Blog header image

Welcome to my blog, which I started way back in December 2002 - long before social media was a thing! With the advent of Facebook, Twitter etc. I don't write that often here now, but you never know when I might feel the urge to do so.

Current Entries  Archives  RSS

Faith, Hop and Charity...

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Today is my last day of freedom before going back to work tomorrow. It feels a bit daunting, particularly the prospect of getting up at 5am to dilate!

This morning I started my dilation at 6am so that I could get it out of the way before going to Church. It was good to be back, although the temperature in the Church wasn't particularly pleasant (after 2 months of Thai weather the climate in the UK is is taking some getting used to). Afterwards I had a wander around town...not particularly to look for anything, although I did want to take in my ankle boots for re-healing (I broke a heal jumping off stage at Mummies Nightclub in Pattaya 3 weeks ago!).

Before heading back I stopped for a coffee and a baguette at one of the cafes in Festival Place. I couldn't help but laugh when a passerby said to me "You need a massage" when he saw me doing stretching exercises (something I learnt from Wannee on my first visit to Thailand) in my seat. Incidentally, he was right - I could do with a massage!

The plan for the rest of today is to take it easy. Red Dwarf IV beckons...

Incidentally, did you know that Red Dwarf -The Movie is in the pipeline...?

Posted by Anna at 15:34 | Get Link

An abomination against humanity

Saturday, February 28, 2004

I couldn't sleep last night (a habit I'm really going to have to break before I go back to work on Monday) and at 4am this morning I finally gave in and turned on the TV to distract me.

What I saw thoroughly shocked me - a BBC news report on "torture training camps" in Zimbabwe:

There are no words that can describe something like this. It's worse than horrific, and to me it's beyond belief that while Western governments seemed all to keen to intervene in Iraq they seem to be completely uninterested in the horror that's unfolding there - and elseware.

Seeing what is happening there - and elseware in the world - just makes me realise how privileged I am, and is all the more reason to support organisations like Amnesty International which are working to promote human rights worldwide.

Amnesty International - Help us cast the light on human rights violations around the world

Posted by Anna at 12:01 | Get Link

Transfolk with Faith

Friday, February 27, 2004

I never cease to be amazed at how many Christian transfolk there are. Ever since I started my journey, I've come across one after another - often in the most unlikely circumstances! It happened yet again last night.

Sadly, many are isolated and without a fellowship - often because of either the reaction they've received from Churches when they've revealed they are trans or the fear of it. That's a real tragedy. I've heard some true horror stories in the last couple of years - people being disowned, judged, exorcised or condemned as "Spawn of Satan" * no less.

A less Christian way of treating others I can't imagine.

Tragically that sort of treatment can all too easily cause those on the receiving end of it to lose their Faith. A case in point is a young girl I met in 2002, who I discovered had been ejected from a Baptist Church at a young age (17 I believe) when she confided her intention to transition. Her knowledge of the Bible is much more comprehensive than mine, but her Faith is effectively gone now. I can only hope it will return, but at the moment she's in the wilderness.

However, it's always heartwarming to meet others whose Faith has survived (or even been strengthened), and I have a feeling that's becoming more and more common as society changes - and with it, the Church. Certainly, my own Church (St. Thomas of Canterbury in Worting) has been truly wonderful. When I come across others who are without a Fellowship, I'm reminded of how fortunate I am.

Sometimes you just know that certain things in your life aren't a coincidence. Those I meet are more often than not isolated in their Faith, and don't even realise that their are so many others among the trans community in the UK. It's the least I can do to put them into contact with each other.

I'll wrap this up with by mentioning a very interesting account I read yesterday on Stephanie Robinson's site. One of the Christian groups in the UK which has opposed the acceptance of transfolk most vociforously is the Evangelical Alliance. To any of us campaigning for the acceptance and rights of trans people in the UK the misguided and inconsistant rhetoric of their spokesman Don Horrocks is very well known.

Last month Stephanie had a meeting with him to try to change things. Her account of that meeting suggests that the organisation hasn't really encountered those of us who've successfully transitioned and got on with our lives:

I can only pray that something wonderful will eventually result from this meeting. Only God knows what His plan is, but I have a good feeling about this.

The tide is gradually turning.

Posted by Anna at 13:52 | Get Link

Why doesn't my MP like GerBills?

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

I'm wearing my activist hat today. The second reading of the Gender Recognition Bill in the House of Commons took place on Monday evening, and I've just been reading the transcript of the debate. It's interesting to see how MPs are coping with the complex issues our very existance raises, and I'm pleased to say that with a couple of exceptions (one of whom seemed to be a mouthpiece for the Evangelical Alliance, as he repeated their party line exactly), all who spoke were sympathetic and informed.

I was particularly touched by part of the speech made by Lynne Jones (the Labour MP for Selly Oak, and Chair of the Parliamentary Forum on Transsexualism):

Although at the end of the debate the Bill was refered to Committee by 335 votes to 26, I was deeply saddened to see that my MP (Andrew Hunter) was one of the 26 who opposed the Bill. He didn't speak during the debate, so I don't know his grounds for opposing the motion.

This morning I drafted a letter to him asking why, which I'll be shortly be hand delivering. I know others in the area who are planning to do the same....

It'll be interesting to see what he says, both in response to my letter and those of others locally who I know intend to contact him over this issue.

Posted by Anna at 12:33 | Get Link


Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Now here's an interesting thing. It's not often I'm surprised in a nice way by my bathroom scales in the morning, but that's what happened today - I weighed in at 136.4 lbs (9 st 10.4 lbs).

That's rather surprising when you consider that I came back from Thailand last week 2 lbs heavier than that (having been 141 lbs when I went out there) and I haven't exactly been dieting this last week. In fact, I was out for a meal both last night and Friday night, and despite munching more today during the day than I usually would, I'm feeling a bit light headed too.

I've felt this way before. I should explain that back in Spring 2001 I weighed nearly 14 st (196 lbs) and that I spent the next 10 months crash dieting, until I got down to 9 st 8 lbs (134 lbs). By the time I started hormone therapy at the end of May 2002 that had crept up to 10 st (140 lbs).

I stayed on the same diet, and after a week or two of feeling light headed, tired and the rest I realised I couldn't continue while my body was developing and I eased off a little. The light headed feelings disappeared, but my weight went up to 10 st 7 lbs (147 lbs), where it stayed until I flew to Thailand for my reassignment surgery last November. When I flew back I was 9 st 12 lbs (138 lbs), but over Christmas it crept up to 10 st 1 lb (141 lbs).

The upshot is that I'm wondering if the weight loss and light headedness could be down to the fact that my body is now trying to adjust to its changed chemistry and needs more energy at the moment to make up for the breast and other tissue development I lost while I was off hormones for my reassingment and facial feminisation surgeries. I can certainly feel the tell tale lumpiness in my breasts which suggests they're growing again (conspicuously absent until recently).

It's certainly fascinating. The next question of course, is whether I can keep my weight and figure the way I like them over the coming months...

Posted by Anna at 18:53 | Get Link

Who turned off the Summer?

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

I'm finally back in The Land of a Thousand Roundabouts. I was met at Heathrow yesterday evening by my friends Kirsty and Charlotte and spent last night at their flat, before coming back here this morning. Thanks girls!

It's wierd being back. It hasn't really sunk in yet, but it'll certainly be good to see friends here again!

Posted by Anna at 12:55 | Get Link

Painful Goodbyes

Monday, February 16, 2004

I've never liked goodbyes, and especially not when the friends I'm saying goodbye to will be so far away so soon. This afternoon I said goodbye to my friends at the Suporn Clinic (especially Wannee, Aey, Fai and Aoi) for the second time...and this time I know it'll be some time before I see them again. Before I left Aey gave me some gifts to bring back to friends in the UK and Dr. Suporn's wife Aoi gave me a Buddha statue.

I was quite tearful as I walked back to the Mercure to check-out.

Me with Fai and Aey shortly before leaving the clinic. I'm going to miss them so much Aoi (Dr. Suporn's wife) with me shortly before leaving. The Buddha I'm holding is a gift from her and the clinic

This time tomorrow I'll be well and truly on my way home.

It's going to be so strange. I'm so looking forward to seeing my friends back home again, but I'm going to miss my friends here in Thailand so much. One day I'll be back, of that I'm sure.

Posted by Anna at 16:22 | Get Link

Sawat-dii kha!

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Tonight is my last night in Chonburi following my FFS with Dr. Suporn on 21st January. Tomorrow I check out for the trip to Bangkok, before my flight to Heathrow on Tuesday. I can't believe I'm going, and that all too soon I'll be back at work.

Although this trip has been a painful one for me (I found FFS really knocked my self-confidence, and I was already struggling with a lot of emotional pain which didn't help), I'm really not looking forward to leaving everyone here behind again...this time knowing that I won't be returning for some time.

During the last week the swelling has gone down enough for me to start regaining my self confidence again, and being in Pattaya certainly helped me to do that! Just being able to don my bikini and go swimming was a big boost, but all the partying, dancing etc. really has helped too - despite wearing me out completely! (I didn't start the pole-dancing on Thursday night, honest...!)

There is a price to pay of course. The removal of such a significant area of bone from the chin/jaw means there's a risk I may need a lower facelift at a later date (I'll have to see once the swelling goes down), and ironically, the one thing I didn't need before (a tracheal shave) I may now need as it looks like the size of my chin was helping to mask it.

We'll see. I'm not about to become a surgery junkie by any means, but if there's anything that needs fixing later I'll certainly do it. On the plus side, if that happens I'd get an opportunity to see all my friends in Thailand again...

I'll be publishing an FFS diary on my website in due course, but it'll take me a while to catch up on the typing...

Posted by Anna at 12:38 | Get Link

UK: Lords PASS the Gender Recognition Bill by 3-1

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Some rather important news from Press For Change that broke here in Thailand yesterday. We were celebrating here in Thailand last night!

Posted by Anna at 05:47 | Get Link

Partying in Pattaya

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

We're now in Pattaya in the Royal Twin Palace Hotel. Although it's not up to the same standard as the Mercure in Chonburi it does have the advantage of having a swimming pool and being in Pattaya (where there's much more to do). The change of scenery has done a lot of good too - I'm feeling a lot better about things now.

Naturally, we've been taking advantage of the opportunity to look around and sample the local nightlife (of which there's a lot). On our first evening here we ended up at the Honeypot bar in Soi 9 where Natta (one of the clinic staff) works in the evening:

Natta on stage. That girl can really move!

After being pretty much limited to the Mercure until now we cut loose a bit that night and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The atmosphere was relaxed, the company good and we were in the mood to party...if you've ever seen Coyote Ugly you'll get the general idea - although we didn't go quite so far as to dance on the bar or squirt water at the other customers...

Sonia and Helen in party mood at the Honeypot. Natta and I at the Honeypot. As you can see, my face is still rather swollen, but it's improving everyday

The following day we were pretty much wiped out as a result, although I did manage to take my first swim in the hotel pool in the late afternoon! In the evening we found a wonderfully friendly (and much more authentic than I've ever found in the UK) Indian Restaurant to dine in...there's certainly no shortage of places to go here - whether to eat, dance or chill.

This morning I was swimming again, but this time I wasn't alone so there's a record of the occasion:

Last night after a fairly lazy day we went bar hopping again, although not as exhuberantly as the other evening. First we went back to the Honeypot again where the barstaff welcomed us with big smiles! Although Natta wasn't there tonight, it was still fun...Helen and I played several games of pool (I was dancing in between taking shots, much to the amusement of the other patrons!).

It's the first time I've played in years, and I was surprised to find I haven't lost my touch - although long balls are still a weak spot (maybe because my vision isn't 20/20)....

Posted by Anna at 04:45 | Get Link

In only two weeks I'll be home again

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

The days are passing fast here now. I fly home in just under two weeks - it'll be a big wierd coming to terms with winter weather again after getting used to the heat in Thailand (the temperature here is about 35C at the moment). I'm relocating to Pattaya on Saturday so hopefully I'll be able to lounge by the pool or even do some swimming!

On the healing front, the swelling is going down quite fast now and everything looks very good so far. Hopefully there won't be any need for further surgery after this.

Posted by Anna at 07:10 | Get Link