Category Archives: Everyday life

To the Moon

The other day I sat down and did something I said I was going to do for a while: Play a game. Might sound odd, me saying that given I’m often playing games, but this one was different. It was a little title I stumbled across a year ago, immediately bought on Steam and then left it. A little indie game called To The Moon. A nice, little RPG game with an element of puzzle solving to it, but mostly an interactive story more than a game per se. It was created by a group of people called Freebird Games. (You can learn a bit more about them and their game here )

Without giving too much away, you play as a scientific duo from a company who provide a service for people at the end of their lives. A service where they had a desire or a wish that went unfulfilled for whatever reason during their life which would then be fulfilled before they died. This was achieved via a miracle of technology which created an alternate life within the mind of the individual in which their wish was fulfilled and they lived it out, like a second life. In this case, it concerned a gentleman who wanted to go to the moon, but didn’t.

In order for this machine to work, the scientists had to go through the individual’s mind via memory hops to a time early in life, where they would then implant the wish and then events would unfold and the wish came to pass. This meant exploring and reliving memories, searching for clues, spotting patterns and things of significance in order to create the next memory link to create a bridge to the next significant life memory and progress onwards.

I’m not going to reveal too much more as I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone intrigued enough to go look this game up but various things and themes came up and were explored during the game that resonated with me and I’ll talk about in a while, but after spending an afternoon on this, going through many twists and turns we get to the game’s conclusion. The old man at the centre of this gets his wish and lives out his alternate life and then dies.

Between the plot, being so swept up with the story and the beautiful soundtrack which accompanied it (which I’m listening to while writing this) I was in fits of tears. Rebecca too, as she’d become mesmerised towards the end and had dropped what she was doing at the time to watch. It’s not the first time a game has done this to me and it won’t be the last.

It’s also why I had kinda put off playing it until the other day. I knew it was going to have this kind of effect and would likely unsettle me afterwards. Sure enough, I’ve not felt myself the past couple of days. I’ve felt like I’m on the outside the room looking in in regards to stuff going on around me during the day and my mind has been racing like an overclocked processor, head humming as a result, as I get when I’m in one of my analytical ‘trying to process stuff’ modes. I’ve spent my break times at work reading up more about the game, the story and so on, trying to piece things together and learn all I can about it while jotting down memo notes on my phone.

It’s something I do with anything that really grips me. It’s also why despite the fact I love games, I play relatively few of them. The ones I play grip me so entirely I’m doing all these things on the side that tie in with them, be it reading up on them, watching playthroughs on YouTube or just figuring stuff out. Soundtracks usually end up being hunted down and played a lot if the music is good and sooner or later end up becoming part of an ever expanding repartee I’m often humming or whistling to myself while doing stuff. (That’s often a good indicator of my emotional mood. If I’m relaxed I do this a lot).

In short I become somewhat obsessed, which until recently would draw some snide comments about ‘Why are you wasting time with that?’ and ‘All you ever do is that’ when I do go through one of these phases. I can’t be thankful enough to Rebecca for being the complete opposite to this when I’m working through an obsessional phase. She lets me get on with it, work through it and make sure I’m ok.

In the case of this game, I was trying to link together a few things to do with one of the characters in the game, a woman called River, and things she was doing throughout. It’s heavily implied she was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome as an adult ( Asperger wasn’t directly mentioned but the game references Tony Atwood, a man who wrote several books on the subject when her diagnosis came up). I had a shrewd idea she was on the autistic spectrum pretty early on in the game, because of a few things she did, and later on in the game I was finding myself relating a lot to experiences she had while growing up, which is one of several things I’ve been thinking about a lot today.

She pretty well spent her life in her own world, not really caring what people thought and quietly doing her thing, pursuing her choices, hobbies and making a few life choices that had the people around her scratching their heads over. Sounds familiar, huh?

I’ve had a feeling for a few years now I might be somewhere on the spectrum myself. In time I’ll go about taking steps to get that looked at, once the transition stuff is over anyway, but I digress.

Going back to the question of why I put off playing To The Moon for as long as I had and why I’ve felt unsettled. If I’m honest, I get scared by my emotions at times, what they say about me and what others think of me when I express them. As a kid I had a lot of trouble with ADHD influencing my behaviour as well as bullying at school. People would often provoke me into lashing out because seeing me lose it was entertaining. If something upset me to the point of tears, well that was a field day for them. If I was having meltdowns I’d get hassle for that. one that comes to mind is the time someone provoked me at a time when I was using a school laptop for work after
damaging one of my wrists coming off my bike. In among other things I tired to do I was trying to wrap the laptop round their head. Needless to say I got an earful for that, which I really didn’t understand as it wasn’t me who started the altercation.

Another was a memory of dad snapping and shouting at me in an exasperated fashion came to the fore. Usually if I was getting shouted at by a parent it would be mum. If dad was doing the shouting you knew you’d done something really spectacular. Later on in life I’d often get remarks from my ex that were pretty demeaning because of my temper, though looking back now with all that was going on it’s hardly any wonder why I was in a default state of being wound up to snapping point and doing things like shredding a phone book when I boiled over. Any wonder why my emotions terrify me at times when I ended up having the strength do do things like that.

Over the years and after enough digs and prods from people you get to a point where you just bury stuff, repress things and try and fit in, conform and appear normal, which just fucks things up in the long run and leaves me where I am now, struggling to express myself and finding some middle ground in a world of extremes. Most of the time I feel pretty robotic in situations, for the lack of being to feel what the situation calls for. Nine times out of ten I react appropriately, or at least guess right and do what is expected, or at least not get odd comments for it, but it feels like I’m experiencing life through a filter and not feeling connected. I’m not even sure I’ve described that right, it’s the best I can do without telepathy. That feeling of really not being able to express things adequately is one of the reasons why I talk so little, preferring to write things down. I have processing time then, to organise things before feeling able to express what’s on my mind.

If I do let things go, the really go, like they did the other night at the end of the game. Rebecca remarked at the time I don’t cry enough or let things out, but that’s a lifetime of social conditioning for you. Afterwards I’m having to ask her if what I did and how I reacted was normal. That’s how unsure I am and how scrambled my head feels for the most part.

Having spent a large chunk of my life creating various fantasy worlds in my head and using them as an escape from various traumatic events it’s really no surprise why To The Moon and it’s plot and premise has resonated so strongly with me.

Thankfully these days there’s less pressure upon me to keep up a pretence of conformity. I can spend the day at work just getting on with the job, not being expected to or having my arm twisted into interacting with my co-workers beyond anything that’s not work dependant, because believe me, being in my own world whistling away to whatever random music is playing in my mind at the time is a lot less stressful.

As for the gaming? Well I’m aware the makers of To The Moon have recently released a sequel. I just hope I don’t put off playing that for as long as I put off playing this.


(For those interested in giving the game a go To the Moon can be played from Steam, or downloaded into your phone)



Well it’s 2018 today, so happy new year and all that. Truth be told it’s just another day for me. We didn’t stay up late to see the new year in, didn’t even get woken up by fireworks. Rebecca’s at work today so staying up late wasn’t an option even if either of us wanted to. As for me? Well I’m just ambling along, being a bit introspective I guess, as you do at this time of the year.

Resolutions didn’t happen last year so there’s none of that going on. The important things stayed the same. I’m still with Rebecca and we’re very much in love and have talked about the future together and what we want to do. I’m still here, a line of thought a holdover from the bad old days where there were times I seriously doubted I’d make it to 30, such was the state of my mental health back then.

I also got a bit fitter the past year. I had been conscious of the fact that I’d put on weight because of HRT and very conscious of the fact that for the surgery I’m hoping to have this year they need your BMI to be below 28 to help with results. Well my present line of work, allied to cycling to work for the first time in years has helped there.

Last year I guess I could say I got to the stage where I could make peace with various things in my life. My transition, for one. It’s still going along, the HRT doing it’s magic and hopefully this year the one thing that is still bothering me on that front will be sorted out. I’m conscious of the fact that I’ve been on HRT for two years so and all the major changes have more or less taken place, so whatever I’ve got, that’s probably all I’m getting. You know what? What I’ve got I’m pretty happy with. I’ve got a nice enough figure, my boobs are at a point where they look like boobs even without a bra on and look the part. Yes, they could do with rounding out a little more. Maybe that will still happen in time, who knows. The body hair’s more or less taken care of itself, with a bit of help from the epilator and a touch of electrolysis for the odd bit here and there I really don’t want.

I was hoping to have been done with the stuff on my face but I’ve had to take that slow as I’m on as high a setting as my skin will take and I’m often a hairs breadth away from a meltdown because of the anxiety I get going to these appointments. Put short, it bloody hurts. I decided a few months ago once the dark stuff is done, that’s it, I’m not bothering with the blonde and ginger stuff that I get. A quick shave twice a week sorts that out and 20 seconds with a razor is much less aggro than electrolysis. Cis women shave, epilate, wax facial hair so that’s one instance of making peace with things that I was on about. Comparing body features and getting jealous of what other people have is not something I really get. I get it now and then but it’s no longer a dysphoria thing, it’s just a ‘She’s got a nice whatever’ kind of feeling instead of the pre-transition dysphoric hell of not looking like you feel you should and wishing you could look like a woman.

At some point I got more comfortable with going out without bothering to put a face on. There was a time where this would be unthinkable but these days it’s along the lines of ‘Right, need milk for the shops, get my shoes and keys and go get it.’ I might not have even shaved that day either when doing this, something else that was once unthinkable.

Something else I’ve made some headway on this year is dealing with the fact I’m not a neurotypical person and instead of trying to fight various things on that front in an attempt to appear normal I’m just rolling with it. Yes, this means sticking my hands over my ears because of loud noises in public, having meltdowns because of high anxiety and overanalysing and overthinking stuff, not hanging around areas that are overwhelming my senses, speaking up when I’m having trouble with concentration and so on. I realised that doing what I do is ok and if anyone has a problem it’s their problem and not mine. Realising that challenging behaviour in others is a big trigger point for my anxiety is another and is what’s resulted in me leaving care work for now because I really don’t want to have to deal with that any more. Having a partner who’s been very encouraging and reassuring me it’s ok to change jobs because of such things has been a big help.

I am aware that embracing this side of me is a bit of a double edged sword, especially when it comes to social situations, particularly group stuff. I tend to shy away from group stuff. I end up being the one in the corner sitting silently and seemingly not joining in because I struggle with interacting and judging when to talk without interrupting others and picking up on social cues. I’m the sort of person who says little but listen, take things in and remember stuff that is then important later on, even in a 1 to 1 setting. In groups I can shut down completely and then later get wound up about it, like I did in Brighton.

It’s a double edged sword because I can easily become withdrawn and stuck into a routine where I don’t try new things and don’t really go anywhere as a person. Case in point; Makeup. My sister got me some lovely new bits the previous year but because I am so set in my ways and stick with what works because it’s predictable and I don’t end up worrying it took me nine months before finally looking at the stuff. When it comes to makeup I figured out a simple routine that works early on in my transition and it’s barely changed since. I might pick a different colour lipstick or eye shadow once in a while but things are fairly static. When I’m at work this is ok. I have a routine that’s quick to do and lasts the day without me really needing to think about whether it’s holding up or not, because I know it does. Away from work I really need to try and do new things occasionally. This goes for a lot of things really and I’d like to be a bit more expansive this year because I worry about becoming withdrawn again. That was a default state of being before transition and I don’t want that again. It caused all sorts of issues that I’m still dealing with now.

I guess what I’m trying to say is the past few months I’ve been rather wary of my frame of mind and really not wanting to start slipping backwards again. Maybe that should be a resolution for the year. Who knows? Maybe I’m just overthinking things again. Happy new year everyone.



Trans Pride 2017

Well Trans Pride is over and done for another year and I’m at home and in bed writing this even though it’s only 8pm. I’m that tired, so tired I can’t concentrate and then spent most of the next day feeling rather ill.

The past few days have taken a lot out of me, more than I thought for a number of reasons. On the physical side of things my phone recorded 30k of walking spread over four days. Factor in the fact I went to Brighton a week after smashing my toe at home and then picking up a massive blister on the first night I’m quite surprised I managed to hobble and curse my way along such a distance.

Mentally I’m feeling very frazzled. Social events have that effect on me anyway but this year it’s been pretty brutal at times. I overdid things on Friday, had a meltdown on Saturday and spent a fair bit of Sunday in an unfocused haze. I’m starting to realise how neurodivergent I am and becoming more aware of how it impacts on a lot of things. As a kid I was diagnosed with ADHD and I know I have a number of sensory issues, such as being very sensitive to loud noises and bright light. I really need to sort out my glasses instead of having to choose being able to see clearly or being blinded by strong sunlight.

For instance Friday night we went to the Trans Pride Film Event. A series of short films by a number of different independent groups revolving around different aspects of gender identity and how they play out. The films themselves were interesting, but for accessibility all of the films had closed captions. This was brilliant as I was able to read what was being said instead of listening, or tying to listen to the films while trying to tune out about a million different and distracting noises. It also meant if there was a particular noise that was bothering me, I could block it out. Case in point, a droning sound in the first film resulted in me covering my ears until it had gone away. With the closed captions I could still follow the narrative while this was going on. I’m also realising if I am having to block sounds out by covering my ears when out and about no-one pays any heed, which is nice.

Thursday night was pretty good, Rebecca and I had made plans to meet up with our friend the lovely Kate and go for dinner out somewhere, which we did after we checked into the hotel and chilled out for a couple of hours. We were later joined by Lisa and had a good catch up over a couple of drinks. I think Rebecca actually got a bit drunk that night. The only downside was my feet acting up. My shoes weren’t comfortable and I later found I had a huge blister on my right foot on top of the bad toe that had been playing up. I walked back in my socks, which was another poor idea as walking for half an hour with no support on my arches meant I was almost in tears by the time we got back. It also resulted in me buying an emergency set of trainers while out and about on Friday.


A lovely evening out with Kate (Far left) and Lisa (Far right)

Friday was a long old day, a bit too long looking back on it. We had a wander round the shops, lunch out and a trip to the Brighton and Hove art gallery afterwards. The gallery was interesting on a couple of fronts. For one they had a big Constable exhibition on display, secondly they had the museum of Transology, which had an effect on me. Basically it was a museum of curios donated by various trans people that symbolised their journeys and I can see myself writing a blog about something based on this in the near future. I do hope the exhibition finds a permanent home because it deserves one. Transgender history is rather fragmented thanks to a lot of stuff being destroyed and also serves to shoe people that we are not a recent trend but an integral part of society for as long as there has been a society to speak of. For anyone interested, go look at

The aforementioned cinema event followed in the evening and by then to be honest I was struggling, having been out all day and not really had a break or somewhere especially quiet to unwind. The films were fantastic, two in particular stuck with me though. One called Skeleton in a Beret was about a couple of people who used gaming to explore their gender identity, an avenue I’m familiar with in my own way. The other (Mum) was about a family, the mother was suffering from a long term illness, one of her adult children was trans and had transitioned and family relations were somewhat strained. It brought back memories, lets just say that. Again, link below for anyone wanting more information on things

Saturday was the protest march through Brighton, though not before Rebecca and I raided a couple of comic shops we saw the previous evening and got some goodies. The march itself was as expected, a lot of noise and visibility along with a lot of walking before getting to Brunswick park and having a wee chat with various people we know on Twitter. Then the rain came, then my mood crashed. It was cold, wet, my foot was in a lot of pain by then and we retreated to a pub where some friends were staying for a while before we got a bus back to the hotel. Next year I need to actually plan stuff rather than try and drift along and see what happens. I just feel very unfocused and isolated that way. Tears were shed and pizza was consumed.


Getting ready for the Protest March, before the weather closed in

Sunday was another day out and about with Kate, coffee, lunch and shopping as well as a good chat about a couple of serious things going on. I hope she’s ok now. Again, after a couple of hours out and about I was flagging and needing peace and quiet and looking a bit ill too (which fits given how bad I’ve felt today, Tuesday). Eventually we picked up a small wardrobe of spare clothes Kate was giving away and returned to then hotel. That just left Monday and a quiet trip back home after having spent Sunday evening mostly talking to Rebecca through Twitter as I was trying to get my head and some thoughts in order while having a non verbal spell.


More fun and adventures with my Rebecca and the lovely Kate

The main theme behind this long Twitter chain I was typing out was a theme of feeling a bit adrift and lost, which seems ironic being in Brighton of all places. It was here two years ago a lot of things transition wise swam into focus and I got into gear. I went full time soon after and haven’t looked back. I made some great friends who I was happy to see even if it was all too briefly at times for various reasons this time. Two years down the line I’m at a stage of transition where I’m ready to move forward and sort surgery out, but still waiting for the system. I’m also still waiting to get up and going with my new job, which as it turns out I shall be starting next week, but that’s not all.

Putting things into an understandable concept is hard for me at times. With what’s going on in my head I likened to seeing a load of threads on the ground. Are they mine? Do I pick them up? Throw them away? Leave them alone? Some things I’m sure of, like my gender identity, being madly in love with Rebecca and my gothy/witchy leanings. A lot of other things I’m less sure of and there’s a couple of things I am frankly terrified of picking up and looking at because of past experiences. I suppose I’ll figure it all out in time but right now it’s only adding to this sense of feeling adrift right now.

In the end we came home Monday and to be honest, I was looking forward to going home. I’ve not felt like that when away somewhere for a long while. A few times Rebecca and I have asked if we would go back to Brighton next year. To that I will say yes, but next year I’ll have to do a few things different. First off, next year I need to stay somewhere in town, nearer to events. Being half hour walk away from the hotel messed me up. I needed the room to be close by so I could easily duck in for an hour or so and reset up head when being out and about got a bit much. I stupidly chose our hotel based on the fact parking wouldn’t be a financially crippling issue that it was last year. The logical thing would have been to book in town and taken the train down, like a lot of people do. It would have made it easier to plan things with friends, being nearby. Next year I need to plan going out better. The days where we had planned to meet someone and do stuff worked a lot better than just winging it and hoping.

I also need to do other, smaller things as well. For one, remembering to pack a couple of extension leads in case the power points are miles away from the bed. Packing more shoes better suited for walking around and finally, if I get new clothes, try them before packing them and taking them with me. I had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction in Brighton. Namely I put on a new top and realised it was pretty well see through.


Emergency trainers

On the plus side, I spent a whole day out in leggings and another day out in shorts and at no point worried about or thought about my tucking arrangements. This is nice and is one of several reasons why surgery can’t come soon enough for me. I also paid very little heed to my make-up during the day because the hair removal’s gotten to a point where I can go out for the day and not worry about covering stuff up. On that front at least things are slowly moving to a point of comfort. If nothing else I could go back next year just to add to my t-shirt collection.

I have a collection happening now

Oh well, I’m going to finish up with some other pics from the weekend below. Enjoy 🙂

Yup, travelled to Brighton in last year’s t-shirt 🙂

Perks of our hotel on the outskirts of town. Views, namely of the park. Also, a rainbow while in Brighton, how apt 🙂

Yes, we lost ourselves in the comic shops. Castle in the Sky is mine, a film that left a long lasting impression on me when I was growing up.


Rebecca’s pet bee. It just randomly landed on her hand while we were forming up for the march.

The Great Scrapyard In The Sky

Yup, that’s where my bike’s headed, I’ve officially had enough of trying to keep the thing going. A week ago and fifteen miles away from home I turned the key in the ignition to be greeted by a whole load of nothing. the battery and fuse check out as being ok but something in the electrical system’s given out, so that’s that.

In theory I could pull the bike to bits, track down the issue and fix it, but I can’t be bothered, and the way it’s been the past couple of months even if I did get it going again it’d only be a matter of time before something else went wrong and screwed me over. It’s been sitting  where it got dropped off a week ago and though I’ve had more than enough time to investigate things I’ve had zero inclination to do so. I’ve got the tools and possibly the know how to fix this. Even if I did fix it I now have zero confidence in going anywhere and getting back again.

I’ve not long replaced the spark plug, done an oil change and swap over a few hoses that were on the way out. I can strip the back end down to get the wheel off as well, useful when the rear tyre gave up the ghost a while back. However it’s so tiresome to do. I’m not all that keen on spending ages scrubbing my skin raw to get all the muck off after messing around with something mechanical and I sure as hell haven’t got the strength I used to have. HRT and arthritis have seen to that, probably for the best given I used to be able to tighten stuff until I cracked the socket and ratchet, or put enough stress on my joints to really set them off.

More than the less being able to physically do stuff is the fact I’m through sinking time and money into the thing so I’m making arrangements to get rid of it. When it’s gone, that’s me done with bikes, I’m not getting another. I’ve had five years of hooning around on the damn things and lately I’ve been getting fed up with doing this. I’m fed up with wearing enough layers to go on a polar expedition to keep warm and allegedly dry, and wearing a helmet that wrecks my hair. I’m fed up of being jolted about on poor roads and I am especially fed up of being almost taken out while on the damn thing because I apparently ride wearing an invisibility cloak. Even with high visibility clothes and a colourful bike I’ve lost count how many near misses I’ve had with myopic drivers who have pulled out, pulled across or are just being an intimidating dickweed in their vehicles.

The last three months where I’ve had to do a lot of driving for work purposes have driven this home. Funnily enough I only started driving because at the time I was working three separate part time cleaning jobs and was struggling to get about on my pushbike. Being told by my then GP I was tearing my knees to bits cycling was the main reason why I got up and on the road. My ex hated the idea, which probably made me want to do it more. It was also a lot cheaper to go see my family than by train. Faster too as I could get to theirs in 20 minutes or so. Can’t do that now though. These days to get to theirs would be a good couple of hours, impossible with my back. I found that out going to see my nan and granddad one time any more than about half an hour’s my limit on a bike. Any more and my lower back flares up thanks to me jarring it so badly falling while rollerblading when I was 15 or so. I slammed down on the base of my spine hard and it’s never been right since. I hit the same spot again some years later and had trouble with the nerves in my legs for a year or so. I really don’t need anything else to add to that.

Where I live now has a great bus service (provided I don’t get drivers coming onto me, but that’s another story in itself) so I don’t need to drive places very often away from work and whatever my next job will be I’ll be using public transport and walking so all in all the bike is pretty redundant now.

In the not too distant future I shall be learning to drive a car so with that in mind, I’m going to hang up my riding gear and moving on with things.

Where Does The Time Go?

Serious question, where has it gone? I’m asking because in a couple of days (Thursday 27th April) marks two years since I came out as trans and set things in motion. Anyone expecting then and now pics you’ll be disappointed, because I’m not doing that. I can’t look at my old pics, it’s just a reminder of so many painful events that happened in the past. I haven’t got many anyway.

I was pretty lackadaisical about printing pics in the past and thanks to a brace of hard drive wipes over the years I lost most of them. The ones I had printed out I last saw in my old house somewhere, left behind along with most of my stuff when I moved out. The few I do still possess tell the same story: A husk of a person, drifting through life, half not there and half dead. Someone and something a world away from where I am now, trying to figure out what was wrong.

Suffice to say I got there in the end, then spent weeks agonising on how to come out and how everyone would react. I remember coming home from a late shift, going to the bedroom and sitting rigid, choking back tears and trying to find the words to tell my now ex partner. I took the plunge and blurted out that I was trans and felt ready to start doing something about it, whatever the cost. A this point I felt all but dead anyway and probably not long for the world, I was that depressed, anything from that frame of mind was an improvement.

Over the coming weeks and months I told everyone else, saw my GP, had two attempts at getting referred to Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic (My first referral got lost) and went about into the world, feeling I had finally awakened. I started finding what I liked, my own style and so on and began to grow.

I won’t lie and say it’s all been plain sailing. Transition costs a lot in terms of outlay. A new wardrobe of nice clothes for a start. I’ve spent a good couple of thousand pounds on laser hair removal and a fair few quid on a couple of private appointments to get myself up and running and onto HRT as I’d probably still be waiting to get onto that now if I sat back and waited for the GIC.

Transition also finished off my relationship with my ex, partly because he’s not into women, but transitioning and seeing what there was out there in the world opened my eyes to a lot of things that were not right and I wanted out before any more damage was done.

I saw a counsellor a little over a year ago, initially to help deal with the grief of losing my dad to cancer. A lot of stuff came out and she basically said I hadn’t been able to celebrate and embrace my transition up until then. With a relationship that was falling apart and dad suddenly becoming ill and leaving us it’s not hard to see why my early months that should have been happy ones were overshadowed.

Thankfully things have changed for the better. I’ve been with Rebecca for just over a year now. She has been amazing and supportive throughout, my rock and my world, my everything. Mum’s commented numerous times I’m the happiest she’s ever seen me now we’re together and yes, transition has become more of a celebration, for both of us. We’re both free to be ourselves, pursue our interests, have a lot of good times and get up to all sorts. We both had our first proper holiday in a long while last year and we’re quietly getting on with our lives and building a future together. In a lot of ways we’re both on a similar journey and helping each other heal from a pretty crappy past in a lot of ways.

Going forward, by the end of the year I’ll hopefully have a second surgical opinion out of the way and I’ve finally settled on what option I’d like to pursue on that matter. I’ll also hopefully have this hair removal business taken care of to a point where I’m reasonably happy. It’s funny how the goal posts change over time.

For instance there was a time where I wanted to get to a point where I’d never have to shave again. Now I’ll quite happy deal with shaving if it’s just to get rid of the blonde hairs I now mostly have now most of the dark hair has gone. I’ll be quite happy the day I don’t need to go back and get my face blasted by the laser.

I guess what I’m trying to say with all this is yes, transition is a daunting idea to go through with. How anyone thinks we’d do such a thing on a whim, or for some sort of kick I don’t know. You’re gambling at the highest stakes possible with all this. Some people get lucky and keep their partners, family and so on. Others aren’t so lucky, they lose can lose some of this, or all of it. Some people don’t make it at all. The rewards are worth the risks though. You get to be you, you get to live and that’s why we do this.

One of the best things about this journey is seeing my friends progress through their own transitions, overcoming obstacles and growing into the people they’ve always wanted to be. Here’s to the journey.


Gamer Girl

Rebecca and I have a couple of days together and for once we’re not running around doing tons of stuff. In fact yesterday, aside from a quick trip to the local shops or essentials (fuel, HRT and food),we stayed in and relaxed. So what did we do? I spent most of it playing Diablo 3 and Rebecca wrote at length about her history of gaming as it’s something she had planned on doing for a while now.

For those of you interested there’s her thoughts on things, a good and fun read too. Of course we got chatting, sharing memories and so on about gaming and how it’s run through our lives in one manner or other. It’s also something I’ve been getting back to in the past year after not really doing all that much for some time now and realising how much I’ve missed it.

When I think about it, gaming for me anyway invokes a lot of happy memories involving family and people I hold near and dear to me who are no longer here, and that will become clear as I go on with this. I may as well begin from my earliest memories and go from there really.

The first memories I have are at school actually. I was five years old and the school I went to had a computer room. I can’t remember ery much though, other than the fact whatever education game we were using ran off of those huge old floppy discs and was made by the BBC.


(Ah, old tech, got to love it)

I wasn’t at that school for every long in the end as my parents were in the middle of moving back to mum’s home town where she lives now, though my next school also had PC’s and games. Anyone remember Granny’s Garden? I loved that game but the wicked witch terrified me.


Yeah, that’s the one, with the creepy as fuck 8-bit music that went with it. The game itself was a RPG of sorts and you had to solve puzzles to progress and find the missing children of the king and queen, while keeping out of the way of the wicked witch. It’s very basic by today’s standards but as a wide eyes five year old? It was something else.

It was around then (and looking back probably on the back of dad’s nostalgia for games) I was given a C64 for Christmas. Not the full blown rig, but the main bits, keyboard/processor, tape deck and joystick and was able to be plugged into the TV. Games back them mostly came on cassettes which took a good ten minutes to load, depending on game size, though there were a few cartridge games too, which started up almost instantaneously. Of course, being a five year old with attention span issues, these were a boon. In amongst the various tapes we got, dad found a set which had the old arcade games, such as Space Invaders, Galaxians and Pac Man , which he and mum played extensively when they were arcade games in the 70’s, and got me and later on my sisters into as well.

Other games I remember was Dambusters (you could pilot an Avro Lancaster Bomber, be pilot and bomber while evading flak and fire over occupied Europe and try and relive the famous raids of WWII. (Spoiler alert: I sucked at this).

The Captive was played a lot because it was a tape that only took five minutes to load up. It was also pretty weird as a game. You’d escaped from somewhere or other and went through an abandoned and haunted town where ghosts would kill you, finding various items for quest progression, though I never found out what the actual quest was. You could gain abilities such as swimming and flying a helicopter. I also remember a time limit factor where after spending so long, arrows would fall from the sky and try and kill you. There were other items you could pick up, some useful, some not so. There was also a booby trap. You could pick up a magic mushroom but for frak sake don’t use it because this happens.


Your character would flip sideways, float up and off the screen and it would be game over. A novel approach to teaching the perils of drug use, eh?

Bullseye (remember that darts game show?) got in on the act and released a game. Bully’s Sporting Darts. You used a joystick and controlled a disembodied hand to throw darts. You played the classic darts games, as opposed to the game show format, so you’d have 501 and Round the Clock. Some clever person figured out how to play a dartboard based version of cricket, tennis and snooker, mad as that sounds. This was one all the family played, even my grandparents, albeit it not so well. Words don’t do the game justice so here’s a video.

High tech stuff there, from the age when internet was the preserve of a lucky few and most of us made do with Teletext (I loved the artwork people came up with on that thing)
Dad tried to encourage me to get into coding when I was 8 years old or so on the C64. He got hold of a couple of books where you basically typed in a load of stuff, record it onto a blank tape and in theory you’d have a game at the end of it. Little miss ADHD here tried a couple of the shorter ones, which required a mere three or four pages of input to do this and grew frustrated as it failed each time. Dad got involved, first watching and proof reading my attempts and then had two goes himself, but nothing. The books were forgotten about and a possible future as a programmer died there and then.

The future beckoned and it came in Megadrive format. Yup, dad brought two in the end, one for the family to share and when he realised he couldn’t get a look in got one for himself. Sonic the Hedgehog were the games of choice for us then, all of which were great fun, aside from Sonic 3D, which I never got the hang of because I could never judge where to aim for in a 3D layout. Dad had his golfing games and we also had the Lion King, which we used cheat for to go through in the end. Dad got cheats off of a friend of his and introduced me to that side of easy, risk free gaming.

I  also bought a game or two. I remember a friend flogging Sonic 1 at school for a fiver. No box or manual, just the game, which I promptly raided my piggy bank for. I really went for the Sonic series as a kid and poured an awful lot of time into the games trying to get all the Chaos Emeralds and so on. I remember playing in the mornings before school, sneakily leaving the console on and paused and hoping mum wouldn’t see the little red light that indicated the thing was on and turn it off during the day as you couldn’t save your game until Sonic 3 rolled around. Fun fact, mum still has the Megadrive and games. The grand kids play it occasionally and my dad’s duplicate purchase means we still have a couple of working controllers and working TV lead after all these years.


(Those bright colours and crisp graphics that look pretty good even today if I do say so myself.)

By now I was in secondary school and being taught how to use a computer properly as this was now a thing. A room full of 486’s that ran Windows 3.1 was what the future looked like, and those who were more tech savvy than I was had great fun trying to worry around the filtering system put in place to access restricted and probably pornographic content during lunchtimes.We had a pretty good teacher too, Dr Wilcox, though we all called him Moses because of his wild and grey bushy beard he’d grown over the years.

Back at home and seeing the future, dad, who was now self employed and now needing a PC to do his admin work and quotes for his interior design work, and changing with the times did two things: Bought our first home PC and our first internet connection. The amusingly named Mitsubishi Apricot came into our lives, complete with Windows 95.


Specs are in the link for the curious, though most of the page is on Japanese. A 166mhz processor, 16mb RAM, 1.7 gb hard drive were the main specs, a pretty good machine for it’s time and within no time it became the latest family gaming hub. For me I was often playing the early Worms games on there, Rollercoaster Tychoon too, as well as the Shareware version of Doom. Shareware back then was you got part of the game for free, on a floppy disc. If you liked it, there were details on how to purchase the full game. With Doom I ended up doing so, albeit with parental help as it had a 15 rating at the time. Demonic carnage ensued when I should have probably been tying up some homework. It was much more fun with cheats and going around with infinite BFG 9000 ammo. There’s a group that’s modded the classic Doom and done all sorts of amazing things to update the game. Brutal Doom if you’re curious enough to look it up. You can even flip off demons in that and watch then take offence now.

A Playstation 1 also came into the house in the late 1990’s, another dad purchase. I remember playing Bust a Move with him, trying to beat him at the game and more than once staying up till midnight trying to beat him in a Best of 20 match. Crash Team Racing with my youngest sister got played a lot too because it was fun and quirky and we had great fun setting up booby traps that became impossible to pass without driving through and so on. Truth be told, I didn’t get too much into the Playstation as I was more of a PC gamer and this happened a couple of years before I moved out anyway.

I also got a Game Boy Colour for my 15th birthday and spent a fair chunk of time playing Mario 1 and 2, Warioland 2, Bomberman, as well as the early Pokemon games. Revise for GCSE’s? Nah, too busy trying to level my sixth Mewtwo to level 100 without using Rare Candies so I could unleash a devastating team upon anyone daft enough to link up and battle me. Pokemon Red/Blue were seriously broken, game mechanics wise. A level 100 Mewtwo with Psychic Attack, Amnesia to boost it’s power, recover to heal and Substitute to hide behind while setting up was unstoppable. Having a team of six was just obscene.

A couple of years after our first PC, dad bought a more powerful machine for his work, with the side effect that it could run newer games and in among various things, I got a little game called Birth of the Federation.


I had other Star Trek games, most notably A Final Unity, but this one really grabbed me. I don’t play too many games, they either grab me or they don’t. But if they do grab me I really throw myself into them, reading up all sorts, trying new things and develop a minor obsession, as Rebecca has seen with me and Diablo 3. Anyway, this game, you can be the Federation, Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians or Ferengi. You start with your home star system and a couple of ships and you go forth, terraforming or conquering other star systems and build up an empire. There’s micromanagement involved so you can set up star systems to focus on research or intelligence, or ship building and you can go to war with the other A.I controlled empires. Or you can just sit back and let your intel agency sabotage and gut them that way, if you’re so inclined and you have built up right. Beware the Random Events though. The Borg are one of them and they can decimate a game quickly. Oh, multiplayer was an option too so if you were bored creaming the A.I you could go try and cream some player sitting in a faraway land thanks to the magic of the internet.

This is one of those games that has followed me from system to system and I still play occasionally now. There’s a community out there with it’s own forum and more game mods than I can count.
This game is 20 years old and people still play, do multiplayer, mod and chat.
Even I had a go at modding the game a few years ago. There’s a lot of resources and tools to help on the site so even an idiot like me can get her head around basic hex editing and so on to create something. I even released a mod there, called All the Ages, thanks to a lot of help from a guy called Thunderchero who pretty well runs the forum.

It took several months to do and it helped me focus on something during some dark mental health times. It also drove my ex nuts as I was putting so much time into doing this.

After leaving home and moving in with Richard, the gaming quietened down. I carried on with Birth of the Federation, as I’ve already mentioned, but aside from the odd game, such as the later Worms games where I played to the point I could launch grenades as well as the hardest A.I could so so that was it. He couldn’t stand games, and like so many things, if I don’t have someone to share an interest in things that I like, I kind of lose heart and drift away. All he was interested in was re-enacting, which I suppose is an RPG of sorts, albeit with real guns and uniforms and whatnot, but a decade of that left me so physically and mentally broken I never want to do that ever again.

The last couple of years I did have something of a resurgence.I got a few of my old games back from mum and dad’s while they were preparing to move house and I had a big fit of nostalgia. I looked into emulators and found a Megadrive one for my PC and then laptop and played some of my old favourites. I also found a Game Boy emulator for the Pokemon games and a community which dabbed in modding. This time I was content to just play mods rather than get my head around doing it myself. I had other things on my mind, namely coming to terms with being transgender and gaming was a support. Being able to choose the female character, to escape, to dream was a release at the time. I ended up at a place called the Nuzlocke Forum.

Basically  place where people who wanted to make the Pokemon games more of a challenge congregated, but discussed other things as well. Modding and game mods, and there was a community spirit there too. People could also post their game runs, turn them into stories and all sorts as the games are essentially RPG’s to begin with. It was something I did myself at one point, partly as a release while struggling with my own identity before coming out and getting on with things, and also when I was dealing with my dad’s illness and eventual passing from this world.

There’s even a section where various members who were LGBTQIA hung out and discussed their various identities and supported one another. Needless to say this was a very useful place for me and helped me with coming to terms, figuring myself out and then getting up and going with this transition business I’m doing right now.
With my relationship with my ex coming an end and having moved in with Rebecca my gaming interests have been rekindled, thanks to the fact she’s a gamer herself and we can play things together, have discussions and she’s noted how I light up with I’ve got an interest in something and chatting about it. She’s show me all sorts of games and got me into the Final Fantasy series, something I’d seen but was never properly introduced to. Thanks to her getting me up and going on Steam, I went through FF7 and cried my eyes out several times over and tried a few other games as she’s got a dozen different consoles and games spanning a couple of decades floating about the flat.

Right now my present gaming obsession is the Diablo series, again something I’d seen in passing years ago but wasn’t really introduced to. Diablo 3 is often on the go here, we can play together or on your own, though I do prefer playing together, it’s just more fun that way and I’m doing my usual thing of reading up on different ways to play, trying different things and really throwing myself into the series.

Going forward from here, who knows what’s next? I am interested in the FF7 remake, though slightly wary in case they make a mess of it. For that I may well need a more powerful machine than my present laptop. I can just see me and Rebecca someday building our own gaming PC’s for future games. As for right now I’m off to go try and drive demon forces back into the Burning Hells, allied with my usual witty commentary as I try not to suck at the game and die repeatedly.

Have a good day everyone 😀


(Diablo 3: Where while battling the hoardes of Hell you can pick up a wand that trolls you when you die)

Happy New Year

Well 2016 has been and gone now, and taken a load of celebs with it and I’m presuming everyone’s just about recovered from their ‘seeing in the new year’ hangovers. No hangover for me to deal with, partly because I had work the next day, and partly because I no longer have any need to get drunk to blot things out.

No, new year’s eve for us was spent staying indoors and having a mammoth Diablo III gaming session, complete with mine and Rebecca’s oft inappropriate sense of humour and commentary.
“Oh look, that fucking monster’s here and didn’t drop that fucking gem”
“My logic hurts just thinking about that”
“Ahhhh! Shit!!! Nooo!! I’ve just aggro’d every mob in the Desolate Sands trying to run away from this monster”
“I’m going to die!!”

And so on. Of course, me playing Hardcore, meaning if I died my character’s gone forever only added to the madness, but it was funny, so funny I had a minor asthma attack because of laughing so much. That’s not the first time that’s happened lately and won’t be the last.

It’s far more fun than going to some overcrowded, overpriced pub/club and then promptly leaving because of having a sensory meltdown. It’s also something I wouldn’t have expected to have been doing at the start of the year. 2016 has been a huge year for me, a year where a lot of big things have changed and I am in a far better place for it.

I got my hormones sorted out out and been on them for coming up to a year now and on that front at least things have been pretty stable. Getting them was a challenge but there’s been no incidents, no changes and my body has responded well as a result. It’s been great taking pics throughout the year and occasionally looking back to remind me of the progress and reassure myself at times. That aside, transition has been pretty quiet for me, aside from putting a lot of thought into what surgical option I want to pursue when the time comes, but I’ve already gone into some depth about that elsewhere.

Mentally I’ve noticed a change in myself. I feel like I’m a lot more self aware or mindful in myself. I’m far more aware of things that can unsettle me, make me anxious and so on so I can do something about what’s causing the issue before I slip into a hole and struggle to get out again. There’s probably a better way of describing that, but I can’t think of how. I’m also aware I don’t need to tough things out all the time, or ‘just deal with it’ all the time now. I can pick my battles now instead of fighting all the time, so to speak. If I’m not feeling right and it’s not important that I don’t do something, I don’t have to do it. It can wait.

It’s because of all this I’ve just left a job I’ve only been in for seven months. I was aware that it was hurting me mentally and I was aware I could do something about this before it got too bad, so I have, and all being well I shall start my new job quite soon.

Of course, all of this has come about from the biggest change of the year and of my life. I ended my relationship with my ex husband in the early part of the year as it had become clear that things were going nowhere and it had been hurting me in a lot of ways for several years. Thanks to a few friends as well as a counsellor I had initially gone to see for grief counselling I had my eyes opened for the first time in a long time and saw what had really been going on. I also met Rebecca face to face at around this time after spending many months chatting away on Twitter and then over the phone.

Well you know the story by now. I ended things with my ex and spent some time at hers to figure out what my next move would be … and fell madly in love with one another. With my ex now seeing other people and bringing them home I got out of there ASAP as this was really messing with my mind. I ended up moving three counties and a hundred miles away to live with Rebecca and haven’t looked back since.

I am in such a better place mentally, she is ever so loving and supportive and understanding,  and has done so much to encourage me to open up and talk when I’m struggling instead of hiding away as well as encouraging me to pursue my own interests and try new things. I like to think I’ve done a fair bit in helping her through her own issues and we’ve done so much to help one another transition wise as well as supporting one another with various trauma’s suffered from past relationships.

It’s been great getting out, doing girly things together and going out to all sorts of places instead of being dragged along to re-enactment events and wrecking myself. We’ve been to Brighton for Trans pride together, met a lot of great people we both chat to and in October we went on holiday together. Rebecca showed me the sights of Hunstanton and the surrounding area and we had a lovely quiet time together. It was also my first proper holiday in a decade. Well I could go on for the next week about all Rebecca has done for me and I for her, but I think all the pics we’ve put up throughout the year tells the story.

The smiles says it all really and my family have noticed too. Mum’s said to Rebecca that I’m the happiest she’s ever seen me and all of my family have really taken to her, which is always a plus. Well when mum tells you Rebecca is your soul mate what can you say? Anyway, as they say, mother knows best. 🙂

Going forward into this year, I’ve not really got any resolutions as such. I hope my new job works out well and I feel a lot more stable than I did with my old job and I also hope we both continue to progress smoothly with our transitions. As it is Rebecca and I are looking ahead to the future and we’ve both agreed that once we’ve both sorted ourselves out transition wise, had our surgery and so forth, we’re going to tie the knot. She proposed a little while ago and I instantly said yes. Well how could I not? She’s amazing and she’s my angel and I have never been so sure about anything in my life as I have with being with her and spending the rest of our days together.

And on that note, happy new year everyone.

A Grand Old Mess.

Well today is going quite grand as I now have a crying and upset Rebecca to try and settle.

Why is this?

Her GP. The thing is they’ve been wanting to see her about some issue or other, which we think is in relation to a letter both she and they have received from Charing X GIC regarding her self medicating on hormones.

The GP phoned yesterday and wanted to do a telephone consultation with her next week. Knowing this wouldn’t work I made arrangements to see the GP today so I could be there with Rebecca and give her some moral support while we sort out this mystery issue (as we’ve received no actual confirmation from the GP what this is all about). Doctors stress Rebecca out at the best of times given she’s had a slew of rough experiences in the past with them over a number of issues, so she’s been pretty on edge since yesterday.

(Rebecca: I’ve had so many care failures and obstacles before that I am disheartened and now even afraid to go to the GP. It took so much and the help of my Chrissy to just simply go and say “Hello I have a problem”. I am so distraught with it all.)

Just as we were about to head off out the door we get a call from the surgery. They’ve cancelled the appointment as the GP isn’t sure if he can sort out this issue in a 10 minute slot. I explain to them how stressed out Rebecca is over all this and why I need to be there with her. They insist they can’t sort things out today and insist on an evening appointment a little over a week away as this will be the first chance me and Rebecca will both be off work together. With all this going on I now have Rebecca in one arm sobbing her heart out and the phone in the other.

This illustrates a larger problem though, namely the detrimental effect on the mental health of so many transgender people who have to wait a ridiculous amount of time to get any support with transitioning due to the increasingly ass backwards setup we have in this country.

Most trans people have spent years dealing with their inner demons and finally deciding to speak up and ask for medical help with transitioning. To be told it’ll be at least a year for any initial consultation, several months to a year for a second opinion before they’ll think of dispensing hormones puts an incalculable amount of stress upon individuals. Add in the fact the total crap-shoot that is the process of obtaining a bridging prescription, dependant on weather your GP feels competent enough to monitor your levels or not and it’s no wonder so many trans people take matters into their own hands, as my partner has.

(Rebecca: It is not fun for your partner, who can’t stand needles anyway, to watch you on a Sunday night sticking a needle in your backside as you perform your own intramuscular injections or taking medication that’s actually for people who have heart disease in quantities that should kill you. And this isn’t just about getting a girly look. This is to improve my mental health and stability so I can function as a normal person. Or as normal as it gets when you’re transgender in a society that shuns and ridicules you for trying to live.)

If that’s not enough, when you finally see a GP, they pass on the info surrounding your self medication record to the GIC. They then send out a shitty and condescending letter on how dangerous it is taking matters into your own hands, as Rebecca has had recently instead of offering any meaningful advice or solutions. This is not on.

We KNOW the risks. We also know what hormone levels are ideal for the results we want to achieve with this and know it’s a simple case of frequent blood monitoring and either upping or lowering dosages until they sit right, and then routine monitoring to ensure they stay that way. It’s not hard. Most of us trans people feel capable of doing this, so why not your average GP, who has to do the EXACT SAME procedure with most other long term medication? Do you really think we WANT to go it alone on this? Do you think we do this for a laugh? No!

(Rebecca: All I need is my blood tests so I can manage my medication. Ideally I would be on “official” HRT as well and doing the same thing anyway. How will I know that I have to much potassium or to much oestrogen, if I can’t have bi weekly or monthly blood tests so I can regulate what amounts to quite deadly substances entering my body? I have already had an incident where my oestrogen was 4600 and I had to stop for 7 weeks to let it all drain out and start again. And even now I am cautious and deliberately missed this weeks dose because I don’t know what’s in my system and the doctor wouldn’t give me a batch of blood tests to find out. We need to be able to have small gender clinics in every town so we can just go and at least start and have the facilities to just have tests ordered or done. A blood test will not kill anyone.)
If we had a modern system where we can gain access to care in a reasonable time we wouldn’t be having such issues on  routine basis and my girl wouldn’t be in the sobbing mess she is right now. Needless to say I am very angry with the whole thing right now. All we want is to be able to feel comfortable in our own bodies. That’s all it is. It’s not a mystery. We’re fully informed and aware of the consequences of pursuing this course of treatment and we go into this with our eyes wide open and until the powers that be get their heads out of their asses and stop all this gate-keeping nonsense, what played out today and even worse scenarios are going to keep on happening.

Once Round The Clock

In a manner of speaking I’ve gone once around the clock, and by that I mean it’s been a year since my transition really picked up the pace. The other day was the anniversary of me getting my Deed Poll completed and I wasted very little time putting it to use and getting my main documents reissued in my chosen name. So I’ve been living as me for a year and trying not to sound big headed I think I’ve made a good job of it, certainly well enough to prove to anyone I can get by and survive socially as a woman. The GIC insist on us proving we can fit in as our acquired gender for at least a year before letting us go have surgery, (Well for those of us who want surgery as it’s not mandatory to have surgery of any kind and  be whatever gender you identify as)

On the physical side of things, I’ve been going through another growth spurt, so achy boobs are in vogue at the moment and apt as it was about this time last year I got my first round of boob ache as they started to form and do magic things. It also means having to have a good clear out of the wardrobe. I’ve now gone up two dress sizes since I first began transitioning and this is entirely down to the fact I now have a nice set of boobs on the go.

I had a dig through my PC the other day to compare pics I took last year and pics I took the other day (I like visual records of things). It’s staggering how much I’ve changed physically in a year just by taking a couple of little pills each day. Having a look back gave me a boost in another way. As well as going up two dress sizes I’ve also put on weight. A stone and a half to date and lately that’s been bugging me. Now I was prepared for thus in a way as I’m aware boob s weigh a fair bit and I know thighs and bum like to get in on the act too, and I like this. It’s helped with giving me a nice a feminine shape. No, it’s my midriff I was concerned about and looking back, yes there is a bit more on there than there used to be but not nearly as much as I have had stuck in my mind lately though I daresay I could benefit from doing something to tone things up a bit if I can do so without breaking myself.

Continuing the theme of the morning, it’s been a year since I started doing the laser hair removal. I’ve finally found a place up nearby to continue this labour and had my first session there and got Rebecca signed up to this too as it’s something she’s been wanting to do for a while. I’ve reached the stage where I’ve cleared most of the coarse stuff and have a lot of finer hair left. This means turning the dial up, quite a way up. So much so I ended up having a bit of a panic attack, (though to be fair I did have a lot going on and causing anxiety at the time). On the plus side the higher setting has really done the job. Aside from a stubborn patch right under my nose, I can have a shave and there’d be no tell tale giveaways showing any more and even the following day I could get away with minimum make-up.

Case in point this morning, when I accompanied Rebecca to work at 5am because she was going in fully dressed as herself for the first time, having recently organised her name change at work. I look rather zonked but I’m also wearing not a dot of make up and pretty pleased with how I look here.

(Tired but happy biker girl)

(I think it’s fair to say Rebecca’s very happy with being able to go to work as herself at last, and why not? She is bloody gorgeous)

Lately I’ve had this growing feeling that I’m moving to a new stage in my transition. I’m moving out and away from the early stages and into a mid point, somewhere between the people who’ve gone before, done all they need to do and are now getting on with their lives and those who are just coming to terms and coming out, much as I was a year ago.

I’m also feeling very much in limbo at the moment. There’s actually very little left I want or feel the need to do to feel at peace with myself but that what I do still need to do feels very much out of reach and not likely to get closer any time soon thanks to a system that really needs expanding to cope with demand. Not much I can do about that, short of robbing a bank at any rate.

Mostly though I’ve been feeling quite positive and having a phase where I’m feeling pretty good about myself, so I’m going to finish things off with  some pictures.

(Nothing to see here, just your basic trans person getting on with a very ordinary life)

(Me and Rebecca doing our thing at Herts pride, as it was held in our home town this year)

Pride Season

Yeah, it’s that time of year again, the weather’s sunny and hot, and there’s no need to add “allegedly” to that for a change, and so pride marches are in full swing up and down this country. I missed Sparkle in the end, which is a huge transgender celebration up in Manchester. I had intended on going and had a hotel booked but a few big things happened in between (such as moving in with Rebecca) and I ended up getting a refund on my booking to tide me over until I had a job. I do still have my hotel for Trans Pride in Brighton and as me and my girlfriend Rebecca have managed to get the time off we’ll be going.

I went to Trans Pride last year and it was a real eye opener for me and running up to this year’s event has brought back memories and feelings and an inevitable look back and comparison on where I was then and now in my journey. A lot of firsts have happened, there at Brighton and since then for me.

For a start I’m a full year further down the road on my transition, whereas then I’d only been out for a couple of months, still finding my feet and still unsure on how to do a lot of things and even how far I wanted to go with things. I remember being awake most of the night both nights I stayed in Brighton wondering how the hell I was going to tell work and various scenarios running in my head. I had a good job doing something I actually liked (caring for autistic adults) and I really didn’t want to give this up as I’ve had my fair share of barren times looking for work in the past.

A couple of months ago I went to my first and hitherto only interview as me and got the job I’m at now, caring for adults with mental health issues and learning disabilities, which I am thoroughly enjoying as it’s not too dissimilar to my last job as well as the freedom of not having to deal with the issues that come with transitioning in the  workplace I had beforehand. It’s a clean slate. Everyone knows me as me and not some miserable, broken and lost thing I was beforehand.

I was also daunted by the whole process of going to the GIC and jumping through all their hoops in order to get onto HRT and referred for surgery. There was still a part of me then who wondered if going on this journey at all was what I wanted or needed to do back then. Things are different now. Now I know who I am, what I want and what I need to do and I’ve gotten on and achieved a lot of that in the past year so I am a lot happier with myself on the whole now.

I was also unsure about surgery and if I wanted any. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve never had to have an operation for anything. Surgery in general terrifies me and the idea of surgery being performed on one of the most sensitive parts of one’s anatomy even more so. Now I’m at the point where I know I need to get it done for my own peace of mind and sanity. I’m still scared of surgery, just like I still have a huge phobia of needles but they’re both things I’m going to have to cope with in order to get to where I want to be.

I was also still deathly afraid of how my transition was going to affect my relationship with Richard at the time. As you know by now my relationship with him ended some months ago, though to be honest, my transition was only a part of the reason. I will speak more openly about this some day, but today isn’t that day.

The weekend meant meeting up with people I had been speaking to on Twitter, so my old enemy Social Anxiety had come along for the ride too as I’m very quiet and shy around people I’ve never met, even ones I’ve spoken to online for ages beforehand. On this I had nothing to fear and those of you I met all turned out to be very kind and friendly people all too happy to listen to my fears and confusion, reassure me and point me in the right direction on a number of things. For that, on that day where a beach picnic ended up becoming a liquid lunch at the Marlborough pub because of the foul weather and we ended up discussing all these thoughts about surgery and hormones I am so thankful. You know who you are if you’re reading this and I know all being well we should be meeting up with at least two of you over the weekend I saw there and a few more I’ve met since then 🙂

This year I’m going to be coming back and really enjoy myself this time because I’m me and a lot of my fears about being out socially have faded into the background as time has worn on. Brighton last year was one of the first places I’d been out and about as myself, other than the odd trip to town and my parents. It was also the first time I’d really plucked up the courage to do little things that shouldn’t been an issue but have been made into big news by bigoted idiots lately and frankly is none of their business (like using the ladies’ loos). Yes, a bit of a strange milestone, but it was at Pride last year I felt able to do this and I’ve never looked back.

I came back from Brighton last year with a confidence I was lacking beforehand and a belief that I could really do this, as well as a sense that I’m not alone in the world, as this can be an incredibly lonesome journey, thanks to some of the opposition and hate we have to face and put up with just because we want to be our true selves. Being together with so many other people who broadly felt the same as me and had similar experiences was lifting in it’s own way. I know we’re not all the same, we all want different things to feel more comfortable in our own skin but this was what I felt at the time and still feel now.

I was looking back at the pictures I took while at Trans pride last year and I noticed I wasn’t really smiling in any of them, or in many of my other early pictures come to think of it. This year will be different as I have a lot to smile about now in my life, not least being able to share this years experience with my beautiful Rebecca 🙂

And on that note, I should shut this down and start packing, organising what to take, wear and so on. Have Pride in yourselves everyone, have fun and stay safe 🙂