Friday, 26 August 2011

Back into my normal life - law and levers

The week before last was a gentle re-introduction to the legal world, answering e-mails (including lots offering lovely support to my re-appearance) and some gentle paperwork.

This week I have been back in the Employment Tribunal in female form, In central London on Tuesday and Southampton on Thursday.  Clients, solicitors, staff, the oppiosing barristers and Judges have all been lovely, plainly making an effort to call me 'Ms' or 'Miss' White, which is wonderful to hear but still sounds distinctly odd.  I wonder how long it will take to get used to it?  I have felt comepletely comfortable presenting as female, the 7 weeks or so that I have been doing that full time have helped in relaxing me with my female presentation.  I even had the confidence to wear a purple Hobbs dress with a black jacket, rather than an all-black outfit. And I even managed to win all points decided in the first case (which will be finished off later in the year) and a hand-down victory in the second case, including getting costs against the untruthful claimant!

The other aspect of my normal life which I have gone back to in the past week is my volunteering as a (now lady) signal man on two of Britain's wonderful heritage staem railways.  My denoument was at Swanage last Sunday, and then I did a day at Crowcombe on the West Somerset Railway (Taunton to Minehead) on Wednesday.  Both are lovely locations and a great break from the trials and tribulations of court, doing something a bit physical but where thought and manual dexterity can help the train service along.  In each case I wore the lovely new female uniform I have had tailored, although my waist is narrowing (good), so I had to stitch up the skirt waistband a little.  One of the drivers called me 'dear' so I suppose that should be taken as acceptance.  As usual, at Crowcombe, I had some public visit the very attractive 1930's signal box and if they thought I had a deep voice for a 'girle' they didn't let on.

I think that makes me the Swanage Railway's first female signal man, and only the third the West Somerset Railway have ever had, and to my knowledge, the only trans gender signal man on either railway.  Both sets of management and volunteer collegues have been lovely, although I understand that my re-appearance in altered form has given folks a fair amount to talk about over tea in the mess rooms.

It is lovely to have two big parts of my life's jigsaw back in place.


Robin Moira White

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