This time last year I was on top of the world (see here http://suerichmond.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/summing-up-2011.html). Indeed, 2010 and 2011, as I emerged as a debutante TGirl into the world, were probably the happiest and most amazing years of my life. This year, by contrast, has been very mixed.
On the plus side, most of my close long-term friends now know that I am trans and have been hugely supportive. That’s been a real source of comfort, relief and happiness and means I can just be myself. I’ve had no problems at all out in public. Indeed, everywhere I go people are welcoming and treat me as a normal human being. (And why not? I treat others with respect, so they return it. Human nature is predominantly decent.) The recent art show demonstrated how I can be officially recognised.
|Publicity for the "Diffraction" art show.|
I’ve got to know two new groups of girls, the Nottingham Invaders and the Brick Lane Set. I knew the Invasion bossladies, Maddy and Samantha, and several other girls in the area already, but they’ve created a superb monthly night out in Nottingham city centre. I think it works better than other places because there is no ghetto, just ordinary venues (yes, a couple of gay pubs, but mainly everyday clubs). London’s Brick Lane girls at the Verge Bar are also good company, and are obviously somewhat closer to home.
|Brick Lane's Verge Bar|
There have been the thoroughly enjoyable rounds of eating out, shopping, theatre, cinema, travelling and having a great time with friends. And even just everyday stuff. Somehow, life is nicer as a woman. I absolutely love stage shows of all kinds and there have been some delights this year.
|The Hurly Burly Show|
I’ve been helping girls dress and do their make up in my home, which has been a bit of a learning experience. Sadly, I've had to give up on a couple of friends, but in compensation I have made a large number of new friends and continued to enjoy the company of older ones. My friends are my joy and I love them to bits. There's always room for many more.
|See, TGirls have lots of fun!|
I’ve also been pleased that people seem to enjoy this blog. Thanks for reading. I try to keep it entertaining and humorous, and with illustrations rather than just prose. I’ve been enjoying other people’s blogs, too. (I’ll see if in my technological rubbishness I can get my favourite blogs list on the front page rather than you having to click on my profile to see them.)
The other thing to comment on is what an incredibly exciting place London has been this year, largely because of the Jubilee and the Olympics and many new constructions, from the Shard to the cable car. It’s a phenomenal city and its spirit lifts me.
|Olympic men's marathon|
|Thames skyline at night|
Now the bad bit. A black cloud has been created by the malice of a number of self-appointed ‘activists’ who sprayed their hate everywhere mid-year. It seems any person who fancies it can set themselves up as a know-all trans leader and dictate the terms under which other trans people shall live, with violence to reinforce the message. I once used to provide workplace bullying advice in a national trade union but I have never seen abuse, control freakery and bullying like this. The hatred exuded by some trans people is in contrast to the acceptance and kindness of just about all the non-trans people I’ve met. This malice has been a source of anguish to me this year. It’s made me wish that I hadn’t bothered coming out, and made me fear the future. I didn’t go to the London Pride or Brighton Pride events this year because I felt ashamed of being in any way associated with this brutality, and I have stopped organising lunches under the Angels name as I feel in danger. I am still giving thought on how to deal with this as my resources and experience have actually failed me on this one, but I am just glad that the majority of trans people are decent and I’m grateful to my many friends for their love and support over this. I do feel it will be a while before I feel properly happy and at ease again. In any case, clearly I will have to take a new direction in future. I’m sad to put this so strongly, but some things cannot be pussyfooted around.
Anyway, back to the positives. I hope you have a fun new year’s eve, whatever you’re doing. Proper New Year’s greetings tomorrow, and a new up-to-date avatar (exciting, eh?).