It’s never too late…..

I am told it is never too late to be yourself…..I struggle with this as I have put off being myself for so many years, some would say procrastinated but hey I guess the time has finally come. Why now, because the pressure has become too much to bear. There have always been good reasons not to put myself first, not to be selfish.

Importantly, I have been empowered by an amazing couple who are supportive and only see me as the woman I am. They have enjoyed my small successes in taking, often only small steps, out of the closet; talked to me about it all, supported me at every turn, listened to my anxieties…and there are plenty of those.

So why a blog? Well as with so many blogs this is intended to be a record of my journey to womanhood. A record of the ups and downs on this journey. I hope that it may encourage other mature ladies to take the plunge, those who say it is too late now. There are blogs that have been really important to my understanding of the challenges I face. To name but a few My Road to Womanhood (My Road Redux), Cassidy’s Quest, Large Blooming Flower, Retrobassgirl and so many others. Lucy Melford, Lynn Jones of YATGB, Rhiannon Rambling, Upside down in a cloud, Paula’s Place, Hannah’s Thinking Again…the list goes on. People who have lives as well as being trans.,

It is not as if i have not known what i needed to do for some years now and in stealth i have worked quietly towards this point for nearly twenty years. I know that I have gender dysphoria, I know that I have to be myself and that I cannot continue to deny myself. For many years I did not know that there was such a thing as gender dysphoria. I grew up pre- internet so, along with many others, I just thought I was different. 

I knew when I was around three, I was a girl just like my best friend at preschool, Tess. As I grew up I was to be blunt quite effeminate looking though not in any way camp. I was an innocent looking choirboy in a cathedral school. I loved everything about girls, their dresses how they looked, make up their whole way of being. I remember vividly watching my mother and her friend refreshing their lipstick after meeting for coffee in town. I was absolutely fascinated. Seeing her in her slip getting dressed, watching her put on gloves before putting on her stockings so as not to ladder them. 

I needed to be part of that world, I hated having to be a boy and do boyish things, I was no good at them. I retreated into my music and books and lived in my own world.

As puberty came I endured years of confusion during which time I would, like so many others, buy my girly clothes and underwear and then purge them all because it was wrong, I was a freak, it wasn’t right. Yet all the time I would be yearning to be a girl. Girlfriends were forever disappointed that I wanted to hang out with them..I was not desperate to have my wicked way with them, affectionate cuddles were lovely.

Fast forward to the late seventies, I came across a book at the library. Conundrum by Jan Morris. She was writing about being transexual/transgender. This was the first time I had come across this. I read the book from cover to cover the first evening and I was stunned…..I understood, the jigsaw came together. I read the book several times, renewed it…..how could this be? She had undergone re-assignment surgery! 

Then the internet came into my life. Good grief, I was not alone. If I was a freak then there were lots of us.

Fast forward again to now, here I am, finally taking real steps towards transition. I have to be aware that I am never going to be that stunning model that I expect we all dream of being, but at the very least I can be me. Hopefully, I will achieve a level where I can pass or at the least blend in and be accepted as the mature woman I am. 

Trans enough

This is something that I have only come to terms with very recently. In fact the realisation has made me feel rather uncomfortable. Recently I have joined an LGTB+ social group, something I have shied away from previously. However, having relocated to a new area several hundred miles away from my previous location I registered with an App to see what there was going on socially. The App threw up this LGBT+ social club and I have been to a couple of events now.

It has been good, I have felt comfortable and chatted to a mix of people. Probably because I have been on a singular journey, “my journey” I realise I have been really blinkered and if I am honest judgemental of other trans people on their journeys. I have had my goals and it would seem I have unconciously applied my goals to everybody else. My concept of what being a trans woman is, what feels right for me is mine. What feels right for other people is theirs. I am completely wrong to make any judgments about other people.

I get the whole gender thing is a spectrum. I am more than likely at one end of the spectrum. Speaking to people who are non-binary, gender fluid at different stages of their trans journey brought home to me how I had not been accepting of other people, tending to think they were not trans enough. Surely they could make more of an effort……

Talking to my friends they reminded me how I was when I started out, that people have different goals, are at different places on the spectrum. I have completely altered my view and am embarrassed at my previous behaviour. I will work on being open, supportive and accepting of others going forward.

New places

It was a chilly evening and I had been feeling a bit low during the day. No particular reason other than allowing a couple of work issues to get to me more than was necessary. Nothing wrong with that, it is unrealistic not to expect blips from time to time. So I was not enthusiastic about going out into the cold to attend the Yoga session. I wanted to go, just not enthusiastic.

An hour later my whole mood had changed. I was glad to have gone. I felt different, my spirits lifted. The yoga group, an LGBT+ group, has a lovely feel totally unpressured, welcoming which is great as I am a beginner and my body is really not accustomed to some, well most, of the positions I attempt to put it in. Yet it doesn’t matter. There is no doubt that I am more flexible than when I first started and in this group there is no pressure to get it right, perfect. It is emphasised that we have choices, listen to our bodies, move with our own flow. I go to the Yoga with one of the friends I share the house with who does work out energetically. I think it is fair to say she has been surprised at how effective the more gentle movement, stretching is.

When I moved to Scotland my goal was to build a new life outside of being trans. Being a trans woman is who I am. I was looking not to be defined by that. I am only just putting my toe into the water and I have been looking at going to social events which are not LGBT+. There are a couple in the pipeline when the timing permits. The idea of attending them gives rise to some anxiety about whether or not I will be accepted, the need for a deep breath, “here we go”. I feel none of this going to this group, I am accepted it is a complete non-issue. Honestly, it blows my mind. 

It shows me I need to be more open, less rigid. Perhaps less determined to put myself in potentially uncomfortable situations because I should. More willing just to go with the flow or as the title of one of my books which has helped guide me through life “Don’t push the river”. 

This week I have needed emergency dental treatment and after failing to find a dentist willing to take new patients and only one who would but the first appointment was in six weeks time, I managed to get an appointment at the local NHS Centre for Health. Strangely, I had no anxiety at all about how I would be received and again there were absolutely no issues. A few weeks ago I went to a new hair salon. I did have anxiety before going and again there were no issues.

I suppose time will tell how it pans out. My lived experience feels different from what I am led to expect through the media where transphobia rages. I do not expect to be able to navigate life without coming across transphobic behaviour towards me. I guess I just need to go with the flow and see where it takes me.

A Tale of two articles.

Glancing through media today I came across two articles which to my mind highlight the differences currently being banded about on Trans issues.

The first one I came across was on the front page of the Scottish edition of The Times. It’s headline was in larger print than the headline article on the front page giving it considerable weight. It has more prominence than “China protest biggest since Tiananmen”.

“Global risk from SNP Gender Bill”

For heaven’s sake. Robin White, a discrimination and employment barrister, who posted the article rather pointedly suggests that trans people may also be responsible for global warming, the death of the Queen, the mortgage rate rise and the recent spell of hot weather……

Apparently the UN expert considers the consultations for the proposed reform as being insufficiently fair and inclusive. From my perspective the consultations have been broad and thorough having been going on for some years and have included all perspectives. However they do not accept some of the anti lobby’s views as there has been a significant lack of any specific evidence to support there general contentions. What is more concerning to me is that the proposed reforms do not in themselves do not change any existing rights women currently enjoy. Trans woman have equal rights under the Equality Act 2010 and the proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act have no effect on those rights. It is spurious fear mongering.

There is no evidence in other countries who have already adopted self ID that men are going to go to the trouble to self ID, swearing affidavits so they can dress as a woman to endanger women in their safe spaces. During the consultation the Police in Scotland said there had been zero cases of rape by transwomen. There are rare cases of men, not trans women, dressing and violating women. This is done now without self ID. In general if men are intent in being violent towards women they will be so without the need to dress or by gaining a Gender Recognition Certificate.

The UN expert also says that this is a global concern, “part of a worldwide debate”, that may be so. Part of that world wide debate was also posted by Robin White. In Tasmania on 28th November 2022 the Tasmanian Civi and Administrative Tribunal upheld equal rights for transgender people following an application by the LGB Alliance for an exemption from the Anti-Discrimination Act allowing transgender women to be excluded from women’s only events. 

Interestingly the Tribunal also called out misinformation about transgender women saying “many of the assertions, particularly those regarding paraphilias, patterns of criminality and nefarious motivations for attending female only events were unsupported by empirical evidence. The wider public interest in protecting the rights of all members of the community from discrimination and prohibited conduct would not be advanced if the Tribunal yielded to such arguments”. For me this is really refreshing to hear, a robust response to these spurious allegations with no empirical supporting evidence. 

It is never too late

The name for this blog. I received a post from an App I follow which came in with the heading “It’s never too late”. It is a new moon, the new moon represents a new start, a blank slate and a fresh start each month. It says “during this month you may potentially be finding a new path, one that is more aligned with your authentic desires”.

If you have read much of this blog before you will appreciate that it matters to me about being authentic. I have spent far too much of my life not being authentic pretending to be something I was not. Bad habits are hard to change, I have discovered that it it does not happen at the flick of a switch.

I started this blog nearly three years ago. The title came from the idea, the concept that it was never too late to transition to accept who I am. I have described it before as being like an unstoppable train, no matter what you do to deny it, to hide from it, if it is genuine, for real it will force its way out.

The App today says it is never too late to find a new path. It resonated with me. I moved some nine weeks ago to Scotland. For a new beginning. I have taken most of that time doing mundane things settling in, acclimatising signing up for doctors etc, etc. When I moved I had in the back of my mind that I would come as me. I would do my best to stop apologising for being me. I have transitioned and I do not need people’s approval to be me. At the doctors it is inevitable that I have to explain about being a trans woman. So far they appear to be accepting which is lovely. 

The first real test came when going to a new hairdresser. My previous hairdresser had been known to be trans friendly, that was why I went to her in the first place. I had googled for a trans friendly hairdresser in my local city and it had come up blank. So I searched for a hairdressing salon I liked the look of and in the end found one and made an appointment. Right to the morning of the appointment I was still worrying about whether I should call and say I am a trans woman…is that alright? I didn’t. I turned up and had a great time with my hair being restyled with highlights. Did the lady knowI was trans? Probably. I have no idea, it didn’t come up. It did not matter. We chatted about all sorts of things. I love the restyle too.

A few days later I spent the day in the city nosing around finding my bearings in a new place, going into shops, having a meal. I felt good just being me with my new hair, authentic.

I now understand that I have transitioned. Some people will accept me, others will hate me, hate my very existence, tell me there is no such thing as being transgender, that I am deluded. They have not been in my shoes, they have not experienced my feelings, they tell me I am wrong to be me.

I do not need to apologise for being me. It is time to go out and live my life authentically without apology to make his new start a real beginning aligned with my true authentic desires. It is never to late.

Another year

My son asked me whether I had any plans when he wished me a happy birthday yesterday. Survive another year was my initial response and then answered his question, “yes, a birthday meal this evening at home”. My friends surprised me and took me out for a meal. I had a lovely time with good company, good food and felt throughly spoilt.

The initial response was probably fairly accurate. Survive another year. Everything seems to be in a state of flux. A couple of hours before writing this Russian missiles have landed “accidentally” in Poland a NATO country. Of course the official Russian channels are saying this is nothing to do with them, that it is Western propaganda. How will NATO view this? Deliberate provocation which needs a response? Accept this first transgression as an accident and give stern warnings that this must not happen again? It feels as if the chances of a nuclear confrontation have increased by this incident maybe significantly. It seems, if what we hear is to be believed, that Russia is beginning to lose the conflict. This might provoke President Putin into taking desperate measures in some twisted face saving exercise. The thought is too awful to contemplate.

So if Armageddon is avoided and we do have another year we face so many challenges with the energy crisis, the cost of living crisis, total chaos within our political system with no obvious plans of dealing with these problems as well as frankly an almost total loss of integrity at Westminster. There is to be a financial statement shortly from the Chancellor who has already said “he is screwed” and can only do his best to regain some stability for our economy. It seems to have been widely trailed that we should expect “austerity two”, there will have to be cuts in all areas including the NHS already in a desperate state struggling to survive. There are strikes looming it would seem across the board, rail strikes, nurses, teachers, barristers……every sector is feeling the pinch with inflation rising. So surviving another year seems likely to be quite challenging.

What to do? Take steps to curb your energy bills, manage your expenditure, if possible support those who are really struggling and in difficulty. It worries me that people do not take any precautionary steps to curb their expenditure seemingly blindly carrying on regardless expecting that there will be some magical solution a bailout from this ever more bankrupt government. At the end of the day you that you can only be responsible for your own actions and take steps to protect what you do to deal with these challenging times.


Sometimes it is good to be brought back to basics. I have always had a tendency to look at the big picture, take a broad brush approach to life. I have moved back in with my friends who were the catalyst for me to look at and change my approach to many things. To be realistic, to be authentic. Having spent so many years hiding myself, portraying an image of what I thought people wanted to see, it had all become an integral part of building and maintaining an image. I had also looked for validation from others in relationships. 

Talking to a close friend the other day she was telling me about a lecture she had attended where the topics had included resilience and compassion. In particular the speaker had discussed how it was essential to be compassionate with oneself. People found it easy to be empathetic, compassionate with others but then were there own worst critic demanding perfection from themselves. The speaker was saying that resilience came from taking the stresses moulding and working with them, understanding you can fail and then standing back and moving on. At that time you need to have compassion for your self, understanding that we can fail, learn from it and move on. Being compassionate over our failings.

There is that cliché that before you can love someone else you have to learn to love yourself. In my case that was expressed in being able to accept who I am as much as then being able to love who I was and accepting my flaws.

I read elsewhere today that it is essential to focus on what you are doing, immerse myself in whatever I am doing and find a state of flow there being beauty in the most mundane actions.

Sharing space again has given me opportunity to look at aspects which did not matter when I was living on my own, I have accepted that my hearing is not what it used to be had a hearing test and now have aids to help. Something I had resisted too proud to accept that age was catching up with me, yet it really does not matter the truth is the authentic me has hearing which is deteriorating. My life is richer now that I am hearing more, things I had not even realised I was no longer hearing that I had lost. It was all a bit overwhelming when I first started to use them, bombarded with noise not quite knowing from what direction it was coming from. Then, as I was told it would happen, my brain started to work out what it needed to focus on, I grew into my new hearing world. It will take time to suss it all. 

As with life, nothing stays the same. Each day is different and I am learning to focus on what is important, on the now to include the mundane and the menial and to do my best to grow by doing the basics as well as I can.

Worrying times

Well my fears seem to be proving to be well founded. Jo Maugham a director of an organisation for which I have a lot of respect and time for, The Good Law Project, has commented with his view of the present government direction on trans rights saying “what is being done to Trans people in the United Kingdom is awful. I have no words. I am afraid to express my anger and shame.” His comments are on the basis that the new Prime Minister plans to amend the Equality Act to remove legal protections form Trans people.

As he points out there is no reason why he cannot do this if he so choses. The Prime Minister has a majority in the House of Commons and if he is able to carry a majority, as Jo Maugham points out, “he can remove the rights of whichever friendless minority he decides to target”.

The EqualityAct is a reserved matter in the devolved nations of the United Kingdom which means any changes would also apply to Scotland and Wales. Jo Maugham’s view is that amending the Equality Act will not be easy and that he thinks the most likely outcome will be to remove trans rights for those who do not have a Gender Recognition Certificate. As Scotland is in the process of legislating to make access to a Gender Recognition Certificate simpler then Scotland may well remain a more friendly trans nation.

Jo Maugham’s summary is that “(I think) that trans people who can qualify can likely lead better lives by leaving England”. What a sad state of affairs. I am glad I have made the move.

There is more discussion about how difficult it will become and how on earth any such laws could be enforced policing single sex spaces. What also seems to be a growing sense of unease is that the opposition to trans rights is but a first stepping stone in reducing rights in other groups. The current Prime Minister has appointed to Ministers to the Equality brief who do not support abortion rights. As in the U.S.A the attacks on Trans rights was followed quickly by anti abortion and anti gay legislation. The right wing politics that are increasingly more powerful in UK politics would seem to have a similar agenda. Legislation curbing the right to protest, for unions to strike are already in the pipeline. 

I worry where this will all end. It is time for people to stand up against the reduction of rights and liberties to protect against this parliaments ability to “remove the rights of whichever friendless minority (they) decide to target”.

Same old

Well what a week since my last post. I have mainly tried to avoid politics however at the moment politics seems to be in your face day in day out. So since my last post we have lost a Prime Minister and gained another. I wanted a general election but as yet that is not to be. 

The new one promises “integrity, professionalism and accountability” throughout his government at all levels. Sounds promising, there might be hope that some standards might actually be re-introduced into politics? Let us see what happens. From my own self interest I was concerned that the dreaded Suella Bravermann, who had given her support to his leadership bid, had even before he had been formally appointed asked that the new Prime Minister “tackle trans ideology. At that point she had resigned as Home Secretary for breaches of the ministerial code. Today she has been re-appointed as Home Secretary, a mere six days after her resignation to the same post. So much for integrity and accountability.

On trans issues Kimi Badenoch has been appointed Equalities Minister. A Minister who openly espouses anti trans views, described transwomen as men as well as banning gender neutral toilets as part of her leadership campaign and has expressed the view that the Equalities Act needs to be amended to protect women’s rights. These two appointments alone make me glad that I have relocated to Scotland a mere two weeks ago. My consultant psychiatrist was right in the view he expressed that it would be best to leave England.

However, forgetting my self interest of trans issues, it is deeply concerning to me that the new Prime Minister has appointed as Chairman of their Party a former Chancellor of the Exchequer who remains under investigation for his financial affairs. This has to be something the new Prime Minister was aware of from the time he was himself Chancellor of the Exchequer as the investigation concerns the HMRC for which he had ultimate responsibility.

At the end of the day what might have been a new beginning seems to be turning to a case of the same old, same old….routine putting party before the needs of the country. A Prime Minister foisted on the country without any mandate from the people.

Two weeks is a long time

It has been two weeks since I posted a blog. A lot has happened in just two weeks. I have moved from England to Scotland moving in to a house share with the friends I had previously shared a house. So far the move has exceeded expectations. It is lovely to be living with compatible people again, to be made so welcome. Surprisingly living on one’s own for over two years has made for some interesting adjustments, all good.

The house is 50 yards from the sea, in fact it is possible to see the sea from the window of my room, something I did not expect. I am able to daily walks along the path running along the shore line. I am already seeing the benefit. The whole feeling of the country is one of open countryside and less people. Scottish motorways are another education. Having lived within five miles of the M4, always constantly busy, the sparsity of traffic on motorways up here is a huge contrast.

So what else has Scotland brought in these two weeks. The Scottish Green Party has severed links with the Green Party of England and Wales over their inability to deal with the transphobia of the GPEW members including senior members. 

Nicola Sturgeon has expressed her deeply held support for transgender people standing by the proposed Gender Reforms before the Scottish Parliament. Indeed she expressed very clearly that there were many more challenging threats to women which should be concerning feminists than the trans issues.

Also in Scotland J.K. Rowling has cranked up her attacks calling Nicola Sturgeon a destroyer of woman and scab on a T shirt she was wearing. Also JKR has challenged the presumption of innocence in relation to transgender people! Basically saying, presuming transgender people are a threat unless proven otherwise! JKR has also attacked Graham Norton who frankly said nothing contentious, suggesting that maybe instead of listening to celebrities people should talk to the people involved and to appropriate experts. The pile on has been sufficient for him to close his Twitter account today. This all seems so unhinged. The only way forward is for there to be a sensible discussion without the heat.

Then back in England you really couldn’t make it up with what is going on in Westminster. In the last two weeks a new government has completely tanked the economy with radical policies which involved huge amounts of borrowing. The Bank of England has been desperately trying to support the economy as it collapses around us. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has been requested to resign with a letter saying the PM still stands by the policies…..! The government is in disarray a new chancellor has been appointed who within one day has revoked virtually all of the previous chancellors policies. The P.M. appears to be unable to command her thoughts other than repeating her mantra of low taxes and growing the economy, or as she puts it growing the economy. It seems virtually nobody agrees with her approach where she has become a laughing stock. I have never seen anything remotely approaching this level of chaos. The P.M has been in post for 39 days and already allegedly one hundred letter of no confidence have been lodged requesting she be replaced. That has to be a record in its own right. I would not be surprised if the P.M is no longer in post by the time I write the blog post next week. The Mirror has a competition to see whether a wet lettuce can outlast her. I suspect it will. 

The only thing which stands any hope of resolving this chaos must be a General Election. Another unelected P.M. making up, changing policy at whim far from the mandate cannot be tolerated again.

A small thing. but I understand since taking office the P.M has yet to speak to the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales. Really? I can only hope my adopted country manages to obtain its independence before too long and can be free of Westminster. 

Mixed experiences

This has been another mixed week. On the one hand I experienced the kindness of strangers, on the other I simply cannot understand what this government thinks they are doing.

I have been sorting through boxes which have been in storage for sometime and found some framed photos from when my son passed his military training. Two of these needed the glass replacing before handing them back to him. 

When I went to the local framers to get this done there was a stunning picture on display that really made an impact on me, my thoughts kept returning to it for several days. I chatted to the lady about it and mentioned how much I liked it. She told me the price was £800, totally beyond me. I said that I am downsizing since I am moving and disposing of things rather than acquiring anything new. When asked where I was going I told her to Scotland and that I was only taking what I could get in my car.

A week or so later when I went to collect the framed photos I was amazed to find she had made a much smaller copy of the picture framed it and attached a label on the back “with good wishes for your new venture”. The kindness of a stranger, someone I had never met before.

As generous and kind as this was it had a much more significant effect than I am sure was anticipated.

Since the pandemic arrived I had effectively stopped interacting with strangers until a few months ago. I had not realised that my expectation was that of being unacceptable, tolerated, that this had crept back into my thinking nor was I aware I that I had slipped backwards. The only people I had been meeting were people I knew and were already friends or people I worked with. This lady must have thought I was okay and it enabled me to feel better about myself. Her simple gesture in one act removed that niggling self doubt that had crept back in over the last two strange years.

The other contrasting aspect of the week which, although not personal, has left me bewildered is down to the new government and their approach to the countries finances. For the life of me I cannot see how what they have done is going to make the slightest difference to how ordinary people are going to cope with problems of cost of living and of energy. The response to their fiscal event has sent the pound crashing, interest rates will go up and even if their policy were to work long term, which I really don’t believe it will and it would take years, in the short term people will not be able to heat their homes, feed themselves, business will go bust and they don’t seem to care. It beggars belief that foodbanks and warm rooms are going to become essential to many people’s existence. The impression that comes across is that this is all about the elite (so called) lining their pockets, leaking information from which their cronies can make fortunes. It is all so seemingly blatant. A radical change of policy, a fiscal event to avoid scrutiny, without a government vote. 

I can only hope this blatant attack on people’s way of life will shake the population out of their disillusionment and apathy over politics sooner than later before everything has been sold off to private investment companies for the benefit of very few wealthy individuals.