(I started this on Sunday but didn’t quite get around to finishing it – let’s try again now)
Well the last week has been a bit of a mix... Ups, downs, and some oh my god moments.
And excuse me if I ramble a bit, I had my yearly BBQ with friends and colleagues last night and am recovering from the after effects a bit. Both of too much wine, and too little sleep. I’ve had 6 espressos so far this morning and I think that there are more to come. (note: there were another couple after this point)
Earlier this week I went to a friend’s house to help him with TFS 2010. His company is going to start using it and they have asked me to consult on their implementation of it. This friend knows about Stacy and his wife is a hair dresser – so I asked if she would be prepared to style my hair in a way that I can wear both ways. My inspiration is Sharon Small (from The Inspector Lindley Mysteries). I have a bit of a fringe, but whereas my normal hair dresser will cut it round no matter what I try to ask for it’s now cut so a little flatter giving me more cover. She then told me where I need to grow it, and what she thinks you can get away with as a man, whilst still having enough hair to style for Stacy. And then showed me the tricks of the trade for styling – I need to practice, but I’m getting there.
Friday came, and time for my third trip as Stacy in the outside world. The day was not great – we had a big move in the office and I was conscious of trying not to work that hard that I started to sweat – difficult when I was responsible for organising it and making sure things went to the right place, and then at lunch I got a view of just how harsh some people’s views can be.
We have a very multi cultural department – Polish, Indian, French, Turkish to name but a few. The Polish guy and Indian guys, whilst being nice enough day to day, have quite intolerant views when it comes to various things. Before I arrived at the table the others had started a discussion on whether homosexual couples should be able to adopt children. To say that they are against would be an understatement, going as far to say it’s better to be in an orphanage than have two parents of the same sex.
Then the Indian managed to shock even the Polish guy. ‘You never know in 50 years they may even have a pill to cure it’. Much discussion ensues, and to his credit when someone asks how he would feel if someone made a pill to cure his skin colour (as it’s different from European skin – his argument against homosexuality is that it’s different) he says ‘Yes, maybe in the future they’ll do that’. The conversation moved on and someone brings up inter-sexed and trans people. I just knew that someone was going to, but was wishing that they wouldn’t. I made a few comments, but kept quiet for the most part. Thankfully others didn’t. His reaction got to me though. “That’s the real abomination isn’t it?” Christ
So that set the tone for the afternoon stepping out again. I struggled with the make-up and hair. And when I went it seemed as if the whole world had decided to leave their house at the same time. I made myself walk head high, but my confidence was shot inside. Being in an outfit I had never tried before and with a new hairstyle didn’t help either.
I spoke about it with my therapist and he seemed to think that my keeping quiet was not a bad idea; that for now letting others do the talking is a good way to go. We also talked about my issue with filling up with fuel as Stacy. He suggested a three step plan – fill and let someone else pay, fill and pay with someone in the car and then when comfortable just do it. I’ll have to give that a try.
The good things... One was more phone calls where I was Madame’d every call (I’ve been looking for a new phone and was ringing shops for availability) and the other was a child in a car looking directly at me in the car without freaking – OK I have no children but if a child was freaked by the man make-up I would have expected a longer look out of the back window as the car pulled away from me or getting the attention of her brother / parents to show them the ‘freak’ (for want of a better word, I’m appreciate I’m putting words in people heads here and it’s possibly not fair). Little things I know, but after the day I had had they were very welcome.
Monday was not great – but I’ll go over that another time...
And to finish on a good note... I went back to my friends to go over some more functionality of TFS 2010. He and his wife have been very nice. Actually that sounds very contrite. They have been wonderful. Whilst we were speaking about the Monday incident my friend gave me a great compliment. ‘You don’t have a big bones, you don’t have a manly nose or chin and you have wonderful eyes.’ (The discussion was about how he will react when he see’s Stacy for the first time) And when I was leaving I got a compliment on my small feet from his wife. And... To top it off... I’m not ready to get my ears pierced, and can’t find any clip-on’s or magnetic ear rings locally. I just got a call whilst typing this and his wife saw some that she thought would look good on me and asked me if I wanted her to pick them up :)