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!

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Slings and Arrows

Or Swings and Roundabouts.

This is going to go to a... place. So, if you don't want to go there with me (and why should you, frankly?) might I suggest a post that I found that is arguably some of the most lucid and cogent writing I've ever done? You can find it here. It's... well, it's not this post.

For the new ID photo they had me sit
slightly looking off to one side, with my
head down to avoid reflection on the glasses
and... well, I guess I didn't look too far
from this augmented image.
Following the student deputation, I realised that I would have to tell all of my colleagues at work so that they heard from me rather than student gossip. Much of my 'spare' time today was thus spent seeking out close colleagues within the Faculty and, well, letting them know about me. It went well, in that all my close colleagues were positive and friendly about it. Couldn't ask for better. Two had inklings already and one had guessed in advance but didn't want to say anything - so... yeah. It was also the day for new photos for staff so I have now been photographed officially and we'll just have to see how that goes.

In my Form group, some students were asking. One of them asked "so are you a Trans then?" I feigned confusion: "a Trans? What's that?"

"A Transgender, are you a transgender?" they persisted, "Like, are you a tranny?"

I simply explained that the terms were a. grammatically incorrect and b. bordering on offensive. The student ignored me, but the rest of the Form were pleased to move on to other things at least. So, for now, my status with the younger students I teach (15-16) remains unknown enough that they won't gossip but they may continue to push. In a Sociology class a student recommended that I use a bun or a big clip to tame my hair and, in another Sociology class, a student was amazed that I didn't own hair straighteners. I suspect my time incognito may be drawing to a close.

Perhaps unfairly, this was in my head for a
lot of the conversation with Tilly.

If this isn't something with which you are
familiar, I would recommend against looking
it up. That way lies only sadness.
I informed Tilly of the fact that some students knew and I had told the rest of the Faculty when I was dealing with Eldest (bringing her home from Dance) and Tilly sighed and, seriously, suggested it was time for me to start planning how to tell the children. She paused, "You know, it is a bit of a head-fuck to be honest. You know that, right? It's a head-fuck." She revealed that she had been 'doing some reading' and said "it's like someone I know has died" in the sense that the person she knew is effectively dead. Had she known everything she would have told me to go sooner, she'd have had "the balls to tell [me] to get out." In fact, she opined, it would have been better had she never responded to my message on the online dating forum back in 2006 (she had paid to do so, it was one of the more romantic parts of our early relationship). I would have been able to be myself and she might have found actual happiness.

I felt that knife twist and plunge.

"Have you decided on your name at all?" Tilly continued. I replied that I was sticking, probably, with Joanna. "Ah," she said, "That is problematic. I probably won't call you by any name them, and don't expect me to use it in the third person either. You know it will get shortened and that neither shortening works for me or the children. I won't use it and I shall advise the children against it too. Just so you know. But you don't have to worry about what I think, you know, so don't."

I see. I apologised a few times in this exchange.

Not long after I started this blog, I had a post
illustrated by images of 'bad cross-dressers'
to make the point about how I saw myself.

This time, I'll just use me. Let's not forget who
this story is about, eh?
"You don't have to apologise. I just wish you'd been honest, I would have told you to leave or we wouldn't have ended up together. There was a person online, who's counselled many women abandoned by... well, through all of this, and she said 'in all honesty, it's the same as someone dying' and, well, she's right. Oh, no, don't worry, there was one woman there who was being horribly transphobic, but it's not like this counsellor was. I know there's a difference. You have to admit, though, it's just a huge head-fuck. There's a lot to work through. I know I suggested it [me being trans-gender] a few times, but you always said you weren't, explained why you weren't, and I believed you. I believed you! So, yeah, I know you're working through things too, but in a different way. And, anyway, you don't have to worry what I think and you shouldn't worry about me in all of this. It's just that the person I knew is dead, and it'll take a while to get past that."

There wasn't time to sort out eye-shadow, so I donned mascara and my clothes to hit the in-person support group where, as ever, I made a bit of a tit of myself talking to someone I thought was a new member but was actually one of the old guard. I hope I managed to bite my tongue a little better than I usually do when I'm being an obnoxious twat, but I'm not terribly hopeful.

Tilly never asked me to leave, by the way, it was I that brought things to that point after a sustained bout of being insulted and belittled. That's why Tilly gets to say things like I abandoned the family and left them behind. But I see that we are also building a new narrative where that still happened but she was the one who finally asked me to leave after I'd lied to her for years. And, well, maybe that's true too.


  1. There is a blog post by a woman who's husband died. She takes issue with the term and dare I say it's worth a read. Certainly much more than going into the hellscape that you warned about looking into.

    That aside, good luck the road out and, uh, on buying some straighteners πŸ˜‰

    1. I agree, the term opens up a bit of a hellscape, hence my concern when Tilly spoke as she did.

      Thank you for the luck, work seems to be going reasonably well, actually. Not sure I shall be buying hair straighteners yet - probably a small cylinder brush and a hair dryer instead...

      May have splurged on a potential party dress... May take it back...

    2. Ah, to have long hair and to spend time drying/styling it. As much as longer locks were an upkeep, I miss the feeling of realness. 😐

      The TrendCo folk are both ex hairstylists, so may be able to advise of you can wait.

      I hope the party dress is just right. I'm trying not to buy one.

    3. Aw, you've gone and made me sit in a dusty room there! Some even got in my eye. Your wig is still absolutely *chef's kiss* though. FWIW.

      Heh, it's not really that much of a 'party' dress, but it *is* a proper new dress not from a charity shop. We'll see.

    4. Ah, apologies for pulling at the heart strings. Sometimes I forget my Jedi powers πŸ˜‰

      "You do not need to see Joanna's ID card. You may go about your business..." πŸ‘‹

      Oh, and thanks for the props about the wig. There's been a few... explorations over the years 😁

      Looking forward to seeing the new dress and charity shop - it's just early vintage πŸ™‚

    5. Don't fret, I just seem to be very emotional at the moment (my next post will liklely explain that) and I'm not even on any hormones! (Always love a good Star Wars ref though)

      Props on the wig are well-deserved, I've never seen a bad-looking photo of you nor, crucially, seen you look anything but comfortable in yourself anyway - which, let's face it, beats any wig or clothing.

      I shall grant the dress a stay of execution for now then... :)

  2. It certainly sounds like your time incognito is drawing to an end. I wish you luck going forward Joanna. It's sad that you and Tilly are in conflict, it must be difficult for you both.

    1. Thank you, Lotte! I tried to comment on your blog today but Blogger was having one of its fits where it wouldn't let me. I shall try again!

      In the meantime, yes, it has been... difficult. Harder, I think, for Tilly. But more on that another time. Your sympathies are felt, thank you.

    2. It's okay Joanna, I had issues trying to leave a comment on your blog too and in the end I had to re-start my browser. Not sure if it's a GOOGLE issue.


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