Saturday, 2 April 2011

Shout or be silent?

I'd missed the link set up between the old pre-op and new post-op blogs maintained by someone I'd been following for a long while (see her new blog at But after emailing her, I was pointed in the right direction, and have now caught up with J---'s own surgical story. (She now uses the blogging alias Debra) I am really rather envious at how well the physical side is going for her, although it wasn't all plain sailing, and emotionally she has had her ups and downs - as with so many of us, if not myself especially. But she looks great, talks confidently of clothes and dating and sexual sensations, and it's so good to see someone getting their life going again.

She also assures her large following that she wants to keep her blog going. I do hope it happens. It's a quality blog, well constructed, packed with information, very individual; a blog that a lot of people can relate to, with the added bonus of video, so that you can see J--- move and hear her speak, and therefore get to know her in a way you can't if there is only text and maybe a few snapshots. I'd hate to see her blog fade away or be suddenly cut.

And yet so many good blogs go that way.  


One obvious answer is that 'the journey' has been the only or main topic, and once the surgery is over, and one's all healed up, and life has returned to normal, there may be very little left to say. The blog was a necessary outlet, needed much less now. And one might simply be too busy with ordinary life - which for many means a demanding schedule dominated by a job on one hand and personal responsibilities on the other. No time or energy left for posting!

Then there is the thorny question of personal history and security. Do you want potential partners and employers and co-workers and landlords to discover your past on the internet? It's asking too much to expect everyone to take an intelligent and admiring interest in it all. A few are bound to have narrow ideas and fixed prejudices, or salacious minds, and will seize on your past and use it to make mischief. And maybe even compromise your personal security. So there is genuine reason for circumspection here.

On the other hand, if employment and dating is not an issue, you may feel that your own complete story, unabridged, showing your full personal development from the first moment of realisation that you were trans, with all the immediate problems, right through surgery and beyond to the nirvana of life lived on the right terms, your terms, is a tale worth keeping in the public eye. It will contain so much that may inspire and reassure and inform - not just other trans people, but all those who are interested and ready to find out, but need an unfolding and complete personal story in order to really understand. In other words, your blog may amount to a kind of public service, and you may be an ambassador for the trans community, official or not.

And then there is the question of being ambushed and outed in public in a malicious way. Retreating from blogging, or at least covering your tracks, obviously reduces the chances of some clever dick casually searching the internet on their phone and blurting out, in company, 'Hey, everyone! Look what I've found! Miss X here used to be Mr Y! Wow, did you all know that?' On the other hand, (a) just how likely is that event, if you have friends that deserve your trust; and (b) in other public situations, you can - if your past life is all on your blog - neutralise the ambush with a yawn, saying that it's not news: you've been publishing the facts for years, and the smirking outer is just showing their ignorance of what's always been on the public record. So there.

I'm not saying that I'd personally ever want (or court) the potential embarrassment of a public ambush, but clearly I have my answer ready if it should happen. It's not all in one place, and some of it may be buried in sundry non-autobiographical posts, but my former name and all the key facts of my past life are there in my blog if you want to delve. So I feel proof against cretins who want to make me blush with shame and discomforture, as if they've found out some ghastly secret to beat me with.

At the end of the day though, a blog is supposed to be an interesting and lively online diary, and if nothing happens, or if life is humdrum, then there is little point in boring the pants off other people. So if I ever find that I've become dull and staid, I'll shut up and stop wasting people's time. On the other hand, while life continues to be fascinating and full of fresh things to look into, I'll tell you about it. But you musn't expect my blog to remain an explicitly trans blog forever, because I will have truly morphed into an ordinary lady of leisure, with entirely different concerns!

I'm glad though that the name of the blog has always been simply 'Lucy Melford'. No change has ever been needed. Nor will be. 


  1. It is sad when a blog full of useful information is suddenly removed when someone feels that they have gone far enough, so much for things staying on the net forever! The wheel has to be constantly reinvented and the whole story can only ever be found in small parts on each blog and it thakes someone like yourself and Debra, open and honest, to fill in parts many gloss over.

    How life continues is as interesting as the story up to "the" operation, we all want to know if the ending is a happy one!

    I write my blog to show that we are all different and it is possible to survive even when all around you are rushing into theatres and reappearing in a new guise all about while time seems to stand still here.

    Lucy is always going to be an interesting read long after many others have slunk off to their new lives.

    Caroline xx

  2. What a compliment, Caroline! Thank you. I find it easy to write, and even if the focus of the blog shifts, it can still be compelling. Your own story, for instance, which is indeed an antidote to the agonised high-pressure stuff out there. I bet a tour of your domain would be an education!


  3. I enjoy all of your posts. I'm sure that you and Fiona will come up with plenty of adventures to continue for many years to come


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Lucy Melford