Hello and happy new year. May 2022 see this pandemic end and everyone thrive.
This new year marks a milestone. It was on New Year's Day 1997, 25 years ago, that I finally resolved to stop resisting the undeniable fact that I was transgender. I wrote about this more fully in 2007 (link: Those biggest resolutions) but my decision then, which hasn't changed, was that:
"I would stop purging my female clothes, would accept and embrace the fact that I am transgender and never try to suppress it again and, to prove it, I would dress as a woman every day. And I have kept that resolution since."
A lady never reveals her age but that's a lot of my life in acceptance, not to mention all the years I felt like a girl but also felt obliged to resist it. I first began to wish I could be treated like a girl when I was about 5 or 6 and no amount of suppression, conversion therapy, fear and threats, purging my feminine things or any other action ever altered that underlying need. The only thing that changes is the intensity of the need; sometimes I feel more feminine, sometimes less.
I do wish I wasn't trans. It adds so much stress, confusion and fear to life. But they say that when life gives you lemons you should make lemonade and I think I've managed to make some pretty fizzy lemonade since my 1997 resolution. As well as dressing as a woman every day since (even if not always all day) I have managed to live as a trans woman: I've been to dressing services and photoshoots, gone out in public as a woman, organised meetups with other trans people, considered formal transition, represented the trans community at events and rallies... All that's largely what this blog has been about. It's been a blast, too, and I've been so happy when able to be myself, be accepted by the friends I already had and make a whole big bunch of new ones. So being trans has its good side, too.
There's one other detail from that new year a quarter of a century ago. In the January sales I bought a black jersey dress, a bargain at just £11.50 ... and I'm still wearing it. I'm wearing it as I type and although it has faded, has had dinner spilt on it (messy pup!) and is getting slightly worn in places, it still fits and is still my favourite.
I've no plans to go back on my 1997 resolution. I realised then that you are transgender for life; it's not some passing phase. So I'll keep embracing the good things about it, and my soft, warm jersey dress will keep embracing me.
On a lighter note
I saw this this morning and it made me laugh. So, on the subject of resolutions and life advice after a certain age...
Thoughts for the New Year
1. When one door closes and another door opens, you are probably in prison.
2. To me, "drink responsibly" means don't spill it.
3. Age 60 might be the new 40, but 9:00 pm is the new midnight.
4. It's the start of a brand new day, and I'm off like a herd of turtles.
5. The older I get, the earlier it gets late.
6. When I say, "The other day," I could be referring to any time between yesterday and 15 years ago.
7. I remember being able to get up without making sound effects.
8. I had my patience tested. I'm negative.
9. Remember, if you lose a sock in the dryer, it comes back as a Tupperware lid that doesn't fit any of your containers.
10. If you're sitting in public and a stranger takes the seat next to you, just stare straight ahead and say, "Did you bring the money?"
11. When you ask me what I am doing today, and I say "nothing," it does not mean I am free. It means I am doing nothing.
12. I finally got eight hours of sleep. It took me three days, but whatever.
13. I run like the winded.
14. I hate when a couple argues in public, and I missed the beginning and don't know whose side I'm on.
15. When someone asks what I did over the weekend, I squint and ask, "Why, what did you hear?"
16. When you do squats, are your knees supposed to sound like a goat chewing on an aluminum can stuffed with celery?
17. I don't mean to interrupt people. I just randomly remember things and get really excited.
18. When I ask for directions, please don't use words like "east."
19. Don't bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Spend 30 seconds in my head. That'll freak you right out.
20. Sometimes, someone unexpected comes into your life out of nowhere, makes your heart race, and changes you forever. We call those people cops.
21. My luck is like a bald guy who just won a comb.