Martina’s Experience

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Martina tells us what Safe Haven means to her

Hi…I’m Martina…10 years ago I was only active in cyberspace as a girl…five years ago I was crossdressing in private and planning my real life debut on a canal trip in Warwickshire…four years ago…I found my first local hangout in a parish hall in a dead end of Devon…

…well…it was a hangout. Somewhere to be Martina in real life locally…except it was never really what I had in mind…then I hear talk about a t-girl night out in a bar on Exeter quay…well it was a night out…but the venue wasn’t exactly trans-friendly…and I felt very awkward as a result…but one good thing did come out of that night…

Laylia…Pixie…whatever she wants to call herself proved to be the woman that really opened up the Westcountry trans scene to me…and I met her that night…and a few weeks later she invited me to a restaurant/club round the corner from me…gave me space to get changed…even did my makeup and then…well that was a night out…that was the first night I realised…yes…the stuff I’ve dreamed of doing as Martina…at least some of that stuff…I can actually do…

After that…well…I was in Axminster semi-regularly for a while after that…at Pixie even helped me get my mojo back with a shopping trip up there once…the main hangout there was a pub called The Castle…first time I’d been in a pub where I felt comfortable in either mode…but…well…all things come to an end…eventually Pixie and her partner Paul/Paula wound up moving to Cornwall…

Some things do not change though…because attached to Pixie and Paula’s new house in Cornwall was this place called Safe Haven  and during the summer of 2015…I got invited down there to check the place out…

Do I have any specific memories of that first weekend at the Batcave…part of an experience that eventually became known as Safe Haven…no…but I was excited to check this place out for the first time and by the time I saw in 2016 down there…I already know this was the best transgender hangout I’d known…

Why? Partly the company, all the cool t-girls seem to wind up there at some point…but there’s also something I just have never been able to put my finger on…time flies at Safe Haven…there is just this…energy…feel to the place that…you just don’t get anywhere else…

If anything…the Friday nights can sometimes be better than the Saturday nights…that’s the more chilled out evening where people just chat…try their hand at karaoke…talk about personal stuff…etc…Saturday’s the main party night…either Emma or a guest DJ…hit the dancefloor…see if your dress can swirl and basically keep going till you run out of energy…which might not be for a while…

And Pixie…well…Pixie does not change…she is the lady of the manor…she will nitpick you…but it’s always with the aim of making you the best “you” possible…she is one of the world’s amazing irreplaceable women and…I don’t know anyone quite like her in terms of supporting gender divergence…

I also don’t know anywhere quite like Safe Haven…it’s not only “be who you wanna be, when you wanna be” it’s “no one cares if you walk around presenting as a hybrid of male and female modes”…whatever you are…you are welcome there…I’ve yet to find anywhere in the UK quite like it…no matter where your head is at in the outside world…you can switch it off…and not worry about it for a couple of days…yes this leads to “Safe Haven withdrawl syndrome”…which varies in severity depending on what real life is doing but the trip to Safe Haven was always still worth it…

”Safe Haven is one of the coolest places on the planet”…and the only reason I can’t claim it isn’t ‘the’ coolest is because I haven’t seen enough of the planet…

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