Calling time

  • Posted on September 28, 2013 at 8:38 am

Last blog I wrote that I was not letting my life be put on hold for waiting until ‘completion’. Maybe too many people have said ‘It’s early days’ to me and I’ve believed it. In some ways it must appear like that, because the previous 55 years in comparison seem so long! But it is as true that I have been the same inside all along, and that for me it is no longer early days at all. As I explained at my last consultation at Charing Cross, I genuinely find it hard to recall ‘being male’, because that was only external. I remember being places and doing things, roles and jobs, but only that I was there. As this.

‘Early days’ is for other people, in equally losing their memory of how I used to live. It is not for me, because in many ways I have arrived where I belong. I am calling time on ‘transition’, recognising that I am growing now, not just changing (apparently) from male to female.

This week I went to a sequential dance workshop. Actually an expression workshop. It echoes a conversation I wrote about earlier, of how creative people often have multiple outlets (writing, dancing, painting etc.) that inform and inspire each other. We began after warming up by physically loosening each other up before moving back into dance with a new flow, one partner dancing, the other witnessing, then drawing and describing the fluidity in the dance. Then the dancer went on to write their awareness and feelings. Each pair then exchanged their artistic and written experiences. Finally, each pair recreated dance to the words read out for the whole group. It was all very unfinished and impromptu.

I brought a lot back from it. One was compliments on my reading voice. As you can imagine, this is a stumbling block for me! I listened back to my radio interview a couple of weeks ago, and I was very pleased really with the voice I’ve found. I regret that yesterday calling for an MOT on the phone evoked the usual ‘Yes, sir, let me put you through’, because there are cis women with voices not so different, and they too must get it all the time. But to be complemented for the sound and flow in reading was very gratefully received.

Another was being asked to perform my dancing-to-words first. Have you ever performed impromptu dance for ten minutes, to a kind of poetry and no music, in front of a group? Without seeing anyone else do it first? Scary? Maybe my trans experience has given me a new confidence, or more correctly, release, but I didn’t think twice or hesitate. How I dance, I can see now, is just as other dancers do. It has real rhythm and flow, and yes, it is beautiful, not just inwardly to me.

I went home in a kind of wonder, that I am in this place, not moving into it any more, that it is natural and that I have found people who are simply lovely to be with. I contrasted it with my band tie experience of late. My refusal to be ‘made man’ in order to play music evoked an extraordinary general meeting that I could not attend, though I did offer the feminist aspect of the argument in writing. (I don’t see why I should now have to explain to the whole band that I am trans and that wearing a tie is still psychologically damaging in the circumstances.) Huddles and meetings have afforded me a concession, but I do not want concession, I want simple respect without question. Must one debate whether making a trans woman look like a man might be hurtful, and whether it should be nonetheless insisted upon? One more big concert (sans tie) and I think I shall call time and politely move on.

And this week too, I learned that I should be moving in the next few weeks to my own flat in Hove. Again, I have called time on this rent. I have to be out by the end of next month, so completion on the sale of my house has to happen by then or I shall be homeless, with rather a lot of stuff. It is also a signing off from my family home, even though I did leave it a year go this week. I shall never again be in place where I was once loved, and that is a deep thing still.

Last night I went to Five Rhythms dance a usual. The pace was a little slower than usual, it seems many of us were tired and we moved to half-time rather than double-time. We worked on loosening hips. Yes, that whole part of the evening did evoke memories of sensuality, even of sexuality, and – oh dear – such deep longing. Since my PSO called time herself on loving me and accepting my loving (I can’t remember how long ago) I have had so little touch and no intimacy. How, I don’t know, but I have called time on waiting ‘to be put right’ before I seek to fulfil this vital part of life (for me).

Somebody, surely, somewhere, would find fulfilment in sharing with me. My heart aches to give and receive love again … It’s time.

 

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