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  • Chichester Pride

Trans Awareness Week | Diana's Story

Name: Diana (she/her)

On Saturday evenings in the autumn, my younger sister Harriet and I get together at my place to watch Strictly Come Dancing, eat pizza, drink red wine and finish the evening with a movie: the funnier, frothier and girlier the better. Harriet stays the night. We have a chatty breakfast on Sunday morning. And then she goes off on her way.

Anyway, yesterday was just such a Saturday. It began with an early morning dash to The Barn’s Larder in Little London, whose handmade frozen pizzas are the best in Chichester if you ask me. And I’m including restaurants.

I’d just paid for my car park ticket and was heading back to put it on my dashboard, when a lady driving towards me stopped to let me walk by. She then parked her car in the space next to mine.

As she was getting out of the cart I thanked her for stopping and she replied, ‘No trouble at all,’ and smiled in the way that we women do to one another, but are much less likely to do to a strange man in a near-deserted car park.

I went off to the Barn and picked up a couple of pizzas and some equally delicious frozen macaroni cheese. Then the lady minding the store said something like, ‘So you’re doing all your frozen shopping at once?’ And I gave a little laugh and said, yes, because I was getting ready to see Strictly with my sister.

So then we started chatting about Strictly, and who we thought would win, and why it was impossible to watch the lovely, brilliant, inspirational deaf actress Rose Aylin-Ellis dance without getting weepy. And we agreed that her partner Giovanni adored her, and speculated whether that was just platonic affection, or actual, romantic L-O-V-E.

The shop lady handed me my change with a friendly, ‘There you go, my dear,’ and then reminded me to grab my handbag, which had been sitting beside me as we made a team effort to get the pizzas and the mac ’n’ cheese packs into my frozen food bag.

Then I picked up the bag and trotted off to get my flat ready for Harriet, because I’m a total slob when left to my own devices, but an anxious, obsessive perfectionist when I’m being a hostess, even to my own sister. And the reason I am dedicating so much space to such a trivial everyday story is that it’s really not trivial at all.

It’s the whole reason I have gone to the enormous time, trouble, pain and ruinous expense of gender transition. Because I’m not doing all this for any great political reason. I’m not trying to make some kind of big point. I’m certainly not in the business of threatening or wishing to undermine anyone else.

I just want to be me… an ordinary woman, going about her day, just like any other woman. And that’s really all there is to it.

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