Sunday, 29 April 2012

Funny Girls photos

Thought I'd steal my friend's Funny Girls photos and post them here. Here are just a few items from their fabulous 2012 show that I wasn't able to include in my main entry below.

"The Sun has got his hat on". 
Terribly jolly, very cute and rather saucy, too. Must be the British seaside!

 "Welcome to the Sixties". Funny Girls' take on the Hairspray number. Amber, Jade, Krystal, Ruby, with Zoe the DJ and some of the Boys.

 Dancing on the bar top. Absolutely love those coloured stockings!

 The Boys (their names are Mark, Dan, Garry and Jack, though I've no idea who's who here!)

 Grand Finale

Grand Finale

It's worth going to Blackpool purely for this. The show may change part-way through the year, apparently. So you could go twice!

Sue x

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Funny Girls

I’ve just spent a weekend away in Blackpool, admittedly in male mode (what? I’m on me ’olidays!)

So we booked to see Funny Girls, the famous drag cabaret. The booking office is part of the act, I reckon, hidden round the back with a daft-as-a-brush old lady manning the desk and a lift that entombs you in the dark and goes nowhere.

It was actually one of my female friends who had suggested it. I thought is would be a good chance to gauge their receptiveness to my telling them about how I spend most of my life these days. I was, however, a bit apprehensive about taking muggles to a drag show.

Still, in for a penny ... or £14.50 for table with waitress service. The compere herself, Zoe, showed us to our table. “Walk this way,” she said as she tottered into the venue. My one male friend rose to the occasion by saying, “I can’t walk that way!” Getting into the spirit from the start! Our pretty waitress in red minidress and fab legs brought us drinks. Stupidly, I forgot to ask her name.

The venue is beautiful. A converted late ’30s art deco cinema by Harry Weedon’s firm that built many such venues for Odeon (bear with me here, I’m from an arts and media family) and a Funny Girls carpet that must have cost a fortune. The bar is in front of the stage and the bartop becomes part of the stage during certain numbers. The tables are raised up at the back with the standing public between the tables and the bar. Zoe has a pulpit left of house.

Zoe, a classically acerbic drag DJ (but never abusive), in a wonderful turquoise dress and matching sparkly heels that one of my female companions really envied, was burbling on and playing records before introducing Amber, Jade, Ruby, Krystal and the Boys. The astonishing opening number was a high-energy Brazilian line up with blue sparkly swimsuits and feather headdresses for the girls. A break for Zoe to regale us, and then an American comedy marching band number; another break and then high-kicking gangsters and flappers; an obscene spoof of the lonely goat song from Sound of Music which we will not describe in detail as this is a family blogging site with blogs about pets and kiddies that are entirely innocent; next, seaside jollity (“Sun has got his hat on!”) with the lads getting their swimsuits off beneath their parasols, much to the delight of my female companions; Oklahoma/Gershwin medley; a ridiculous and hysterically mad take on Happy Feet, complete with penguin costumes. The amazing grand finale including Zoe (she wants you to know she’s in it) started with a pseudo-Sixties tribute (“Welcome to the Sixties” from Hairspray and the Austin Powers theme), the girls fabulous in sparkly red shift dresses. It then went on to powerful fantasy costumes and transformed almost to pure Ziegfeld Follies.

Absolutely stunning! Beautiful costumes, imaginative backdrops, quality choreography and very high production and presentation values. Over three hours of variety entertainment for your money (though the drinks cost a little above average). I think my companions were delighted but bemused. I shall return, properly en femme which will enable me to visit the various recommended venues round about. I didn't bring my camera but someone else did so I may be able to put a picture or two up before long. Here, however, is their official photo of the finale lineup

By the way, I recommend Luna Rossa Italian restaurant down the road for a quick, tasty, good value meal beforehand.

As for me, although my two female companions have quite a good inkling about 'unofficial side' of my life from previous conversations, I did not feel my gentle 'coming out' worth pursuing with them further at this stage. This opportunity was ideal for judging what their reactions might be. They'd still be good friends, of course, but at this stage I'd rather have people firmly on board or kept in ignorance if they are a little conservative.

Sue x

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Weekend visitors to London

Here’s a brief summary of my last fun weekend, in late March.

Saturday evening, after a day at work, I met up with my friend Wilhemina. Wilhelmina comes to the UK only occasionally as she lives on the continent but she is special to me as she was one of the girls I met during my first ever time out en femme.

We met up at the Way Out Club. Now, I’m not so sure that this is really the best place for girls to meet just for a chat. It took some hours for the club to fill. We mainly sat on the sofa but obviously that is not the thing to do as it is the main seduction area. The club seems to be principally a pick-up joint and I find it a bit sleazy. The stage show featured Vanilla Lush and Vicky Vivacious (whom regular readers will recall from our visit before Christmas). I quite like their act really. There was also a curious old lady doing an impromptu singing number as a French maid. Pourquoi? Oh well, it’s a night out; but, truthfully, if I wasn’t meeting friends there I wouldn’t choose to go there. I prefer a mainstream venue with less scruffy, leery types!

The next day I got to the West End in good time for refreshments in the Brasserie in Greek Street. I haven’t been there before but I realised that it is connected to La Roche, which is probably my favourite London cafĂ©. It is now on my list of places to frequent. I had a Danish pastry and cappuccino with hazelnut as breakfast, both wonderful. I love my mid-morning coffee and have a weakness for cakes (more anon). Mind you, you’d forgive me if you saw the selection on offer …

At Melanie, the very pleasant Italian restaurant in Old Compton Street which was a fairly recent discovery, I was joined by Wilhelmina again, and by Stella, Amy, Petra, Kimberley, Ange and Johanna. Lunch was slow but I didn’t feel that was a problem – it’s Sunday afternoon, after all. The food is good, as is the wine, and I thought the prices reasonable. I’m sad, though, that our little Italian waitress has just been made redundant.

Kimberley, Stella, Petra and I went for a stroll in Covent Garden, did a bit of window shopping and eventually wound up in Patisserie Valerie near the Freemason’s Hall. My eyes are too big. Even after a three course lunch I couldn’t resist a slice of chocolate cake. It was HUGE, though. Too much! But, to punish my greed, the others made me eat it all. I felt quite wicked, but somehow strangely satisfied. I’m supposed to be on a quest to lose weight, but the will of the deranged genius known only as Le Pâtissier, whose miasma of chocolate fumes settled upon my pliant and innocent mind, bent my will to match his own. I obeyed. I consumed. I became … evil. I was an innocent caught in a web of indulgence that I could not escape. It was fate. It was entrapment. I succumbed to irresistible forces. Mmmmmmmmm …. Burp!

Sue x

Monday, 16 April 2012

Brief update

Been very busy with work this last month – exciting new opportunities presenting themselves – but that’s meant I’ve been doing little in the way of social stuff, hence little news here. Apologies to the girls who’ve invited me out but whom I’ve had to turn down, and to those I’ve been slow in replying to online. We shall make up for it. But sometimes you just have to give priority to pursuing long-term benefits. Besides, as I’ve said recently, these frocks don’t pay for themselves.

Thanks also for the supportive comments and other communications on my last entry. Not sure why this sudden burst of negativity after all these years but it’s probably just bad coincidence. It also shows how much more support than detraction there is within the trans community (yes, there is a community, you naysayers).

Next entry will probably be a catch-up post on the great weekend I had in London towards the end of March – cabaret, cakes, cute company and (of course) colossal lunch!

Sue x

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Staying positive

Being trans is not easy. There are so many downsides to it; more downsides than positives. Nevertheless there are good things about it, too. For the last few years I’ve always tried to focus on those.

Sadly, these last few weeks, and for the first time since gaining an online presence as Sue about 9 years ago, I’ve had a number of abusive communications from other trans people all at once. They represent only about 0.01% of all the online traffic I’ve had so are dwarfed by the vast array of fantastically beautiful communications and other normal items I’ve received. In any case, they have little value as one’s from a well-known troll, one from a person with obvious bipolar disorder (manic depression) and others from people who, for whatever reason, are abusive and troubled. However, there’s been a higher than average amount of negative stuff online this winter, and some trouble also with the way people have addressed me in public. It’s odd that it’s all come suddenly now as I myself haven’t changed or had previous problems.

However, I shall be continuing as normal. I plan to be as positive as possible about being trans in the hope that others may take some comfort and encouragement in what is a difficult way to have to live. OK, so maybe I’m a Pollyanna. But better that than a nasty, negative abuser or a hopeless complainer. I had enough of people like that in a past life.

Sue x