Wednesday, 4 October 2017

My youngest sister and my brother in law

I am the eldest of 4 children. I have 2 sisters and a brother. As I have already written we are a close family. My parents and my brother live relatively close by, my 2 sisters live 40 mins or so from each other and the closest, my youngest sister lives just under 2 hours away.

She (A) is the one who probably looks the most like me apart from her red hair, and we have much in common despite the 7 year age gap. We have daughters the same age, 21 and 15, with only a few weeks gap between each of them and obviously this meant we were pregnant at the same time. We both have other children but our girls are particularly close and although they are cousins they are in many ways like sisters.

During the summer holidays I arranged to go and spend the day with her and our 2 youngest daughters. My other sister was away so was unable to come too but it was lovely spending quality time with A. We got there early and had a great time catching up and then went to walk her dog before we headed off to the shops and for lunch.

We were on our own as the girls had stayed behind as they were far too busy and having so much fun playing Just Dance to come with us. Whilst we were walking the dog we were talking about future plans and the mood was just right so I told her that we had some great plans for 2018 and that recent job changes and ‘him’ starting a new business were part of that plan. She was curious about what it all meant so I just blurted out that ‘he’ was transgendered.

She said that she was surprised but not shocked. She thought that 'he' had hidden it very well and understood at the way 'he' had portrayed himself to be something he wasn't. She was unexpectedly very understanding and supportive and asked several questions about Lucy and the situation and what the future plans were. She was very much of the attitude that you should live your life how you want to and not worry about everyone else. I showed her some pictures and she was amazed and said how you would have never have known this was the 'man' she knew and Lucy looked great. Lucy's birthday was only a few weeks away and she was adamant that she was going to send a female card to her and said there was no point sending anything male oriented as it wouldn't be right. Actually her support was amazing and we spent the rest of the day having snatched conversations when the girls were not in earshot. This gave me the opportunity to really convey how I feel but also explain this hidden part of our life. When it was time to go I did ask her not to tell her husband as I needed to tell Lucy I had told her first. 

When I got home Lucy guessed that I had told A and I then told my sister Lucy knew she knew. This sparked some lovely texts from A to Lucy which was great. Lucy said that it was unfair to expect her to keep such a big secret from her husband M and said she could update him......

Over the years Male Lucy and M have had a brilliant relationship. Very much a bromance and a mutual admiration and deep friendship full of laughter and drunken antics. Our families have holidayed together, as adults we have been to the adult only Warner holidays and we have had lots of fun times together and M is always asking after 'him' (because male Lucy does not go to many family events as 'he' just does not feel comfortable).

I'm not sure what sort of reaction we were expecting. Up until this point everyone who had been told had been really supportive and accepting. We knew that this couldn't continue.....

For a while we were on tenderhooks knowing that A was telling M and we kept checking my phone for messages. Eventually A messaged..... M had taken it very badly.... he was absolutely devastated and had likened the loss he was feeling akin to a bereavement. He was mourning the loss of one of his best friends and the relationship they had had and was physically very upset. We were shocked and very saddened at the feelings M was having. Having not met Lucy, M could not know that she was exactly the same person inside, it was just the outside appearance was changing. The messages we were getting were that M was trying to be accepting but needed time to come to terms with the situation and in time he would feel in a position to meet and communicate with Lucy. I could see what this situation was doing to Lucy.... she was upset too and then all the self blame started to surface and she just felt so bad that her situation was causing so much distress.

We didn't hear much for a couple of days until my sister messaged me again to say that M was still very upset, so much so she was worried that their youngest daughter thought the cause of the upset was that they were splitting up and she asked if they could let her know the situation followed by their other 2 older children. The problem we were faced with was that we could not be sure that their children would be able to not say anything to anyone about this huge secret. Whereas my kids and our daughter knew, we knew they would be more discrete as it involved their parents.... this would not be the case for my nieces and nephew. I did message her back with a long explanation as to why we felt uncomfortable about them telling their children and the worry of them outing Lucy before 'go-live day' especially as we still have Lucy's 2 sons to tell but I did end it saying that if they felt they had no other choice then it would be their decision as their parents to make.

To this day we do not know if they have said anything. It is now nearly 2 months later and we have heard nothing from A or M on this subject. My sister has chatted about other things but still nothing has been said. We have no idea how M is doing either. We just hope that he has found a way to accept Lucy. One of my sons who has had a 'last man standing' competition with male Lucy on many occasions was laughing the other day saying that he would now win it by default as Lucy would be the last woman standing!

The reaction of M has been quite eye-opening. Male Lucy has 3 other very close male friends who have the same sort of close relationship with 'him' as M did. It has made us wonder how they will react.... each of these 3 are macho males and enjoy a similar bromance relationship with 'him'. Lucy says she wants to tell them all at the same time whereas I would prefer to stagger it as it could all be just as emotionally draining as the M situation just 3 times worse if dealing with the fallout from 3 friends at the same time. Watch this space!

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Transwidows - is this some sort of cult?!!

I have written about my transwidow stalker before. I call her a stalker as she just doesn't go away, goes quiet for a bit and then comes on all heavy. I'm thinking that this must be some sort of cult and she is trying to recruit me into as she just keeps on and on. From her comments and questions she poses it is totally clear that she not has not really read my blog posts as her questions would be clearly answered, even down to how many children I have had and their ages! Maybe I should be honoured I have this TERF who seems obsessed with me!

Why is she trawling through trans positive posts? What is her aim? I'm not sure what she is trying to achieve and nothing she says to me resonates with me at all. As anyone who reads my blog knows I am comfortable with my situation and enjoy being part of this community. She will never sway me with her TERF views and transphobic comments so why does she keep trying? Give up love, its a hopeless cause!

Although I have made all comments on my blog so they are approved first, it doesn't mean that I'm not prepared to share her comments, although this will probably we the last time as I am bored of her harassment. I just don't want all her negativity and hate in ad hoc comments against my blog. What some people in this community do not understand is that being a supportive partner can be quite difficult. We are not accepted in many trans forums because we are CIS/natal, God forbid! As partners they do not think we should or can have an opinion and that we are supportive but in a transphobic way..... yes, sadly we are called transphobic and are accused of it and tarred with the same brush as 'all' CIS people again who are generalised. 

We are not always accepted by general society as they don't understand why we would stay and support someone we love and as my Transwidow proves we are open to abuse from people whose relationships have failed due to their partner being trans. We also risk friendships and some family relationships to support our partners and sometimes we are victims of the same abusers as our partners or trans people within the community. But despite all this, we remain strong and supportive.

So lets get back to my lovely stalker....... what was so important than in the space of less than an hour she left me 7 messages.....

These were against my Transwidow Q & A post, she doesn't even cover the issue of transmen, all her vitriol is aimed towards transwomen (as this is obviously what her partner was that broke her) but this time she doesn't even warrant a response and not going to waste my time and feel free to visit her blog which she desperately keeps pushing..... I'm not going to read it as I already know from her comments the hatred and TERF comments it will contain.

  • i find it astonishing that you are ready to swallow this hook line and sinker without even rudimentary research.the fact that you could encourage your husband to mutilate his healthy body and go to these lengths to affirm his 'identity' without ever coming across the word autogynephile says it all really... all heterosexual transsexual males are autogynephilic to some degree or other.. most of us ex wives and partners recognise the signs like they are burned into our are being abused. your good nature is being appropriated for a mans sexual satisfaction and we feel sorry for you because you still havent realised what this man is doing to you. femininity does not equal female. he does not give one single shit about women or lesbians, though i bet he claims to be one in bed eh? or have you also given up your sex life so he doesnt have to be bothered with your needs anymore or do you not really find you are attracted to amputated penises and not sure what to do with the weird hole between his legs, the daily dilations, the nasty wee hairballs that grow inside his 'vag'? .. do you even know the first thing about this surgery? how much research have you actually done on his condition? you have put his sexual needs above yourself and your family. dont be surprised at the fallout. 
  • the sad person here is the blogger. truly. 
  • it actually was not a bad relationship? - it was a wonderful relationship that grew from a 30 year friendship. so youre wrong to presume anything about me. we were very happy until it turned out we werent because genda. ive had babies ive been a midwife and i know that WOMEN are people who menstruate, get pregnant, give birth, lactate, go through menopause, suffer infertility and patriarchal medicalisation to the point of trauma and suffer lifelong the male gaze and gender stereotypical societal expectations to the point of starving themselves to death and self harming in the name of beauty to please men. women do not get born with testicles and penises or impregnate, violate, rape or murder other women.
  • this woman had a 15 year very happy marriage thank you very much. the nature of the beast means you dont know you are being violated or understand the mechanism by which you are being abused until you are away from the gaslighter. these men are very prone to using women all up and then walking away with all the benefits built up over a long marriage.i very much doubt her loyalty will be repaid. and she just might find she has to pay a very high price in her other relationships. 
  • shared among my private 'survivors of trans relationships' groups... how old are you btw and how many children have you birthed, breastfed and raised? 

Thank you for comments transwidow Penelope and thank you for sharing my posts amongst your TERF groups but now is the time for you to f**k off move on to someone else as I am not the naive, uneducated, uninformed, unintelligent, timid, abused wife you think I am. My Lucy has not changed at all in the person she is but please remember, unlike you, I was told after only a few months so our relationship has not been based on deceit and lies, she still has the same hobbies and interests, we still laugh at the same things, we both give each other total consideration with decisions we make as we always have done, and her transition has not totally taken over our life. She doesn't force me to do anything, I chose the name of my blog, we have a very happy, loving and sensual relationship (our sexual relationship is going very strong thank you very much) and I am certainly not an abused wife..... I am an incredibly loved wife, she tells me and demonstrates that every single day and I feel the same way about Lucy and also tell her and demonstrate it to her every day too. She gives me loyalty which I also return without a second thought. I will never accept any of your TERF comments and views so move along nicely now..........

Monday, 7 August 2017

The Lloyds Bank not so 'merry' go round

If you have read my blog you will know the issues that Lucy has been having with Lloyds Bank. It has been happening for well over a year and a half now and is getting totally ridiculous. Despite assurances that the situation has been addressed it just keeps happening.

The latest incident which happened back in April was where a bank teller changed her pin without her authorisation just because they believed it was not Lucy's account and that she knew the pin number for the card that in their eyes was not in her name. The teller accused her of using someone elses card, did not request any proof of identity and without telling Lucy arranged for a new pin to be sent out. As you can imagine this was blinking inconvenient and all Lucy did was change the pin back to what it was.

She complained to Lloyds and they offered for someone to ring her back. Weeks went by with no response and after Lucy had rung back several times eventually someone did ring and leave a message but when she returned the call there was no answer. 3 months later she was still waiting......

Now I truly understand that the bank are making sure Lucy's account is secure and when she uses the bank she is not always presenting 'en femme' however she has been assured on numerous times that there are notes on her account advising of her circumstances. If there are notes they are either not displaying in a way the teller can see, are not obvious or are being blatantly ignored. If there is any doubt to Lucy's identity all it takes is a request for proof of id which she carries with her at all times. What is unacceptable is every time this happens she is never asked for this and is always aggressively challenged and accused of using someone elses card. From a company that is Stonewalls number 1 employer for 2017 and a main sponsor of Sparkle, this is even more unacceptable. They need to have provisions for customers in the process of transitioning or as Lucy says 'work in progress'.

At the Sparkle ball Lloyds had paid for several tables and as you can imagine I was keen to find those tables so I could discuss the situation with them (we had a discussion with some representatives at last years Sparkle) however Lucy did not want me to. We later found out that there were some very senior Lloyds staff in attendance and they were pointed out to us. After the meal Lucy approached one of them and had a chat with her and she apologised for the issues Lucy had been experiencing and she also called over another colleague who was also a senior member of staff, Richard. They were very interested in Lucy's experience and freely admitted that although they are making changes from the top down, it is taking longer than they would like to filter down to the branches and local training programmes. They wanted to use Lucy's experience as a case study but also address the issue so it does not happen again. They were at great pains to explain that it should not matter how you present, it should be about getting the service you deserve. No customer should be judged by the way they dress and be accused of using someone elses details whether they fit the binary stereotype or not. Richard took Lucy's number and promised to ring her Monday afternoon.

As promised Richard rang Lucy on Monday and she went through the issues she had been experiencing especially about the recent branch situation. He again apologised and said that this was not how they want their trans customers (or any customer) treated. He took all the details down and asked Lucy what outcome was she looking for. She said she just wanted to be treated respectfully when using the bank and it would be great if they undertook training to educate the staff. Lucy cannot be the only person suffering this sort of treatment. Richard promised that he would make sure the situation was addressed. He said for Lucy to contact him if she had any further problems.

A few days later she received a bouquet of flowers from the branch manager of the branch in question and the next day she received a letter again apologising but also stating that branch training had been undertaken to ensure this situation did not arise again. The branch manager also rung her and re-iterated what was in the letter. Interestingly he mentioned that the specific bank teller had been spoken to and in her defence she said that Lucy had said she was using her wife's card and pin which clearly was not true! Lucy would have no reason to say this! No excuses!

We happened to be in the area 2 weeks ago so together we popped into the branch again. This time Lucy was fully dressed and she presented her card to pay money in. It was a different female teller however we are sure that the training must have been successful as she didn't challenge anything and in fact was very, very friendly and chatty and did not question anything. This was probably the friendliest reception I have ever encountered at any branch let alone Lucy!

Any way, after this we thought the matter was all sorted until a couple of weeks ago when Lucy went into our local branch (different to the one before) to deposit some money. The male teller was one that she had seen on many occasions when paying money in and he has not said anything before but on this occasion he aggressively challenged Lucy and told her off for using someone elses card. She told him several times to check the notes on the account and when he eventually did he continued the transaction but there was no acknowledgement of his error or apology and his attitude didn't change either. So Lucy rang Richard and advised him of what had happened. Again he took all the details and said to leave it with him and he would contact the branch.

As yet we have not heard anything further however last week Lucy purchased a vehicle and went to the same branch to withdraw cash from her account. She wasn't fully dressed and was her usual casual 'work in progress'. It was a different teller however she she did not challenge anything. The only thing she did do in addition to getting her to enter her pin in to withdraw the cash was to sign a withdrawal slip and checked her signature. Again she was friendly and the situation went without a hitch.

So it is looking like Lloyds are sticking by their pledge to train staff to understand the whole trans situation. It is a shame that this training has only happened because of Lucy's experiences and only in the branches she mentioned. They need to learn that for many trans people specifically that during transition (and possibly after) that the outward presentation may not match their perception of who they are based on the name on the account. I doubt that this is an easy fix and will take sometime to ensure that all their staff are suitably trained but it is definitely steps in the right direction.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

2nd appointment at Charing Cross GIC

The day before the long awaited 2nd appointment with Stuart Lorimer (we had heard good things about him) was finally here. We had booked a stay at the Premier Inn at Chiswick which was a great price (£36 + £10 for parking) and only a 15 minute drive away from the clinic. Although the hotel was on a main road it was dead quiet and far superior to the Premier Inn we stayed in at Hammersmith last time (and cost £100 and £8!). We would highly recommend this hotel and the staff were all polite and friendly.

We did a quick trip to Asda on the way just to pick up some drinks... apparently.... and Lucy ended up spending a fortune on clothes and bras. I had told her before how sometimes Asda have some great clothes and we found the 2 sizes bigger bra range which I had previously mentioned to her as I wanted her to try this range as it could mean she could get rid of the inserts she has to use. There was only one in her size but we got it anyway - it was a great fit and did the job. She now has also bought a few more and doesn't need the forms any more. Another step in the right direction.

In the morning, as always, we were later leaving than we had planned but we still had plenty of time to get there for the 10am appointment. As luck would have it when we got to the clinic there was loads of parking right outside the door. Result! We checked in at reception and were told that Stuart Lorimer was off sick and that we would be seeing Vanessa Crawford. We hadn't heard of her but we were not worried.

We got called in dead on 10am by this little new age hippy type lady with really long dreadlocks and a very friendly face. She explained that actually they had tried to cancel Lucy's appointment this morning but we hadn't got the message (it was on Lucy's other phone but we hadn't noticed it, luckily as it turns out) so she would be taking the appointment. At no point did she say it wouldn't go ahead. She was one of those people that you felt so relaxed with and both Lucy and I felt that she really connected with us and understood our situation. She certainly could see how together and supportive we are as a couple. She explained that since the move to the control of Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust how they are trying to get better with the system, moved everything over to computer instead of paper but it seems it is not yet organised in an easy to find way, they have updated their phone system and are proud of the latest call stats (in the last month CX GIC received approx 2,300 calls and only 6 went unanswered) and they are making an effort to be better with their admin.

She went over some of the questions Lucy and I had been asked previously and updated our current situation. The session was very relaxed and there were a few jokes bandied backwards and forwards. She wanted to know about all the changes from the medication and it was a very open and frank conversation. The way it was between us all made the atmosphere great and was just like 3 friends having a chat. She asked a few extra questions and was speaking to me as well as Lucy and none of the conversation felt intrusive at all even though some things were quite personal to us both.

She confirmed that she would be agreeing for the GIC to take over Lucy's medication which was good news and they will still expect our GP to do the blood tests as they have been doing anyway so we so we do not anticipate any issues there. She couldn't confirm what form the medication would take as Lucy's record would be passed to the endocrinologist Dr Leighton Seal who would make the decision however Lucy mentioned that she seems to be reacting to the patches so a move away from them would be good and Vanessa made a note.

She also said that the waiting list for the voice coaching was about a year and although Lucy was referred in Nov 2016 she would double check to ensure she was on the list as it is very beneficial. She also recommended a book to read so we have ordered that already: The Voice Book for Trans and non-Binary people by Matthew Mills and Gillie Stoneham.

She asked about Lucy's hair removal referral. Lucy explained that this had been bit of a nightmare. She had received the referral and found a clinic but they had been having problems getting the confirmation from the person who had approved the referral. This was only sorted a few days ago when the clinic contacted Lucy quite frustrated and she then emailed the person and it all got confirmed so she is now just sorting out a date for her first appointment in the next couple of weeks. 

Vanessa went over a few things and was happy with the progress that Lucy had made with her life and transition. She seemed quite impressed that we were involved in the community, not just for nights out but Lucy's involvement with Sparkle and my involvement in partner support. She advised that before being referred for surgical assessment they require you to have been on hormones for a least a year. As Lucy has been on hormones since October 2016 the next appointment would be in approx 6 months time and would be the pre-surgical assessment. While we waited for reception to book the date we were expecting something far longer as the timelines always seem to be skewed but she got her next appointment for 27 Feb 2018 and again with Vanessa which we were pleased about. Exciting times..... so far but actually so near....... 

We came out thrilled with the way that the appointment had gone. This was definitely a good day. 

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Telling my eldest sons.... so we thought!

I have been pushing Lucy for sometime to let me tell my 2 eldest sons. My other 2 younger children know and our daughter knows too. Much of the delay was caused as Lucy wanted to tell her sons first however with their individual circumstances we don't get to see them very much at the moment and we see much mine more. There was an urgency to tell them as they are more likely to notice all the changes.

My eldest son and his wife came over for dinner last week. They are expecting their first child, our first grandchild! We had a lovely time and Lucy nearly felt like telling me that it was ok to tell them however it is important that we tell both my sons at the same time and then she couldn't make up her mind so we didn't.

For this weekend just gone I had planned a family bbq where all my children would be over and together. I wanted to take this opportunity to tell them but Lucy kept wavering. I thought it was important especially with the new baby due in January and didn't want anything to detract from the joy this baby would bring. All week we had been discussing it and Megan our 14 year old daughter was trying to persuade us to tell them.

On Friday night while Lucy was in the bath Megan came and spoke to me to say that she had been in a discussion with my 3 sons (she games with them regularly) and they had all decided that I should be told that they knew already and in fact they had know for over a year!! Their message was to tell mum that they were all very supportive. Turns out my 21 year old daughter had told them......

Well that dealt with that situation! Now to tell Lucy.... we don't have any secrets and I needed to tell her. Later that evening when we were sat together and she mentioned about telling my sons I told her we didn't need to as they knew already and they were incredibly supportive. To be honest Lucy had suspected for some time that they knew but we didn't know for sure. We would have liked to have told them ourselves as there is the whole background story that we wanted to share but in any case they were over the following evening so I could have a chat with them.

As luck would have it, Lucy got asked last minute to DJ at a party so wasn't there when they all came over. My second eldest son came over first and we had a chat. He and his girlfriend were not fazed by it at all and were interested to hear all about us, our friends and see pictures. They both reiterated that they were supportive of us both and actually don't see how it would be a problem for them. I had to pop to the shop to pick up something and his girlfriend came with me and we had a lovely chat about it all and again everything she said was full of support and that they were interested in coming out to Pinks with us. So it looks like they will come in either Nov or Dec (they are busy with holidays and weddings before this). 

My eldest son came over with his wife and gave me a big hug. Again they were both so very supportive and actually I was overwhelmed with how super supportive he was. The whole evening was a fantastic night.

Over the following couple of days my eldest son and his wife continued to message me with such supportive messages for me and Lucy. Some of the things he was saying just blew us both away. I knew my sons would be supportive but the extend of the support of them both and their partners far exceeds anything we could have wished for. My eldest son and his wife are all booked to come to Pinks in Sept and they can't wait to meet Lucy properly but also meet many of our friends. To top it off my 21 year old daughter is also coming to Pinks in Aug with her boyfriend. It is going to be great to introducing them all to everyone.

It seems this blog has fulfilled its primary objective. To be there for when we started telling our family. My second eldest son and his girlfriend have started to read it and my eldest son and his wife have read it all and his comments were:
Read the blog and what an experience! Its a hard fight but it looks like you are both winning. I still hate the fact that she has to hide away her true self  but really... f**k everyone else and to let you know you have our full support in every way and we are here for you both. Oh and tell Lucy we thinks she looks beautiful.

Well boys and girls, if you are reading this, Lucy and I love you very much and your support is just AMAZING and just so appreciated!

We have spent the last few days with something in our eyes.......

Friday, 21 July 2017

Sparkle 2017

Well what a Sparkle it was this year!

We had been looking forward to it very much and even more so as Lucy had been doing behind the scenes work for the trustees so knew some of the arrangements in advance. We arrived on Thursday and were staying until Monday.

Last minute we changed our hotel from the Premier Inn to The Britannia Hotel as Jenny and Ethan were moving hotel and we moved too as we wanted to be near them. Originally Lucy booked a room with no windows (yes no windows in a hotel with no aircon – not her best idea!) so when we checked in and we asked to pay extra for a room with windows they gave a us a free upgrade to a room with windows on the 6th floor. All great except the lifts stopped at the 5th floor and we had to walk up 4 flights of tight winding stairs to get to the room. By the time we got there we were both hot and sweaty and a bit frustrated, it had been bad enough getting our multitude of luggage out of the car and into the lift in the first place let along lugging it up further stairs.

The room was tiny, tired and old but had windows that opened but was still very hot as we were in an attic room. Luckily we had bought 2 fans with us which helped. We decided that although we were not impressed with the room it would be ok as a base for changing and sleeping so started getting ready to go out. There was a huge painted beam over the top of the bed and while we were getting ready I happened to look up…… it was covered in THICK dust and written in the dust were the words ‘Clean Me’ which looked like they had been there some time. We were not impressed but we wanted to get out for the evening so didn’t say anything….. yet.

We went out that evening along Canal Street and visited lots of bars having a couple of drinks in each to get a feel for the atmosphere, price of drinks etc. It was just us but we had a great time and met up with a few people. Lucy’s name was on the window of Via for her DJ stint she was doing on the Sparkle opening night Friday evening and she was very excited and loved her claim to fame.

Friday we had a lay in as we got in very late and we knew we wouldn’t get much sleep over the weekend as Lucy was also helping out backstage at the Sparkle stage on Saturday and Sunday. By the time we got up and out it was about 3pm and we were starving. On the way out we visited the hotel reception to ask them to clean the beam and change our bedding as the bed was directly underneath and any cleaning would have messed the bed up. The receptionist was having none of it and wanted to move us into a different room straight away. The only disadvantage was that it had to be done immediately but they did eventually send a porter up to help with the cases. Lucy was rolling her eyes as she had unpacked everything for the weekend so it meant repacking everything and it was a hot day in a hot room too. Anyway, we packed up and I did several journeys from one room to the other which was on the 2nd floor while Lucy waited for the porter (it was hot and I thought best Lucy didn’t do too much in the heat and she was hot enough as it was). The new room was amazing! It was a large suite with a sofa area and a spa bath! Still no aircon but a much bigger space. It was the size of a large studio flat. Suffice to say at this point it was a lot of faff to move however we were glad that we had said something.

By the time we eventually got out it was gone 4pm and we still hadn’t eaten so grabbed a pizza at a restaurant down Canal Street and then had a walk around. We met up with a few people we knew and visited a few new places. Friday evening Lucy was dj-ing at Via and we had arranged to meet Jenny and Ethan and some other friends for a meal first so we went back and got ready.

We had a lovely Chinese meal, a bit later than planned, but it was really nice and the portions were huge! As well as Jenny and Ethan, our friend Paulette, who is a Sparkle trustee, and her partner Lorraine were there, as well as Shelly Webster who was the headline act for Saturday on the Sparkle stage. She had come all the way from Texas to play and was such a really lovely person. When it got to about 10.30pm Lucy was keen to get over to Via to get her stuff put in the DJ booth and get herself prepped for her big moment. Lucy DJs as ‘he’ and has been dj-ing for 30 years but this would be the first time as the real her. A momentous moment.

We met up with a few other friends in Via and had a couple of drinks while waiting for Lucy’s slot. Before we knew it, she was there dj-ing. The place must have had approx. 400 people in it and was heaving. Her music pumped out and she put in a few of her favourite old school garage tunes which went down a treat. Everyone was dancing and singing, the bar staff said they loved it and safe to say it was a resounding success. A trans male DJ was after Lucy and his kit was not working so Lucy let him plug in his tunes into her stuff and we went off for a celebratory drink with our friends who were waiting.

The new DJ had only been on a few minutes when the owner of the bar came and dragged Lucy back…. The music was not in keeping with the bar and customers were leaving and he was not happy as he was losing money and was worried that in 10 minutes the bar would be empty. He insisted that she had to come back and DJ for the rest of the night. Lucy felt bad for the other DJ but there was not much else she could do. She got right back on to it and people stopped leaving and extras came in. It was a long old night and I didn’t get to spend much time with her but it was very successful!

Saturday we were up and out relatively early (well early for us!). Lucy was helping Paulette backstage and I spent most of my time in the Sparkle lounge with friends sitting in the sun. It was a glorious day unlike the rainy days from Sparkle last year. The acts were good and Shelly Webster was an amazing guitar player. There was a great lesbian hip hop group called Ajah who were fantastic too. My only criticism would be that the majority of the acts were influenced by rock and it would have been good to have had a bit more diversity in the music style but in any case it was far better than the year before when it seemed that the only attribute you needed to be on the stage was to be trans rather than have any talent. I met up with some friends and also a blogger friend Amy who I have been friends with on Facebook for ages and whose blog I love reading. It was great to actually meet her properly at last!

For Saturday night it was the Sparkle Ball at the Mercure hotel. Champagne reception and a beautiful ball room which was air conditioned and looked the part (unlike the ball at the Britannia the year before). The food was lovely although somehow we missed out on the ice cream desert but to be honest we were busy enjoying ourselves with the friends on our table. There was a pianist who played beautifully however the sound was not amplified so was difficult to hear at the back of the room where we were. Later there was a singer and people were up dancing.

We left at about 10.30, got changed and went off down Canal Street where we met up with lots of friends and had another fun night out. We went to a few bars and ended up in Via with friends dancing and drinking…. Unfortunately our time in Via was marred by a complete d**khead bouncer. Lucy had taken her shoes off to dance and he came over and aggressively told her to put them on. Just at that point another friend arrived and as Lucy went to greet her seconds later the bouncer told her even more aggressively to put her f***ing shoes on. Actually there was no need for this attitude and we felt miffed by the fact Lucy had bailed the bar out the night before. The owner was not around that evening and the duty manager was not bothered so we drunk our drinks, left and went off to GAY with some friends (we will be complaining about the bouncer as he was unnecessarily aggressive). I like the downstairs of GAY but not so keen on upstairs where it seems to smell of pee! In any case the drinks are amazingly cheap and although they don’t have a DJ they play good music. It does seem to be a predominately male gay place but we still had a good time.

Sunday we had to be up, out and at Richmond Tea rooms by midday – no mean feat when we probably rocked in at gone 5am! We met Jenny and Ethan and while they had a lovely Queens Tea, Lucy had an English breakfast and I had poached eggs. It is a great themed tea room with lots of mis-matched china and tea cups but all added to the charm. We need to go back to have a proper tea and they also have mad hatter themed days where everyone dresses up so we would be keen to go on one of those days too.

We made our way over to the park and the Sparkle lounge. Jordan Gray was the host for the day as well as performing later in the day. She is just amazing and is so talented and was a great choice for the job. It was another hot day. Lucy helped present some of the awards on the stage. The day just flew by and before we knew it the trustees and helpers were up on the stage finishing the event with a rendition of Amazing Grace.... a fantastic finish! Jenny and Ethan were leaving that evening and had put their stuff in our room when they checked out so came back for a cuppa and a natter before they left. They are such a great couple and exactly as last year we sat there chatting for ages before they had to go.

By the time we got out it was gone 10pm so we grabbed something to eat from the chippy and made our way back to Canal Street. It was much emptier as many people had gone and last year the Sunday night was a bit of a wash out for us. This year there seemed to be more places open later which was great and we went back into Via as the bouncer wasn’t working that night. We met up with our friend Sonya and ended in Eva which is a basement bar with karaoke. It was a nice little place, shame about the sodden toilets but we met some great people in there. Lucy and Sonya sung Wonderwall and transpires it was Sonya’s first time at karaoke and she has shared the video on her Facebook much to Lucy’s amusement. Once they closed we ended up in Napoleons which was still quite busy and again made some new friends in there too. Our Sunday night had been a blast and nothing like the year before.

We had paid extra for a late check out on the Monday and once we were out and stuff packed in the car (2 taxi’s had problems finding the car park we had parked in but that is another story) we went off for our last stroll down Canal Street and grabbed some breakfast. Kiki did an all day breakfast which wasn’t bad. It was weird being in there when it was light, quiet and relatively empty apart from a few people dotted around grabbing meals.

For us Sparkle this year was so much better than last year. The talent on the stage truly was talent even if it wasn't all to our taste, the Ball was far superior, the Sparkle lounge had been given a great face lift and the park was not so muddled. The effort that we know that was put in to laying on the whole even was tremendous. The bars on Canal Street were busy. Despite being a community event there was the odd idiot we came across but just chose to ignore. You get idiots everywhere sadly.

The drive home wasn’t too bad, 4 and half hours I think. When we got about 20 mins away from home Lucy started to change back to him. Last year this was an incredibly emotional time for us both and this year was just as bad. 10 minutes from home we pulled over in a quiet area so she could fully transform back…. We both stood there hugging each other overwhelmed with emotion. I feel like this every time she goes back to him even if we have only been out for one evening and this had been 5 fantastic days 24/7. Emotionally it breaks us both….. she needs to go full time to everyone soon…. we can’t keep going through this…….

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Catch up

Well here I am again trying to play catch up. Life has been so busy and I no longer have a reliable personal laptop and hate having to write anything lengthy on my phone due to the damn auto correct which changes almost every word I write once I have moved off the word. Frustrating!

Sometimes I think that some of my posts are just general ramblings about what we have done and don’t think they are very interesting for anyone other than Lucy and myself. Well I like writing them so here we are......

We went for the murder mystery dinner at Jenny and Ethan’s and dropped into Pinks on the way the night before. We checked into our room at the DoubleTree Hotel (this hotel is built around the MK stadium) only to be confronted with twin beds….. ooopss… now this is not our thing. 
 After trying to work out whether or not we could push the beds together we concluded that one of us would end up on the floor down the gap in the night so Lucy rang reception and they moved us to a lovely double room…. 
Unfortunately it was right round the back of the stadium which is a 10 minute walk from the entrance.  We settled in and Lucy started unpacking and I put the kettle on…… big mistake…. All the electrics blew one side of the room! After waiting nearly an hour for someone to come and sort it we were eventually moved into the room next door. They offered us a free breakfast but we are never up in time for that so requested a late check out (2pm) which they granted. By this time it was late and after getting ready to go out it was 1am before we actually walked into Pinks.
It was a non ‘trans’ night which was great. I’ve said before that we like those types of nights as it is more of normal club night environment. As much as we love meeting many of our trans friends we do love these sorts of nights too. It was a really fun night, met some really lovely people and we stayed out far later than planned. It was daylight as we made our way back to the hotel via McDonalds so Lucy could get herself (and the taxi driver) a breakfast meal which she then ate at the back of the hotel.
The next day we headed off to Cheshire to meet up with Jenny and Ethan. They live in a small village and we stay in the local pub B&B. They are very friendly and Lucy has not had any issues there which is great. The room was lovely last time and this time they had done all the rooms up and all had new bathrooms.

It is a small room but very quirky and we love staying here. We hadn’t planned on going to BNO at Pinks the following week as we had been there this week however while we were getting ready for dinner someone posted on Facebook about getting a great rate at the Doubletree for that night and before I knew it, Lucy had booked!

We had a great time at their murder mystery dinner and met some more of their lovely friends. This time I was Colonel Jockstrap....
We met up again the following day and went off to a nearby outlet village with lots of little shops but some big brand names. We had a lovely cream tea with massive scones. There was a rowdy group walking round and I was on alert expecting them to possibly make some comments to Lucy but luckily they didn’t however they did have a security guard following them around so I don’t think it was just me who thought they may be trouble. Everyone we encountered was really friendly and polite and we found the Romans store which Lucy loved and bought herself a couple of dresses. They have some really great things in there so think this is now an addition to her favourite clothes stores. She also found a bath bomb place so she was in her element. We ended back at the pub for a fab evening meal before we headed off home.

The following Friday we were back to the Doubletree for the BNO at Pinks. No dramas with the room this time and we had a room right by the lift. What a fantastic night we had and met lots of our friends and made lots of new ones too. A few weeks ago Lucy had gone through her wardrobe and got rid of a whole heap of stuff which was going to be donated to our local charity shop. I always have a rummage through it as you never know and sometimes our daughters like some of the bits. In there was a Primarni leather look pinafore still with the tags on.... so I nabbed that for me and purchased an all in one black body to wear underneath. This was my outfit for Pinks and when Lucy saw it she pretended that she didn't recall getting rid of it and told everyone I had taken it off her!! She is just jealous as it looked good especially with long boots! 

In any case it was one of the best nights we had ever had there. Again we left when it was light and the birds were cheeping in the trees. The taxi ride home went via McDonalds to get a breakfast meal for Lucy and the driver. On the way in we tapped up the night manager and we blagged a late check out for 2pm… result! More so for me as after a 2 hour drive home I was only at home for a couple of hours before I was back to Milton Keynes for a family birthday party. Unfortunately they don’t know about Lucy as I could have stayed with them rather than going back and forwards.

In other news……
The complaint with Lloyds Bank is still ongoing and not resolved. This is disgusting treatment as it has been 4 weeks now and to make it worse they are Stonewalls Top Employer for 2017….. so they look after their staff but not their customers! It would be great if they could just get someone to ring Lucy back to discuss the issue but it seems impossible! On one phone call chasing them up the first thing Lucy did was explain her situation before getting involved on the call and then during the ensuing conversation the agent said she couldn’t talk to Lucy as she was not the account holder! Lucy referred her back to the initial discussion at the start of the call and the agent admitted that she hadn't listened to a word of it……. Unbelievable!! They contacted her yesterday saying someone would ring her and she is still waiting.... appalling!

Lucy got her passport! Yay!!! What a momentous moment for her. It all went through very quickly and no queries which was a relief. It came while I was working from home and a day earlier than she expected. I couldn’t wait to see her face when she opened it, even though she gave me permission to open it but it was her big thing and it had to be her. I cannot describe the big smile she had on her face!

She has received the electrolysis funding letter from the GIC and has been speaking to a technician and is now just waiting for the first appointment to be confirmed. They have to check back with the GIC to confirm and then it is all full steam ahead. I know these free ones are only a drop in the ocean of what she needs but it is a start.

Her hair is getting longer but is still very curly. The thinning patch still has the baby fine hair which is also getting longer. Her hair is so long now it is getting difficult to tuck inside any of her wigs. The newer wigs she does have are over a year old now and need replacing. We have been looking around and don’t want to go back to the place in China where we got these from as if you remember it was all a bit of a nightmare. A friend had got a lovely new wig from a place in Kensington called A-List Lace Hair so we had a look at the reviews and Lucy made an appointment to go and see them which she did last week. They have measured her up, sorted out style and colour and it is now being made to order. It is taking about 6 weeks and is 3 times the cost of the one’s we bought from China however we are expecting the quality and fit to be better. When it is ready she has to go for a fitting, style and finish. Watch this space!

Lucy’s hair does stress her out quite a bit and is a hindrance to her being full time sooner (along with a couple of other things). A few days ago she discovered something called Mesh Integration System. This is where they stitch a hairpiece or pieces of hair to her own hair using a mesh cap. It looks great but isn’t cheap and will need maintenance but looks like another alternative to a wig. Something else to consider but I know it will make her feel more confident.

We received some good news about Sparkle. Lucy has been selected to be one of the DJ’s for the opening night on Friday 7th July, aka DJ Lucy London. This is great news and will be the first time she has been able to DJ as herself. We are both very excited and we have some of our friends that will come down to see her too. We are just waiting for the official announcement so we can share the poster to more of our friends. Sparkle itself is shaping up to be a great weekend. Lucy is helping out at the main stage on the Saturday so I will be mooching around the park with friends and when she is finished we are off to the Sparkle Ball. On the Sunday we are off to the famous Richmond Tearooms before heading back to the park to see Jordan Gray who is the compare and host for the day. We are now staying until Monday so will be out and about with friends that evening too. Should be great fun! 

Oh, and I got banned from a Trans Support group for daring to be CIS and supportive! Long story but there is a whole blog post coming about this.......