Sunday, 18 January 2009

An interesting Lunch in Manchester...

I went out to lunch in Manchester yesterday to meet someone I’d chatted to on the web and who has managed something I couldn’t in terms of living socially as female whilst working and playing bass guitar in a band as a man.

We talked about the reconciliation of a female mind with a male body that has to be made and how this is divorced from sexuality. It was not all-serious stuff though as we talked music and mutual friends. It’s a small world in terms of the scene so inevitably you have mutual contacts and funny experiences to swap.

In the past I’ve met some people who live full time as female but have no intention of surgery and found the situation deeply disturbing whilst others in the same situation have caused me no concern at all. I think all this shows that there is a massive diversity of people and the labels we use of cross dresser, transvestite or transsexual are inadequate as are labels like pre-operative transsexual, post-operative transsexual.

The only issue that matters is do you feel you are talking to a man or a woman? Gay men who are not perceived as threatening by women inevitably confuse this issue even more. Predatory males are a danger full stop and the ones that matter in terms of risk of violence and most women are pre-conditioned to minimise this risk.

I felt comfortable and the conversation flowed easily over the food & wine in a restaurant on Deansgate (not the Village). It was a lovely experience to meet someone who is well known on the Manchester scene and see it all from a different perspective. My friend believes that making transgender mainstream will make it more acceptable and that’s probably true providing people on the male end don’t go to far and being men I fear they will.

Ooops getting political again on what was a lovely afternoon. Afterwards I did a mooch about the shops which were pretty full of young people looking but not buying much and then decided to head home but got caught in some very nasty weather.

It had been very windy but dry earlier but the sleet/rain that came on was very unpleasant. Where I live in Manchester I have masses of choice for buses though only two drop me at the end of my road and given the weather I went to the stop for those. One bus broke down and another didn’t turn up so I had a long wait and I got very cold.

I try to ignore and forget my disability but Ankylosing Spondylitis has a nasty way of reminding you of its presence in the cold & damp of England. The best place in the world to live with this condition is probably the southern side of Tenerife zero humidity and Sarara desert warmth. (I’ve been there over a dozen times) Anyway I got back to my lovely warm flat but it took lots of tea and rest to get back to my version of normal.

I’m looking forward to going to North Manchester Hospital next week to start the process of trying to get my shoulder functioning again as it’s causing me a lot of problems on top of the progressively worsening fused spine & ribs that I have had to cope with for a long time.

Someone asked me recently what I was looking forward to the most when I got my major surgery done and my answer was going back to the gym and getting on the machines where I can achieve more in a week than a 1,000 sessions of NHS physiotherapy providing I have strong enough pain killers and a shower afterwards.

That’s why I need my operation whilst I appreciate that some people can live without it I’m one that can’t. I need to be able to walk naked past another woman in a changing room and not care as I do the rest naturally. This is my big year of physical change and I’m more than ready so bring it on…

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