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!

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Dreaming, Depression and enDurance

Get it? It's a shoe-horn.

With a long handle.
Okay, I accept, that was a cheat of a title, but I do like my propensity for alliteration and this way I could shoe-horn it in a bit. It's not ideal, but I don't always (even?) plan my posts in all that detail. Most of the time I have an idea in my head and then mull on it for a few days before I declare it 'cooked' and then try and write it out. Anything can happen in that time, and often does, and this will affect how I latere attempt to present those musings. This time I was preparing to talk about dreams again, a recurring theme here, as I have recently had some dreams that have been, to me at least, rather interesting - especially given my recent acceptance of being trans.

Not sure anyone really wants to know about how I write my posts (not sure even I want to) but that's how it is. So, yes, my plan was to discuss the dreams I've had recently and what I thought this might mean in the wider context of things happening in my life right now - even using this as a segue to discuss some of the more powerful metaphors used by Abigail Thorn that I found useful to me and how I can use them myself.

But, at the same time, I hit a bit of a brick wall a couple of days ago and the black dog that stalks these pages came to have a visit. I'm still in chastity (three weeks as of 8pm last night) and hit the point of that where I just feel down. No details here, this is just the preamble. Along with some rain soaking through an outside wall, a small but persistent leak in the roof, continued issues with the bathroom, my mother's response to the Girlie announcing she was bi (well, to me telling her about it) and a feeling that I was back in the trenches of that war because it was all I've ever known and maybe I shouldn't be leaving it whilst the fighting was going on and what did I think anyway thinking I could change things?

And here it is. FaceApp struggled for
some reason.
And then, yesterday, I took myself out to a cut-price clothing store because I am losing large amounts of money anyway and spent £8 I can't really justify or afford on a new nightie and t-shirt, had another conversation with my mother and binge-watched videos from Philosophy Tube on Trauma, Suicide and, again, the Coming Out Story. Donning my new nightie (powder blue, unicorn design printed on the front, small and with tasteful application of glitter in white and pink and blue) I was suddenly overcome with intense gender euphoria and just luxuriated in how that nightie felt. I really wasn't expecting it, but with the words of Philosophy Tube ringing in my ears and ready for bed it was uplifting and powerful. Honestly, it's the most comfortable nightwear I think I've ever owned and it was just heavenly to wear all last night and into the morning.

Starting there, then, this was something of a surprise. Up until now I have tended toward clothing that is... well, not designed primarily for comfort. Or... I don't know. This was soft, light, airy, and it fit. I wasn't ready for the delight of looking down and seeing that unicorn, seeing the glitter (I hadn't spotted it had glitter when I bought it) sparkle in the light. The legend: Stay Magical. Just... the feel of it. The colour, not my usual choice (I tend toward burgundy, red, purple and pink) being baby (powder?) blue, was just wonderful. I cannot adequately explain how I felt. I do know that once woken in the night by chastity (once a night is normal) that lovely feeling made it hard not to be woken twice more. At least, I think the two are connected, there may be nothing more than happening at the same time. But, here's the kicker, it was more important to me that I was feeling so good and comfortable and happy and soft and warm and comforted in that wonderful nightie than it was that I was missing sleep. I have woken up today in the most wonderful mood.

Better look at the design here. Shame
about the hair. Wish it were that long.
It's a nightie. A cheap job from a cut-price store with a unicorn on it and a crass written exhortation to stay magical. It's cheap and tacky, the sort of thing bought without thought for a female family member or bought by said female family member as a temporary replacement when waiting for something better.

But I love it. Genuinely. Totally.

Watching the Philosophy Tube videos was interesting too. I watched the one on Identity with a Strawberry Daiquari whilst cooking a Thai-style green chicken curry with rice. I watched the ones of suicide and trauma, in reverse order, whilst I ate. I was dressed in the new t-shirt (pink, and black butterflies on a white background) beneath my dungaree dress (because of course) and my sheer tights from Snag - that I had worn at work beforehand. Obviously I was wearing a stuffed bra (I wore my bralette to work) as well. After tea I switched my slippers for my boots (I have waxed lyrical about them many times) and then phoned my mother. It... helped.


Lovin' would be easy if yer colours were like
my dream. Red gold and green; red gold and green.
I have reached out to a local trans-support group and joined their forum. They have a face-to-face meeting planned for July. I... I am seriously contemplating going. I may even try attending dressed. I'd need make-up: mascara and foundation as a minimum, so there's even more money to spend. During the day at work Miss Warrington managed to guide me into a conversation about waxing and sugaring, legs and face, so that I was able to ask questions of other women present and get their opinions on how to get that done. It was done so that others played along, with no one questioning why I would want to know or be asking questions - effective in an office with plenty of male colleagues too. She's good at this game, very good, and I am deeply appreciative of Her doing so for me.

Where we had our day out on the
Sunday. Lovely place.
But the day was otherwise uncomfortable - the tights ended up trapping my cage to one side, wbhich was painful at times. Don't know why - is that why it had me up last night perhaps? I guess I'll find that out tonight. I digress, it was that and the humidity and the struggle to reach out (I did that at work too, through Rhiannon's blog - still helpful even when not updating) that had me feeling down. But I was already feeling down from the previous night.

I didn't dress on Sunday. I had a bath at the end of the day and spent about an hour, maybe two, shaving my legs and top half. Drinking a rose wine and then my mother rang. She was sad about various things and looking for somewhere safe to vent. So that was me, which is an honour in many ways, but it did mean that I couldn't dress (being on the phone) and everything slowed down. I ended up in my chemise and in my bed, but without any chance to really focus on the feelings. It had been a good, but tiring, weekend. I hadn't had chance to dress, one of my testicles slipped out of the cage (and I managed to push it back in, basically I was too flaccid) and then I missed my chance to pick up milk and cereal because I was dropping children back later than billed at Tilly's request. Then I charged the car and had a very late tea as a result. Then I had that bath and spent ages shaving and then the phone call with my mother.

Sunday morning.

Hi Jo!
How could the Girlie know if she was bisexual? She was only just 13! She wasn't even having relationships. My mother. I asked if one could know one was straight before having sex and my mother said she didn't because girls form crushes on girls all the time because of boys being icky. She sees it all the time at her primary school. Wait, said I, there are crushes at primary school? Oh, she didn't mean crushes like that! But how...? It was frustrating. And I was already feeling down. In the course of the conversation I happened to check some dark patches on the wall in the living room, they were damp <insert Metal Gear Solid aware noise> and the plaster was soft to the touch. I donned my dressing gown over my chemise and stuffed bra, went outside: mortar was falling out of the masonry and had turned more to sand than sealant. Oh. A phone conversation with an odd-job man yesterday confirmed that everyone is rammed for work following the lockdowns, he could maybe check it out in two weeks or a month or so, but may not even make it then. Oh.

I don't do DIY. I grouted my tiles to try and aid waterproofing the bathroom and there's still enough of a leak to make the repaired bits of the kitchen soft to the touch. It meant that I didn't wash my hair until Monday morning and thus I was later than planned to work with my tights and bralette.

Dreams will wait for another post now, I feel. The main message of this one is the nightie, the surprising euphoria it brought and a broken night.



Saturday, 26 June 2021

A mornin' cup o'Jo

Love the juxtaposition of the t-shirt with
the image.

I look crazed.
In primary school I used to know a Joanna. I recall being fascinated by her even then, in the juniors, and I could never place why. It wasn't like I 'fancied' her, like many of the boys did with the girls, but I got tongue-tied around her and couldn't help but look when she was talking in class. I don't recall how, but I ended up with a pencil that she let me borrow. It had a bit shaved off at the top and her name was written there. Well, first initial and surname, and I recall that I tried not to use it too much lest I damage it. When I tried to give it back she waved it away, so it became mine. I hardly used it, not daring to, but when I did I would imagine that I was her, using her pencil, and I could never figure out why I would do that.

When others come out they tend to have already done a lot of the legwork (ha) and are already deep into the medical or psychological process of transition. They have therapists and psychiatrists and are on waiting lists with their GP. Or they're through all of that, on hormones and awaiting surgery, or considering surgery, or explaining why they won't be having surgery. As usual, I have done things a little backwards, I've spent so long carefully explaining to myself why I'm not a transwoman that when I finally stopped and looked and realised I kinda wanted to tell people. It shocked me, you see, and still does to a degree. But I don't know how to move past that point. Do I get a GP appointment at the tail-end (we hope) of a pandemic and just blurt it out? What am I expecting will happen? I doubt very much that a UK-based GP would just hand me a road-map and tell me what to do next. Given how they responded to me saying I had ASD when seeking help for depression ("I hardly think labels need detain us here!") and when I was seeking a diagnosis ("I'll put you in, but it's unlikely that they'll see you: you're married and employed, so there's no chance you're autistic. Or, at least, it wouldn't matter.") I rather suspect I should know a little.

Out today with the middlest.

Hairy man in caked on make-up.

Nah, just an app.
I've read the NHS website and it is wonderfully vague about such things - mainly focusing on the hot-button issue of trans-youth and how careful people must be about protecting youngsters. I've seen the videos and the news reports about how people regret transition (I know the stats, less than 2% of those that identify as trans regret beginning transition or, and his part is wild, decide transitioning isn't for them before they start - it's 0.2% of those that proceed with transition that regret it). The subtle ideas that men that transition are just perverts or sexual predators. I mean... I guess I am a bit perverse. I think one still has to live as a woman for 12 months (maybe 24?) after diagnosis of Gender Identity Dysphoria has been confirmed by two psychiatrists before one is eligable for hormone treatment in the UK, at least, I couldn't find anything in particular on the NHS website.

As my mother pointed out: people that transition are often hairy men in too much make-up and ill-fitting mis-matched clothing. There's a reason for that, I suppose, if one has to live for two years as a woman before any help is offered to fit in. Maybe it's a single year. Abigail Thorn lived for a year as a woman before coming out, acting in the meantime as the man who wasn't there. But she had access, I believe, to private healthcare and a welter of supportive friends IRL and family. I'm not suggesting that the wonderful people who comment here, whom I consider friends, are not supportive - far from it and perish the thought! Just that, well, they cannot be there every day and I would not expect it of them.

Woe is me? Well, sorta. Mainly I just wanted to write this down so I wasn't carrying it in my head all the time.

Morning, Jo.
The children are over this weekend, Tilly is off checking is she is allergic to cats in preparation for getting one so that the middlest child can have one. In  many ways me leaving has facilitated this,m I draw the line at cats. That said, it had been made clear that my opposition to getting a cat would not prevent a cat being got before we reached the end. I digress. She's taken the youngest with her and the middlest didn't have his usual Saturday engagements, so whilst the eldest was at dance we explored the city she was in and ended up painting some free miniatures in our favourite games cafe - they were offering a 'workshop'. It was lovely. He now has an orc warrior that he painted and I have some female shaman thing with a scythe and skull. Because of course I chose to paint a female. Would have preferred a knight though! Well, long-time readers will recall my fascination for female knights at any rate. We finished the evening by watching Quantum Leap because of course we did.

The shower/bathroom still seems to be leaking despite my effort to water-proof with some grouting. I mean, it's not as bad a leak (and I did do the grouting in a skirt, bra and blouse, so I'm not complaining) but it's still annoying. I can maybe get away with a quick shower in a morning but not two (that's one of the children showering as well as myself). Leg hair is growing back apace, which is irritating, and my head hair is just a mess. It's looking less like I'm growing it out and a bit more like I'm aiming for a mullet because the back is seemingly so much longer than the rest (well, it's all about the same length from my scalp, but that looks rather messy).

However, most mornings now I find myself greeting my reflection: "Morning, Jo," I say, "There you are. How've you been?"



Thursday, 24 June 2021

Tights Fit

I love how this all looks. The App struggled
with my t-shirt. But, of course, the dream
is that one day I don't have to use the App
to look like this.

Anyway, t-shirt and tights combo! Love this
dress!
Action: I have shaved my legs again. Been shaving around the beard every day for the last week or so, and that's been good. I have a smooth-ish face with a short beard there (for now). Like the lady said: "yet". My parcel from Snag arrived yesterday and oh my goodness, but not only are the colours wonderful, they are so comfortable and easy to wear! They really aren't joking about the fit and the care and attention they lavish on their product: PSA time: if you need tights, go to Snag!

Within a few minutes of rescuing the parcel I was upstairs and trying them on and I took a load of photos with the mustatrd top and my new darling dungaree dress. THIS is just how I imagined it would be and looks fab, even with my face on top of it. So I celebrated with a glass of white wine, yes, I am trying stereotypically feminine things and no, I shan't apologise for that. Does the wine maketh the woman? Of course not, not even close, but does a stereotypical drink and a bubble bath with leg shaving give me a small taste of gender euphoria precisely because of the soceital expectations surrounding such choices: yes, yes it does. I shall take that and make the caveat that this is not what I expect femininity to be nor what I expect of myself now that I have accepted my trans-woman-ness. I don't know what I expect.



Okay, this is not tomboyish in any way
but I still love it. Shows off those
sheer tights as well.
I've said it before, and it bears repeating, if I had been accepted as a female from birth then I likely wouldn't be what one considered a 'girly girl' and would likely have been known as a tomboy. My point? Femininity is more than stereotypes, but now and again it's nice to revert to that and indulge it a little because, well, it's a stereotype. Also, and this is important, it's nice to feel smooth legs and shaved pits. It was nice to have some wine in a bubble bath. I have a headache today as a result (white wine really never has agreed with me) but I feel like it was a price worth paying.

There's been some tension as well, of course, but I shan't dwell on it. The important thing is that I have worn my sheers from Snag today all day and that was nice, even if I failed to get any work done due to the headache. There was the stress from my father deciding he really didn't want to help get furniture to my place from my mother and I judged a debate, which was nice. Really struggling with my hair at the moment - it's getting long (yay) and I'm using hair grips (yay) but it needs something a bit more effective and, well, feminine. I'm not in a place or position where I feel I can risk that just yet, so it hasn't happened.

Haven't been charging en femme yet but I did manage to wear my mustard top last night when charging the car, so it will do. And, well, I won a pod at Pokemon on Tuesday - sue me, it made me happy. That is a welcoming place and, eventually, I shall go there dressed too.

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Giddy

It's a bit on the short side, but I still love it.
You can see how tights would help!
It's been a few days since I was moaning about not having enough clothes and, well, I managed to find myself some time on Saturday to see if I couldn't rectify that with a trip to the charity shops. And lo, did I! I found a darling dungeree style dress of the sort that I have lusted after for a couple of years now, and they had a sale on t-shirts for a pound a pop. I couldn't believe my luck and there were some fab t-shirts on offer - I got me a stripy purple number and a mustard yellow one as well as a denim black skirt (because I do like skirts). The day continued otherwise as normal but I was (and am) surprised just how much that £7 has lightened my mood generally. I am seriously considering going out as dressed to charge my car later (adding boots to drive). Mind you, I am not planning to risk going clean shaven until the summer, when I get some time off from work and can return in the new school year without a beard from day one. It's going to be a big change, I haven't taught without a beard (at least not with any intention of growing it back) since I started, well over a decade and a half ago. Nearer twenty years actually, that's a sobering thought.

*wistful sighs*
When out walking on Wednesday, down by the canal, I spoke to my mother - whom I had feared I had scared off with my 'coming out'. It transpired that this was not the case, which was a relief, and my general down-ness surrounding that and the recent birthday of my middlest (he had great fun, but I came in quite late in the day and he was ensconced in his computer games - my presence barely registered) was at least partially alleviated. Took a selfie after the phone conversation (and an admonition about getting bitten by insects near the canal) and had a grand old evening in the end. Can't complain, yet another route added to my knowledge of walks in the area and I do like a bit of a walk to think about things. My only qualm? I didn't take the opportunity to try going dressed en-femme. I mean, it was relatively busy (there was a fishing competition apparently) and I would have been seen, so perhaps just as well, but I'm finding it quite hard not to try it out - apart from the fear of getting beaten up etc.


Joanna, in the States on holiday back in 2006,
looking mightily pleased with her food.
Speaking of which, had the children over for much of the day troday (I'm not complaining) and so didn't even wear a bra. Oh, yeah, I've taken to wearing a bra (stuffed) to bed now and wearing the bralettes I bought at the tail end of last year (?) during the day at work. Why? Uh... pass. Mainly I like how they feel but have also noted that the bralettes are more comfortable with some of my body fat that has chosen to congregate around my breast area. Not complaining. Trying to work out what is best to have for tea (my temporary filling fell out again at lunch time so I'm torn) regarding a take-out. A decision hampered by the looming financial hit of the tiling in the bathroom (still no tiler) and the fact that I was giddy enough to make a purchase of some Snag tights for... some reason. Two mustard yellow pairs, two black pairs and a browny-silky pair. I mean, frankly, I was wearing tights a lot in the cooller weather so planning ahead here. Also, hoping that the mustard tights will work with the mustard t-shirt and the dungaree dress for walking in at some point.

Who knows: with the right face mask, mascara and longer hair (it's getting there) I may even get away with it from a distance on a summer's evening.

Oh, and final selfish point, Miss Warrington opined that if I should dye my hair I should go with white powder blonde or red. I am sufficiently stoked that the latter is a colour I have long been enamoured by as a hair colour for myself (and, honestly, on others). Okay, enough narcissistic musing, I've got to sort food, tilers and some divorce papers. Onward!


Monday, 14 June 2021

Slow

How did I not notice what I have noticed this year back in 2010 when I first read Material Girl by HeartGear on DeviantArt? If you haven't ever read it, it's worth looking up. And, of course, the answer is that I did notice and I deliberately avoided making the connections knowing full well what they may entail. Like I seemingly have for most of my life, always pulling back at the last.

Now I can't avoid it any longer, I need to do more than simply say the words and post FaceApp images (no matter the fact that they have been reliable sources of gender euphoria for almost a fortnight now). Alas, I have literally no idea how to proceed, all the people I know who have come out have managed to just get on with transitioning in ways that seem alien to me. Looking up the procedure here in the UK has been... well, eye-opening. Being able to access that seems prohibitively time-consuming and somewhat unfriendly. You know my views on the dotty Uncle NHS who has so much to be thankful for and about but has some bizarre understandings of the research they command. I mean, I can't afford to go private and, as previously related here, I'm not entirely certain that I can afford still less access and make use of therapy. Though I appreciate that I'm going to need some guidance and therapy seems like a good way to get it.

One day this won't just be the result of a fancy
App doing dodgy digital things with a selfie.

Or not. I have no clue how to move from
here to there.

What else? I spent last night in my chemise but without knickers, with stuffed bra, and it was lovely. I had another bubble bath last night and I have started using hair grips at work more routinely to deal with the length of my hair. Miss Warrington noted this last week and complimented me on using them, today She even offered to lend me Hers when She spotted I had attempted to start the day without wearing them. I have been spending free evenings in my new t-shirt and skirt, tonight I even stood outside in the garden for a bit in my skirt from Toby and just luxuriated in that feeling one gets wearing a skirt outside in the warm weather. I so wanted to go and fetch my shopping (some Frosties) in a skirt but discretion was the better part of valour I feel. It won't be long until I can resist no longer the pull of finding somewhere to walk in a skirt in the summer - there are plenty of secluded paths, I just need to find the ones least likely to also harbour physical assault.

A budget is required to start seriously upgrading my femme wardrobe, and the time to access charity shops to get some staples in. No idea where I'm going to start, but some t-shirts, shirts/blouses, skirts, trousers and the like are needed.

And is this it? I respond to all of this by cross-dressing?

What am I so scared of?

Gee, maybe losing my job, my children, my health
and my life due to actual assaults.

And, of course, now I feel I have something to live for.
No, I have also restarted chastity. I am now a week into that journey and all is going reasonably well. This of course means that I have jinxed it and will be out in a few days with some chafing or blood or other problems. But so far so good. And, much like wearing the skirt in the garden, it feels enormously comfortable and fitting. Like it was always meant to be like this. But is this just a fetish? Something that is incidental to the relaisation (and how much of a realisation was it really?) that I am what I am. That I do, in fact, wish I had always been female in presentation as well as inside.

Some footling round on the internet reminded me of the TERF view, something I have brushed up against before. I don't know. I suspect that had been accepted as a girl from birth I would be the sort of woman who didn't shave her armpits and did her legs at best infrequently. I would be rather tomboyish in clothing choices and probably still find women attractive as I do now. And my lived experience is at odds with what these people talk of and how they approach trans-issues. And yet they speak so much sense in other ways, they make good logical and cogent cases for everything apart from this blind-spot. And I only identify it as such because it is my lived experience and understanding that they are monkeying with and it seems unmoored from the rest of their creed.

What is it that I fear so much? Why didn't I wear a skirt and stuffed bra, shave my beard and just wander to get shopping? Why didn't I buy myself a dress, skirt or blouse whilst I was out in the supermarket? What prevents me from spending money on clothes? What prevents me from trying to attain what I have always ignored I wanted? Why haven't I shaved my pits or my legs or my chest or my stomach? Why haven't I bought a pendant despite looking them up or glasses without lenses (just glass) as I clearly want to do?

Disjointed thoughts and half-formed paragraphs is the best I can muster tonight.



Friday, 11 June 2021

Command Performance

I actually love this shot. It may be one of
my favourite photos ever of me.
I bought a new t-shirt today, because I was out at a TK Maxx and I thought: why not? I need a few more skirts and tops, really, I haven't got much these days. Plenty of underwear but only three tops and two skirts, it's... well, it's not going to do if I decide to keep on my current trajectory. On that note, I accidentally (no, really) told a friend last night on FB. I mean, of all the people I could tell, they are safe because they have access to this here blog and, as a consequence, it's not like they couldn't find out by other means. Though, in fairness, I suspect they stopped reading maybe two years ago.

I'm digressing. The post that I had in my head was all about my primary school experience. Growing up and having moved to a new school, I struggled to fit in. Young me noticed that they were awkward with sitting cross-legged and really didn't want to draw attention to this in assembly. So, what did I do, dear reader? I did what all ASD people do and looked for other people who were not sitting cross-legged to imitate. Now, there is a wrinkle, because I spotted another pupil, we shall call her Hayley. It was the mid-80s, she had hair that was short but still very much a girl's haircut. And young me decided that she was the perfect candidate for imitation in sitting. I sat like she did - in assemblies, on chairs, when working, everything. I spent a good deal of time perfecting her manner of sitting to the point where I normalised it. Now, I haven't really thought about this until sometime last year when I raised it with Tilly. then, of course, it sat and wiffled at the back of my mind until I remembered the details.

I also like this shot because the hair is closer
to my actual length and you get a better
view of the new t-shirt. And my legs.
Why mention this? Well, I still have this tendency and I have been watching people a lot lately and realising that I do trend toward the females when imitating how to move and talk. I mean, obviously, but it was fascinating to note that I had been doing it subconciously as well. I thought I had something insightful and interesting to share here but reading back it just reads like narration. Hmm. I think there's a lot to it though in my own journey - not that I was specifically imitating females so much as I was choosing to do so without really thinking through why - it was just natural and obvious to me.

And yet, at the same time, I really leaned in heavily to being masculine. I remember spending much of my young life constantly on the look out for maintaining a suitably masculine appearance as I simply assumed that people would notice if I wasn't male enough. I was paranoid about displaying anything in clothing or possessions that could be interpreted as feminine. I bristled when teachers would say, not without evidence, that girls were better at maths or science - I see what they were doing now - and reasoned that I was as good as any girl, better than most, but never widened that to a gender thing - just keenly aware that they weren't including me. I read Disclosure and honestly believed it was revealing a truth - that men were more victims in sexual assault. I got righteously indignant and very masculine about it. But it was very performative, it was studied and carefully acted - practiced in front of a mirror before going into the world.

Stana has written recently about the danger of presenting
digitally changed images as a truth, and she is right.
So here is the un-altered image from the first photo.
Hopefully, one day, the 'before' image.

The t-shirt was £6.99. Money well spent.
In recent weeks, doing a bit more reading (not research, as Dee can attest, I am rubbish at actually bothering to look things up these days) I find that this is not uncommon. Many TG people report that they over-compensate as children lest they be found out or discovered - not out of fear of being bullied but out of fear that something is wrong - if they could just commit more and better to the lie then they would be happier and get past that phase that is causing so much trouble. Me, in 1997, in the coded diary: "I hope that this is just a phase, I will likely grow out of it". There's a hope that we can just be 'normal' if we try hard enough. A denial of the truth staring us in the face because it doesn't fit and we may not have had the vocabulary. I certainly did not have the vocabulary. But, being ASD, I did know that societal rules were not necessarily reality and did not necessarily set the bar.

Being the person I was and because I was bullied, I used my pattern-spotting to try and find the path that made me tack close to how others behaved as much as possible. After those early days where I latched onto Hayley I switched to more obviously ape masculinity, realising that boys that behaved more obviously as boys were less likely to be bullied. However, the idea of being fully 'boy' was distatsteful enough that I tacked instead to the end of masculinity where the geeks hung out because I had no interest in sport for sport's sake nor the physicality of the mainstream masculinity. I went for the challenging form of masculinity. I dread to think what I would have latched onto had the internet been a feature! Suffice to say I went to the gender barrier more than I went for the territory beyond. I set up my fascination with war and soldiers in contrast to sexual thoughts and femininity - in the story Boy to Girl that I wrote around the age of 11 or 12, I specifically wrote that this was the defining characteristic that revealed our hero to be male even when he was in the body of a female. When threatening the antagonist in the final act I wrote that the character managed to make something of his masculinity felt through knowledge of and use of (as a threat) the First World War.

The only woman in the British army to see active
front-line service in the First World War. An illustration.
As if an academic subject could define gender somehow. Or, rather, as if the choice of subject in that academic study would be sufficiently defining of a gender trait and characteristic.

Tellingly, in that story, I did not tarry on any physical feelings. Although it wasn't, as far as I recall, in the story itself I vividly recall my feelings that having budding breasts (remember the age) or going through a period wasn't really worthy of analysis - that was pretty normal and so could be ignored. Now, looking back, that is totally stupid and completely wrong. But that was my thinking at the time. In  the dreams where I was magically a woman I never really focussed on how the body felt because it was simply a body, it felt right and it felt normal - not worthy of comment. Rather, I would focus on what I was wearing or doing as that was the foreign realm into which I was making a foray.

I maybe need to write that story again.



Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Quantum Leap

 I've used a frighteningly similar title on this blog before, but not the same, so... It's fine. Everything is fine, right?

How does she always look so gosh-danged happy?
I wish I looked this good waking up.
In case things weren't obvious, I'm sort of catching up to my own journey and wrestling with what that means going forward. I have finally, finally, accepted that I am a trans-woman. That is, deep down, I am far more female than male and, well, I always have been. I sought out my old encoded diary. The first entry is deliberately vapid and surface detail oriented, to put people off the scent, and then the second entry (over the page, crucially) revealed the idea that the diary was there to keep things secret but also let things out - functioning like this blog does but doing so before I was on the internet around 1996. Then I clearly mislaid the code book and nothing is added for about three or four months. The next entry werbles about being inward-looking, angry and sad. It relates what I refer to as a crisis of faith (it wasn't really, my faith was, and is, fine, I quibbled with the religion part) and then, after much teenage angst, the tone abruptly shifts as I turn the page again. I haven't decoded it all, because I kinda didn't want to go further and I was reading it this morning as I got ready for work. The part I have decoded details a dream, the operative part of which relates that I had a dream in which I was turned into a woman and "forced to be a prostitute" - it does not explain this. If memory serves (and it might not) I had no clue about the role beyond degredation, poverty and strong chance of being murdered. Certainly there's no hint in the diary about being a prostitute for anyone, it was just part of the milieu that I had that a punishment including being a woman (my primary means of having this 'fantasy') had to have an actual punishment as being a woman wasn't actually a punishment.

This morning.
I digress, the diary then moves on with: "I wish I could be a woman, not forever, just for a few weeks or months; long enough to dress in all the underwear and clothing that I so dearly wish I could wear."

That was this morning. This evening I went out to play Pokemon and lost - I pulled no interesting cards, my pack was a mess and I won a game but only because the person I was playing was inexperienced and built an awful deck. They also made dubious decisions. After Sunday and Saturday, and after building up that I might pull a card worth selling, I was feeling very sorry for myself. I returned home and decided to watch a video to cheer me up. You can watch it too, if you like, below. It's Abigail Thorn again, because, well, after the last two I find myself kinda hooked. Did I mention that the video in the last post actually made me cry on two occasions? The one about the man who wasn't there. Of course she's had more relationships than I have. Good running joke though, I approve.



And, well, yes, two of my relationships were with people who were at the very least bisexual and had had active relationships with women as women. Many of the women I have fancied over the years have also been lesbians, bisexual or asexual. Because of course they have. "I wish I could be a woman, not forever, just for a few weeks or months".

I first encountered the concept of trans-sexualism some time before keeping that diary and after writing the non-encoded ones between 1992 and 1994. And I knew about it: people underook surgery (or not) and changed their performance of gender (I didn't know those terms, at the time I expressed it to myself as 'becoming women' or 'becoming men'). When, at University in 1998, there was a debate about adding the T to the LGB society (no, I hadn't joined it, I liked girls, see, so was as straight as they come) I recall that the President of that society, also being in the sci-fi society, waxed lyrical about it being an affront because trans people weren't gay or bisexual, they had no part in his community. He lost the vote, the T was added either in 1999 or 2000, I don't know, and I remember being confused that it stood for Trans-gender and not trans-sexual. But, after all, trans-sexual people were straight too, thought I, 'becoming men or women' and then being attracted to the other sex. Yeah, yeah, I even knew some intersex people at the time - but it didn't affect me so I kinda didn't think about it. I had no idea how trans-gender was different to trans-sexual (maybe something to do with surgery) and that was that.

"And what always gives them away, are their
hands. Big, hairy, manly hands. You can't deny
the biology, well, unless there are other issues."
Germaine Greer, 2018, interview with Krishnan
Guru-Murphy
I remember talking to a trans-woman years later, around 2003 or 2004, and still not knowing the term transgender or trans-woman. She told me that she had chosen to be female, it was a matter of choice for her. She wasn't gay, she was straight, but she was a woman, not a man. I was fascinated by her and I couldn't understand why. I kept finding excuses to talk to her, to ask her about her choices, why she made them and just... well, to learn more. I think that's partly why she never kept in contact, I probably came across as creepy. Another person, same group of people around the same period of time, explained that he had chosen to become bisexual - it wasn't genetic - because he realised that there were too many people he wasn't sleeping with. Oh, no, he said, misinterpreting my look, not you - you're not attractive to me in any way, and I like having sex with inanimate objects like brooms too! It wasn't meant as an insult, but it felt like one. I digress.

Toby was bisexual. Her next two relationships after me were with women. Indeed, one of the reasons I found her so attractive was the fact she had previously been out with women. Before Toby I had a long long conversation that got very flirty with a lesbian that I was so keen to go out with. She sorta liked me too, until I got a bit creepy and strange about it.

Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator... and vanished.



Monday, 7 June 2021

What does the internet know?

Natalie Wynn, on a video I have definitely posted here
already.
No idea why, but youtube has been suggesting things of late. You already know, I hope, that I found Natalie Wynn over the last few months (around Christmas?) and then, more recently, I found HbomberGuy (did I capitalise that right? Probably not) and, tonight, I finally watched some of those Philosophy Tube videos that keep popping up amongst the Pokemon Trading Card Game Online videos that I watch to relax and unwind (did I mention that I won yesterday's Pre-Release tournament? I didn't? Oh, well, I won. My pod of six. Still, I won, I'm happy with that).

And... Well.


So, just to recap, I found Mae Dean, of Real Life Comics, had come out to her friends and family in 2018 and started keeping a comic record of the aftermath (and a really interesting look at how she got where she was) quite recently and now this. A day after mentioning to my mother that I think I'm actually a trans-woman. And... I am jealous. I mean, look at this:


I've said it before of genderfluid people: how can people look so good? Mae Dean looks amazing and happy and content. Now Abigail Thorn looks amazing and happy and content and sounds like she's living her best life. Leslie and Rhiannon look amazing in their photos, and are so wise (no, really). And then... Like the video says, I guess: "yet".

Here he is, you can see why I avoid mirrors.
I shared some of the photos FaceApp has monkeyed around with Miss Warrington and it was the most daunting thing but I kinda felt I had to, in order to somehow keep my momentum going. I feel like I'm bored of 'not rushing things' - I'm 40 years old, and I constantly feel... well, like I'm not there. Long said it: when I look in the mirror I don't see me. I don't see someone who I want to be either - I am no actress or performer. I see a shell, a beard, tired and sad eyes, lack of sleep, lack of emotion. And that's when I bother to look. Most of the time I don't bother to look. At University Kirsten once said that the over-riding philosophy ought to be: "to thine own self be true" and I always countered that, out loud sometimes, with "what if you don't like who your own true self is?" As I said to my mother, I have never looked too hard at my true self because I have always been scared of what I might find there. I have been terrified of looking and, well, finding out that I'm not actually male at all, that... well, I didn't have the vocabulary back then, but now I would say: finding out that I am a trans-woman.

And, of course, once I had the time and the space, I looked. And found exactly what I had feared all these years. But this time? Will I still be a coward? I mean, yeah, obviously, just read any of the entries on here. A face-changing app is enough to give me gender euphoria and I can't even commit to a shaving regimen that keeps my legs and underarms clear. Let alone the thought of actually keeping my chin clear of beard!



Saturday, 5 June 2021

Setting the Record (straight?)

This one has made me look up pendants online
because I really like how it looks.
The bathroom continues to be annoying. Now the tiling is blown (I mean, it already was, but now I know that) and it may be the adhesive or the plasterboard behind that has failed. I am awaiting a tiler to find out which it is and then, hopefully, get that sorted before also replacing the leaking shower that likely caused the problem in the first place. At least the kitchen's ceiling was only partly removed to discover this. And so that stress continues in the background.

I also have a new suite in the living room courtesy of my father. That was an odd trip too, my father's wife reminding me with a stern frown that he was 66 and that he was trying to do too much. Not sure what she thought I was doing but it apparently wasn't enough (or she believes I am so lazy and feckless that I would let him do all the work, I mean: fair enough). The important thing is that I didn't let him do all the work and I now have some actual chairs to go with the bed-sofa monstrosity I have kept with me all these years.


My kitchen. I don't know why I keep taking
selfies and then doing the FaceApp th- I mean, I
know why but I also don't know why, you know?
Yesterday I took the boys (and Tilly) out to a meal in IKEA because, well, I know how to live. The youngest didn't have a car and was close to kicking off so, naturally, I went and got him a toy that I thought was £5. It was £15. I mean, of course it was. So, and expensive trip out but a lovely walk from my place to the shop and back again. You know, I actually got more conversation with Tilly on this walk with children than I have had since 2019's abortive attempt at an anniversary meal? I mean, of course, there's no pressure for her and no stress now, so obviously.

Got a trim on the hair on Thursday after much faffing. £8 for just enough off that the right hand side of my fringe keeps falling in my face again - something that stopped natutally maybe a week or so beforehand. Still, the back of my hair looks less like a mullet now, which has got to be an improvement. Still growing it out, still aiming for hair like in the FaceApp images. Which, I note, has tipped over into longer hair pretty consisitently now when it adds length - clearly there's a checkpoint somewhere. Speaking of that, I have been sleeping in my pink chemise again, first time regularly since 2011 I think.

Yesterday, in the bathroom. FaceApp has
rather struggled with my T-shirt there.
And it's really strange: in many ways I am now living like I did back in 2006-7 when I had a house but before Tilly moved in. I go for long walks in the evening (or during the day as I did on Monday when I walked 13km for no reason) and I sit on the internet in the early evening/late afternoon. I'm even watching Scrubs on a DVD boxset I picked up at a charity shop for the princely sum of 50p - one episode a night with tea. Oh, and part of my tooth fell off - which is like every nightmare I've ever had - and I have replaced it with temporary filling until I can get it sorted on the earliest booking the dentist could offer: 5th July.

And, to add, today I might have spoken to my mother and, well, told her about what's been going on in my head these last few weeks. You know, the whole thing about being... well, being a transwoman. I honestly thought I could just drop it into conversation and then move on, because... well, as this blog attests, I am an idiot. Now, to give my mother her due, she absolutely was supportive (if a little disbelieving). Her argument being that if I hadn'd had such a rubbish relationship with Tilly then I wouldn't be thinking like this and had I had a better relationship I wouldn't think I was trans. She also pointed out that I had never shown any signs of being attracted to men at all, and didn't recognise the idea of being a lesbian in a man's body - surely that was just plain ol' heterosexuality? I used my Trotsky metaphor, because of course I did, and she professed that she didn't know what she was supposed to do in this situation, I reassured her that there was no 'supposed to', and she remained sceptical but supportive. Couldn't ask for more than that, I guess. I honestly didn't think it would be a big conversation because, well, as I say, I'm an idiot - so I was somewhat under-prepared. Oh, link? Long walks, I went on another tonight because the children are at home (holiday tomorrow for a week and I'm thus home alone again, I mean - I usually am these days, but... I mean Tilly is taking them to see her parents for a week - like she did before I left). I rang my mother because I was lonely.

I... am not good at this game.

Today. I took the middlest boy to a tournament
in a nearby city. We had lunch in a park in the
sunshine. I took a selfie in these sunglasses.