Tuesday 31 January 2012

The Great Drag Race 2012 announced

The Great Drag Race 2012 organised by Prostate Action in aid of prostate diseases research has been announced.

This year's race will be Saturday 30th June at Highbury Fields in Islington, North London.

Full info here http://www.prostateaction.org.uk/take-action/raise-money/great-drag-race

I did the race in 2010, the first year it was held. Not only did we raise awareness and money but also had fun and broke a world record. Yes, I have my certificate from Guinness to say that I was part of the longest line of dancing drag queens ever! (Though I feel the terms "line" "dancing" "drag" and "queens" were used in their loosest sense!)

For me personally it was an opportunity to dress as a woman in an accepting and safe environment when I was just emerging in public.

I missed the race last year but, work permitting, would like to put together a team for this year's event, perhaps with the blessing of UK Angels. Watch this space.

Consider participating or at least sponsoring runners at this fun event. Prostate diseases like cancer affect many men and trans persons but are less talked about than women's illnesses although almost as prevalent. The reason for running in drag is as a tribute to the success women have had in raising awareness for women's health issues.

There are a few pictures of me at the 2010 event on my Flickr pages. Hope to add a few more just for info and fun when I have dug them out.

Sue x

Sunday 29 January 2012

Telling my friends - with love and thanks

I have grown tired of leading something of a double life in recent years and so have decided that it is honest to let the friends I have known for a long time know about the changes that have been happening with me. This week I have told four close friends about what has been going on in my life over the last few years. As I know that they have been dropping in on my blog I'd just like to thank them here for their understanding and love.

Life hasn't been remotely easy as a transgendered person so having friends who are prepared to listen and support is more uplifting and relieving than I can put in words. I am beginning to feel that I can live in society as the person I actually am without the sky falling in and that's thanks in large part to them. In fact, the enthusiasm of some of my friends at this news has been a thrill. Yes, girls, let's go shopping soon!

Thank you, Jo, Chris, Daniela and Matthew. And also Jan, Lucy and Richard who have known for a while. I'm privileged to have you as friends.

Sue x

Barmaids reunion a no-no

A bit sad this evening as I had planned to go to the reunion of the Erotica TGirl barmaids at the Way Out Club but what with a full day's work, getting home later than expected, and then my hoped-for lift home from the club failing because of a car breakdown (and no other lifts really available) I decided it was better to cancel rather than face the horrors of two night buses home in the small hours on a very cold night (estimated journey time 2.5 hours!)

However, the official barmaid portrait photos are out at long last. Here's the best of mine.

Now, you'd buy a drink from this girl, wouldn't you?

Sue x

Thursday 26 January 2012

Pub quiz - another success

My friend Joanne has been twisting my arm to go to one of her regular pub quizzes at the Dog House pub in Kennington. So last night I went at last ... and had a great time. Our team came second and won several prizes. A well as meeting some people I already know I made some new friends, too. The food and drink there are pretty good also, which is always a plus in my book.

Best thing, as ever, was being accepted as a normal person in a normal venue doing a normal thing. That's better than any prize.

Sue x

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Nottingham Invasion

There are several places where TGirls can have a really good night out and be accepted in the local community. Nottingham seems to be becoming one of them, especially because of a very active trans group there, Nottingham Chameleons. Last month saw the first Nottingham Invasion where some 35 TGirls descended on various venues in the city. This month witnessed the second invasion. I happened to have a free weekend and went to see what all the fuss was about.

Well, I was suitably impressed and thrilled by my evening. Samantha, whom I’d met before at one Leeds First Friday, and Maddy, a good friend, organised the event. They’re both beautiful, enthusiastic and very approachable girls and the whole event exuded fun and friendship. Apparently some 55 girls attended this time. This could become a very big thing!

The generals plan the Invasion. L to R: Debbie, Maddy and Sam.

I myself decided to make a weekend of it. I have close friends in Nottingham and Emma W’s wife Jackie is not far away so it was an opportunity to see them as well as catch up with many T girlfriends and make some new ones. I booked into the New Gables Hotel, a small, good value and nicely kept hotel run by Maria and Debbie who were very welcoming and friendly.

I chose to wear the leather mini I’d worn on the bar at Olympia in November with my favourite patent boots, silver top, Jane Norman jacket and neon tights. I met Maddy at the hotel along with Tanya W, Joanne D and Chrystal . Nottingham’s trans community can be proud that Tanya was prepared to come all the way from Essex, Joanne from York, Chrystal from Durham, and myself from London. Chrystal probably gets the long-distance trannying prize on this occasion especially as she drove back that same night. There’s dedication to the cause!

We went to the New Foresters pub, also owned by Debbie and Maria, where we met up with the other invaders, including local girl Gayna, and Tiff and her brilliant wife Dawn who always comes out with us, all close friends. Both Gayna and Tiff were suffering physical ailments and were ribbed mercilessly about them on Facebook (which is our way of showing that we care) so it was to their credit that they came out. I was particularly keen to catch up with Samantha and Em Vicky. Em’s been a huge inspiration to many as her transition has had such positive support from her family and her employers. I hadn’t seen her for 18 months and she’s looking so gorgeous and is very sweet. Read Sam’s and Em’s worthwhile blogs through the links from mine. I got to know a few other girls including Michelle, Penny and Tanya T. There were some lovely outfits, too. I love the way so many TGirls really make an effort to look their best.

 Girls having fun. New Foresters pub. L to R: Tanya, ?, me, Gayna, Maddy

Well, after eating, drinking and chatting at the New Foresters we went to the Oceana club. We’d been offered a special deal by the management who seemed very keen on us visiting. The place was a little empty to start with but filled up as the evening wore on. I’d say the place had a good dancefloor, reasonably priced drinks, decent ladies loos and space to move. I wasn’t so keen on the very sticky carpet and bartop or the very odd £1.80 fee for leaving a coat at the cloakroom. But it was worth visiting especially when they were keen to have us. Some girls were delighted by the punching machine and a few good whacks were given to it. God knows what that does to false nails!

So on to NG1, a club close by. I found the bar area very pleasing with attractive decor, plenty of seating and attentive staff. The dancefloor was less interesting, but considering I dance like a constipated chicken I’m not your best guide to such things.

The best thing was that a girl called Cristobel came up to me and said she was the Nottingham University trans officer and why were there so many TGirls out tonight. So I told her and pointed her in Sam’s direction. Looks like she could get the next invasion advertised at the university and swell the numbers. I also met a girl called Stacey who said this was her first night out and what luck it was that the T community was out in force.

NG1 club bar. L to R: Tiff, Christobel, Tanya T, Michelle. 
Like me and all TGirls, Tiff has a symbiotic relationship with her camera.

We finished the evening back at the New Foresters and ate chips and enjoyed ourselves till a disgustingly late hour before being herded out into taxis and back to the hotel.

All credit to the organisers for a fantastic night. I can’t do this every month but I will visit again in 2012. Keep an eye on this event, girls, it looks like it will be the next Big Night Out.

Sue x 
[Update 18/8/20: surnames have been removed from this post as some of the girls here have transitioned and want more anonymity. Samantha and Em's blogs are no longer on my blogroll as readership is no longer open to the public.]

Sunday 15 January 2012

Little by little

Seem to have lost another couple of pounds in weight this week, despite last Wednesday's blowout. Yay!

Managed to epilate all over today, rather than limb by limb. It certainly seemed less unpleasant than the first time. They say that it gets less painful with time but I can't believe it's so much better already. Maybe it's psychological in that I can see a day when I'll look good so I fret less about the process.

Beginning to home in on a salon to clear my facial hair.

Time to book another back wax, too.

Female. Will get there, little by little.

Sue x

Thursday 12 January 2012

First outing of the year

At last, my first outing of the year! I've been largely stuck indoors since New Year with boring work stuff. 

I had a lazy morning and didn’t get out of the house till midday so went straight to Bistro 1 in Frith Street (Soho) which is my favourite place to have lunch. It's excellent value, has a varied menu, quick yet unhurried and the staff always treat me very nicely. The ladies is very nice, too. http://bistro1.co.uk/london-restaurants/frith-street-soho/
[Update 4/1/21 - the site is now Bistro 1
Then I went to the Sales to look for any bargains that might still be left. Had time only for Debenhams in Oxford Street in the end but I managed to find a Yumi little black dress for £10 (reduced from £30) and a black and red pleat skirt for £8.50 (down from £28). The latter is designed for sashaying, oh yes! Quite pleased with that. I made the mistake of wearing a fairly new pair of boots so my feet were beginning to ache and I decided not to go any further. 
Fortunately it was time to meet my friend Joanne at the Porcupine pub near Leicester Square tube. I hadn't seen her for over a month so we had a lot of catching up to do over a tasty glass of rosé. http://www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk/theporcupineleicestersquarelondon/

Although it was only 4.45 we went to Le Garrick in Garrick Street (Covent Garden) for an early dinner. http://www.frenchrestaurantlondon.co.uk/. I had assorted cold meats, which I love. They were tasty enough but fairly pricey at £8.25. Then a cassoulet (bean, duck, pork and sausage) which was OK but a bit overdone, I felt. Joanne said her steak was good. But then there was a fabulous fondant au chocolat for dessert. I know my chocolate puds and this was outstanding. The bordeaux was not bad. At £45 a head I felt this was perhaps too much, though. Still, it's a popular place with live music (Brazilian!) in the basement level and polite, attentive service.
We decided to go and see a film and, after walking through Seven Dials with its lovely winter lights, 

settled on the the gentle, funny and beautiful A Week with Marilyn, starring the cream of British acting talent. Michelle Williams, who played Marilyn, was lovely and captivating and caught Marilyn's style and demeanour so well. The best line was: “Trying to teach Marilyn to act is like trying to teach Urdu to a badger.” A delightful film, just right for digesting dinner to! 

We had thought of going to Trannyshack but felt that it was so out of keeping with the gentle evening we'd had that it was best to have a quick nightcap and head home. The Cambridge pub, as ever, supplied our nightcapping needs.

What a nice day! Just what was needed at this point in a grey January.

Sue x


Sunday 8 January 2012

New Year diet and detox

Well, we all have to do it after the Christmas excess. I'm sticking with my tried and tested Slimming World eating plan, and a bit of extra exercise. In my first week since weighing myself on New Year's morning I've lost four pounds. This is very pleasing. Now it's a question of keeping losing steadily to my ideal weight and size and sticking there. Still a bit to go but I've had a lot of encouragement from friends and on UK Angels. Thank you all.

Sue x

Monday 2 January 2012

Ow! Eep! Ooh! Urk!

... and other pained noises!

I treated myself to an epilator. It was a Christmas present to myself but I waited till the sales were on to buy it. A Braun Silk-Epil 7, good quality and, reading about such matters in the T-press, more robust than other women's epilators so should survive longer when dealing with male-style hairs.

I'm pleased with it, but the sensation is one to get used to. Not truly painful, but certainly unpleasant. Especially in the crook of the elbow. I'm reassured by everyone that the pain reduces as the hairs get weaker over time.

I am doing one limb a day, partly to see how I get on, to assess my skin's reaction to the treatment, and to try the various settings and conditions (dry/wet). My left leg is looking quite good and my right arm is certainly plucked, if still blotchy. I have various test patches elsewhere (... why are thoughts of dogs with mange cropping up in my mind?)

The Style PA's verdict is similar to mine (and she usefully includes a pic) http://www.thestylepa.com/2010/03/review-braun-silk-epil-7.html
[Update 18/8/20: that site no longer exists; the model and accessories have changed since this review was written]

Oh well, what price beauty?

Sue x


Happy New Year! A lot of people have been reading this blog so it's right that I should wish you and yours every joy, success, satisfaction and the fulfillment of all your hopes for 2012. There was quite a lot to worry about in 2011, but many good things too; I wish 2012 to be a wholly wonderful year for everyone.


Sue xxx