This is the first in what I hope to be a semi-regular series of opportunities for people that go to Surrey Swans meetings to say a little bit about themselves.
There’s no set format for this … so it will vary.
Since I’ve yet to organise willing volunteers to share their secrets … I’ll go first.
Your name: Andrea
Year of your birth: 1954
Where you were born: Rochdale
Where you now live: Windsor
What kind of work do you do? Computer software.
How long have you been involved with Surrey Swans and do you get to many of the meetings? Since July 2007 and I get along most months. I find it a great opportunity to meet friends and get to talk with all kinds of different people who are at all kinds of different stages with respect to their lives and their gender identity.
How would you describe your transgendered-ness right now? Several times a month (typically between 2 and 6, but it varies) I take the opportunity to wear makeup and wig, dress and go out and about as a girl. Stereotypes are generally inaccurate, but I guess I fall into the category of transvestite as the term is used in the UK. The girl in me is a vital part of who I am.
How has that developed over the years? As a teenager I remember trying lingerie and stockings. This continued to happen once in a while as the years passed. In 2006 or so I began to wonder what it would feel like to wear a dress or a wig or makeup. This eventually led me to booking an appointment at a dressing, makeover and photo session. And so on Sunday May 6th 2007 Andrea was born.
Who else knows about it and how do they feel? My immediate family and some friends – actually mostly friends of my wife. Attitudes vary, but the people closest to me (my wife and daughters) are actually very supportive and accepting of Andrea. So far everyone that I know that knows is prepared to accept things and almost all are very supportive.
How do you find people react when you are out in “public”? Almost always people don’t notice or if they do they show no real reaction. Once in Manchester a small piece of a banana was thrown at me I think. But I don’t know who by or why. Also in Manchester and other places people have stopped to say hello and pay compliments. On balance where there have been a reaction from people … the good far outweighs the not so good.
What do you most like to wear? Short skirts and dresses are a favourite of mine. But I do have longer things for more everyday kind of wearing.
Any embarrassing moments? I have a front fastening bra that I wear sometimes. At Pink Punters night club once when I was leaning over the bar the front fastening came unfastened. This is especially tricky when a persons boobs aren’t actually attached to their body.
Do you have a website or blog? http://andrea-wright.blogspot.com/