Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Cyprus 2018

We had booked a holiday in Northern Cyprus (the Turkish bit) staying in a friends villa with a private pool. This was our first holiday with Lucy travelling and staying as herself so was a big deal. We went with our daughters, my son and his wife and their 4 month old son.

We had a bit of a nightmare on the flight out as the first was cancelled after a 5 hour delay (2 hours spent on the plane) and we had to go back home and return the next day for a new flight which was delayed by an hour.

We had no problem getting through security each time etc however the gate staff were quite unprofessional both times. Lucy was dressed quite adrogynously and was wearing glasses whereas in her passport photo she is not. There was a query by the gate staff in both instances where in the end I had to tell them she was my wife and transgender at which point there were some sniggers. We didn't say anything however I have contacted the airline to ask for a copy of their policy for dealing with transgender customers so we will see what that brings.

There were no issues with the passport control in Larnaca nor the border control staff as we had to go over the border to Northern Cyprus. Not that we were expecting any issues but it was always a worry especially as we were entering a muslim country. It was an hour and 15 mins drive from the airport to the villa but it was great being able to see the different views, driving round the bottom of the mountains and notice the difference in population density in Northern Cyprus.

We knew our friends villa was lovely as we had seen some pictures however they did not really show how large, spacious and beautifully decorated the place was. There was definitely a wow factor when we opened the door and every last detail was perfect.

The pool was 20 metres long with a waterfall feature at the end. It was perfect, not cold at all and great for swimming and playing.

There were mountains to the left and the sea to the right. It was a great aspect and the sunsets were amazing which we viewed sat on the patio every evening.
Our friend had thought of every detail. There was a large bbq area with various gas fired cooking areas with hot plates and rings as well as the bbq. Lovely seating in a flower covered area with Turkish lanterns setting the scene at night.
We felt so at home from the moment we arrived to the moment we left.

It wasn't a densely populated area and the nearest supermarket was a 10 minute drive away but luckily we had hired a car so that was not an issue. My son and his wife drove off to the mountains and local castle on a couple of the days but we were happy to spend most of our time at the villa around the pool as it was very warm.

Lucy was free to relax and be herself and for me it was quite emotional seeing her wearing the right holiday attire for the first time ever. She had her natural hair styled in an easy to care for style which really suited her and she was really relaxed and comfortable around the family as they were with her.

Her hair is now really long and curly and she let me straighten it and partially put it up. It looked great and gives her possibilities to go out as an every day option without having to wear a hot wig (we are looking into the possibility of a weave).
We went off to the main town on one day and had a walk around the shops and stopped for lunch. Although Lucy dressed adrogynously she was more on the female side and had nail varnish on, her hair up and some lovely girlie sandals. No one said anything and we all felt very comfortable. Lucy felt so comfortable that she even went into a shop to look at a bikini and once the shop assistants realised Lucy was the potential purchaser they were very helpful and, a first for Lucy, she even went into the changing room to try the bikini on which fitted perfectly and she obviously purchased. All very exciting.

We went out for dinner a handful of times and the food was lovely and so cheap as the exchange rate is so favourable. Lucy had a few wobbles while were away. Dysphoria is never far away and sometimes the slightest thing can trigger it. As a result outside of the villa she mostly dressed adrogynously as that is how she felt most comfortable.

The journey back over the border coming home was non eventful and although our flight home was delayed by an hour it wasn't too bad. It is lovely seeing Lucy at home with tan lines in the right places!

The whole holiday was lovely and really relaxing and our friends villa has a place in our hearts. Everyone agreed that we had all had a fantastic time and we are already planning on trips back there next year.... yes trips :)

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Nearly there.......

What a lot has happened since I last updated my blog. Where to start…….

We were going to tell the remaining key people before we jetted off on holiday however as with all best laid plans they do not always go to plan.

My parents returned from their holiday and the following day I went round to see them. I felt anxious all day and I know Lucy was feeling it too and she nearly backed out of letting me tell them but luckily she didn’t. I sat and had a conversation with them explaining the situation and they were totally amazing. As predicted my dad checked I was ok and although he does not fully understand the situation (he is 84) he was amazingly supportive and accepting. As for my mum, well all my worries were unfounded and she was great too. It was all such a relief. They asked a few questions but ever since have been really supportive. My dad in particular has gone out of his way to make sure he is using the right name and pronouns and when he came over last night he was very interested in the radio station (which Lucy was working on at the time) and we were able to show him some of the things we have been involved in over the years, pictures and magazine articles (Lucy and the radio station are in the Transliving magazine this month).

Whilst I was at my parents when I was telling them my brother rang. His holiday flight had been delayed so he was around when I thought he wouldn’t be. My mum was chatting to him and I asked how long he was around for when she just passed the phone over to me where I proceeded to fill him in. He was surprisingly great and said that as long as I was happy and ok, then he was too. Since this conversation he has said that now knowing this situation a few things from the past make sense now.

The following day I received a text from my ex. It seems my daughter had told him about Lucy the night before. I knew I should tell him about Lucy as ‘our’ children are heavily involved with Lucy but hadn’t realised my daughter had taken it upon herself to tell him before I had a chance. Our relationship over the years has not been great although in the last 2 years it has settled down tremendously. The text he sent caught me off guard and when I read it, all I could say was ‘wow’. He was super supportive and also said he was proud of our 4 children for having the right attitude towards the situation. This took mine and Lucy’s breath away…. So unexpected but so great.

A day or 2 later one of my sons came over to see us and said that him and his girlfriend had told all their friendship group. We were not expecting this just yet however they had all been at a BBQ together and they thought it was the right time. We know many of this group personally and I have actually worked with several of them, and a few I have known since they were young children going to school with my sons. Everyone took it well….  Some of the lads were shocked (Lucy has hidden it so well) and although they did not necessarily get it, they were all supportive.

We had planned to tell Lucy’s mum a week before this but her partner had suffered a stroke and although he was better and back home the last thing we wanted to do was contribute to affecting his health. So just before going on holiday Lucy rang her to tell her. We really were not sure of her reaction however she was amazing and so super supportive to Lucy. She was not aware of the situation despite the signs when Lucy was younger but she was adamant that Lucy was her child and she would love her and support her no matter what. This was a very emotional conversation for Lucy. Her partner was great too although when speaking to Lucy he still calls her ‘boy’ and ‘son’ and we don’t think that will ever change but you know what, it’s not the end of the world and he is 88 years old and these are his standard phrases. I had a chat with her mum too and she didn’t ask much but think that was because everything was new and she was still taking it all in.

Her mum has been contacting us ever since and WhatsApping me while we were away on holiday asking how it was going (our holiday will be a different blog post). Lucy spoke to her again last night and she is struggling with Lucy’s name. She only knows Lucy as the deadname and it was a name she chose and couldn’t understand why Lucy had not picked the female version of the same name.  Lucy just said that she doesn’t identify with that name at all and I know that she didn’t want any name that would remind her of that part of her life. Lucy was a name she really connected it. I’m sure in time when her mum has met the real Lucy that the name change will become easier. Last night she said she has told Lucy’s sister who we have not really had a great relationship with (she also has a brother we don’t see). Her mum sees Lucy’s sister all the time so I suppose it was logical that she would tell her. Her sister took the news really well, commented that she has a sister at last and wants to meet her. I am a little wary however it has made Lucy very happy and that’s what counts. We are going to visit and stay with her mum next month and as her sister only lives 10 mins away I’m sure we will get to see her as well. No matter what the whole situation put a big smile on Lucy’s face which always makes me happy. As for Lucy’s brother, his mum will tell him and his wife after we have told everyone. There is no need for them to know at the moment.

Lucy’s mum also told her own sister, Lucy’s aunt and her adult children have been told (Lucy’s cousins) and they are all fine and have taken the news well. 

Lucy doesn’t have any contact with her dad however we are in contact with her uncles, cousins and nan on that side of the family. They are lovely but we don’t see them much or have much contact so they will be told when we tell everyone else and I’m sure they will filter the information back to her dad.

This leaves one really important person who still hasn’t been told. In many respects he is the most important person and this is Lucy’s eldest son (we are estranged from the youngest son). We had planned to tell him before going on holiday but Lucy decided that she didn’t want to drop the bombshell and then go away on holiday and leave him. She wants to be there for him, to answer any questions and field any emotions. They have such a great father son relationship and she will be devasted if they lose that and of course, it is all at risk (we have heard so many other sad stories from our friends regarding their children). He is the one person she is the most scared of telling and finds every excuse not to tell him just yet. It is delaying telling him that is delaying telling everyone else. He must be told before we go public and Lucy is stalling as I know she doesn’t feel strong enough to risk their relationship. He is the lynchpin to everything and has been for a long time and has no idea how important he is to the whole situation. She has to do something soon as it would be horrendous if he heard from someone else. He needs to hear it from her.