Tuesday, 30 May 2017

One step forwards, two steps back

One step forward, two steps back. That’s just how it seems sometimes.

The timeline for Lucy becoming full time has just changed yet again and has been moved back which means this twilight world continues now until the beginning of next year. When I say full time…. I actually mean out to the world. She is full time at home and has been for a very long time although it isn’t noticeable ‘he’ is Lucy when ‘he’ is out, she just doesn’t dress overtly female unless we are in a comfortable environment.

The delay is all for a good reason I suppose. Although she is now employed in her new role (sadly as him), the company has recently been taken over by a large international corporate, which will be great for her to transition in, and although it is not a bad company to work for we had already been looking at setting up our own business to do a similar thing. She is also giving up the taxi business as it is long hours and with Uber and other competition and illegal touting it is just not bringing the money in it used to (possibly London black taxi for sale) however it is always good as a back up to bring something extra in. Lucy feels that when promoting this new business and getting contracts agreed and signed that it would be easier with her presenting ‘male’ than trans female. It shouldn’t be this way but she is probably right. As we are hoping this new business will be one of her main sources of income we do need to give it the best chance when setting it up.

We also have our own DJ business which is very successful but currently we don’t advertise or push it that much as most of the business comes from word of mouth and recommendations. Lucy loves DJing and to be honest she is bloody good. At the weekend she upgraded some of the equipment and we were having a play around with new lights and lasers in our kitchen at stupid o’clock Saturday morning getting it all ready for a gig she was doing later that evening. This is another business that we need to push too and get as many advance bookings as we can so we are getting our heads together to discuss strategy.

The delay in going full time means that instead of giving up refereeing mens football at the end of this season she can carry on for much of next season too. Football is the love of her life and has in many ways been her saviour. It was an ideal cover to hide the true her and allowed her to engage and hide as ‘one of the boys’. She still plans to referee womens football and we are hoping that will continue once she is full time. It is probably this group of football friends that will take her transition quite hard and who will probably be the most shocked as she hid the real her so well. Obviously all of this can only continue with ‘him’ until her physical changes start to become openly obvious and much depends on the growth of her chest which she is only just managing to hide at the moment.

Before going full time she is also hoping her hair will be longer. She is really not keen on having to wear a wig all the time as you have to be so careful that it does not get displaced or caught on something. A soggy wig in the rain (we live in the UK) is not a good look and it is also very sweaty and uncomfortable in the hotter weather. Her hair is growing and is quite long now. I’ve mentioned before that her small patch now has lots of hair albeit baby fine. In fact the hair on the top of her head is finer than the sides and back and isn’t strong enough yet to hold extensions which she will probably need. She will still have the wigs for the times that she wants longer hair. If she opts for a hair transplant and we have enough money for one it will mean having her hair shaved off which I think will be very sad but a necessity.

And of course, this delay also stalls her telling her sons……. I’ve told her that she must tell them while she still looks a bit like their dad. To me ‘he’ is going away quite quickly and I feel very strongly that she must tell them as ‘he’ and before there are too many noticeable physical changes. She was aiming for Christmas time but I feel that is too far away and we also need to steer clear of any special dates as we don’t want that to become a yearly anniversary reminder so September is looking like a good rough time to aim for but again that depends on the speed of her physical changes and lucy herself. As you know, once she has told her sons I can tell my two remaining sons who don’t officially know, however one son does suspect but has not mentioned anything to me recently. It will make life so much easier and sometimes it is the little things. One of my sons is a high level computer techie and Lucy’s laptop died at the weekend. It has hardly been used and we are sure it can be repaired however we cannot ask my son to have a look at it as there are lots of pics of Lucy on it! It is the same with my laptop which is limping along, there are pictures I need to remove but I’m worried about any history he may be able to access so again that will have to wait until he knows our situation.

And would you bloody believe it?!!! Remember all the debarkle last year with Lloyds Bank??? Well last week Lucy went into a different branch and YET AGAIN got accused of using someone elses card and knowing their pin code. This is despite us being assured that there is a note that pops up on the screen to the bank teller when the card is entered. This teller threatened to take the card off her as it was 'obviously' not her card and low and behold a few days later in the post Lucy is issued with a new pin number for her card which has obviously been generated by this bank teller. I was incensed (I seem to take it worse than Lucy) and find it unbelievable that despite all the numerous conversations we have had with them over this we are back to square one. Lucy has been in contact with Lloyds and is awaiting a call back. I do hope they have a stall at Sparkle again this year as I have plenty to say to them!

We are back at the GIC at the end of July and this is her second appointment so we are hoping that she will be prescribed the NHS regime of hormones from then on and can move away from the Gender GP which would save us quite a bit of money. This service has been a total life saver for Lucy though and has certainly moved her body and confidence much further down the road than it would have been as we would still be waiting for the NHS hormones which will be nearly 2 years from her referral from the GP. I have to say though, 8 months on and I'm still waiting for these notorious mood swings but so far she is just the same as she always has been. Already having a hormonal teenager in the house means this is a relief! She has had a letter through with her referral for laser hair removal treatment so needs to contact them and get booked in. It is only for 6 sessions but it again will be a step in the right direction and we will have to save up for more after.

A few (trans) partners of friends of mine are booked in June and July to have Face Feminisation Surgery. I think this is a huge step to take and although currently we cannot see how we could ever afford this I am interested in seeing the results. One is having it done here in the UK and the other is going to Marbella in Spain and staying at Jennys Nest after. Exciting times for them.

This weekend we are seeing our friends Jenny and Ethan for another murder mystery night and will be meeting some other friends of theirs. It should be a great weekend, starting with a visit to Pinks on the Friday night before we drive up to theirs on the Saturday. Jenny is a teacher and she has agreed to sign Lucy’s passport form and pictures so we can get that registered in her name at last. We have the letter from the GP too and once Lucy has her passport sorted it is a simple thing to get her driving licence changed. This is one of the last things we need to do and I know it will be exciting to see her passport in the right name and with the right gender marker at last. 

Just as I'm about to press the button to post this blog and Lucy rocks in from work with a new top of the ear cartilage piercing! How on earth am I supposed to explain that one away! It looks great though but she will be the death of me!!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Blood tests and internet attacks

Sorry for the pauses in between blog posts. It is not that I don’t have anything to write about. I usually have lots and generally have several draft posts on the go at any one time. At the moment I have 2 others but they are not ready yet.

Lucy had the results of her blood tests back and they are really looking good and levels are definitely moving in the right direction. She sent them off to Dr Webberley who has now increased the patch dose to 12.8mg (2 x Evorel 100) and we are definitely seeing changes which is good. She has put on weight with the patches and I try to nicely nag her when I see she is eating rubbish however she seems to think I’m not being very supportive. She says the weight is not piling on and she has stabilised but her body shape is changing and she is looking like she has put more weight on especially in the tummy area. Weight is always a sensitive subject anyway for anyone. I’m not a skinny bean and my weight has been stable for the last 12 years but I am on the fatter part of the spectrum (boo hoo).

I know she is still very conscious of the thinning patch on her head however there is hair lots of baby fine hair growing there now, it is lighter in colour but it is getting longer now. Hopefully this will thicken up and get a bit darker. The rest of her hair is getting quite long and she even allowed me to straighten it (it is very curly) which made her look totally different and it looked even longer. It was funny as she kept shaking her head as it was flicking around at the back of her neck.

She has still been involved in lots of stuff behind the scenes for Sparkle. It is certainly shaping up to be a great event. We are looking forward to going and hope that the weather stays fine. Last year it was intermittent rain and kept changing from warm to cold. Fingers crossed.

We had a great evening out at Pinks on Friday meeting up with some old friends and making new ones as we always do. As it was a couple of months since we had last been able to go out it was well overdue and great fun. I just love spending time with her... well she is my best friend and soulmate!

This weekend seemed to have been a big weekend for the internet. Firstly, here in the UK there was the ransomware cyber attack that has caused chaos within many NHS organisations which continues this week. And of course there was the co-ordinated worldwide attack (150 countries) where some neo-Nazi groups posted and corrupted, and attempted to disrupt, many ‘trans’ related groups and pages.

They initiated support through Reddit style chat boards called 4chan and 8chan and created Facebook groups to rally their troops. Seems their focus was to attack and report groups to get them closed, ban the admins and get them closed forever as well as attacking individuals posting on these sites. These trolls were, and still are, making many fake accounts in order to infiltrate these groups and pages. Some groups/pages were named however they hit on many, many more. These are supposed to be safe spaces and support groups and many people within this community are vulnerable. Luckily many of the different group/page admins were alerted and all worked together monitoring or stopping all new members for a time period and spent a huge amount of time banning and reporting people, getting profiles removed as well as deleting posts.                                                                                                        
One Facebook page that I follow was not so lucky and got hit left right and centre. Assigned Male Comics who create some great trans cartoons had a horrendous amount of neo-Nazi memes and aggressive transphobic abuse posted everywhere. They covered the page with Nazi nemes and symbols, Hitler imagery, references to gassing trans people, threats to kill trans, supporters and Sophie whose page it is. Poor Sophie spent hours deleting comments and banning people and has now assigned an admin team formed of volunteers to assist. There are so many that it has been impossible to delete them all. Even today the abusive and disgusting posts continue and along with private messages to anyone who posts against their tirades…. “messages about raping me to death”, “killing my family”. Their messages contain vicious hatred and xenophobia, their profile pictures often contain swastikas, sometimes brandishing a weapon of some sort, they post about supremacy and then get offended when they are called racists or transphobic. Majority of these are using fake profiles but some, which shows the level of their intelligence, didn’t which has resulted in some comeback on their own profiles and comments being sent to some of their friends. Sadly, some of the aggressors were school kids. Most seemed to be male.

These were planned, co-ordinated and abusive attacks which still continue today. There is evidence of plans being initiated back at the beginning of April and according to their propaganda, it looks like it will continue into this coming weekend.

I am not really sure what these protesters really want to achieve? Do they really think that trans/non-binary people will stop being trans/non-binary just because support groups/pages have closed (which they haven’t)? It seems many have nothing better to do with their lives and they have been awake day and night posting their abuse. Many of the abusers appear to be from the US. Is this evidence of the impact of the Trump presidency?

One thing that has surprised me is that there has been no media coverage about this and nothing comes up on google. The whole thing seems to have slipped under the radar of the general public and possibly to people within the community. I am not posting about them to forward their objectives but to raise awareness to those people who may not have known this was happening. Had I not been a member of some particular groups I would never have known about this or seen the ferociousness and the vehemency of their attacks. As always with all social media, be careful who you accept as friends and when in groups or pages be vigilant and if you see anything that could be inappropriate report it to either the admins or if on Facebook, also report it to Facebook itself. In this instance they have been swift in acting on inappropriate profiles and pages. Remember this is just words and usually keyboard warriers...... I doubt many of them would be so brave if it was a face to face interaction!