I am quite sure that all my regular readers will be expecting this post!
Gosh, 500,000 clicks to see what I've been writing about since February 2009! I hope nobody came away grievously disappointed. But of course there must have been some who were, who perhaps thought such things as...
This woman is trivial and intellectually lightweight.
This woman is mad and deluded.
This woman doesn't believe in anything.
This woman is far too cheerful to be true.
This woman clearly hasn't suffered nearly enough - where is the pain and anguish?
This woman is too organised for her own good.
This woman may be able to take nice photos, and compose grammatical sentences, and punctuate correctly, but where is the substance?
Why doesn't she tackle all the burning issues of the day?
What use is she, if she doesn't try to be committed, and provocative, and challenging?
Why doesn't she stick her neck out, and name and flame the people who deserve it?
Why hasn't she got the answers?
...and having snorted in disgust, clicked away from the blog, and never came back.
Well, I'd rather be good-natured and positive and hopeful, than a constant bringer of bad news, and endless things to complain about. Or write in the style fashionable in some quarters, a style that passes for 'good journalism' and takes waspish, crowd-pleasing swipes at people who are 'different'.
In any case, this isn't a blog that has to earn a living. I'm writing for the love of writing, and not to generate pageviews and clickthroughs at the behest of advertisers. This is one of my hobbies. It also explains what makes me the person I am. You can get to know me through the blog, even though we may never meet. I think that's valuable, being knowable.
Of course, I'm sure that now and then I say some silly things. And sometimes things that are offensive to certain people. I haven't forgotten the fuss made at the start of 2013 by one American trans woman, when I described the good impression a female work colleague of Jewish background had made on me twenty-five years earlier. She was incandescent about what I said, and accused me of racism. When you get reactions like that, you keep away from certain topics for evermore, simply to avoid vitriol. Playing for safety too much? Well, if I were 'courageous' and deliberately controversial, and completely insensitive, then I might by now have generated five million pageviews. But I'd be hated and reviled by many, and my friends would be embarrassed and worried for my safety.
And keeping the topics low-key is really not inhibiting. It suits my agenda. The blog is not a high-profile political platform, nor a tub-thumping crusading organ. Nor am I a cruel debunker of other people's cherished beliefs. I do support the trans cause. But I am not going to make a career out of it.
I want instead to reveal, through my little adventures, that there is a satisfying and interesting life to be had for anyone who confronts their need to transition. The Prize is not a beautiful body, nor great sex, nor true love, nor celebrity and influence - although those things might be achieved; it's the chance to experience an ordinary life as one's real self, with daily, routine acceptance from the world at large. That's the key message the blog pushes, that such a life is possible; and for proof, people like me are living it.
By the way, although that 500,000 click total may seem commendable, it's eclipsed by what's happened on my Flickr site. The viewing total there now stands at 605,000. I'm really really pleased with that, as I value my photography above the blog.