Party Frocks Poetry And Offers I Didn’t Accept

Hey everyone I don’t know about you lot but I’m looking forward to having lots of lovely nights with good friends over the festive period, spending quality time in their company and catching up with all their latest news. Well being a sociable kind of girl it really is one of my favourite bits of the social swirl that is the Christmas Season.

Now it is fair to say that many of these nights will not be confined to Baillieston and some may involve trips to the other side of the city as was the case with two recent poetry related evenings within the last few weeks. At the beginning of the month I made my way to and returned safely from, my monthly trip to Words and Music at Sammy Dow’s but whilst the review of that event is another story for another blog, it is important to stress that my journey home was a lot less scary than the one the previous Thursday as I did not feel anyway near as vulnerable as i waited for the bus home

You see my experience of the previous Thursday was just a wee bit too spooky for my liking, and it really drove home the message of personal safety particularly though not relating to women at this time of year. Yes i know safety is important all year round, but with our senses potentially dulled by the heady and potentially lethal combination of party frocks and vodka goggles we need i think to be on full alert at this time of year, so we can be fully alert to smell the scent of danger before it in any way shape or form smells us.

It has to be said,that having walked all the way from Nice ‘n’ Sleazy which for those of you who don’t know Glasgow as at the top of Sauchiehall Street in other words five minutes from the beginnings of Maryhill on one side and the West End on the other to Ingram Street in the beating heart of what is the Merchant City i was in pretty upbeat mood. Well i had just been one of the judges in a brilliant poetry slam along with Robin Cairns, and Jim Ewing and enjoyed some great company with some the competitors and audience members before heading in to the night to start my journey east. So i could have been forgiven for being caught off guard but thankfully i wasn’t and when a guy asked me if I wanted a lift home i had enough wits about me to refuse and say i was waiting for a bus.

However as every woman knows some guys just know how to take a knock back and undaunted he kept on asking and I kept on refusing. Honestly this guy didn’t give up easily and said he would take me home for free. Yeah right, the only thing he wanted to take was me on the back seat with my tights around my ankles. Now considering I’m a pre op transsexual i think the situation could have become very difficult had i been drunk enough or stupid enough to agree to this idea.

Fortunately however, there are times when a girl’s best friend is her gaydar and mine was fully switched on as i saw a guy young enough to be my son standing in his own . He didn’t seem to mind that i had ‘borrowed’ him for a wee minute and engaged him in conversation just long enough for this driver to vanish in to the distance. I was right about him being gay, by the way, a few seconds after i left him i saw him with his arms round his boyfriend. That however doesn’t matter, personal safety on the other hand certainly does, and it was with a sigh of relief that i made my way to the next bus stop at the bottom of Glassford Street where the Merchant City ends and the Trongate begins. It was in those familiar surroundings that i waited patiently for my number 2 Bus and fortunately i didn’t have to wait long.

On my journey home i was left with plenty of time to reflected that though the evening had been exciting and entertaining in terms of the quality of the poetry and companionship I enjoyed, it felt great to be in a safe warm space and far away from any potential harm.

It is with this in mind that i feel i must thank publicly friends such as Chris Stephens and Chris Young both of whom have on more than one occasion stood with me often going out their own way to do so to ensure my well being and it would also right and proper to express my thanks to Derek Read as someone else who has did this for me, not forgetting those who have given me lifts home from venues in the past such as Anne McLaughlin, Colin Storrie, Danny O’Connor, Paddy Hannrahan, Siobhan Harkin, Marc R Sherland, Stephanie Smith and most of all the brilliant and most amazing wee chosen sister anyone on earth could ever ask for the one and only Catherine Baird, i owe all a debt of gratitude I’ll never be able to pay.

Anyway having had time to reflect i can honestly say i don’t think i have ever felt so vulnerable in my five years as transitioning woman. It really was a scary and unpleasant end to what had up till that point been a truly amazing evening. However if during this festive season i could give girls and women of Glasgow just one bit of advice it would be this:

Trust me girls if any guy offers you a lift and it sounds too good to be good to be true then you know what, it probably is.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

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