Thursday, 12 August 2010

Another long post I'm afraid...

(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 :)


  1. Its always difficult to sit and listen to morons speak but dont let it get to you.
    Either when they know they will attempt to understand and change there perspective, or forever they will be morons.
    I am glad your confidfence is growing and how nice of your wife to get you the earings.
    As for your hair, you will find as it grows and you get used to styling it, your confidence will grow more.

  2. Sharon Small always seems to have so messy hair :-) I Googled her and was surprised to find out she was only a year younger than me. I've given up thinking about what I can get away with as a man. The other day I got a "don't they have barbers where you live" and "your not becoming a heavy rocker are you" but they get bored after a while if you just ignore them.

    Working in heavy industry as I do I am surrounded by a world of bigoted morons. At least it feels like that when they are in a group but get them alone and you find it's quite different. Sometimes I feel they are just saying these things because they think they will fit in especially when they are from a minority themselves. I remember sitting it the control room as a second generation Chinese lad was bemoaning immigrants and how he was going to join the British National Party. Very sad. You're right though, best to keep your head down.

    Rachel XXX

  3. Only out in public 3 times and you get Madame'd on the phone? Wow... once you figure out the hair and appearance thing, you'll be all set! Count yourself lucky with that beautiful voice of yours!

  4. Society accepts loud mouthed ignorant bigots long before us, interesting when you think about it.

    Caroline xxx

  5. Like Rachel, I used to work in an industrial plant too, so I am well acquainted with halfwits saying bigoted moronic thing about people they don't understand. I always felt uncomfortable when they would talk about trans people. I remember one guy in particular telling us that the son of someone he knew had become a woman. He made no attempt to hide his disgust, and when I defended the woman, he said if his son ever did that, he would disown him. I just shook my head, and decided not to say anymore. It wouldn't have done any good anyway. I don't know what it is about guys like that. They don't like gays, but being trans is even more threatening to them. I think their male egos are very fragile.

    Melissa XX

  6. I have to laugh. Whaaaat???
    Yeah. See, I also work in a male, very male dominated field. My boss, his friends, and their friends. All have a very male egotistical, chauvinistic, homophobic, close minded, use them and abuse them type of attitude.

    Okay, why do I laugh? Because they all come to see me!! I'm the one they have to seek, to fix what they are unable to do. They come from miles.

    So, while they are all in the office doing the little 'male bonding' bashing gays, and what not. There is a transgender individual, whom they hate, fixing what they cannnot. I hate the way they are. I'm lucky becuase they are too ignorant to know that there is a snake in the room, about to strike!!

  7. Lisa: The thing I really don't get is that he is an educated, inteligent person. He's also got a very nice personality. Except for this type of conversation where I think he is the middle ages still.

    It was the wife of my friend that found the earings for me. I have to send an email of appology though, I was almost asleep and the phone had no battery and so was playing up a little - which made it hard to understand. After such a nice gesture I feel a little guilty about being a little out of it on the end of the phone.

    Rachel: She does, but I have always thought it looked nice. Plus (when she had it shorter) it's not too different to how I style mine, just more flattering...

    I've had the opposite of your Chinese colleague here. Someone asked me a while ago what I though of foriegn people coming to Holland and stealing jobs off of Dutch people. I smiled and said it was working well for me... It's fun watching their face as they realise they have just asked someone not Dutch that question. In English as well...

    Teagan: I must confess the voice has always been there. Since I was a teenager I have been Madame'd on the phone 50% of the time. I used to always be mistakened for my ex's mum on the phone when I answered at her house. Poeple start off saying things after I said 'Hello' and you have to stop them and say 'You want Jane don't you? I'll fetch her for you' I wonder what they said when she took the phone and told them it was her daughters boyfriend that had answered...

    Oddly enough though, those that know me in day to day life say they can't hear it...

    Though my therapist says that with my starting point I'm not going to have a problem once I've worked with a voice therapist.

    Caroline: Yes... I've just started reading 'Dead Famous' by Ben Elton and he makes a similar point near to the start of the book... What society strives towards these days is... interesting.

    Melissa: Someone did send a Friday afternoon spam after lunch with a link to an article from an activists site with a nice graph denoting homophobic rants and coincdence of being gay. He made a very nervous laugh when he got it :)

    LeAnne: Yup :) If it wasn't for trying to get mentally prep'ed for the third outing as Stace I would have laughed inside (and can do now) at the fact that he directed the 'That's the real abomonation' comment at me as a question (I did say no I don't think that it is back to him). As I say outside of that subject we get on great. In fact he's just given me a generous gift for my birthday as he missed the BBQ due to familiy visiting (it doesn't matter how much I tell people the point of the BBQ is to have a good time and I don't want presents at least half ignore me...) But get him on that subject and wow...


  8. You're growing: good for you!

    Voice? I am so jealous. I am getting totally sick of phone calls that go (me): Jane fae. (Them): James? (me): no, Jane. (Them): James!


    And hair! You know i've come to this late and had started on the male pattern baldness thing. Was maybe the biggest saddest part of late transition for me. Then i found a wonderful hair stylist. I love my hair!

    So. Glad for you, too. Find a good stylist and look after her.

    Otherwise...if you don't mind...i'll let you have contact stuff for me off-board. Anything you ever feel like

    And kids? Nah...mostly they don't freak, though they will stare in ways that MOST adults are too polite to. They'll also say lovely things (in a loud voice in the middle of a supermarket): "Is that a man or a lady?"

    Followed by much parental shushing. :)

    Mostly its innocent.


  9. I've been a party to many of "those" conversations.

    In the early days, I'd laugh and joke with them and cry inside and feel so guilty afterwords.

    Then, I would just walk away from the conversation and feel guilty afterwords in additon to feeling sick to my stomach.

    Now, I act like the manager I am and make it quite clear to everyone that this is inappropriate talk for the workplace.

    Calie xxx