Monday, 23 December 2013

Latest photos...

Every so often, I go to Trans-Femme in Swindon in the UK for some photos to be done.  Being made up and photographed is a really great way to spend the day - and this time, these are the results.  As ever, please be kind!









If you are ever interested, I now have a growing collection of photos of me on my Flickr page. :o)

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Why the fuss? - part two

So, having had a fantastic night and really enjoyed myself, I was left in a real dilemma.  Everyone was fantastic at dinner, but we now have breakfast and a road trip (4.5 hours drive) to get home.  Can I impose Rhiannon on them just one more time?  I had such a buzz last night, that I need this to carry on...

Cue: crisis of confidence.

They were great last night, but is it too much to expect?  Were they just being nice?  I’m not really a woman, will they be bored of me?  Why wouldn’t they just tell me enough’s enough?

So I sat for an hour and a half before breakfast to be honest in a little bit of a funk. I got myself to the point where fifteen minutes before breakfast I wasn’t ready.  And then the spirit of Thelma and Louise descended and I drove off the cliff.  I’m fast at putting make up on these days - 15 minutes is usually enough for full make up, so I did it.  I thought if they hate it, its just breakfast and I’ll know.

Breakfast outfit!
I walked down to breakfast and their smiles and acceptance were every single bit as fantastic as the night before.  And to be honest, the remembrance of that response is making my eyes fill with tears even as I write now.  It was like they thought that the girl from dinner last night has joined us again and we’ll invite her in, complement her clothes and jewellery, laugh at her detailed focus on having a different nail colour from yesterday because women don’t do that when they get older.  But overall, she is one of us.  And I really felt it.

I rhiannoned home in the car with two of my co-workers and was on a cloud.  So much so, and I hope you don’t mind me sharing this with you, but Friday night, I wrote them an email:

“Hi,

I just wanted to say a very heartfelt thank you for last night.  It was the first time I'd been out for an evening meal in a regular restaurant.  Whilst at times that made me feel slightly overwhelmed - I couldn't have wished for a better group of people supporting me.  Knowing that made it very easy to be brave.  I had a really good time: please don't take my relative quietness as anything other than overwhelm and (slight) annoyance at out waiting staff!  I'm 100% pleased that I was Rhiannon - and even more grateful for each of you.

People say it's brave of us trans people to do what we do, but I think going out with us is equally brave as I know that for some the 'guilt by association' can be daunting.  I never felt anything from you all other than complete acceptance and relaxation. I'm very moved by the gift you each have to me last night by being there for me.

I wish you a very happy Christmas and look forward to continuing to work with you in 2014.

Thank you,”

What is even more amazing is their responses were even more effusive and I’m crying again - proper sobs.  How can I not proceed to a life as Rhiannon when I have people like this in life who think I’m beautiful and who support me?  They see straight past the man and can see the woman in me.

The dilemma for my immediate future widens, but I have lapped from that world and now I want to drink jugs full of it and to get more and more of it into my life.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Why the fuss? - part one


The title of which may rightly lead you to the conclusion that I did it!   Well...I did.  Firstly, I need to stop and say a huge thank you to the absolutely fantastic group of ladies who commented on my last blog.  At the time of writing I was about 25% in favour of doing it and, to be honest, more likely not to.  Your words of encouragement really buoyed me into action. 

Buoyed for what?  Short digression for the newcomers.  I was given the opportunity to go to my work’s Christmas night out in Rhiannon mode.  I have been out during the day a lot and in the evening in trans-friendly environments, but never to a busy civilian restaurant.  We went for dinner, then onto a bar for more drinks.  There were 7 of us ladies there - I was the trans woman in the middle. 

Your comments, together with the green light from the final member of my work who I was waiting to ‘agree’, propelled me over the line.  A big shout out to Becca too who encouraged me so much with daily texts, but also didn’t mind the final night phone call with me pathetically saying, “I’m really scared, I’m not sure I can do it.” 

So what happened?  Overall, I really enjoyed it.  I had gone to Trans-Femme to have some photos done in the afternoon (blog with photos to follow in a few days).  The very lovely Tracey also then did my make up, I got dressed as per the picture.  You can’t see my feet, but I had on my 3.5 inch black patent leather heels :o).  I felt great.  

Once ready, I drove to the hotel where everyone was meeting and where we were staying.   Everyone had already gathered before I got there, so I arrived to many compliments and smiles from my co-workers.  They made space for me and got me a glass of wine and I started to relax.   I could see some of the other patrons looking in our direction and of course I was assuming that they were looking at me, but actually seven loud ladies wearing very nice clothes (some with cleavage out), its not surprising we got looked at.  My co-workers are hot and scrub up well!  We are at different age ranges and each one would be considered attractive.

After a mix up with the taxis, we procured some lifts to the restaurant and after a 5 minute walk, which I admirably did in heels I might add, we arrived.  It is one of my favourites in terms of food: an Indian restaurant who focus on quality and inventiveness and they really deliver.  We ordered, and amazing food kept coming out.  

It was interesting, as there were three things about the night that were notable.  

1.
The first is that I thought, what was the fuss about?  It felt so natural to be there dressed.  My co-workers were absolutely awesome and never broke a stride.  There were of course some hilarious moments of mixed up names and pronouns, but I was completely forgiving. I know for some that's an annoyance and if I had been full-time, I would have been more so.  But the reality is that for now, these people see me switching between Bob and Rhiannon so often, that it's unsurprising.  

2. 
I did feel somewhat overwhelmed to be honest.  I’d never been out as a woman, with other women.  The tone of conversation, how relaxed they are with other, the topic of conversation.  Everything is completely different.  Changing clothes and putting on make up, really doesn’t prepare you for that.  I realised that I am going to need to learn to speak woman too in order to move this thing forward.  The lovely take away from that is that they behaved not as if there was a man in their midst, but another woman.

3.
The only blot on the landscape was that some people can be mean in little ways that spoil things somewhat.  I was a little quiet during dinner because when my order was being taken, my waiter said, “what can I get you sir?”  Which I thought was unkind. Especially as he was looking down my top at the time. :o)  I let it pass, but it did get to me.  I made a huge effort that night and was saddened.  During the course of the night, it happened two further times and they made sure that each time new dishes arrived, that the ladies got served first and that I was last.  I guess, I need to develop a thicker skin, but its not thick enough right now.  My guess is that they were busy, they’ve probably never been trained, that person may have felt uncomfortable etc.  But it just was unnecessary - a blot on an otherwise great night. 

After that we paid up and went back to our hotel.  After a few uneventful drinks we returned to our rooms.  I was buzzing.  Bed, I really don’t think so!  I stayed up a while just reflecting on the experience.  My worst fear was that I ended up with it going well and that I would want to be Rhiannon even more.  My worst fear was realised.

Anyway, the story doesn’t finish there and this is a long blog, so I’ll finish tomorrow...

Monday, 16 December 2013

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas...

...and that leaves me with an interesting dilemma.  One I’ve never really had before.  It fills me an equal mixture of dread and excitement.  If I want, it seems like Rhiannon might have the opportunity to attend the company Christmas party.  You know what its like when the thing you have dreamed of for ever actually happens.  Its a mixed blessing.  I really want it, and I really don’t.

I’ve been out during the day.  I’ve Sparkled.  But a night out with civilians in a civilian venue has been beyond my level of bravery.  But now, the gauntlet has been thrown down and all but one excuse has been removed.  The team I work (apart from one I’m not sure about) are up for it.  Not even just up for it, they’re keen.

The evening consists of drinks, dinner in a nice Indian restaurant followed by an evening of drinking with some of my favourite people on earth.  I have an outfit ready: a purple dress, a lovely long wrap, heels and new wig.  I even, for various reasons, have the easy option to have my make up professionally done before I go.

But I’m still scared.  And I’ve started to put my own excuses in place.  I’m fat. I’ll be a very obvious man in a dress.  Do black patent leather shoes go with a purple dress.  My photos look great, but that’s because they are not taken next to another real girl - you suddenly see that whilst I look feminine, proportionally, I’m massive.  We are going into pubs where there are people who might mock me.  Every possible fear is screaming out within me.

Face the fear and do it anyway?  Or run screaming...?

Friday, 6 December 2013

And some days are happy days...


Today, in the office, working very hard, but really enjoying the joy of being Rhiannon.  I even like wearing my headset on my hair.

I'm sorry for the melancholia of previous posts.  I've been a bit down of late.  Today is a happy day:  white double layered top, purple cardigan, black jeans and healed boots.  Nice (hopefully) make up on and a very large smile.

We even have mince pies, stilton and a wee drop of wine for lunch time to get into the Christmas mood.  Add festive boppy songs into the background and who couldn't feel cheered.

For now, I wanted to mark it, that I'm happy :o) x