On Saturday I had another of my very rare excursions in the real world presenting as female. This time my wife was with me for the first time. Nothing too challenging, just our usual post-support-group restaurant visit.
The thing that most struck me was how natural it all felt. When I last did this back in May I had a lot of fun, but as you might expect I was rather nervous. This time it just felt right, no worries standing in a queue for a parking ticket, just enjoying the moment. Walking along the street, laughing at the incongruity of it all.
Our party included a group of regulars and someone on her first time out. Unfortunately for her, her presentation was significantly less than ideal, she was very nervous and her presence drew some attention to our party in the restaurant. This made my wife rather nervous too, but she made it and I'm proud of her.
I'm sure some of you who read this will have also have had encounters with similarly presenting members of our sisterhood. Hell, I'm pretty sure there are people who'd put me in that category because I'm under no illusions as to my passing ability, the best I can do is convey an impression of having made an effort. Sadly I'm afraid our companion had not achieved that.
So I felt guilty for judging her on her appearnace. My wife was my primary concern that evening and her comfort zone was definitely being eroded. But this is a support group and we are all there to give support no matter what.
Two regular attendees in Swindon are older trans women who adopt a "mother hen" role with people on their first time out. I have no idea if either of them read this blog so I hope they won't mind me describing them thus, but I am much indebted to them for helping me in this way back in May. They performed a similar role on Saturday with our newcomer. That's the real support in a support group, so much more than just a bunch of people sitting around drinking tea and talking shop.
So, a Saturday evening well spent, a big step for my wife and an ample demonstration of a support group in action. I have no idea how long it'll be before I get out again but there's no hurry. Better to get it right than to have a bad experience.