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Pauline Smith 's Entries

86 blogs
  • 12 Nov 2017
    Yesterday (11/11/17) I was invited to co-chair a discussion organised by V ( who is a cis gender woman) for trans women who could identify as bisexual or lesbian at Trans MCR ..at the LGBT Foundation in Manchester.   There were around 10 transwomen there, mostly under 30; so I was by far the oldest. In my view it was interesting as there was lots of discussion about differences between gender and sexuality. Everyone there had struggled at some time with the binary definition of gender equally sexuality, and although none of us were totally at ease where we are now we have all made progress.   I am hoping this becomes a regular event at Trans MCR, which is always the 2nd Saturday of the month - apart from March and August. Full marks to V for organising it, my input was minimal as all I had to do was be there. I went home on the tram uplifted by how many transwomen are so positive about the future. Great meeting.   And I will post any future LB Folx events on the events bar.   big hugs     Pauline xxx  
    500 Posted by Pauline Smith
  • Yesterday (11/11/17) I was invited to co-chair a discussion organised by V ( who is a cis gender woman) for trans women who could identify as bisexual or lesbian at Trans MCR ..at the LGBT Foundation in Manchester.   There were around 10 transwomen there, mostly under 30; so I was by far the oldest. In my view it was interesting as there was lots of discussion about differences between gender and sexuality. Everyone there had struggled at some time with the binary definition of gender equally sexuality, and although none of us were totally at ease where we are now we have all made progress.   I am hoping this becomes a regular event at Trans MCR, which is always the 2nd Saturday of the month - apart from March and August. Full marks to V for organising it, my input was minimal as all I had to do was be there. I went home on the tram uplifted by how many transwomen are so positive about the future. Great meeting.   And I will post any future LB Folx events on the events bar.   big hugs     Pauline xxx  
    Nov 12, 2017 500
  • 13 Jul 2017
    I had intended to write this earlier this week, whilst the happy memories were still there; but I have had to work this week so I have not had very much free time really.   Sparkle 2017 was in my view the best ever, there were minor glitches but the weather was dry and sunny without being too hot, which meant nothing got rained off, like last year when the Saturday was a disaster.   There are now so many different events during Sparkle, plus the Manchester International Festival was on - which means there are lots of things were happening outside of the Village.  I booked my hotel last August and even though I live in Greater MCR its easier to go to events if you only have to walk or stagger back to the hotel after imbibing too much!!   This is what my Sparkle was like.   I arrived mid afternoon Thursday after a taxi ride...this year I had so many outfits I needed 2 cases and 2 bags!!! Thursday evening I met up my 3 oldest friends at Via at 6pm for drinks and then we headed for the Northern Quarter where we had a super meal in a tapas place.   And we had a pleasant walk back across the renovated Piccadilly Gardens for a final drink and then back to our hotels     Friday Jo (Jo is the blonde with the fabulous teeth) and I had organised a series of make up makeovers at Boots Market Street, with Jess the manager of the No7  cosmetics range. For all of you please be aware that Boots are very pro trans and will do a makeover in private if you ask - they start by using a device for checking which foundation shade suits your skin. The makeovers were all in Boot's training centre above the store - so none of the 12 ladies being made over were madeover in public.   I went along for the first session where Jo was finding out how to achieve a daytime look...and there were 5 other ladies there being made up on an individual basis. It was so lovely to see so many happy smiling faces - both the Boots ladies and the special ladies....and we all got a red rose!!   Jo and I had brunch in the Koffee Pot, which now has 22 bees on the outside as a mural...in remembrance of the people murdered at the Arena. And then we went back to check out the afternoon session as someone very special to me - Gillian - was having her first ever trip out and a makeover. As with the morning it was very emotional and lots of happy ladies again.   Here is a photo of Gillian and I in the evening at Velvet where there were 8 of us for cocktails and dinner. So only 2 changes of clothes on Friday.   We meet as group of 5-6 girlies every Sparkle and we also meet again in late November or early December for a pre-Xmas dinner, and we either hunt for Santa's sack or his elves....not sure what the Hunt will be for this year. Here are a few photos of us enjoying our evening at Velvet             And after dining we went to Napoleons so that some of us could dance; dancing has never been my forte or high up my wish list so I didnt stay long.   Saturday is when Sparkle officially kicks off - at 12 noon, which means the Village is very quiet in the morning. I had to buy some cosmetics and Gillian and I had coffee in the Goose - everywhere else was closed. The small goose in the window has different knitted outfits all year around, Sparkle weekend it was in rainbow colours. As 5 of us were going to Sparkle tea at Velvet in the afternoon (2 pm) I went back to the hotel and changed into my "tea" outfit (see below the vision in purple)   We met in Sackville Gardens (see photo) and enjoyed a few chats and I had a late lunch as my diet means I cannot eat cakes!!!. And then off to Velvet (sadly no pix of the fab food or the gathering)....it was really scrummy with a peach cocktail and then finger sandwiches and lots of small cakes, and even strawberries dipped in dark chocolate - served with tea. All very elegant.   Back to the park for a while and then return to the hotel to get changed for the Sparkle Ball. We all met at the Goose, as its a short walk to the Mercure Hotel where the ball was taking place. I cannot find the official photo of all of us so have shown 3 of us in the reception area of the gathering. I have to say this was for me my least enjoyable time at Sparkle. It was too much like a "bubble" for me, in a room with 250 other transwomen..plus I don't like dancing (so i was the bag watcher for our group for most of the evening). The food was very ho hum - chicken or salmon was fine...but only potatoes or rice...no vegetables and no sauce or gravy. And the salad was served with tuna ....a weird choice of food. Here is yours truly with her plate...we were on the next table to the buffet!!   As we could only buy wine by the bottle we all seemed to overindulge so I woke up Sunday morning with a thumping head, only to remember that Jules and I had agreed to go the Sparkle in the Cathedral service at 10.30     Sunday morning arrived all too soon and even though I was up a 8 am it took me ages to pack as I had to check out at lunchtime latest, and though I could leave all my bags at the hotel it was 10.25 by the time I checked out. So a quick taxi ride across MCR meant I was at the cathedral for 10.35, luckily all I missed was the opening stuff. I guess out of about 150 people there were probably 15 trans people; it was a moving service ( both Julie and I got emotional) and the first time I have ever taken communion as Pauline. Talking to the Dean afterwards he said there were more of us than last year, and it seems the Church of England is becoming inclusive for our community.   And that was really it, though I did pay a visit to the LGBT Foundation - who had been busy on Saturday in their building and also in the park. And then home - to put up my aching feet and enjoy a large gin and tonic.   It was for me the best Sparkle I have ever been to; my first one was 2009. It has grown from a small one day event to 2 full days. If you can put it in your diary for 2018 - it is a key event for the trans community.   hugs   Pauline xxx              
    397 Posted by Pauline Smith
  • I had intended to write this earlier this week, whilst the happy memories were still there; but I have had to work this week so I have not had very much free time really.   Sparkle 2017 was in my view the best ever, there were minor glitches but the weather was dry and sunny without being too hot, which meant nothing got rained off, like last year when the Saturday was a disaster.   There are now so many different events during Sparkle, plus the Manchester International Festival was on - which means there are lots of things were happening outside of the Village.  I booked my hotel last August and even though I live in Greater MCR its easier to go to events if you only have to walk or stagger back to the hotel after imbibing too much!!   This is what my Sparkle was like.   I arrived mid afternoon Thursday after a taxi ride...this year I had so many outfits I needed 2 cases and 2 bags!!! Thursday evening I met up my 3 oldest friends at Via at 6pm for drinks and then we headed for the Northern Quarter where we had a super meal in a tapas place.   And we had a pleasant walk back across the renovated Piccadilly Gardens for a final drink and then back to our hotels     Friday Jo (Jo is the blonde with the fabulous teeth) and I had organised a series of make up makeovers at Boots Market Street, with Jess the manager of the No7  cosmetics range. For all of you please be aware that Boots are very pro trans and will do a makeover in private if you ask - they start by using a device for checking which foundation shade suits your skin. The makeovers were all in Boot's training centre above the store - so none of the 12 ladies being made over were madeover in public.   I went along for the first session where Jo was finding out how to achieve a daytime look...and there were 5 other ladies there being made up on an individual basis. It was so lovely to see so many happy smiling faces - both the Boots ladies and the special ladies....and we all got a red rose!!   Jo and I had brunch in the Koffee Pot, which now has 22 bees on the outside as a mural...in remembrance of the people murdered at the Arena. And then we went back to check out the afternoon session as someone very special to me - Gillian - was having her first ever trip out and a makeover. As with the morning it was very emotional and lots of happy ladies again.   Here is a photo of Gillian and I in the evening at Velvet where there were 8 of us for cocktails and dinner. So only 2 changes of clothes on Friday.   We meet as group of 5-6 girlies every Sparkle and we also meet again in late November or early December for a pre-Xmas dinner, and we either hunt for Santa's sack or his elves....not sure what the Hunt will be for this year. Here are a few photos of us enjoying our evening at Velvet             And after dining we went to Napoleons so that some of us could dance; dancing has never been my forte or high up my wish list so I didnt stay long.   Saturday is when Sparkle officially kicks off - at 12 noon, which means the Village is very quiet in the morning. I had to buy some cosmetics and Gillian and I had coffee in the Goose - everywhere else was closed. The small goose in the window has different knitted outfits all year around, Sparkle weekend it was in rainbow colours. As 5 of us were going to Sparkle tea at Velvet in the afternoon (2 pm) I went back to the hotel and changed into my "tea" outfit (see below the vision in purple)   We met in Sackville Gardens (see photo) and enjoyed a few chats and I had a late lunch as my diet means I cannot eat cakes!!!. And then off to Velvet (sadly no pix of the fab food or the gathering)....it was really scrummy with a peach cocktail and then finger sandwiches and lots of small cakes, and even strawberries dipped in dark chocolate - served with tea. All very elegant.   Back to the park for a while and then return to the hotel to get changed for the Sparkle Ball. We all met at the Goose, as its a short walk to the Mercure Hotel where the ball was taking place. I cannot find the official photo of all of us so have shown 3 of us in the reception area of the gathering. I have to say this was for me my least enjoyable time at Sparkle. It was too much like a "bubble" for me, in a room with 250 other transwomen..plus I don't like dancing (so i was the bag watcher for our group for most of the evening). The food was very ho hum - chicken or salmon was fine...but only potatoes or rice...no vegetables and no sauce or gravy. And the salad was served with tuna ....a weird choice of food. Here is yours truly with her plate...we were on the next table to the buffet!!   As we could only buy wine by the bottle we all seemed to overindulge so I woke up Sunday morning with a thumping head, only to remember that Jules and I had agreed to go the Sparkle in the Cathedral service at 10.30     Sunday morning arrived all too soon and even though I was up a 8 am it took me ages to pack as I had to check out at lunchtime latest, and though I could leave all my bags at the hotel it was 10.25 by the time I checked out. So a quick taxi ride across MCR meant I was at the cathedral for 10.35, luckily all I missed was the opening stuff. I guess out of about 150 people there were probably 15 trans people; it was a moving service ( both Julie and I got emotional) and the first time I have ever taken communion as Pauline. Talking to the Dean afterwards he said there were more of us than last year, and it seems the Church of England is becoming inclusive for our community.   And that was really it, though I did pay a visit to the LGBT Foundation - who had been busy on Saturday in their building and also in the park. And then home - to put up my aching feet and enjoy a large gin and tonic.   It was for me the best Sparkle I have ever been to; my first one was 2009. It has grown from a small one day event to 2 full days. If you can put it in your diary for 2018 - it is a key event for the trans community.   hugs   Pauline xxx              
    Jul 13, 2017 397
  • 22 May 2017
    This morning as part of the Mike Sweeney programme on Radio Manchester between 9.00 and 10.00 am Mike interviewed Ashleigh Talbot, a M to F transwoman in transition. The relevant part is in the first hour and stars about 15-20 minutes into the broadcast.  Mike has been interviewing Ashleigh for about 3 years now - she goes a few times a year and they chat live on air about her journey.       In addition CN Lester, who is non binary was also on the programme, publicising her book "trans like me", which will be published this Thursday 25 May.   CN Lester is an academic, musician and leading UK trans rights activist. A critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, Lester also works as a composer and classical performer; their musicological research focuses on Venetian composer Barbara Strozzi. Lester consults and educates on trans issues with a wide range of organizations, including Channel 4 and the Huffington Post, and has written for the Independent, New Internationalist and New Statesman.   Have a listen if you can     hugs   Pauline xxx   http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p052hj5d   https://www.waterstones.com/book/trans-like-me/cn-lester/9780349008608 https://www.littlebrown.co.uk/books/detail.page?isbn=9780349008608
    645 Posted by Pauline Smith
  • This morning as part of the Mike Sweeney programme on Radio Manchester between 9.00 and 10.00 am Mike interviewed Ashleigh Talbot, a M to F transwoman in transition. The relevant part is in the first hour and stars about 15-20 minutes into the broadcast.  Mike has been interviewing Ashleigh for about 3 years now - she goes a few times a year and they chat live on air about her journey.       In addition CN Lester, who is non binary was also on the programme, publicising her book "trans like me", which will be published this Thursday 25 May.   CN Lester is an academic, musician and leading UK trans rights activist. A critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, Lester also works as a composer and classical performer; their musicological research focuses on Venetian composer Barbara Strozzi. Lester consults and educates on trans issues with a wide range of organizations, including Channel 4 and the Huffington Post, and has written for the Independent, New Internationalist and New Statesman.   Have a listen if you can     hugs   Pauline xxx   http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p052hj5d   https://www.waterstones.com/book/trans-like-me/cn-lester/9780349008608 https://www.littlebrown.co.uk/books/detail.page?isbn=9780349008608
    May 22, 2017 645
  • 11 May 2017
      This Monday, the 8th May, I was fortunate enough to be invited to an event at the LGBT Foundation in Manchester. The launch of Transforming Outcomes gives all of us a study into the transgender community in the UK in 2016/17 with the facility for all of us to read and share the document on line.   There were maybe 150-200 people at LGBT Towers for the launch, and like any "oldie" in the trans community you meet old friends...but the key is the new people you meet.   I have a read of the document..it does not have all the answers, rather it is a helicopter view of the UK trans community today. It behoves all of us to contribute and help our brothers and sisters in our community.   All comments will be very much appreciated and will be fed back to LGBT Foundation, where I am a volunteer and befriender.  For all of you the T part of the LGBT Foundation is lottery funded and their goal is to help all of us in the trans community. This is not me giving you bullshit, as like all charitable/volunteer driven set ups/organisations there are lots of glitches.   If you have any questions or need help please mail me.     Thank you   hugs   Pauline xxxx   Here is the link to the document...enjoy it!!    http://lgbt.foundation/transoutcomes?mc_cid=564681e21e&mc_eid=4bbbe28dc7    
    603 Posted by Pauline Smith
  •   This Monday, the 8th May, I was fortunate enough to be invited to an event at the LGBT Foundation in Manchester. The launch of Transforming Outcomes gives all of us a study into the transgender community in the UK in 2016/17 with the facility for all of us to read and share the document on line.   There were maybe 150-200 people at LGBT Towers for the launch, and like any "oldie" in the trans community you meet old friends...but the key is the new people you meet.   I have a read of the document..it does not have all the answers, rather it is a helicopter view of the UK trans community today. It behoves all of us to contribute and help our brothers and sisters in our community.   All comments will be very much appreciated and will be fed back to LGBT Foundation, where I am a volunteer and befriender.  For all of you the T part of the LGBT Foundation is lottery funded and their goal is to help all of us in the trans community. This is not me giving you bullshit, as like all charitable/volunteer driven set ups/organisations there are lots of glitches.   If you have any questions or need help please mail me.     Thank you   hugs   Pauline xxxx   Here is the link to the document...enjoy it!!    http://lgbt.foundation/transoutcomes?mc_cid=564681e21e&mc_eid=4bbbe28dc7    
    May 11, 2017 603
  • 03 Apr 2017
    On the 31st March, TDOV which was Trans Day of Visibility, Loose Womens India Willoughby who is a transwoman wrote a piece in Pink News about transwomen using ladies toilets.   I have given the link below, after a friend sent it to me today.   Make your own judgements, and please make comments     hugs     Pauline xxx   http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/03/31/india-willoughby-unless-you-are-transitioning-stay-out-the-ladies/  
    450 Posted by Pauline Smith
  • On the 31st March, TDOV which was Trans Day of Visibility, Loose Womens India Willoughby who is a transwoman wrote a piece in Pink News about transwomen using ladies toilets.   I have given the link below, after a friend sent it to me today.   Make your own judgements, and please make comments     hugs     Pauline xxx   http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/03/31/india-willoughby-unless-you-are-transitioning-stay-out-the-ladies/  
    Apr 03, 2017 450
  • 07 Mar 2017
    As a mature transwoman of a certain age I have had an interesting last few days and have been fortunate enough to attend, or I am about to attend some special events. In additionI have made some pertinent comments about changes in the trans community and how we find new ways to communicate and meet with each other.   Firstly for me it is all about Emmeline Pankhurst - well known suffragette and Manc who fought for women's rights. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the viewing of the 6 maquettes ( 1/10 scale models of Emmeline by the 6 sculptors in the competition). Yours truly was the only transwoman with about 400 other people...about 98% women ...there for the unveiling. It was a very very special occasion and I was lucky to be there. Check out the links and vote for your best statue...to be erected in March 2019 on Women's day in St Peter's Square..the site of the Peterloo Massacre. Our Emmeline, who was only 5 foot tall, was both determined and beautiful.   Follow the links of womachester..to vote http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/emmeline-pankhurst-statue-shortlist-manchester-12670013 http://www.womanchesterstatue.org/   For those who haven't a clue who she is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmeline_Pankhurst   Then this weekend I will be a trans volunteer at Sugar and Spice, the 11th year of the gathering at LGBT MCR of lesbian and bi sexual women. It is from what I have been told by all the women I have chatted with over the apst 2 weeks a very special event and open to all of us in the LGBT community. Its NOT just for lesbian and bi women. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sugar-and-spice-11-women-make-waves-tickets-31994653871   And finally it seems like Manchester Concord is struggling to attract new members. Their AGM is later this month and their memebers and visitors are dropping. This is a Manchester Village institution, but times have changed and we move on. Will it survive? Who knows? I hope so as it offers a special insight into our world. http://www.manchesterconcord.org.uk   Which brings me to Transtastic. 6 years since it started we have a new owner - Katie G - who has invested lots of energy and her hard earned cash to turn it around. The new team of moderators have started to cull members who are no longer active, and we ban or warn members who break site rules. The Techy elves are impriving things behind the scene. The goal is to have a trans site where people feel safe and can chat or post with being harassed or needing to see adult photos. Plus those who like the adult side will be able to indulge freely.   In the trans world as society changes there are many changes for all of us and our world. So why not celebrate being trans or someone who like trans people and enjoys their company   hugs   Pauline xxxx
    547 Posted by Pauline Smith
  • As a mature transwoman of a certain age I have had an interesting last few days and have been fortunate enough to attend, or I am about to attend some special events. In additionI have made some pertinent comments about changes in the trans community and how we find new ways to communicate and meet with each other.   Firstly for me it is all about Emmeline Pankhurst - well known suffragette and Manc who fought for women's rights. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the viewing of the 6 maquettes ( 1/10 scale models of Emmeline by the 6 sculptors in the competition). Yours truly was the only transwoman with about 400 other people...about 98% women ...there for the unveiling. It was a very very special occasion and I was lucky to be there. Check out the links and vote for your best statue...to be erected in March 2019 on Women's day in St Peter's Square..the site of the Peterloo Massacre. Our Emmeline, who was only 5 foot tall, was both determined and beautiful.   Follow the links of womachester..to vote http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/emmeline-pankhurst-statue-shortlist-manchester-12670013 http://www.womanchesterstatue.org/   For those who haven't a clue who she is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmeline_Pankhurst   Then this weekend I will be a trans volunteer at Sugar and Spice, the 11th year of the gathering at LGBT MCR of lesbian and bi sexual women. It is from what I have been told by all the women I have chatted with over the apst 2 weeks a very special event and open to all of us in the LGBT community. Its NOT just for lesbian and bi women. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sugar-and-spice-11-women-make-waves-tickets-31994653871   And finally it seems like Manchester Concord is struggling to attract new members. Their AGM is later this month and their memebers and visitors are dropping. This is a Manchester Village institution, but times have changed and we move on. Will it survive? Who knows? I hope so as it offers a special insight into our world. http://www.manchesterconcord.org.uk   Which brings me to Transtastic. 6 years since it started we have a new owner - Katie G - who has invested lots of energy and her hard earned cash to turn it around. The new team of moderators have started to cull members who are no longer active, and we ban or warn members who break site rules. The Techy elves are impriving things behind the scene. The goal is to have a trans site where people feel safe and can chat or post with being harassed or needing to see adult photos. Plus those who like the adult side will be able to indulge freely.   In the trans world as society changes there are many changes for all of us and our world. So why not celebrate being trans or someone who like trans people and enjoys their company   hugs   Pauline xxxx
    Mar 07, 2017 547
  • 27 Feb 2017
    In some ways I suppose that I am a questioning voice on here, and as a moderator is easier to be critical rather than offer help. I do try to offer encouragement to all and use a gentle stick to beat those who get around the software glitches or insist in showing us photos of their cocks...the ultimate oxymoron if they want to be deemed as feminine. But in reality they are not even gadflies are they? That big gadfly - Gerald Kaufmann (Labour MP) died today - he took on the establishment all his life. Not a war hero or anyone really special, he fought for ordinary people living in central manchester...his constituents.   Last Friday night at LGBT Towers in MCR I had in depth training on how to be a befriender (mentor is maybe a more apt word). There was me - a trans woman with 3 real women being trained and one woman training us all on the protocols and safety. All these women made me so welcome and wanted me to be a volunteer at Sugar and Spice ...which is an LGBT event that takes place 11+12th March at LGBT Towers for lesbian and bi sexual women. I was "told" to go and offer my support, and was asked to be a buddy...who I will buddy I don't know.   Their warmth and positivity and compassion was outstanding, but then that is what women do - they make a house into a home, they provide succour and comfort to their partners and children and extended family. All the women in my life do that every day ...with love...the rewards are smiles.   They also all know how dangerous it can be to be out as woman in public...rape is a very real threat. They didn't dwell on that, just gave each other knowing looks when we discussed safety. Ironically my tram journey home between 8 and 9 pm was disturbed by 3 drunken women...luckily they were OK, and even staggered off at Radcliffe into a taxi.   Why this blog?   In a world where fascism is on the rise in Western societies, and if you are not prepared to admit that Trump and Farage are fascists...never mind de Wilder and Le Pen....then you know little about political and economic history. These bigoted populists prey on the fears of ordinary people and will continue to do that, we now have "alternative truth" with 3 non terrorist attacks announced already by the new US President.   How can an ageing transwoman like me and a few woman at LGBT make a difference; in the same way we always have.....welcoming those less fortunate than ourselves, helping people on their journeys.   Will that change the man who sits on a golden loo and twitters...No. Does he care what I do - No. Can I stop him - No. Can I help others who need help because they struggle with being LGBT...YES...and that is why I became a volunteer.   Guess what....smiling and offering lots of hugs and kisses changes things...not over night but over time. The future is still a new path, and we can influence it.   It is the Chinese year of the Rooster and small steps can make a BIG difference. Instead of waving a cock around on here why not offer support and compassion to other members? There are some wonderful people here, some are shy some not so shy...lots of people who are here because it is a safe haven for trans people and those who like us.     lots of big hugs and plenty of kisses     Pauline xxx  
    588 Posted by Pauline Smith
  • In some ways I suppose that I am a questioning voice on here, and as a moderator is easier to be critical rather than offer help. I do try to offer encouragement to all and use a gentle stick to beat those who get around the software glitches or insist in showing us photos of their cocks...the ultimate oxymoron if they want to be deemed as feminine. But in reality they are not even gadflies are they? That big gadfly - Gerald Kaufmann (Labour MP) died today - he took on the establishment all his life. Not a war hero or anyone really special, he fought for ordinary people living in central manchester...his constituents.   Last Friday night at LGBT Towers in MCR I had in depth training on how to be a befriender (mentor is maybe a more apt word). There was me - a trans woman with 3 real women being trained and one woman training us all on the protocols and safety. All these women made me so welcome and wanted me to be a volunteer at Sugar and Spice ...which is an LGBT event that takes place 11+12th March at LGBT Towers for lesbian and bi sexual women. I was "told" to go and offer my support, and was asked to be a buddy...who I will buddy I don't know.   Their warmth and positivity and compassion was outstanding, but then that is what women do - they make a house into a home, they provide succour and comfort to their partners and children and extended family. All the women in my life do that every day ...with love...the rewards are smiles.   They also all know how dangerous it can be to be out as woman in public...rape is a very real threat. They didn't dwell on that, just gave each other knowing looks when we discussed safety. Ironically my tram journey home between 8 and 9 pm was disturbed by 3 drunken women...luckily they were OK, and even staggered off at Radcliffe into a taxi.   Why this blog?   In a world where fascism is on the rise in Western societies, and if you are not prepared to admit that Trump and Farage are fascists...never mind de Wilder and Le Pen....then you know little about political and economic history. These bigoted populists prey on the fears of ordinary people and will continue to do that, we now have "alternative truth" with 3 non terrorist attacks announced already by the new US President.   How can an ageing transwoman like me and a few woman at LGBT make a difference; in the same way we always have.....welcoming those less fortunate than ourselves, helping people on their journeys.   Will that change the man who sits on a golden loo and twitters...No. Does he care what I do - No. Can I stop him - No. Can I help others who need help because they struggle with being LGBT...YES...and that is why I became a volunteer.   Guess what....smiling and offering lots of hugs and kisses changes things...not over night but over time. The future is still a new path, and we can influence it.   It is the Chinese year of the Rooster and small steps can make a BIG difference. Instead of waving a cock around on here why not offer support and compassion to other members? There are some wonderful people here, some are shy some not so shy...lots of people who are here because it is a safe haven for trans people and those who like us.     lots of big hugs and plenty of kisses     Pauline xxx  
    Feb 27, 2017 588
  • 20 Jan 2017
    Just saw and read this article on the BBC website (Friday 20 January 2017).   There are photos of Gwen when she was a boy so I have not cut and pasted the article on to here...but I have given you the start of the article for flavour Please check out the link and have a read, it's very illuminating.   hugs   Pauline xxx   link   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38637837   Extract   A transgender woman who offered people the chance to ask "invasive questions" on an internet forum has been overwhelmed by the response. Gwen, 24, from Pennsylvania, hosted an "ask me anything" (AMA) session on the online community site Reddit.   She received almost 2,000 questions and comments, mostly from "supportive and respectful people".   "I figure very few of you know trans people in your everyday lives and might be afraid to ask questions at the risk of offending someone, so I thought I'd give you all the opportunity to learn from someone who will answer your invasive questions," she said.   One Redditor wrote: "I think you just won over half of Reddit right there."   Another said: "You're very beautiful, and I'm glad you found the happiness that you were searching for. Thanks for sharing with us."   These are some of the questions she was asked.   When did you first know you wanted to be female?   Do people treat you differently? How did your body change with HRT?     To read the answers and the rest of the article please check out the link.        
    610 Posted by Pauline Smith
  • Just saw and read this article on the BBC website (Friday 20 January 2017).   There are photos of Gwen when she was a boy so I have not cut and pasted the article on to here...but I have given you the start of the article for flavour Please check out the link and have a read, it's very illuminating.   hugs   Pauline xxx   link   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38637837   Extract   A transgender woman who offered people the chance to ask "invasive questions" on an internet forum has been overwhelmed by the response. Gwen, 24, from Pennsylvania, hosted an "ask me anything" (AMA) session on the online community site Reddit.   She received almost 2,000 questions and comments, mostly from "supportive and respectful people".   "I figure very few of you know trans people in your everyday lives and might be afraid to ask questions at the risk of offending someone, so I thought I'd give you all the opportunity to learn from someone who will answer your invasive questions," she said.   One Redditor wrote: "I think you just won over half of Reddit right there."   Another said: "You're very beautiful, and I'm glad you found the happiness that you were searching for. Thanks for sharing with us."   These are some of the questions she was asked.   When did you first know you wanted to be female?   Do people treat you differently? How did your body change with HRT?     To read the answers and the rest of the article please check out the link.        
    Jan 20, 2017 610
  • 04 Dec 2016
    To All You Wonderful Transtastic Members   Some of you may have noticed that the Transtastic membership numbers appear to be dropping, rather than increasing.    Why?   Is this yet another way of testing your patience?   We now have a new Transtastic moderating team and Lesley suggested that we cull all members who have not been active for the last 6 months. They can come back and re-activate their profile if they want to, but if they are not active then they do NOT appear as a valid member any more.    When this process is complete we will end up with an up to date list of current members, who are actually active. So for anyone wanting to make new friends or extend their network the members list will only be those memebers who are active. We will continue to delete members on an ongoing basis so that Transtastic remains up to date.   Future changes will include   1. Moderator approval and rating of all photos, which also means zero tolerance of cock pix as profile photos. At the moment this is policed retroactively but that will change.   2. A firewall between the safe and adult parts of the site...so that those members who don't want to look at genitals dont have to, and those who do can. Just no profile photos of cocks or panty bulge.   3. Making the chat room workable   4. Energising the forums and blogs and other add ons here   Our goal is to make this a site where it's actually fun to be a member, and that you can feel safe to be here. It will take more time and patience from all of you. But we are working on making Trasntastic better and it will happen. Anyone who thinks they can help us in any way then please contact any one of us.   hugs   Your Transtastic Moderating Team xxx   (Christine Taylor, Julia Dream, Katie Glover, Lesley Carrington, Pauline Smith, Rachel Maxwell.)    PS Much as we would love to have the figures of those ladies in the pic ....we don't, but we all try to look our best    
    847 Posted by Pauline Smith
  • To All You Wonderful Transtastic Members   Some of you may have noticed that the Transtastic membership numbers appear to be dropping, rather than increasing.    Why?   Is this yet another way of testing your patience?   We now have a new Transtastic moderating team and Lesley suggested that we cull all members who have not been active for the last 6 months. They can come back and re-activate their profile if they want to, but if they are not active then they do NOT appear as a valid member any more.    When this process is complete we will end up with an up to date list of current members, who are actually active. So for anyone wanting to make new friends or extend their network the members list will only be those memebers who are active. We will continue to delete members on an ongoing basis so that Transtastic remains up to date.   Future changes will include   1. Moderator approval and rating of all photos, which also means zero tolerance of cock pix as profile photos. At the moment this is policed retroactively but that will change.   2. A firewall between the safe and adult parts of the site...so that those members who don't want to look at genitals dont have to, and those who do can. Just no profile photos of cocks or panty bulge.   3. Making the chat room workable   4. Energising the forums and blogs and other add ons here   Our goal is to make this a site where it's actually fun to be a member, and that you can feel safe to be here. It will take more time and patience from all of you. But we are working on making Trasntastic better and it will happen. Anyone who thinks they can help us in any way then please contact any one of us.   hugs   Your Transtastic Moderating Team xxx   (Christine Taylor, Julia Dream, Katie Glover, Lesley Carrington, Pauline Smith, Rachel Maxwell.)    PS Much as we would love to have the figures of those ladies in the pic ....we don't, but we all try to look our best    
    Dec 04, 2016 847
  • 19 Nov 2016
    All of you members know that Katie Glover took over Transtastic earlier this year. You will also know that she and her techie elves have worked very hard to resolve and solve many of the technical issues here. Lots of those were inherited and the site is still a patchwork of add ons and patches on top of the underlying software. A bit like a quilt made with love.   Now at last Katie and her techies have solved the issue of albums and uploading new photos. There are still other technical challenges ahead for this site, which will be fixed as there is a coherent plan as to which direction the site should take to make it the premier transgender contact website. One where ordinary trans people can use this site safely together with those who prefer to look at adult pix and content. That dilemma is being resolved.   I have had long discussions with Katie and have agreed to stay on as chief moderator for the long term. When I make commitments I stick to them. I have recruited a new team of moderators - Christine Taylor, Julie Dream, Lesley Carrington and Rachel Maxwell - who will start their activities in the next few days.   In the short term we may still have the problem of adult photos appearing on the main safe feed, but this should become less frequent, and we are hopeful that software fixes will resolve this permamently.   As more changes take place I will inform all of you; please be patient and believe in the work that Katie and her techies have done and will continue to do. She has done this in spite of having a heavy workload and a very busy family life. Full marks to her for her commitment to this site, which has been financial - she has invested her money to make this site work.   The new moderating team is part of this overall new approach that has been led by Katie. We will continue these type of improvements over the next weeks and months.     hugs     Pauline xxx  
    832 Posted by Pauline Smith
  • All of you members know that Katie Glover took over Transtastic earlier this year. You will also know that she and her techie elves have worked very hard to resolve and solve many of the technical issues here. Lots of those were inherited and the site is still a patchwork of add ons and patches on top of the underlying software. A bit like a quilt made with love.   Now at last Katie and her techies have solved the issue of albums and uploading new photos. There are still other technical challenges ahead for this site, which will be fixed as there is a coherent plan as to which direction the site should take to make it the premier transgender contact website. One where ordinary trans people can use this site safely together with those who prefer to look at adult pix and content. That dilemma is being resolved.   I have had long discussions with Katie and have agreed to stay on as chief moderator for the long term. When I make commitments I stick to them. I have recruited a new team of moderators - Christine Taylor, Julie Dream, Lesley Carrington and Rachel Maxwell - who will start their activities in the next few days.   In the short term we may still have the problem of adult photos appearing on the main safe feed, but this should become less frequent, and we are hopeful that software fixes will resolve this permamently.   As more changes take place I will inform all of you; please be patient and believe in the work that Katie and her techies have done and will continue to do. She has done this in spite of having a heavy workload and a very busy family life. Full marks to her for her commitment to this site, which has been financial - she has invested her money to make this site work.   The new moderating team is part of this overall new approach that has been led by Katie. We will continue these type of improvements over the next weeks and months.     hugs     Pauline xxx  
    Nov 19, 2016 832