Out on an Island! A Fresh Start!
It’s been quite a challenging couple of years for many post Covid. I for one found lockdown restrictions challenging. Amanda likes nothing more than going out, meeting and socialising en femme. Covid made my wife and I rethink life and what is important. We decided to relocate and move 50 miles away from our Surrey home of 40 years to the Isle of Wight. Over those years Amanda had built up a large contact base in the TG Community. How would I cope, find friends, support etc. starting from scratch? Well things proved easier than I had imagined.
My first need was to find a TG friendly beautician who could support me on my journey. The internet proved invaluable.
I contacted several local salons and all responded positively that they would love to help me on my journey. Amanda loves beauty treatments, lash lifts, lash extensions, brow wax and tints, nail extensions, I love them all! Totally natural. If full time I would be a very high maintenance woman. Well, one year in and I’ve been supported by a lovely local team. I was asked by them to write about myself on their Transgender Awareness Week Blog. I received great feed back and comments from their clients and social media followers.
Next was a shopping trip out en femme to a local Health Food Shop to get eco refills for domestic cleaning products. In their window was a series of mini articles about self esteem, loving yourself, self perception, finding inner peace, accepting who you are; Wow this hit a chord with me! I read the articles over and over and entered the shop. The shop was quiet and I had an amazing chat with the owner and one of her staff. Sarah, the owner also offered alternate therapy medical treatments and counselling and her colleague / friend Jamie was a mature student who was about to write an article about being transgender in the community as part of her course. Well the rest is history!
Numerous chats, emails, meetings. I was able to give help with resources to assist Jamie. She knew nobody to ask, I just turned up! Was this coincidence? A pure chance meeting! Right place at the right time? Well, Jaime was awarded a 1st for her transgender article. Two new friends, links and connections for me.
Wigs and hair was next on my radar, as all my wigs needed treatment after two years of only being washed and styled at home. I contacted several local hair salons but drew a blank! All said wigs needed specialist cutting ,styling and ruined scissors! In Surrey there were 3 salons within 15 miles of home! I managed to find three on the mainland but none on the island. I extended my search and eventually struck lucky, with a salon that helped the NHS with cancer patients who needed wigs, hair pieces and extensions. Again the owner was incredibly helpful and supportive. The end result, my old hair rejuvenated and the purchase of a new wig for a fresh start. Again the salon is going to open up to the TG Community on their web site. More new friends and contacts!
Dress Agencies and Boutiques next – there was no stopping Amanda! My female wardrobe is now bigger than my male one. Again nothing but 100% support and help. Things are looking up.
This now gets me nicely round to my article title. This summer there are various Pride Events on the Island which I’m going to support and participate in. I’m already planning beauty treatments, costumes etc. Linked in with this is a newly published book Out on an Island. It’s a fascinating LGBTQ+ book launched a few weeks ago. I have a signed copy from the book launch. It’s got a lot of me and I’m sure of you in it too. If I had moved earlier this was a project which I would have loved to become involved in.
Through my new friends, contacts, links etc. I’ve also been challenged to consider setting up some sort of Transgender Support Group. I’m currently exploring options, ideas.
The aim of my posts is to give positive encouragement to all of you who are somewhere on the transgender spectrum, journey. I know the journey is far from easy but help is out there if you ask. I love reading client testimonials posted by Christiane. I love her phrase “You don’t need to ask here.” I also know it takes courage and nerves to make the initial move. She is there to help all those who are somewhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum.
The Times recently ran an interesting article. Children in schools are taught that sex is assigned at birth by a doctor, but that gender can be assigned on a sliding scale. I know that I’m very high on the spectrum. I’ve been consistently around 76% female on tests, interviews etc. The big question, male, female, both, neither…
My journey has only slightly moved on from Clapham Junction. I’m not at Waterloo yet but I’m at peace and happy as Amanda. Who knows what’s next? The future is exciting!