Suzi tells us a little about her background and how she first came to visit us at Safe Haven.
It was over a year ago now that I first visited Safe Haven, and found a group of supportive friends who have become a major part of my life. Before I get to talking about that visit a little background might be useful.
I have been out on the trans scene for many years, though hadn’t been expressing myself much since I moved from Bristol back to rural Cornwall to care for my elderly parents. It seemed there were no safe places to go down here, I could almost believe I was the only trans person in the county.
Back in Bristol there had been a vibrant trans scene, though it was centred mainly around fetish clubs and gay bars, neither of which was ideal (being transgender is neither a fetish or a sexual orientation) but at least there were plenty of opportunities to go out and be happy. Apart from Sparkle in Manchester, I wasn’t aware of trans events that didn’t fit into these niches.
Then one night at an LGBT pub in Plymouth I met Pixie and Paula, and they invited me to a venue where I wouldn’t be groped and I could have a conversation without shouting over loud disco music, it sounded too good to be true!
Full of trepidation I headed down to the narrow bit of Cornwall, and ended up at Safe Haven, it took me a moment or two to realise there was a bar in there too, and a group of people chatting and laughing. People who didn’t treat me as strange, or even as a stranger. We soon became firm friends.
I had found somewhere I could be myself at last, with no sexual overtones, no predatory admirers, no little cliques making me feel even more marginalised than I am already, there wasn’t even any need to shout. wonderful.
I soon became a regular visitor, and was made to feel like one of the family.
Since that first visit I have managed to do things I never imagined I could, all with the support and encouragement of the people at Safge Haven, going to a local public cosplay event as Lara Croft, eating out at the local pub, I even had my 15 minutes of fame on local radio!
No pressure, no danger, no drama, no hidden agendas, just a steadily expanding group of friends.
What more could a girl want?