Wednesday, 24 February 2016

GIC Induction workshop

So yesterday was the day. The first appointment at the GIC for Lucy. I know it was only for an induction workshop and not an appointment with a consultant but it is still a big day for her nonetheless.

All morning I was feeling nervous and excited for her. She works nights so I knew she wouldn’t be up until about midday to get to her appointment at Charing Cross for 2pm. I knew when she was awake as she started sending tweets about being nervous and then we were exchanging many WhatsApp messages between us. She sounded so nervous despite me wishing her lots of good luck. Family and friends are not allowed at this appointment and I can understand why especially if everyone is feeling like Lucy and this would be a big step for them all however I felt really bad not being there for her as we are always together for things like this. The last I heard from her was at 1.50pm and then nothing.

Then I was playing the waiting game. Just waiting to hear from her and checking my phone for a WhatsApp message every few minutes. Quite futile really, I was fully aware that the appointment was until 4.30pm so didn’t really expect to hear anything until at least then. Unfortunately this is the time I leave work and then I am on the tube for 25 mins before I get back proper network service at Victoria station so it could be as late as after 5 until I could hear anything.

Eventually she rung while I was on the way to the tube and gave me the update I had been waiting for. She drove there and arrived with plenty of time and managed to find a parking space not too far away however the entrance was not easy to find, even though I had warned her that I had read on someone else's blog that the entrance was not on the road that is the address. Anyway she eventually found her way in and through registration and was ushered in the direction of the auditorium. There were some family and friends who were obviously with some of the people who were in the auditorium but they were not allowed in and had to sit in a waiting area. I wouldn't have fancied waiting there for 2 ½ hours to be honest.

When she went in the auditorium was packed, there was standing room only and staff were set up on the stage. Lucy estimated that there were approximately 130 people there and it seemed to be a split of 80% MTF and 20% FTM and aged from those who looked like they were 15 right up to pensioners including some disabled people with carers too. This showed the broad spectrum of people there and everyone was in various stages of dressing from those that didn't dress to those that were fully dressed.

They explained a few things and introduced one of the head surgeons who gave a little talk about what to expect along with a speech therapist who explained their role. They then explained that they were going to be showing graphic pictures and videos and advised that anyone who was squeamish should leave. A handful left but the majority stayed including Lucy although once they started showing the pictures and videos a few people left realising they couldn't handle seeing them. As always nothing seems to pass without a little drama! During the video the person standing next to Lucy passed out on the floor right next to her and banged their head on the floor with a thud. Lots of people looked but did nothing. Luckily Lucy knows first aid and was able to move them into the recovery position, check their airways were clear and check they hadn't swallowed their tongue. She was most upset as apparently it had got to a very interesting part of the video and said "only me!".

All in all Lucy did not feel that she had learnt anything she didn't already know (other than where the entrance was) due to the wealth of information that is available on the internet. One thing that was mentioned was that currently MTF cannot get a boob job on the NHS and the surgeon said that they were hoping it would be available soon. This was good news. We are both really amazed about how many people were there especially when you consider that every person who was there today is on the waiting list to be seen and many wanting GRS.

This is another small step in the right direction.

p.s. One totally amazing fact that did come out of the workshop was that on the FTM transition the testosterone can make the clitoris grow and the most extreme they have seen was 10cm!!!! Blimey!

Friday, 19 February 2016

Me, my body image and clothes

Lucy being in my life and wanting to get out and about has enabled me to be the person I truly am too. I am fun loving, sociable and enjoy getting made up and dressing up. Over the years with ‘him’ the opportunity for dressing up and going out were few and far between and we used to live for our holidays where we could go out and have fun.

I don’t have the same figure as Lucy…. I have the toll of having had 5 children and a baby belly which really has knocked my confidence in the clothes I wear if I’m going for a night out. I am happy with the style I wear day to day for work and slouch times. Lucy is able to buy some really lovely short clingy dresses which look fantastic and I am quite envious however in the back of my mind I know that I had the advantage of when I was younger and slimmer of wearing even shorter and clingier dresses for many years which she never had. I think what I am saying  is that I have had my time and now it is hers however when we go out I would hate to be considered the dowdy wife and still want to look current and attractive.

Although I am bigger than I used to be I suppose I’m not that bad and still have decent legs…. phew :) so do wear some short things just not clingy. A few months ago I looked through my wardrobe and realised I have lots of ‘sack’ type dresses….. these have to go! I think I am over compensating for my belly and buying clothes far too big! I have always dismissed the control type underwear as they looked so ugly however I have found a range I like and these are great at holding my belly in better…. Only thing at the moment it seems they seem to squash my boobs too much so need to look into some different ones and maybe wear a bra under the ones I have. If the Kardashian’s can wear control underwear so can I!

I have a lovely playsuit which I love and looks great on me (and is in most of the pictures of our nights out) but I can’t keep wearing the same clothes every time we go out so need to look for other things to wear and some that don't make me look fuddy duddy especially when I'm standing next to some of these fantastically and extrovertly dressed trans girls. Lucy buys quite a bit from Boohoo in the clearance and gets some great stuff at a good price. I had a look through the website and saw a couple of dresses I quite liked and one dress in particular but it looked quite tight. I thought I would take a risk and order it anyway and see, along with one other not so tight.

Well when I got home from work last night the delivery had come so thought I would try it on (of course with a hold it all in control bodysuit). It looked ‘ok’ but was still quite tight across my belly and you could really see my squashed boobs. Not a good look. As luck would have it (for Lucy!!!) on top Lucy is the same size as me so she tried it on and OF COURSE the bloody thing looked fantastic on her. I just wanted to cry! So now Lucy has a new dress and I’m back to scrolling through Boohoo to see if there is anything else that catches my eye. The other dress that came which was more of a swing style looked great so I have kept that. I have now managed to find another couple of dresses I liked which I have ordered. One of the dresses our older daughter said it was my style of dress….. not sure if that is good or bad…. Just hoping it doesn’t look like a tent like some of the others! And to rub a bit of salt into my wounds Lucy wore the new dress last night (under ‘his’ clothes) while she was working AND sent a Snapchat to me of her wearing the damn thing!

On the flip side of this however Lucy bought a lovely tunic dress/top that with hindsight she decided was not her style and threw it out to go in the charity bag. Luckily for me it was MY size and style so I have taken it for me :)

As luck would have it I have got home tonight and the 2 dresses I ordered last night from Boohoo have arrived. What a service! Tried them both on and they are fab..... Now I have something else to wear especially for when we are back at PP in March. I'm a very happy girlie :)

Monday, 15 February 2016

Pink Punters 12th Feb 2016

Well what can I say?? Another fantastic night out. Lucy and I definitely love this place and always have so much fun. Just a shame it is not nearer to where we live... or maybe its good it isn't any nearer as we would always be out there!!

As usual we stayed at the Campanile. There had been a bit of traffic on the way up there so I had managed to nail varnish Lucy’s nails while we were stationery in traffic. A lovely bright pink. We got there in good time despite the traffic and swung past McDonalds drive through to pick up something to eat. Lucy was getting all silly about paying for the food as the cashier would see her nails and I told her not to worry as I’m sure they pay no attention and probably see all sorts as this McDonalds is a 3 minute drive from PP! Although the hotel does have a restaurant and room service we do try to grab something before we get there so all we have to do is get ready.

We have a routine whereby I get showered first and then Lucy. This is because it does not take me as long to get ready and also I need to be all sorted so I can help Lucy with her makeup etc. Lucy has vowed that she is going to have a practice at doing her own makeup before we go back next time as she really does need to learn how to do her own as I always get stressed out doing it as I am not a fan of doing other people’s makeup unlike our daughter. This time she was trying out the new MAC Full Coverage foundation. Unlike the TV stick this comes in a compact and does look like you get far less for your money however it did cover really well, gave a less heavy look than the TV stick but also looked more natural. For the first time we also used the TV stick on Lucy’s arms to cover her awful tattoos (she was wearing a dress with netting sleeves rather than filled in sleeves like she usually does). This worked extremely well and although we were worried about the foundation marking the sleeves there were no marks there at all at the end of the evening and the foundation had stayed in place. This is great as this now means that Lucy can wear some of the MANY sleeveless dresses she has J

Of course we popped a bottle of Prosecco which we always take with us to drink while we are getting ready. Lucy looked gorgeous and as usual we took a load of photos in the room before we left. Sadly for some reason the camera deleted the pictures we took and we are both really disappointed at this but fortunately Lucy took a couple of fuzzy pictures and some of her pulling some very funny faces on her phone so we do have those.

We didn’t rush to get over to PP as we knew we had lots of time and the earlier we get there the more we drink so were making a bit of an effort to drink less. Even though it had been freezing cold when we turned up at the hotel, when we left to leave at 11.30pm the cold did not seem as bad. It is only a walk across a bit of soggy grass (trying to avoid ruining our heels) and across a road. I don’t understand why the Campanile doesn't just build a proper cut through path as there is a well-worn route through the grass anyway.

Although it was a Big Night Out (BNO) evening the place seemed even more busy than usual. We found a place to put our bags and drinks and from that point on were dancing for pretty much most of the evening. We usually move around a bit but this time we stayed in the same place all night which was very unusual for us. The earlier music is rather cheesy but does get a lot better as the night goes on with lots of old classics as well as more up to date tunes. We bumped into a couple of girls we had met on previous nights and it was great to see them as they love a dance too. As usual Lucy befriended a few people who we enjoyed spending time with. We were having so much fun we really didn’t take many photos at all which is very unusual for us as we both love taking lots of pictures.

Of course as per usual the evening didn’t pass completely without the drama of Lucy losing anything!! This time she lost her phone which it turns out she had left it in the toilet. Luckily Martin the toilet attendant is attentive and honest and when she went rushing in there he had already found her phone and stored it safely. She really is a nightmare!

I’m not sure what time we got back to the hotel but it was gone 5am which was early for us. Yet another fun and enjoyable night. We had originally booked for 2 nights but had to change due to arrangements for our younger daughter and were sorely tempted to book for the next night too. We both had plenty of outfits and could have easily have stayed. We decided not to however I think we were regretting this decision later on Saturday evening as we were both thinking about what we could have been doing. This is where once a month is just not enough. We really do have so much fun together and it is one of the few times that we both really relax and be ourselves. We have booked already for 11 March which is now less than 4 weeks away so we will have that to look forward to J

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Telling my boss at work

As you will know from reading my blog we have a timeline for telling people about Lucy and the transition plans. Part of these plans involved telling people at work including my boss. She is quite an unusual character and is bisexual and married to a woman (has been married to a man before) so is more tolerant of the unusual things in life. The time to tell her was not now.

However...... there has been quite a bit going on at work with my whole division at risk from redundancy.... not good and the atmosphere at work is not the best at the moment. My boss is part of the senior management team and keeps checking everyone is ok. What I hadn't realised that she was concerned about me as when 'he' lost all the weight last year and I was talking about it at work, that she thought that 'he' was having an affair (hence the weight loss). Even though I am very open with my feelings for 'him' she still thought this was the case. As a result of the issues at work and her checking on people she was extra checking up on me and up until Wednesday she was still concerned thinking 'he' was having or had had an affair but had never said anything to me. This all came out in one of those 'checking up' conversations and openly asked me if 'he' had been having an affair and if things were ok at home. The last thing I wanted was someone thinking there was a problem with our marriage, there never has been, especially as we are the happiest we have ever been.

So.... as we were in an area that no one else was in and we could not be overheard I took the decision to tell her all about Lucy. My first comments were that I had something to tell her but it had to be in absolute confidence as I was not ready to tell anyone else at work. I also told her about the one work friend who I had already told. She jumped straight in with her own conclusion and I laughed and said no and explained all about Lucy and her transition plans.

As I had expected, her reaction was shock (this is a pretty unusual secret) but she was very supportive. She also started crying which threw me. She was crying for Lucy and for how brave she was being making this huge change to be the true person she is. I did not expect that! I also showed her some picture of us together and also pictures of Abby and myself as this also demonstrates how long Lucy has been part of my life. She commented on how young I looked in the older pictures and also that Lucy looks so much better than Abby.

I explained that there have also been some awkward conversations with people at work, the girl who sits next to me talking about the 'Streatham tranny' and the ensuing usual derogatory uninformed comments, and then a customer who changed name from being a 'Mr' to a 'Miss' and the usual penis jokes to name but a few. Although I try to educate people when these situations arise I have to be careful that I'm not outing myself. I told her that there have been many conversations like this and will be plenty more and that I am not overly openly sensitive to the situation and that I need her not to intervene just because she now knows about Lucy. I am happy for her to do something only if it is what she would have done anyway without this additional knowledge. I don't need her feeling she has to protect me from this banter. She assured me she wouldn't.

The next day she pulled me to one side and asked if it would be ok to tell her wife about Lucy. I was surprised she was asking me this as I had presumed she would have told her as her wife doesn't personally know any of the people at work. She hadn't told her as I had originally said that what I was saying was confidential between us. Of course I told her that it was ok and she said she would let me know what her wife says. I told her there was no need..... what I didn't say but actually felt was that I have not bothered about what her wife thinks as our situation is nothing to do with her and doesn't need any approval from her wife. I think she said it as I expect there will be a supportive message passed back to me.

I did say that Lucy was not aware I had told her about the situation and that for now I was not going to tell her as I didn't want Lucy panicking. However, Lucy and I have no secrets. It had been eating me up inside not telling her and I was not comfortable not telling her what I had done. I also knew that as we were having a few drinks at PP that I may blurt it out then and that is not an ideal time or place.  So when we were driving to PP on Friday I told Lucy not to be cross but I had something to tell her and told her what I had done and why. Lucy was cool with it and said that anything that had been done could not be undone but also respected my judgement in this situation. This made me feel a whole lot better. At least if I am still working at the same place when Lucy becomes full time I know that I will have the support of my boss.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Weekly update 12th Feb 2016

So what has been happening this week?
Lucy completed the additional forms required for the GIC induction afternoon on 23rd Feb and also sent of the form to change all her medical records over into the correct name. This now only leaves her driving licence, work driving documents and passport left to change. As she drives for a living and is not living en femme full time at the moment these will be the last documents to change over. Other than that everything else has been done.
She went and had her eyebrows threaded yesterday and they are the thinnest and best shape she has had so far. This does make me smile as even as recently as early last year I was not allowed to shape her eyebrows too much let along tint them! I tinted both hers and mine last night so looking good. Mine are rather thin after many years of plucking them (a disadvantage of the 80/90’s style of thin eyebrows!) and they don’t grow back thick these days mind you with the current fashion of drawing on thick eyebrows (some are awful!!) there are plenty of products to use to make mine look a bit fuller.
Last week Lucy went to Bluewater with our eldest daughter and went to the MAC counter at John Lewis and had a foundation colour check for the Full Coverage foundation which we then bought online. She usually uses the TV stick however recently when using it she seems to have a reaction the next day on her nose which then takes a few days to settle down. Not good. We did a patch test earlier in the week and it seems fine so hopefully there will be no problems. As usual Lucy has done ZERO practising on doing her own makeup so that job will be left to me. All her hair is nicely washed and dried (by yours truly) so she will be looking good when we are out.
Tonight we are off to PP. Lucy is so excited and bought 6 new dresses this week! Yes 6 new ones on top of the 30 or so she already has! I think she is bringing a choice of 5 for tonight and 5 pairs of shoes. Just as well are driving there and not getting the train! To be fair, I'm taking 2 outfits and 2 pairs of shoes....... I have to admit that I’m really excited too and couldn’t sleep last night, partially worrying that I needed to sleep as won’t be getting into bed until about 6.30am tomorrow but also because I am really looking forward to the evening out. I really love these nights as we totally relax, Lucy just is in her element and I love spending time together. Once a month is just not enough but the cost of travelling and an overnight stay means that at the moment we cannot do it more frequently. It is a Trans night tonight which is always a good night out as are the other club nights too but it is always nice to be around other trans girls. PP is such a safe environment with lots of bouncers and staff checking everyone is ok. As I am always there with Lucy it doesn’t apply to me but I didn’t realise that the doormen give all the non trans people a little chat about how to behave in the club which probably explains the fun atmosphere and lack of trouble. It probably explains how when there is a queue we always get fast tracked to the front. So nice that a club looks after all its more vulnerable customers in this way. They also have a private dressing area for the girls who are not staying over at a hotel so they have somewhere to get ready and get changed.
We were originally going for 2 nights however we had no-one to stay with our youngest daughter for tomorrow night so we had to cancel the second night. A bit gutting as we were really looking forward to being out for 2 nights but we have already booked a night out in March so we still have that to look forward to.
Watch out for the update on how it all went over the next few days.