A good weekend

It’s been a good weekend. I actually feel pretty confident that I could pass one day.  I know that’s not the most important thing, but it matters a lot to me and these photos make me feel good about myself. I mean I know i don’t 100% feminine but I actually think I kinda look cute. It’s a confidence booster!!!

Keira X

   

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Stronger

So I think it is safe to say that Keira is getting stronger or at the very least more prevalent. I’ve been getting more confident doing certain things, I know for a lot of you this will seem like small stuff, but for me it’s a step in the right direction. Normally when buying clothes, makeup, anything girl related I would order it online and patiently wait at my flat for it to arrive. The last few times however I’ve been getting in delivered to stores or just going in and buying it. The last time I needed razors, shaving foam and nail polish remover I just went to Superdrug and bought them. Like I said a super small stuff but huge for me.

I’m also improving at makeup, learning that when it comes to foundation less is more, I still suck at eyeliner but I am getting better at it. Oh and my nails are finally a nice square shape. InstagramCapture_ee9400fc-259b-4a01-a55b-8d3502e20285I’m going to have to cut them soon for going home which sucks but they do look much nicer pained these days. WP_20150906_004Considering I’m still really far in the closet having a handbag is incredibly pointless, regardless look how pretty it is!!!

A few weeks ago I was having a few drinks at a friend’s Kristy’s flat. She was celebrating finishing her placement and had invited her nursing friends and friends from her home village on a night out. I was talking with a close friend (Kristy’s boyfriend John) and another guy when it was mentioned about someone they knew who had broken their jaw broken and how hard it was for them to talk. I came so close to telling them about how a few days ago when I had a facemask on and it hardened so much I couldn’t open my mouth. It was literally almost out of my mouth before I realised that I was about to say.

Another time when I was having dinner at Kristy and John’s we were sitting round the dinner table on our phones and whatnot. When Kristy said to John show her the picture. I clocked the ‘her’ right away and was quite pleased that she had said it. Kristy remained unaware of what she had said until John corrected her. It was played off as if Kristy had made a silly slip of the tongue. It got me thinking and got me a little paranoid, is there something about me that people are subconsciously picking up on that comes across as a feminine? Then the paranoia kicked in and I’m like maybe they’ve found this blog and already know? So genuine question if any of you guys reading this are able to figure out or know my male identity, please let me know.

Are Trans People Pressured Too Much to Adhere to Gender Stereotypes?

Tamlyn Mac - The Writer's Transition

I often find it quite ‘poncey’ when people talk about ‘narratives’ …’what’s your Narrative?’, ‘Gender Narrative’, ‘Social Narrative’ etc. I am fully prepared to accept that this attitude, and indeed the specific wording of my feelings are based on a personal narrative of growing up in a no-nonsense, plain speaking environment. Indeed, I can often be poncey, flowery and pretentious with my prose but when you grow up around the cultural vacuum of Stevenage where half of the local vocabulary consists of slurring, grunting and honking noises, one doesn’t have to season their vernacular too much before being labelled as all these things.

It does concern me, however, on a deeper level than just how self-important it can make one sound. The sad truth is, as a Trans person, we are all judged upon our Narratives. One cannot simply walk in to a GP and, like Ricky Gervais speculated on…

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Roaming, Roaming, Roaming, Rawhide… I mean Fundraiser

The “Why” Part of the Story*

When presenting as a male I can be quite introverted**, you know the quiet, shy, and socially awkward type. Which I think comes from not feeling 100% comfortable in my own body. I’m never quite sure what to do with it, how to carry myself. I never know what do with my hands unless they’re in my pockets. I’m also not brilliant at small talk (unless, I’ve a few drinks in me), I’m the type of person who after a few minutes of meeting someone new is staring at them blankly, having no clue what to say next. So you may be asking yourself why did this socially awkward person think it was a good idea to try and become a roaming fundraiser? Well, I happened to be a big believer in jumping in at the deep end or learning by doing, if you will. Simply put, I took the job because I thought it would make me better at people, better at communicating face to face. Yet here’s the thing, it wasn’t the talking to people let me down. That actually went quite well.

I also happened to be incredible bored with my life, I was stuck in a rut and a job I found mind numbingly pointless. Fundraising seeming like a pretty good way to get out of it and you know what? It was.

Oh, and lets not forget the most important reason of all. I wanted to do something good, something meaningful with my life. This may sound a bit arrogant or self indulgent, but I absolutely refuse to live a life of mediocrity. I want to be good at something and want to be recognised as being good at it. I want to change the world. I want to make it a better place.

The “Background” Part of the Story

Before I go any further with this story lets give a bit of background information to the job and lend a bit of context.

  • I was raising for a very well known charity
  • For a very well known illness.
  • I was with a team of three other fundraisers of varying experience.
  • You are only allowed two people on the stand at any one time.
  • The stand is what it sounds like, it has the charity branding on it and you stand at it.
  • Everyone has targets to meet. You have to get so many sign ups in a week.
  • Sign ups meaning agreeing to monthly direct debit.
  • It costs money to keep a team in the field.

The “Meet the Team” Part of the Story***

Everyone I met while fundraising was lost; they were people adrift in life. People who had spent their lives moving from one job or one place to the next for the most of their lives. Two of the guys had been in the army and two had lived in Spain for a while, one had worked in movies and one had started their own IT business. Their lives were spent moving from on place to the other. They all had good reason for wanting to fundraise and they were all good people.

The “How it Went Down” Part of the Story

Good fundraisers know what they are doing, they know how to get you to stop, they know the correct body language and they are masters at playing on your emotion to get you to sign up. If these guys ever decided to use their gifts for evil, we’re all fucked. The way it worked with the team I was with, was that you were on the stand for forty-minute rotations, two at a time as you are only allowed to have two people working the stand at the same time. I actually think this system worked quite well it made your day go pretty quickly. The few days I did fundraise we were stationed at a shopping centre in England, and for that week anyway it turns out it was quite a difficult site to work. Normally after your probation period you are expected to get at least five sign ups a day, as a new start I only had to get three. The first two days I didn’t get any, but was allowed a grace period as the whole team was struggling and the team leader who normally gets between six and seven a day also got zero. However on the evening of the second day the team leader took me aside and said that the big boss had just phoned him and said he was concerned with my numbers, the next day I would have to get the three sign ups or I’d be going home. I didn’t let this get me down, I keep my spirits up and went in to the next day with enthusiasm.

However, it got to 4 o’clock that day and I still hadn’t had any sign ups. So when it was my time to come off the stand I told the team leader that I wouldn’t be going back on. That I knew I wasn’t going to get the sign ups, and time when I’m on the stand is time when someone else someone who could get the sign up isn’t. To his credit he tried to convince me to keep going, until I said to him “you know I’m right, you’re just too polite to say so” and he like “yeah…”  That folks is the story of how I stopped being a fundraiser.

 

The “Why I Wasn’t Good at it” Part of the Story”

I was getting people to stop at the stand, I was chatting with them about all the good work the charity was doing, but when people hear about all the good stuff they don’t want to donate, that why you have to play on their emotions, guilt them it to it. Turns out this was something I could bring myself to do. I didn’t feel comfortable doing it. In fact because I couldn’t, I’m confident I cost the charity sign ups.

The “What I Learnt” Part of the Story

The truth is that fundraising is an incredibly difficult job, but it shouldn’t be. People should be lining up to donate. The charity I was fundraising for actually save lives every single day and work hard to save more. That’s why the majority of people don’t stop and that’s why guilting people into signing up works so well, it’s because you know they’re right. You know you should be helping, that’s why most people ignore fundraisers in the street, not because they don’t care, but because they know that if we stop they are going to tell us all the reason why we should sign up and we will, because they’re right. For some reason the majority of us find it easier to shrug it off, we prefer not to think about it. We prefer to let someone else deal with the problem.

So next time you see those guys standing on the street or in a shopping centre or wherever and they’re raising for a charity you believe in, just stop and listen to what they have to say, and if you don’t think they’re right, don’t sign up, but if you do and you can afford it, well then… Go save a life.

The Where all the “*” Live Part of the Story

*For some reason when writing this I’m imagining it as that scene from Oceans Eleven when George Clooney explains the overly elaborate plan for robbing the casino. So please try and have suitably jazzy heist music playing in your head while reading. Or, if you happen to own suitable jazzy heist music from all those bank robberies you secretly plan then all the better!

**I said as male, because when as Keira I feel more out going and confidant. I can feel parts of my personality change when I get to be her, which is an altogether strange yet nice experience when you let yourself embrace it. It’s like this part of me melts to comfy girly me.

***Turns out I’m keeping with Ocean Eleven motif.

I tried to do Something Good and Wasn’t Very Good at it

Hi guys, I felt like posting something, but nothing really trans related has been happening in my life lately; so this will be a mainly personal post. (Just read that last sentence back, they’re all personal posts, duh) You may or may not remember me writing about how I had taken a job as a roaming fundraiser. Well long story short I wasn’t very good at it and am thus currently unemployed. This sounds worst than it actually is; luckily I have a bit of money in saving, which with carful budgeting should see me through to February. I’m quietly confident that I’ll have found a new job by then, as before I took the fundraising job the offers were coming in thick and fast.

Also on the plus side, taking that fundraising job got me out of a rut, and will force me into new and exciting things. I think it will also be nice to have a bit of time off, as the last several years my life has been either Stressing out cause I’m not doing enough work for Uni or stressing out because I’m wasn’t getting enough hours at my job. So now I just get a bit of me time or more importantly a bit of Keira time. Take for instance this weekend; my flatmate is away home, so I’m home alone (apart from the cat). All I’ve been able to think is that if I still had my old old job (the one before the fundraising one) I’d be working morning this weekend and would have to de-Keira-fy each night, but nope, thanks to what I hope will be a brief stint in unemployment I have like 4 whole days of all Keira and Play Station… bliss.

Oh three random things trans-ish things did happen when I was away.

  1. I’ve started wearing foundation under my eyes to help cover the shadows. I was wearing the foundation when I was in London the day before my training. When I got to my Aunts place I realised that I hadn’t put it on very well and that you could totally see where it met regular skin. It was very noticeable, and I’m pretty certain my aunt did, though she didn’t say anything.
  2. During the training for the fundraising job, another girl who was there misheard me say where I used to work and thought I said Spa, and commented that I had very nice nails. I took it as compliment.
  3. Not that it bothers me at all, but I’m pretty sure the other guys on my team thought I gay, but in the closet. I guess stuff like that can be pretty common for trans people.

Anywho, it’s nice to be back and I look forward to catching up with what has been going on with you guys. I may write another post explaining in more detail what happen when I was fundraising. I’ve just told the story so much the last week that I’m a little bored with it.

Peace K.

Blog Award Thing

Ok, so I was nominated for some blogging award thing. If I’m honest I don’t really understand it. I believe the general gist is to thank who nominated you. So Nour and Chaya, thank you. You’re also supposed to nominate other people, I won’t be doing that; I will however share some facts about myself.

  1. I can solve a Rubik Cube in less than two minutes.
  2. I can be stubborn to a fault.
  3. I’ve had some short works published.
  4. I have a hard time thinking of facts about myself
  5. I can be quite reclusive at times.
  6. My ideal home is a small house in the middle of the Scottish Highlands.
  7. I want to one day be able to make my own furniture.
  8. I also want to make my own chess set.
  9. I enjoy working with my hands.
  10. I have self-destructive tendencies.
  11. I hide how I really feel in my humour as a defence mechanism, often only being honest with people in a jokey way which causes them to be unsure if I’m being serious or not.
  12. I have a very dry sense of humour.
  13. I can whistle and hum at the same time.

A Dress I Like

I said recently in a post that I am still a little unsure of dresses. I’ve found one that I quite like and have a fairly good idea what I’d wear it with.

New Look Mandi Green Contrast Dress

I’m thinking this dress, but along with black tights if wearing boots and without if wearing the heels.

Just Fab Geela

Love me some boots

Just Fab Green Shoes

As much as I enjoy wearing heels I think the boots go better with the dress as it’s more of a casual dress than formal/going out one.

The Movement- Break Free

I’d like to say that my primary infatuation with this short comes from the content, but I’m actually loving how beautifully shot it is. It really does have some quite stunning visuals along with a killer soundtrack.

Thanks given to I am what I am for sharing it.

I am what I am

‘A short film about gender roles, Trans, and what it is like to have an identity that deviates from the status quo.’

– Written/Produced/Strarring: Ruby Rose

Since first watching Ruby’s short film, I have watched it over and over again at least 16 times (whilst also introducing it to others). I had no prior knowledge of Dj, model and TV personality Ruby Rose before watching the film, yet the seemingly autobiographical story of gender identity and ‘breaking free’ of societies gender constraints is easily understood. I love how emotively powerful this short film is and how easily it breaks through the black and white notion that females are ‘feminine’ and males are ‘masculine.’ It’s truly an inspirational project and one of many contributing to positive change.

This is worth reading to understand Ruby Rose’s personal struggles and why she is such an inspirational advocate for the gender equality movement.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/25/ruby-rose-video-break-free-gender

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Batgirl and Gender Dysphoria

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The New Costume

So for those of you out there who aren’t as geeky as I am, you may not have heard the news that Batgirl is getting a new costume (and a new writer & artist); and it’s pretty freaking sweet looking. The reaction online has been mostly positive as it’s a less sexualised costume. Now since DC rebooted their universe with the New 52, Batgirl has been a title I’ve neglected to keep up to date with, but with the new writer and creative direction the comic is taking I decided to catch up; and Holy transsexual Batman! Did I ever feel pangs of gender dysphoria. I’ve said in other posts how I never really get it… I think I may have been mistaken. I think I may have felt it before but never understood what is was (Is something like that even possible?)

The Current Costume

The Current Costume

It’s her curves that caused it, for as I’m sure you’ve noticed her current costume is… shall we say, form fitting?

Obviously I’m aware it’s just artwork, but whenever I look at Batgirl I get pangs of jealousy and a little sad that I’ll never have curves like her/real girls. It’s not terrible the feeling, it makes me sigh a little and perhaps a tad blue. I can still enjoy reading the comic, which is nice.

I realise it’s silly to be envious of her figure as it’s not realistic even for  the vast majority of real woman let alone a trans one. Not to mention the feminist inside me who also thinks it’s good the new costume is less sexualised, as it will give a more realistic role model for young girls reading the comic, but it was also show young boys a female hero with a more realistic body shape, and hopefully they don’t grow up expecting ever girl they date to look like a skinny, big busted supermodel.

Any-who it has been a long day and I’m incredibly tired (got up for work at 05:30) so i’m going to get some sleep, but if you’re interested here’s the link to new costume article I read.

 

du2dc0cjd0kbjaiberdbP.s. it’s crazy how much I want the new costume for Halloween this year. Who knows maybe I’ll be out and about by then.

Writing Space

Where do you produce your best writing — at your desk, on your phone, at a noisy café? Tell us how the environment affects your creativity.

I’m one of those lucky few who can basically write with anything, on anything, anywhere, just as long as I’m feeling inspired. Many a time have I tapped out a few thousand words on my iPhone while stuck behind a cash register at work. The only thing about work writing is that having to stop and start tents to interrupt my flow.

If given the choice I will always write at the kitchen table, if I have my flat to myself.