Saturday, 29 October 2016

M&S hmmmm......

Well we got a further response from M&S and to be honest we are very disappointed. They did not answer any of the questions and reiterated their previous response. Not good for an international brand.

They also have not confirmed that there has been additional training to any staff on this issue as it does appear that it seems to be lacking. I suppose all we can do is watch this space however it has put Lucy off visiting this particular store when she is full time. As it is our local store this could be an issue however in all honesty M&S is not a store that features high on her list of favourite stores. I like it as I think their underwear is great.

On another note,  Lucy's tattoo is not finished. Although we went yesterday and in total she was there for 3 hours there is still another hour or so left needed to complete it. It just looks so amazing and Lucy is impatient to get it finished and the next one started so she has 2 appointments next week; one on Tuesday to finish this one and one later in the week to start the Phoenix. I have seen the drawing and it looks amazing. He is drawing up a smaller version for me and I am undecided exactly where I will have it yet. Thinking maybe thigh? There is no rush as I cannot afford it until after Christmas and I want the flower design I have picked first to go on the top of my back.

Second prescription has come and Lucy now has another 3 months of meds so all good.

Things seem to be moving along quite nicely at the moment.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Lloyds and M&S update

This afternoon Lucy had a phone call from Lloyds Bank. They have confirmed that there was a note on Lucy's account in big black writing however as she was using the chip and pin card to pay the money in that the note was not displayed. They confirmed with Lucy which branches she mainly uses and they will update all the staff so they are aware although this did make Lucy feel she was being pointed out to everyone and be known as 'that's the one'. The manager also said that if it happens again which it could, to ask the teller to look at the note on the account. This means Lucy would not have to provide any other id or have an awkward conversation in front of other customers. He also offered her compensation which she accepted of course but she reiterated she had not complained to get compensation but to make sure she is treated fairly and with respect as should all Lloyds customers.

She also received an email from the M&S executive office.

Having identified the members of staff involved and investigated this matter I would like to assure you the staff’s conduct was not based on the appearance of a fellow customer. The staff were chatting and joking about a fellow member of staff and whilst their conduct was not what we would expect from our staff we are confident it was in no way prejudiced.
The members of staff have been spoken with and told their conduct was inappropriate.
While knowledge of any disciplinary action taken must remain internal due to confidentiality, I want to assure you I am confident the matter has been dealt with in store.

Well this is quite a contradictory statement and not quite what we expected. In one point he is saying that they were not laughing at the trans woman but at another member of staff and then in another point he states that the staff members have been told that their behaviour was inappropriate and hints towards disciplinary action.

I'm sorry but sniggering and calling another member of staff over to openly point at the trans lady in question and then to laugh together was NOT laughing at another member of staff especially as there were no other staff members around. Lucy and I were walking a little bit behind the trans lady so could clearly see the situation unfold and we hung around for at least 5 minutes or more after as we wanted to get the staff members name and there definitely wasn't anyone else at all in the vicinity. In fact I found an excuse to chat and ask a question to the member of staff concerned so I could get close enough to read her name badge. I'm sure they must also have security camera's too which will confirm the situation.

We are not idiots and we clearly saw what happened no matter what excuse the staff member (remember she is a bra fitter) gave for her transphobic behaviour. Just because Lucy wasn't dressed at the time it didn't make her any less trans than the lady shopping. You never know who is watching!

So of course we have responded citing these facts and also stated that it was not disciplinary action we wanted. The expectation is that they clearly have a need to address an obvious training requirement to ensure that all customers are treated with respect no matter who they are and also to be aware that you never know who may witness bad behaviours.

Let's see how they respond!

Some good stuff

While Lucy is still waiting to hear back from Lloyds bank there are a few updates to post about.

She is also still waiting to hear back from Marks and Spencer about the transphobic incident from their staff we witnessed a couple of weeks ago. They did say a member of the executive team would be in touch 'shortly' so lets hope they get a move on as in my mind 2 weeks is not 'shortly'!

The first tattoo cover up is nearly complete. She is booked in for 2 hours tomorrow which should be all that is needed to get it finished. I have to say it is looking totally fantastic and she is lucky she heals so quickly. I have taken the day off work so I can be there too as the chap there has also done the phoenix design for the top of Lucy's other arm and is also drawing up a smaller version for me so hopefully I will get to see that as well. Watch out for a completed picture tomorrow.

The partner of one of my good friends at work who knows about Lucy works for an international recruitment firm. He has asked if Lucy would be willing to tell her story, experiences, challenges and answer some questions from an audience at a special seminar about gender issues to be held in December. There will be a post-op trans man and trans woman who will also be presenting. She can be there in person or dial in. This is a fantastic opportunity for her and as she is not living full time until next year it looks like she will be opting to do a dial in presentation and will provide photographs and answers to a pre defined set of questions as well as answer any on the day. This has come at a good time bearing in mind the recent issues.

It also turns out that this chap knows the gender diversity team at Lloyds bank very well and is meeting with them next week and said that he will mention the issues that Lucy has had.

So.... the last bit of good news is that yesterday Lucy got her letter from the GIC and has her first appointment on 22nd November. This has taken 13 months from the GP referral. As she does not feel confident leaving our house dressed (nosy neighbours) we are looking to book a hotel near Charing Cross so we can stay there the night before and get ready there in the morning. Her appointment is in the morning so we will be able to go back to the hotel after for her to change before we come home. Exciting times!!

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Lloyds Bank yet again!!!

I wanted to do an upbeat update as there has been some good stuff going on at the moment however I feel the need to blog about Lloyds Bank. Regular readers of my blog will remember the problems Lucy was having with Lloyds Bank at the beginning of the year.

A year ago she did her deed poll name change and one of the first things she changed was her bank account. Earlier in the year she had lots of issues when paying money into her bank account when using a chip and pin card. We thought it had all been resolved (see previous Lloyds bank posts) but evidently it wasn't.

A couple of weeks ago we went together when she was paying some money in. I deliberately stood to one side so they didn't assume it was my bank account and she was able to pay the money into her account using the chip and pin machine at the counter with no problems. In fact since the last incident Lucy has only paid in money over the counter a couple of times anyway.

Monday was unfortunately not the same story........

She went into the bank to pay some money in and the automatic machines were out of order so she had to go to the counter. The female bank teller accepted her money however when Lucy put her card in the reader and entered her pin the woman said that she would have to cancel the transaction as the card was obviously not Lucy's. Lucy reiterated that it was her card but the teller took the card from her and said 'no, this is not your card'. At this point Lucy was waiting for the teller to retain the card however she said that she would enter the transaction manually which she did. The bank was busy and there was a long queue behind Lucy. The teller was speaking loud enough that anyone in the vicinity would have been able to hear and Lucy was embarrassed, angry and upset. She handed the card back to Lucy and said 'the money has been put in her account' which again was reiterating that the account was not Lucy's. Poor Lucy felt so humiliated and just wanted to cry. All the teller needed to do was to ask for proof of identity which Lucy has as she carries her deed poll with her all the time.

Lucy sent a tweet to Lloyds, well a series of tweets explaining the situation, and they did contact her taking her details saying that they would get a branch manager to ring her back within 2 hours. Well that never happened. Lucy re-tweeted them several times and then they said she would hear back yesterday. Still nothing. In the meantime (as I cannot help but interfere) I sent a couple of direct twitter messages to Lloyds with screen shots of Lucy's messages. Eventually I got a response stating that they were in touch with Lucy however looking at the late night tweets from Lucy it appears she has had to provide all the information YET AGAIN and now she is waiting YET AGAIN for a response today.

This is disgusting behaviour from a company that is ranked number 2 in the Stonewall top 100 companies to work for and they are very proud of this which they publicise. Shame they don't offer their customers the same respect as they apparently give their employees! 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Tattoo cover up

So the tattoo cover up has started. We both went to the tattooist together last week who traced the design onto Lucy's arm. It looked huge but with big beautiful peony flowers and leaves.

To be fair I thought Lucy was going to squirm more than she did however she was totally great and apart from some funny screwed up faces when he was inking nearer the inside of her arm it didn't seem to bother her too much. She had taken 2 ibuprofen before we went as they said that it does reduce any swelling. Three hours later and all the outline was done along with some significant shading of the flowers that were directly over her previous tattoo. Without it being anywhere near finished it already is difficult to make out the awful tattoo below. We both couldn't stop looking at it as it is so amazing. She is booked in later this week for 2 hours for the shading to be finished and some of the colour to be added although it may need a couple more additional hours work before it is totally finished. The colour of the flowers will be pink, mauve, pale blue and yellow and I just know it is going to be amazing. This is the first of 3 tattoos cover ups. I'm not allowed to share any pictures until this one is finished however I will do, so watch this space.

While I was waiting I picked out a design for myself. For a very long time I have wanted a tattoo on my back representative of all our children but had not seen anything I liked until then. I had a chat with the wife as we asked changing the design a bit and she gave me a price. So now I have to save as I cannot afford it at the moment especially with Christmas not far away however I am very excited. We also had a discussion about covering Lucy's other 2 tattoo's. One is on the same arm and above the cover up in progress and will be incorporated into the same design and in total will end up being a sleeve. For the other tattoo at the top of her other arm, the chap suggested a phoenix which we both loved the idea of and the meaning. A new life rising from the ashes. Fantastic! Now I am considering having some sort of matching tattoo as Lucy. We already have small identical tattoos reflecting our wedding.

The tattoo parlour is run by a quirky husband and wife who got married on 31/10/13 dressed very gothic like and she looked (and does everyday) like Morticia Adams from the Adams family. Really lovely people who were aware of the real Lucy and made us feel so comfortable. As you can imagine during the 3 hours we were there we had lots of conversations and we showed them pictures of Lucy and myself out and about. It turns out that the wife's brother is also transgendered however they are just so accepting and made sure that the tattoo was feminine.  

This place was a treasure trove of unique and unusual collections. The wife has many unusual dolls as well as an Annabelle doll sat on a chair. I couldn't resist sending a picture to our girls who have a bit of a doll phobia. They also had a huge Star Wars collection which was amazing (we are a family of Star Wars geeks - except Lucy!).

                                            (scary Annabelle)

Lucy heals really well and by the next day all the redness was virtually gone. It has been slightly scabby the last few days but that is normal. If when she goes to the tattooist for the continuation and he feels it is not ready for phase 2 then he will start on the tattoo of the phoenix at the top of her other arm.

In trying to diffuse any questions about the tattoo in her male life, on her male Facebook Lucy posted that she was in the process of having a tattoo cover up done and phase one was done. Not many people knew she was doing this and the post got quite a few likes. However this prompted Lucy's eldest son to ring Lucy (he doesn't know about Lucy and we are concerned how accepting he will be) and asked lots of questions about the tattoo. He has several tattoos himself including one that says "like father, like son" and he does idolises his dad. He was upset as in his eyes male Lucy is defined by the tattoo that is being covered up. Lucy did find this slightly amusing as we know she is not that person and never was. She bit the bullet and told him she was having flowers as the cover up, said the colours and used the excuse that there were only certain designs that could be used as the old tattoo was quite heavy and dark (actually this is true but it would have had to have been something more male). I think he was surprised however accepted the explanation and then said later they should go and have a matching tattoo together..... he obviously doesn't realise that if and when this happens it will be something feminine. 

In other news, no significant changes due to the hormones yet other than some side effects as expected. I am convinced there is some change in the boob area and Lucy thinks so too. Only slight but it is early days. It also does appear that hair regrowth is taking longer which could be a combination  of the meds and the IPL which Lucy is still using. On a side note I have been using the IPL on my upper lip and it definitely is working for me.

We also went out to Pink Punters on Friday with some good friends of ours. We got to the hotel early which meant we could all meet for dinner which was really lovely. Although we know of others trans girls that have eaten at the restaurant it is not known as a 'trans place' however everyone was very polite and friendly and only one lady couldn't help but stare. We got changed after dinner and the rest of the evening was great fun with lots of dancing as usual. The following morning we met some of our friends for a brunch before we parted ways off home. Another good night out.

I have noticed in the past few days the hits per day on my blog have increased significantly. I have to say that it did make me smile knowing that out there in the Internet world there are people who are interested in my ramblings. Thank you!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Beauty regime puts me to shame

Lucy's beauty regime puts me to shame. Don't get me wrong, 20+ years ago I was doing the same, facemasks, full body moisturising, face creams, expensive make up, however when you have children your 'you' time is limited as are funds so you end up having a quick face moisturise and buying cheaper make up etc from Superdrug or Boots (I love Superdrug).

In honesty my beauty regime is more around washing, drying and straightening my hair, putting polish on my nails and basic make up for work (better job of course if we are properly out and about). Obviously I have Emma who has been doing my toe nails for years so my beauty regime is not dead, just limited.

Back in the early days of us being together I did try to get 'him' to moisturise after shaving but 'he' was always so anti. How things have changed.....

I have been off of work for a couple of weeks so have been able to spend some quality time with Lucy which has been great. What is not so great is we have been shopping and spent loads of money on bits and pieces as we both egg each other on. Daughter B had bought a new Garnier facemask and showed it to Lucy and of course she had to get it. There are 3 varieties and now Lucy has all 3. As a result I ended up buying one for me which I only just remembered to use tonight while having a bath. It was great as I managed to have some me time in the bathroom, not too late in the evening and had no one chasing me out. So I had a facemask :)

Wow don't I look attractive - not!!

It was great. However think I offended Lucy when I got out. My skin was feeling a little dry after the face mask so I asked if she had any face cream I could use. She offered me a range of products and I couldn't help but have a giggle. It still seems weird my 'husband' having all these beauty products even after all this time. Sorry babe if you are reading this!

One sad part though was while we were shopping we spotted some open trans phobia. Not to Lucy as she was dressed as 'him' however we were in our local Marks and Spencers. We spotted another trans lady and she was ahead of us on the escalator going upstairs. As she got to the top a member of staff spotted her and called over another member of staff and they were openly laughing. Luckily the trans lady did not see however we did. We were both infuriated. The main member of staff was a bra fitter which in some way made it worse as she has a discreet job. We made sure we got her name and Lucy has tweeted M&S but as yet they have not responded which I also find disgusting as they have responded to other tweets from other people. I think it shocked Lucy to see this and although we know that she is likely to be subjected to this at some point (she experienced this in the gay village in Manchester!) it was not nice to witness directly happening to someone else.

Today was HRT patch change over day for Lucy. It was lucky as it had come loose slightly. The patches are applied twice a week at 3 and 4 day intervals. We applied the patch on Wednesday and Saturday (today) was day 3. I applied the new patch for her (on the other bum cheek) and it will next be changed on Wednesday. She only had the patch off for about an hour or so but was panicking and was keen to get the next patch on as soon as possible. I told her to stop panicking as the hormones in the patch are slow release. Luckily we had some surgical spirit in the house and got rid of the sticky residue left from the one she had taken off.

We also took some pictures and measured her vital statistics. In our excitement on Wednesday we had forgotten to do this so did it tonight. Lucy commented that it did seem that some of her hair growth had slowed down as there was not as much to shave but we don't know if that was wishful thinking, the meds or the IPL effects.

Thursday Lucy is booked to have the start of her tattoo cover up. Exciting but lots of pain I expect!

Monday is our wedding anniversary and Wednesday is my birthday. We are off to Pink Punters on Friday to celebrate. We are staying in a completely different hotel to normal, one that we have not stayed in before and we have some friends we are meeting staying at the same hotel. Looking forward to that night as should be great fun.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Wednesday 5th October 2016 - THE DAY!

Today is THE day.... the day we have been waiting so long for. Today Lucy's meds arrived (late but still they arrived).

They got here at 12.55.... just in time (if only it had been yesterday) and I did spend nearly an hour sitting on the stairs looking out the window for the postman!!

Yikes! They are actually here!! You can imagine the excitement in our house. Lucy took a Finasteride tablet straight away and we hot footed it upstairs so I could apply the first patch.

So there it is! The first ever patch on her bum :)
After I put it on her first words to me were "have my boobs grown yet?" and we both burst into laughter.

She will apply the cream on her face tonight after she has had a bath and I will do some IPL on her legs for her.

So there we are. Today is the start of new beginnings. We have waited for this day for so long and here it is.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

More frustrations and good stuff

Today was supposed to be THE day..... supposed......

Medication was ordered and next day delivery was arranged and paid for. We reserved this day for being a special day. Meds were supposed to be here and then Lucy and I were off out for lunch, shopping etc.... However the Royal Mail decided to scupper those plans.

1pm came and went. Guaranteed next day delivery would have meant that they would have been delivered before 1pm. At 1.05pm we knew there was a problem. We contacted the online pharmacy who assured us that they will be with us today. Still nothing so after a tracking number was given we tracked them and our parcel was at a Royal Mail depo 2 counties away. After a phone call it appeared that our delivery had been 'mis-sorted' and would not be delivered today. I cannot explain the frustration and disappointment that Lucy went through. Everything was about today......

So by this time it was 2.30pm and lunch was missed. However we still went to town to pick up Lucy's new glasses (not like anything she has had before - lots of giggles). We also went to the tattoo place. The guy there showed Lucy his designs and they were totally great. Large colourful peonies which would cover her awful 'male oriented' tattoos. Both the chap and his wife were very friendly and understanding and gave guarded references to how 'delicate' the tattoos needed to be. So Lucy is all booked in for 4 hours next Thursday to see how much they can do. Very exciting.

We also went shopping and Lucy picked up some new jewellery (me too), face mask and some new dresses, of course. Of course Lucy needs new dresses..... she just doesn't have enough..... hmmmm...... no comment! When we got home she tried them on and looked fabulous as always.

We also both got our eyebrows threaded and later when we got home I tinted them for both of us so we both have great eyebrows now.

We will do lunch next week. It is our wedding anniversary and my birthday so plenty to celebrate.

Oh yes! And Emma came tonight so Lucy and I have lovely painted toenails :)

Lets hope that tomorrow is the day and that the medication eventually turns up. Watch this space!

p.s. I have tried Lucy's IPL on my face to try to get rid of the unwanted hairs that seem to grow these days (had my whole face threaded). I'll let you know how that goes!