Today I headed back to Stockholm in the rain. No snow here now but I have heard that our idea of a white Christmas could be a myth fueled by postcard art from Jenny Nyström. Anyway it was good to be back in town a few days before New Years eve. I am not really comfortable with these big holidays. Too much expectations and many “rules” of what people are supposed to do (and like). This year I have planned to go to a nice restaurant together with some friends and eat really good. I also have to start working on my movie project which should be delivered soon. It is a documentary about the Safer Sex campaign called “Color of Love” that took place during a few months all over Sweden.
On Christmas Eve I started taking my new medicine called Androcur. I was a little bit worried about the potential side effects so I did not want to start taking them when I had my strange cold and lost my voice. I wanted to be able to feel any effects of it. The reason for taking them is that me and my hormone doctor thought I that the effect of my hormones was not as good as expected especially when it comes to hair. So this new medicine will further block any remaining male hormones in my body. So far I feel good which is great.
Spending my Christmas at my mother’s in Dalarna. Unfortunately no snow yet but some nice traditional food soon. Started taking a second hormone drug called Androcur yesterday. Since one of the side-effects includes being a bit tired I wanted to do it at a time when I am not supposed to drive my car very long. Feel great so far. Merry Christmas to all of You!
I had a wonderful evening today at two of my friends. They treated me with delicious pasta and got some of that Christmas mood I talked about in the earlier posts. Gingerbread cookies, glögg (whatever that is called in english) and lussebullar together with friends in the sofa. Just great! Got some amazing Christmas gifts as well. A absolutely crazy “bottle” in the shape of a high heeled shoe together with an autographed (yes, that is right!) book from Sweden’s first astronaut Christer Fuglesang. Thank you so much!
I just saw a story on the news about the ever-recurring CD collections of Christmas songs that appears every year this time. I started thinking about my own relationship towards Christmas traditions. What do I think of Christmas really? Well, let’s begin with what I am in reality doing. Not much, really. Usually spend December by winding down from intense work weeks and getting a cold. No decorating at home and definately no Christmas tree. I usually spend Christmas with my mother and brother and that is were the Christmas mood at least make a short visit. It is not that I have any issues with this, in fact it is often rather nice to be relaxed about Christmas. I mean who haven’t seen these families where a lot of energy goes into arguing in what order different families should be visited and then spending several hours in cars.
However, I think I actually have some kind of Christmas dream or rather “design” that I would like to follow someday. That involves actually decorating my own apartment, celebrating the first sunday in December with the first candle, going shopping on Christmas markets, actually celebrating St. Lucia and even going to a Christmas concert. I think I actually would like that. However, being sick each year in December does not help. I guess having a girlfriend would increase the odds of this somewhat, of course depending on her own attitudes towards Christmas.
When I woke up today I discovered that I had lost my voice again. So typical! I had almost relaxed and thought I had defeated my strange cold this time but no. Also typical since today was the big party that one of my friends arranges every year. I tried to rest as much as possible and then decided I needed to go to the pharmacy and thought I could at least stop by at the party and see if some of my dear friends where there and what this year’s time looked like. However, I got tired really fast and went back after half-an-hour or so. I had been orded to be silent so being at a party without being able to speak is no fun really.
Today I decided to go back to work after my strange cold. My throat and voice was not really ok yet but I needed to fix some admin things at work so…
I managed to get a lot of things done including filling in a third questionaire about values and beliefs in the Armed Forces (Försvarsmaktens Värdegrund). It is part of a big projekt where all employees and their attitudes to change and tolerance to towards other people is measured and compared to the population in Sweden and in other countries. It is a looong questionaire and took at least 45 min to fill in.
The good thing about this is that it includes questions about attitudes towards homo- and bisexual people. Nothing about transgender issues though…
Out of the blue I have almost lost my voice today. Don’t feel sick really, but my voice sounds really really terrible. When it happens I am reminded about the importance of the voice for me. Having a really low, dark and strange voice affects my self-confidence. I become almost as careful of not talking as I did ten years ago. The reactions of people is so obvious and doing things on the phone is even worse. Almost no point of starting the conversation by introducing myself with my name.
In an earlier post I elaborated about my feelings around being outrageous in the Pride Parade and I think this is somewhat a follow-up post. The thing is that a friend of mine has a rather famous party each year and there are a lot of people coming there. During the first parties the main thing centered around the host and a few more people doing drag. That is a bit complicated of course since it feels important for me that people see the difference between them and me. Probably it isn’t a real issue for most people but there is some nagging feeling for me which is a bit hard to wipe off.
Lately, he have introduced themes to the parties and invited people to come in costume. Last year it was an asian theme and this year it is supposed to be historic in some way. 18th century have been given as a good example and those outfits are rather glamourous to say the least and that brings me back to the same issue I explored in my Pride post earlier.
My journey have been a lot about finding out who I am and what kind of woman I want to be. Along the way I worked a lot on what kind of feminine expressions I am comfortable with and that have changed over the years. Anyway it feels great to now feel that I have found a style that is me and something I am comfortable with. That means also that I have actively discarded a lot of stuff that I don’t think is me. Maybe not feminine enough or sometimes a bit over-the-top or too glamourus. Whether I like it or not a lot of this is something I have done in order to “fit in” or become “passable” in my everyday life.
So doing dress-up is a bit emotional for me since it sometimes means doing things which is so not me and opposite the look I desire. Even though all other people at a costume party is equally dressed-up and not themselves for me it can sometimes feel more “deep” than others. I guess it is a question of feeling confident in myself as a woman and distance the outfit from that. But for so long I have learned that my well-being is so closely linked to how other people percieve me that is is hard to do just that.
It is a bit strange because on one hand I think it would be fun to play around with different expressions of femininity but on the other hand I feel a risk of not being seen as the woman I am. Maybe even the woman I want to be. I guess that is something I need to work on.
So, I was a bit nervous when I together with another friend went to a costume shop in the southern part of Stockholm to look for some 18th century outfits. I tried on a few beautiful gowns and it felt surprisingly ok, especially since I did not had much make-up on this day. So it was a good “training excercise” for me. The one I like the most was beige long gown with gold details on – a very queen-like dress. However, it also a matter of hair, shoes and accessories.
Finally, a lot of people also like to “play their role” during dress-up parties. For me that is also a bit difficult since I sometimes am bit afraid of not behaving feminine enough. The drawback of not having lived as a woman for all my life means that I have learned some habits that is not “right”. Sometimes it is also “moves” that a lot of women have done during their teenage years, some school play or whatever that I have no experience from. And feeling uneasy or nervous about doing a “classic” feminine pose is of course a bit scary. But on the other hand nobody is perfect and I must be better to accept my own mistakes or rather not be so scared about doing them.