The NHS.

During my 24 years of life I have had 2 MRIs, one CT scan and approximately 15 X-rays. I’ve been seen by cardiologists, stroke specialists and physiotherapists. Within the next 5 years of my life I will see psychiatrists, gender specialists and therapists.

I’ve been rushed into hospital once in an ambulance and I’ve called 999 to get an ambulance for someone else in excess of 10 times.

I have prescriptions for an acid reflux problem and asthma and will (hopefully) be prescribed testosterone in the future.

Eventually, I hope to undergo a double incision surgery to remove my breasts and a series of complex surgeries to give me a functioning penis.

All thanks to the NHS.

Yes, it is sometimes difficult to get a doctor’s appointment. Yes, prescriptions go missing. Yes, people have to wait a while in A&E before being seen. Nothing in this world is perfect.

The NHS is, in my opinion, as close to perfection as it gets.

I’ve just watched a recent episode of “Hospital” which focused on a trauma unit responding to the Westminster Bridge terror attack.

It wasn’t an eye opener as such because i am aware of the phenomenal work that the NHS does on a daily basis but it was a reminder of how appreciative we should all be.

Every single member of the NHS works tirelessly, with strained resources, to get the best possible outcome.

999 call responders in the control room, receptionists behind counters in rural GP practices, porters in every corridor of every hospital all over the country. Nurses, cleaners and doctors. Midwives, lab technicians and paramedics.

I have the upmost respect for everyone in the above list and those NHS staff that I haven’t mentioned.

Man, I feel like a… well like a man actually.

If you haven’t read the first post I did about this then you can read that here: https://waggcomedy.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/man-i-feel-like-a-woman-every-day-of-my-life/

Alternatively, you can just not read that and I can save you some time by telling you that I’m trans and, at the time I wrote that post, I was in so much denial.

Last summer I dislocated my knee and spent a lot of time alone in the house. My friends came to visit me and offered me loads of support via messages but something wasn’t right. I realised that I had depression and that I had had it for a long time. (You can read more about that here: https://waggcomedy.wordpress.com/?s=Depression+nearly+&submit=Search

I have always thought about being trans. I mean I repressed it a lot but it had always played on my mind; in the middle of the night when I was wide awake. My therapist helped me to talk about what I described as “the biggest can of worms ever”. 

It is the biggest can of worms ever. It has shocked me and it is the most difficult thing to come to terms with.

People often talk about friends and family having to go through a grieving process but I’m grieving too. I plan to do a post on that at some point, but I’ll just say now that this isn’t an easy thing for me to get my head around.

I question it. Of course I do. But I’m a man. I’m a man who likes Tegan and Sara and that’s ok. I mean I was an honorary lesbian for 24 years. I am a straight man who likes a “lesbian” band. That feels weird. I guess I’m going to have to explain why to people but I doubt explaining my music tastes will be the hardest thing to do. 

I hope you all likes blogs about being trans because this blog is about to be full of transness! 

I’m incredibly lucky.

It’s nearly 3am and I’m wide awake. I have (and have had for nearly a month now) a dislocated knee. I’ve got hiccups, the ominous signs of an impending period and a whole lot of phlegm; which makes me think that I’m developing a cold.

Fucking great.

My life is fucking great. Seriously, it is.

On Saturday I went to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert in Oxford. It was without doubt one of the campest things I have ever witnessed and it made me incredibly happy. Essentially, the show is based on the lives and careers of two drag queens and their transgender friend as they make their way across Australia in a bus. (We all know how much I secretly love buses so this show was bound to be good!)

There was one moment which stood out for me. It was towards the end of the show when nearly everyone in the audience was standing, clapping and singing along to the song. There were a lot of LGBTQ audience members (as I’d expected) but also some people who I hadn’t imagined would be there. Call me narrow minded but I can’t see many straight people over the age of 70 being interested in it. Anyway. Everyone was caught up in the moment and I stopped clapping and singing for a while and looked around me. I was sandwiched between two of my best friends; a straight woman and a gay man. The same straight woman who had, without being prompted, held my arm and helped me walk up some stairs just a couple of hours before. The same gay man who had ordered my Nandos for me because I couldn’t move about a lot or put weight on my knee. These two people had pushed me in a wheelchair to the theatre. They’d physically aided me. And now I was surrounded my people that I’d never met before who were mentally aiding me.

As a lesbian, it’s hard not to think about Orlando. I want to think about it, I do, but it pains me to. I know that it will pain me to and that it should but I can’t find a way to think about it without relating it to me.

When I say I make it relate to me I don’t mean that in a selfish, egotistical way. I mean that I can be out at work and not have to worry that someone will shoot me. I can have a drink in a “gay” bar and not have to worry that someone will shoot me. I can openly post about my sexuality and not have to worry that someone will shoot me. And that’s wrong. I’ve become complacent.

I forget how easy I have it. I forget how lucky I am. I forget that I have amazing family, friends and colleagues. I forget that that isn’t the case for everyone. I forget that it hasn’t always been like this. I forget that people have struggled, and still do struggle, so that I can have such a privileged life.

Right now I feel awful. I’m low; mentally and physically. I can’t drive at the moment (due to my knee injury and the strong pain killers I’m taking), I’m not seeing my friends very much and I’m unable to work. But I need to stop fucking complaining because I am alive. I am incredibly lucky. My thoughts are with those that aren’t and weren’t.

Hello folks!

Hey guys how are you all doing? I’ve been pretty busy, thanks for asking. 😉 No but seriously my life is crazy at the moment but I’ll resume regular posting soon.

In the meantime could you all be absolute darlings and take a look at my friend’s questionnaire for her dissertation? It’s all about LGBTQ representation in relation to television. It’s short and straightforward and it would be awesome if you could fill it out! 😀 https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JVXZ9GW

Enough of a plug, I’ll be back soon! 🙂

This week has been a very “out” week.

Happy national coming out day everyone!

I’ve never really done anything to celebrate this day and I don’t think today will be any different.

I find it interesting that we go through so many “main” or “big” comings out: the first coming out, the one to family, to work etc… But, when you think about it, we never stop coming out. Whether someone new joins my department at work or I’m introduced to a friend’s boyfriend, I am always coming out.

I find, as I get more comfortable, I am discovering new ways to come out. Sometimes I simply chuck in a few female pronouns into conversation or sometimes I challenge people on what they said. Just recently, I was saying to someone at work about a sexual dream that I’d had and someone else interrupted by saying “Heterosexual or homosexual?” and I responded “Homosexual, like they always are. Why do you ask?”. Turns out, she’d been working with me for nearly a year and had no idea I was gay, where has she been?

There’s increasing pressure from society and organisations for “celebrities” to come out, whether they be actors and actresses, football players or politicians. And there’s also mass coverage of companies “supporting” and “encouraging” these people to come out. Unfortunately, it isn’t always received well and some people have damped the mood by asking why people need to come out and why it needs to be such a big deal.

I can see both side of this argument. I mean, yes, it’d be lovely to live in a world where people don’t have to come out because it’s not assumed that they’re straight but, unfortunately, this isn’t the case. And no, it shouldn’t be such a big deal but by ascribing a subject a taboo label it becomes a big deal and, let’s not forget, for some people it is a huge deal. After years of hiding or being in denial, coming out is a huge relief and is worth talking about. As well as this, “celebrities” coming out could give the courage for others to. I, for one, seek comfort in the fact that I’m not the only person who’s been through some of this tough stuff and if it takes a celebrity for some kid to be comfortable enough to come out then ahem to that!

(I touched upon this subject before in a post you can read here: https://waggcomedy.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/jason-collins/ )

Basically, whether or not you’re coming out today, I hope you have a good day and relaxing weekend!

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK – A REVIEW.

Wow.

I could describe the entire series in just that one word but that would be very boring for you and very lazy of me.

I didn’t have high expectations for OITNB for three reasons:

  1. I had to get a Netflix account to watch it.
  2. I don’t like being told what to watch.
  3. I’m not a huge fan of prison dramas.

But I can honestly say that I’m glad I put these three things aside and watched it because… wow.

Because some of you are yet to watch it (and I envy those of you who are seeing it for the first time through fresh, hungry eyes) I won’t go into too much detail about what actually happens as I don’t want to ruin it for you so, if you haven’t seen it yet, you can read this review safe in the knowledge that there won’t be spoilers.

It’s not often that a series can make me laugh, cry and stay up until 2 in the morning watching it but OITNB did just that. I cried for both good and bad reasons and sometimes it crept up on me and sometimes I knew I would end up a blubbering mess.

You only have to look up OITNB gifs on Google to see how quotable the entire series is and see that there is humour in almost every minute of it. If you were looking for a hard, factual, gruesome prison drama look elsewhere.

I have never watched a series so avidly before, and I’ve definitely not given up hours of my precious sleep for it but OITNB is addictive and so fast paced that you won’t feel like you’ve lost half a day watching it. (I recommended it to a friend of mine and she got through the entire series (13 episodes) in less than a week.)

What I love most about it is the realness. Yes, it was based on a real book by a real woman about her real sentence at a prison in America but often these “reality” based programmes are dramatised and exaggerated. You see the back story to almost every key character and this helps to build an understanding of them and why they’re there which is what drove me to tears on many occasions: most of the women are good women who have made mistakes.

This series not only challenges perceptions of prison but also class, race, gender and sexuality amongst other themes such as age, position of power and drugs. Whatever your opinion on these topics, I think you’ll find it hard not to be moved by the stories that portray them.

I could write about OITNB all day (if you like this review and want me to write another where I look at the storylines closer and reveal spoilers then let me know!) but I’m going to leave you with one simple instruction: watch it. I don’t care if you have to get a Netflix account or borrow a friends’ laptop or watch it after a 12 hour shift. And, if you’ve watched it before, watch it again (although I’m sure you need no prompting to do that!).

I’ve been drunk and thinking a lot recently.

I haven’t blogged for a while (which a couple of my friends mentioned to me) and I feel like I owe you an explanation. The only real reason is that I am lazy but have good intentions; something I’m pretty sure my teachers said about me at school.

So I was having a little scout around my old diaries trying to find a particular entry and, instead, I came across one where I seem to be struggling to explain how I feel about women. At this point, I know I like women and have come out to a few people but, alone at night and doing some deep thinking, I try and rationalise how I’m feeling; and it doesn’t end well. I won’t include the passage as it contains plenty of swear words and, in all honesty, it’s a bit embarrassing. However, in light of recent conversations and thoughts I decided it would be a good idea to think about what I would say now to the younger me, hunched over my diary, scribbling away furiously at 11 at night (that was very late for me then – don’t judge!).

Let’s go.

You know, kid, they’ll come a day when you’ll be sitting in your friend’s car and you’ll be more than a little bit drunk and Macklemore’s “Same love” with come on the radio and you’ll be furious. Not because you don’t like the song though – you’ll be angry because the radio presenter will say his name wrong. But it kind of won’t matter in the grand scheme of things because your friend will say, almost to herself,  “I really like this song” and, even though you know all the words, you only sing a few lines because you kind of like hearing your friend sing a bit. Because she sent you a link to it on Facebook because she knew you’d like it. And it doesn’t stop there.

One of your friends will be able to list at least three Tegan and Sara songs and she’ll know the difference between stone butch and soft butch and you’ll wonder why you were ever worried about coming out to her. I mean come on kid, she knew from the beginning; and I can bet you she’ll be there to the end.

You’ll have a conversation with two straight friends about sexual fluidity and you’ll realise that you’re not the only person who thinks that it’s possible to love outside of your “normal” gender preference and you’ll realise that if you three think the same then it’s likely to a lot of others do too.

Your friends are at a pub across town and you’ll walk there and tell them what’s happened and how you feel used and how you have no faith in women anymore and they’ll hug you, make you laugh and offer to buy you more drinks until you’ve lost your key but you don’t care because you have a group of people dancing to “Play hard” to get back to.

It’s one in the morning and you ring your friend and cry down the phone to him. He’s barely awake but he still manages to humour you as you ramble on about how shit you feel and how drunk you are and how you actually really liked this one or how upsetting it is that she’ll never like you back because she’s straight. He listens, not because he has to but because he wants to.

One Sunday you’ll text your manager about a Facebook message from a woman. Not many managers would be willing to talk to their twenty year old employee about their lesbian near miss. It’s a shame it was a near miss, because it wasn’t a near miss in my mind – just a miss for me.

And so right now you can’t explain how you feel but you don’t really have to because in five years’ time people will know you and they’ll get you. They’ll understand what you’re trying to say by the way you sigh or the way you look longingly at that woman. And they won’t care. They want you to be happy, regardless of what makes you happy. They’ll moan about the women that let you down the same way they rant about the men that have screwed them around and it’ll just feel right. It’ll all be alright.