Tuesday, 14 August 2018

The seven-year blog

It’s seven years to the day since I started this blog, my aim having always been to express my thoughts on being transgender, and also to encourage other trans people to be visible by posting my adventures and the reception I have met with in public.

It’s been seven years of great highs but some miserable lows too, with delight and success countered by trouble and stalls. Being trans is, let’s face it, quite a challenge that, for virtually all of us, is a substantial addition to the ups and downs of everyday life.

With so many threats to trans people being able to lead authentic lives in the last year or two – threats from politicians, radical feminists, religious bullies, to name a few – it’s essential for the trans community to make it known that we exist, that we are genuine, and that we are likeable, worthwhile and regular members of society. Visibility – online, in media and in the real world – seems to me to be an important promoter of acceptance.

Well, that’s enough philosophy! In past years I’ve analysed Blogger’s stats to get an idea of what sort of posts are the most enjoyed and readable. But this time I’m not going to link to the most popular posts. You can select your own favourite from the archive list to the right. It is clear that people who read my blog most enjoy the occasions when lots of TGirls are out on the town. Importantly, though, there is also a lot of interest in gender surgery issues and, to an extent, my own struggle with ill-health that has badly affected my trans life and visibility.

Thank you to my 44 subscribers, including Jonathan Tait who subscribed this year. I’ve added "Male Femme", Jonathan's blog, to the blogroll. It's well worth reading.

Thanks also to all who have made comments. Lynn Jones and Mandy Sherman deserve special mention both for their comments and excellent blogs. Thanks also to TCentral and Feedspot for their promotion of trans blogging.

Thanks for reading. Tune in again.

Sue x

Sunday, 12 August 2018

A day out with Emma

I mentioned in my last post that I hoped to get out fully femme on Saturday, and that is indeed what happened.

Emma Walkey and her wife Jackie have featured in this blog many times as Emma's one of the first trans friends I made. We agreed to meet up in London just to catch up and enjoy some food together.

Train selfie

We met at the Cambridge pub, which I often suggest as it's about as central as you can get. Whilst Jackie went to nearby Berwick Street to look at the fabulous (if expensive) fabrics in the dressmaking shops there, Emma and I sat down to lunch at Melanie Italian restaurant, another of our favourite venues.

Melanie is on the edge of Soho, a district that was infamous 40 years ago for sleazy peep shows and sex shops. Not much remains of that era, which is for the best, but we thought we'd have a laugh by posing outside one shop as if we were streetwalkers. Well, you have to pay for your lunch somehow! Convincing? OK, probably not! We are of that era but haven't worn so well!

After lunch we strolled through Covent Garden to the terrace of Somerset House where you can sit and look over the Thames. We thought of taking a river boat but the temperature was dropping and we decided that sitting in a bar was preferable. We went to Champagne Charlies in the arches under Charing Cross station which I haven't been to for years but was very pleasant for relaxing with a bottle of wine.

So a relaxed day in good company and being treated as women, which to any trans person is the joy that makes it all worthwhile.

Sue x

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Summer outdoors

There's been a small amount of rain now but this extraordinarily sunny summer continues. It's been quiet workwise and I have been taking time out to explore. I now doubt I will ever be able to simply put on makeup and go out manifesting my female appearance whenever I want to, as I used to do when I started this blog, because of the risk of skin irritation, but I make do with more androgynous clothing now. It's not ideal, not what I want, but it keeps me connected to my femininity even if people take me as a guy. I hate this limbo I'm in at the moment but something is better than nothing between occasional fully-feminine outings.

I like staying at home in London over the summer. Many people are away and it's mainly just me and the tourists around the place. Except that I go off the beaten track.

Just a few places in Greater London visited recently include Putney, Kingston and Maida Vale.

Wonderful mackerel sky over Putney Lower Common
The Clattern Bridge over the Hogsmill River in Kingston-upon-Thames. This side of the bridge dates from 1175, making it by far the oldest bridge in Greater London and one of the oldest in Britain. Note the heron by the right-hand arch. The heron population seems to have vastly increased in the Thames Valley in recent years and this is due to cleaner water supporting more fish, including eels.
The Saxon Coronation Stone now outside the town hall in Kingston. Many of the Saxon kings of Wessex, including Alfred the Great, parked their royal bottoms on this block when being crowned. Why such a significant historic artifact is simply left out in the rain with little signage or ceremony I will never know.
The Regents Canal near Little Venice covered with algae that have been thriving in this hot summer

I have a few more outings planned. And I hope to have a full femme day this Saturday.

Sue x