Sunday, 20 October 2013

What the future holds

On Saturday I did something I've not done for quite some time. I went for a tarot reading.

Over the last couple of months I've been tempted to get a reading done. I was told that someone I know does them but I could never get up the nerve to discuss it with them, so I was looking to see if there was someone in the area that did them. As luck would have it The Emporium in the town centre has someone that uses one of their rooms to do readings and other therapies.

About two months ago I was contemplating contacting them but in the end changed my mind. Last weekend I decided I'd make an appointment with the result that yesterday afternoon I turned up and met C who was a really lovely lady.

In addition to tarot reading C does a number of other complimentary therapies and also teaches belly dancing (more about that later).

As mentioned above I have had tarot readings before, in fact at one point I did a tarot reading course myself.

Now as a Christian tarot reading and similar things are frowned upon so I was always going to be having to listen to what was being said and filtering it through my faith afterwards. I've also had dealings with spiritualists in the past where they were completely wide of the mark. One commented on a picture that I'd provided to say that my son was a wonderful child. At that point I'd not had my son and the child in question was my nephew, if someone can't get that fact right then I'm not going to give any credence to what they have to say.

Anyway, back to yesterday and C greeted me near the cafe in the Emporium. We went up to her room and sat down at a table next to the window. She explained what was going to happen and gave me the pack of tarot cards to shuffle. While I was doing that I said to her "as you've probably realised I'm transsexual." I'd seen on her website that she has worked with transsexuals so I was happy that it wouldn't be a problem but I didn't want any confusion with the reading. C responded by telling me that she'd not realised. Doh! I'd outed myself without needing to. Still it was helpful as being transgender came up as we talked during the reading.

Over the next hour I had C did two spreads. The first being a general one and the second being a bit more specific and of the "where do I go from here " variety.

Without going into detail the first reading highlighted that I've got things I need to resolve and that there is an emotional element to it. None of it is going to happen quick but things will occur in their own time. When they do it will be because I'm ready for them to happen.

Now there are a few things that have been on my mind which fall into those categories. How am I going to progress my burlesque? What do I do with regards to my position and work? Do I do more to support people like myself? Writing the two articles for our work's intranet, seeing how people I know are struggling and also how we get discriminated against as well as physically, verbally and emotionally abused has made me wonder if there are things that I can do to improve things for us.

Reading through some of the material that my son is being taught at school, the other day, about discrimination which mentioned racism, homophobia, religious discrimination and sexism left me with slightly disappointed. Under the sexism heading they were basically being taught what to me was almost outdated. Yes, there is discrimination based on whether you are male or female still exists but what was written in no way hinted at what transgender individuals go through. I suppose that's because the people that write this material have no understanding of what we go through. I was sorely tempted to contact the school and point out that their outlook is a bit narrow in that area. Maybe I will, I haven't decided yet.

Having completed the first reading C did the second one that asked where I go from this point. Again this highlighted the fact that things will happen but when the time is right and I'm prepared for them. When they do then things will take off at speed and it looks like I'm in for quite a ride! If what the cards were suggesting happens then whatever are they were addressing will mean that I leave a mark on things.

Thinking about the second reading I don't think that it relates to work and what I've been thinking about there. It could do because I've been thinking about moving into another role which would mean visiting other company sites, meeting new people and potentially visiting customer sites. Its not something that would happen quickly as its a brand new area for me and I'd have to learn lots of new skills. Still I'm not convinced that its what I want to do. I have ideas for what I want to do but this role wouldn't necessary be it.

It could related to my burlesque because I've been thinking about learning to teach as well as figuring out how to perform more than I have been. I know that I want to do more with it but I've been struggling with a number of things related to it. Am I good enough, would people want to see me perform, even my own pre-op situation and how it affects my performances.

Whatever the reading related to I'm sure it will reveal itself in due course and that whatever it is will happen at the right time and I'll be prepared for it.

Now as for the belly dancing that I mentioned earlier when we were chatting afterwards C mentioned that she did the classes at a venue near where she lives. It turns out that she literally lives around the corner from me and the classes are held in the skittle alley of the pub. The classes are held on a Thursday evening and are quite cheap, cheaper than what I was paying to go up to burlesque classes in Bristol, especially once you include the cost of petrol.

One of the things that has come from the burlesque classes I've been to, working with the girls and especially working with Poppy is that we don't restrict ourselves to what people might think of as traditional burlesque. We're more than happy to borrow from other art forms to help us make our performances entertaining and also different. So with that in mind, in November when I've finished with what I'm doing on a Thursday night then I'll be contacting C and arranging to go to her belly dancing classes so that I can add another skill to my performance repetoir.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

First time out in tights

I was reading Stana's post Hair Envy and came across the picture of Robert Vaughn in tights and a tunic. It immediately brought back memories of the first time that I ever wore tights in public.

I've always had a vivid imagination and was fairly creative when I was younger, something that I sort of buried as I got older and started work but which I've rediscovered over the last few years through blogging and burlesque. I remember I could sit and draw for hours, even using the same drawing to tell a story by erasing parts of it that had happened and adding in bits that were happening at a later time, when I was exploring my feminine side at home I used to work out stories to help me and would write out these stories and then act them out when everybody was out.

On one occasion when I was in junior school we had to do come up with a short sketch during an English class. My group decided on a Batman themed sketch (no tights were involved with this) and at one point I needed to answer the Bat Phone. With no ready props I grabbed hold of one of my classmates pigtails and used them as the phone. I'm fairly sure that she was OK with that. That was also the time that I learned how resilient the human body can be when I responded to a punch by throwing myself upwards into the air and landing on my back on the floor and then got back up and carried on.

When I moved on to secondary school we ended up in small groups on one occasion where we had to work on a short sketch and then present it to the rest of the class. Our sketch had a medieval theme. We were allowed to use whatever props and costumes we wanted. Being quite enthusiastic about the idea I persuaded my mum to make me a tunic to wear. Of course modern trousers wouldn't go with the costume and without doing any research on costumes for the era at the library I drew on all those Robin Hood films I watched while growing up and decided that a pair of tights would be sufficient.

The day we put on our sketch I found that I was the only one that had made the effort with a costume. Undeterred I carried on and got changed into the tunic and tights and did the sketch with the rest of the group. It was good fun and because it was drama you could get away with it.

So there you have it, my first time "out" in tights was when I was about 14 years old and at school.

A big thank you to Stana for the post as it brought back a memory that I'd not thought about in a long, long time and has given me something to explore as to why I let my creative side get suppressed for such a long time.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

A walk in the park

Or more accurately a 5 kilometer run in the park.
For a number of years I've heard about events called Parkruns but as far as I knew they were something that happened in London. Not the most convenient of places for me to get to on a Saturday morning as I live roughly a 3 hour drive away.

The runs are free to enter which makes them an ideal way to get out and do that short training run with a group of other people of all abilities. All I had to do was register and then take along a piece of paper with the barcode that is assigned to me. That gets scanned along with a position tag after you'd crossed the finish line. Reasonably low tech and simple.

As this was my first run I wanted to put in a good effort and get a reasonable time that I can improve on. In the end I managed 29 minutes and 2 seconds. The entire run is within the grounds of Montacute House and so is off road with a lovely undulating terrain. Its not hilly although there is one short climb towards the end which I did drop to a walk to get to the top of. My incentive for the future is to have enough energy to get to the top of that hill without stopping to walk.

As I'm doing the Grizzly next March which is going to require some serious training so I'm hoping to see my parkrun times improve as I get further into the training and closer to the race date. If I don't then I might get a little bit worried come race day.

The one thing that I did thing hard about was which gender to enter under. I contacted the parkrun organisation to get their take on it and was told I could enter under either gender. In the end I registered as a male simply because at 9am on a Saturday morning I am not going to be wearing make-up to run (and wearing make-up is something that I still have to do in order to give people that little extra helping hand to see me as female).
I'm glad that I took that decision because looking at the results I came 51st overall, 44th male. If I'd registered as female then I still would have come 51st but I'd have been 8th female. Now that last bit is worrying as with a bit of serious training I could actually get to the point of getting a reasonably good position which opens up the debate of what gender transsexuals should be allowed to enter races under, and as its Saturday lunchtime and I have gammon and chips to cook for the family I'll have to leave my thoughts on that for another time.