In 1996, I decided I did not want to be a sad, lonely pervert: I wanted to be a happy, gregarious pervert. So I bought myself a wig, and joined the local TV/TS club.
There, I met Fiona, a TV who went out and about, who took me off for several weekends on her boat on the Norfolk Broads, and Barbara, who introduced me to the Sibyls. I had some wonderful weekends with the Sibyls, where on Saturday night we would put on our evening dresses and drink lots of wine and have earnest conversations about intention to transition and how frightening it was and was it really the right thing to do? And at the Northern Concord I felt a lot of the people were blokes down the pub, who happened to be dressed rather strangely, and I felt different from them. Through them I found the Metropolitan Community Church, which helped me to learn that I was acceptable to God with my idiosyncrasy, and there I met Carol, my first girlfriend with whom I had dressed female, and (not coincidentally) the first relationship I had which lasted more than two months.
I did not like my body hair, so I shaved it, and being unpractised at this, made two long scratches down the tendons on the backs of my hands. My colleague asked how I had done that, and so I went to her office and told her. It was so wonderful just to tell someone. She sympathised, rather than judged. It started to show me that the harshest judgments were in myself, not in others.