I don’t want this site to be solely about being transgender. From my experiences so far, it’s not even something I could write about every week – being in the closet is far more intense and frustrating and writeable. However, there are moments when things happen, unique to trans people. I’d like to share those moments with you, and let you into the mystery.
Saturday Night Party at Valentina's
How is it possible to get lost on the way to Valentina's, of which I've been to twice before? Pulling behind me a suitcase filled with gifts and alcohol, I took a long route up my favourite street, then realized it wouldn't take me to the party. A swirling blizzard soon enveloped me, and I found myself at a motorway, where no motorway had previously existed. Sheltering from the flurry, I accidentally ran into a traveller also looking for the party, a familiar friend I hadn't seen in ages.
Are you looking for the party too?
What? Yes. You too?
Yes. It's cold, isn't it? Where did all this snow come from? Oh good, you've got a Smartphone.
We made our way together, like Lancelot and Gawain using Googlemaps to brave the Wasteland, searching for the Castle of the Grail, and a Grail maiden named Valentina. Eventually, the gentlest light beckoned us through the falling, blustering snow, and with it the distant music of Christina Aguilera. Upon reaching a giant door, we weary travellers were led into a kitchen, where a goblet was passed unto my lips. Here endeth this section of Gina and the Holy Grail.
What happened at the Castle of the Grail? I had a conversation with Angela on a dark staircase; I met some glamorous-looking people I'd never spoken with before, and for the very salty meal I'd had some hours earlier, I must have drunk about ten cups of water during a group conversation about Black Panther, while some may have wondered if I'd taken Ecstasy.
In the photos you can see me and my flatmate Niki, finally together in a picture. In the group photo on the right you can see me, Tess, Calder and Angela with Tess radiating a brilliant smile in the foreground. In the other group photo, Erden (whom I share a desk with in the PhD room), Valentina, me, Calder and Angela. Calder and Angela, I've known since my MSc in Creative Writing (2015-2016), they're now running the Ogilvie website where they publish works of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Along with incandescent Tess, we occasionally meet on Tuesdays for our quiz nights, where we sometimes win.When I began my writing about transitioning, a year and a half ago, I mentioned once or twice how life is like the Wasteland. Saturday reminded me that the secret of the Grail is this: find shelter with good people; the Grail is there.