Really learning a lot at the NASUWT LGBTICC #lgbticc21
It makes me realise how far we have come, but also how far we have to go too. Particularly with respect to Intersex and Transgender rights. In order to do that, we need to challenge ALL inequality as any division divides us all.
Next Thursday and Friday is the TUC LGBT+ conference. l was recently elected on to the National LGBT Advisory Panel for my Trade Union and will not only be attending, I will be speaking! Indeed, I will be, “Demanding progressive change to the Gender Recognition Act!”
l read a question the other day about men who wear women’s knickers. I cannot remember the exact wording but there was something about the fact that men’s and women’s knickers are shaped differently as men and woman’s bodies are shaped differently in that region and therefore, as the underwear is not on display, surely, a possessor of a penis should wear men’s pants!
The responder to the question dealt admirably with the question of men and women being different “in that region” and that is not the point of this post. No, what I want to write about is the question of underwear, or more specifically should I wear pants or knickers.
Now, I live in the UK so pants are male knickers, worn under trousers. Just so we all know what I am talking about!
I currently possess a penis and so, according to the logic of the question, I should wear pants designed for men. Several reasons can be given for this. Firstly, for a person with a penis, the gonads (in this case, the testacles) are designed to be on the outside of the body as sperm should be stored just below body temperature. In fact there is good evidence to show that too tight underwear can promote sterility in those who wish to use their sperm in order to aid conception. Men’s tight pants, you see, have an inbuilt bulge to allow the testacles the relevant space to maintain a lower temperature.
Secondly, mens pants are wider in the crotch, which holds things in place, more importantly there is far less chance of the penis making an impromptu guest appearance down the leg of a pair of shorts.
On these points I lose little sleep. I have a daughter and 2 wonderful stepchildren so virility is not important to me in the slightest. I can see the “holding everything in place” argument has merit, however not enough to affect my thinking.
My knickers are for me! Nobody else gets to see to see them (well, except for my wife). They make me feel good. They make me feel like me. Sometimes I wear long legged Spanx pants (they absolutely hold everything in!!!). Sometimes I wear tummy control knickers! I love knickers with some lace on them. I even wear a thong sometimes. The all make me feel feminine. And I never feel like that in men’s pants. Not that I have worn any for 3 years!
Holding things in is obviously important as I hate it when I can feel my “bits” moving around as I really do not like to be reminded that I have them. But if you get dressed properly in the morning, this should not be a problem. And I feel lovely.
One of the worst things about being a woman stuck in a man’s body is the awful choice there is at the moment in men’s clothes! The colours are drab, browns and dark greens; the cuts are loose and shapeless. There is just no excitement at all! And don’t get me started on shoes because they are even worse, particularly if you have feet on the larger size. Almost all women’s shoes stop at EU 42 or 43. And those that do go to bigger sizes could be described as unisex but the larger sizes only have men’s colours, ie. mud brown, black or (at best) fawn.
So what can a (larger) woman do? T-shirts can be good, but there are so many necklines, whereas men only really have crewnecks. I do have some lovely women’s t-shirts though. And you would never know to look at me.
But better than that are jumpers! I have several of them. Some of them don’t quite fit. Their sleeves are too short or they are a little tight, but I love them. I found one in a charity shop in Largs, it was hanging on the rail just calling to me! It is a cream arran jumper and it looks great. I wear it all the time knowing, when I wear it, that I am wearing a woman’s jumper!
If you are closeted, what do you do about your hair? Most men don’t notice, but there are enormous differences between men’s hair and women’s hair, though admittedly, for the trendy young, those differences are smaller than they used to be. But I am perceived to be neither trendy, nor young! I do, as I am not a man, notice hair!
So what should a closeted mtf do when she goes to get her hair cut? The first thing I realised was that I was going to have to explain to the person cutting my hair what style I wanted, and more importantly, l was going to have to explain why! The thought of coming out to somebody I didn’t really know was terrifying!
So what I actually did was turn the whole thing on its head: l made absolutely sure that there was no way that the person cutting my hair would have any idea who I was at all!So when I was due to attend Scottish Conference in Glasgow I researched unisex hair salons and booked myself into one that looked nice. And…. I booked myself in under the name of Charlotte!!! In for a penny, in for a pound! On my, but I was nervous, and immensely proud when I answered to my name, out loud for the first time ever! But I became all flustered when I started to ask for what I wanted doing to my hair. WhatI said was, “I would like a hairstyle that is quite short but if I brush it and take care of it, it will be quite feminine, but if I ruffle it up it will look messy and masculine. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of a wash, cut and blow dry, I realised as my hair was being cut that I needed a better way of describing what was on my head looked like in my head!! I was not totally happy with the result. And that was the most expensive haircut I ever had!
So, before I next went to get my hair cut, I opened a pinterest account and looked at many different hairstyles. I began to realise that a Pixie Cut, or a shorter, shaped cut was going to be the way to go as I could really dress it up, be really feminine, or wear it scruffy, undone and more “masculine!”
So, I had decided on the type of cut, but where to get it done! The place I had been to in Glasgow was expensive and, at the time, I was not out to anybody except my immediate family and one friend. Fortunately, in this instance, my son is an elite athlete which requires me to drive all over the UK.
So, once every three months, I did my research. I wanted a unisex salon, not far away from the venue, with appointments available on a Saturday. The latter was usually the most difficult, It often meant ringing several different places until I could find one with an appointment.
However, that was the easy part. Once there, I had to go through the nerve-wracking bit of, at least partially, each time coming out to a different person. The only time I didn’t come out was when I went to a salon in France. Neither the woman cutting my hair nor the woman who washed it could speak any english at all so I just resorted to showing them a picture of what I wanted. That was a really good cut actually! To be fair every single stylist took the whole thing completely in their stride! One lady in Helensburgh told me that they had several regulars who said similar things and cure for similar cuts.
Finally I realised that there was absolutely no point in roving around the country getting my hair cut anonymously when there was a great salon here. So, I go in, I tell them I am gender fluid, show them the pictures further up the page and sit back! Bliss.
About 2 months ago, in the bath, my wife discussed my funeral – a bit premature you may think as I am only just 56. But her point was this: if I died, at my funeral she would have to announce that I was being buried in my best frock! To be honest, I don’t want to be buried in my best frock, it is far too flouncy for travelling through whatever comes after this life. I would far rather be wearing a skirt, tights, Doctor Martins and a nice top!
Her point, however, was that this seemed to her to be unfair as everybody would then know that I was in the wrong body and the only person not to see their reactions and answer their questions would be me. So perhaps it would be fairer if I were to come out, declare to the world that I was trans, but not transition at all!
This required some thinking about as I knew my answer had to be really honest. I didn’t even discuss it when the suggestion was first made because I didn’t have any idea what I thought about it at all. On one hand, I could finally tell people who I really was. On the other, I had to give up all thoughts of transitioning at all. No voice coaching, no hormones, no out in public in nail varnish, make-up, heels ……….
On the other hand, I would be out, no more secrets.
I didn’t realise how hard this was going to be to write! It has been ten days in the writing so far and not even remotely ready for publication. So, I am just going to get on with it! rough and ready, but I am beyond caring now!
After several weeks, I came to the conclusion that I had to agree. I did not want to lose my wife, but I did want people to know at least a part of the real me and this would allow that. We agreed that I would tell people who I was and that who I told was my choice, but that this was dependant on my wife not worrying anymore about how I would be dressed when we went out or, to some extent, when we were at home.
So, two weeks ago I told my line manager. And she was lovely, in fact she said she felt proud that she was the first person I had told. Other people said I was brave, but I didn’t feel brave. I just felt as if I had to tell her. I felt some element of relief that, finally, I was going to be out there.
But, and there is a but ….. I thought I would feel elation, and I don’t. I feel disappointed, because I can still only tell people who I am, not show them. At the moment it is only disappointment so hopefully I can work on that, but this is the reason why I have not written.
I last posted on 3rd May 2020. I had a Yew Year’s Resolution last year that I was going to post more often, if not every day and obviously I have failed.
A lot has happened since then, not least on that day. I had to roll back on a lot in order to preserve relationships that I really did not want to lose. My wife read my whole blog from beginning to end. To say that she was unhappy does not do her justice, and in order to stay married to her I ended up agreeing that everything would stop.
I really wanted to make my marriage work as I adore my wife and the thought of going through everything without her by my side is too awful to contemplate. So I cancelled all clinics, put my clothes away and put my male face back on. No nail varnish, no badges.
I first posted this in March 2014 on another platform. I am posting it now, here, because I realised I wanted everything important to me to be in one place.
@AngharadsWife asked me the other day if I could remember the first time I masturbated. I can’t remember why the topic came up but she was shocked because I have no recollection at all of my first wank whereas she can remember hers in detail. I can, however, remember the first time I experienced an orgasm.
There were a few months on the cusp of puberty when climbing a rope in P.E. or sliding down stairs elicited an extremely pleasant feeling, a feeling which made my whole body tingle from the roots of my hair to the tips of my fingers and toes. I first felt it climbing one of those ropes primary schools had hanging from the ceiling.
We had a back, former servants’, staircase in the house we were living in at that time and we spent a lot of time sliding down them as boys especially when I discovered that the same sensation happened if you slid down forward on your front. I spent a lot of time sliding down the stairs.
Looking back from adulthood these were obviously my first orgasmic feelings made more fascinating because they were androgynous in their nature. I was not thinking about my body, my sexuality or those of anybody eIse. I took pleasure in my body in a way that I have never been able to do since. With the benefit of adult eyes, particularly my now more liberated eyes I can see that, pre-puberty, without hormones, my body was responding in a different way to stimuli than it can now that it is flooded with testosterone.
I can still remember the disappointment when, without warning, one day the feeling went away. I didn’t have orgasms to that intensity for about 20 years and have never since had one that felt like they did. When people with vaginas describe an intense orgasm, I am transported in time to those dark, curved back stairs because they are describing that feeling exactly. But then puberty took over and my hormones kicked in.
I first published this in March 2014, on another platform. I am republishing it here because I want everything that is important to me to be in one place.
A couple of years later, at a party, another guest admitted to having done something quite immoral to her husband. During the awkward conversation that followed, it became clear that he was the only person around the table who had not been aware of the said act. In a moment of sheer madness, caused by the urgent need to change the subject and knowing that this could only be done with something sensational, I heard myself announcing that I had a collection of famous breasts on my phone. As the tumbleweed blew around the room in the ensuing stunned silence, I realised that this was one of those moments when the idea should have been thought through and rejected as a plan. This premise did not change as the phone was passed around the table and my choice of, usually, 34-38 B/C was decried. There was no mention of the fact that the breasts were not, on the whole, naked, one or two were but the vast majority were tethered and usually clothed. Indeed, had I not stated that they were pictures of breasts, most of those sitting in judgement would have said that I had collected a fairly sad collection of, admittedly scantily clad, women. No, the only comments related to the mundaneness of my collection.
@angharadswife was, as usual, the most surprising as she did not appear angry or upset at all. I think she was, but mostly because I had informed the whole world in a very public way rather than just telling her. She was much happier than other people with the 34-38 B/C collection. During this whole toe curlingly mortifying evening I texted my bi friend and told him what had happened. His first response was to ask who’s breasts were in my collection, his second was to slag my selection off due to size and similarity and his third was to send a photo of a pair of prosthetic silicone breasts to add to my collection! The semispherical shaped ones rather than the tear drop shape. The whole evening was so distressing that I thought nothing of the picture at all. My mistake!
Standing In Kings Cross station today, waiting in an interminable queue (the wrong queue as it transpired) I mentioned to @AngharadswIfe that I was about to tell this episode of my stumbling journey and she commented that she hoped that she would get a decent explanation of that particular event! I don’t think “decent” really describes it but with the benefit of hindsight: I was embarrassed about having blurted out my story and angry with myself that @angharadswife had to cope with it with no warning; I was upset by the reaction I had got about the breasts chosen; and oddly, I felt quite violated despite the fact that it could be said that I had been the violator. These were my breasts, the breasts I wished I had.
I no longer have a collection on my phone. I don’t need them because over the next few weeks I realised that I had been collecting them to compare. I did not need them any more. I was very upset that the breasts I loved and desired, were thought of as too small. A poor excuse but a big step in my self awareness programme.