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, 21 September 2021

Welly Boots

Sunday - in flares I go for a random walk
and buy a blouse for future use at work.
I get FaceApp to do the dirty.
Since earlier this year, since I realised that not only could I be trans but that I would allow myself to be trans - and thus, well, recognising the fact that, yes, I was trans and always had been... since then, I have found myself doing the kinds of things that I have spent literal years avoiding. Because, well, I had sort of given myself permission. Then summer arrived: I went to an in-person support group, I screwed up my courage and went dressed. Then I pushed through and went to my favourite vegan board-gaming local cafe dressed as myself and weathered it - no, I didn't just weather it, I went and really enjoyed being me. I was me, for possibly the first time, out there in the world. Much of the summer was spent being me thereafter, like a damn had broken and the me in me was rushing out into the world. I was looking in mirrors, I wasn't swearing at myself in a morning, I wasn't stressed, I had my ups and downs but, ultimately, I was able to be a bit kinder to myself because I was, well, I was me.

So it was that I went back to work and rapidly built up new practices: I no longer have a beard; I wear an alice band; I wear glasses; I underdress; I have new socks. True, work made things hard - it always does - and the cyber-attack and subsequent shenanigans making me feel more precarious; but mostly I weathered it (felt very down when my tooth exploded) and now my children are away for the week.

I really like the train-wreck hair here,
even if the app really struggled with the
dimensions of my face.
Tonight, I faced my first failure to launch. I had the option, and the time, to go to my local favourite gaming local vegan local cafe and... I didn't. I came home, started the tea, and applied mascara - dressing in my flared jeans, new white long-sleeve t-shirt and my favourite pink one over the top. I put on my stuffed bra (an old lacy one this time, not one of the recent t-shirt bra purchases) and my glasses and... I'm sat here. Last night I went out (jeans and white top; but a coat over the top and with the same stuffed bra) and bought my tea from the chippy. No make-up... but I did it. And, trust me, I feel so comfortable in mascara right now. Like, I am genuinely shaken by just how much of a difference it's made to put it on and how much more like me I feel. But I haven't gone out, as I had planned, to my favourite local favourite gaming favourite vegan cafe.

Why?

Partly due to the fact that KT is likely there and I'm not ready for her to know about me just yet - she is in contact with Tilly and is likely to 'let slip' what she knows and I'm not ready to have Tilly find out via someone else. And I didn't want to go in disguise enough to do that either.

This one is just... nice.
Over the weekend my Union Rep sent me an e-mail about the NEU advice for transitioning staff. My place of work does not have a policy for transitioning staff. But it does have a policy for transitioning students. This policy states that a student will be supported in terms of clothing choices if the student is over 18 but that the school will not accept name changes or pronoun changes unless and until a Gender Recognition Certificate is provided and, regardless of age, will not change unless parents support the change as well. Parents supporting the change is not enough to allow staff to use new pronouns or names. Staff may, but this will not be supported by the register or by communications from the school. This is all perfectly legal and very conservative. The Union advice is for a much more supportive policy but...

Here I sit, dressed as me, glass or Rose wine on hand, and I think: how long? Next academic year perhaps? Sooner?

I really enjoyed the summer. I really enjoyed the chance to be me, the realisation that I could be me and still function. I found myself exactly where I feared I would be, but, in the end, there was no real fear. Not really. There was just me. And that was wonderful. I caught glimpses of me in the mirror and what I saw there was joy, happiness, contentment. I saw myself as if for the first time. I have slept better these last six months than I remember sleeping for a long long time. And, tonight, as I applied mascara in the mirror, I realised just how much I actually like myself. Sorry, typing that has brought tears to my eyes that I simply wasn't expecting. I'm going to stop typing now.



4 comments:

  1. For interest, the policy you mention for students is not like that of our local school. It's interesting, IMO, to see the difference in such things.

    As to your transition, the Equality Act should give you protection in terms of a social transition if you are on the path towards transitioning. I'm fairly sure you don't need a piece of paper to initiate that, although your union or a HR specialist would know better.

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    1. Yeah, that policy isn't written down beyond verbal advice to staff - our actual policy reads... oh, there isn't one. :( Seriously, it just lists the protected groups under the Equality Act, 2010 and says that the school will protect those groups. That's... it.

      There are some people transitioning (there's been 1 or 2 a year since I started there; this year sees 1 or 2 more than that) and staff involved tell me the verbal version related above. When I asked about the policy they got thoughtful and then, after ten minutes or so of repeating what they'd been told said: "I don't know if we have a policy. If you find out, let me know." I mean... eek?

      My Union has sent me detailed guidance. It seems... better than the nothing my place of work has.

      Mind you, social transition may have to wait for next year :) I'd need a few more blouses for a start!

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  2. Don't worry about getting ready and then sitting there. Done that many times. Sometimes one is just tired; too tired to do anything. It might be physical or it might be mental or even both. It is OK to be tired. Just recognize it, get the rest you need and move on.

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    1. You're not wrong. Strange dreams the night before about Ernest Cline (I'd watched a video essay on him) being obtuse and Not A Real Fan didn't help. Had a decent night's sleep and now I can listen to the song at the end of my post without tearing up! :)

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All comments are welcome, I have a thicker skin virtually than I do in real life!