Today Kellie messaged over details on a form the paper had supplied as they are having a review meeting tomorrow morning. Some of the details are very specific such as our full names, ages, address and children details and Lucy's dead name..... not sure why they want that as we don't want any reference to that in the article.
This request has understandably made us very nervous. We have not signed any contract yet and having our personal details makes us feel very vulnerable. Specifically regarding the children we do not want them being dragged into all of this. It is supposed to be about Lucy coming out as a trans referee and not about the kids. Although my 4 are fine and our daughter is too although when she goes back to school in September it will be her key GCSE year and doesn't need any added distractions, Lucy has already lost one son and we have the eldest son trying his best to be accepting but is in turmoil. The last thing any of them need is the press contacting them. We have said we are not prepared to disclose any children information and for us it is not negotiable and we would pull out if the insisted. We think Kellie understood and she seemed worried we would pull out so I am sure she will convey the correct message.
We had already tightened up privacy on our deadname and current Facebook pages however we went back through checking again and deleting any unnecessary 'friends'. At 2am as I had forgotten it was there, I was changing the cover pic on my old Facebook as it was a picture of my 3 sons and our daughter and tightening security and access to my LinkedIn account and deleting Lucy's deadname connection so there is no link. We also had to delete pictures of ourselves on the radio station Facebook and Instagram pages so that we are partially in control of what the paper and anyone else that gets alerted to us can see.
After little sleep I was up working from home. Previously Lucy had tried to have a small weave to cover the small patch on her head but she really didn't get on with it and it 'fell out' after 5 days. Pretty sure this was down to her fiddling with it. It did look great as it covered the patch and thickened her fringe. We agreed with the salon that it would get put in again at a later date and we wanted to wait until all the Prides were over and done with. What with the paper wanting to take photos at her first proper football match as herself on Sunday and the interview we are having tomorrow evening, we thought it would be a good idea to have it refitted. Lucy organised to go down to the salon at 10am today (I thought that was far too early bearing in mind it is an hour drive away). So as we both had had very little sleep last night she was like a bear with a sore head at 9.50am today regretting everything. I think she forgets it is not just her suffering with the lead up to all this and affects me too. I am knackered through lack of sleep, my mind is running in overdrive however all this stress would be happening whether it was going to be in the newspaper or not. Either way she would be the same.
She came back from the salon a bit despondent. The refitting had looked awful and neither Lucy or the salon lady were happy with it. As a result Lucy has sorted out a different type of weave and in a few weeks will go back to have it fitted. It is more expensive but she may find it better. This now means she will have to wear a wig for the interview tomorrow - not the end of the world.
Day 3 (interview day)
During the day it had become a little stressful. Wording on contracts was changing and there was a little back and forth. One of the things that was rescinded was giving us headline rights. This made Lucy uncomfortable however the wording stated that they would not sensationalise the headline. We were still very unsure about this.
We had arranged to meet at a hotel at Gatwick airport as that is easy for us to get to. After a stressful getting ready period, Lucy is always late, we made it to the hotel and were met by the reporter Janine who was really lovely and friendly. She took us up to the hotel suite where we were met by a makeup artist and photographer. Right from the very beginning they made us both feel very comfortable and it was just like spending time with friends having a chat. Everything was very informal and Janine asked a few questions but the conversation just casually flowed and we spoke about the things we were comfortable with. They stuck by the agreement not to mention the kids although the article will mention Lucy has 3 children.
They did Lucy's makeup and hair for the photoshoot which again was really relaxed and friendly. Lucy had lots of pictures on her own, followed by a few of us both and me on my own (which we had not expected). As part of this they they did a video interview with Lucy which will be on their website.
We had a discussion about how viable they thought the story was and apparently they think this is a big story! Wow. We were surprised as at the end of the day this is our private life that is being put into the spotlight and we were not sure if it would be a storm in a teacup or something bigger.
By the time we finished chatting it was far later than anyone expected. We both flt really good about the whole evening and had been reassured that Lucy's story would be told sympathetically.
Lots of really good feedback has come back from the interview. Apparently they really liked me too and want to include me in any radio and tv interviews along with Lucy. Well of course, work permitting, I would love to be involved!
In advance of them coming down to cover Lucy's football match on Sunday they want to take pictures of her in her referee kit either today or tomorrow. Today is out so it will have to be tomorrow but our house/garden is really not suitable. My parents are away and have a large flat garden and large house so that would be ideal. So I am trying now to get hold of them to check that it would be ok.
In the mean time we have double checked our social media and I have a statement I have prepared to load as my status on Facebook telling people of our situation and inviting them over to my other and real life Facebook.
Day 1 (eve of article publication)
Again neither of us had much sleep. This is all on our minds all the time. My parents confirmed it was ok to go round their house so that was all good. Janine the reporter had contacted Lucy again and we confirmed the copy they sent over for our approval. A couple of things needed to be changed which she did and said that she would have a picture on the front page and would have a double page spread on pages 4 & 5...... at this point we just presumed a small box on the top right hand side directing people to the relevant pages although we were surprised we were going to be so near the front.
Lucy had organised to see the photographer at my parents house in the afternoon. The chap that turned up was really very friendly and he set about taking lots of pictures of Lucy. All in all he was there with her for about an hour and took lots of pictures in different poses. I was there taking some pics at the same time just so we had some for us.
During the day we rang and sent messages to several key people in our lives that we wanted to tell before the article was published. There were some interesting but positive conversations had with people. What was amazing was the close male friends of Lucy's who we were both worried about. With the exception of one who took several days to respond (he is getting better as Lucy is educating him), they were extremely supportive and positive.... oh and shocked as well. Lucy had hidden herself so well.
We had decided we were going to speak to one set of our neighbours that we are very close to that evening. We invited them round saying we needed to speak to them and we could see they were confused and worried about what we were going to say. Lucy said her piece and they were speechless! Once they got over the shock they were incredibly supportive and non judgemental (we thought they may be but you can never be sure).
They ended up staying for hours sitting and chatting with us. We went through lots of bottles of wine just sitting talking, sharing stories and answering questions. We love this couple and get on with them so well.
Much later that evening Lucy thought she would check the BBC programme that shows the front pages of the papers in the morning. They went through them and the Mirror was not mentioned so we breathed a sigh of relief and carried on chatting and drinking. A little later they repeated the papers and it seemed to be the same spiel so we were not really paying much attention except this time they mentioned the Mirror and we heard the words 'transgender referee' and all our eyes darted to the television. The full screen in front of us showed us what was the front page of the Mirror, Lucy WAS the whole front page! We all screamed NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! and hysterical screaming of horror and surprise ensued and the place was in pandemonium so much so our daughter Megan came running downstairs from her room. Almost immediately my phone rang and it was one of my cousins and his wife video calling us so virtually they joined in the chaos and shouts of disbelief. I will never, ever, ever forget that night.......