Saturday, 31 July 2010

Skegness Butlins: A Trans family holiday

Well Angela, who is fearless, decided that my idea of camping in WigWams in Scotland would be chilly and boring and decided to book a four night break in Butlins. It was so the little girl child in our life could have a fun holiday. My son is in Sligo with crazy-Nan and by all accounts is having a good time.

Anyway to cut a long story short, I was VERY nervous about going and worried about teenagers ridiculing Angela, as she still has some boy features and does not always pass.

Anyway it was MIND BLOWING!!!! No one batted an eye-lid, we did fencing, archery, organised volley ball games for the lttle kids, we swam, laughed, went on scary rides ate way too much pizza and ice cream. It would seem that my fears are very much internalised and I am wrongly wary. Angela was accepted NOT tolerated.
Yes, people did look, they were clearly curious but we did not detect any hostility.
Is society perhaps more understanding of transexual women than I think?
Do I project more prejudice than I encounter?

Towards a feminine expression

After months and months of research, soul searching and self doubt, it is decided and the deposit is paid, we are flying tomorrow to Spain for Angela's FFS, we will be there for two weeks in a self catering apartment
her procedures will include:

* Forehead recontouring (aka Brow Bossing)
* orbital recontouring ...these procedures remove the "neanderthal" ridge above the eye brows that the majority of men have, they will remove the bone from the front of her skull, shave the bone then reinsert the modified bone held in by two screws)

* Forehead lift

* Hairline correction (the skin will be pulled into a girlish curve as oppossed to the typical V's that men have at their temples)

* Browlift

* Rhinoplasty (they will break her nose)

* Chin and jaw Recontouring (jaw split at the centre and a section of bone removed, then jaw bone is reattached)

* Trachea shave (removes the appearance of the adam's apple,a strong masculine indicator)

The operation will take around 8 hours.... it is very invasive and the 48 hours afterwards will be very "uncomfortable"

What do we hope for from Angela's Facial Feminisation surgery?

What is it Angela wants from this?
to stop feelings of guilt and shame because of the way others look at her.
to pass in public with little or no makeup - like most girls
to be a beautiful woman
to see her true self in the mirror
to feel right about herself

What do I want?
To stop people staring at us in public
To ease a sense of unease when we are clearly the object of curiosity or amusement / titlation (although this is rare)
For Angela to be able to collect her daughter from her school
For her to move on her boy->girl SPECTRUM closer to the girl that she feels she is

This is difficult, frightening, the very worse scenario would be Angela would die and Isaac, my young son and I would be destitute. I would lose my lover, my best friend and the stabilty we share.

It has been difficult to accept that I will have to acclimatise to my favourite person having a different face. As a man, he was very very handsome and when transformed was often remarked upon as being extremely good looking. But the truth of the matter was she looked like a very attractive feminised man. Not a woman.

I hope to stand infront of the world and passers by see two happy women, not two sad individuals who are stranger aware. I am tired of always having my radar up, and out staring people, glaring at sniggering kids. Enough is enough.

I am worried about her suffering and pain post-op, I hope I can help her through those dark hours.

I hope readers understand that this is not for vanity, it is to match her visual identity to her feminine spirit.

It is for all of us, in our family, our circle of learning.

A change of face: FFS and a new chapter

We are flying to Spain tomorrow for Angela's Facial Feminisation Surgery, it will be the last of her savings. It's a huge finanical gamble dependent on us working like Navvies when she recovers.

Sometimes Angela expresses concerns that I will not stay as her transition progresses and we wonder how I will adapt to her increasing feminisation. I have no idea how I will respond but I would rather be with her than without her.

I once sat in a down at heel, rather grim Blackpool geusthouse with an old flame, Judy, it was just about the last time we met, and I told her that Angela, her nemesis, was not a simple cross-dresser but actually a transgendered person and that she was going to make the change from male to would involve hormones, voice training, living full time as a Judy was shocked and emotional, holding my hands she tried to warn me. She felt that my life had been hard and that I needed stability and normailty... a regular family life if you like. Her eyes glistened with tears, she felt I was making a mistake. Life with a transistioning transexual was not going to be easy. Glancing around the kitsch and slightly garish day room, I felt so sad and torn apart... all I could assert to Judy was that I was going to stay with Angela and not let her down, I could not say what the future held, or whether, we would ever actually even live together, I was just a body adrift in a fast moving current, I was going to have to surrender to the forces that surrounded me and only stand when I found myself ashore. I was fearful but hopeful. Something glued Angela and I together, a shared sense of loyalty, truthfulness...I had no choice. It was sad but it was right and truly hopeful. Judy would be OK, she had her wife and family, I on the other hand was looking to the future and all I could see was a huge multi coloured sign that read
Angela's Magical Mystery Tour
Marvellous Adventures guaranteed enroute
Destination unknown!

At that point, in the late summer of 2009, I did not see that, My Mum would go bonkers, my eldest kids would jump ship and Angela and I would move intogether.

So where are we now? I haven't spoken to the kids since March, they do not have a phone. I get messages on a social networking site but I don't know if they are from my son as I know my 1st husband intercepts their mail. I think they are from my eldest son and he is refusing to see me as my mother turned up in Dublin and did her psycho-Nan routine in the street. The Garda were called, she is a nuisance and she upsets everybody.

What am I going to do about the kids? I am going to wait, I refuse to get involved with litigation, drama, back stabbing. I know the kids love me and they know I love them, and for now if they need to reject me because of Angela, what can I do? They went? They were old enough to make their own decisions. It torments me but what can I do? I have no money for lawyers... and Angela is on the edge of bancruptcy. We have two years of very hard work to get things seriously back on track.