At some point I’m going to stop apologising at the start of these blogs; I’ve been busy work wise and also had some very interesting ups and downs when it comes to dear Sarah, hence my lack of posts. Also, it’s starting to come into summer over here and so I’ve been kicking the tyres on the bike (translation, doing too many miles and wondering why various bits of my body, already sore and on the edge of breaking are, well, breaking).
Anyway, it’s been another interesting couple of weeks in the on-going battle internally between her, fuelled by a roller-coaster of hormones (yes, I’m still tinkering), and him, who has been feeling alternately wretched and full of the joys of Spring; maybe there is something to this bi-polar stuff, or rather tri-polar as she has a completely different set of emotions, worries, loves and drives than him.
Yeah, it’s going to be one of *those* posts, so stick with me, or just look at the pictures and captions as I’ll put lots in to cheer up the whole thing.
So last Wednesday I was in London for, of all things, an Xmas do. Due to Covid and other things my team hasn’t had an Xmas do in three years, and rather than wait for the inevitable and over-busy period at the end of the year we decided to have one early in the year.
Actually, wind that back a little. The story actually starts on Monday; I was in Bristol for some cool work (with robots) and went out drinking with a colleague who is trans. She’s very sweet and a great person to go drinking with, but she’s currently on the wagon due to excesses that sound very similar to my behaviours. Anyway, her partner came along and we got talking about just how Bristol has changed – when I was growing up there in the 70s and 80s it was rampantly homophobic and racist; now it’s delightfully gentrified and somehow not my Bristol. With my internal struggles it was a little poignant and sad to realise that the person I am now, regardless of what gender I am at any moment, is not the person I was when I was a Bristolian. If Bristol had been the way it is now then, I would be a much different person.
So fast forward to Wednesday; copious amounts of alcohol were consumed (and yes, I have a drinking problem of sorts; I have social anxiety which is probably/definitely down to the whole gender confuddlement) and we ended up in a very lud and shouty cocktail pub at 2:00am. The conversation got onto trans and the people I was with were painfully ignorant of the hassles trans people have, regardless of where they are on the (massive) spectrum .
And it was of those moments where my mind went quiet. Should I engage with the conversation and put on the macho-crap disguise, chortling at the discussions about hairy men in dresses using the ladies? Should I hell.
Long story short I brought the conversation to a stunning halt using only four words.
“You realise I’m trans?”
Yes, I was drunk but wow, cathartic doesn’t begin to describe how that felt. Dumbfounded is a good word for their faces.
And then something lovely happened, and normally I hesitate to use that word when describing a bunch of drunken idiots in a bar clutching expensive pints of Mojito, but it was a perfect word.
They were completely understanding. And that almost made me speechless. None of the hatred, anger, disgust I have expected my entire life. Just genuine interest, in why, how, what. Respectful questions, warm tones.
Hellfire, I didn’t expect that. Cue lots of showing of pictures off of my phone, cue lots of utter amazement (granted, it takes a lot of makeup and a gifted makeup artist to make Sarah shine but still) at the massive difference between him and her.
And then something else that I didn’t think would happen in a thousand years.
“We want to go out drinking with Sarah. She seems a lot more fun than you.”
I’ll take that as a complement.
Thursday morning I woke up with a hangover, obviously, but no guilt for the first time that I can remember. All of my fears about revealing her to people I work with just evaporated. And, give my friends their due, the trans-ignorant discussions weren’t cruel, just misinformed.
Only downside is we are coming into Summer, which is when I hibernate Sarah – doing makeover sessions in 30+C isn’t fun at all; men sweat, women perspire and cross-dressers aren’t allowed to do either in case the mascara runs. I do have a couple of sessions in the diary though, otherwise I’d be climbing the walls. Which is hard in heels.
Stay beautiful and occasionally surprise yourself. It’s terrifying and fun.