Category: Friends


So last Saturday I finally came out to my parents. I will be honest I was expecting them to rant and rave and disown me. To my surprise they are being really supportive and shit, a huge weight has benefited from my shoulders. I feel so much better about myself now that I can be  myself and no longer live a double life. I don’t have to hide any more and that is certainly a liberating experience. Once I had the conversation with the parents I decided to change my name on the social media sites I use and come out there too. I have had nothing but overwhelming support from my friends and I am so glad they are all there for me, it’s great to know that while this is a very personal journey I have people who will support me on my way.

The next stage now will be to legally change my name and find a doctor who will take my seriously. Along with that I need to make sure I look after my other half too, my transition is just as big a journey for him as it is for me as he will have to take a long hard look at us both and how people see him. It’s not going to be easy for him, I just hope I don’t loose him. I love him to bits and would be lost without him.

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Hmm where to start, well the beginning is probably the best place, so here goes. On Friday 2nd May a number of heathens, members of the Kith of Yggdrasil, descended upon the British Museum. It was a Kith outing to the Vikings: Life and Legend exhibition and to a talk given by Professor Neil Price about Magic, Sorcery and the Viking Mind. The talk was free and well worth going to. If you can find you tube videos of it or if the British Museum staff have put it up on the website yet, watch it. It is so interesting and certainly calls into question some of the stereotypes we have of the Vikings.

The talk lasted 40 minutes but I find myself wishing it was longer, Professor Price has obviously researched his subject well and put all the loose ends and snippets of insight we have into Viking beliefs and made sense of it all. Turns out that there is a distinct link between sex and magic as well as between violence and magic, can’t help but chuckle at that. It would also seem that there are a lot of contradictions. Vikings are supposedly one of the most homophobic civilisations to have existed, magic was supposedly the woman’s domain too. However we find that Odin is the master of magic and we find records of male magic users. To be a male magic user was to be ergi, that is unmanly, cowardly, and all sorts of things not stereotypically male, (or as one of the group pointed out…. possibly gay…. and ergi, he thought, roughly meant cock sucker) though we find in the eddas and sagas a lot of incidents of this, Thor dressing up as a bride for a start, not to mention there was a very nice statue on display in the exhibition of Odin, wearing a dress. I wouldn’t be surprised if ergi was just applied to those individuals who didn’t fit the gender binary, this is of course just me speculating.

So the exhibition itself, wonderful items on display, I really enjoyed it. Just a shame that we were being crammed in like sardines. I hate crowds at the best of times, so being hemmed in so closely did not do my nerves any good at all and when you have selfish people pressed up against the glass of the displays so no one else can see it’s infuriating. Why don’t people have any manners or respect for other human beings, also managed to pick a ‘fight’ with some Americans… I’m sorry but if someone who knows nothing about Heathenry or Loki starts slagging him and his followers off I am going to get involved, thankfully these ladies were wonderful people to talk to so it turned into a discussion more than a fight. I am going to have to try and go again so I can spend more time looking at the items and  perhaps go earlier to evade the crowds.

Once we all made it out of the exhibition we had a small sumble outside by the replica longboat… let’s just say the boat also got doused with mead. Had a fun day out and ended up first in Atlantis Bookshop and then a pub called The Plough. I think I need to go on Kith outings more often.

Belostra 2014

Belostra was a funny one this year. Last year it clashed with the London Marathon this year it clashed with Easter, oh and it rained yet again. That didn’t really put a damper on the fest though. On the whole it was a great fest, missed out on seeing a good friend but his wife had just had another baby and there is always next time to catch up with him.

I think the festival was too short though it’s amazing how fast twelve hours fly. A thoroughly enjoyable and tiring twelve hours but I wouldn’t change a thing. Well perhaps one thing, have my other half there with me, but hey ho it’s not a perfect world.

Despite being busy running around like a blue arsed fly I found sometime to chat to one of my good friends and mentor of sorts. Told him I was transitioning and he reacted better than I thought, though to be fair I didn’t know how he would react. He said he would help me however he could and be there for me, as he had already seen one of his friends through transition and knew how hard it was on her. He also reminded me of something he said to me many years ago. “A big change is going to happen in your life, but not the sort you would expect.” Funny that, he said he’d also notice changes in my personality and such. He said I’m more bouncy and aggressive than I used to be, and that I’m not as ‘female’ as I used to be. Hell he even started going into the numerology of my chosen name which was interesting to say the least. I am glad I told him, it’s another weight off my mind, still have other people to tell and it is gradually getting easier, the hardest of all will be telling my parents. Still.Not ready for that conversation.

The first of January rolls around again, and I am quite happy to say that I am glad to see the back of 2013, it was a bad year for me. A really bad year.

Here’s a summary of the bad points.

Sexual assault, sexual harassment, failed examinations, doped up on meds as a result of prior trauma in my life rearing it’s ugly head, stuck in a relationship I can’t get out of, being in love with someone I know I can never be with, failing my exams, my partner loosing his job and me picking up the slack. All my savings being used to pay my other half’s short fall on bills. Transition has been delayed again, lymphodemia is getting worse, developed lipodemia as well. I started smoking due to all the stress, I have no privacy left any more, no personal space. Utterly neglected my spiritual side, don’t socialize with friends any more due to an overly possessive partner. My partner still treats me as a female not as the man I am supposed to me. Still refuses to address me by my chosen name or use male pronouns, way to exacerbate the self hatred the dysphoria already causes. Finally, my dad has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. I think the latter is the worst as I look up to my dad, he’s my go to for all my problems near enough. He has weathered so many things and was a prime example of a stalwart cockney, and now that image has been shattered because of a stupid disease that’s leaving him as a shell of the man he used to be.

So what are the pluses?

I came out to some of my friends this year, one of my oldest and dearest friends told me ‘It’s about bloody time!’ so you can’t imagine how good that made me feel. Some of my other friends have started referring to me by my chosen name, again that’s something that does so much for one’s self confidence and sense of self worth. The ball has started rolling for full transition but as with all things NHS it’s going to take time, however it’s started. These are only small things but it’s these little things that build up to bigger things in the long run. The arsehole that assaulted me at work got fired, my old boss is now my boss again. He came back to be our manager once more, and hell work is so much more enjoyable with him at the helm. It’s almost like the good old days are back, we’re just missing a few people but work is a fun place to be again, not a place that fills me with dread when I wake up in the mornings. I hope that this coming year will be filled with more ups than downs.

The obligatory resolutions

1. Loose weight, if I don’t I’ll be dead by the time I’m 40.

2. Smoke less cigars – I’ll never be able to completely quit but I can decrease the number I smoke.

2. Drink less – yea an entire bottle of mead/wine in a night is not good for you.

4. Get further down the road to full transition.

5. Don’t neglect my spiritual/religous side.

6. Make time of me, no more spending hours trawling the web for lack of anything else to do.

Lets see how many of these I can keep this year.

Not so much  a rant post this time around like so many of my previous posts but more one filled with questions I want answers to, but at the end of the day I’m the one who needs to find the answers for myself and figure out what my self is trying to tell me.

Well here’s the basic crux of my situation, I’ve been talking to a really wonderful man and we’ve been getting close. Hell it’s like I’m falling in love with the guy. I look forward to talking to him and you know that butterfly feeling you get when you fall for someone. I get that just thinking about him, he’s in my dreams constantly, day dreams included and it’s like I’m addicted to him, in the same way I’m hopelessly addicted to coffee… well maybe my coffee addiction is slightly worse as it’s been around for longer but you get the idea.

He lives on the other side of the channel, on the European mainland while I live in this rainy and/or foggy island. The chances of meeting him are slim to none, and above all I’ve been with my fiance for six or so years now. I thought I was in happy and stable relationship and now I’m questioning everything. My fiance doesn’t like the idea that I am a transgender person, and he thinks it’s all in my head. This guy that I’ve fallen for, on the other hand, accepts me for who and what I am without question, he doesn’t try to change me. Damn it why is my heart so fickle?

I keep imagining sleeping with this guy, though that may be in part to my sex life being almost non existent beyond the use of sex toys. Is that really what I want in a relationship with someone? Resorting to the use of toys and other methods to get any form of sexual gratification? This guy on the other hand, well without getting graphic and turning this post somewhere close to erotica, just talking to him makes me… well yea you can imagine the rest.

I feel like I’m being torn in half, I want to be with this young man. Though I don’t know if it’s love or lust. I also want to keep my fiance, even though I’m not always happy with our relationship and I want to make the transition so my physical form more closely matches the gender I identify with. I want to be the man I identify as, not the female I was born as.

Again I ask, why is my heart so fickle? The answer is, I still don’t know and I don’t want to hurt my feelings or the ones of those around me trying to find out.

Well this blog post is rather late, but better late than never. Before I go into my post this is the event I was at, or rather this is the website for the two events these wonderful people run

http://www.paganfuturefests.org.uk/

So back on the 22st of April I was involved in the festival. Nothing quite like hauling your butt across London to get to Balham for I can’t remember what time in the morning to set up. Thankfully the tube was behaving itself for once (at least on the lines I needed to use) which made a welcome change. So most of The set up I barely recall due to a marked lack of caffeine in my system. I can’t actually function without a coffee in the morning, I’ve got a caffeine addiction, though it’s not as bad as it used to be. I remember hauling tables and hanging up signs. Both my fiance and I were given “Gofer” t-shirts, guess what we were doing “Go fer this, Go fer that”. Gets me free entry and keeps me on my toes so I’m not going to complain about that. The stall we were sort of looking after when we weren’t running around was a little stall selling items that the organizers and gofers made for the event I had a few hand painted boxes and hand made catnip toys. The catnip toys were made from some left over cotton drill, polyester fluff,  a pair of well worn, well loved bolt blu jeans and the joke birthday present I got from a  friend one year – a massive bag of catnip. I think the gift was more for my cat than me but hey, who cares my cat liked the prototype toy. Given he’s a vicious little bastard at times I’m so glad the bodged up prototype is still intact. I didn’t sell a single one of my toys or boxes so I stuck a box into the raffle, I didn’t see who got it but I hope it’s gone to a good home where it will be looked after and enjoyed.

So back to setting up and stuff, the opening ritual despite running late went off without a hitch. Though to be fair it’s not a proper pagan festival if things don’t run late! (Thank you Loki for keeping us on our toes all day!) I’ve honestly forgotten all the stalls that were up there apart from Treadwells because my friends were running it, Liminal Threads, again because a friend runs it, Scorch’s Pyrography… all those pretty pretty dragons and there was one selling beeswax candles and other goodies, I was constantly hovering around that stall because I love the smell of beeswax, they had some awesome smelling magikal salts too, argh it’s frustrating that I can’t remember their name other than it was something with wolf in it, Lamenting Wolf or something like that.

Hmm so other than gofering what else did I get involved in, let me see… ah yes, the Drum Out, how could I possibly forget -laughs- I led it at the Samhain event last year because the leader or the Dragon Drummers had taken ill, but this time around he was back on his feet (Thank Gawd!). It’s nerve wracking taking the lead and setting the pace, enjoyable but I prefer to have the pace set and then I act as the one who maintains the beat while the others indulge in drum fuckery and deliberately try to throw me and the other drummers of, its great fun and raises so much energy in the place. Got some lovely blisters too, though they have healed up now and left me callouses instead. I need to drum more often to toughen up my hands again, being a student has made the skin soften up.

The real fun started in the evening, after the stalls had been packed away. By this point I had consumed a rather large amount of mead, mostly home brewed mead crafted by other Heathens. I was bouncy and away with the fairies, not complaining though, I had a blast and did make it home in once piece later that evening. I think the highlight of the evening for me was Inkubus Sukkubus performing. I’m a big fan of this group, they formed their band when I was just three years old so they’ve been performing for a long time. I bought their two most recent albums and got them signed so I now have all their albums and all of them are signed. Just missing the Supernature vinyl but I’m not sure if I would want it because I have no means of storing it safely! While Inkubus Sukkubus performed all the drummers came out of the wood work and we had a great time. The real icing on the cake was Inkubus Sukkubus inviting the drummers up on stage to drum with them, I had so much fun and I love that we were invited up. You would never ever see something like that happen at a big gig, only at small intimate venues like this one and hell that experience will be with me for the rest of my life. I sure hope they are invited back for the Samhain event in October.

As you, my anonymous readers know I had a great time at KitaCon 4. Though once again, as with every KitaCon I have attended after having a great time something shit happens in my life. Last year it was the council turning around and telling me that my fiance and I earn too much money to be eligible for help with our rent,  and to top it off they wanted us to pay them back £3000… yes we are still paying it back even though it means we don’t eat some days.

This time I had mock examinations, but I knew about that. What made it really crushing was I lost a good friend of mine. She passed away quietly in her sleep on the Thursday evening following the end of KitaCon. She had been ill for about two months, her liver had failed, had been restarted and we had all been hoping and praying that she would recover. There were signs that she was healing but then she would slip back again and get worse. I’m glad she went in peace and I’m glad that she’s no longer suffering. My heart goes out to the husband and family she left behind and to her friends. She was a kind woman, motherly at times and had a wicked sense of humor. Also one of the few people who liked me for who and what I am. I’m going to miss her so much, we, who knew her, are all going to miss her so very much.

For those of you who know me in person you will know that there is one anime convention a year I am guaranteed to turn up at. That convention would be KitaCon which for the last two years has been hosted in the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, and prior to that in the Park Inn in Northampton. This year I decided to go up a day early and help with the set up, see if I do work in excess of 18 hours over the course of the convention I get my ticket for the next Kita for free, which means more money can be put towards other things. So yea the Thursday evening was spent stuff convention bags and dealing with pre-convention registration. I think I also managed to successfully annoy some of the committee members. See I like a band called Eisenfunk and they did an awesome cover of the Tetris theme tune, (It’s on their album called 8-bit) I had that tune playing on loop while we stuffed the convention bags, needless to say most of them were whistling or humming the tune for the rest of the convention. Most of Thursday evening was spent whistling Eisenfunk tunes, throwing empty boxes about the place, and dealing with pre-convention registrations, a process that was streamed down to taking just one hour instead of the usual two. Whoever suggested doing registrations over a custom LAN system instead of by hand is AWESOME. The downside to it though meant I spent more time sat on my rump in an empty room babysitting the laptops until the useless hotel security turned up to finally lock the room up. One night down, a few more to go.

Friday was a whirl, and I ma so glad that Cafe Nero in Birmingham International Airport is manned by sane people and unlike every other shop in the airport they charged normal prices, they didn’t add stupid lots to their prices because they happen to be at an airport. I did discover that Cafe Nero caramel waffles taste so good first thing in the morning dunked in coffee. First job on Friday was to set up the traders hall. Easily done, though it does get boring hauling tables around from place to place, though amusingly I was used as a measuring stick of sorts. I’m not a small person and if I can get between the gaps between the tables no one else should have a problem. Well if it works hell why not? To be honest the rest of the Friday was a bit of a blur. I remember the rest of the registrations going on, then meeting up with the other kinky convention goers aka “The Purple Pervs” as we all had purple lanyards to denote that we were interested in the kink and fetish side of things as well as everything else going on at the convention. I managed to get myself a free drink at the munch as well which was a plus, though drinking on an empty stomach is not good so the booze (and it was only a pint of Magners) went straight to my head. That’s the downside to being so broke half the time, you end up going teetotal and kissing goodbye to any form of alcohol tolerance you may have had in the past.

Then the afternoon chaos began, trying to get people into the main hall for the opening ceremony oh good gawd that was an absolute shambles. For some unknown reason, none of us could communicate our ideas or the plan for the seating arrangements. So that was a big old mess, did get everyone seated eventually. Perhaps almost shouting myself hoarse did the trick, next time I should pack a megaphone, but hell it’s not a proper anime convention until things run late and start going wrong. Once the opening ceremony was done and dusted I lost a few hours, I think it was spent finding food, so nothing interesting there. Ah now I remember what else happened on Friday, the Yaoi panel, how the fuck could I forget about that. Yes I like gay porn and I find gay anime porn hilarious at times. You can pretty much guess what the panel about, what was the real icing on the cake was two of my good friends (both of them guys) were making out in the front row. They successfully managed to freak out another of my friends, bless her she was so innocent and naive until we dragged her to the yaoi panel. She’s not going to see those two friends of ours in the same light ever again. After the yaoi panel, bed and turning too at six in the morning to get my arse back on site for eight.

Saturday, yet another blur between running around, baby sitting stands and attending panels and such. After general gophering and looking after a friend’s stand. I found myself in a talk called “Sandmonks or Spiritbombs” and it was a genuinely interesting talk all about the story of a monk, who’s name I can’t remember, and his journey into the West. The talk was about this monk, the original story and how that story has been retold again and again in different ways among the most recent were Monkey Journey To The West and the computer game Enslaved. I wish I had recorded the whole thing so I could watch it again. That was closely followed by what was supposed to be a nerf panel, it turned into a nerf war, it reminded me why I own 13 or so modified nerf guns and why I need to own more. I’ve not had that much fun in years. We got split into two teams and the idea was to capture the enemy base (also known as a mass off poorly stacked chairs) so we played that scenario and then added zombies to the mix, hell zombie larp nerf is so much fun, survival being the primary aim of the game. Seriously need to find somewhere local that does these style games, or hell even organize a game of nerf tag in the city centre some how. It’ll probably so a lot to help deal with the amount of stress I’m under on a day to day basis. Much of the rest of the afternoon/early evening was spent baby sitting stands, to the point where I couldn’t go and poke fun at my fiance who was running the transformers panel, but given I’d heard him rehearse it and helped him out with it I knew what was going on anyway. Would have been nice to see the final talk though, ah well shit happens. Some hours passed and I landed up on the door for the Yuri panel, that’s anime lesbian porn for those who didn’t know and I think I melted my brain, some of what was shown was highly amusing, the rest was stomach churning, and some of just weird. Nowhere near as amusing or as well put together as the yaoi panel. Shit happens I guess. Many hours were killed, I vaguely remember an impromptu gathering of the purple pervs for a play session. I was going to watch the Hentai panel but ended up too tired to keep my eyes open. My fiance and I decided to head back to our hotel, and we managed to spend an hour lost in the NEC complex, locked into it, bumped into another con goer and ended up climbing a fence to another hotel to ask the consierge there to book us a cab to get us home. So much for the bridge from the complex over the railway being  open 24  hours a day, liars. Trust me walking around the NEC at 2am, in sub zero temperatures clad in PVC is anything but fun. Well you learn from your mistakes.

Sunday, I remember having a splitting headache, and needing a lot of coffee to get me started. First job of the day was attending my friend’s panel about Little Apple Dolls, she makes them and I collect them. I’ve got all of the ones released so far. It was so hard to stay awake, coffee and Voltz fixed that though, then it was difficult to pull me off the ceiling. Never going to mix those two again, it’s a sure fire way to mess up your gastric system. So back to my friend’s stand where we got talking to Ellen McLain, you may know her as the voice of GLaDOS from the portal games. She bought one of the dolls and was kind enough to sign my copies of Portal 2 and Orange box. That kinda made my day. After more bouncing I went to a panel called “Disgusting China” where we got to sample some particularly nasty sounding (and tasting in some cases) Chinese food, which included, pickled sour plums, smelly bean curd (aka Chinese cheese), chicken feet (which tasted surprisingly good) and thousand year old eggs, thankfully they couldn’t bring the deep fried locust.

I don’t remember much else other than attending a few first aid incidents getting a photo taken with Ellen McLain, getting my fiance photographed as a kind of Little Apple Doll, he borrowed my friend’s mask for it (the same friend we traumatized at the yaoi panel) and the Gopher party, where one awesome member of staff gifted me a bottle of mead, sod the wine, he gave me a bottle of Moniack mead. I was so happy, free mead and free food and lots of free goodies, consisting of retro cartoons, anime, manga and other dubious things (read as manga porn). I have no idea what time we got back to our hotel or how I even managed to get back, I was rather sozzled. Shame that it was over so soon. I had a great time and I can’t wait for KitaCon 5 in 2014, the committee are taking a year out, they need a break. Roll on Kita 5!

Exam Time!

It’s been seven and a half years since I last sat an A-level exam. You would think that I would be used to the idea and know what to expect. Hell no! I’m as nervous as hell and I wish the other students who are sitting A-level modules this month the very best of luck. Given that I’m at least 8 years older than most of the students there I would have thought that pre exam nervousness wouldn’t be an issue anymore. Oh boy how wrong was I?

So that’s one mathematics mock paper out of the way, three more mocks and two real exams left to go. Two hours of physics tomorrow four hours of maths on Friday then a small breather until the real exams hit on the 12th and 17th. Wish me luck!

Auld Lang Syne

I ain’t singing the song this year, but I’m going to post it up instead so that other people can. The version posted is attributed to the Scottish poet, Robert Burns

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind
Should auld acquaintaince be forgot
And auld lang syne.

chorus:
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll be your pint stowp
And surely I’ll be mine,
And we’ll drink a richt guid willy waught
For auld lang syne.

[chorus]

We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine,
But we’ve wandered monie a wearie fit’
Since auld lang syne.

[chorus]

We twa hae paidled in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine
But seas a’tween us braid hae roared
Since auld lang syne

[chorus]

And here’s a hand my trusty fere
And gie’s a hand o’ thine
And we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

[chorus]