WARNING! Here be dragons, again. Ranty Sarah is in the house.
Ever had one of those weeks that feels like someone punching you repeatedly in the crotch? Yeah, one of those. This week has been, well, tiring, yet every night, without fail, I’m awake at to see 3:00am, either, like tonight, falling asleep exhausted at 20:00 and waking up, from a particularly odd but interesting dream, at 23:55 thinking it’s the morning, or lying in the dark wondering if sleep has gone off on a bender somewhere leaving me all alone with my thoughts.
So, without burdening you with the sheer weight of silliness and stress this week has been, I’ll briefly summarise the fun points of the last four days; my favourite cat (yeah, I know you shouldn’t have favourites, I love all those monsters, but this cat has a special place in my heart) had an infection in her mouth that I hadn’t noticed, and needed a couple of teeth removed under anaesthesia on Monday; when I was at college my two year old dog, who I loved a lot, had a similar thing and went to the vet for exactly the same op; she died when they injected her, a reaction to the anaesthetic. So Monday was rough for me; I spent all weekend worried about it. My car started to leak on me when it rained (long story), took that to the garage on Tuesday and they told me it would be a grand to fix it. And that they couldn’t, because they don’t do bodywork. So, took the car to a bodywork place, they stripped the seals (soft top, windscreen mount corrosion), fixed the metal; I took the car back to the Audi garage and they went ‘err, we can’t refit the seals. That will be another grand. And we don’t have the parts so we’ll have to keep the car until April 7th to fix it.
Wednesday was different. I had to give a live deep dive technical demo to an important customer. I was a bit worried because it was five things at once, had it all prepared. Ten minutes before the demo, powercut. Power is off for two hours, miss the demo.
Thursday I saw the doctor about my feet; in lockdown I’ve gone a little, well, mad, and. a side-effect of that is excessive exercise; last Saturday.I walked another marathon distance on hot tarmac (I’ve been averaging a marathon a week) and my feet have, well, suffered. Good news is I haven’t done any real permanent damage, but it’s bye=bye at least four toenails, I have a swollen lump on the tendon on the bottom of the right foot and I have blisters under callouses. Oh, and my ankle popped as I walked the eight miles back from the garage having not picked up my car, a round trip of 16 miles on hot tarmac, six of which I did with a screaming ankle.
Yeah, that kind of week.
So I find myself awake at the magic three o’clock in the morning and, you know, I actually enjoy it. The world is quiet, I’m all alone in my mind and my bed, and it gives me a chance to, well, wander around in the pink silliness that is the inside of my head.
It is amazing what the mind throws up at this time in the morning; they used to call midnight the witching hour, but to me it’s that quiet time between 2:00 and 4:00, a time when the majority of people die (it’s all to do with the biorhythm; this time of morning is the reboot). My brain jumps around a lot; dipping back into distant memories, like the Gang Show one from last time, or just ruminating life in general.
We feel like we are on the verge of starting the trip back to reality, and it occurs to me that I’ve kinda forgotten what that reality is, both from the drab side of me and Sarah. It’s hard to stay grounded and focused in these kind of stress full times, and what I am finding at the moment is a lot of the construct I had in my mind as to who I am, who I wanted to be and who I was has crumbled a bit. Could be a good thing, could be a bad, but it is what it is.
Part of this, to put it a little more technically, ‘base rewrite’ is a long hard look at not so much where and who I am, but more who I want to be.
Reason I raise this is during the doctor’s appointment, which was with a lovely young female doctor (masked of course) who seemed genuinely concerned in a proper human way about my feet, I came very, very close to breaking down in tears about my gender.
That’s never happened before. And I was talking about my damn feet. But there was a sudden compulsion to tell the doctor that I was critically unhappy; that living with the constant pressure of pretending to be something I’m not was suddenly too hard. I wanted to ask, no, *beg* for hormones. For something to take away the brutish anger, the self-loathing at the coarse masculinity. To just be able to be ‘soft’, to be able to just breathe out in a feminine way, to delight in things that are beautiful, to me.
I didn’t, of course. The hard-wired man in me put his (swollen and bruised) foot down hard before I could blurt it out, but it was an odd and interesting sensation. That sudden need to just be someone else, even if that someone else is the real me, came over me like a wave.
Yes, it was probably just an avalanche of crap from the week, combined with the looming anniversary of a year under lockdown. But the feeling was so raw and so insistent it took a huge amount of effort not to literally beg the doctor to help.
One of the reasons I mention this is that it was International Transgender Day of Visibility yesterday and like a huge number of people, some of which who have said it on various Social Media, I couldn’t contribute in any way. See, if you are a ‘casual’, and I use that word in the most ironic sense given the internal pressure I feel at times to be feminine, cross-dresser you feel like a fraud to stand up and wave the ‘T’ flag. The community is so varied and, to be honest, opinionated that people like me, who haven’t for whatever reason committed to a full-time life in feminine attire and mannerisms, can be sidelined.
And the nature of our own self-guilt and self-loathing, which seems to be a common thread amongst a lot of cross-dressers, means that we, or at least I (grant me the royal ‘we’, it’s that time in the morning) means that a day like the TDAV is actually pretty negative for us. You feel even more of a fraud, even more of a failure.
We all know that the whole spectrum of gender identity isn’t binary, that’s the whole point and problem. It’s just, being honest, that kind of day make me feel even more ostracised. Don’t read this as an attack on TDAV, it’s not that at all. It’s just the prominence of that kind of day highlights for me the fact that I don’t belong in any community, the red-blooded mysogynists or the T-world. And that’s saddening.
It’s not a call for pity either; part of my personal make-up means I’m proud of what I am; I stand over the line you shouldn’t cross. I have a foot on both banks and I love to think that makes me more of a complete person. But even for an introverted shy person like myself we like to feel that we belong, and on a day like TDAV I feel more alone than ever.
Again, insomnia and the witching hour rips apart any pretension or veil.
There are times when I look at the pictures of Sarah and all I see is a middle aged man in a dress. There are times when I look and I see a vulnerable woman. On days like TDAV you can guess what I see.
And as we are on a bit of a rant….
Why does J.K.Rowling make me so angry?
I enjoyed Harry Potter. There, said it. When it became popular it was looked down on as being books for kids, which it was, but it was a reasonable story. The whole arc got a bit self-indulgent and a lot of JKRs personal grudges were obviously visible, but it was entertaining light fiction, not a religion (yet).
I grew up in the same area as JKR. We had a very similar upbringing, literally only five or so miles apart at the same time. I always identified with her because of that.
Until she started tweeting and I saw exactly what kind of person she was; talented in one way but terribly flawed and quite vicious in another. Go look at some of her ‘putdowns’ and she’s nasty, spiteful and vindictive.
And that’s fine. Lot’s of people are; when you use social media you don’t have the normal shields and empathy you get when talking directly to someone’s face. Her views on what makes a ‘woman’ I found very distasteful and bigoted, but again, everyone is entitled to their opinion.
And then she played the abuse card.
That’s when I got very, very angry with her. The majority of people I know have had some level of abuse during their life; personally I had a terribly abusive childhood, both mentally and, as memories start to surface, physically (I suddenly remembered yesterday a time when I went to hospital as a young kid, being driven in the car by my parents, with a shattered little finger, with them telling me to tell the nurses that I had tripped going down the stairs when in reality my father had bent it back to ‘tell me off’ for some unknown slight against my valium-addicted mother and had literally snapped it – another suppressed nugget of fun). To use the excuse of being abused to explain a sarcastic nasty attack on transgendered people is and was utterly appalling.
“I was abused so that allows me to vindictively destroy other people’s fragile self-esteem’. Put like that you can see how horrible that is. And that makes me very angry.
What makes it worse is that it feels, to me, like a lie. And the problem with that is that if it isn’t it is destructive to abused people. You can’t throw that into people’s faces as an excuse for abuse.
Again, it’s a bad time right now but for some reason this really incenses me.
Don’t let trans-people into our ‘safe spaces’!
Following on from the nasty stuff JKR has said I got a little cross about this as well. See, the men’s toilet is a bloody awful place. I am a pretty imposing (she says modestly) person when in drab and I get unnerved using a bathroom, especially in pubs. There’s always someone a little too drunk in there and it’s either a case that they want to be your friend (and believe me, the last place I want to strike up a casual conversation is when I’m stood in front of a metal trough with my genitals in my hand trying to squeeze out four pints of water as fast as I can) or they want a fight, period. The men’s toilet is a very dangerous place for men in general.
The idea of using a men’s toilet when I’m fully dressed and behaving as a woman is terrifying. I personally feel very vulnerable when dressed; I’m not a man when I’m dressed, that’s the whole point. Violence has always appalled me; in the army I used to get physically sick after an engagement, I hate conflict. Even dressed conservatively if I walked into the majority of toilets in public establishments I would get stared at, mocked, verbally attacked, physically attacked or sexually attacked. Period.
There’s just something unpleasantly feral about male toilets.
I have used women’s toilets a number of times when out and about dressed. They are safer places; for a start there are stalls. A trans-person/cross-dresser is not going into a woman’s toilet on the prowl; they are going there to excrete waste. This assumption that every man in a dress is a sexual predator/sexual pervert is grossly offensive and misses the point entirely as to why the man is dressed as a woman in the first place.
The likelihood of a trans-person getting assaulted in a men’s toilet compared to a woman getting assaulted by a trans-person in a woman’s toilet isn’t even comparable.
The real question for me is this – where am I meant to go when I need a toilet and I’m Sarah? The problem is that there are two answers to this; the first is to make all toilets gender-neutral. The downside is that this will put women at risk, especially in places where alcohol is served. That’s a terrible reality of the gender based society we live in. The second answer is to have specific trans bathrooms. But this can be seen as offensive, rightfully, to fully transitioned women.
It’s a very hard question but I’m going to be contentious on this; I have as much right to be safe as anyone else. Currently the rights of the trans-person, in whatever form they are, seem to matter less than women’s rights, and that is shocking once you realise the depth of what that means.
Want to impress me online? Send me a picture of a rose, not your cock
Regardless of what we think or try to portray human beings are sexual animals. And Social Media is a terrible place to try and have a conversation with someone. You get none of the usual subconscious clues as to the person’s motive; any statement can and has to be taken at literal face value. I spend a lot of time on Social Media as Sarah; it’s a way that I can embrace the women I love inside in a way I never could before.
And there are a lot of lonely people out there. Even though we have massive communications now they are making us more alone than ever, especially during the pandemic. Not being able to meet people physically is very difficult, even for the natural hermits, like me, amongst us.
The T’community, in all its facets, has always been a tale of two genders. As someone on the feminine side of the fence I will post pictures, write blogs, express myself in a feminine way, as much as I can. From my perspective this is slightly skewed; the person I portray online is a construct, my interpretation of what a woman is.
If you are an ardent reader of this blog (and if so, I LOVE you) then you know where my tastes lie; I love retro and vintage clothing; to me that personifies femininity. It’s how I want women to be and as styles and tastes have moved on and constantly change, women don’t dress or behave that way anymore. I’m more than happy to adopt those styles and mannerisms; it’s what gives me that wonderful delicious feeling deep inside my soul.
On the masculine side of the T’community we have, and I don’t like the term, ‘admirers’. I’m very lucky in that I can jump back and forth over the fence depending on my mood (and possibly the amount of estrogen flowing through my veins at any time). There are some wonderful and lovely admirers out there who know exactly what to say and do to make us girls blush and giggle. And then there are some others for whom the whole scene is, well, different.
Reason I’m writing about this is I just checked my Facebook Messenger spam folder. I do it occasionally, and I do it with a sense of dread as it is always, unceasingly full of pictures of men’s cocks.
Don’t get me wrong; there are certain days and certain times when Sarah, bless her and her unsatisfied libido, wants to look at male genitalia. But the key word here is ‘solicited’. I’ve always said, and always will, that whatever happens between two consenting adults, regardless of their biological gender, is completely OK. I’ve had late night back-and-forth online chats with the most delightful and interesting admirers. And I’ve sent them various pictures of Sarah, and got pictures from them.
However, sending unsolicited pictures of your genitals to someone you fancy seems a bit, well, rapey if you’ll excuse the use of that word. It reeks of shock value; what does the person expect the girl, biological or not, to do with that? I don’t get the vapours when I open a message and someone’s one-eyed snake is staring back at me. I don’t get angry or frustrated. I just delete the message. I truly don’t understand what the sender is expecting – ‘oh, you’re so big! I’ll chuck on a frock and some lipstick and come right over!’. Has that literally ever happened?
If you have never talked to me online and you are attracted to me, thank you; I dress as a woman in a way that is meant to be attractive, primarily to me and also to Sarah. Send Sarah a rose. Or a complement.
It may be old fashioned but try to imagine the person you are talking to is someone you love; not lust after, love. Treat them nicely. It will make you feel better, and them feel special. Spread some love, we all need it right now.
4:30am. Rant and vent over, think it’s time to try and get some sleep and maybe let Sarah have some dreams of gorgeous frocks, perfume and quality girl-time.
Stay beautiful, stay sane and try to keep your sleep patterns healthy….