This is.....

My photo
Probably insane, sometimes cynical, mostly absurd and occasionally feisty, buddhist, sapiosexual witch with a passion for love, food and life. Convinced that most people either need a hug, or a damn good slap :)

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Beep Beep!

It's been a time of revelations. Something in my thick head must have thinned, as things that were previously dismissed as not applying to me have started to get through, started to make a change in my thinking. I'd like to say it's been a gradual process but it hasn't. Perhaps I've been listening to the 'right' people, but then again, their words wouldn't have made the impact they have until recently.

I can't give you a date that this happened, I can't even tell you that it isn't going to take a long time before I actually do understand and believe their words. However, I think I'm almost, nearly, got my toes on the starting grid, testing it to see if it actually fits and is really the beginning.

The beginning of what? You ask?  Acceptance. That seems like a good word for now. 

I have been going through a time of feeling like the scum of the earth. That I didn't deserve happiness. That I was such an awful person that everything I'd currently got wrong with me, and with my life was retribution and I had to bear it. I'd hit that self destruct button, overeating, feeling my clothes getting tighter, hating myself just a little bit more every day. My skin got bad, I only have to do the slightest of things, even walking and I became exhausted. 

I was growing an unhealthy loathing of myself. Going out and seeing people was increasingly difficult. I didn't want them to see me, hating having to work so hard at trying to be happy. 


One day I watched a talk that a friend had given. It was a really interesting talk and unusually for me I listened to the whole thing. One thing they had said had stuck out, even though it was more of an aside, rather than the topic:

"I am not fat, I have fat. It doesn't define me, it's not who I am" 

I sat for a long time considering this. Over the years numerous people, including doctors have felt the need to point out "YOU ARE FAT!!" like I'd somehow overlooked this fact and needed reminding. I realised that was how I viewed myself - as a great big lump of fat.

What began as a little 'thought snowball' started slowly, oh so slowly rolling down the mountainside. Was it really me I hated or just what I had allowed myself to become? 

Hang on, stop right there. MYSELF? My Self doesn't have a body, it inhabits a body, or has inhabited several over various lifetimes. I happen to think My Self is a pretty cool dude (or dudette, depending on said lifetimes). The body I inhabit at present is just a mobile vehicle for my Self. 

So I'm hating what is basically a car because it doesn't look the way I think it should? 
If someone is upset with their car, do they go punch holes in it? Knock it out of shape? Fill the engine with sugar or exact some other kind of revenge on it? Not unless they are a complete pillock. Everywhere at the moment people are telling you to love yourself, no matter what  you look like, but if you look in the mirror and don't find what you see attractive, or at the very least, acceptable, then shouldn't you be thinking about pimping your ride instead of trying to make it look like a funny car at a rally?

Even taking the love or hate out of it, you service your car, you make sure its going to last until the next MOT and basically try to take care of it. So why not do the same with your body vehicle? 

I feel like I'm going through a bit of a divorce at the moment, working at separating my feelings about my Self and my feelings about my body, because over the years they have merged, the lines fuzzy. I have to stop making my body suffer when my Self is feeling bad (and on re-reading this, making my Self suffer when my body feels bad!) Goodness knows I should kiss this body's feet (an impossible task) and beg its forgiveness for all the crap I've put it through. I'm amazed it's still here, although it is showing signs of damage and certainly isn't bouncing back how it used to. It's about time I did something for it instead of against it for a change.

The divorce isn't final, I still have a lot of things to work through and it won't all be plain sailing but that thought snowball has been gathering speed and will come thundering down that mountainside soon and possibly up the other side. 

I feel it, but feel free to kick my bumper sticker if you see me slipping!

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Bless├ęd are the poor... I just can't remember why now.

Feeling very conflicted today. I'm not a political person, but anyone with any contact with the outside world would be aware that this government seems to be actively trying to make things worse for a whole lot of people. I know I only have posts on Facebook, Twitter and various other sites to base this opinion as 'luckily' so far I haven't been affected. How long that lasts is probably in direct relation to my general health and ability to work and even I know that could change overnight. 

It seems the media has set out to destroy our opinion of the NHS, no prizes for guessing who is funding that propaganda, governments and large private companies who would reap the benefits of us all suddenly having to pay for treatment if it collapsed. Not everyone can afford private medical insurance, especially if they charge the same as they do in the U.S. for treatment. I happen to love the NHS, they do fantastic work with bugger all thanks and an even smaller salary. 

They also seem to be targeting the disabled, people who, if given the choice, wouldn't rely on 'hand outs' from the government but are denied that choice. Over and over again we see services and benefits being removed, causing stress, lack of mobility, independence and security. 

In my admittedly limited knowledge of what the governments long term plans are, it seems that the poor and disabled are the easiest targets, neither having the money or the opportunity to have a voice. I'm not naive though, I do know there are people out there with no intention of working, who play the system to the extent that they appear to have more than me sometimes, but this isn't the majority.

As someone who lives alone, my wages just about cover my living costs with just occasionally enough to treat myself. I can't afford holidays, or great expensive things, but I'm warm, have food and have no great needs at the moment. 

The reason I'm conflicted though?  I don't have this clear in my own mind yet so please forgive me if this comes out wrong. Is the media/government/big businesses actively promoting the awful stories we read in an effort to push us into helping each other, thus absolving them of the responsibility and allowing them to keep their precious billions while we remain suitably poor? 

Don't get me wrong, if I could persuade people to look around their local community and help each other out more, I'd be all for that. If I needed help with getting out of bed in the morning I'd much rather it be a friend doing it because they wanted to, rather than an unknown doing it because they are being paid to. Should we do that though and let the government get away with it? 

The other conflict inside me is that I've deliberately not bought a newspaper in 37 years (I know this figure because I remember making that decision when I was 20). The reason being all newspapers are skewed to match the political beliefs of a particular party. They work to brainwash the masses, printing outright lies if necessary to move the public's view their way. (Ha, I always say if I'd wanted to be lied to I'd have stayed married!) Now however, if I want to stay on social media, I am subjected to those same lies in a different format. 

Money equals power. This is a sad truth. It's not the size of your heart but the size of your wallet that counts in this skewed society of ours. But, do we let them get away with it and help each other or do we fight back? If we fight, how do we do this? Riots? Demonstrations? They don't work and in fact quite often only hurt those who are in the same position. I wonder if riots would be subtly encouraged as it will cull a few more poor people out of the equation. Sometimes I think there is a despot out there who is thinking to themselves "Hmm we want to be a wealthy country. If we kill off all the poor, we will be!"

Perhaps that is my cynical view on things and I'm sure there will be people out there laughing at my politically uneducated views. As you can see I've come to no conclusions about all this and now it is all down here, I'm just as confused and suspicious as I was when i started. 

May you all never need government assistance.

Monday, 21 December 2015

It's nearly here!! I can see it!

This is a strange time of year. As I do every time it comes around, You know that feeling, when you're in a queue for sometime particularly good, you're excited, impatient, a little bit annoyed that there are so many people in front of you but so looking forward to getting there? That's how I feel right now. 

It has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, apart from that happens to be around the same time. It's the New Year coming closer and closer. To use another analogy, it's like walking in a tunnel and you can see the end of it, all bright and shiny and new, dazzling with promise. A blank book, waiting to be written. 

ok stop with the analogies as they are getting all tangled together.. I think you get the idea though!

I've always made resolutions, rarely kept them but that's not the point. It's all about the planning. To be a better you, to work harder at that thing you've set your sights on, possibly more than once. I think they are important to give you focus, to begin to write on that nice clean blank first page all your hopes and dreams for the coming year. They only fail if you lose sight of the goal. Only you can keep them going. 

So looking back on the promises I made last year, and largely messed up.. i say "thank goodness this year is finishing, bring on the next one where I WILL succeed"

Whether I will or not is totally up to me, but going to make it official by writing them here, and then keeping you updated every few months on how they are going. Here goes:

1. Commit one act of random kindness per day.
2. Exercise more and work at eating healthier 
3. Explore photography more
4. Do Reiki more, use it to help others as well as helping me
5. Believe in me because if I allow myself to, I rock!
6. Dance.
7. Give more, even if it's only time.
8. Sculpt more.
9. Accept that people might possibly actually like me
10. Let go.

In some ways, numbers 9 and 10 are the most important. I have real trouble believing that I'm likeable. Hmm does that mean I don't trust people and think they are lying when they say they like me? Now that's something to ponder on. A basic flaw in my nature perhaps.

As for 10, I find this the hardest of all. It's like I can't give myself permission to relax and just do something or just be in the moment. I'm great at telling others to do this but it's like all my life has been anxiety ridden, waiting for that shoe to drop. I need to learn that not only is there no spoon, there's no shoe either!

The overall plan is to get something off the ground I started thinking about a long time ago. Something I want to call 'Tender Moments'. As I think people need to connect more in this contactless world, a project that a few people are willing to do with me. Going to shopping malls or town centres, just giving out free hugs, that last for 60 seconds to whoever wants them. Anyone can join in and if you see me out and about and want a tender moment, just ask :)

That's my plan, and my goals for 2016. 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

softies, suicides and surprises

Was chatting to my boss today, he was telling me about a friend of his that had committed suicide. Apparently it was his third attempt. He was successful, had a loving family, but that old black dog depression finally took him. 

As chats generally do, it gently touched several related topics before settling on something I wasn't expecting. He is a lot younger than me, and nearly always upbeat. 

I'd commented, in the way of all older people when talking about the 'younger' generation, that it seemed to me that people just weren't coping with life how they used to when I was young. He looked at me for a moment and then sighed.

"Even I can see it Kate. Things are so different now. When you were young, people just got on with things. If they had nothing, they made the best of what they had. When you were young, things were so different" 

I understood what he meant, even though I was kinda waiting for the "what were dinosaurs really like" question!

This is not them!
When I was young, I had two uncles. My father's brothers. Both had gone to war, one to be captured and ended up in a prisoner of war camp. On his return, all he could eat were little cheesy biscuits that he kept in a tin beside him. He'd pop one in his mouth every so often. He wasn't able to keep more than that down. The other, although a robust and healthy looking man, took a bullet which travelled through the side of his thigh, upwards, taking out most of his 'manhood'. I remember them as lovely men, smiling and laughing, although even at a young age I remember the occasional haunted look in my Uncle Harry's eyes (the POW). They fought on, long after the war was ended, both dying old men. 

I can't help wondering what would happen now, if our young men had to go to war, had no choice like my uncles.

We talked on, comparing differences, then and now. Designer clothes hadn't really been around when I was small, nor had most of the electronic things that people rely on now. My boss is convinced we are breeding a world of 'softies' who can't cope without a mobile phone, access to the internet and a decent wrapping of cotton wool protecting them from the world.

This made me think. I remember my dad, who was ill for so many years, telling me that the world didn't owe me a living, that everything I wanted I had to go out and fight for. I did too, taking any job that came along, hating nearly all of them, but doing what I had to do to get what I wanted. Worst saturday job?
Worst job EVER!
Easy. Working in a wet fish shop, with fishing nets full of ice, dripping down on all different kinds of raw fish. An open fronted shop, so in the winter, not only was it cold from the weather, iced water constantly dripped down on your frozen hands while you were trying to bag it for the customers. Have you ever squeezed the arse of a fish to see whether soft or hard roe came out? I feel nauseous even remembering it! Then going home, stinking of raw fish. It was the best paid Saturday job in Billericay High Street but the most god awful one as well! 

I'm trying really hard not to turn this into a rant, because while in no way do I agree with some that people with depression need to just 'pull themselves together' and as I have had depression I know just how insulting that phrase is, it was the catch all for every emotion going when I was small. You couldn't go along to the doctors and get anti-depressants, not easily anyway. People got on with it.. or didn't. There wasn't the publicity there is now. It was kept very quiet, I really think people were ashamed if a member of their family killed themselves.

Doing a little research, I discovered something surprisingly interesting.. yes i'm warped like that. Take a look at this table It shows the ratio of suicides for men and women from 1981 to 2013 aged between 15 and 85+. Looking at the men, there are no great differences until you get to the age of between 40 and 50. The increase in suicides of those of that age are frightening. In 1981 the total was 279 between 40-44 and 286 between 45-49. In 2013 that had jumped to 496 and 505 respectively. Oddly, in women, at every age range there has been a drop in the rate. 

What does this tell us? Damned if I know. Are kids softer now? I think they might be. So many don't seem to have the drive to succeed, to go out and earn, to explore. 

And we wander off on a short tangent here. I was known as the strictest mum on the street when my girls were small. I was the one that didn't have underage pregnancies or drug addicts to deal with though. No reason for saying that, just wanted to put it out there!

There is a large part of me that would like to see the return of National Service, not an army based one though, one where kids are taught discipline, taught to take pride in themselves, learning skills, helping others, being shown how to look out at the world rather than in at themselves. 

My word.. this was a ramble. I actually came at this from a grumpy old woman point of view.. I was going to put down all the things that annoy me, all the things that I think people are doing wrong etc. Jeez I can get conceited sometimes in thinking I know best. I'm glad it toned itself down a bit. 

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Could this get any more whiny??

I'm going to indulge myself in this blog. I'm going to winge, feel sorry for myself and generally have a pity party. I maintain a positive, bright and sunny disposition for everyone who sees me, but here, in the darkess and quiet, where no one can hear, no one can object or say "oh, surely not!" I'm going to put down thoughts that I have about myself. This will only happen once so I'm going to make the most of it. Feel free to bail. 

Having said that, I have no idea where to start. I don't often delve into the black room in my head to see what demons are lurking. I usually leave the room firmly locked and barred, so they can't get out, but since I've just finished clearing out my walk in cupboard and it's looking a lot neater now, I feel it's time to let them out for a while, before locking them firmly back in.

I feel so useless. I do nothing that benefits anyone, not even myself. I don't lose weight because I don't feel I deserve to. I punish myself by eating, and in that way denying myself any hope of having a relationship or enjoying life. 

I'm not needed. There are no friends who turn to me when they need something. No one who wants my company enough to come and see me. No one who calls me to say "Let's go out and have a laugh". Again this is my fault, as I clearly am not enough of a friend to anyone to make them want to be with me. I am under no illusion that this is anyone's fault but my own. I don't put myself out to see people, mainly because I'm too afraid of rejection, or getting the vibe that they are only being 'nice' and really they would rather wash socks.

At best I would say I'm tolerated when I venture out and about. I know I'm blunt and tend to say things people don't necessarily want to hear but I'm not rude and most of the time if I feel they can't take the truth, I keep quiet. 

I hate conflict. Not only directed against me but any conflict. If people are arguing near me, I will do anything I can to get away. Not because it scares me, but because I can feel the negative emotions and frankly, they hurt. A lot. However, because I hate it, I don't show people my passions very often, in case they conflict with anyone else's. 

Odd little aside here. My dog has just come up for a hug, she does occasionally, stamping all over the keyboard and demanding a few minutes of attention. As is my habit, I nuzzle into her and breathe in her scent. It takes me right back to childhood when I stayed at my aunts house. She bred border collies and the smell of dog always takes me there. It was one of the happiest times in my life but in this pity party, it just made me want to weep for that child who had her whole life ahead of her, not knowing how crappy it was going to turn out.

I weep for humanity. I look out my window and think of all the pain and suffering going on. Then of course I feel guilty for feeling down. I have a home, food, clothing, a job, some have none of these. Then, I look around at what we are doing to our planet, to our mother and I  have to fight the anger down. We really are a cancer, slowly destroying her bit by bit. She's going to fight back one day. Don't think for a moment we will win because we won't.

Good grief, living alone sucks. If it weren't for my dog I think I would seriously go downhill. As it is I'm becoming stranger by the day. I hate being alone, but then I hate crowds. Crowds just prove to me how alone I am. I would love to go to the Christmas Market in Manchester, but alone? No. Families, couples, friends, all laughing and joking and I'm on the outside? Self inflicted solitude is better than that kind of reinforcement that I'm not worth being with I can live without. 

Here now is another twist. I've said above that I'd love to go to the Christmas market but everyone who knows me thinks I hate Christmas and would be shocked that I'd want to go there. I confess I don't hate Christmas, but I do hate how it starts in September. Thankfully I don't watch television anymore, because every advert showing families around the table at Christmas prods me in a sore spot and a little voice in my head says, that won't be you. I won't spend the whole of Christmas day alone, as I'm going to my daughters. But I will wake alone, and I will spend the evening alone. 

I would love to be in a relationship. I would love to look forward to coming home to someone. The only relationships I've had for years though are ones where I'm an option, not a priority. I'm not about to give everything to someone who goes home to someone else. I've realised that I need to be the most important person in someone's life or it's just not going to work. Of course I'm not likely to get this now. I put too many obstacles in my own path for that to happen. 

So these are the demons that sit in the black room in my head. There is one slouched in the corner, not even wanting to come out and be seen. The one that is the fear of dying alone. Oddly I'm not scared of dying, to me it's just another step in the adventure. Doing it alone though, boy that's terrifying. So he can sit slouched there while I stuff all the others back in, chasing down those that don't want to go back. 

Right I've aired the room, hoovered the floor and cleaned so you demons can just get right back in there. Thank you.

Well... that was some clear out! Do I feel better? A little. It can be exhausting 'putting on a face' all the time, it was nice just to let it all out, like squeezing a particularly annoying and painful spot.. getting rid of all the gunk. 

I'll leave you with that delightful mental image and wander back into normal service. 

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Wedding Day Pride

I blogged a while ago about my daughter getting married. It was an amazing day, full of love and happiness and in spite of all her worries, it went off without the slightest hitch. We all wish we could do it again as it was so beautiful!

The thing that surprised me the most was that although I knew it would make my girl cry, when I had finished, I looked up to give the toast to see a sea of white hankies and sniffles throughout the room... oops!!

So for anyone who is interested, here is the speech in full.

Ladies, Gentlemen and Gentlefolk

We are here today to celebrate the marriage of my daughter to her dream man, Kyle. Well, what can I say? I know what I can’t say, and that’s anything against Kyle, for three good reasons. 1 because my daughter would skin me alive, 2 because actually I can’t think of anything bad to say and lastly, well, I’m just a tad outnumbered here today!

But in a way it’s a good outnumbered. This is a happy day and I for one am overjoyed that they can share it with so many good people. 

I have no need to talk about Kyle, most of you know him far better than I do. However he has made my daughter happier than I’d ever hoped I’d see her and y’know what? No one can ask for anything more than that.

So that leaves me to talk about my girl. Every mother is going to stand up and speak about their child in glowing terms and I could do that.. I really could. She is every mothers dream child.. but she’s given me some ‘interesting’ times along the way...

I knew my daughter had arrived in the world, apart from the obvious way, but also by the piercing shriek that nearly took out my eardrums.  She calmed down fairly quickly though and spent the rest of the night blowing bubbles. However, as I and several of my friends found out, that shriek wasn’t a one off. She’d go from sleep to shriek without any snuffling or fidgeting to give warning.  So it was, with sleepless nights and shredded nerves my daughter introduced me to being her mother.

Opposite in every possible way to my eldest daughter, who sadly can’t be here today having just given birth to her fifth child, Bonnie grew with a personality as big as her grin. She really was the kind of child that would quite happily lead you through your emotions one by one, from joy to frustration through tears of love to tears of rage.

We lived in a cul-de sac, right at the end and the little turning circle became Bonnie’s stage. There whenever she could, she sang and danced, convinced she was going to be famous, as most of us do at that age. The neighbours used to watch from their windows, I know because they used to tell me, although she was oblivious to them, wrapped up in her world.

Bonnie coped with her teenage years a little differently to most. Every teenager works busily to find their own path. Bonnie was no different in that. Everyone here who knows her sees the woman who loves fine things, takes care of herself, wants the best for her family. I dread to think how many clothes that she and Greyson have that they’ve never worn. There’s nothing wrong with that of course. Perhaps you think she’s a little ‘girly’. You might be surprised by the teenager she was.

Picture a young 14 year old, who in discovering the world around her, noticed a lot of homeless people. I think I remember her asking me a few questions about it but then she seemed to forget about it. It was only a few years later I found out that she’d been spending most of her time with them, with no thought for her own safety, sitting, talking to them, trying to understand them, mostly just giving them the reassurance that actually someone did care.

For one particular man,  she was his turning point. She hounded whoever she could to get him a place to live. Nagged him to within an inch of his life to stop drinking. He was her mission. She won too. He ended up getting a place, going on a course and made himself some money fixing people’s computers. He also found himself a wife. He wasn’t the only one she helped but that was I think her biggest success.  She thought nothing of sitting in the dirt listening to them and I couldn’t have stopped her. I learned, very quickly that this girl had her own ideas and nothing I could have said would have changed that. So I did the only thing I could do. I was there for her. So if she likes the finer things of life now, perhaps you can understand why.

She is my rock, my star, my proudest achievement.

Writing this, I’m afraid I came over a little poetic. And so I give you,

Ode to Bonnie and Kyle
(does that sound familiar to anyone?)

My youngest daughter got married today to a man I’m proud to call son
Her eyes told me with no hint of a doubt that he’s her own true one
I wore them heels all down the aisle to make me look less dumpy
But took them off as soon as I could because they made me grumpy
Oh how I tried not to cry as we walked towards her man
To be honest he looked as terrified as any one probably can
As I handed her over, this girl I had raised the tears began to fall
This last task was done, to give her away when she had been my all.
I trust you Kyle to keep her safe, to cherish her forever
To go through life hand in hand, the true meaning of together
Always put each other first, never go to sleep on a row
Always put the seat down, and always look at each other like you are now!
Fight each other face to face, fight others back to back
Look out for each other every day though I think you have that knack
And now I’ve finished this little speech there is only one thing to say
And that’s be upstanding one and all on this most excellent day

And now..
Raise your glasses high for the toast to bless this union
To my daughter, my son, and my grandson too
A toast:  Success, love and happiness always

Bonnie and Kyle

The Tomorrow People

Well! It's been a while since I've been here. Time got a little away from me I think and I've had lots to do, so not much time for reflection. It remains to be seen at the moment what this blog is going to be about but I do want to at least aim for the topic I had planned.

I guess I need to start with a disclaimer. This is the perspective of someone who has very little idea so I really hope I don't offend anyone with my thoughts. It certainly isn't my intent, and I will make a decision about posting this once I've reached the end because it will only be then that I will know if I've made the remotest sense. 

This hasn't stopped you before! I hear you cry. Well no, it hasn't but this is a much more sensitive topic than usual.

Over the years I've managed to create this little bubble of existence. It's a very lonely little bubble but it's safe. I love people so much, but only let them in so far, in fear that if i do open up completely, they will pop that bubble and walk away, as so many have done in the past. If I feel that's about to happen, I run. I don't have the mental strength or shielding to let that happen. It destroys me.

However, I know who I am. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I know my sexuality and have never thought of myself as trapped in my own body. I can't say i like my body particularly, but that has been of my own making, along the lines of 'well if I'm fat then no one will fancy me so I won't have to cope with them walking away'. Messed up? For sure.

Enough self obsessed rubbish. I am what I am. Time to try and force this blog in the right direction.

All this was getting around to talking about those people who aren't happy with the body they were born with and have the strength of character to go ahead and change to become what they should have been all along. I can't say I understand it, because how could I? I can never experience it. I can't say to them 'I know how you feel' because of course I don't. What I can do is accept it and that I find easy to do. 

Why is it that people find it so hard to grasp that we are just entities, actors in a play if you like. This skin that we wear is temporary and it's really not surprising that occasionally, it doesn't fit. It's not what we were supposed to wear for this play. My entity is neither male or female. It is both. Even though the body I inhabit for this time is female I have very very strong memories of being male. One of the strongest memories i have of a past life is seducing a woman, slowly, sensually, feeling her body move beneath me and entering her in a wave of passion. Let me tell you, if men feel like I do in that memory, it's no wonder they spend most of their time trying to get laid! I completely understand!

Back from a cold shower and back hopefully on topic.

I could venture an opinion that those who feel that they are in the wrong body, are suffering from past life memories that are too strong to ignore. It's a possibility for sure but no basis in fact and very probably a gross over simplification of it all, but I do tend to do that because often, the most complicated of problems have the simplest of answers. 

What it all boils down to though is that person needs to change themselves into what they want to be. The strength it must take to step down that path, not knowing if loved ones are going to be supportive, faced with a million and one unknowns. Wow. That has me in awe. What a steep hill they have to climb armed with only a deep conviction that they need to do it. So much more can be done to support this decision. 

If you love someone, you might quite like the outer appearance, but you don't love it. Much like a favourite book, you don't say 'This is my most favourite book' because of the cover but because of what's inside. If two people love each other and then one day some horrible totally made up affliction comes along and they turn into green blobs.. they will still love each other even while they are saying 'eww... you're green!' 

Isn't it enough that two (or three, or more) people love each other? It certainly is for me.

I've known quite a few trans people over the years and in getting to know them, without fail, every single one of them has presented mentally to me as the gender they need to be. Even if they didn't though, I respect the hell out of their right to do what they feel is right. 

A thought to finish this. If it is indeed true that the most homophobic people around are the ones fighting their own insecurities about their sexuality, is it possible that the most transphobic are doing the same about their genders?