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  • 06 Mar 2016
    Thursday afternoon esconced in Betty's for tea; and then Rigby and Peller's expensive Lingerie shop. Nobody in Harrogate seems to notice trans women: rather nice and old-fashioned - like the town. Awoke to thick snow at the Hotel on Friday: so, there was no chance of walking to the shops! The Hotel was snug and warm; so, the girls just chatted the afternoon away. The evening was equaly cosy: and , afer a pleasant meal, we 'retired ' to the bar. To our surprise, the snow was clearing on Saturday,and we ventured out for a short while.    The Hotel was buzzing with stalls selling Jewery, clothes, shoes, wigs etc. Equally, all the specialists were there to give advice on personal matters -  such as make-up, bra-size and 'House of Colour were able to do personal analyses of what we are in respect to fashion colours: I emerged as a "Spring' person with the gift of a colour co-ordination chart. What a lovely, helpful and caring group of ladies! More about the evening when I inevitably sober up! 
  • Thursday afternoon esconced in Betty's for tea; and then Rigby and Peller's expensive Lingerie shop. Nobody in Harrogate seems to notice trans women: rather nice and old-fashioned - like the town. Awoke to thick snow at the Hotel on Friday: so, there was no chance of walking to the shops! The Hotel was snug and warm; so, the girls just chatted the afternoon away. The evening was equaly cosy: and , afer a pleasant meal, we 'retired ' to the bar. To our surprise, the snow was clearing on Saturday,and we ventured out for a short while.    The Hotel was buzzing with stalls selling Jewery, clothes, shoes, wigs etc. Equally, all the specialists were there to give advice on personal matters -  such as make-up, bra-size and 'House of Colour were able to do personal analyses of what we are in respect to fashion colours: I emerged as a "Spring' person with the gift of a colour co-ordination chart. What a lovely, helpful and caring group of ladies! More about the evening when I inevitably sober up! 
    Mar 06, 2016 2126
  • 05 Apr 2011
    Hooray!  We've finally done it and I'm soooo pleased!!! Our new community site is online at last.  It was a bit shaky to start with and we had a short time when the site got so slow it nearly crashed altogether, but we fixed that and it's quite speedy now.  We'll work on making it even faster in the coming days and weeks and we'll also fix the remaining bugs.  Don't forget to let me know if you find any. Now, we need to start a full membership drive to help pay for all this. If you haven't already done so, please do play with all the toys.  They are all there for you after all. Upload you best photos to Hot or Not, ask a TG related question in Q&A, use the forums, start a blog here, check out our awesome TG News pages which are constantly updated.  Make new friends in the chat rooms, watch some videos, read Frock Magazine or one of our full member's books.  Maybe have a virtual makeover or check out thousands of photos in our hundreds of photo galleries.  There's so much to see and do here and it's all for you. I so hope you enjoy the little world we've created for. Hugs, Katie   x
    2115 Posted by Katie Glover
  • Hooray!  We've finally done it and I'm soooo pleased!!! Our new community site is online at last.  It was a bit shaky to start with and we had a short time when the site got so slow it nearly crashed altogether, but we fixed that and it's quite speedy now.  We'll work on making it even faster in the coming days and weeks and we'll also fix the remaining bugs.  Don't forget to let me know if you find any. Now, we need to start a full membership drive to help pay for all this. If you haven't already done so, please do play with all the toys.  They are all there for you after all. Upload you best photos to Hot or Not, ask a TG related question in Q&A, use the forums, start a blog here, check out our awesome TG News pages which are constantly updated.  Make new friends in the chat rooms, watch some videos, read Frock Magazine or one of our full member's books.  Maybe have a virtual makeover or check out thousands of photos in our hundreds of photo galleries.  There's so much to see and do here and it's all for you. I so hope you enjoy the little world we've created for. Hugs, Katie   x
    Apr 05, 2011 2115
  • 31 Jul 2009
      So long since I blogged I thought I’d better read my last one before I wrote this, see where I’d got up too. So apparently at a gig I turned down a guy 20 years younger, well, he really was too drunk, and not my type, but I seem to have made up for it at Sparkle… I was working on the Saturday night so me and Gillian went down late afternoon on the Sunday. We checked in and went out to our favourite eating place to line our stomachs. Bumped into 4 of the TW girls whilst we were crossing Canal Street. Of course I wasn’t made up, hadn’t done my hair, in jeans and a t-shirt, not even wearing a bra, sorry for my slovenly appearance girls! I tidied myself up for the evening, honest. Nice to meet Tracey, who is great fun in the chat room, a fellow rum drinker, and, strikingly beautiful actually. Sorry we didn’t get chance to chat more, Trace. Anyway, later, after drinking much and chatting to virtually everyone in every pub we went to, I became aware of some guy staring across at me, outside in the smoking area of Napoleon’s (I was talking to a smoker, not smoking myself). So I asked him what he was staring at, not the best chat up line perhaps, but he said, "Sorry, I can’t take my eyes off you ‘cos you’re so gorgeous". "Oh stop…" Well actually he was gorgeous, and obviously much younger than me, 18 years younger in fact. He was no more drunk than me, and very sweet, so one thing led to another and I dragged him back to my hotel room, checking that Gilly was ok first. Yes, she was chatting up someone else of course. Well, I’m not bragging or anything, but it was nice to pick up a 28 year old who was like, totally into me. He was nice, and it was all very lovely, but he probably wasn’t boyfriend material (too young!) so I didn’t bother giving him my number. I know I know, I’m a shameless hussy, there I’ve said it, so you don’t need to comment on that thank you! It was very, very nice; I’m approaching 2 years post-op and things have obviously improved since last November, god that’s an age, but then again, that guy was Jamaican. Despite the last time being on a sun-drenched, secluded beach, this time was kind of more romantic, and natural, and kind of felt right, as well as, um, good. Anyway, that’s enough of that, I’m sure no-one wants to know, just wanted to enter it into my online, somewhat public diary. It’s the only diary I keep after all. So I’m off on holiday again in a couple of weeks, South-west France this time, on the coast near Bordeaux, and er, a nudist resort. This is something I’ve never done before, but I’ve spent plenty of time on nude beaches so I’m sure I’ll soon get used to it. I expect buying Croissants in the morning and dining out in the nude will feel a little weird at first, but I’m no longer ashamed of my body like I used to be. This is something I never would have done in my former life. I was a little apprehensive before I booked it, but I’m really looking forward to it now. The summer in England seems to have deserted us, rather predictably once again. We did have few days heatwave weeks ago, I guess that was our lot. Looking forward to swimming in the sea again, (is the Atlantic cold down there?) I’ve now got up to 64 lengths at the pool – a whole mile! Still got a fat tummy though. Well I guess that will do for now, but I will leave you with a few pics of a couple of recent gigs that were great fun to do. One was at a posh country house on the side of Lake Windermere, the view I had whilst playing was even better, looking up the lake, but you get the idea. The other gig, as you will see, was a birthday party with a James Bond theme, everyone in fancy dress, including the band, well, sort of. Obviously our singer had to be James (and god he looked handsome), but I thought the other guys should have gone as Odd-job, nick-nack and Blofeld. They chickened out and got some T-shirts printed instead. I felt I couldn’t really get away with being a Bond girl, and don’t look great in a catsuit, so I did kind of a generic Moneypenny, more of a secretary/librarian really, but approaching the look of the one in the Timothy Dalton films - glasses, hair tied up, with a short pencil skirt and satin blouse. Great fun. And hmm, I think some of the band have a secret, librarian fetish thing going on… soundchecking bedazzled bond guys james & moneypenny
    2110 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  •   So long since I blogged I thought I’d better read my last one before I wrote this, see where I’d got up too. So apparently at a gig I turned down a guy 20 years younger, well, he really was too drunk, and not my type, but I seem to have made up for it at Sparkle… I was working on the Saturday night so me and Gillian went down late afternoon on the Sunday. We checked in and went out to our favourite eating place to line our stomachs. Bumped into 4 of the TW girls whilst we were crossing Canal Street. Of course I wasn’t made up, hadn’t done my hair, in jeans and a t-shirt, not even wearing a bra, sorry for my slovenly appearance girls! I tidied myself up for the evening, honest. Nice to meet Tracey, who is great fun in the chat room, a fellow rum drinker, and, strikingly beautiful actually. Sorry we didn’t get chance to chat more, Trace. Anyway, later, after drinking much and chatting to virtually everyone in every pub we went to, I became aware of some guy staring across at me, outside in the smoking area of Napoleon’s (I was talking to a smoker, not smoking myself). So I asked him what he was staring at, not the best chat up line perhaps, but he said, "Sorry, I can’t take my eyes off you ‘cos you’re so gorgeous". "Oh stop…" Well actually he was gorgeous, and obviously much younger than me, 18 years younger in fact. He was no more drunk than me, and very sweet, so one thing led to another and I dragged him back to my hotel room, checking that Gilly was ok first. Yes, she was chatting up someone else of course. Well, I’m not bragging or anything, but it was nice to pick up a 28 year old who was like, totally into me. He was nice, and it was all very lovely, but he probably wasn’t boyfriend material (too young!) so I didn’t bother giving him my number. I know I know, I’m a shameless hussy, there I’ve said it, so you don’t need to comment on that thank you! It was very, very nice; I’m approaching 2 years post-op and things have obviously improved since last November, god that’s an age, but then again, that guy was Jamaican. Despite the last time being on a sun-drenched, secluded beach, this time was kind of more romantic, and natural, and kind of felt right, as well as, um, good. Anyway, that’s enough of that, I’m sure no-one wants to know, just wanted to enter it into my online, somewhat public diary. It’s the only diary I keep after all. So I’m off on holiday again in a couple of weeks, South-west France this time, on the coast near Bordeaux, and er, a nudist resort. This is something I’ve never done before, but I’ve spent plenty of time on nude beaches so I’m sure I’ll soon get used to it. I expect buying Croissants in the morning and dining out in the nude will feel a little weird at first, but I’m no longer ashamed of my body like I used to be. This is something I never would have done in my former life. I was a little apprehensive before I booked it, but I’m really looking forward to it now. The summer in England seems to have deserted us, rather predictably once again. We did have few days heatwave weeks ago, I guess that was our lot. Looking forward to swimming in the sea again, (is the Atlantic cold down there?) I’ve now got up to 64 lengths at the pool – a whole mile! Still got a fat tummy though. Well I guess that will do for now, but I will leave you with a few pics of a couple of recent gigs that were great fun to do. One was at a posh country house on the side of Lake Windermere, the view I had whilst playing was even better, looking up the lake, but you get the idea. The other gig, as you will see, was a birthday party with a James Bond theme, everyone in fancy dress, including the band, well, sort of. Obviously our singer had to be James (and god he looked handsome), but I thought the other guys should have gone as Odd-job, nick-nack and Blofeld. They chickened out and got some T-shirts printed instead. I felt I couldn’t really get away with being a Bond girl, and don’t look great in a catsuit, so I did kind of a generic Moneypenny, more of a secretary/librarian really, but approaching the look of the one in the Timothy Dalton films - glasses, hair tied up, with a short pencil skirt and satin blouse. Great fun. And hmm, I think some of the band have a secret, librarian fetish thing going on… soundchecking bedazzled bond guys james & moneypenny
    Jul 31, 2009 2110
  • 26 Sep 2010
    Happy anniversary to me!Today I have been a member of Katie's site for exactly nine years.In September 2001 I first went on to the internet, using a TV/Internet box - wires everywhere, dial-up and a rubber-keyed keyboard something like the old Sinclair ZX series. I knew a little about computers and nothing about the net - the box had sat unopened for a couple of months before I dared try it out.Little did I kow what I was letting myself in for! The instuctions were minimal, to say the least, and at one point I got caught for a huge phone bill - no-one told me you could open a story from Fictiomania then disconnect while you read it.Around the same time I started to look for tranny stuff online - I had been full-time for about 18 months by then, and beginning to get my act together. There were a reasonable number of meet'n'greet'n'chat sites, and I signed up to most of them.Oh my, was I naive! It took less than one evening before I knew rather more about sex and cybersex than I could use in a lifetime! Within 24hrs about half the sites were deprived of my sparkling wit and scyntillating conversation, and all but a couple were hit with a delete button soon after.One of the latter was called Trannyweb. There were less than 200 members at the time, and only about a quarter of those were in the UK. The forums were informative, but it was the chatroom that won me over. Ok, it was less than reliable and did weird things, (including not working at all), but the people were brilliant. Just a bunch of girls (mainly from the UK or USA) chatting about anything and everything. One night it might be football (American or soccer), another it could be shoes and shopping. The next time you went in trans issues could be on the agenda, with comparisons from both sides of the pond.New members were welcomed and encouraged to join in, and their questions answered - both the internet and being trans were new to many. Sure, we got the occasional idiot, but they soon left when they found out it was not a knocking shop!Since then the site has grown and matured, been updated and moved with the times. (And moved servers and changed programmers and such, with the accompanying hiccoughs!). The latest was a change of name,to get us out of the clutches of the dreaded blacklists - in many places (like where I work) the only way to access the site was through a proxy by-pass.The next thing on the agenda is a new site altogether, hopefully doing away with the bitsa this and that we currently have and everything being integrated.And I will still be here, reading the forums and dropping into chat and generally enojoying what is probably still the best TG site on the web.
    2103 Posted by Susan James
  • Happy anniversary to me!Today I have been a member of Katie's site for exactly nine years.In September 2001 I first went on to the internet, using a TV/Internet box - wires everywhere, dial-up and a rubber-keyed keyboard something like the old Sinclair ZX series. I knew a little about computers and nothing about the net - the box had sat unopened for a couple of months before I dared try it out.Little did I kow what I was letting myself in for! The instuctions were minimal, to say the least, and at one point I got caught for a huge phone bill - no-one told me you could open a story from Fictiomania then disconnect while you read it.Around the same time I started to look for tranny stuff online - I had been full-time for about 18 months by then, and beginning to get my act together. There were a reasonable number of meet'n'greet'n'chat sites, and I signed up to most of them.Oh my, was I naive! It took less than one evening before I knew rather more about sex and cybersex than I could use in a lifetime! Within 24hrs about half the sites were deprived of my sparkling wit and scyntillating conversation, and all but a couple were hit with a delete button soon after.One of the latter was called Trannyweb. There were less than 200 members at the time, and only about a quarter of those were in the UK. The forums were informative, but it was the chatroom that won me over. Ok, it was less than reliable and did weird things, (including not working at all), but the people were brilliant. Just a bunch of girls (mainly from the UK or USA) chatting about anything and everything. One night it might be football (American or soccer), another it could be shoes and shopping. The next time you went in trans issues could be on the agenda, with comparisons from both sides of the pond.New members were welcomed and encouraged to join in, and their questions answered - both the internet and being trans were new to many. Sure, we got the occasional idiot, but they soon left when they found out it was not a knocking shop!Since then the site has grown and matured, been updated and moved with the times. (And moved servers and changed programmers and such, with the accompanying hiccoughs!). The latest was a change of name,to get us out of the clutches of the dreaded blacklists - in many places (like where I work) the only way to access the site was through a proxy by-pass.The next thing on the agenda is a new site altogether, hopefully doing away with the bitsa this and that we currently have and everything being integrated.And I will still be here, reading the forums and dropping into chat and generally enojoying what is probably still the best TG site on the web.
    Sep 26, 2010 2103
  • 17 Oct 2005
    Yes, I've used that tag line before...... I had to get out for a day.  On Saturday I went to my folks' house and stayed for the night.  The thing is, I felt like I had to get permission from my friend to do it, especially since he and my wife think my living there is a bad idea.  My folks didn't like their thinking that, especially my dad.  He made it clear to me to stand up to them and make my own decisions.  He said it was obvious that I was being beaten down.  I mentioned this before - a few weeks back my folks needed me to stay there alone to watch the house while they were away.  My friend and wife were dead against it, and my wife even threatened divorce if I did it. They felt I would relapse (thanks for the trust!).  My folks essentially told me what I've already been thinking, and saying, and that is they can make all the threats they like, but I am my own person.  I agree, and I have been very assertive.  I still get tired of lectures, especially about my problems in finding a job.  I told my friend I'd like to see him get something right now, and that my wife has been trying to get a new job for years and has been unsuccessful.  I am getting tired of it all.  If something doesn't change soon I will have to make some major decisions. Consequences are going to have to happen.  I need to decide my own.  I am definitely feeling my old strength coming back. My folks were watching this little white yapping dog from next door.  The thing barked at me constantly.  My mom said she really doesn't like men, to which I replied "I could change that."  She laughed. I didn't get to see my daughter Saturday because she had a birthday party to go to, and that was fine with me.  I don't want to interfere with her social life.  I wound up leaving the dungeon for my folks' anyway.  It was nice to be away and have some peace and quiet. So I'm out pounding the pavement again today.  I'm deliberately staying out later than usual because I do not want to meet with those Mormon dudes again (no offense to any Mormons out there). They're nice, but I don't want to be a Mormon.  I'm screwed up enough as it is to have to join a made-up religion.  Although, as I've said before, I got a certain pleasure out of telling them I thought I might be TS! On the plus side I've been getting more calls for interviews, I should have the Jazz Era book contract this week, and I start seeing a new shrink on Friday, which means eventual dialog with my wife.  Yet there is one thing missing from my life, and you all know what that is. I have no freedom to fully be Meredith. Keep your fingers crossed for me.  Let's hope this is a good week. Mere
    2098 Posted by Meredith Newton
  • Yes, I've used that tag line before...... I had to get out for a day.  On Saturday I went to my folks' house and stayed for the night.  The thing is, I felt like I had to get permission from my friend to do it, especially since he and my wife think my living there is a bad idea.  My folks didn't like their thinking that, especially my dad.  He made it clear to me to stand up to them and make my own decisions.  He said it was obvious that I was being beaten down.  I mentioned this before - a few weeks back my folks needed me to stay there alone to watch the house while they were away.  My friend and wife were dead against it, and my wife even threatened divorce if I did it. They felt I would relapse (thanks for the trust!).  My folks essentially told me what I've already been thinking, and saying, and that is they can make all the threats they like, but I am my own person.  I agree, and I have been very assertive.  I still get tired of lectures, especially about my problems in finding a job.  I told my friend I'd like to see him get something right now, and that my wife has been trying to get a new job for years and has been unsuccessful.  I am getting tired of it all.  If something doesn't change soon I will have to make some major decisions. Consequences are going to have to happen.  I need to decide my own.  I am definitely feeling my old strength coming back. My folks were watching this little white yapping dog from next door.  The thing barked at me constantly.  My mom said she really doesn't like men, to which I replied "I could change that."  She laughed. I didn't get to see my daughter Saturday because she had a birthday party to go to, and that was fine with me.  I don't want to interfere with her social life.  I wound up leaving the dungeon for my folks' anyway.  It was nice to be away and have some peace and quiet. So I'm out pounding the pavement again today.  I'm deliberately staying out later than usual because I do not want to meet with those Mormon dudes again (no offense to any Mormons out there). They're nice, but I don't want to be a Mormon.  I'm screwed up enough as it is to have to join a made-up religion.  Although, as I've said before, I got a certain pleasure out of telling them I thought I might be TS! On the plus side I've been getting more calls for interviews, I should have the Jazz Era book contract this week, and I start seeing a new shrink on Friday, which means eventual dialog with my wife.  Yet there is one thing missing from my life, and you all know what that is. I have no freedom to fully be Meredith. Keep your fingers crossed for me.  Let's hope this is a good week. Mere
    Oct 17, 2005 2098
  • 22 Apr 2011
    Spring is finely coming to Michigan. Though I am getting tired of cold weather I like that I can wear nice tops with a bra & forms under a jacket without anyone knowing while I run erronds.   Have been looking into local groups for help in trying to look nicer when I dress evan if it is only at home. Mostly makeup. My body may never say woman but I think my face can look the part. With some help that is.   Cleaning out the closets. Moving all clothes that look like a guy could wear them to the back room. My bedroom will scream WOMAN!!!   Feeling good right now so I think I will end this here.
    2084 Posted by Karen Brad
  • Spring is finely coming to Michigan. Though I am getting tired of cold weather I like that I can wear nice tops with a bra & forms under a jacket without anyone knowing while I run erronds.   Have been looking into local groups for help in trying to look nicer when I dress evan if it is only at home. Mostly makeup. My body may never say woman but I think my face can look the part. With some help that is.   Cleaning out the closets. Moving all clothes that look like a guy could wear them to the back room. My bedroom will scream WOMAN!!!   Feeling good right now so I think I will end this here.
    Apr 22, 2011 2084
  • 20 May 2011
    I'm feeling totally fk'd off with things right now. Since January i've had to put up with harassment & Abuse from an idiot neighbour of mine. It started with him ringing my bell at 2 in the morning & progressed to him actually ringing my front door bell in the earlt hours too. Since then, the dirty b*****d hyad left condoms outside my door, thrown eggs at my windows, Shoved some real SICK notes under my door, too sick to even repeat. So i got on to my local council & police ( several times) & to be honest they've done NOTHING to help sort my problems out.  Recently they came & fitted Strong Bolts to my door, then i actually felt SAFE in my own home. But today they dropped a bombshell on me by saying that the door they had added bolts to was a fire-door & they were gonna come and take them off. I have to say i was well & truly p*ssed off as this was the only thing stopping the tw@t from getting to my front door and to be told the bolts were coming off was a real kick in the teeth. Round here it seens like the rights of the abuser come before those of the victiim & that is not fair. The Council even offered me another place & i told them in no uncertain terms i was'nae moving  because they couldn't be bothered to move the Problem. I Have since been to a solicitor who's been a great help, & i've been advised that if this trouble carries on, that they can apply to the courts for an injunction/ Harassment order banning him from contacting or coming near me. I hope this does the trick becuase i'm not sure how much more i can take before i do summat i dont want to. One thing i DID hear was that this t*sser was wantin to move away, i just wish he would & i could suggest a place for him.....10 miles out to sea with pocketfuls of lead.     I'm feeling a tad happier now, but earlier today i could'nae stop cryin.
    2077 Posted by Anna-Marie Trindall
  • I'm feeling totally fk'd off with things right now. Since January i've had to put up with harassment & Abuse from an idiot neighbour of mine. It started with him ringing my bell at 2 in the morning & progressed to him actually ringing my front door bell in the earlt hours too. Since then, the dirty b*****d hyad left condoms outside my door, thrown eggs at my windows, Shoved some real SICK notes under my door, too sick to even repeat. So i got on to my local council & police ( several times) & to be honest they've done NOTHING to help sort my problems out.  Recently they came & fitted Strong Bolts to my door, then i actually felt SAFE in my own home. But today they dropped a bombshell on me by saying that the door they had added bolts to was a fire-door & they were gonna come and take them off. I have to say i was well & truly p*ssed off as this was the only thing stopping the tw@t from getting to my front door and to be told the bolts were coming off was a real kick in the teeth. Round here it seens like the rights of the abuser come before those of the victiim & that is not fair. The Council even offered me another place & i told them in no uncertain terms i was'nae moving  because they couldn't be bothered to move the Problem. I Have since been to a solicitor who's been a great help, & i've been advised that if this trouble carries on, that they can apply to the courts for an injunction/ Harassment order banning him from contacting or coming near me. I hope this does the trick becuase i'm not sure how much more i can take before i do summat i dont want to. One thing i DID hear was that this t*sser was wantin to move away, i just wish he would & i could suggest a place for him.....10 miles out to sea with pocketfuls of lead.     I'm feeling a tad happier now, but earlier today i could'nae stop cryin.
    May 20, 2011 2077
  • 22 Sep 2008
    well its under a week till the opening nite of papillonam i shitting bricks naham i nerves nah not reallyam i knackerd yeah i bloody am from running round sorting stuff for opening nite , things have arrived here that should of been deliverd else were so ill have to carry them into london on satFor those who are woundering wot papillon is its a tg nite based in central london being run by me and 2 frineds you can find out more by visiting are website at www.lesfillesdepapillon.co.uk
    2069 Posted by christina dearlove
  • well its under a week till the opening nite of papillonam i shitting bricks naham i nerves nah not reallyam i knackerd yeah i bloody am from running round sorting stuff for opening nite , things have arrived here that should of been deliverd else were so ill have to carry them into london on satFor those who are woundering wot papillon is its a tg nite based in central london being run by me and 2 frineds you can find out more by visiting are website at www.lesfillesdepapillon.co.uk
    Sep 22, 2008 2069
  • 26 Jan 2011
    Let me know if this 17 part series has been posted before ENJOY!A transgender journey: part oneJuliet Jacques was born a boy, but always knew that something wasn't quite right. In the first of a series of columns charting her gender reassignment process, she describes how she gradually came to terms with her true identityI decided my name should be Juliet when I was 10. It took a further 17 years to let it rise from the back of my mind, where I had swiftly buried it, and become my identity. Don't ask my "real" name [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjqsB1huDxg&feature=PlayList&p=7A5B7276FFBE1153&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=28">Don't ask my "real]: it's not polite.Changing my name was easy - a deed poll costs about ?30. Changing my body is far harder. In Britain, there are two gender reassignment routes: expensive (private) or slow (NHS [http://www.pfc.org.uk/files/BHCPCT.pdf]). Having declined the terms by which I could raise ?30,000 for private treatment, I've chosen slow - which some people feel shouldn't exist. Without it, though, I'd face a lifetime in a body I loathe, being asked to meet social expectations which feel alien to me, creating mental health problems that would require (state-funded) treatment for years, even decades.Beginning the gender reassignment process is the next, admittedly huge, stage in managing my lifelong gender dysphoria [http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gender-dysphoria/Pages/Introduction.aspx]. Fulfilling the classical transsexual narrative - the one that gender clinics like to hear - I knew I was "different" as a child. My first indication of how came at primary school, when a friend said: "We've got to make you more masculine."Why? I didn't consider myself predominantly masculine or feminine: I liked violent toys (particularly Transformers [http://www.comicartcommunity.com/gallery/data/media/393/ARCEE.jpg] - the irony had not yet become apparent) AND fluffy kittens. I hadn't realised the fundamental role gender plays in most children's development: how it provides both a group to belong to and something to define themselves against, and a base for all future personal development. And all this before most are old enough to question why girls should do X and boys should do Y (or, more often, in both cases, not do).Unlike most of my contemporaries, I had reason to question gender stereotypes. Aged 10, I saw two men cross-dressing on television (I'd love to say it was these two [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvcfIXotmXA&feature=related], but it wasn't [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmcnxCK18rE]), and I felt an irresistible urge to copy them.Putting on a dress, I was floored by a surge of energy. Momentarily, I felt completely at ease: then total confusion. Why was I turned on? Was I a "transvestite"? Did I want a "sex change"? Then fear: what if my family caught me? What if my classmates found out? Nobody must ever know, I told myself, cross-dressing behind closed curtains, panicking when my parents' car pulled up the drive before I'd covered my tracks.Publicly, I struggled to present a convincing masculine persona. First, I became misogynistic, resenting the girls at school who I imagined had an easy, fun relationship between their gender identities and their bodies (little did I realise, aged 13, how utterly absurd that was). Soon, I learned to respect women: I turned my rage on myself, and my inability to feel comfortable in my body, let alone fit in with my peers.I never joined my classmates when they waxed fantastical about who was "fit". I didn't dare admit, even to myself, that I enjoyed cross-dressing and found transgender people attractive (not that I knew the word "transgender" then). I channelled my frustration into football (which became my main concession to masculinity) and fronting a punk band.Isolated, I scoured the mainstream media for like-minded individuals, but it seemed the closest people to me in the public eye were objects of ridicule: Lily Savage or Pauline Calf. I knew I wasn't a drag queen, or a transvestite, but I didn't know what I was. I refused to admit how drawn I was whenever I saw the word "transsexual" - usually in my parents' Daily Mail. Their coverage tended towards stories about greedy transsexuals milking the state or their employers, usually accompanied by cartoons of burly men in floral dresses with stubbly legs (little has changed [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-470183/Transsexual-trucker-hounded-wearing-make-up.html] - note the pronouns).Then I discovered Eddie Izzard [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6npfjWoBCRM], who hilariously normalised cross-dressing, and The Smiths [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46xc3YdOvYA], with their sublime glorification of the outsider. I felt less alone - but I still knew nobody like me in suburban Surrey. The internet was a godsend: at last, I found men who dressed as, or had become, women. Finally, I accepted myself. Moving to college, I was ready to come out - but as what?I declared myself gay and a cross-dresser: "gay" because although I felt attracted to males who were somehow female, I still considered them men; and "cross-dresser" because it seemed the most innocuous term. I picked a male image off the post-punk peg - spiky hair, raincoat, DM boots and Joy Division T-shirts - and started cross-dressing with female friends, periodically scandalising the people of Horsham (it wasn't difficult) by wearing makeup and women's clothes around town. Mostly, though, I kept my femaleness private: I didn't want my gender to become sensational (at least, not all the time), and presenting as male seemed the easiest option.After two idyllic years, I went to university in Manchester. Now, the city has a vivid transgender scene - including Sparkle [http://www.sparkle.org.uk/], Britain's only national transgender celebration - but I arrived too early. In turn-of-the-millennium Manchester, as elsewhere, trans culture was struggling to achieve visibility within, let alone a distinct identity from, the gay scene made famous by Queer As Folk. I soon realised that men-only clubs weren't for me, gravitating towards Manhattan's, with its cross-dressing barmaids and bizarre opening times, and the Hollywood Showbar. Both featured drag acts, but I rarely saw transgender people there: when I did, they were a small number, often huddled in a corner, nearly always at least 20 years older than me. I created my own spaces, cross-dressing at club nights I organised: I felt accepted by my friends, but lonely, still knowing no trans people.In Brighton one summer, I went out as Juliet for the first time, aged 20. A friend took me to Harlequins, where trans people were made especially welcome (its toilets were designated 'Gents' and 'Ladies/TV/TS'). Its music and decor resembled the campest gay clubs - there were drag acts followed by a hyper-cheese disco. Although I hated the playlist (OK, apart from the numerous guilty pleasures [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH0SoZNdozs]), I loved the atmosphere, and the liberation it provided: I'd never felt so myself.After graduating, I took a postgraduate course at the University of Sussex. Feeling more comfortable, I became more open about my 'cross-dressing', but I was only just discovering the deliberately vague, all-encompassing transgender identity theorised in the 90s by Leslie Feinberg [http://www.transgenderwarrior.org/about.html], Kate Bornstein [http://www.katebornstein.com/KatePages/kate_bornstein.htm] and others - all cornerstones of Sussex's Gender Studies MA programme (which I neglected in favour of Literature and Visual Culture).Feeling more at home in Brighton, I finally acted on my belief that I was a gay man. I had two brief relationships with men, both of which foundered on their sexual disinclination towards my irrepressible femininity. I realised that the reason I didn't fit into the gay scene was because I was not a gay man. Instead, I finally admitted to myself that I must fit somewhere on the daunting, ill-defined CD/TV/TS spectrum. But where?
    2053 Posted by Tracy Leanne Edwards
  • Let me know if this 17 part series has been posted before ENJOY!A transgender journey: part oneJuliet Jacques was born a boy, but always knew that something wasn't quite right. In the first of a series of columns charting her gender reassignment process, she describes how she gradually came to terms with her true identityI decided my name should be Juliet when I was 10. It took a further 17 years to let it rise from the back of my mind, where I had swiftly buried it, and become my identity. Don't ask my "real" name [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjqsB1huDxg&feature=PlayList&p=7A5B7276FFBE1153&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=28">Don't ask my "real]: it's not polite.Changing my name was easy - a deed poll costs about ?30. Changing my body is far harder. In Britain, there are two gender reassignment routes: expensive (private) or slow (NHS [http://www.pfc.org.uk/files/BHCPCT.pdf]). Having declined the terms by which I could raise ?30,000 for private treatment, I've chosen slow - which some people feel shouldn't exist. Without it, though, I'd face a lifetime in a body I loathe, being asked to meet social expectations which feel alien to me, creating mental health problems that would require (state-funded) treatment for years, even decades.Beginning the gender reassignment process is the next, admittedly huge, stage in managing my lifelong gender dysphoria [http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gender-dysphoria/Pages/Introduction.aspx]. Fulfilling the classical transsexual narrative - the one that gender clinics like to hear - I knew I was "different" as a child. My first indication of how came at primary school, when a friend said: "We've got to make you more masculine."Why? I didn't consider myself predominantly masculine or feminine: I liked violent toys (particularly Transformers [http://www.comicartcommunity.com/gallery/data/media/393/ARCEE.jpg] - the irony had not yet become apparent) AND fluffy kittens. I hadn't realised the fundamental role gender plays in most children's development: how it provides both a group to belong to and something to define themselves against, and a base for all future personal development. And all this before most are old enough to question why girls should do X and boys should do Y (or, more often, in both cases, not do).Unlike most of my contemporaries, I had reason to question gender stereotypes. Aged 10, I saw two men cross-dressing on television (I'd love to say it was these two [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvcfIXotmXA&feature=related], but it wasn't [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmcnxCK18rE]), and I felt an irresistible urge to copy them.Putting on a dress, I was floored by a surge of energy. Momentarily, I felt completely at ease: then total confusion. Why was I turned on? Was I a "transvestite"? Did I want a "sex change"? Then fear: what if my family caught me? What if my classmates found out? Nobody must ever know, I told myself, cross-dressing behind closed curtains, panicking when my parents' car pulled up the drive before I'd covered my tracks.Publicly, I struggled to present a convincing masculine persona. First, I became misogynistic, resenting the girls at school who I imagined had an easy, fun relationship between their gender identities and their bodies (little did I realise, aged 13, how utterly absurd that was). Soon, I learned to respect women: I turned my rage on myself, and my inability to feel comfortable in my body, let alone fit in with my peers.I never joined my classmates when they waxed fantastical about who was "fit". I didn't dare admit, even to myself, that I enjoyed cross-dressing and found transgender people attractive (not that I knew the word "transgender" then). I channelled my frustration into football (which became my main concession to masculinity) and fronting a punk band.Isolated, I scoured the mainstream media for like-minded individuals, but it seemed the closest people to me in the public eye were objects of ridicule: Lily Savage or Pauline Calf. I knew I wasn't a drag queen, or a transvestite, but I didn't know what I was. I refused to admit how drawn I was whenever I saw the word "transsexual" - usually in my parents' Daily Mail. Their coverage tended towards stories about greedy transsexuals milking the state or their employers, usually accompanied by cartoons of burly men in floral dresses with stubbly legs (little has changed [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-470183/Transsexual-trucker-hounded-wearing-make-up.html] - note the pronouns).Then I discovered Eddie Izzard [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6npfjWoBCRM], who hilariously normalised cross-dressing, and The Smiths [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46xc3YdOvYA], with their sublime glorification of the outsider. I felt less alone - but I still knew nobody like me in suburban Surrey. The internet was a godsend: at last, I found men who dressed as, or had become, women. Finally, I accepted myself. Moving to college, I was ready to come out - but as what?I declared myself gay and a cross-dresser: "gay" because although I felt attracted to males who were somehow female, I still considered them men; and "cross-dresser" because it seemed the most innocuous term. I picked a male image off the post-punk peg - spiky hair, raincoat, DM boots and Joy Division T-shirts - and started cross-dressing with female friends, periodically scandalising the people of Horsham (it wasn't difficult) by wearing makeup and women's clothes around town. Mostly, though, I kept my femaleness private: I didn't want my gender to become sensational (at least, not all the time), and presenting as male seemed the easiest option.After two idyllic years, I went to university in Manchester. Now, the city has a vivid transgender scene - including Sparkle [http://www.sparkle.org.uk/], Britain's only national transgender celebration - but I arrived too early. In turn-of-the-millennium Manchester, as elsewhere, trans culture was struggling to achieve visibility within, let alone a distinct identity from, the gay scene made famous by Queer As Folk. I soon realised that men-only clubs weren't for me, gravitating towards Manhattan's, with its cross-dressing barmaids and bizarre opening times, and the Hollywood Showbar. Both featured drag acts, but I rarely saw transgender people there: when I did, they were a small number, often huddled in a corner, nearly always at least 20 years older than me. I created my own spaces, cross-dressing at club nights I organised: I felt accepted by my friends, but lonely, still knowing no trans people.In Brighton one summer, I went out as Juliet for the first time, aged 20. A friend took me to Harlequins, where trans people were made especially welcome (its toilets were designated 'Gents' and 'Ladies/TV/TS'). Its music and decor resembled the campest gay clubs - there were drag acts followed by a hyper-cheese disco. Although I hated the playlist (OK, apart from the numerous guilty pleasures [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH0SoZNdozs]), I loved the atmosphere, and the liberation it provided: I'd never felt so myself.After graduating, I took a postgraduate course at the University of Sussex. Feeling more comfortable, I became more open about my 'cross-dressing', but I was only just discovering the deliberately vague, all-encompassing transgender identity theorised in the 90s by Leslie Feinberg [http://www.transgenderwarrior.org/about.html], Kate Bornstein [http://www.katebornstein.com/KatePages/kate_bornstein.htm] and others - all cornerstones of Sussex's Gender Studies MA programme (which I neglected in favour of Literature and Visual Culture).Feeling more at home in Brighton, I finally acted on my belief that I was a gay man. I had two brief relationships with men, both of which foundered on their sexual disinclination towards my irrepressible femininity. I realised that the reason I didn't fit into the gay scene was because I was not a gay man. Instead, I finally admitted to myself that I must fit somewhere on the daunting, ill-defined CD/TV/TS spectrum. But where?
    Jan 26, 2011 2053
  • 28 Sep 2009
      Today is my second birthday, rebirthday of course. 2 years of being happy with my new body, which is no longer new, it’s just, my body. I gave myself a bit of a rebirthday present by flying to Germany last week to see my favourite musician of the last 25 years or so, Andreas Vollenweider. What a super trip. The flight from Manchester to Bremen was a doddle, found a cheap taxi company for transfer to the cheap hotel in Oldenburg, which was amazingly smart, and included a fantastic buffet breakfast, and a fridge on each landing with free bottled drinks - water, soft drinks, and beeeeer. Amazingly good value, and I took good advantage of the all you can eat breakfast, and the all you can drink fridges. Also had a good shop in Oldenburg, found a sexy skirt and a snazzy, chic cardie/top. But the gig, the reason I was there, was astounding, Wondrous, beautiful music, played by extremely talented musicians, especially Andreas himself. Having loved his music for so long, but only ever seen still photo’s of him, to actually see him play was amazing. The man is an absolute genius, a master of the many instruments he can play. His "electro-acoustic modified pedal harp" has just the most gorgeous sound. To hear it on big speakers in a concert hall, and to see his skill and deftness as his hands glide gracefully over the strings was a joy, nothing short of heavenly. Words cannot describe how good it was to see him, I’m still reeling, still buzzing. It was amazing. A real treat. I am so happy, so inspired, and so filled with awe. Wow. Here's an old clip on youtube, for anyone who's interested in furthering their musical tastes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XOdKG9Z_Xw&NR=1 xx
    2019 Posted by Lucy Diamond
  •   Today is my second birthday, rebirthday of course. 2 years of being happy with my new body, which is no longer new, it’s just, my body. I gave myself a bit of a rebirthday present by flying to Germany last week to see my favourite musician of the last 25 years or so, Andreas Vollenweider. What a super trip. The flight from Manchester to Bremen was a doddle, found a cheap taxi company for transfer to the cheap hotel in Oldenburg, which was amazingly smart, and included a fantastic buffet breakfast, and a fridge on each landing with free bottled drinks - water, soft drinks, and beeeeer. Amazingly good value, and I took good advantage of the all you can eat breakfast, and the all you can drink fridges. Also had a good shop in Oldenburg, found a sexy skirt and a snazzy, chic cardie/top. But the gig, the reason I was there, was astounding, Wondrous, beautiful music, played by extremely talented musicians, especially Andreas himself. Having loved his music for so long, but only ever seen still photo’s of him, to actually see him play was amazing. The man is an absolute genius, a master of the many instruments he can play. His "electro-acoustic modified pedal harp" has just the most gorgeous sound. To hear it on big speakers in a concert hall, and to see his skill and deftness as his hands glide gracefully over the strings was a joy, nothing short of heavenly. Words cannot describe how good it was to see him, I’m still reeling, still buzzing. It was amazing. A real treat. I am so happy, so inspired, and so filled with awe. Wow. Here's an old clip on youtube, for anyone who's interested in furthering their musical tastes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XOdKG9Z_Xw&NR=1 xx
    Sep 28, 2009 2019