ORIGINALLY POSTED 15th AUGUST 2016
Saturday 13th August 2016 was Plymouth Pride 2016 day. My gender therapist mentioned it the last time I saw her on July 1st, but she didn’t know when it was, or if it had already happened. I checked when I got home, realised it was due in a months time, and decided to make it a mini goal to show up. I was a bit afraid, I knew nothing about it really, didn’t have anyone to go with, and being in social situations is always when I’m most out of my comfort zone.
Still, I wrote it down and said, Saturday 13th of August I will go to Plymouth Pride. It was a goal. So the fact I went is a success, but it was a day of mixed emotions. I was working so missed the parade, but managed to get to the Plymouth Hoe about 2pm. By this time the weather was pretty nice, sun was shining and there were tons of people.
I went as Kevin, haven’t the courage to venture out in social situations as Sophie yet, but I was wearing my pink sunglasses :) I was nervous, I don’t know why, must have been fear of the unknown. I started feeling like I’d be the only one there on their own. The voices in my head almost put me off going, but, I didn’t listen and just went for it. I did a few laps of the event, looking at all the stalls, admiring all the people dressed up.
There was such a feel good vibe, everyone looked so happy, and dispute feeling anxious of being on my own, I felt quite at ease and content. I really wanted to sit down and enjoy the on stage action, but sadly the voices won, “You’ll be the only one sat on your own…” I kept hearing that over and over again. Looking back now I should have intercepted the thought and said, “Oi, just sit your arse down.” lol I haven’t been in the best of mindsets lately, there’s been so much change due to switching hormones, that my mind and body has been thrown out of sync … I suspect this played a large part in my inability to stay focused.
Still, I purchased a really nice board with the following quote on:
“EVERYONE WANTS HAPPINESS, NO ONE WANTS PAIN.
BUT YOU CAN’T HAVE A RAINBOW, WITHOUT A LITTLE RAIN.”
I like this. To me, this board is more than just a rainbow coloured board with a quote that resonates with me. Like the High Heels of Courage, it’s a physical representation of a memory. A reminder that I can do things I find uncomfortable, if I just take that first step. As I was up on the Hoe, I took the opportunity to pop into the Gallery I used to exhibit my art in.
Artists Glyn White and Tom Bird both welcomed me in as if I’d never been away. I said I was up Plymouth Pride 2016 and thought I’d pop in. Was really nice to see them again. Glyn was fully walking now. Last time he was on crutches and the Dr actually said he shouldn’t be able to walk. They x-rayed his foot and said it’ll be impossible you can walk again, but he is. How is this possible? Because his desire to get back on the waves and surf was too strong! Amazing, he was so determined to get back surfing that he overcame an injury the Dr said was impossible; Inspiring!
I decided to return to the pride event and try to sit and watch the action again. The voices in my head won, but least I tried. I did pick up a nice rainbow flag and some of those Hawaiian flowers you put round your neck. So it was worth going back just for those :)
Walking home I stopped in the park, the sun was shining right at this tree, it looked so beautiful I sat underneath it with my pink sunglasses and Hawaiian neck thingy on. Thinking about the day I started crying. I got hit by a wave of loneliness. This day really made me realise I need some transgender friends, but how do I do that? It feels like an impossible task to get a true friend. The kind like on Persona 4 where you have an unbreakable bond. A friend where you can both freely be yourself and help each other grow. As I thought about this, I turned the sad feeling around and decided it’s time to get some transgender friends.
Feels like a new goal :) I also realised it’s in the hands of the universe, you can’t force it. It will happen when the time is right. I’m so proud I went, and happy I had the courage to show up. Sophia, my old CBT therapist, once said, “Just showing up is a success.” I remembered that today.
I returned one year later for Plymouth Pride in 2017; it was another emotional day.