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Lucy Diamond 's Entries

204 blogs
  • 27 Jul 2006
    Phew, what a scorcher!We seem to have been well and truly back in heatwave mode here in England. Of course the weekend when we had an outdoor gig was bound to be the one weekend when it went cold and rained. We have another outdoor gig coming up a week on Saturday actually, so I guess that’s the weather forecast sorted for then…Last week in fact saw the highest July temperature ever recorded in this country. Bring it on. Global warming perhaps? Whatever, I love it. I wonder how much hotter Thailand will be. Don’t suppose they make such a fuss about it over there.After a small investment last year in a few strawberry plants, and all this lovely sun, I have had a daily supply of fresh strawb’s all this month. Practically coming out of my ears they were, but I can never have too many strawberries. I have blackcurrants too (they do go well together), and have had a great crop of those too, sadly both are coming to an end now, but it won’t be long until my apples are ready and I will be making pies and crumbles and well and truly keeping the doctor away.Speaking of doctors, I went to see my GP this week, and am now at last on NHS prescription oestrogen. Although Charing Cross had written to him after my last appointment, he hadn’t yet had any specific instructions from their endocrinologist, so wasn’t entirely sure what to give me. I told him what they had told me to expect – Zoladex injections and a low dose of estradiol valerate, and what I have been taking and what I’d like to continue to take. 17-Beta estradiol apparently is not available on the NHS, so he prescribed me 4mg per day of estradiol valerate, which is probably the next best thing. He wasn’t at all keen on the Zoladex idea, and I have my doubts about it. He checked my blood tests and agreed that as my testosterone level was already very low (average female sort of level) it seemed pointless trying to lower it further. He also commented that Zoladex was not licensed for this purpose, it being a cancer drug. Actually I’m not sure if any hormones are licensed for transsexual feminisation purposes, but I do think he has a point and was right to be wary of it. Charing Cross seem to think that by taking Zoladex one can reduce the amount of oestrogen needed. Maybe so, but I think it’s a little crazy; I’m on a fairly low dose of oestrogen anyway, it’s clearly sufficient to keep my testo levels down, development seems to be going ok, and basically estradiol, either 17-Beta or valerate, is far safer than Zoladex. So in my case what would it achieve? A greater risk. Nothing else. Zoladex is a pretty serious drug, it tricks the body into shutting down testosterone production (or oestrogen if you’re female) entirely. It has a list of side-effects as long as your arm (ok most drugs do, I know), but the simple truth is that it is much riskier. Now if you have cancer and your life is in danger that may be a risk worth taking. For a TS patient trying to achieve long-term feminisation with SRS in the not too distant future, it seems absurd. Maybe for a rugby-playing high testosterone count sort of bloke starting out on hormones it could have some benefit, maybe. But that’s not me, and that’s one of the problems I think Charing Cross has. Cookie-cutter, off-the-shelf hormone regimes, same for everybody, no debate, no discussion, you take what we tell you. We don’t think about it, so neither should you….So actually I’m rather glad that my GP had not yet received specific instructions from their endo, as it gave us a chance to discuss a sensible regime that was right for ME. Hopefully, if or when he does receive his instructions he will still be prepared to discuss them with me, rather than blindly follow their "advice".It seems to me that the "experts" at Charing Cross are not really using their skills to good effect; their "expertise" is hindered by red-tape and policies and funding issues. Sadly, the patient’s best interests are not their primary concern. I don’t think they’re half as bad as some people make out (that opinion may change over time), but I can see why people become so frustrated with them. I am reassured though by my GP’s sensible, and honest attitude; he said, "We’re not experts…".When it comes to hormones for feminisation, I don’t think anybody is.Charing Cross have given me a date for my next appointment, in November, when I hope to speak to someone about having a tracheal shave, or rather, when I hope that someone will speak to me about it, and not just say, "Ask next time…" I await their expert opinion on that with baited breath.xx
    442 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Phew, what a scorcher!We seem to have been well and truly back in heatwave mode here in England. Of course the weekend when we had an outdoor gig was bound to be the one weekend when it went cold and rained. We have another outdoor gig coming up a week on Saturday actually, so I guess that’s the weather forecast sorted for then…Last week in fact saw the highest July temperature ever recorded in this country. Bring it on. Global warming perhaps? Whatever, I love it. I wonder how much hotter Thailand will be. Don’t suppose they make such a fuss about it over there.After a small investment last year in a few strawberry plants, and all this lovely sun, I have had a daily supply of fresh strawb’s all this month. Practically coming out of my ears they were, but I can never have too many strawberries. I have blackcurrants too (they do go well together), and have had a great crop of those too, sadly both are coming to an end now, but it won’t be long until my apples are ready and I will be making pies and crumbles and well and truly keeping the doctor away.Speaking of doctors, I went to see my GP this week, and am now at last on NHS prescription oestrogen. Although Charing Cross had written to him after my last appointment, he hadn’t yet had any specific instructions from their endocrinologist, so wasn’t entirely sure what to give me. I told him what they had told me to expect – Zoladex injections and a low dose of estradiol valerate, and what I have been taking and what I’d like to continue to take. 17-Beta estradiol apparently is not available on the NHS, so he prescribed me 4mg per day of estradiol valerate, which is probably the next best thing. He wasn’t at all keen on the Zoladex idea, and I have my doubts about it. He checked my blood tests and agreed that as my testosterone level was already very low (average female sort of level) it seemed pointless trying to lower it further. He also commented that Zoladex was not licensed for this purpose, it being a cancer drug. Actually I’m not sure if any hormones are licensed for transsexual feminisation purposes, but I do think he has a point and was right to be wary of it. Charing Cross seem to think that by taking Zoladex one can reduce the amount of oestrogen needed. Maybe so, but I think it’s a little crazy; I’m on a fairly low dose of oestrogen anyway, it’s clearly sufficient to keep my testo levels down, development seems to be going ok, and basically estradiol, either 17-Beta or valerate, is far safer than Zoladex. So in my case what would it achieve? A greater risk. Nothing else. Zoladex is a pretty serious drug, it tricks the body into shutting down testosterone production (or oestrogen if you’re female) entirely. It has a list of side-effects as long as your arm (ok most drugs do, I know), but the simple truth is that it is much riskier. Now if you have cancer and your life is in danger that may be a risk worth taking. For a TS patient trying to achieve long-term feminisation with SRS in the not too distant future, it seems absurd. Maybe for a rugby-playing high testosterone count sort of bloke starting out on hormones it could have some benefit, maybe. But that’s not me, and that’s one of the problems I think Charing Cross has. Cookie-cutter, off-the-shelf hormone regimes, same for everybody, no debate, no discussion, you take what we tell you. We don’t think about it, so neither should you….So actually I’m rather glad that my GP had not yet received specific instructions from their endo, as it gave us a chance to discuss a sensible regime that was right for ME. Hopefully, if or when he does receive his instructions he will still be prepared to discuss them with me, rather than blindly follow their "advice".It seems to me that the "experts" at Charing Cross are not really using their skills to good effect; their "expertise" is hindered by red-tape and policies and funding issues. Sadly, the patient’s best interests are not their primary concern. I don’t think they’re half as bad as some people make out (that opinion may change over time), but I can see why people become so frustrated with them. I am reassured though by my GP’s sensible, and honest attitude; he said, "We’re not experts…".When it comes to hormones for feminisation, I don’t think anybody is.Charing Cross have given me a date for my next appointment, in November, when I hope to speak to someone about having a tracheal shave, or rather, when I hope that someone will speak to me about it, and not just say, "Ask next time…" I await their expert opinion on that with baited breath.xx
    Jul 27, 2006 442
  • 09 Jul 2006
    The English weather will not dampen our spirits…Good morning ladies (it’s morning for ME anyway, late night last night). Hope all you girls from this side of the pond are enjoying the very British summer weather we seem to be having at the moment, don’t despair, it’s going to be nice again next week. It’s a shame about the weather really, after a week of heatwave it starts raining and we get an open air gig, at least that was the plan…The band had a get together on Thursday to discuss new songs over beer and pizza, we had a list of 26 suggestions and managed to get 5 that we were all agreed on, I guess we’re a pretty fussy bunch. Anyway it was nice to be able to get together when we weren’t actually working and all have a proper chat. Also during the course of the evening we were offered a gig on Saturday, some guy having a party had been let down at the last minute and we had been recommended to him. It was good pay so we jumped at the chance, and besides, it sounded interesting…We arrived at a very lovely country residence overlooking the fells, but sadly amidst persistent drizzle. Low grey cloud everywhere, little chance of any let up. We met the guy who shall hereafter be referred to as Paul, since that was his name, who seemed to firmly believe that the sun WAS going to come out and we’d be fine playing on his lawn under cover (a large tent with no sides, known as an easy-up). We weren’t happy, it was never going to stop raining and it was rather cold and the grass was rather wet, and there is a safety aspect that must be considered. Electricity, water, holding a guitar and singing into a microphone is not a good combination. The guys couldn’t seem to get through to him though so I went and had a word. I seemed to get through to him. It wasn’t a good idea and anyway who was going to stand in the rain to watch us? Reluctantly at first he said we could play in his rather large garage, and use the easy-up for the audience to stand under. Not ideal, but the only sensible alternative. Although it was a big house there wasn’t a suitable room for us inside. First though, he had to move his brand new Ferrari…I think that’s what was bothering him really, he didn’t want to get his Ferrari wet! Now I’m not particularly into cars but this thing was just stunning. An engine in the back like two big rockets, it was like a shiny red Batmobile. He started it up and it purred like a lion, then he revved it and it roared like a very loud lion through very large speakers. He reversed it out v e r y carefully, and we went about loading our gear in and setting up.The Ferrari was not all though, there were several other expensive motors and a bloody helicopter in his garden! This guy has some serious money. He’s actually the team manager of Stobart-Honda (motor bike racing, about which I know nothing) so the bosses of Eddie Stobart’s were there (the UK’s largest haulage company) who were flown in on their helicopter! "The haves and the have nots", one of our band muttered, whilst drooling over the Ferrari. Coronation Street star "Tyrone" was also there (sorry Tyrone I don’t know your real name and can’t be bothered to Google it, I will watch the credits next time you’re on). He didn’t stay late though, probably up early filming. He’s better looking in real life, and not so dorky, seemed to be having a good laugh with all his mates.Anyway sorry if I’m name dropping but those kind of gigs are such fun, even though it was bit odd playing in a garage. Loads of nice food and booze like you’ve never seen, really. Good job I was driving because those several bottles of Jack Daniels were looking very tempting, not to mention the Verve Cliquot champagne. I had a couple of bottles of Chinese beer though, which was very nice.The crowd seemed to like us and the rain stopped during the second set so everyone was dancing. At one point we were joined on stage, I mean, in garage, by a guy dancing about wearing only his shoes and his Superman underpants. It really was a good job I hadn’t started on that JD…I hope Paul liked us because he throws several such parties each year and these are the sort of repeat gigs we would really like to get. A glimpse of the "other world", a jolly good time and lots of lovely money. Let’s hope the weather is better next time if he does have us back, his lawn would have been a much nicer setting for the band, but hey this is England, and this is our summer. The weather may be rubbish but it’s still a great place to live.I wish I had my own helicopter. I’d need a bigger garden though. Oh well.xx
    421 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • The English weather will not dampen our spirits…Good morning ladies (it’s morning for ME anyway, late night last night). Hope all you girls from this side of the pond are enjoying the very British summer weather we seem to be having at the moment, don’t despair, it’s going to be nice again next week. It’s a shame about the weather really, after a week of heatwave it starts raining and we get an open air gig, at least that was the plan…The band had a get together on Thursday to discuss new songs over beer and pizza, we had a list of 26 suggestions and managed to get 5 that we were all agreed on, I guess we’re a pretty fussy bunch. Anyway it was nice to be able to get together when we weren’t actually working and all have a proper chat. Also during the course of the evening we were offered a gig on Saturday, some guy having a party had been let down at the last minute and we had been recommended to him. It was good pay so we jumped at the chance, and besides, it sounded interesting…We arrived at a very lovely country residence overlooking the fells, but sadly amidst persistent drizzle. Low grey cloud everywhere, little chance of any let up. We met the guy who shall hereafter be referred to as Paul, since that was his name, who seemed to firmly believe that the sun WAS going to come out and we’d be fine playing on his lawn under cover (a large tent with no sides, known as an easy-up). We weren’t happy, it was never going to stop raining and it was rather cold and the grass was rather wet, and there is a safety aspect that must be considered. Electricity, water, holding a guitar and singing into a microphone is not a good combination. The guys couldn’t seem to get through to him though so I went and had a word. I seemed to get through to him. It wasn’t a good idea and anyway who was going to stand in the rain to watch us? Reluctantly at first he said we could play in his rather large garage, and use the easy-up for the audience to stand under. Not ideal, but the only sensible alternative. Although it was a big house there wasn’t a suitable room for us inside. First though, he had to move his brand new Ferrari…I think that’s what was bothering him really, he didn’t want to get his Ferrari wet! Now I’m not particularly into cars but this thing was just stunning. An engine in the back like two big rockets, it was like a shiny red Batmobile. He started it up and it purred like a lion, then he revved it and it roared like a very loud lion through very large speakers. He reversed it out v e r y carefully, and we went about loading our gear in and setting up.The Ferrari was not all though, there were several other expensive motors and a bloody helicopter in his garden! This guy has some serious money. He’s actually the team manager of Stobart-Honda (motor bike racing, about which I know nothing) so the bosses of Eddie Stobart’s were there (the UK’s largest haulage company) who were flown in on their helicopter! "The haves and the have nots", one of our band muttered, whilst drooling over the Ferrari. Coronation Street star "Tyrone" was also there (sorry Tyrone I don’t know your real name and can’t be bothered to Google it, I will watch the credits next time you’re on). He didn’t stay late though, probably up early filming. He’s better looking in real life, and not so dorky, seemed to be having a good laugh with all his mates.Anyway sorry if I’m name dropping but those kind of gigs are such fun, even though it was bit odd playing in a garage. Loads of nice food and booze like you’ve never seen, really. Good job I was driving because those several bottles of Jack Daniels were looking very tempting, not to mention the Verve Cliquot champagne. I had a couple of bottles of Chinese beer though, which was very nice.The crowd seemed to like us and the rain stopped during the second set so everyone was dancing. At one point we were joined on stage, I mean, in garage, by a guy dancing about wearing only his shoes and his Superman underpants. It really was a good job I hadn’t started on that JD…I hope Paul liked us because he throws several such parties each year and these are the sort of repeat gigs we would really like to get. A glimpse of the "other world", a jolly good time and lots of lovely money. Let’s hope the weather is better next time if he does have us back, his lawn would have been a much nicer setting for the band, but hey this is England, and this is our summer. The weather may be rubbish but it’s still a great place to live.I wish I had my own helicopter. I’d need a bigger garden though. Oh well.xx
    Jul 09, 2006 421
  • 26 Jun 2006
    Wall to wall trannies...Is how I would describe this year’s Sparkle event, at least on Saturday night when Pippa and I travelled to Manchester to join in the celebrations. There were loads of trannies there last year, but I was seriously impressed by how those numbers had risen this time. The English weather managed to restrain itself for the evening and Canal Street was a sea of colourful transgenderness, with lots of people drinking and chatting alongside the canal and generally milling about. This year there was a main stage (if there was one last year I wasn’t aware of it), giving the event a central focus and more of a festival feel. We went to see if there was a band on after having a couple of drinks in Via Fosse, but they were apparently running later than advertised and we caught the end of the beauty pageant, "Miss Sparkle" I presume. Lots of good looking ladies there and a great atmosphere; many hundreds of trannies watching and cheering all the contestants.Bumped into Anna-Marie and Charllet on our way back up Canal Street, then Christina and Fay in AXM, then had a good chat with Cerys outside, as the bouncers at AXM had decided it was getting too busy and they weren’t letting people upstairs. The Trans-mission party was being hosted downstairs, too noisy for us old fogies. So then on to Napoleon’s, as we felt it was about time we settled ourselves somewhere, where we were joined shortly after our arrival by Maryanne and co. and "The Americans" – Gloria and Robyn, who we’d met last year at Halloween. Nice to see you both again girls, and well done for making it all that way across the big pond to join in the fun.After a few hours at Nap’s we’d had enough, went back to the hotel bar for a drink and a chat with the above mentioned who were also staying there, and finally we collapsed into our bed.Now I can’t do this blog without complaining about the hotel…Queen’s as it’s now known (I still groan at that), formerly The International, well what can you say? We kind of liked it at first, cheap and cheerful, it was a bed for the night at least, and this time because we’d booked at short notice we knew we were lucky to find anywhere that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Perhaps not so lucky after all, as not for the first time there was work going on through the night on the tramlines right next to the hotel, a stone’s throw from our single-glazed window. By work I mean pneumatic drills and other incredibly noisy machinery, starting around 2am – our bedtime, and still going on when we left around 11am. Suffice to say, I didn’t get a wink’s sleep, grrr.None of that of course is really the hotel’s fault, though some double-glazing wouldn’t go amiss. But the place in general, now under new ownership, is quite shameful. The rooms are tatty, less than clean, our bed was broken, we had a non-en suite room and of the 2 toilets on our floor, one was locked with an out of order sign, and the other was just out of order. Shocking. I informed 2 members of staff about this, but suspect it went in one ear and out the other in both cases. The guy on the desk had an attitude problem, "I’M the reception manager", he said, like I’m supposed to be impressed, and yet again, they expect us to believe that the credit card machine is not "online". It cannot be coincidence that the machine is always down and we have had to pay cash every time we have stayed there over the last 2 years. I’ve made a point of asking the last few times if I can pay by credit card when I make the booking, "No problem…" but when you get there, "Oh sorry the machine is down at the moment…" Grrr.No soap in the room, curtains hanging off, mugs cracked so badly that they leak, no locks on ANY toilet door in the whole building, no lights working in any toilets either, 2 measly sachets of coffee between us (I drank them both, sorry Pip, I needed caffeine for the drive), and en suites, when you can get them, that are frankly quite scary to go into. Honestly, I’m not the fussy, complaining type, hell I lived in a cave for a month when I was picking oranges in Greece, but this place is a disgrace. Never again.Doh! How many times have I said that?! Next time I would rather drive back up to Cumbria than spend a night in such squalor. But hopefully next time we can book early to avoid disappointment, as they say.Anyway the main thing is that Sparkle seemed to be a success, and I for one was glad to be there and be a small part of it. When you see so many t-girls gathered together in one place it makes you realise that we are not such a rare species, and such events can only encourage others who haven’t yet made the steps toward their first public appearance. I hope also it won’t be long before the event becomes more recognised by the media, as with the Pride marches, which are now world-wide and which I personally believe have gone a huge way to improving society’s attitude towards gays and lesbians. Of course Pride is now a BLT, no hang on that’s a sandwich, um, a GLBT event, but I don’t think being tagged onto the end of what was originally a gay event has quite the same impact as a purely TG gathering. I’m sure there are some girls who would be terrified if there were national TV cameras present at Sparkle, but I think it would make the general public sit up and take note, that blimey, there are bloody thousands of these girls aren’t there!If the event continues to snowball, as it seems to have done in only one year we will be spilling out from the Village onto the streets of "mainstream" Manchester. Soon, we’ll be taking over the city.One day, the world….!xx
    493 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Wall to wall trannies...Is how I would describe this year’s Sparkle event, at least on Saturday night when Pippa and I travelled to Manchester to join in the celebrations. There were loads of trannies there last year, but I was seriously impressed by how those numbers had risen this time. The English weather managed to restrain itself for the evening and Canal Street was a sea of colourful transgenderness, with lots of people drinking and chatting alongside the canal and generally milling about. This year there was a main stage (if there was one last year I wasn’t aware of it), giving the event a central focus and more of a festival feel. We went to see if there was a band on after having a couple of drinks in Via Fosse, but they were apparently running later than advertised and we caught the end of the beauty pageant, "Miss Sparkle" I presume. Lots of good looking ladies there and a great atmosphere; many hundreds of trannies watching and cheering all the contestants.Bumped into Anna-Marie and Charllet on our way back up Canal Street, then Christina and Fay in AXM, then had a good chat with Cerys outside, as the bouncers at AXM had decided it was getting too busy and they weren’t letting people upstairs. The Trans-mission party was being hosted downstairs, too noisy for us old fogies. So then on to Napoleon’s, as we felt it was about time we settled ourselves somewhere, where we were joined shortly after our arrival by Maryanne and co. and "The Americans" – Gloria and Robyn, who we’d met last year at Halloween. Nice to see you both again girls, and well done for making it all that way across the big pond to join in the fun.After a few hours at Nap’s we’d had enough, went back to the hotel bar for a drink and a chat with the above mentioned who were also staying there, and finally we collapsed into our bed.Now I can’t do this blog without complaining about the hotel…Queen’s as it’s now known (I still groan at that), formerly The International, well what can you say? We kind of liked it at first, cheap and cheerful, it was a bed for the night at least, and this time because we’d booked at short notice we knew we were lucky to find anywhere that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Perhaps not so lucky after all, as not for the first time there was work going on through the night on the tramlines right next to the hotel, a stone’s throw from our single-glazed window. By work I mean pneumatic drills and other incredibly noisy machinery, starting around 2am – our bedtime, and still going on when we left around 11am. Suffice to say, I didn’t get a wink’s sleep, grrr.None of that of course is really the hotel’s fault, though some double-glazing wouldn’t go amiss. But the place in general, now under new ownership, is quite shameful. The rooms are tatty, less than clean, our bed was broken, we had a non-en suite room and of the 2 toilets on our floor, one was locked with an out of order sign, and the other was just out of order. Shocking. I informed 2 members of staff about this, but suspect it went in one ear and out the other in both cases. The guy on the desk had an attitude problem, "I’M the reception manager", he said, like I’m supposed to be impressed, and yet again, they expect us to believe that the credit card machine is not "online". It cannot be coincidence that the machine is always down and we have had to pay cash every time we have stayed there over the last 2 years. I’ve made a point of asking the last few times if I can pay by credit card when I make the booking, "No problem…" but when you get there, "Oh sorry the machine is down at the moment…" Grrr.No soap in the room, curtains hanging off, mugs cracked so badly that they leak, no locks on ANY toilet door in the whole building, no lights working in any toilets either, 2 measly sachets of coffee between us (I drank them both, sorry Pip, I needed caffeine for the drive), and en suites, when you can get them, that are frankly quite scary to go into. Honestly, I’m not the fussy, complaining type, hell I lived in a cave for a month when I was picking oranges in Greece, but this place is a disgrace. Never again.Doh! How many times have I said that?! Next time I would rather drive back up to Cumbria than spend a night in such squalor. But hopefully next time we can book early to avoid disappointment, as they say.Anyway the main thing is that Sparkle seemed to be a success, and I for one was glad to be there and be a small part of it. When you see so many t-girls gathered together in one place it makes you realise that we are not such a rare species, and such events can only encourage others who haven’t yet made the steps toward their first public appearance. I hope also it won’t be long before the event becomes more recognised by the media, as with the Pride marches, which are now world-wide and which I personally believe have gone a huge way to improving society’s attitude towards gays and lesbians. Of course Pride is now a BLT, no hang on that’s a sandwich, um, a GLBT event, but I don’t think being tagged onto the end of what was originally a gay event has quite the same impact as a purely TG gathering. I’m sure there are some girls who would be terrified if there were national TV cameras present at Sparkle, but I think it would make the general public sit up and take note, that blimey, there are bloody thousands of these girls aren’t there!If the event continues to snowball, as it seems to have done in only one year we will be spilling out from the Village onto the streets of "mainstream" Manchester. Soon, we’ll be taking over the city.One day, the world….!xx
    Jun 26, 2006 493
  • 17 Jun 2006
    Voice of the soulHi Michelle, thanks for your sweet comment. About the voice training, no I haven’t had any yet, though that is something that the NHS will provide. I have to make an appointment with my GP in a few weeks to sort out my prescription and to see if he can refer me to a voice therapist locally, otherwise I will have to go down to the one at Charing Cross In London, which is a long way to go for me; I live only about 50 miles away from Scotland!The voice is one of the hardest things to deal with in transition, at least for me; I have a naturally very deep voice. I’m just trying to adjust it gradually; it’s quite weird and feels almost false to attempt to suddenly speak in a totally different voice. I’ve read a lot of tips, and at the moment am just trying to keep it soft and stop my pitch falling below a certain level. The hardest thing is remembering to do so! The voice is a huge part of our identity, we probably don’t realise how much so until we try to change it. It feels to me like having to create a new persona for myself, which I have mixed feelings about. Although I don’t feel anything masculine at all inside me, I am aware that over the years, peer group pressure and so on, I have picked up male traits and need to relearn a few things. Despite our insistence that we ARE feminine, it can be harder than you might think. Old habits die hard…I’ve always sung backing vocals in previous bands, not because I’m a great singer, but usually because no-one else would! I’ve resisted doing so in this band, thankfully the 2 guitarists already do quite well in that department, but I do sing on one song which was lacking a bit in the chorus, so I offered. I SO wish I could sing like a woman, and that’s the one thing that tempts me towards voice surgery. I don’t believe any voice therapy can increase my vocal range to approach that of a natal female, it’s a physical restriction, but maybe with the right teacher I could improve the tone. There are no guarantees with voice surgery, and so it’s something I would never rush into. But one of the possible complications of a tracheal shave is that it can actually lower your pitch, so combing it with voice surgery could be a possible way of evening out that risk, or it could be just an added risk. You don’t know until you try. A trach shave is essential for me, voice surgery is undecided, but probably unlikely.Last night’s gig was a stonker, another technical term, at least in Cumbria. Our best gig yet, and we all so enjoyed it. This was despite going on stage about to start when the bass player realised there was nothing coming out of his bass, the socket had apparently broken since the soundcheck, not something you can fix in a hurry. So after much swapping of leads and bypassing of amps trying to isolate the problem we were left having to ask a friend in the audience if we could borrow his bass, and had to drive across the other side of town to get it, making us half an hour late going on, needing to drop a few songs from the set, and having approximately a 3 minute break. Time enough to have a wee and touch up my lippy at least!To hear that first note come out of the bass amp was such a relief, and we knew we had to really pull our socks up and not hang about in between songs. When you create that anticipation amongst the audience in can sometimes work in your favour, and I think that was the case last night. It's a good pub, great atmosphere, reputation for good bands, in-house PA that actually sounds decent (especially with me on the desk!) and usually an enthusiastic crowd. Last night was fantastic. I have never felt so good on stage. I can’t deny that I have enjoyed certain gigs in the past; music, which means so much to me, has no gender barriers and is the one thing that has the ability to lift me from my dysphoric state without actually being bad for me! But however good a gig was when I was onstage in male mode, there was always a certain angst, not just a need for catharsis, but a gnawing, craving necessity. It was a release, but an ever-present battle between that and actual enjoyment. I can’t put into words how it feels to be onstage feeling myself, natural, the way I am supposed to be, and what a difference it makes. In a way the stage is a showcase for my life, because that’s how it feels in day to day life too, just being myself, but somehow onstage everything is amplified, and I don’t just mean the volume! Last night my soul was filled with voices like Sirens, singing "I am me". In a previous life I had screaming banshees, "This is your hell", and I either hid from that hell by drinking or did battle with it by pouring out my soul in music, or both, not a good mix. I now have the desire just to play music with beauty, not fuelled by anger and resentment. It’s no longer a battle, but a joy.A bit like life really.xx
    509 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Voice of the soulHi Michelle, thanks for your sweet comment. About the voice training, no I haven’t had any yet, though that is something that the NHS will provide. I have to make an appointment with my GP in a few weeks to sort out my prescription and to see if he can refer me to a voice therapist locally, otherwise I will have to go down to the one at Charing Cross In London, which is a long way to go for me; I live only about 50 miles away from Scotland!The voice is one of the hardest things to deal with in transition, at least for me; I have a naturally very deep voice. I’m just trying to adjust it gradually; it’s quite weird and feels almost false to attempt to suddenly speak in a totally different voice. I’ve read a lot of tips, and at the moment am just trying to keep it soft and stop my pitch falling below a certain level. The hardest thing is remembering to do so! The voice is a huge part of our identity, we probably don’t realise how much so until we try to change it. It feels to me like having to create a new persona for myself, which I have mixed feelings about. Although I don’t feel anything masculine at all inside me, I am aware that over the years, peer group pressure and so on, I have picked up male traits and need to relearn a few things. Despite our insistence that we ARE feminine, it can be harder than you might think. Old habits die hard…I’ve always sung backing vocals in previous bands, not because I’m a great singer, but usually because no-one else would! I’ve resisted doing so in this band, thankfully the 2 guitarists already do quite well in that department, but I do sing on one song which was lacking a bit in the chorus, so I offered. I SO wish I could sing like a woman, and that’s the one thing that tempts me towards voice surgery. I don’t believe any voice therapy can increase my vocal range to approach that of a natal female, it’s a physical restriction, but maybe with the right teacher I could improve the tone. There are no guarantees with voice surgery, and so it’s something I would never rush into. But one of the possible complications of a tracheal shave is that it can actually lower your pitch, so combing it with voice surgery could be a possible way of evening out that risk, or it could be just an added risk. You don’t know until you try. A trach shave is essential for me, voice surgery is undecided, but probably unlikely.Last night’s gig was a stonker, another technical term, at least in Cumbria. Our best gig yet, and we all so enjoyed it. This was despite going on stage about to start when the bass player realised there was nothing coming out of his bass, the socket had apparently broken since the soundcheck, not something you can fix in a hurry. So after much swapping of leads and bypassing of amps trying to isolate the problem we were left having to ask a friend in the audience if we could borrow his bass, and had to drive across the other side of town to get it, making us half an hour late going on, needing to drop a few songs from the set, and having approximately a 3 minute break. Time enough to have a wee and touch up my lippy at least!To hear that first note come out of the bass amp was such a relief, and we knew we had to really pull our socks up and not hang about in between songs. When you create that anticipation amongst the audience in can sometimes work in your favour, and I think that was the case last night. It's a good pub, great atmosphere, reputation for good bands, in-house PA that actually sounds decent (especially with me on the desk!) and usually an enthusiastic crowd. Last night was fantastic. I have never felt so good on stage. I can’t deny that I have enjoyed certain gigs in the past; music, which means so much to me, has no gender barriers and is the one thing that has the ability to lift me from my dysphoric state without actually being bad for me! But however good a gig was when I was onstage in male mode, there was always a certain angst, not just a need for catharsis, but a gnawing, craving necessity. It was a release, but an ever-present battle between that and actual enjoyment. I can’t put into words how it feels to be onstage feeling myself, natural, the way I am supposed to be, and what a difference it makes. In a way the stage is a showcase for my life, because that’s how it feels in day to day life too, just being myself, but somehow onstage everything is amplified, and I don’t just mean the volume! Last night my soul was filled with voices like Sirens, singing "I am me". In a previous life I had screaming banshees, "This is your hell", and I either hid from that hell by drinking or did battle with it by pouring out my soul in music, or both, not a good mix. I now have the desire just to play music with beauty, not fuelled by anger and resentment. It’s no longer a battle, but a joy.A bit like life really.xx
    Jun 17, 2006 509
  • 16 Jun 2006
    Days become weeks, weeks become months…It’s late, I should be tucked up in bed by now. Oh well…An anniversary has passed almost without me noticing, so I thought I should at least get around to mentioning it. I’ve done a year full time. I guess it’s flown by. I stopped presenting as male around the middle of May last year, and officially changed my name at the beginning of June, so I’m calling it June 1st, for the sake of argument.It just feels normal now, like how it was always supposed to be, even without being quite right just yet. Hormonal changes are slow and gradual, you’re not really aware that you are changing, though I have noticed a couple of little things…It may be a year or less until I go for SRS, and though I’m not being impatient about that, I really can’t wait. Hopefully the trach shave will come sooner, and that I AM inpatient about. It’s a bloody nuisance, and I hate wearing scarves in this weather, but I just can’t get over the need to make some effort to hide the grotesque lump on my neck, however futile that effort is. It will be months before my next CX appointment, no guarantee that they will agree to the op and if they do many more months before I get a date for surgery. And also the possibility as I’ve said of them telling me they can only reduce it slightly, which just isn’t good enough, cos I know it can be done reasonably safely using the right techniques. So I may be sitting around waiting for nothing. Well, I’m just taking each day as it comes and if it all gets too much maybe I’ll go off and have it done privately.Anyway… shortly after I went full time last year it was the first ever UK national transgender weekend in Manchester, namely "Sparkle", so that must be coming round again soon…I was slightly disappointed when I realised we had a gig booked for the Saturday, the main day of the weekend. It wasn’t one we wanted to cancel, it being what they call in the trade, "A bloody good payer". So if anyone was wondering why I hadn’t mentioned going to Sparkle this year then that’s why.However…The gig’s been moved! So now I can go! Finding out 10 days before Sparkle that you can actually go after all means you’re probably going to struggle to find a hotel, which would have been a bit of a bugger, but I managed to get us in at the wonderfully luxurious Hollywood International. For anyone who hasn’t stayed there, that’s sarcasm by the way, anyone who HAS stayed there will have spotted that one right away! Oh it’s changed its name again hasn’t it, "Queens" is it now? Amazingly inventive name for a gay-run hotel. Not.I’m sure we’ve vowed never to stay there again on more than one occasion, but what the hell, it’ll be just like old times. And I rather like the sweet little toot-toot sound the trams make as they go past at 5am. It’s just the rumbling of the foundations that bothers me really…And with any luck we’ll have windows that open AND close.The main thing is it’ll be great to be there and see everyone again, I’ve even heard it rumoured that some of our American TW sisters will be there. And I have an excuse to wear an entirely inappropriate dress, woo hoo!Anyway, I’m gigging tomorrow at the main music pub in town, where only decent bands are allowed to play, so there’s a certain amount of prestige involved. Guess I’d better try and get some sleep; I need to sparkle tomorrow. It’ll be good practice for next weekend!See you in the Village, girls.xx
    461 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Days become weeks, weeks become months…It’s late, I should be tucked up in bed by now. Oh well…An anniversary has passed almost without me noticing, so I thought I should at least get around to mentioning it. I’ve done a year full time. I guess it’s flown by. I stopped presenting as male around the middle of May last year, and officially changed my name at the beginning of June, so I’m calling it June 1st, for the sake of argument.It just feels normal now, like how it was always supposed to be, even without being quite right just yet. Hormonal changes are slow and gradual, you’re not really aware that you are changing, though I have noticed a couple of little things…It may be a year or less until I go for SRS, and though I’m not being impatient about that, I really can’t wait. Hopefully the trach shave will come sooner, and that I AM inpatient about. It’s a bloody nuisance, and I hate wearing scarves in this weather, but I just can’t get over the need to make some effort to hide the grotesque lump on my neck, however futile that effort is. It will be months before my next CX appointment, no guarantee that they will agree to the op and if they do many more months before I get a date for surgery. And also the possibility as I’ve said of them telling me they can only reduce it slightly, which just isn’t good enough, cos I know it can be done reasonably safely using the right techniques. So I may be sitting around waiting for nothing. Well, I’m just taking each day as it comes and if it all gets too much maybe I’ll go off and have it done privately.Anyway… shortly after I went full time last year it was the first ever UK national transgender weekend in Manchester, namely "Sparkle", so that must be coming round again soon…I was slightly disappointed when I realised we had a gig booked for the Saturday, the main day of the weekend. It wasn’t one we wanted to cancel, it being what they call in the trade, "A bloody good payer". So if anyone was wondering why I hadn’t mentioned going to Sparkle this year then that’s why.However…The gig’s been moved! So now I can go! Finding out 10 days before Sparkle that you can actually go after all means you’re probably going to struggle to find a hotel, which would have been a bit of a bugger, but I managed to get us in at the wonderfully luxurious Hollywood International. For anyone who hasn’t stayed there, that’s sarcasm by the way, anyone who HAS stayed there will have spotted that one right away! Oh it’s changed its name again hasn’t it, "Queens" is it now? Amazingly inventive name for a gay-run hotel. Not.I’m sure we’ve vowed never to stay there again on more than one occasion, but what the hell, it’ll be just like old times. And I rather like the sweet little toot-toot sound the trams make as they go past at 5am. It’s just the rumbling of the foundations that bothers me really…And with any luck we’ll have windows that open AND close.The main thing is it’ll be great to be there and see everyone again, I’ve even heard it rumoured that some of our American TW sisters will be there. And I have an excuse to wear an entirely inappropriate dress, woo hoo!Anyway, I’m gigging tomorrow at the main music pub in town, where only decent bands are allowed to play, so there’s a certain amount of prestige involved. Guess I’d better try and get some sleep; I need to sparkle tomorrow. It’ll be good practice for next weekend!See you in the Village, girls.xx
    Jun 16, 2006 461
  • 05 Jun 2006
    Situation normal, all... not too bad actuallyI’m going to TRY to be brief, as a lot seems to have happened recently. A week is a long time in blogging…Charing Cross #2 went really well. As expected I was asked much the same as last time, as they have to have 2 opinions on everything, but with all that out of the way I felt that things are proceeding, or at least about to proceed, forwards.I should soon be on a NHS prescription, though not without some concerns over their general policies on what to prescribe (see forum post "Zoladex and progesterone" for details). However I was reassured by being told that, "We have to find the regime that suits your individual needs". I couldn’t agree more, there is no formula for transition or any aspect of it; I believe it’s a very personal thing, especially with the hormones as everyone reacts differently. I’m a member of the Crone group, a TS hormone forum thing, which I find very interesting, and hugely enlightening, and which indeed highlights the absolute need for an individual approach. One girl’s pill is another girl’s poison…They will be scheduling a longer appointment for me next time, to include a consultation for my request for a tracheal shave. I’m assuming this won’t actually be like a surgical consultation, but rather just someone who is hopefully going to decide that yes, the rather large lump in my throat does warrant a reduction. The psychotherapist I saw (another woman) did seem to take on board the distress it caused me, and therefore the necessity for appropriate surgery. My only concern is that they will approach surgery too conservatively, and not remove enough of the protrusion, which would be a rather pointless exercise. Various techniques can be used to ensure the success of this procedure and avoid possible damage or loosening of the vocal chords, but I’ve heard reports that the NHS simply take off as little as possible, just to be on the safe side. Anyway once I know who the surgeon is going to be I can look into that, and I’d still consider going privately to someone expert in this particular field, such as Jamie Koufman in the USA. Interestingly they told me that the NHS will also fund voice surgery if deemed necessary, but I’m not keen on that at this stage, results being somewhat unpredictable. Anyway, voice therapy is another area where they can help and I hope to be put in touch with someone who does this soon. There was a lady in Kendal who specialised in TS voice therapy (NHS) but sadly she retired a few weeks ago and won’t be replaced. Hopefully I won’t have to travel too far though to find someone else.They also helped me with what I need to do to document my real life experience, and explained timelines and procedures for obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate (which will allow me to get a "new" birth certificate in my true gender), and various other little details of the red tape variety. All in all, a pretty good session. I’ve heard so many reports about NHS treatment of transsexuals, and yes it’s still pretty slow, but they do seem to be trying their best. So far I’ve no complaints.Just when I thought my financial world was crumbling around me, things don’t seem to be as bad as expected. I spoke to the solicitor handling the civil action against me, who agreed that the court would probably decide it was a case of joint liability, but assured me that my insurance would cover everything, even if I lost the case outright. Bit of a relief that.My neighbour rang me just before I went away to say that there was big problem with his septic tank and that his deeds showed that I shared that with him, and therefore shared any necessary expense connected with its maintenance. Bloody hell, everyone wants my money. However upon checking my deeds it’s pretty clear that I’m not connected to the same tank, if my house’s plumbing ever was it was pre-1953, and therefore he’s on his own; his problem, sorry, but there you go. Anyway I went round yesterday to show him all this and he accepted it happily, and in fact it was nice to meet him properly after us both living here for sixteen years! I’ve only spoken to him briefly twice before, once when he complained about the noise (when I didn’t realise they had actually moved in), and once when he popped his head round the knackered old garden fence to ask if I minded if he replaced it. Of course I didn‘t mind! I probably ought to have contributed to that, but it was his boys who had knackered it by kicking balls against it, and he did offer…So, two large expenses seemingly avoided, which helped soften the blow when I realised I had left my immersion heater on for several weeks, and my account with the electricity company now stood at about 500 quid. Bugger, still, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.So it’s back to normal, a few songs to learn for rehearsal this week, forthcoming gigs for which I need to write a letter for the landlords to sign to prove that I am actually working in my female role. Playing in a band does indeed meet the NHS real life test requirement for employment; could this be the first time in my life that someone has deemed this "a proper job"?!xx
    515 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Situation normal, all... not too bad actuallyI’m going to TRY to be brief, as a lot seems to have happened recently. A week is a long time in blogging…Charing Cross #2 went really well. As expected I was asked much the same as last time, as they have to have 2 opinions on everything, but with all that out of the way I felt that things are proceeding, or at least about to proceed, forwards.I should soon be on a NHS prescription, though not without some concerns over their general policies on what to prescribe (see forum post "Zoladex and progesterone" for details). However I was reassured by being told that, "We have to find the regime that suits your individual needs". I couldn’t agree more, there is no formula for transition or any aspect of it; I believe it’s a very personal thing, especially with the hormones as everyone reacts differently. I’m a member of the Crone group, a TS hormone forum thing, which I find very interesting, and hugely enlightening, and which indeed highlights the absolute need for an individual approach. One girl’s pill is another girl’s poison…They will be scheduling a longer appointment for me next time, to include a consultation for my request for a tracheal shave. I’m assuming this won’t actually be like a surgical consultation, but rather just someone who is hopefully going to decide that yes, the rather large lump in my throat does warrant a reduction. The psychotherapist I saw (another woman) did seem to take on board the distress it caused me, and therefore the necessity for appropriate surgery. My only concern is that they will approach surgery too conservatively, and not remove enough of the protrusion, which would be a rather pointless exercise. Various techniques can be used to ensure the success of this procedure and avoid possible damage or loosening of the vocal chords, but I’ve heard reports that the NHS simply take off as little as possible, just to be on the safe side. Anyway once I know who the surgeon is going to be I can look into that, and I’d still consider going privately to someone expert in this particular field, such as Jamie Koufman in the USA. Interestingly they told me that the NHS will also fund voice surgery if deemed necessary, but I’m not keen on that at this stage, results being somewhat unpredictable. Anyway, voice therapy is another area where they can help and I hope to be put in touch with someone who does this soon. There was a lady in Kendal who specialised in TS voice therapy (NHS) but sadly she retired a few weeks ago and won’t be replaced. Hopefully I won’t have to travel too far though to find someone else.They also helped me with what I need to do to document my real life experience, and explained timelines and procedures for obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate (which will allow me to get a "new" birth certificate in my true gender), and various other little details of the red tape variety. All in all, a pretty good session. I’ve heard so many reports about NHS treatment of transsexuals, and yes it’s still pretty slow, but they do seem to be trying their best. So far I’ve no complaints.Just when I thought my financial world was crumbling around me, things don’t seem to be as bad as expected. I spoke to the solicitor handling the civil action against me, who agreed that the court would probably decide it was a case of joint liability, but assured me that my insurance would cover everything, even if I lost the case outright. Bit of a relief that.My neighbour rang me just before I went away to say that there was big problem with his septic tank and that his deeds showed that I shared that with him, and therefore shared any necessary expense connected with its maintenance. Bloody hell, everyone wants my money. However upon checking my deeds it’s pretty clear that I’m not connected to the same tank, if my house’s plumbing ever was it was pre-1953, and therefore he’s on his own; his problem, sorry, but there you go. Anyway I went round yesterday to show him all this and he accepted it happily, and in fact it was nice to meet him properly after us both living here for sixteen years! I’ve only spoken to him briefly twice before, once when he complained about the noise (when I didn’t realise they had actually moved in), and once when he popped his head round the knackered old garden fence to ask if I minded if he replaced it. Of course I didn‘t mind! I probably ought to have contributed to that, but it was his boys who had knackered it by kicking balls against it, and he did offer…So, two large expenses seemingly avoided, which helped soften the blow when I realised I had left my immersion heater on for several weeks, and my account with the electricity company now stood at about 500 quid. Bugger, still, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.So it’s back to normal, a few songs to learn for rehearsal this week, forthcoming gigs for which I need to write a letter for the landlords to sign to prove that I am actually working in my female role. Playing in a band does indeed meet the NHS real life test requirement for employment; could this be the first time in my life that someone has deemed this "a proper job"?!xx
    Jun 05, 2006 515
  • 29 May 2006
    The Dinner PartyI am reminded of the excellent play, "Abigail’s Party", but without the comedy. The realisation that it’s all going horribly wrong…. Wendy, in her latest blog has related an event in my life and my reaction to it, to her own feelings, perhaps at a similar turning point in her own life. Whether that is so or not, it has taken me right back to the night in question, "The Dinner Party", and what it meant to me, how it pushed me forward to actually making a decision. Perhaps it wasn’t really a decision, more a realisation that there was no choice for me. I hope Wendy doesn’t mind, but I wanted to reproduce *some* of an email I sent her in reply to one she sent me after I had commented on her blog. I’ve snipped out rather a large chunk, for my own reasons, and to save this blog filling up Trannyweb's entire server memory...However, first some unrelated stuff on more current matters:My heart goes out to my dear Pip, who has just had his drumkit stolen along with several microphones. The singer of their band had his front door kicked in and van keys taken and hence van stolen complete with band equipment and tools of his other trade. It sounds like Pip has come off worst, drums and cymbals and stuff are very expensive, but he’s being very brave for which I admire him. He’s a very resourceful person and has already fettled together a kit from old bits and pieces, but not the same I’m sure as his self-customised very glam-rock kit. In the past my band had a van stolen and some equipment nicked so I know how it feels. Not nice. Stay strong babe, and remain philosophical – shit happens as you say. It certainly does.Even to me…The guy I was in a collision with last year, just down the road from my house, has decided that it was all my fault and is suing me for hire charges, presumably while he was getting his car repaired. I don’t know why he didn’t get a courtesy car like I did, I thought all insurers did that these days, nor do I know why he has spent the ridiculous sum of four and a half thousand pounds on hiring a car. Nor, for that matter, do I know why it has taken him 3 months to make a claim against me AND now expects me to pay interest for those 3 months. Plenty more questions where those came from too. I have to say all this really upset me, at least for a weekend, before I was able to ring my insurers on the Monday and be reassured to hear that they would appoint a solicitor on my behalf, and that I wasn’t alone; someone was fighting my corner for me. I’m not a violent person but I want to slap this guy if only for refusing to accept any blame himself. He was obstructing my side of the road, 2 wheels over the central line, clear contravention of the highway code, forcing me to brake suddenly which caused my car to swerve into his, and then he audaciously accuses me of not controlling my vehicle. I really want to use a very rude word now but my mum reads my blogs now so I’d better not. Anyway, I’m only relieved that I don’t have to do this all on my own, and I am not going to take this lying down. Bastard. And that’s the polite version. Shit happens, doesn’t it Pip.This week I’m off to London again for my second appointment at Charing Cross, which I expect will be much the same as the first, but I hope to get a few things sorted out this time. I was pleased with the way things went last time but I felt the consultant I saw was having to be a little vague, probably because of the NHS policy of requiring 2 opinions on a case of GID. In fact I never got any opinions, it would be nice to know that they don’t think I’m a deluded cross-dresser trying to live out some sort of fantasy. I’ve seen my GP and 2 psycho’s already and I still don’t know what they think of me. But I can’t say I’m worried about that, I’d just like to know WHEN they can do a trach shave and so on.I’m going down on my own this time, so no trips to the theatre, shame. I should have some time before my train home so hope to do a bit of shopping, if only in Hammersmith, ie near the hospital, where there is quite a nice shopping arcade.Anyway, back to the dinner party. Thanks for thinking of me Wendy, and for all the chats we’ve had in the past. Wendy is a sound person who understands people, and I always admire her posts in the forums especially on matters of gender psychology. I think her own identity, and devotion to self-discovery gives her a huge advantage over many so-called experts in the field, and basically a lot of what she says just makes sense. Here is some of my reply to her latest email. Please read her blog first if you haven’t already done so. The Dinner Party is something all of us may have to face at some point in our lives, or may have done already. It’s what you do about it that matters.Dear Wendy,I understand! But I am of course not the only one. It’s not something you can, or should rush into, so you are right to linger in the doorway if that’s what feels right at this time, it will just happen; if you need to tell people, then you will when the time is right. I’m glad you have your gg friend to share all this with, and that she is so supportive and encouraging. So many people think there is no such thing as such a person; that absolutely everyone will not understand, or ridicule, or disown, or detest…That is not the case, those people are a tiny majority; in my case my dad is the only one. So hugely are his opinions outweighed by the tremendous response by everyone else that there is little pain really. I honestly feel sorry for him. Sometimes I think he is sad and pathetic, but really I feel he has problems of his own. He stubbornly hides away from reality, comforted by his self-made model world in which I and others like me are simply wrong. To admit otherwise would be to turn his world upside-down. I guess he’s too old for that, but I’m sad for him because in a way I know how it feels to hide from the truth. But perhaps I never realised that until I came from out of the shadows…It’s frustrating because it is such a simple fact that I am not "wrong"; that I can not help who, or how I am. I am me, it’s my life, I have to live it. I couldn’t go on being a non-person. He knows all this I’m sure, and that’s why I think he hasn’t been more obstructive, because he certainly can be when he wants to. Deep down he knows I can’t help it, and therefore that I’m not really wrong, no matter what demons this brings to life for him; something is going on I’m sure, something has happened, or somehow he has been moulded this way – it’s his defence mechanism, something to shelter him from his own deep insecurity and weakness. He’s a man, and an old-fashioned one to boot; he has to be strong. Men should be men, women are second-class citizens, where the hell do men who want to be women come into the equation…?!*Snip*Through all this I hope you can see that it really doesn’t matter what people think, if there is someone in your life that you may lose by coming out, then that is better than to remain lost yourself, forever.My pain is less now, and it will go on reducing. It’s all swings and roundabouts, my dad’s reaction can never make my life worse than it was. What I have lost is offset by what I have gained. And some.I see a lot of what you write in myself. I didn’t realise just how bad my life was before it started to get better. Perhaps that’s why the dinner party hit me with such force. Reading your blog today reminded me of the intensity, which I just can’t put into words. I was dying, I thought I was just withering slightly. I was at the crossroads without realising the urgency with which I needed to choose my direction. I thought I could just stand there watching the traffic go by for a while, but I really had a bus to catch. Everything had crept up on me, I was on the verge of the abyss, about to fall. It suddenly appeared under my feet; oblivion. Seeing it so close was scary, time to change direction or fall…It was a horrible evening for me, I’ve never felt such despair, but it was a vision, a revelation, all part of my self-learning process, and in a weird way, I now treasure that despair.I’ve always been afraid of what people think about me, and god how I see that so often on Tweb and elsewhere. People say they can’t come out, I thought so too. But I could, and I did, and as you’ve already picked up, it’s a damn sight easier than you expect it to be. It’s your own fears you have to come to terms with, not other people’s feelings. Yes, there may be some people that you love that will be affected by it, yes you may lose someone, yes, you can keep your secret so as to not hurt them, and to save yourself from those confrontations. But at what cost? That’s what you have to weigh up.For me, I had an out of body experience which showed me what it would cost to keep up the pretence. Actually I don’t really believe in all that stuff, but it kind of felt that way, an observer, not present. I saw myself living a silent hell, facing a death sentence, or worse, more like being un-dead. In fact it showed me what it was already costing me. My life. My existence. My Self.Too high a price to pay."The Dinner Party", you have immortalised it in your own words, and I thank you for that. Such a reminder helps me to remain focused. It was a wake-up call. Wake up, and live.Be strong sister, and never stray from your own path, it will lead you to happiness. And I hope that one day, our respective paths may cross.Yours verbosely!LucyxxBack to my blog…No-one could have persuaded me to transition and I would never try to do the same to anyone else. If you need to go the same route, then you will, and likely there will be some event in your life that really drives it home, that shows you that there really is no choice.Dinner parties should be enjoyable, they’re not supposed to be revelations of how your life is crumbling around you, how things have become so precarious, how bloody awful it is to have to go on with the pretence that you are someone you are not. My verbosity stems from a need for catharsis, and I’m sorry to go on…To save you, dear reader, from any more of this, perhaps suffice to say that I look forward to my next dinner party, wherever that may be, without trepidation; knowing that it will not leave me questioning my own existence. For now I feel like I truly exist, now I live in reality. Now I realise that out of body experiences at dinner parties just ain’t right.Now I have an appetite for life.xx
    472 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • The Dinner PartyI am reminded of the excellent play, "Abigail’s Party", but without the comedy. The realisation that it’s all going horribly wrong…. Wendy, in her latest blog has related an event in my life and my reaction to it, to her own feelings, perhaps at a similar turning point in her own life. Whether that is so or not, it has taken me right back to the night in question, "The Dinner Party", and what it meant to me, how it pushed me forward to actually making a decision. Perhaps it wasn’t really a decision, more a realisation that there was no choice for me. I hope Wendy doesn’t mind, but I wanted to reproduce *some* of an email I sent her in reply to one she sent me after I had commented on her blog. I’ve snipped out rather a large chunk, for my own reasons, and to save this blog filling up Trannyweb's entire server memory...However, first some unrelated stuff on more current matters:My heart goes out to my dear Pip, who has just had his drumkit stolen along with several microphones. The singer of their band had his front door kicked in and van keys taken and hence van stolen complete with band equipment and tools of his other trade. It sounds like Pip has come off worst, drums and cymbals and stuff are very expensive, but he’s being very brave for which I admire him. He’s a very resourceful person and has already fettled together a kit from old bits and pieces, but not the same I’m sure as his self-customised very glam-rock kit. In the past my band had a van stolen and some equipment nicked so I know how it feels. Not nice. Stay strong babe, and remain philosophical – shit happens as you say. It certainly does.Even to me…The guy I was in a collision with last year, just down the road from my house, has decided that it was all my fault and is suing me for hire charges, presumably while he was getting his car repaired. I don’t know why he didn’t get a courtesy car like I did, I thought all insurers did that these days, nor do I know why he has spent the ridiculous sum of four and a half thousand pounds on hiring a car. Nor, for that matter, do I know why it has taken him 3 months to make a claim against me AND now expects me to pay interest for those 3 months. Plenty more questions where those came from too. I have to say all this really upset me, at least for a weekend, before I was able to ring my insurers on the Monday and be reassured to hear that they would appoint a solicitor on my behalf, and that I wasn’t alone; someone was fighting my corner for me. I’m not a violent person but I want to slap this guy if only for refusing to accept any blame himself. He was obstructing my side of the road, 2 wheels over the central line, clear contravention of the highway code, forcing me to brake suddenly which caused my car to swerve into his, and then he audaciously accuses me of not controlling my vehicle. I really want to use a very rude word now but my mum reads my blogs now so I’d better not. Anyway, I’m only relieved that I don’t have to do this all on my own, and I am not going to take this lying down. Bastard. And that’s the polite version. Shit happens, doesn’t it Pip.This week I’m off to London again for my second appointment at Charing Cross, which I expect will be much the same as the first, but I hope to get a few things sorted out this time. I was pleased with the way things went last time but I felt the consultant I saw was having to be a little vague, probably because of the NHS policy of requiring 2 opinions on a case of GID. In fact I never got any opinions, it would be nice to know that they don’t think I’m a deluded cross-dresser trying to live out some sort of fantasy. I’ve seen my GP and 2 psycho’s already and I still don’t know what they think of me. But I can’t say I’m worried about that, I’d just like to know WHEN they can do a trach shave and so on.I’m going down on my own this time, so no trips to the theatre, shame. I should have some time before my train home so hope to do a bit of shopping, if only in Hammersmith, ie near the hospital, where there is quite a nice shopping arcade.Anyway, back to the dinner party. Thanks for thinking of me Wendy, and for all the chats we’ve had in the past. Wendy is a sound person who understands people, and I always admire her posts in the forums especially on matters of gender psychology. I think her own identity, and devotion to self-discovery gives her a huge advantage over many so-called experts in the field, and basically a lot of what she says just makes sense. Here is some of my reply to her latest email. Please read her blog first if you haven’t already done so. The Dinner Party is something all of us may have to face at some point in our lives, or may have done already. It’s what you do about it that matters.Dear Wendy,I understand! But I am of course not the only one. It’s not something you can, or should rush into, so you are right to linger in the doorway if that’s what feels right at this time, it will just happen; if you need to tell people, then you will when the time is right. I’m glad you have your gg friend to share all this with, and that she is so supportive and encouraging. So many people think there is no such thing as such a person; that absolutely everyone will not understand, or ridicule, or disown, or detest…That is not the case, those people are a tiny majority; in my case my dad is the only one. So hugely are his opinions outweighed by the tremendous response by everyone else that there is little pain really. I honestly feel sorry for him. Sometimes I think he is sad and pathetic, but really I feel he has problems of his own. He stubbornly hides away from reality, comforted by his self-made model world in which I and others like me are simply wrong. To admit otherwise would be to turn his world upside-down. I guess he’s too old for that, but I’m sad for him because in a way I know how it feels to hide from the truth. But perhaps I never realised that until I came from out of the shadows…It’s frustrating because it is such a simple fact that I am not "wrong"; that I can not help who, or how I am. I am me, it’s my life, I have to live it. I couldn’t go on being a non-person. He knows all this I’m sure, and that’s why I think he hasn’t been more obstructive, because he certainly can be when he wants to. Deep down he knows I can’t help it, and therefore that I’m not really wrong, no matter what demons this brings to life for him; something is going on I’m sure, something has happened, or somehow he has been moulded this way – it’s his defence mechanism, something to shelter him from his own deep insecurity and weakness. He’s a man, and an old-fashioned one to boot; he has to be strong. Men should be men, women are second-class citizens, where the hell do men who want to be women come into the equation…?!*Snip*Through all this I hope you can see that it really doesn’t matter what people think, if there is someone in your life that you may lose by coming out, then that is better than to remain lost yourself, forever.My pain is less now, and it will go on reducing. It’s all swings and roundabouts, my dad’s reaction can never make my life worse than it was. What I have lost is offset by what I have gained. And some.I see a lot of what you write in myself. I didn’t realise just how bad my life was before it started to get better. Perhaps that’s why the dinner party hit me with such force. Reading your blog today reminded me of the intensity, which I just can’t put into words. I was dying, I thought I was just withering slightly. I was at the crossroads without realising the urgency with which I needed to choose my direction. I thought I could just stand there watching the traffic go by for a while, but I really had a bus to catch. Everything had crept up on me, I was on the verge of the abyss, about to fall. It suddenly appeared under my feet; oblivion. Seeing it so close was scary, time to change direction or fall…It was a horrible evening for me, I’ve never felt such despair, but it was a vision, a revelation, all part of my self-learning process, and in a weird way, I now treasure that despair.I’ve always been afraid of what people think about me, and god how I see that so often on Tweb and elsewhere. People say they can’t come out, I thought so too. But I could, and I did, and as you’ve already picked up, it’s a damn sight easier than you expect it to be. It’s your own fears you have to come to terms with, not other people’s feelings. Yes, there may be some people that you love that will be affected by it, yes you may lose someone, yes, you can keep your secret so as to not hurt them, and to save yourself from those confrontations. But at what cost? That’s what you have to weigh up.For me, I had an out of body experience which showed me what it would cost to keep up the pretence. Actually I don’t really believe in all that stuff, but it kind of felt that way, an observer, not present. I saw myself living a silent hell, facing a death sentence, or worse, more like being un-dead. In fact it showed me what it was already costing me. My life. My existence. My Self.Too high a price to pay."The Dinner Party", you have immortalised it in your own words, and I thank you for that. Such a reminder helps me to remain focused. It was a wake-up call. Wake up, and live.Be strong sister, and never stray from your own path, it will lead you to happiness. And I hope that one day, our respective paths may cross.Yours verbosely!LucyxxBack to my blog…No-one could have persuaded me to transition and I would never try to do the same to anyone else. If you need to go the same route, then you will, and likely there will be some event in your life that really drives it home, that shows you that there really is no choice.Dinner parties should be enjoyable, they’re not supposed to be revelations of how your life is crumbling around you, how things have become so precarious, how bloody awful it is to have to go on with the pretence that you are someone you are not. My verbosity stems from a need for catharsis, and I’m sorry to go on…To save you, dear reader, from any more of this, perhaps suffice to say that I look forward to my next dinner party, wherever that may be, without trepidation; knowing that it will not leave me questioning my own existence. For now I feel like I truly exist, now I live in reality. Now I realise that out of body experiences at dinner parties just ain’t right.Now I have an appetite for life.xx
    May 29, 2006 472
  • 09 May 2006
    Drinks on the lawn We did our third gig on Saturday, another good one, the best so far in some ways. We were in a village hall (a decent sized one) out in the lake district, a place called Hawkshead. You’ve probably never heard of The Hawkshead Relish Company but that’s about the extent of the village’s fame (they make a great Cumberland sauce). I’ve no pics this time cos there were no friends there to take any, the first time I’d been without my own personal roadie too, but I managed to get through it without breaking any nails or feeling too lonely. The sound was the best we’ve ever had, surprising really as "village hall" is usually synonymous with "bad sound". No, we are starting to sound like a proper band, all gelling together, I was really pleased with it, not to mention the hundred quid at the end of the night, woo-hoo! I actually went a week without touching a keyboard in between the last 2 gigs, well, I deserve a break; it having taken over my life for the last 3 months or so, but now we have another couple of songs to learn, still trying to improve our set, so I’d better get to work on them pretty soon. I’ve heard that there is another TS living not too far from me, in stealth, so she doesn’t mix with my other TS friends, but wonders never cease. How many more are there that I don’t know about? I managed to catch up with one of my friends, Sue, yesterday. We met for a coffee at the local arts centre and sat in the garden, glorious sunshine, lovely, simple pleasures… then later that evening we met again at an "acoustic jam night" at the pub I played the other week. It was great to see her again and catch up on gossip, I’ve hardly been out since I started with the band, but now we’re more settled and the weather continues to improve I’m looking forward to doing some more socialising. I ought to do some gardening too, so I can invite people round to sit on my lawn sipping Pimms and G&T’s, or in my case a chilled glass of Chardonnay, maybe a few cucumber sandwiches too. I did mow the lawn the other day, but I have some serious weeding to do as the garden hasn’t been touched since last year. If I was rich I’d employ a gardener. And a personal roadie, stylist, maid… I’ll keep playing the lottery, a girl can dream can’t she? xx
    413 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Drinks on the lawn We did our third gig on Saturday, another good one, the best so far in some ways. We were in a village hall (a decent sized one) out in the lake district, a place called Hawkshead. You’ve probably never heard of The Hawkshead Relish Company but that’s about the extent of the village’s fame (they make a great Cumberland sauce). I’ve no pics this time cos there were no friends there to take any, the first time I’d been without my own personal roadie too, but I managed to get through it without breaking any nails or feeling too lonely. The sound was the best we’ve ever had, surprising really as "village hall" is usually synonymous with "bad sound". No, we are starting to sound like a proper band, all gelling together, I was really pleased with it, not to mention the hundred quid at the end of the night, woo-hoo! I actually went a week without touching a keyboard in between the last 2 gigs, well, I deserve a break; it having taken over my life for the last 3 months or so, but now we have another couple of songs to learn, still trying to improve our set, so I’d better get to work on them pretty soon. I’ve heard that there is another TS living not too far from me, in stealth, so she doesn’t mix with my other TS friends, but wonders never cease. How many more are there that I don’t know about? I managed to catch up with one of my friends, Sue, yesterday. We met for a coffee at the local arts centre and sat in the garden, glorious sunshine, lovely, simple pleasures… then later that evening we met again at an "acoustic jam night" at the pub I played the other week. It was great to see her again and catch up on gossip, I’ve hardly been out since I started with the band, but now we’re more settled and the weather continues to improve I’m looking forward to doing some more socialising. I ought to do some gardening too, so I can invite people round to sit on my lawn sipping Pimms and G&T’s, or in my case a chilled glass of Chardonnay, maybe a few cucumber sandwiches too. I did mow the lawn the other day, but I have some serious weeding to do as the garden hasn’t been touched since last year. If I was rich I’d employ a gardener. And a personal roadie, stylist, maid… I’ll keep playing the lottery, a girl can dream can’t she? xx
    May 09, 2006 413
  • 02 May 2006
    Goldfish bowl Our second gig was a success, the first time I’ve performed in my home town as my real self. Felt a bit strange somehow, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. It was probably just psychological, because of it being the first gig in Kendal, but somehow I had an intense feeling of being watched. Well, I’m on stage, of course I’m being watched, but somehow it felt magnified. Maybe it’s just the shape of the room, long and narrow, whereby you are more aware of everyone’s gaze being directed at you, unlike the last gig where people were more spread out, a more square room with posts and pillars and nooks and crannies. Being watched intently is part of the job though, and I’m not saying it bothered me, just I felt more aware of it. As soon as we started playing I relaxed into it though, as did we all, and the audience reaction was fantastic, I think we may have a future around here… As expected there were lots of people there that I knew, some of who had never seen me as Lucy, all were complimentary though, apart from one guy who I never got round to talking to. I said goodbye to him, but he looked rather blankly at me, he does that anyway so I’m really not sure if he actually knows about me yet, and if he does, whether or not he recognised me. Never mind, can’t say I’m bothered. Pip was there, all my local TS friends, my mum and her best mate, and my cousin Tracy too, who I haven’t seen since Christmas, so it was lovely to catch up with her again. After the gig she said to me, "That was amazing – tonight I saw the person I always knew was there…" and also, "You’re a feisty lady aren’t you!" The feisty lady person she saw was me, the real me, doing what I do. I am me. At last. It feels good. xx
    401 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Goldfish bowl Our second gig was a success, the first time I’ve performed in my home town as my real self. Felt a bit strange somehow, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. It was probably just psychological, because of it being the first gig in Kendal, but somehow I had an intense feeling of being watched. Well, I’m on stage, of course I’m being watched, but somehow it felt magnified. Maybe it’s just the shape of the room, long and narrow, whereby you are more aware of everyone’s gaze being directed at you, unlike the last gig where people were more spread out, a more square room with posts and pillars and nooks and crannies. Being watched intently is part of the job though, and I’m not saying it bothered me, just I felt more aware of it. As soon as we started playing I relaxed into it though, as did we all, and the audience reaction was fantastic, I think we may have a future around here… As expected there were lots of people there that I knew, some of who had never seen me as Lucy, all were complimentary though, apart from one guy who I never got round to talking to. I said goodbye to him, but he looked rather blankly at me, he does that anyway so I’m really not sure if he actually knows about me yet, and if he does, whether or not he recognised me. Never mind, can’t say I’m bothered. Pip was there, all my local TS friends, my mum and her best mate, and my cousin Tracy too, who I haven’t seen since Christmas, so it was lovely to catch up with her again. After the gig she said to me, "That was amazing – tonight I saw the person I always knew was there…" and also, "You’re a feisty lady aren’t you!" The feisty lady person she saw was me, the real me, doing what I do. I am me. At last. It feels good. xx
    May 02, 2006 401
  • 25 Apr 2006
    Lucy’s coming home Following the success of Lucy’s first public performance a few weeks ago, I have my second outing with the band this Friday, this time in my home town. I’m expecting to see a lot more familiar faces this time, some of who won’t have seen me yet in my new role. I should stop saying "new" really; it’ll soon be a year since I went full-time. Anyway it’ll be new for them. My only concern is what to wear. No longer am I bothered about meeting old acquaintances, and the first night nerves were exorcised on our first night. No, all I have to worry about now are the important things… I could do with more tops really, but I’m always saying that. I think I’m due for a serious shopping expedition down in Manchester soon. I’m always on the lookout around here, and on ebay, but I just can’t seem to find anything suitably stagey and rock chicky. Those tops must be out there, waiting for me to find them. Anyway, nearly summer, the shopping season! Still, I’m sure I’ll manage to dig something out, or just wear what I wore last time. I’m quite looking forward to playing in my own town again. What stronger statement could I make to show that I am well and truly back? And this time, I mean business! I’m also looking forward to this weekend because my lovely Pip is coming again, and hopefully staying for a couple of days, so it will be nice to get some time to ourselves. Hopefully too, the weather will be better this time and we won’t have to sit huddled by the Aga, or get drowned as rats loading my car with equipment. Can’t wait to give you a big hug again babe, seems like ages. Our singer was doodling on his computer at the weekend and came up with a poster for the band so I thought I’d post it here, just in case any of you can make it to the gig, you’d be more than welcome. I guess I’d better go and run through the set, I’ve probably forgotten it all by now! xx Oh yeah, we're called, "The Mustard Cutters"!
    440 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  • Lucy’s coming home Following the success of Lucy’s first public performance a few weeks ago, I have my second outing with the band this Friday, this time in my home town. I’m expecting to see a lot more familiar faces this time, some of who won’t have seen me yet in my new role. I should stop saying "new" really; it’ll soon be a year since I went full-time. Anyway it’ll be new for them. My only concern is what to wear. No longer am I bothered about meeting old acquaintances, and the first night nerves were exorcised on our first night. No, all I have to worry about now are the important things… I could do with more tops really, but I’m always saying that. I think I’m due for a serious shopping expedition down in Manchester soon. I’m always on the lookout around here, and on ebay, but I just can’t seem to find anything suitably stagey and rock chicky. Those tops must be out there, waiting for me to find them. Anyway, nearly summer, the shopping season! Still, I’m sure I’ll manage to dig something out, or just wear what I wore last time. I’m quite looking forward to playing in my own town again. What stronger statement could I make to show that I am well and truly back? And this time, I mean business! I’m also looking forward to this weekend because my lovely Pip is coming again, and hopefully staying for a couple of days, so it will be nice to get some time to ourselves. Hopefully too, the weather will be better this time and we won’t have to sit huddled by the Aga, or get drowned as rats loading my car with equipment. Can’t wait to give you a big hug again babe, seems like ages. Our singer was doodling on his computer at the weekend and came up with a poster for the band so I thought I’d post it here, just in case any of you can make it to the gig, you’d be more than welcome. I guess I’d better go and run through the set, I’ve probably forgotten it all by now! xx Oh yeah, we're called, "The Mustard Cutters"!
    Apr 25, 2006 440