looked at my feet, did they know?); a horse-rider (never seen a horse on the path before) who stopped for a chat (did she see my gait as well and wonder?); people on the benches (usually they're fishing, not today, they eyed me curiously as I went over the bridge over the canal) and at least six cyclists (I'm lucky to see one usually), one of whom stopped as their dog went swimming and definitely spotted I was wearing heeled boots.

In all, I walked for an hour and ten minutes out on my usual route. With significantly smaller strides and a realisation that my size 9 boots allowed for a lot of slip-sliding around by my feet - particularly on my left. The clip-clop was replaced by scraping and a bit of a hobbling gait as my feet slipping gradually took on a painful aspect - the soles were thin, and on my left in particular I could feel the sharp stones on the path on my foot.

Going uphill was fine and walking on moss or mud was almost comfortable - my tendons and heels were totally silent - but my sole on my left was getting hot and complaining. Going downhill made me run in comically short steps even after the slope was passed. I was also struggling to keep my legs straight like I do in much smaller sojourns with the boots, and a deeply held desire to go quickly kept getting in the way of walking properly in the heels. When I got to a road I thought would loop round and found that it didn't (to be fair, it's a route I have avoided so far as being potentially too short) I turned and headed back, picking up pace to avoid yet another female walker looming behind me. Oh, yes, there were at least four female walkers I passed and at least one of them looked at my feet inquiringly.

That's when the pain really started. By the time I got over the bridge again, closer to home, I realised that I had a blister and that it was probably unwise to have gone so far with my boots and no recourse to alternatives. In the end I walked 5.32km at an average pace of 13m per km, and a pretty high heart rate of 136bpm on average. I was sweating profusely all the way back, not like me at all (though the sudden onset of summer rain suggests to me that the humidity was higher than I'm used to). Yes, I am sad enough to check the data from my fitness app, imagine a tongue out emoji at this point.

On my way into town to get plasters.
My left foot really hurt. But, well, heels
do so... I guess I liked it?

Really liked wearing my tee and jeans

I worked it out - that hair length is about
ten months away now.
Once home I had a proper look. Yes, there was a massive blister on the left foot, on the sole near the toes, big enough to take in most of the front pads to the instep. It was so big that I literally couldn't walk on it after sitting for about ten minues. I popped it (probably not the best move, ask your doctor's advice) and then applied some crappy plasters I'd bought in when making the bunk beds ended up with me stabbing myself with a screwdriver before donning trainers, my mustard t-shirt (my original t-shirt being soaked through with sweat) and new socks to head into town (and the big supermarket) for some proper ones.

This walk, stat fans, was 3.08km at 9m30s per km and an average of 80bpm. Took 46 minutes in all. I got the plasters, some oat milk for work (Miss Warrington is avoiding dairy and specifically asked me to share her almond milk last week) and a tray of sushi (because I am still a fat pig). By the time I got home the plasters I had applied were red, literally, and soaked through. No sign of bleeding as I looked, but clearly some bleeding had happened. I have applied a gel plaster and am hoping that will do the trick for tomorrow and a return to work. Oh, and I've had a home-cooked (but packet made) Thai curry and some Rose wine (this was part of a student gift and this particular bottle was left for me by Alice after I came out to him, the gender script is real and I am early enough in my journey that I actually rather liked it). Feeling pleasantly light-headed.

So, in conclusion: if you go for a long walk in heels make sure you know what you're doing and maybe don't take 3" heeled boots on a walk you usually romp in trail shoes over broken ground. Mind you, I still loved it.

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Rolling Grenades

Another image from Tuesday. I like the
glasses in this one.
Busy day today, but I'm trying to keep to things that aren't just narrations of the day these days. Anyway, the first evening taking the eldest to her dance class at a later time. That meant I had to start the day preparing for the in-person support group - meaning a bath and shaved legs (only twenty minutes, much improved!). I then did shopping and a rushed extra shave (chin) this evening before taking her to dance for 1900. She finished at 2015, but wasn't out until 2020. Driving her home took until 2050. Then it was a dash to mine to get changed, and I hadn't really thought through what I was going to wear. Well, okay, I had a bit but I realised that I didn't have time to add mascara (which was a shame) and my plan wasn't going to work (mini skirt - the denim one from Toby - with pink top) because I hadn't really sorted the 'shoe problem' where I didn't have anything I could reasonably wear. I tried the pink top from Aldi with a new skirt (burgundy) but... no. Pushed for time, it was now gone 2100, I opted for the mustard t-shirt and long skirt I got from Lidl recently. All a bit of a change from my teaching outfit. And now I've written a vapid paragraph on clothes.

Me in job-mode.
I made the group at around 2130 in the end. A bit late. I'd missed introductions and discussion was underway. The older lady from last time was there, holding forth again, but we were joined by others. It was a good turn-out. But, after a day teaching, I was still in teacher-mode, I guess, and itching to have a discussion. I could feel myself trying to speak, to turn conversation onto something that would lead to 'discussion' rather than... I don't know. It's not something I like about myself. I ended up chatting to a trans-man there with his partner and so I rolled the grenade into the group and it exploded, sending everyone into shards. The conversation was a nice one, this couple was just older than my students, so it fitted neatly into the sort of conversation pattern I'm used to at work, in the classroom. Except I was in a skirt with a stuffed bra, I guess.

But I did spot some of the regulars (though they were new to me) looking very stern. At me.

App interpretation. Teeth: model's own.
I need to learn to shut up and listen more, I know, and I perhaps shall. Who knows?

Upshot? Everything today has been just a bit too rushed. I got up slightly late, I ran a bath rather than have a shower, the nature of the day at work meant that I was moving rooms a lot and having to adapt on the fly. I mean, I can do that, but it does take rather a lot out of me. Add in being unable to share lunch with Miss Warrington and other staff (long boring story, I have to sit with my Form for a few weeks) and not really having a chance to chat with colleagues generally and you have a frustrating day (no matter how much I enjoy the lessons). Then it was a rushed drive home to shop, to make and eat tea, pick up my eldest and then a strange hour with no pressure (and nothing to do) before another rushed drive and panicked getting ready. Then, for me, a rushed in-person support group meeting.

I'm not sure I'm going to able to reasonably make the group again. Which is a shame. I feel like I have much more left to learn if I could only sit and listen for longer.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Wake Up Smiling

Fully back at work, lessons have started, and we're two days in. So far, I am nowhere near as stressed as I normally am and I know that I have gaps in lessons but... it's working, sorta, so far. I'm getting up in time, getting through my morning and-

Yesterday morning, the app has removed
my blue shirt for some reason.
This isn't the point. I am going to bed and waking up with a smile. I know. I am smiling. I spent some time, half awake, thinking about trouser suits for work - you know, with wide legs and a boot-cut to allow for modest heels. I signed off a task set for some of my older students as Mx - it's not offical, but it felt like the right thing to do. I may enquire into ways to make that a proper and more 'official' thing. I... I liked using it. It's been really strange using my disguise-name as well, like... more than I have ever known before it just doesn't feel like me. Because, I guess, it never has been and the difference is that now I know that too.

As I went into work today a colleague, female, to whom I have not come out and has no way of knowing, went out of her way to walk with me a bit. She said: "You look really... relaxed, like you've had a really good summer. Fresh, yes, you look fresh. And I love your hair!" I was taken aback, I don't think I've ever had it where any colleague has, apropos of nothing, offered a physical compliment. At least, not recently enough that I remember.

Tonight, we stopped at a park for a bit,
those are how my eyes looked, but the
app, as ever, struggled with the t-shirt
Later in the day I passed another colleague, female, who I know reasonably well and who, again, does not know nor has ways of finding out. She made small talk and then, as if looking at me properly, followed with "Oh, I do like your hair. You're looking so much happier and relaxed, you know, it suits you!" Again, I did my best to accept gracefully, but, again, I really wasn't expecting that. Finally, at the end of the day, I passed a colleague, female, who I had come out to last week: "Oh," she said, "You're looking really well. You do suit your hair, you know, it looks fab. And, also, you're looking so happy!" So, I guess I'm looking happier? Well, like I say, I'm going to bed and waking up with a smile so probably, yeah.

I mean, I'm wearing my hair with an alice band and my new glasses (not the cat-eye ones) and the weather is sunny and warm. The outside wall is repaired, the price is paid, and tonight I had the Boy over (we went for a walk because he hadn't been outside all day and yesterday only to get the bus to a drumming session and back). What can I say? I think I might actually be feeling mostly... content? Huh. It's pretty good.

In other, totally unconnected digression, I heard someone talking about Gender Studies and recalled at University how much I wished I had signed up for what was then called 'Women's Studies'. I saw it at Matriculation and was very, very tempted but chickened out and took German instead. I wonder what difference it would have made?

Short entry, but I feel it says everything I need it to say.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Story Time

Much too recent, but you get the gist of the uniform
from my secondary school. they'd dropped blazers
the year before I went, but that lad in the shirt in the back
wouldn't have fit in at all! We all wore the jumpers.

No flashes beneath the cross for houses though.

Still, close enough, close enough.
Some time around age eleven, after we'd moved house, I remember vividly thinking how it would be to be female. In that year I would write my short story Boy to Girl in which, well, the title kind of tells you the plot - a boy wakes up as a girl in a boarding school(?) and... not a lot happens. For me the act of waking up as a girl wasn't really something that would cause great shakes - the character was still the character, but in another body. Indeed, the central conflict was about burglars, not about wanting to go back to being a boy. Tellingly, the story began with waking up, the reader never learned the character's male name nor anything about their life beyond a love of the First World War; the character missed nothing of their old life apart from getting irritated that people interpreted them as weak and feeble-minded (what does that say about my understanding of society at that age?).

Like this but less salacious.

The model was lying down, the shot from
the side, she was wearing shorts beneath it.
There was an advert in the paper for a body stocking that I was fascinated by, so I cut it out, stuck it on cardboard and bound it in sticky-tape to preserve it before hiding it (along with the drawings of the school uniform for the school in the story above, and the tanks and helicopters used by a paramilitary police force in 3093 - so, drawn a couple of years later).

The following year, I was 12, I wrote about Quantum Leap in my diary and refused to write that I wanted to see the episodes where Sam leaped into a woman. So I wrote the plot of the episode down instead. I cursed myself, vowed to try again, and so my diary is littered with episode summaries nearly every week as I found ways not to write what I was fascinated by (and set up a situation that if I ever did see such an episode it wouldn't look out of place for me to write about it - because people were obviously reading my diary [spoiler: no, they weren't, it was very boring]).

And I dreamed about being a girl, a tom-boy, and living as a girl; dressing as a girl, well, a tom-boy. I mean, dresses were cool and all, but I liked jeans and jumpers, cardigans and caps, trainers and socks. I imagined what it would feel like to dress like that, to have my hair cut like the girls around me, and just be treated as a girl. But I did nothing, because I sort of knew it was subversive and abnormal and I was already bullied with a small social circle so I filed it away and hid it.

I had this issue.

Maybe it was this one?
I kept a diary in Sixth Form, I was 16, and I finally wrote it out in the October of my first year in Sixth Form. I explored it further. By now my artwork included BDSM scenarios (handcuffs, chains etc) but no faces or full bodies. No sex. Just restraint. I was reading FHM and I looked at the models and really wanted to wear what they were wearing. I saw an article on 'kink' that had a photo of an adult baby and another of a woman wetting herself in a carpark in a dress and I was fascinated. I wanted her hair style, I wanted her dress. I wanted her boots. I tied it all together and pushed it deep and down inside, I wanted a girlfriend and this sort of stuff... it wasn't likely to get the result of having a girlfriend. Or it would ruin it if I did. I'd seen Ace Ventura by now, I got that joke and I got that wanting to be a woman was wrong for a man. But I still dreamed about it, imagined how it would feel, sighed when I closed my eyes and just... pictured it. Felt it. But I did nothing. Well, okay, apart from the aprons I wore at home in exam leave and the time I nearly locked myself in the shed because I'd tied my wrists to a screw in the ceiling I'd taken in with me for that purpose - dangling naked but for the teeny apron and panicking because I'd dropped the key below the lawn mower... Oh, I mean, spoilers: I got out.

Oh, hey, it's this poster.

I mean, this design. Mine wasn't signed,
graded or protected. It was just on my wall.
At University I got the slave Leia poster, because of course I did, and sat opposite to experiment with bondage (it failed, paper and thumb tacks don't make good handcuffs when one has been used to string and twine) whilst imagining being Leia. Something I had done since seeing the 1997 re-make on VHS at home earlier. Oh, and the episode of Star Trek: TNG where Picard and Crusher get neural linked and can't move away from one another whilst stranded on an uninhabited planet. I digress. I had a girlfriend: she liked me; she liked me; she liked me etc etc. I saw her in her underwear (she saw me in mine too) and all I could think was that I wanted to wear it - hers, I mean, not mine. I was wearing mine. I imagined being a lesbian couple, I dreamed of it, but I did nothi- well, okay, there was the fake love letter and the thong - practical joke. I kept the thong, wore it, threw it away. Fished it out of my bin, wore it, threw it away. Repeat. Five(?) times, until I emptied a soup tin on top so I couldn't rescue it and then threw it out properly.

They weren't Gucci, of course, but they were similar
in design and the lack of 'figure-hugging'.

Of course, back then, even the crotch area was
baggy. That's what the big belts were for, right?
I'd read fictionmania on the University computers, talk online with others, set up an anonymous e-mail to ask my chaplain about cross-dressing, and imagine if I could have gone to University a woman, not a boy. There was a charity shop and I would work out if I could buy clothes before concluding that I didn't know my size, couldn't deal with the staff knowing I'd bought them if I had to return them and probably couldn't justify it anyway, I needed the money for other things. But I'd stand outside most mornings and look at the window display, maybe five minutes, and imagine wearing the flared jeans, the dress, the blouse, the shirt, the t-shirt, the crop-top etc. And, in my dreams, I was a woman. But, apart from that thing, I did nothing.

In my third year, the beginning, the whole social group of us were together in a bar to see each other again. I'd been single for over a year. I'd confessed, under cover of drunkenness the previous year, to my by then ex (Terry) that I was a cross-dresser - keep in mind apart from the thong I hadn't actually cross-dressed in anything yet. Then, of course, used that plausible deniability to, well, deny it later. We were all putting songs on the juke box, social anxiety made me go last, all my usual choices were already queued, so I put on Blur's Girls and Boys. Kirsten, a Blur fan and now a housemate, asked if I were a cross-dresser when my choice came on: it was okay, everyone would support me if I were, she said, so, if I were, why not? She could help me if I wanted. Sweating, barely able to speak, trembling as my dreams came true, I lied and said no, I wasn't. Three times. Then the cock crowed and I- no, there was no cock crowing, but you get the idea.

This is the 'look' referenced to the

The lady in question had a baggier t-shirt,
bigger satchel, baggier jeans and an open
jacket, but you get the gist. Oh, and no
cap or glasses.
There was a potential point of divergence. And, at that point, I knew it was more than dressing. If I dressed (I hadn't yet) I kind of knew there was more to it than that. I knew the word 'transsexual', assumed it was solely descriptive of people who'd had 'the Operation', and that was it. It didn't describe me. I knew about the two year wait for aid (Lord knows where I'd picked it up, but I knew it) and felt it was there "to see if you can hack it as a woman" - and I was terrified of most things. I had a degree to get, a Master's to prepare for (or a Doctorate, I wasn't picky) with the option of taking Maths at degree level in the future. I hadn't got the two years to spare.

So, when I went to get my MA I stuffed everything down as far as it would go. With Tim and his social group I met a girl from where I grew up on a Fresher's barcrawl and I was confused. I didn't want to go out with her but I wanted to follow her around like a puppy. She had two pony-tails at the back of her head, wore a baggy low-cut top, flared baggy jeans, trainers, a satchel that went across her body and a coat. You know, like that 'look' I had at the last in-person support group meeting. I was obsessed with her eye make-up - even though I only saw her for a couple of hours that one night, for the rest of the year I would draw close-ups of eyes with variations of her eye make-up on them, spent hours on the shading. I read fictionmania. I dreamed about being a woman, dressing as a woman, but I did nothing. No reaching out. I took solace in Real Life comics making jokes about masculinity being a curse - there was a bloke whom I could look up to, a man like me! I didn't masturbate for eight months, just to prove I wasn't addicted and I could. I told no one, it was a personal thing.

Yeah, close enough.
Teacher training followed. As the housemate I desperately fancied pointed out later, most of that year I spent crying to loud music like a complete wuss in my room. Terrified of the classroom, and failure, but unable to change course. I wrote shitty little poems, mooned after two girls, and dreamed of dressing whilst reading fictionmania. But I did nothing. I acted on nothing, I pretended it didn't exist. I knew of hormones now, and was able to search for TG captions and stories. Jerry would phone me from his ship in the Arabian Gulf at peculiar times of the night for a chat, I would be in the University College computer rooms reading TG fiction so I was usually available. When I wasn't in my room crying to loud music due to fear of failure. I dreamed of teaching as a woman, in a skirt-suit and glasses. Imagined how it would feel. But did nothing.

Somewhere round here, actually.

No, I can't remember the exact location, but these
houses look similar enough.
A job followed, somehow, and I met Toby and was instantly fascinated. And Robyn, the woman who used to be a man. Wait, you could do that outside of fiction and snippets in the news? Robyn insisted that what she was doing was entirely a choice - she wasn't born like that, it was something she wanted to do. A choice she'd made. I unexpectedly got a little tipsy at Tim's shared house one night and Toby loaned me a t-shirt/nightie to sleep in. I couldn't sleep. My heart was pounding all night, my dreams vivid and aflame. In the morning Toby showed me her Sims household, she'd added a character for me and I watched as she made the Robyn-character and mine a couple, laughing. I never saw Robyn again. But I did see Toby. By the summer she had asked me to wear a dress, I had suggested I would like to try. I bought my first pack of knickers and tried them on one night, ringing Toby and pretending to be drunk. She wasn't there. I carried on reading fictionmania and dreaming. I started a LiveJournal, anonymously, and made it pink. I typed out, for the first time, that I was a cross-dresser.

November - Toby and I were at a party. I was bemoaning my single fate, it had been five years since I split with Terry: "no one loves me" I said. "I love you," Toby countered. She asked me back to hers (she shared with Tim) to try on a dress. I agreed. It happened. Five minutes. I was unable to speak. I was going to ask for some way of creating false breasts to improve the way the dress fit. Toby misunderstood and I was taken out. We spoke, flirted, she shared the reason I'd missed her that summer, she was off getting married. Well, pagan joining, and she had a sort of husband. Oh. I closed everything down, denied it had happened when asked by Tim, who believed me over Toby. I lied. I hid the knickers, stopped reading fictionmania.

It's almost strange how often this image
turns up now.

But maybe not.
Until the New Year. Toby and I started dating, she'd left her 'husband' and unjoined (or something?) in another pagan ceremony. I dressed. I realised anew that it was not just the clothes. Toby knew too. Tried to push me in that direction, I resisted, I'd not spent years denying things whilst dreaming about it and imagining it every chance I got to simply let myself do it now. I was a teacher. I had a job! We split up. I shaved my legs for the first time that summer, plenty of time to grow the hair back before going back to work. I confessed to Catherine and Terry that I was a cross-dresser (again, but no way of wriggling out of it). Catherine arranged a chance for me to wear a dress at her house that October half term. In the company of friends. It was an electrifying experience. Catherine genuinely said that I looked better in her dress than she did and offered it to me on permanent loan. I turned her down.

In the new year, I was 25 now, I started looking for a house. I would dress in a nightie for bed, I would wear a bra, but it was all part of restraint fantasies. Dressing was for getting my rocks off. But, online, I had a discussion where I realised, again, that my dressing wasn't just about fetish. I mean, it was a fetish too, but there was more to it than that. I wanted to be seen as a woman. I wanted society to treat me the way it treated women - good and bad. And I knew enough to know that it was no fantasy or cake-walk. But I had a job, I was buying a house, I still didn't like being single and, well, I still didn't really understand transgender stuff, like, at all. I knew it could be done, but those two years loomed large - it was fantasy fodder, not real life, right? Right?


If you haven't yet, go read. It is relevant to our interests.
I got a house. I moved. I went on holiday to the States. I met Tilly. I met her in person. Catherine showed her the photos, I told her multiple times about my cross-dressing. Tilly moved in. We had a child. We got married. I still dreamed about being a woman, or, rather, being seen as one by others. But the opportunity had passed again. I tried to go cold turkey, and I sort of did for two years from 28 to 30 years old. But the stresses surrounding 2010 meant I started again, maybe three times that year, rising in 2011 to the point I would wear a pair of knickers to my grandmother's birthday, and I would confess that to Tilly a month or so later. The rest is this blog.

And so, in April 2021, Mae Dean destroyed the last part of my masculine lie, the disguise I thought I was wearing, when I read the arc where she came out in Real Life comics. Not long after that I would watch Abigail Thorn's coming out story. And so I shouldn't be surprised by my first two days at work, by my coming out to so many people so quickly. Because this might actually be it: I may actually, finally, honestly, really, truly, maybe, be embarking on a chance to live as... me.

It's only been thirty years (almost to the day) in the making - in the sense that before then I can't reliably tell you much about my life beyond what's already been shared in this blog in the past. Goodness, thirty years. Maybe it is 'my time' now.

If you have been, thank you for reading, that must have been a bit punishing!

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Walter's Sense of Morals

I like this shot.

A vision of the future?
It was the first day back at work today after the summer. And, well, it did not go at all as I expected it to go, but not in a bad way. Also, I kept using a phrase that is a variation, I realised belatedly, of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, to whit: "I know my direction of travel and current position but not my velocity."

Miss Warrington already knew.

I put my hair up in the shower this morning, I'd washed it yesterday and didn't want it wet and drying on my first day back. Having bought a white long-sleeved t-shirt and some rather fetching pink pin-stripe black work trousers to go with my jacket yesterday afternoon (and taken some photos of which I am a bit proud) and having slept soundly in my nightie and stuffed bra I was reluctant to let go of the summer. I had bought some ankle socks, blue but for ladies (they have white hearts on them, small detail), and so I donned a pair, my usual knickers, my pink (but abused looking after I washed it with my new black jeggings) bralette and wondered about the day ahead. I eschewed mascara after a bit of an internal struggle but kept the alice band (you can see that in the accompanying images) and debated glasses instead (I did not wear them). I put on a purple shirt and my hunting trousers from back in 2018 or 2019 (I can't remember, I posted about it). Then I ensured I had everything and off I went.

This is my favourite, however.

Honestly, comfortable pose there.
In my laptop bag I had the planner I ummed and ahhed over at the start of the holidays, with the details filled in with my non-disguise name. During the morning briefing (after a bunch of stuff that I shan't relate here, it's boring) I spied my Union Representative and realised that, well, with my realisation that I was going to have to take action I was also going to have to let her know in case I needed Union support in the future. My Union are pretty dang good when it comes to QUILTBAG (I'm going to make this a thing) issues and so at the very least I owed it to my Rep to let her know (she has previously been very supportive before she was a Rep back when she was in the Department). Thus it was that I spent a good long part of my morning building up to this - in the meantime I had a discussion with Miss Warrington, who asked after my trans-ness. Long story short, I answered Her question from the curry-night: yes, I wanted to fully transition, even if I didn't yet know what that would mean.

Thus it was that I ended up talking to my Union Rep. I had intended it to be a quick: "hi, head's up, I'm trans and I plan to transition but not yet. Nothing changes yet, thought you should know, just in case. Bye!" But it wasn't. She was very supportive, encouraging and seemed to think this meant I could turn up Monday in a dress. I assured her things weren't moving that quickly, explained the issues about waiting times etc (why I hadn't made a move there yet) and how I couldn't afford to go private. It was a positive, almost uplifting, conversation. No, I lie, it was uplifting, not almost. She offered congratulations, I didn't know what to do with that, I mean... congratulations?

The most 'natural' of the set, to my mind.

Okay, so I like them all.
I then sought someone I know in a senior position, in whom I have previously confided about my cross-dressing, because, well, she deserved to know in case it came out elsewhere. She was immediately all smiles and interrupted before I'd finished my rehearsed tale with "Congratulations! I thought you were looking better! I'm so pleased for you!" It was another very uplifting, encouraging, conversation. Luckily, shorter than the one with my Union Rep (otherwise I'd've got nothing done) but I really wasn't expecting the genuine warmth and happiness for me.

Then I told my boss, Alice, and he said he had suspected something along those lines last term. He couldn't put his finger on what exactly, but something meant that he wasn't surprised. He warned me that, while he wasn't saying I should do anything or not unless I wanted to or not, I should probably realise that things wouldn't be easy at work. It wouldn't be easy, it may not be rewarding, and I should only proceed with the utmost caution. Obviously he would support me, both as a friend and officially (and was he allowed to know officially? Yes), but he was keen to say that it probably wouldn't be easy-going. I explained the extent to which things would not be easy, including the inevitable headlines in the Daily Heil (I mean the Daily Mail, hate-rag extraordinaire, whose non-dom billionaire owner's father, then owner, once ran a headline in 1938: "Hurrah for the Blackshirts!" about the NSDAP in Danzig - his son has never commented but positively on his father's political views). Alice listened, nodded, "yes, that sort of thing." It was all said with a smile, but the warmth wasn't there as in other conversations - at least, I didn't feel it.

The app hasn't messed with this one, this
is as life-like as you're likely to get.

I still like it.
At the end of the day we had a rearranged staff social from the end of the last year when it had been put off due to rising Covid cases in the area. There was someone in whom I had confided about family stuff during the Lockdown (the first one) and I had noticed had got new glasses (which were fire) and I wanted to make sure I had properly complimented her on them. So, I spied her, and did. And then she asked about my summer. I dissembled and she pushed: "you're looking really cool, with that hair and hairband, and so happy. No, seriously, what happened over summer? How's the love-life? Is it that?" I tried again to dissemble. "Honestly, you should be snapped up! How can you be struggling dating?" So I told her how. "Oh!" she said, "That's wonderful! Congratulations!" And then there was another conversation about how this was "my time" and how happy she was for me.

Finally, and by now my head was spinning despite plenty of inter-cut conversations with other people that weren't about this... uh- about my trans-ness, though Miss Warrington laid a huge amount of groundwork about glare cancelling glasses with other colleagues after ascertaining that I had indeed bought some over the summer. Basically paving the way for me to come in them tomorrow I guess.

Better lit. Crazed. Tee rendered as blurred.
I got talking to another colleague who has previously been in this blog (did I ever give her a pseudonym? I can't recall, she's friends with Miss Warrington). She'd been trying to talk to me all day. During Lockdown I had been in the right place at the right(?) time to be supportive and helpful to her. We were friends before that, but that incident drove the point home that she saw me as 'safe' and 'a friend'. Both of which are genuinely peak achievements for me. Anyway, she was keen to ask me about my summer: "You're looking very relaxed and happy," she began, "and I never realised how tall you were!" Huh? "Oh, well, usually you walk all," she mimed being hunched over, "and now you're like, well, standing tall. It's nice. Good summer then?" So I told her too and, before I could finish my, by now well-worn, story she beamed: "Oh, that's brilliant! I'm so pleased! I did wonder back in summer with your hair; I thought: either he's made a decision or it'll be gone before the end of term. I must have like a radar or something. Oh! I want to hug you but you don't seem to be the sort who likes being hugged, Congratulations! I'm just so pleased for you!" It was, again, a very encouraging and genuinely warm conversation.

Home: I feel very... well, obviously I change (blue jeggings, new long-sleeved white t-shirt, favourite pink tee, glasses) and then... I did not expect to have the day I had. Five people in a day. Only that trip to my favourite local vegan game cafe exceeds that splash damage. I guess that's progress? I feel like I was making sure I couldn't go back on things and, well, I guess I can't now. And Miss Warrington knows my name. Okay, that's quite enough for now.

Can it really be that I am not terribly far
from this being a viable ensemble for work?