Journal

Welcome to my online journal, which I started in December 2002 after several very persuasive hints from friends. Although I obviously don't write about everything that happens in my life here, I hope it'll provide an insight into who I am and what's happening in my life - whether good, bad, happy or sad.

Even measles can't keep me down at the moment!

Posted by Anna at 23:18 on Thursday, December 30, 2004
I never did do childhood diseases. Not as a child anyway - all I had was whooping cough as a toddler (fortunately I'd been immunised against that one) and a mild case of glandular fever at secondary school. All the usual ailments such as measles, mumps and chicken pox passed me by, and until about five years ago I never gave them a single thought. I've always been pretty healthy.

That changed slightly when I caught chicken pox as an adult. It was pretty bad...quite the most uncomfortable and debilitating experience I've ever lived through. I'd rather go through GRS again than that, and that's saying something!

You can imagine my thoughts then when I woke up in the middle of the night a few days before Christmas feeling very itchy...and felt the beginnings of a rash covering my body. The following morning it was worst, and I was fearing the worst - shingles, maybe? A call to NHS Direct suggested an allergy reaction (which is unusual for me; I've no allergies I know of), but a quick visit to the doctor produced an alternative (and totally unexpected) diagnosis - suspected Rubella (German Measles). I'm not sure who was more surprised - me or the doctor!

Fortunately, I'm not in contact with any pregnant women, and everyone I was likely to encounter during the infectious period (basically over the following week or so) wasn't fazed, so it hasn't affected our plans for the holiday.

So...despite the itching we've spent a relaxing and fun time chilling out with friends in Cambridge. It's the first time I've been there, but I'm sure it won't be the last.

Oh...and the measles are gone now, too.

Happy Christmas

Posted by Anna at 23:23 on Tuesday, December 21, 2004
The cards are done (and even better, posted) and now we can relax. For Beth and I this is going to be a Christmas amongst friends, although we are of course going to visit her family too.

Wherever you are and whatever your circumstances, we'd like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Christmas. God Bless.

The end of Blunkettophobia?

Posted by Anna at 22:11 on Thursday, December 16, 2004
We heard last night on the way to my electrolysis session that David Blunkett - the UK Home Secretary - had resigned. I'm not generally much of a political person, but I have to admit he made me nervous. I can't remember any other UK politican quite so keen on restricting civil liberties.

One of his pet schemes was of course the National Identity Card scheme. Although in the past I (like many people I assume) have considered such a scheme nothing to worry about. After all, I've nothing to hide. However, transition has changed my perspective.

When I began my transition I was of course still male in appearance and identity, and it wasn't until August 2002 (three months after starting hormone therapy) that I ventured out into the world as Anna for the first time. I changed my name legally to Anna-Jayne Metcalfe by Deed Poll on 17th December 2002, after which I started the long process of contacting the myriad organisations who needed to know about the change.

What's this got to do with ID cards? Simply put, for the period from August to December 2002 I of necessity had two public identities, and it was only after changing my name in December that I was able to change official documents (passport, drving licence, bank details etc.) into my new name. Before that, I was in the difficult position of (often) appearing as female, but having documentation in my male name. I coped by having credit and bank cards issued as "A Metcalfe", without any gender identifier.

Had ID cards been in force then, I'd almost certainly have been asked to present it at some time - possibly just while doing something as everyday as buying clothes. That would have been acutely embarassing, not only for me but probably also for those dealing with me. I severely doubt the government would issue two ID cards (one in a male name and one female) to transpeople at that stage of transition.

There are other considerations too. The proposed scheme records biometric data such as facial characteristics which are likely to be inaccurate for anyone who (like myself) undergoes facial feminisation surgery. Worse, they will also carry details of previous names. Call me paranoid if you like, but I don't want that information on an ID card.

I hope this scheme dies, but I fear it won't.