Sunday, 23 November 2008


My thoughts were rightly shaken from their comfort zone as the Transgendered Day of Remembrance came to pass.

I have been focused wholly on my own little world, my family in recent weeks. That precious safe little bubble I live in. The loved ones I am so lucky to have, the memories of days gone past & thoughts for our future.

My thoughts & prayers are with those dear souls who are no longer with us & the families they have left behind. The innocent victims; who have been so brutally killed, simply because they were courageous enough to come out to the world & be true to their hearts.

What must these dear brothers & sisters have experienced as the precious life they had gone through so much anguish to live is suddenly plunged into darkness? We must never forget their spirit. Their tragic sacrifice at the hands of evil prejudice must never be forgotten.

How do the families of these poor souls cope with their grief & sometimes their guilt? Every day they worried each time their loved one set foot outside the door if they would come back safely. Every time we disappear from view during bouts of dark depression they worried we may become a victim of our own hand. How do they cope? How do those families survive mourning for the second time, the person they may have tragically believed they lost & chose to reject, when they transitioned? How do they cope with not being able to say good by to their loved one?

I have been so moved by the stories I have read, the heart felt empathy filled words on the blogs of my dear friends from all over the world. I am grateful to the extraordinary eloquent people, out there who are pro-active, who endeavour to ensure the world should remember these people. Who could possibly forget the cruel way poor "Ali" was treated. My thoughts are with those people who are unable to have the option of living in stealth, who live in fear 24/7. The dear friends who we have never even met who have touched our hearts. The lonely & the isolated brothers & sisters out there of which there are so many who are going through such difficult times at this emotional time of the year.

I have not been able to tell my parents about TDOR because it would only play on their already deeply ingrained fears that any person like me faces losing their friends, their families, their jobs, & will be chased out of the village by people with blazing torches. They were fears from a different generation although sometimes I wonder if perhaps they were right all along.

Every time I go out with them as the person I was born to be I take extra care to try not to give the minority of evil people out there any opportunity or reason to have a go at my family. Is that stealth, is it cowardice, and is it necessary? I am so lucky, I feel so humble, to have my live, to have a future. For so many that fear, that prejudice is tragically real life 24/7!

Every day, anytime, anywhere, any person regardless of gender, sexuality, race or religion could be the next innocent victim of prejudice.

My thoughts & prayers are with you all.

Take care & please keep safe.

Peace & Love

Monday, 17 November 2008

My Dads Scan "Good News"

The Best of PALS

We had some wonderful news today. My Dads scan results came back all clear.

After what we had expected to be a routine hearing check up my 84 year old Dad was shocked to find he needed to have am MRI scan. He had only recently been given a hearing aid for the first time in his life. He had been becoming more & more isolated & missing out on so much social interaction. Even when he was fitted for the hearing aid he was reluctant to use it because he felt it made him seem old. Bless him. When he went back for a follow up appointment we thought it would just be for a bit of fine tuning. My Dad was shocked to be given a scan on 16th October because of a rapid increase in the deterioration of his hearing.

We were told he should get an appointment to see the consultant again in 3 weeks time to discuss the results. The NHS are brilliant with emergency treatment but none emergency care can sometimes take a very long time. We waited & waited without any news. Mum & I wear our emotions on our sleeves. My Dad put on a brave face but we were all very worried. "Anxiety" should be our family name. We had the results hanging over us right through their Diamond wedding celebrations which was a shame. 8 days ago I phoned up the hospital & eventually found out the reason for the delay. A locum consultant had been called in to reduce the waiting times at the ENT department. He was able to see a few patients including my Dad & was then taken away from the department. A meetings was due to be held with management to decide the way ahead. In the mean time we just had to wait. With still no news last Friday I contacted the hospital again & they still could not confirm anything. The locum may be back next month but it was still up in the air.

Its amazing to look back on the silly things that we can worry about. Being so insecure about my voice was getting all out of proportion. Raising my pitch & trying to sound more feminine had probably made it even harder for my poor Dad to hear me. I had started to dread using phones. Suddenly with my family in trouble, I just got on with it. It did not matter how I was perceived I was my Dads daughter & how my voice sounded was just not relevant.

A few of our friends had mentioned about PALS an organisation who might be able to help us get some answers. At this point I contacted the patient advice & liaison service PALS. They were ever so understanding & promised to chase things up for us. True to their word they phoned up while my Dad was having his afternoon nap today. I took the call & gently woke him explaining the lady from PALS at the hospital had some news for him. He took the phone rather sleepily & with his usual rather abrupt telephone manner asked her "what are you selling?" OMG he nearly put the phone down on her. Thankfully we stopped him & then his face lit up into a broad smile. The results were all clear.

We had been praying he would be ok. We are sooooooo happy & relieved. All our friends have been so kind & concerned for us. Our family is so small & so close. The support we have all had from our friends during this difficult time has made such a difference. Thank you so much.

Thank heavens for PALS.


Sunday, 16 November 2008

The Challenge of trying to return to the workplace

The surreal painting/cartoon image was painted way back in 1996 & depicted my future, my transition, my challenge & fear of rejection.

My real life experience has been an incredible journey of self discovery. Just recently it has felt like I have been on a tightrope similar to the one in my picture trying to balance everything & keep moving forward with my health, my transition & my progress towards getting back to work. Balancing this with my responsibilities as a carer, my dysphoria, & my financial situation is difficult. Our family’s healths are the most important priority. I have the same doctor as my Father & he assured me the types of scans for hearing loss usually only require follow up treatment in approx 4% of cases, which was of some comfort to all of us as the wait continues.

I am really excited I am now at the stage where my health allows me to attempt to get back to some kind of employment. To be able to do this in my correct gender role is both a tremendous joy & a rather large challenge.

I cannot go back into my previous carer for reasons of both my health, my responsibilities as a carer & logistics. Due to its specialist nature my core skills are of limited use & so I am seeking an alternative carer. In the present climate I will just be grateful to get a job of any description which pays the bills & does not leave me open to discrimination or bullying.

I still feel insecure about my voice but not my transition. Thankfully my new found self belief has enabled me to bounce back from a series of events which, only a year a go would have completely swamped me. I am going to continue with more voice therapy & will just keep practicing. Now is not the time for me to have voice surgery. I am pushing ahead with work experience & doing all the things asked of me to get back to the workplace.

On the positive side I have managed to do some voluntary work in the admin department at a local organisation. I have attended a 2 day “Goals” confidence building course, which was a deeply moving shared experience. Both uplifting & humbling, which gave me new found belif in humanity. I will shortly be attending an interview technique session & my first interview in thirty years.

I have been so grateful for the kind support I have been shown & the opportunity to gently gain some work experience in a friendly environment. It has been just what I needed. I would very much like to continue gaining work experience in any way I can. My doctors, family, employment facilitator & I are all very pleased with my progress. I have taken advice from them all before proceeding with sending the lady I work with at the administration job an informal request for her honest advice regarding a full time job oppertunity.

I have been considering applying for a role as her assistant which was advertised recently & would very much appreciate her thoughts on my suitability. I am really interested in the position & keen to have the work experience. I would be very wiling to be trained up for the position while they advertise the role. I am passionate & dedicated to any role I undertake to support them. It would also be of great benefit to me both on a work & personal level. Budgets at the organisation like every where are very tight so in view that I am not able to work full time, I would be very willing to job share the role should the opportunity arise. I would be willing to work for free to gain the experience which may perhaps in the future lead to a permanent position if they were happy with my performance. In the current economic climate the situation could help both of us.

My career break was due to unique circumstances combing, causing me stress & depression which is now being successfully resolved. I would not consider applying for the role if I thought I was not capable & would not like to let anyone down. All I wish for is a chance to prove myself both to an employer & for my own self respect. I have come a long way in a very short time & have a lot to be grateful for even though my transition seems to have taken soooooooooo long. I could only get here when I was ready!

I am having quite a dilemma & feel anxious yet again to ensure that my request for advice does not make any difference to our friendship or my willingness to continue to support her/the organisation as a volunteer. My hearts in the right place even if my thinkings a little muddled.

I hope I have done the right thing. There is an overriding fear of being rejected both by a friend & for a job. Sadly "Rejection" is something I might have to get used to quite a lot with my new life then again perhaps I am now better equipped to deal with it, just like anyone else?


Monday, 10 November 2008


I needed some time away. Some time to think & find some clarity. For the first time since I transitioned in February this year my demons were taking over, my life out of control, my head full of negative thinking & awash with self pity. Self doubt was fueling my anxiety & my mental health was in danger of becoming unstable. My Dads well being is our biggest concern. My family & I are still awaiting news on my dear Dads scan. My little family are my world & mean everything to me. External circumstances had conspired to cause a maelstrom of emotions which I struggled to cope with. Through my enmeshment & gender dysphoric eyes my judgement became clouded & probably selfish. With the onset of the dark & grey days of winter I had lost my way. I needed to remember just how lucky I am. They say elephants never forget. On reflection I can now see how much I have to be so grateful for.

How grateful I am to all those courageous people who sacrificed so much in all the wars past & present all over the world.

I will never ever forget them or the debt that we owe them. In a rat race of a modern world where we as civilians living in peacetime/relative safety appear to lead stressful lives, we have a lot to learn from the brave people who have lived & died during conflict. Certainly in my case, I do not seem to cope very well with the day to day stresses of life, I am truly humble & have the utmost respect for those brave souls who risk their lives for our freedom.

How wonderful it was to see Barack Obama inspire a nation & give hope both to them & the world that dreams can come true.

How precious life is.

How lucky I am to still have my family & to treasure each moment we have left together.

How lucky I am to have the love & support of my wonderful family & friends.

How lucky I am to have the opportunity to be true to my heart.

How lucky I am to have my health & refound my faith.

How grateful I am to my dear Auntie Peg who tragically committed suicide on the 1st November 1979. She had no choice she was in so much pain due to kidney failure & the experimental drugs she was given as a last chance to save her. Witnessing the anguish & grief her death caused my dear Mum helped keep me alive during my darkest hours of turmoil. I visited her grave on the anniversary of her death on a rain sodden day to offer my prayers to her & lay a wreath in her memory. My beloved Mum has never found closure & the pain she still feels is too great for her to continue visiting the cemetery. She never stops thinking about her, such was their great bond & love for each other. For years I have mourned for my dear Auntie. For years I have apologised to her for all the sadness I have caused her sister, my Mum. I have always promised to look after the sister she had to leave here on earth. November 1st 2008 was the first time I attended her grave appearing as the person I have always been in my heart. Through the tears & the rain I gave thanks to her for keeping me safe & enabling me to live my dream.

How grateful I am to the Samaritans of this world.

How my heart goes out to each & everyone who has suffered such mental anguish they felt the need to commit suicide & to the dear grieving families they have left.

How lucky I am to so far not be the victim of a hate crime.

How lucky I am to have friends & how important it is to keep in touch.

How lucky I am to have been able to face my fears & get this far towards being my true self.

I thank the lord for giving me this life.

I will try my best to never ever forget how lucky I am.

Peace & love