Sunday, 29 January 2012

Nottingham Invasion.

Has there ever been a dedicated t-night in central Nottingham before? I can't remember. There's Chameleons, of course, which has been around for years and provides a safe space for (mostly) MTF cross-dressers on alternate Thursdays. But they're quite a way out of town, which is difficult for those of us without cars. (Never mind that I'm otherwise engaged on Thursday evenings.) And there's Recreation, which started (again) last year. I do go to this fairly regularly (Wednesday evenings in the city centre are more convenient), but it's more of a support group than a social event and caters to different needs.

Now, into the vacuum has come Nottingham Invasion, organized by Samantha Hewit and Maddy Watson, scheduled for the third Friday of every month (the first being last December), meeting at the New Foresters and then moving on to other illustrious venues. And it's really taking off. Apart from the locals, it seems people are already travelling up and down from London and Durham. Which just goes to show.

I didn't make it to the first two Invasions, but I'm planning on going in February — if I can solve three problems: #1 (logistical): how to get there and back; #2 (personal): fear – the prospect of going anywhere to meet up with people I don't know always fills me with trepidation, no matter how nice they all might be; #3 (sartorial): what to wear.

Solutions: #1 Go on the bus (though this creates its own problems) or stay overnight (probably not). #2 Go anyway (to do anything else would be feeble). #3: Hmmmm...

As I said in a previous post (and in the comments thereto), I'm essentially always cross-dressed, in that all my clothes are off the women's racks, if never so overtly as to cause an adverse reaction. This time I should clearly get in the spirit of things and be more overt. But if I don't want to parade myself through the village (and I don't), I'll have to change when I get there and the facilities for doing that are somewhat lacking. My one saving grace is that, unlike (I'm guessing) most other Invaders, I don't intend (or want) to present as female at all — femme, not female, remember — so I don't have to worry about wigs, cosmetics, body shaping, or anything like that. So perhaps all I need is a skirt and shoes in a bag for a quick change in the toilets.

Perhaps a velvet skirt and some gothy shoes.

This is beginning to sound like fun :)


  1. Well, I went down. I didn't wear a skirt after all (though I should have done – my jeans and trainers didn't really fit in with all the frocks and heels, even if they were women's jeans and pretty trainers with roses on :)). Anyway, I got to put a few faces to people (or, more accurately, they did; I already knew what they looked like from online photos and avatars). Talked to Sam a bit – and Maddy, which was nice (how could it be otherwise with the friendliest person with the friendliest smile :)). Lost to Kate at pool – twice (pool isn't my game; try me at chess and see how you get on :p).

    And then... I couldn't cope any more and went into a bad place, which carried on for a day and a half after I got home. How to explain this... It's like I'm cut off from the world inside Sylvia Plath's Bell Jar and can't speak and can't get out. Alcohol helps, but only so far. Self diagnosis is very often nonsense, but the various criteria for avoidant personality disorder seem pretty much spot on. Fuckadoodledoo.

  2. "So perhaps all I need is a skirt and shoes in a bag for a quick change in the toilets. Perhaps a velvet skirt and some gothy shoes."

    Well, I tried that (along with an embroidered denim blouse and black tights) for the April Invasion, and it was perfectly fine — but the rest went no better than in February. I still felt very much the odd one out as "guy in skirt", as though people were wondering what I was doing there, and my difficulties with personal interaction (see above) prevented me from getting past that. In the end I just sat and read a book for a while and then caught the bus home.

    But that's just me. Don't let my experience put you off if you're thinking of going down. Sam and Maddy are great hosts and it sounds like everyone else had a smashing time :)