Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Timey Wimey for some news

Yes, we did see the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special. In fact my son and I went to see it in 3D at our local cinema. We also have it recorded so will be watching it again in due course.

But.

That's not the news I have.

I've had my latest appointment at the Laurels. I had a 9am appointment with my counsellor and a 12 noon appointment with my doctor.
The first appointment went well even though when I raised a few things S said I'd have to ask the doctor.
So with two hours to kill between appointments I went into Exeter and had a wander around the cathedral for an hour then slowly made my way back to the clinic.

When I saw the doctor we went over how I'd been and then got down to business and discussed what I wanted to know. The upshot of my questions was that we had to pop into the examination room so that I could disrobe, with the medical secretary there so she would be aware of what was discussed.

The first thing I asked was about breast augmentation. When I was about 18 I had gynaecomastia and underwent surgery to remove the excess tissue from the enlarged breast. After 18 months on hormones I have asymmetrical growth, one breast has developed to at least an A cup, the other pretty much flat. My doctor is therefore going to recommend me for reconstructive surgery to get things balanced. Hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later.

The second thing I asked was about electrolysis down below. Again he examined me and confirmed that I would indeed need electrolysis to get everything in a suitable state to allow surgery to go ahead.

Which leads to the final thing we discussed.
Having seen so many of the other girls getting their second opinions and having dates for their surgeries I decided that now might be a good time to at least look at the second opinion. It seems that there is a 2 to 3 month wait for an appointment. That will take me to about February or March.
There is then a wait to get to meet the surgical team and get a date for surgery. As I'm still aiming for surgery after my son has completed his GCSEs that would take me to the summer so if I keep with my plan and agree a later date with them then by next September or October I could be in Brighton having my operation. Which is about the time that I wanted it. If I'd waited until April as planned to ask for my referral then I'd have probably been looking at 2015 for my surgery if not longer.

So now I just have to wait for my second opinion appointment and after that has happened and I've been referred onwards to Brighton then I'll need to tell my family. Something I haven't done yet and will be leaving until after Christmas and I've been to my appointment for my second opinion.

So things are moving and I'm a really happy bunny.

Roll on 2014, its going to be one fabulous year.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Hot Guy

Ten pin bowling. A great game, which my family and I enjoy doing occasionally. Apart from my son who loves it and up until his bone marrow transplant used to play at our town's Saturday morning youth bowling club. After his transplant he eventually went back to playing for a while before deciding that he didn't have the strength and control and stopped going.

About 2 months ago he decided that he wanted to give it another try. We were in town on a Saturday morning and so popped into the bowling centre so he could say hi to everyone. At the same time his mum explained to one of the coaches that we'd always gotten on with about my transition.

For the last 2 months my son has been going along on a Saturday morning, when we've been home, and enjoying a morning of bowling, he's still getting back into things but he's having fun.

Each year our club gets together with some of the clubs from other local towns and has a series of tournaments. There's are a singles, doubles and team competition. Last Saturday was the singles tournament.

My son was told that as it was the singles tournament he could go along and play if he wanted as there wouldn't be any pressure on him to play well like there would be if he was part of team in the other tournaments.

So early on a frosty, Saturday morning we set of on the 30 minute drive to the bowling centre hosting the event. We were early so sat in the car waiting for other people to arrive and for it to open.

Eventually my son and his mum disappeared inside where she dropped him off before we headed off to do a bit of shopping.

An hour or so later we returned and she popped in to see how they'd done and collect him.

As I sat in the car I got a phone call to tell me that they were waiting for the presentation and that my son might have some news for me.

About 10 minutes later the pair of them appeared and got in the car. Yes, my son did have some news for me. Holding out his hands he showed me the medal he'd won. Not for taking part, not for coming third or even second. No, he'd only gone and won the tournament.

It seemed that he'd had an amazing game. In his first two games he'd scored over 148 and 153 respectively. In his final game he'd score 111.

At the end of his first game his score had been passed by his club mates from lane to lane. They had been that impressed.

When it came time for the presentations they had announced the winners in reverse order. Third place had achieved a total of over 400 points. Now they operate a handicap system and so third places score had their handicap applied. This meant that my son's score was going to be higher than that.

By now people were thinking that maybe he'd have gotten second place but when that was announced it wasn't him.

Finally, first place was announced and with a score of over 600 points he'd won, in fact he was the clear winner by over 50 pins. Well you can imagine the ribbing he got from his club-mates and the coaches. They were all proud of him and so were we. The rest of the day when we got back home was spent ringing various family members so that he could tell them about it.

After the tournament we took him to a Harvester restaurant to have lunch. I'd promised that I would take him and his mum there for ages so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Lunch was wonderful. The waiter referred to me and my other half as ladies throughout the meal and we felt really well looked after.
And this is where the title for this post comes in. Not my son's bowling achievement but our waiter.
Oh boy, was he hot looking. Absolutely drop dead gorgeous. Tall, dark and most decidedly handsome. As I said to my other half as we were walking back to the car. I'd not have kicked him out of my bed if I'd found him there on Christmas morning (or any morning or evening for that matter). Now I just need to figure out a reason to go back there again for a meal and maybe try a smoking hot dish this time ;-)

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Last Wednesday (20th November 2013) was the Transgender Day of Remembrance. This is a day where we can remember those that are no longer with us. Those transgender individuals from around the world that it has been possible to identify from media reports that have been murdered for simply being who they are.
On Wednesday I did what I've wanted to do since I heard about TDOR and went to the memorial service that was being held at Bristol City Hall.
The City Council have provided a room to be used free of charge for the memorial for several years. This year there were over 20 people attending.
Cheryl who organised the event spoke to us briefly beforehand and then read through a list of those that have died, there were over 230 people that have been shot, stabbed, stoned, drowned, thrown off bridges, run over by vehicles , strangled and beheaded. Over 230 people that have been identified from media reports around the world.
This doesn't include all those transgender people that have been murdered in countries where it isn't possible to learn about their deaths.
It also doesn't include those that have died at their own hands because the pressures of trying to be themselves, or trying to live as the person that they aren't really, or pressure that arises from being outed in the media, is too much to bare and the only way out is to take their own life.
I'm lucky that I live in a country where, although its possible to get taunted, physically beaten and outed in the media, we don't have the levels of violence against transgender individuals that other countries have.

On Friday I spoke with my contact in HR as the article I'd written about what TDOR and being transgender meant to me had been published on our company diversity and inclusion site. I was interested in finding out what she thought about it. L had not read the piece as she'd wanted to be able to devote time to reading it and digesting it, something that she'd not been able to do up until that point, although she had read the first part.
As I we spoke I told her about Wednesday evening and the numbers involved. I also told her that I'd decided that next year I wanted to do something local. Bristol is a long way to travel and it would be nice to have something for people in the area I live, that might not be able to travel so easily, to attend. I have an idea for a venue already, I just need to start organising something.
As L and I spoke she said that with everything that she thinks its amazing that with everything that I have to deal with that I want to help others. I told her that I'd been lucky that I'd had it so easy with my transition. L's reply was that she didn't think I'd had it that easy. I think we'll have to agree to differ on that one.

For a while now I've been watching others transitioning and seen the difficulties that they've faced. I know I have it easier. I've got a wonderful support network in my family and friends. This would have been a lot harder without them. I know that with a bit of effort I could probably go stealth and maybe one day I will but until then I'm going to look at what I can do to help those transgender men and women that I know that are having a harder time. How I do that is still a work in progress but organising something for next year's Day of Remembrance will be a start.

In the meantime here is a list of those individuals that are no longer with us, who's voices have been stilled. Whether permanently or temporarily, depending on your own spiritual or religious beliefs.


———————————————————————————-
Natália Sotero (age:20)
Cause of death: gunshots
Location of death: Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil
Date of death: July 17th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Rafael da Silva Tavares (age:21)
Cause of death:  six gunshots
Location of death: Baixada Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date of death: July 19th, 2013
source

———————————————————————————-
Valeria (age:30)
Cause of death:  Beaten to death with sticks
Location of death: Conceição do Lago-Açu, Maranhão, Brazil
Date of death: August 1st, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Unknown woman
Cause of death: Stoning, skull crushed.
Location of death: Téofilo Otoni, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Date of death: August 11th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-

Joales dos Santos (age:22)
Cause of death: gunshot at close range to left breast.
Location of death: Parnaíba, Piauí, Brazil
Date of death: August 18, 2013
source

———————————————————————————-
Wagner Paula Rodrigues (age:42)
Cause of death: Stoning
Location of death: Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Date of death: August 24th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Unidentified woman
Cause of death: Severe head injuries, body thrown under a truck
Location: Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Date of death: August 28, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Unidentified woman
Cause of death: Gunshot wound to the head
Location: Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil
Date of death:
June 25th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Otávio Nascimento Valadares (age: 20)
Cause of death: Gunshot wound to the head
Location: Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil
Date of death: June 12th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Unidentified child (age: 13)
Cause of death: hanging
Location: Macaíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Date of death: June 8th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Ronald Feitosa Souza (age:26)
Cause of death: beaten to death, severe head injuries
Location: Colniza, Mato Grosso, Brazil
Date of death: May 23rd, 2013
source

———————————————————————————-
Fábio da Conceição Machado (age: 26)
Cause of death: stoning.
Location: Mumbuca, Mateiros, Tocantins, Brazil
Date of death: May 15th, 2013
source

———————————————————————————-
Jorge Luciano Soares De Oliveira (age: 38)
Cause of death: blow to the head.
Location: Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Date of death: May 12th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
unidentified woman 
Cause of death: bullet to head and leg
Location: Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Date of death: May 11th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Rosa Fernando Domingues (age:36)
Cause of death: stabbed to death. Knive wounds to left eye, neck, and shoulder.
Location: São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil.
Date of death: May 11th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
unidentified woman
Cause of death: multiple gunshot wounds
Location: Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Date of death: February 24th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
unidentified woman
Cause of death: seven stab wounds
Location: Gravataí, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Date of death: February 24th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Joelma
Cause of death: gunshot
Location: Altos, Piauí, Brazil
Date of death: February 9th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Mônica Lewinski (age:38)
Cause of death:
 gunshot wound to the head
Location: 
Curitiba, Paraná , Brazil
Date of death: 
February 8th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
unknown woman
Cause of death: stoned, stabbed in the neck with a broken bottle.
Location:
 Jaboatão Guararapes, Pernambuco, Brazil
Date of death:
January 24th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Nicole Galisteu (age:20)
Cause of death:
 Gunshot
Location:
 Santa Cândida, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil
Date of death: 
January 8th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Stephanie (age:33)
Cause of death: Beaten and strangled to death.
Location:
  Embu das Artes, São Paulo, Brazil
Date of death: 
March 3rd, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Dalvalei José Alves Pereira (age:37)
Cause of death: beheaded and burned with trans partner in their home.
Location:
  Novo Gama, Goiás, Brazil
Date of death:  
December 24th, 2012
source
———————————————————————————-
Camila
Cause of death: beheaded and burned with partner in their home
Location:
  Novo Gama, Goiás, Brazil
Date of death: 
December 24th, 2012
source
———————————————————————————-
Fernanda Queiroz
Cause of death: beaten to death, (multiple blows to the head), body burned. 
Location:
  Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brazil
Date of death: 
November 21st, 2012
source
———————————————————————————-
Angel Francisco Martinez Gonzalez
Cause of death: beaten and shot in the head.
Location:  Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Date of death:
April 11th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Ashley Sinclair
Cause of death: beaten and shot in the head.
Location:  Orlando, Florida, USA
Date of death: 
April 11th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Kelly Young
Cause of death: Gunshot
Location:  Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Date of death: 
April 3rd, 2013
source

———————————————————————————-
Palmira Garcia (age:37)
Cause of death: partially scalped, signs of torture, laceration to face.
Location:  Las Marvales, Venezuela 
Date of death: 
Feburary 5th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Gaye
Cause of death: strangulation
Location:  Istanbul, Turkey
Date of death: 
July 29th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Naomi Estrada (age:19)
Cause of death: two gunshots to the head and chest
Location:  Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Date of death: 
Feburary 1st, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Karen
Cause of death: multiple stab wounds, beheaded.
Location:  Zimatlán de Alvarez, Oaxaca, Mexico.  
Date of death: 
January 28th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
“Tiffany” Wesley Holder (age 19)
Cause of death: multiple stab wounds.
Location:  Georgetown, Guyana
Date of death: 
January 11th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Adán Amilcar Iglesias (age 20)
Cause of death: four gunshot wounds to the head
Location: El Carmen, Honduras
Date of death: 
March 4, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Daniel Mendoza Ricardo Macias (age:23)
Cause of death: multiple stab wounds.
Location:  Montemorelos, Nuevo León, Mexico
Date of death: 
January 9th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————
Domonique Newburn (age:31)
Cause of death: multiple stab wounds.
Location:  Fontana, California, USA
Date of death: 
August 20th, 2013
source

———————————————————————————-
Islan Nettles (age:21)
Cause of death: blunt force trauma
Location:  Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Date of death:
August 17th, 2013
source

———————————————————————————-
Dwayne Jones  (age 16)
Cause of death: beaten, stabbed, shot & run over by a car.
Location: Montego Bay, Jamaica
Date of death: 
July 22nd, 2013
source

———————————————————————————-
Cemia “CeCe” Dove (age:23)
Cause of death: multiple stab wounds, tied with a rope to a block of concrete and thrown in pond.
Location:  Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Date of death: 
March 27th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Renato Espinosa Reyes (age:23)
Cause of death: multiple gunshot wounds
Location:  Toluca, Mexico
Date of death: 
December 5, 2012
source
———————————————————————————-
Yeison Ramirez Acosta (age:22)
Cause of death: multiple stab wounds to the face, chest, and abdomen
Location:  Avenida Lequerica Velez Magangue, Bolivar, Colombia
Date of death: 
December 2012
source
———————————————————————————-
Eyricka Morgan  (age:26)
Cause of death: stabbing
Location:  New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
Date of death:
September 24th, 2013
source

———————————————————————————-

Mylene (age:42)
Cause of death: blugeoned to death with a hammer
Location of death: Limoges, France
Date of death: July 24th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Evon Young (age:22)
Cause of death: tied up, beaten with fists and other objects, choked with a chain, had a bag taped over his head, shot, set on fire, and discarded into a dumpster.
Location of death: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Date of death: January 1st, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Artegus Konyale Madden (age:37)
Cause of death: Gunshot wound to the neck
Location: Savannah, Texas, USA
Date of death: September 1st, 2013
source

———————————————————————————-
Dora Oezer (age:24)
Cause of death: stabbed to death
Location: Kuşadası, Turkey
Date of death: July 9th, 2013
source

———————————————————————————-
Unknown woman
Cause of death: Gunshot wound to head and chest.
Location: Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil
Date of death: October 25th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Natascha (age:27)
Cause of death: Gun shot wound
Location:  Várzea Grande, Mato Grosso, Brazil 
Date of death: 
October 10th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Brunete Nascimento Chagas (age:22)
Cause of death:head trauma, beaten to death with sticks
Location: Marituba, Pará, Brazil
Date of death: 
October 06th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Unknown woman
Cause of death: Gunshot wound
Location: Parnamirim, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Date of death: 
October 23rd, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Unknown woman
Cause of death: Found floating in a gully
Location: Houston, Texas, USA
Date of death:
July 07th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Unknown woman
Cause of death: strangled, body dumped in a pasture
Location: Sertanópolis, Paraná, Brazil
Date of death: 
October 14th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Unknown woman
Cause of death: stabbed in the neck
Location: Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
Date of death: 
October 18th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Hilary Molina Mendiola
Cause of death: thrown naked from a bridge
Location: 
Mexico City, Mexico
Date of death:
 September 22nd, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
S. Athiswaran (age:31)
Cause of death: Multiple stab wounds, hands and legs were tied with a string, face was also covered with plastic
Location:  
Bagan Ajam, Penang, Malaysia
Date of death: October 13, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Gunce Hatun
Cause of death: stabbed in the chest
Location: 
Beylikdüzü, Istanbul,Turkey
Date of death: December 12, 2012
source
———————————————————————————-
Unidentified woman
Cause of death:  4 gunshot wounds
Location: 
Santa Rita, Paraíba, Brazil
Date of death: September 24th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Diamond Williams (age:31)
Cause of death: dismembered, and body parts thrown in a field.
Location:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Date of death: July 14th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Terry Golston
Cause of death: Gunshot
Location: Shreveport,Louisiana, USA
Date of death: September 6, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Jock Maurice McKinney (aka Valarie)
Cause of death: a single gunshot wound to the lower body.
Location: Shreveport,Louisiana, USA
Date of death: July 12th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Dicky Othman
Cause of death: hands and legs bound, and her mouth stuffed with a piece of cloth
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date of death: December 4th, 2012
source

———————————————————————————-
Fatima Woods (age:53)
Cause of death: stabbed twice in the torso
Location: Rochester, New York, USA
Date of death: May 30th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Melony Smith (age:28)
Cause of death: beaten to death
Location: Baldwin Park, California, USA
Date of death: September 9th, 2013
source

———————————————————————————-
unknown woman (age:18)
Cause of death: gunshot
Location:  Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil
Date of death: September 11th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
“Maiara” Castro Da Silva (age:23)
Cause of death: unknown, body dumped, in advanced state of decomposition
Location:  Porto Velho, Rondônia, Brazil
Date of death: September 9th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Unidentified woman (age:21)
Cause of death: stoned, shot, and beaten to death.
Location of death: Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil
Date of death: September 5th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Unidentified woman
Cause of death: multiple gunshot wounds
Location of death: Nova Serrana, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Date of death: September 10th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Unidentified woman
Cause of death: gunshot
Location of death: Maringá, Paraná, Brazil
Date of death: September 6th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Unidentified woman
Cause of death: stabbed, found dumped in a stream in an advanced state of decompisition
Location of death: Porto Velho, Rondônia, Brazil
Date of death: September 9th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Unidentified woman
Cause of death: unknown, body dumped in trash can.
Location of death: Detroit, Michigan, USA
Date of death: November 8th, 2013
source
———————————————————————————-
Amari White (age:22)
Cause of death: multiple gunshot wounds
Location of death: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Date of death: November 9th, 2013
source

The above list was obtained from http://www.transgenderdor.org/memorializing-2013

Friday, 15 November 2013

Shimmy shimmy


My burlesque has taken a bit of a backseat over the last few months due to a number of things, not least the fact that I've not been able to get to Bristol. I'm hoping that from next month I can remedy that.

In the meantime I've decided to expand my dance repertoire and as of yesterday evening I started to do just that.

Yes, as I mentioned after my tarot reading, I went along to my first belly dance class last night.

I managed to rustle up some things to wear, including a bit of shopping to buy a new top and a pair of non-slippery ballet pump style shoes. Hey a girl can never have too many shoes!! And I seem to be starting to build up quite a selection.

The class was in the skittle alley of a local pub so I turned up at the appointed time and found C, the teacher and the lady who runs the pub waiting.

I quickly swapped my jeans for the skirt and tied a lovely, jingly coin scarf around my waist.

One other lady joined us with the remainder of the class having apologized for being unable to make it.

It was hard work.

Although some of the movements were very similar to some of the ones I use in burlesque. Waist circles are similar to bump and grind movements. Shoulder shimmys are similar to their burlesque equivalent, except that I have to learn to not move my arms and hands as much.

Trying to piece some of the movements together with the music was challenging and a couple of times I had to stop and simply watch what the others were doing in order to try and figure it out, and for the most part I managed to do that.

There were some interesting moves which I'd not tried before. The head slide was a particular good one as you have to hold the body still and move the head from side to side while keeping it upright. C was impressed when I managed to do that first time, so was I.

Its going to be challenging but I'm going to stick with it. The good thing about it is that I can practice at home, without really needing any additional equipment, any time I want (even when cooking dinner).

I have to admit that in some ways it might have been nice to have done the same as I did with burlesque and have a number of one-to-one lessons to get me up to speed but I'm going to stick with going to the weekly classes as they look like they are going to be fun.

I'm not sure that I'll be up to performing as part of a troupe but I certainly want to get to the point where I can perform and already have some ideas about combining burlesque and belly dance in the same routines but then I've got a stack of ideas for burlesque routines that I need to work on. Who would have thought that the person with two left feet, who rarely ventured onto the dance floor and would never have considered going on stage, could find themselves enjoying dancing and performing so much.

Between now and next Thursday I'm going to find as much time as I can to practice what I remember of what we were taught and hopefully I'll be able to do the moves without having to stop to watch what others are doing.

One thing that did make me smile was at the end of the class. As I was changing back into my jeans the lady that runs the pub asked if I wanted to use the ladies to get changed. I didn't need to as it was easy to slip my jeans on under the skirt and then take off the skirt but it did show that once again I must be doing something right.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Waiting

In January it will be two years since I transitioned. Two years of RLE completed :-)
Earlier this year the rules that the NHS  use for gender reassignment surgery changed so that you only need a single year of RLE before you are eligible for surgery. So as of April I was eligible to get my second opinion and then surgery.
I've always said that I'm looking at surgery at the end of next year. Mostly because it wasn't fair to distract my son with something like that during the year that he will be taking his GCSE examinations but also because my father-in-law has terminal cancer and I need to be there for my wife when he passes and she doesn't need the addition stress of me undergoing major surgery.

Father-in-law is still alive, which is something that even the doctors didn't think would be the case two years ago when he had surgery and I'm grateful for that because it gave me the chance to tell him that I can't think of anyone else that I'd rather have had as a father-in-law.

Still as I watch some of the other women from the Laurels GIC preparing for their own GRS I feel frustrated that I have another 6 months to go before I will be asking to have my own second opinion so that I can set the date for my own surgery.

6 months more of waiting patiently. Deep breath and sigh. Soon babycakes, not much longer until your complete.

:-)

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Community

Having read Cass's recent post that touched on community I had to share what happened today when I decided to participate in one of the communities that I'm part of.
Which one? Church. For the first time since I transitioned I went to a Sunday morning service without my family. Just me. On my own.

I've been to church on my own but its only been to evening services and not morning ones.

I'd not planned on going on my own today because its one of those services that we have at a local community centre and not the normal church building. We should have gone as a family but today my lovely family decided that they weren't going to get up in time to get ready to go, in fact it was 9 before my son emerged from the depths of his bed and shortly after that my other half emerged to bury herself in a mug of tea.

So with the rest of the family still half asleep I decided I'd get ready to go out but had decided I'd go and do some shopping. Even up until the last minute I wasn't going to go to church. Then as I was putting my boots on I decided that I would go.

Now the last time I went to the community centre service I found myself feeling very uncomfortable as pretty much everybody was ignoring me after the service. Before I'd transitioned I'd have had chats with lots of people. So with how I'd felt last time I decided I'd go along on my own and see what happened. If nobody spoke to me after the service then I'd leave my family to go on their own in future.

I arrived with a few minutes to spare and found a seat. One of the other families came and sat next to me saying hello and I chatted to the father briefly. The service was good, the choice of songs was good and I happily sang along to them, even going so far as to sway to a couple of them. Miss Von Risque, my burlesque alter-ego, has a lot to answer for at times.

At the end of the service I put my chair away and then made my way towards the exit. The vicar's wife said hello as we passed each other but I didn't speak to anyone else. Just before I reached the exit I got held up as everyone had to squeeze through a narrow gap between some chairs and a table. Coming the other way was K, an old friend of mine. I stopped and when it was clear waved her through. I'd seen her when I'd arrived as she was handing out service sheets and had said hello to each other.

As she was passing she stopped to say hello and then asked if I was going to get a coffee. Well I couldn't say no as we've so rarely talked since I've transitioned. The last time we saw each other we were stood in the queue waiting to get tickets at the local cinema.

Having grabbed a coffee we stood and chatted for a good 10 to 15 minutes catching up on what each other had been doing. We talked about my work, my son, my other half's new job, and about what's happening in her life. It was fabulous to be able to catch up with her.

The one piece of news that she had for me made me so happy to hear as its something that I think she deserves because she's been through such a hard time over the years.

Thanks to K I still feel as if I'm part of the church community which is something that I was beginning to think wasn't true so thanks to her I might just carry on going to the community centre services for a while longer.