I started this blog eight years ago today as a celebration of transgender life, to encourage other trans people to live with courage as their authentic selves in the real world, which isn't as scary a thing to do as most of us often lead ourselves to believe. This blog was also intended as a celebration of London life.
Well, things have certainly changed. I no longer live in London but abroad. Partly because of some odd health problems regulating my body temperature added to the very real problem of climate change that has seen Britain become the cloudiest country in the world (to the extent that children are now given Vitamin D pills to prevent rickets and other diseases), which led my doctors to suggest I move somewhere warmer with more sunshine and more regular temperatures. And partly because the obscenely incompetent and malevolent politicians there now are in Britain, and the desperately weak constitution that leaves the country teetering on the verge of a potential dictatorship, have persuaded me that Britain is not a safe place. No right-wing regime was ever trans-friendly, not in Europe at least.
So far this year I have mainly been in Italy but have not ventured out as Sue, partly because I have mislaid my feminine essentials, partly because I am with family who would cause endless trouble if they knew, and partly because I am not sure of my ground outdoors. In big cities here like Milan, Genoa and La Spezia there are plenty of trans girls around. I have seen several and am gradually getting better acquainted with trans life here via social media. There are certainly excellent medical facilities and services if you are transitioning, as well as robust legal protections. But if you aren't transitioning, it's a bit more rough and tumble in a country that is still pretty sexist and where nobody minds their own business. So at present, as was so often the case when I was younger, I dress only when I have strict privacy.
So what of my blog? Is there a market for an English-language blog for someone who no longer lives in an English-speaking country? Well, I don't plan to close down yet, but clearly things have changed very dramatically. The days of organising Angels Lunches or London theatre trips are clearly gone, as are the days of participating in big events like the TGirl Bar or Sparkle. Of course, I may not stay in Italy but move to Spain eventually where LGBT culture is far more developed, accepted and protected. Watch this space, I guess. And that's the point. My trans life hasn't ended despite the huge changes, it's just different. I'm not at all sure what the future could hold as I'm still finding my way in a new life that's been somewhat thrust upon me. But one promise I made to myself at New Year 1997 was that I would no longer deny that I was transgender, no longer purge and no longer hide my reality from people who mattered, and that will always hold now and for ever.
My previous anniversary posts usually mentioned statistical things. But not this time - it's too masculine an obsession, in my view. Nor will I post links to the most popular pages as it skews things to those pages rather than others (the TGirl Bar 2013 is way too popular! OK, I know, who can resist all those gorgeous barmaids in pretty outfits?)
Thank you again for reading my blog, for your comments and your support. Love to you all. Be true to yourselves.