I’ve been transgender for decades, and one of my main ambitions for soooooo many years has been to go on a hen night – to spend a night with the girls drinking, dancing and cavorting. And, on Saturday night, that’s exactly what I did!
Regular readers will know of Annie – the cute girl I met at Slimming World. We’ve struck up a very close friendship over the past few weeks – and who knows where it might eventually lead? I’ll say no more on that. We’re not doing labels like “dating” or “going out”. But if we were, we would be! Ha!
Anyway, Annie’s mum, is getting married to her long-term partner in August (I’ve been invited to the wedding, too!) and I was delighted to be invited along to both of her hen dos.
The second one is a weekend away in Leeds – I get to be the real me for a whole weekend – yaaaay! I can’t wait!
And the first one was a night out in Derby on Saturday. My memory is a little hazy, to say the least, but I thought I’d write down here what happened.
We started early. I popped round Annie’s house at about 3pm so that we could spend the afternoon and early evening getting ready together. Her mum and stepdad-to-be were also there, along with their next-door neighbour, Gracie.
I’d taken along a bottle of prosecco, so we just sat outside, drinking in the bubbles and enjoying the hot sunshine. This was before the weather took a turn for the worse. Once that bottle had gone, Annie brought out a magnum of prosecco, declaring that “it were dead cheap!” – she’d bought it from Aldi. She’s a classy bird, our Annie.
So we drank that as well. I also did my nails, applying a base coat, two colour coats (ballerina pink) and a top coat. They looked OK but the sun was that hot, the varnish was drying before I’d finished my brush work. So not the smoothest finish.
I also got the the mickey taken out of me because I’d taken my makeup along in an old Jacob’s crackers box. I do have nicer containers – but this was roomy and did the trick nicely. I think they were just jealous, truth be known.
We were then joined by Annie’s friend, Elaine, and popped to the nearby pub for a cheeky glass of something before we got ready.
Then it was clothes and (face) makeup time. This is something else I’ve never really done, apart from by myself or with partners – the whole girly ritual of getting ready while sipping prosecco and listening to dodgy music. And the music was bloody dodgy. Craig David?! Really?!
No matter, I was too busy concentrating on getting ready to care about the woeful tunes too much. Besides, it’s not like he was actually there. I think he generally makes love on Saturday before chilling on Sunday.
The theme of the hen night was 1980s fancy dress. I’d handily bought a Gladys Pugh outfit for a party a couple of years ago, and only ever worn it once, so that came out again. It was pretty baggy (I’ve shifted a fair amount of timber in that time) but still OK to wear.
So I donned the trademark yellow jacket, white shorts and white socks and plimsoles. For younger readers, Gladys was the woman in the British sitcom Hi-de-hi. Google it! Annie went as Madonna and Elaine as a Top Gun pilot. Annie’s mum was also Madonna – they’d unknowingly bought exactly the same costume!
Togs on, it was time for makeup. I did the basics, such as foundation and powder myself, learning a few tricks from Elaine, who really knows her stuff. She did my blusher and worked miracles with my eyes. I wanted blue eyeshadow – just not a shit single-colour band of blue like Gladys had. My eyes looked great.
And then it was time to hit the road. I’ve no idea what time we left – we got a lift from Annie’s stepdad-to-be. Maybe it was 8pm or so, I’ve no idea. I was well on the way by then. I’d been drinking prosecco since about 3pm, plus wine, plus gin. I never did this pre-loading thing when I was 22. We used to go the pub instead. And drink pints and talk about football. And admire girls from afar. I’m not used to it!
I remember starting at the Tiger Bar in Derby – and I got clocked as trans straight away by two girls who were sat near the bar. My first reaction was one of disappointment, because I felt and looked great – and I’d never, ever been clocked before.
But instead of getting all mopey about it, I sat down with them and we had a good chat. I’ve no idea what about, but they were both really lovely, and great to talk to. I really like that thing where you meet a random stranger for the first time and hit it off. It doesn’t happen very often. I guess I’m not usually confident enough to do it either. But new me, all the confidence – and the prosecco helped!
After that, it’s super hazy. We met Annie’s mum’s friends, who were all dressed in crazy 1980s wigs and flourescent colours. One woman was carrying an inflatable ghetto blaster. Annie’s mum had a huge inflatable cock.
Then we walked from bar to bar, knocking back the gin and vodka like it was going out of fashion. At one point we ended up in a cocktail bar called Lola Lo. Rumour has it I was pretty wasted at this point, so I was bought a large Diet Coke and told to sit down!
Then I remember chatting to Danni for ages, and then being in the ladies’ with her and applying lipstick. But instead of using my own, I used hers. Which was a big mistake. It was a sort of bright orange-red shade which suited Annie well, but did nothing for me. It didn’t help that I was pissed and putting it on like a three-year-old.
Gets hazy again at this point, and then Annie and I left the party – everyone else had gone to a nightclub. I don’t remember exactly what happened but Annie and her mum and had words with each other. She’d seen the two of us kissing – and had thought we were “just good friends” until then. Oops! All’s fine now, by the way.
So we headed to McDonald’s – a place I wouldn’t usually be seen dead at – as Annie wanted some mechanically recovered chicken nugget things. She ate those and then we just sat there chatting for about an hour until we were kicked out by the doormen because we were taking up a table and not eating anything.
I have a video on my phone of this conversation, which basically involves Danni arguing the toss with two blokes and demanding that they show her “the policy” that states that drunken people can’t stay hogging a table for an hour when other people want to buy food and sit down. How unreasonable!
A chap on the next table started complaining (she was going off on one!) and said: “Are you retarded?!” So we left.
By this point, we’d sobered up a bit, so I suggested a trip to the casino. “Just try and act as sober as you possibly can!” I told Annie. I’d been refused entry before for being tipsy.
So we strolled up to the door with the air of people who “never touch the stuff.” And we got away with it, too.
But: “No fancy dress!”
FFS! If you can’t sit at the tables dressed as Gladys Pugh and Madonna, what is the world coming to. We’re classy, chic and sophisticated!
More food was needed. Annie had the munchies like she’d been smoking weed all day, and I did fancy a kebab myself. So we walked into one of the kebab shops opposite the casino. It must have been about 3am. Everyone was well oiled.
And then I got clocked again. I blame Annie’s lipstick! There was a young chap sitting at a table and eating his cheesy chips or whatever he’d had.
I walked past him to get to the counter, and he said, in his very best drunken chav voice: “ARE YOU A BLOKE?!?!”
I turned round and replied: “Fuck off!”
I then asked him: “Are YOU a bloke?!” before going to the counter and ordering a super-healthy chicken kebab, which of course cancels out all the syns from the alcohol.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have told him to fuck off – but I’d had a really lovely night and I wasn’t up for any transphobia, thank you very much. His friend apologised on his behalf and that was the end of the matter. Must try to be more restrained next time. Just that I’m never restrained after a few sherberts!
Annie and I walked out into the night, me with my grilled chicken, lettuce and tomato, her with her pizza, chips and more chicken nuggets! :o)
And after a brief period when I went to find a cash machine and then couldn’t find her again, we bounced into a taxi and headed home for cuddles.
So that’s my first hen night – it was lots of fun. I’ll try not to get too squiffy too early next time, though.
My next wedding aim is to be a bridesmaid. An old friend did once ask me if I would be for her if she ever got married. I think I said no, as this was 25 years ago – and she wasn’t even engaged or anything. Still unmarried now. But if someone asked me today, I’d jump at the chance.
And then, who knows, a bride one day? That’s my ultimate ambition. I went to a friend’s wedding only a few months ago at a big swanky hotel. When the bride walked into the room, I asked myself if I could do the same one day. The answer was no: I’d be too nervous, too bothered about what people might think.
I’m a different person now. I’d never want to be anyone’s husband – I’d feel such a fraud standing there in a morning suit, with bridal lingerie on underneath. The only issue is that non-binary people can’t marry in the UK. Only men and women can.
So that means I’m either going to have to marry as a man (it ain’t happening), wait for the law to change (could take decades) or legally change my gender to female with a gender recognition certificate. And that thought, as I get more and more confident, is one I’m becoming increasingly comfortable with.