Thursday, 30 September 2010

There's No Place Like Home...

My eyes have been opened quite wide tonight as to how vile some men can be in the way they talk about women. I've realised that in some ways I have been a little naive in how I feel women are treated by men as a lot of the men I know and respect are very caring, sensitive and positive towards people as well as other human beings.

But on a train ride home from Brighton, in the carriage next to mine there was a group of 5 men who thought they had the carriage to themselves and didn't seem to think that there would be people in the other carriages and given that they had clearly had a few too many they were certainly not holding back any thoughts, comments and opinions on what they thought about women.

The nuggets of their vile opinions ranged from having an 'ugly girl' suck one of them off as it's not like he had to look at her, to which his friends all seemed to think that this was a great idea.

Conversation then moved onto what type of tits a woman 'should' have and that women with small tits or no tits 'should' be lesbians. Nice. Really charming bunch of men.  I wonder if they would have had this conversation if there were other women in the carriage. 
These are a couple of examples of what can only be described as a truly vile bunch of people. I don't want to write about the other things I heard as I will get more and more angry.

The lack of respect and objectification on this level was atrocious and I am really curious as to where they got it into their values system that acting like this is ok? 

I also admit that I did sit and do nothing. I'm not exactly proud of that but how I saw it was that there were 5 of them and 1 of me. I do hate situations like that, as I find I feel pissed off with myself at the end of it. I also admit that I didn't want to end up either crying or getting my head kicked in either.

Still this has left me thinking a little bit about how people behave and how they behave in different company. All of this false bravado and macho behaviour is disgusting.  I identify proudly as male but not that kind of male.

Still, fortunately I know a lot of lovely men who don't behave like that, nor would.

My bus journey back was a bit of a pain in the arse too as my bus seemed to have it's very own answer to 'The Peckham Terminator' only he was talking to himself, kept pacing up and down the bus and even bumped a couple of people to try and have a fight. Whilst still pacing, shouting, swearing and muttering crap and talking about cutting people up. Towards the end of my journey he did sit down and did start to be a little less aggressive (after seeing he was getting no reaction from anyone on the bus) but was still making noise for the sake of it and progressed to making clicky gesticulations at the window at himself.

I wanted to teleport myself back to the sanctuary of my flat very much so! Still I'm home now and apart from my journey back I had a really lovely and wonderful day so it's not all bad, and I won't let the actions of 6 idiots ruin my otherwise good day. 

I also learned that a combination of feeling slightly under the weather physically, feeling wet and cold coupled with PMS is not conducive to encountering tossbags of society. It can induce a feeling of wanting to shiver, kill, cry then die under a duvet.

Still tomorrow is another day and once I warm up and concentrate on the nicer points of life I know all shall feel lovely and fluffy once again.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Births, Marriages...

It seems at the moment I am seeing more and more people around me either getting pregnant, having a baby or they are getting married and in the place of babies they are getting litters of kittens instead. It's interesting once you find yourself in the age where quite a few of your peers are doing all of these grown up things.

Also stuff like buying a house, planning what to do with the rooms, finding a's all part of that thing called 'Growing Up'. It also marks the start of the old biological clock ticking too...

Mine has perked up a little, although the thought of having a baby of my own makes me feel a mixture of excitement as well as pure, unadulterated fear.  Firstly I won't be getting pregnant and also it won't be until I am more settled in my career and know that I can provide well for it.  To be honest I think I am more fussed about marriage than I am a child.

The more weddings I attend the more I feel my own little internal clock ticking.  I will never be a conventional husband by any stretch of the imagination but since being a tiddler myself I have always wanted to get married. Perhaps growing up in a house where I knew I would never have that placed on me as an expectation has in turn made me want to do it one day. But for the right reasons.  I would have wanted to have been with the person a while and I would be doing it for love rather than seeing it as an administration purpose.

Underneath my exterior I am a bit of a romantic at heart, but that doesn't mean I would give someone a bunch of carnations or anything like that! I do find myself swept away by certain romantic virtues, yet at the same time I seem to have a healthy measure of cynicism to keep everything from turning into a Hallmark sponsored puke fest.

I attended a wedding at the weekend that was truly wonderful.  The couple were some old school friends of mine and it was nice to see everyone else too that I haven't seen in what felt like centuries! Also most people there were aware of some of the changes as to who I was and I didn't encounter any problems or too many awkward questions so that was nice.  Not that I would have been that bothered either as how I see it is that with a wedding it's about the couple and not really anyone else. Therefore politics and anything else should where possible be left alone wherever possible.

I found this great piece about marriage written by Rilke:

"The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky."

I really like this way of looking at marriage. 

Still I know I have more growing up to do before I think about such things, although in a few months I am to be 27, which to me means I have to ramp things up in terms of moving a few things along so that I am in the place I want to be by the time I am 30. As I learned last week, a lot can happen in a year as well as how fast a year can go. 3 years sounds like a long time but the things I want to do in that time shall mean it's all going to whizz by rather quickly.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Gender Identity Disorder

That is now the title that is officially on my medical records as of today. I saw my new GP in order to start the process of getting a referral to go to Charing Cross to talk to one of the people there. Luckily he was very positive and had a very 'can-do' type of attitude which was massively reassuring.

He told me that I shall be the first person he has referred and seemed positive and happy to do so which I felt so happy inside. All of this feeling prepared to fight around some of the barriers I thought were in place weren't there. We'll see how proactive he is but he seemed very willing.

He also showed me on the computer for stuff to start regarding gender that there is a variety of labels.  Some included 'Childhood Gender Identity Disorder' 'Transexualism' as well as Gender Identity Disorder.  He too added that he thought it wasn't very 21st Century and like me we both seemed equally intrigued by the weird and wonderful world of gender labels in place in terms of medical classifications.

It doesn't bother me to have this on my record, I don't exactly see it as a badge of honor but I am glad things have started moving and that he seemed to want to help.  He actually said that he will do everything he can to support me. Which meant a lot to me and I wasn't expecting that.

I had another medical matter too which he wanted to help with too.

My previous GP wasn't so good or even there a lot of the time which was a main reason I have been putting things off slightly.  Also if I am entirely honest I wanted to give things at least a year to be fully sure that I want to start changing my name and then completing the other processes in order to transition further.

Also I feel so surprised by today as in the past I have had a few doctors that haven't been so good.  I had one that you would have to have at least three appointments with showing the same symptoms before he would do anything. He also seemed to like making you feel as if you were a hypochondriac too.  Which I must add I think I am far from.  I'm rarely ill, and I only ever see a doctor if I absolutely need to as for the most part if I can get something over the counter I will. In about three years I think I have been to the doctor about 6 times to put it into context. 

I feel ready to embark on stage two. I am aware that because I don't want to take T that this might not be easy but at the same time I do know of others who aren't taking T, so I know it's possible but I also know it will involve a lot of things that tick the right boxes. These things are never as fluid as what identity we hold. But that's life.

I don't feel sad about it but just more determined to make sure I do everything I can to do this. Every path in life has it's requisite bumps and sometimes annoying shit to deal with but that is what being a grown up is all about.

I have started doing more reading around how to change my name and then the other processes involved as to getting things like bank cards and information changed over, then there will be official documents too.  It's a lot of red tape but ultimately I know it will be worth it.

I can't wait to receive post that says 'Mr Montgomery' on it, as at present having 'Miss Leng' feels wrong.  I nearly returned some mail to sender the other day on account of it having 'Miss Leng across the front of it and then I reminded myself that I am of that name in terms of the law.

Still I'll get there, one snail mail paper chase at a time...

Monday, 20 September 2010

I am 1!

It's a bit odd to be writing this as a one year old man. Almost makes me feel like I am potty trained or something like that. Still, it makes sense in its own little way.  This weekend I became 1, and it has been an interesting year.  I wonder what else the year has in store for me, but then I always have thoughts like that surrounding any type of birthday and it's nice to have another birthday that isn't in Winter. 

I had a lovely week in the run up to my birthday. E took me to the River Cafe for dinner and it was amazing.  I wrote a review about it and I could easily go there once a week if finances permitted. I can also see what the fuss about the place is and I can also see from reading the cookbooks why Nigella Lawson said she could "cook her way through the book and never get bored" or words to that effect.

Over the weekend I saw some old friends who are getting married next weekend and saw the venue for their ceremony and it was lovely.  Also spent the weekend watching lots of films as E wasn't feeling so well but was also nice to chill and not do much other than mentally map the odd work thing and watch more DVDs. I have fallen in love with the film place at the bottom of my street as it is only a tenner a month for unlimited rentals which is very credit crunch friendly I must say and also with Winter looming I do sometimes hermit a bit and at least watching stuff gives access to a bit more culture. Also where films are concerned I feel I am massively behind in terms of what I have seen from what I haven't seen, but I suppose books are like that too.

We could read and watch everything yet still feel a slight deficit but at the same time it's important to enrich and expand the mind and look outwards instead of inwards.

That is something I haven't always got right but like anything it's a process of learning and where the will starts the mind and action follows. I do sometimes get moments where I feel like a piece of shit but at the same time I know the only person who can change that is myself and logically there is a willful determination not to feel like a piece of shit or want to feel that way.

It's not always easy but then in comparison to many things everyone has their own things to deal with and learn from. Especially when you are in your mid-twenties.  In many ways I see it almost like a second adolescence before you hit your thirties whereby some of your shit gets ironed out more.  Well I have noticed that a bit from people I have noticed that have departed their twenties at least.

It's also the time where the fruits of your labour have started paying off too, for those that are heavily focussed on job, house and money etc. I do have certain things in my minds eye as to where I want to be but I also have other goals too.

I like having them as that way I know where I'm at and it also gives me a sense of structure to what I am working towards and what I shall achieve within that. It doesn't work for everyone but it works for me. It also is something that makes me happy.

To be happy and content that is also something that comes from within. Also something that an individual must want otherwise you will be trapped. Just like to love to one's full capacity there has to be an open heart. But that is a puzzle we work with all the time.

Fear is the main thing that holds us back and sometimes I get sick of feeling weighed down by fear, but the frustration comes from knowing that I allowed myself to feel it in the first place.  It still doesn't mean I will become naive and pretend things aren't happening but shit sometimes does happen in life but it's how we deal with it all and cope that matters.  That is how we survive.

I also think it's wise to be patient with certain things too.  In a sense I am glad I am not having surgery straight away as I know when it comes to do it I shall be ready and would have lived longer in role and I will know for definite that this is what I really want.  Desire is there of course and I really can't wait for the day that I shall just be able to wear clothes without a binder underneath but until then I need to work hard to change my body and make it more of what I want it to be.

I won't be taking the Sinitta approach though.

My current method is working so far.  I'm now the slimmest I have ever been and I am starting to feel more and more comfortable with myself as a result and the changes I have made I am pleased that I have done it myself.

My plans for this next year shall be work, work and more work! But then I will be glad when the website I am working on content for shall be launched and then the 'live' work from that shall start. It's interesting as I am not sure where it will go but I like that it is something fresh and new and within that there is always something that spirals from it.

Monday, 13 September 2010


Usually I used to find the month of September an uneventful time but since last year September shall always be special to me as this was when all my changes started.

I remember this time last year (on this day) I was photographing a wedding, I was surrounded by lovely queer folk and I was gearing up to visit San Francisco, alone. I was excited, nervous and thought my search of queer adventures abroad would be fulfilling and exciting.  I had also just started dating someone who is now a really good friend of mine and someone I work with fantastically.

But yes, with my trip there was when Bean gave me an old binder and I haven't taken it off since (metaphorically). It took until December before I started being known as Leng to everyone. But I shall feel that my transitionary birthday shall always be September 18th.

I haven't updated in a while because I have been so busy, having more foreign adventures (this time we were in Berlin) and I have also been working lots too.  I feel as if I have a never ending pile of work but one day I shall be clear.  If I put in the hours and make the right contacts then I shall be square. The anxiety that comes with doing something new for once isn't holding me back but it is making me feel a strong sense of wanting everything to work. I want something to stand by in the next 6 months and show that since University I am doing something with my life and that the magical thing known as a 'career' is something taking place.

We now have business cards that look amazing (E designed them) and I need to have something solid to show people soon so that all of these things we are doing are not in vain. I don't believe in that. I am also feeling a nagging something within me to make something of myself and to create something.  I know I am capable of these things, to be entirely honest the only thing holding me back now would be myself and I can't afford to fuck up on that kind of level. Nor do I want to. 

I also don't want to be one of those people who talk about their grand plans of life and never make anything materialise from that. Again that is something that does pop up in my mind quite frequently. 

The more I see friends of mine buying houses, getting married, having children, buying another kitten or traveling the world it is making some clock inside me tick louder. I sometimes feel that I am behind in terms of achievement but then I do remind myself that quite a lot of my friends are older than me so of course we won't be in the same place in terms of career, love, life and relationships.  Despite my grey hairs I remind myself that I am only 26, but that to me doesn't matter.  I need to work hard to make sure I achieve what I want.

Certain things I do think about and would like out of life I know shall mostly be debated by fate. Especially when you have a life that is so fast changing sometimes. Bu at the same time I am so glad that I have left some elements of my previous life behind as I wasn't happy. At least now I know I am living the life that is right for me, I am loved and I am feeling it a whole lot more than I ever did before.  I also feel I love with more of a whole heart as I feel I am growing more into the person that I have always been underneath various layers of confusion and fat.

The scales have been very kind with me lately and finally I am starting to feel more comfortable in my physical skin - with exception to having breasts but they will be removed one day so for the time being I try and think about parts of me that I do like and that I am comfortable about. 

I do this as I know that otherwise I would drive myself (as well as others around me) up the wall. Although that sometimes can't be avoided I try not to do things deliberately as I think it is important to take responsibility for one's own actions as much as possible.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Time of The Month

Today has been the start of many things, new job, I've lost more weight, I'm now a tax payer once again oh and my period.

I sometimes find it strange now to have them.  I find it funny whenever I have to buy tampons as sometimes I get looks from shop keepers that suggest I am a nice chap for buying tampons for my girlfriend...little do they know they are for me.  I even find it strange to sometimes talk about periods, even though I have been having them for the past 13 years.

I can't say I like them or have ever liked them but the main thing I don't like about them so much isn't the cramps but I don't like having tenderness on my breasts as let me tell you something when you bind it really hurts. It feels almost masochistic to have them strapped to me but at the same time I can't leave the house without a binder on I really can't.

It's exactly like the types of women who refuse to leave the house without make-up and that is how I feel about my binder. I know there are health implications attached to binding long term but at the same time I don't like not wearing it. It feels wrong and also I do want to remove my breasts, the sooner the better.

I made one step in changing my name a little, I have now changed my email over and everything at work  other than bank details are in my new name rather than old name.  I will have to get the ball moving soon on getting rid of my legal name. It feels weird when I see it as I sometimes have moments where I have found myself thinking "who is that" usually followed by "duh".

I don't feel a sense of anything towards it other than it being the name I use for administration purposes. I am starting to feel more and more ready to advance in terms of name changes and all the legal things. I also can't wait until I start making plans for surgery.  I definitely plan to be breast free by the time I am 30. I also plan to have taken over the world and found a way to exterminate mosquitoes too but I think the chest is a more realistic goal to make.

I like targets and things to look forward to as these are things that provide structure.  I have discovered that feeling I am in limbo or just floating along doesn't sit too well with me.  I like to know where I am at and what I am doing and what is expected of me and then it seems I thrive. I also love the satisfaction of crossing off tasks on a To-Do List and the sense of achievement that brings. I also like starting the day early in the gym as that helps me focus on my day ahead.

Still all work and no play makes for a dull boy but its good in terms of saving on money.  I have continued to have foreign adventures.  Following Corsica, E and I did the crazy thing and had a week in London, followed by a weekend in Switzerland.  Over the Bank Holiday we stayed in London too and she took me to the most amazing restaurant is called Asia de Cuba and firstly I have to say that I was spoiled rotten in there and the place was amazing like really, really stunningly amazing. The food though is well worth sampling but I must warn you of one thing, this place ruins you for life.  No where else seems to do fusion cuisine with the finesse these people have.

Needless to say my taste buds were seduced and scandalised within a couple of mouthfuls.

The food portions were humongous, I defy anyone to leave there hungry and it was a wonderful evening.  Although E was suffering quite a bit with a bit of an injury to the coccyx (and no I didn't cause it before any of you raise an eyebrow) she seemed to have a lovely time too.

Still I shall be writing a separate review of that on Qype so there will be more to report on that next time I blog.