Home / About Me
How on earth do you summarise a life in mere words?
I guess that, ideally, you don't even try - and had it not been for my transition I probably would never have even had the urge to have a go at doing so. However, life is full of surprises, so here's a few titbits to give anyone who's interested some idea of who I am - and how I got here:
That's not the name I was born with, of course. I think I'd known Anna was my true name for a long time, so when the time came to change my name that was a bit of a no brainer . I chose my middle name as a thank you to a friend who helped me hugely during the early stages of my transition, and (just to be different) hyphenated the two together.
That has one interesting consequence - as far as I know I'm the only Anna-Jayne Metcalfe on the internet. ;)
I was born in 1966 in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, and although I haven't lived in the North East for many years I still consider myself to be a Northumbrian.
I was reborn at the hands of Dr. Suporn on 14th November 2003 at Aikchol Hospital, Chonburi, Thailand. At the time that was a huge thing - however, now that I'm just getting on with life it's less important, and just one of the many things that has made me who I am today.
Like most people I'm a mass of contradictions.
Although I'm the sort of person who'd rather laugh and join the party than hide in the corner, that's only part of the story. I used to come across as shy and quiet, but as I never wanted to be that way that tended to change quite a bit once I know people.
Nowadays I can come across as a bit of an extrovert (particularly if I know the people around me well), but socially I can still be a little quiet at times. I'm reasonably good at reading people, and value those I care for more than anything else.
I'm divorced and have two wonderful kids but sadly since my transition I no longer live with them (and in fact can't see them either). At times that hurts hugely, but over time I've learnt to live with it.
- Where am I?
These days I live in Bournemouth, in Dorset on the South Coast of England. It's a lively, laid back and sunny place, with a great cafe culture and a thriving LGBT community.
Prior to that I lived in Basingstoke (Hampshire), Maidenhead (Berkshire) and Guildford (Surrey), to name but three.
Despite not having a Christian background, I came to Faith in Spring 2001 at Buckskin Evangelical Church.
What I didn't expect was what would happen subsequently - and the unfortunate reaction that Church would ultimately have to my transition. Since September 2002 I've worshipped at St. Thomas of Canterbury in Worting, Basingstoke and (more recently) MCC Bournemouth where I can often be found running the mixing desk, giving readings or even serving Communion.
Although I qualified as an Electronic Engineer in 1989 I soon found that I spent most of my time doing paperwork rather than what I trained for, so by 1996 I'd refocused my career on software development rather than electronics. These days I'm a C++ software engineer , and the founder of Riverblade - a UK based independent software vendor specialising in software quality tools and development environment integration.
My profile on The Code Project gives a few details of that side of my life should you be curious.
My greatest love is seeing others smile and share their joy in life.
As far as interests go I enjoy many things – but being around fun and interesting people is a firm favourite. I also enjoy live music (as long as it has life and passion!), anything historical (I'm a trained swordswoman...) being with friends and just, well anything fun. There's so many things I'd love to try - far too many to list here and doubtless even more I haven't thought of yet!
I really don't like to see anyone in pain, and do my best to help where I can. I despise ignorant, intolerant, materialistic or obstructive people, inflexibility and beaurocracy. I can be real a bolshy cow when I'm faced with any of these!
Making it up as I go along...
- Fun Places:
Somewhere not too hot with lots to do (I'm not really a beach person, but my idea of fun is pretty broad these days!)
- Favourite Movies:
Here are just a handful of my favourites:
- What Dreams May Come - Robin
Williams and Annabella Sciorra play a couple who not only
have to bear the tragic loss of their children - but of each
other. A remarkably emotional story of one man's journey
through sheer hell to find his soulmate. I can't watch this
movie alone - it brings so many tears.
- Kissing Jessica Stein - A very
sweet romantic comedy with a twist - both partners are
female. I just love this movie!.
- The 13th Warrior - Antonio
Banderas plays an Arab prince amongst a group of Viking
warriors in a story based on the Beowulf saga.
- Dogma - I can't do this movie
justice with a mere description, but suffice it to say that
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck play two renegade angels, Chris
Rock is the 13th Apostle (who got written out of the Bible
because he was black) and Alan Rickman is the Metatron...
- Chocolat - A beautiful movie
describing what happens when a newcomer does something
thoroughly shocking and opens a chocolate shop in an ultra
conservative village in 1950s France at the worst
possible time - during Lent. Johnny Depp co-stars as a very
yummy drifter with Irish roots and lots of charm.
- What Dreams May Come - Robin Williams and Annabella Sciorra play a couple who not only have to bear the tragic loss of their children - but of each other. A remarkably emotional story of one man's journey through sheer hell to find his soulmate. I can't watch this movie alone - it brings so many tears.
- Favourite TV Show:
Red Dwarf. Need I say more?
- Favourite Music:
My musical tastes are rather varied - everything from hard rock and blues through to popular, with a whole pile of offbeat stuff in-between! If I hear anything with spirit or feeling behind I'm quite likely to enjoy it.
Assuming whatever I'm currently playing is scrobblable, here's what I'm listening to at the moment:
- Favourite Authors:
Freya North, Douglas Adams, Tom Holt and Greg Bear to name but a handful. I'm not getting much time to read at the moment, but when I do I like books with feeling or an off-the-wall approach to everyday life. For me at the moment, Freya's books fit my taste perfectly - check out Fen and you'll see why. I won't forget my roots though, and I still love a bit of sci-fi when the mood takes me!
- Favourite Foods:
If I have a choice between sweet and savoury, I'll choose savoury every time. I'm also a big fan of spicy foods, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that Thai, Indian and Chinese cuisine are firm favourites (although many native Thai dishes are too hot for even me!). I'm also a cheese fiend and never, ever have tomato ketchup with anything if there's a more interesting sauce around. Preferably with chilli in it.
- Favourite Animals:
I've always been a dog person. Throughout most of my childhood, we had a collie as a pet and I fell utterly in love with them. If my cicumstances allowed me to have another dog, I definitely would.
- Favourite Places:
As the place of my rebirth, Thailand will always be special to me. There's something truly wonderful about Thai culture - I've never been anywhere so friendly or seen a people so content. In my two months there I also never saw any hint of anger or aggression (apparently it's strongly frowned on) which is a welcome change to what I so often see in the UK. The West could certainly learn a great deal from the Thais.
Secondly, Bournemouth. If you've ever been here as something other than a tourist in the summer, you'll know why...