Sunday, 28 August 2016

Travelling while Trans - Last Time on the Male Passport

My recent trip to M'era Luna is probably the last time I'll be using my male passport as it expires next year. Hopefully by then I'll have the paperwork from the clinic to change the name and gender. This should make travelling a lot easier as my current name and photo are very much pre transition.

Anyway I thought I'd write a little about my experience travelling through Dover and Calais. For those that haven't used the ferries or Channel Tunnel you undergo all border formalities before you board. So in Dover you pass UK then French border controls before boarding the ferry and returning from Calais you pass French controls then UK controls.

Previously at Dover our coach has joined the line for French checks, but has been waved through as it was a closed tour and the French were busy searching the Megabus scheduled services, however since then there have been several terror attacks in France so this time I was expecting more through checks. This seemed to be the case as we were pulled in for a UK exit check. This was carried out by port staff and all they did was scan the passports of everyone on board. The French as usual weren't interested in our tour coach and we were waved through their checkpoint and in to the lines for the next ferry.

By Gast32 (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Of course within mainland Europe there are no routine checks at the border crossings, just a sign saying Belgium, Netherlands or Germany. However random checks can take place so it's a good idea to have your passport to hand

On the way back I knew there will always be a full check at the UK border in Calais, where everybody has to get off the coach and go through passport control on foot. Previously I hadn't had any issue with UK Border Force but this time they seemed to take issue with the fact I wear a wig. I was asked if I had any ID with my "current look" on it. Unfortunately I'd left my female driving licence in my bag on the coach (in hindsight my licence is in my real name rather then my old one like my passport, that would have probably caused a bigger problem). I was then asked if I'd be ok to lift my wig in public or if I wanted to go somewhere private to do so. I wasn't too fussed (most of the people on the coach had seen me without when I needed to use the camp showers) so just lifted it a bit and the guard said that was OK and waved me through.

So all in all not as smooth as before but nothing too major. I think my main advice would be to have secondary ID if your passport contains an old photo. While removing my wig was potentially embarrassing, it was good that they did offer to use alternative ID, a private room and only have me lift it the bare minimum. I'd suggest updating your passport photo if you wish to reduce the likelihood of this happening.

Do any of my trans readers have any good or bad experiences of travel? (I'll admit I've yet to try air travel while presenting female), Let me know in the comments below.


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

M'era Luna 2016

Those who follow me will know that I'm a bit of a Goth at heart and I love travelling to the European Festivals like Wave-Gotik-Treffen and M'era Luna. There really is nothing like them in the UK.

This was my third time making the trip to M'era Luna and as before I travelled with Goths On a Bus. This quote from a fellow passenger sums things up pretty well

In 2016, a crack drinking unit was sent to Germany by a bloke with a hat and a beard for a crime they hadn't yet committed. These goths promptly escaped from a maximum security luxury coach to the Hildesheim underground. Today, still wanted by mead vendors everywhere they survive as drunkards of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can get them upright for long enough....maybe you can hire The Goths on a Bus.
Goths on a Bus is a non commercial trip that's been running for the past 9 years. Ade takes care of the organisation and all I have to do is get myself to the pickup point and then enjoy the trip.

The overnight journey is a bit of a slog, especially as I can't sleep on vehicles but it's worth it. You get to meet and socialise and by the time you arrive at the campsite, you've usually made a few new friends.

M'era Luna is the only festival I'd consider camping at, the facilities are very good and the site is well drained so even when it rained their is minimal mud! Also while the Germans are drunk and noisy, you aren't going to find your tent burnt like at some UK festivals. Probably the worst thing is a German sound system playing David Hasselhoff or the Cantina Band at maximum volume at 6am!

That said I won't be camping next year. I was struggling to pretend to be male in order to use the showers, even presenting male something about me was confusing the bouncers outside the showers. Though hot naked goth guys did go some way to make up for having to pretend to be male (hehe)! Hopefully by next year's event I'll be on Hormones which will make the showers very awkward. So I've booked a hotel for next year's festival. I'll miss the fun and afterparties in the campsite though.

In terms of music this year had quite a strong lineup. I really enjoyed Chrom, S.P.O.C.K, Faun, Oomph!Heldmaschine and Within Temptation. Of course I loved seeing two of my favourite bands; VNV Nation and IAMX <3 <3.

Have you been to any festivals this year? Should I feature more Goth stuff on the blog? Let me know in the comments


Friday, 27 May 2016

Colour Changing Nails

I thought I'd write a positive post to offset the negativity of my last post. I had my nails and brows done by the lovely Kayleigh at Glamour Devon Make Up and Beauty. I've gone with colour changing shelac. When cold my nails are purple and when warm they turn blue. It looks like space with the glitter!


Thursday, 26 May 2016

An Unpleasant Incident

I guess I've been fairly lucky when it comes to public transphobia, I occasionally notice someone giving a second glance but I've not had too many issues in town so far. Unfortunately yesterday wasn't to be my day.

I was off to get my brows and nails done by my good friend Kayleigh of Glamour Devon and needed to get some cash out, which meant a short walk to the cashpoint near my flat. Unfortunately this is a bit of a hotsport for a certain type of beggar, and they often get aggressive with passers by without provocation and yesterday was the day they clocked me as being trans. It's really intimidating having someone screaming abuse at you in the street and people turn to look at what's happening. All I could do is get as far away as quickly as possible, and return by walking round the block so as to not walk back past them. It's certainly unsettled me a bit.


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Transition Update: First Anniversary of a Big Step

Dress: Gifted - Boots: Long Tall Sally

Who knew that it's been just over a year since I first went into work presenting female. Initially it was just for a trial to see if getting ready in time was possible and I went full time officially a couple of weeks later. 

I've been lucky in that everyone's been really accepting, even if it did take them a while to get my name and gender right!

Here's a couple of pictures from that first day. I feel I've come a long way!


Sunday, 28 February 2016

Video: Black Leather OOTN

Just a quick video this week. I had planned to make a proper post about hair removal (a big thing when you are transgender) but someone didn't read the instructions on her new IPL zapper properly. While the box says shave, then use the IPL; the instruction booklet say to leave a 3 day gap! So I'll be doing that during the week. I'll of course be blogging my experiences!


Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Video: Girl in Grey

A quick OOTD video taken just before I went to see Deadpool with some friends. It's an awesome movie by the way. Was in stitches all the way through! Afterwards we went for a meal and drinks and I discovered the joy of cider. I'd previously been wary of it after a bad experience with home brew scrumpy (it had lumps in it! Lumps!) as a teenager but the Green Goblin I tried was not at all like that.

Have you discovered anything you hated in your youth but love now? Let me know in the comments!

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