I can’t boast such a grand total, but this week marks a significant anniversary for me: the fifth anniversary of my taking voluntary redundancy from a career that was going nowhere and making me miserable, and then finding fulfilment. When I signed the agreement to go in 2008, I was scared: of the unknown, of losing regular and acceptably paid work, the only serious career I had ever had. I had very little time to make the decision, too. But I felt that if I didn’t take the opportunity, I would be left wondering what might have been. Even with the plans I had vaguely made previously, I could never have believed what the opportunity would let me achieve in just five years.
I immediately found a new and far nicer job. Only part-time and much more lowly pay, but a delight. I had planned to take it for perhaps 18 months but actually stayed for over four years. I studied for professional qualifications, wrote a book, visited new places, and set up my own business. But the main achievement was to step from the closet where I had hidden my crossdressing and female desires since toddlerdom and pursue real life as the woman I have always wanted to be treated as. I was determined to do it, too. I went to the Boudoir dressing service twice that first year to discuss with Jodie Lynn, the proprietor, the sorts of clothes that would suit me best and to learn more about makeup. And then I went back and bought a wig off her (the one on the left).
|My first wig shop visit straight after my first makeover at Mac, 2010|
At Jodie’s suggestion, I joined the Angels website and I was first seen in public at their tenth birthday bash at Pink Punters in 2010. From then on it’s been a steady progress to normal life as a woman and acceptance by friends and public alike. I feel I’ve been treated better as a transwoman than I ever was as a guy, although to be fair, it’s not like I’ve ever had anything very serious to do as a woman, like get employment or arrange a mortgage, though I really don’t anticipate problems if I do live full-time as female. The best acceptance yet was doing that art show last autumn with my femme name on the advertising and being regarded as just another artist there. At last, my lifelong wish and achievement: just treat me as one of the girls, just as any other person, and I’m happy.
So I guess that redundancy is not the end of the world, but a new beginning of life. It was for me.
It’s been beautiful spring weather and so I took an anniversary day off just to stroll around London on my own, enjoy the sunshine and the blossom, do a little window shopping and people watching, and admire the view of the city from Primrose Hill, north of Regents Park.
Nobody takes much notice of a solitary TGirl strolling around. Which is just how I like it.
I also decided to celebrate by joining the Brick Lane set for drinks and dinner again. But that’s a post for a different day!