Coran and I made a momentous decision last week - we are getting married! After 17 years together it seems like the right thing to do and the right time to do it. Given Coran's status as someone is transitioning from male to female, were we to have done this before the recent change to allow same sex marriages, had she legally changed her status from male to female, we would have had to have got divorced, but since the law changed to allow same sex couples to marry, there is no longer any impediment, so we have decided to go for it. The registry office has all been booked and the date set for the end of August, shortly before the Bank Holiday weekend. The ceremony will be a small affair for family and close friends and will be followed by a weekend break to Glastonbury. One month after that we are planning a much bigger blessing and celebration to which all our friends will be invited. This will be a lot of work.
The planning has already begun with a visit to a caterer yesterday. Nothing has been decided as yet, but we have a good feeling about this one, who seems to tick all the boxes - being not only vegetarian but also wheat free does tend to complicate things, but she is used to catering for all different dietary needs and can she says guarantee no cross contamination, which is of course important. Once we have worked out our budget and have a better idea of numbers, we will be in a better position to make a positive choice.
At the moment it is early days, but there is a lot to do - paying for the venue, finding someone to perform the blessing, flowers, food and drink, the rings, our clothes, invitations - goodness, the list is endless. I am glad it is to be a small affair, as one can only imagine the nightmare of planning a big Church do. Thankfully neither of us are religious, so this was never on the cards for us.
The wedding plans though at the moment are overshadowing my trip to Iceland which is coming round fast as well - less than four weeks now to go. There is loads still to book for that too - airport transfers, various excursions and domestic bus tickets, plus of course spending money, and smaller things like gluten free food, SD cards for my camera, toiletries and so on. That too takes planning. Coran and I plan to go into Guildford next weekend once I am paid and get everything I need. As for the excursions and bus tickets, now that this months credit card has been processed, I might as well start booking these now. The next one after all will not be processed until after I have gone, so it makes no difference as to when it will have to be paid, so there is no reason really to wait. With the new job then as well, this is turning out to be an exciting year.
The job continues to go well - the clients all like me, and there have been only one or two small comments from staff, none of which my boss, a lovely man is worried about, so I am not worried either. I am earning £150 more per month, which certainly helps and enjoying having all my weekends free. The extra money certainly makes a difference, and with the expenses coming up, is very much needed.
The one thing I have been battling with though since the announcement was made, and indeed since I started at this and every new job I have had, is how to tell people about Coran and her gender change. It is not after all something that you can casually drop into a conversation. I would imagine it is the same thing for gay men and lesbians - when people hear me referring to Coran as "she" they naturally believe that this is what we are, a pair of lesbians, but of course the truth is much more complicated than this. Coran was born and legally still is a man, but is going through a hormonal (not surgical) transition from male to female. That is by no means an easy thing to explain to a anyone, even in the relatively non judgemental healthcare environment in which I work.
The judgement if anything has come from me, for that is the thing I have been battling with - my own inner homophobia. Don't get me wrong, I am not homophobic, and believe in anyone's right to love whom they love and have sex with whomever they fancy, as long as it is safe and consensual, but there is huge resistance to others thinking that I am gay. I am not sure where this comes from, and what it even means - maybe it is because although I respect others rights to be that way, it is not something I could ever see myself doing, the idea of having sex with a woman does not exactly turn the stomach, but it is not something I would want to do either. I think that this is where the resistance really comes from, that and the thought that I am not really telling people the whole truth. I think then I need to start being more honest with not only others but also with myself and this is showing me that I still have work to do with regard to overcoming my own judgements and fears around these issues. As we move closer towards our "big day" this is something I will no doubt have to deal with and confront. It will not be easy for well, people like to keep their private lives just that, but people are also curious about others lives, especially when they spend time together working, as let's face it, work is an important part of your life, so for me, it is time to start being honest. I should I guess take a leaf out of Coran's own book.