Monday, 3 April 2017

Facing more fears… (Part One)

Thank you so much for your kind support following my last blog.  You might have been able to tell, I really wasn’t in a great place.  I’m still feeling guilty and like I’m ruining other people’s lives for the sake of mine, but I’m the kind of person who is likely to feel like that generally.  I have a tendency towards unhealthy self-sacrifice.  Your comments really helped and I know that I need to move on and to be me, come what may.  I have thought very carefully about this transition towards living as female and I know that I’m on my way now and that, for me at least, it’s positive.

I don’t know if you have one, but I definitely have a list of 'scary things to do whilst presenting as female' list?  Some of them would sound stupid to you.  What scares me would probably not scare you.   The most obviously daft one is probably the thought of going, as Rhiannon, to my local supermarket.  So many people, in close proximity, who could behave in any and varied unpredictable ways.  And not least their children who would happily point at me and say things like, “why is that man wearing a dress mummy.”  The scariest one professionally, given I train people (often very large groups of 50+ people) is to deliver a programme as me.

Three of the things on said list are: going to a conference or event with lots of people surrounding me who I don’t know, travelling on a train and going to London.  I told you they might sound stupid.  Particularly, as you might argue that London, for example, is quite trans-friendly.  But the thought of so many people seeing me for who I truly am and potentially reacting badly to it gives me the heeby-jeebies.

So it started in Cardiff…

Knowing I’m going to have to face many of these things, whether I like it or not, I am starting to schedule them in so that I can “face the fear and do it anyway,” now while I have the chance to do it at my own pace.   A couple of months ago, I spotted that there was going to be an event in Cardiff that I really wanted to go to.  Please don’t judge me for this one, but it was a Dr Who conference.  I’m normal in most ways, but this is not one.  I’m a starry-eyed fangirl when it comes to all things Whovian.  A conference, run by Pride Cymru, on the role LGBT plays in Dr Who was too good to be true.  And…in a manageable way, was a first opportunity to tackle another one of my scary experience list.   Surely, if anyone was going to put on a trans-friendly event it was them?   So I booked a hotel in Cardiff and stayed the night.  In the morning, deep breath, get dressed and ready.  Jeans, flats, nice top, coat and bag.  Hand on the hotel door and out into the world of Cardiff.

I had a 15 minute walk through Cardiff to get to the venue, but it was a quiet Saturday morning, before the crowds were around, so all good.   Or so I thought.  Walking to the corner of a road by the hotel, I was suddenly aware of hundreds of people, all heading in the same direction as me.  Not just any people, they were all in pairs.  One adult, one child.  On the corner of the street was a cinema and it was Saturday morning.  Kid’s cinema time.  My heart rate spiked.  But bizarrely, I relaxed and an ironic smile spread across my face.  This just HAD to happen didn’t it?  I decided to keep walking and to brazen it out.  I was doing really well until the worst happened - a child decided to comment on me.  I was bracing myself a little for it to happen.  Its a little blurry now, but they said something like, “She’s got a nice bag mummy.”  I had to actually stop myself fist pumping and doing a happy dance.  I grinned as I walked past the million others and even made eye contact with some of the parents.  A tiny piece of fear, just died.

The rest of the day was surprisingly easy - and made me wonder why it was on my ‘too difficult’ list.  I queued up with everyone else in a long queue.  Had a lovely exchange with the ticket desk operators, got my wristband.  Found a seat and absolutely loved the day.  The panels were fantastic.  For other Whovians (you don’t need to out yourselves, its ok) there was a galaxy of people there including Russell T Davies, Bethany Black, Gareth David Lloyd, Phil Collinson, Nicholas Pegg, Barnaby Edwards, Waris Hussein (1st episode Director) and a whole load of people who work on Dr Who show.  CJ de Mooi was even in the audience!

I did get captured in one of the ‘officially used’ photos on the Facebook page too :o).  Yay! Such a saddo.

Conscious I’m going on a bit and there is definitely more.  So tomorrow, I’ll finish the story… more fears faced and London conquered!