Dates for Your Diary

By Jonathan Craig

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As usual, there’s a lot coming up in BCA’s calendar, and we understand that it can be difficult to keep track of everything. This section is our attempt to make things easier for you, by collating all the dates in one place for handy referencing. This time round, information about our upcoming AGMs, Spring into Action, and our next National Convention in 2021.

Spring into Action

The NSW/ACT State Division will be organising various social events throughout October as part of their Spring into Action program. Stephen Belbin provides more detail about what you can expect in his piece on the program, and you can expect more events to be announced soon. You can also get in touch with Stephen directly using the contact details at the end of this issue.

National Women’s Branch Annual General Meeting

The AGM and elections for the National Women’s Branch will be held on Saturday, November 16, at 1 PM Melbourne time. For more info about them, please see the branch update earlier this issue, or get in touch with branch President Janene Sadhu via the BCA office, or using the contact details later this issue.

BCA’s 2019 Annual General Meeting

This year’s BCA Annual General Meeting will be held in Sydney on Saturday, November 30. We are currently confirming details but expect that the AGM will run from around 11:00 am for an hour or so and will be followed by a social event. We will let you have more information including venue details shortly.

Again this year we will be working to make the meeting available to our members across the country. In particular, we will be using technology to allow for members to gather in various locations where they can be linked into the Sydney meeting via video conference. We are asking our branches to consider hosting a satellite gathering in their location and envisage that this might include being part of the AGM and then holding a local social function as an end of year celebration. Members who join through these locations will be able to participate fully in the meeting as they will be able to ask questions and cast their vote on key business items.

For those who will not be able to attend in Sydney or at one of the satellite venues we will again stream the meeting via the Internet so it will be available via a computer, smart phone or other internet enabled device.

2019 BCA Election Process

Ahead of the AGM we will be conducting elections for vacant positions on the BCA Board and National Policy Council. This year one Director position will fall vacant and we will be calling for nominees for election to the National Policy Council from members in Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia. In addition, elections are due in NSW and the ACT for membership of the NSW/ACT State Division Committee. We will conduct these elections in parallel with the Board and NPC ballots.

WBU and ICEVI Joint General Assemblies

The World Blind Union (WBU) and the International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) will be holding their third Joint General Assemblies in Madrid, Spain, from the 19th to the 24th of June 2020. The WBU is an internationally recognised organisation representing people who are blind or vision impaired in 190 member countries. The ICEVI is a membership organisation with a mission to promote education for all children who are blind or vision impaired, almost 90 per cent of whom live in low income settings.

The ASSEMBLIES, which will take place at the Marriott Hotel, will be hosted by ONCE, the National Organisation for people who are blind or vision impaired in Spain. BCA will be represented by CEO Emma Bennison and BCA’s vice President, Helen Freris. Observers are also welcome to attend the assemblies. If you’re interested in attending, or for more details, please direct inquiries, in the first instance, to Emma Bennison, via email to

National Convention 2021

Following our most successful Convention ever, held in Hobart earlier in the year, we are already planning for “Convention 21”. This will be held in the Brisbane area over the weekend from Friday 23rd to Monday 26th April 2021. We anticipate the event will be similar in format to the Hobart Convention, with subject specific workshops on the Friday and a range of social activities on the Monday.

As with the Hobart convention, there will be plenty of opportunities for members to contribute to the planning of the event. We will update you with further details as they come to hand.

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Excerpt: Born at the Right Time

By Professor Ron McCallum

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Editor’s Note

Ron McCallum AO is Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Sydney, the first totally blind person to be appointed to a full professorship at any university in Australia. He has been chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Geneva, has received a Centenary Medal for his work, and was the 2011 Senior Australian of the Year.

Ron believes he’s fortunate to have been born in an era where technology and social progress have made his achievements possible. Through his reflections on his childhood, we glimpse the much more hostile world he remembers, and can be thankful, like him, for the one we now enjoy.

But as well, we see his mother’s commitment to helping him live a normal life, and the incredible strength of character he showed from an early age. I think these things also contributed greatly to his success. This is a great start to a profound and insightful memoir.

Chapter 1: Less than Auspicious Beginnings

In the year of my birth, the lives of the blind and visually impaired in Australia were much harder than they are today. The few who reached the heights of professional employment, such as lawyers and teachers, had mostly gone blind as the result of an accident or injury sustained during the Second World War; they had received their initial education while they were still sighted.

A number of blind people taught music, but most of those blind from birth were confined to sheltered workshops or to assembly jobs or roles as telephonists working the old-fashioned switchboards.

After all, since we blind people could not read print, clerical jobs were unavailable to us at that time.

I was born prematurely in Melbourne in 1948, when my mother was forty years old. Because my arrival into the world was between eight and ten weeks early, my breathing was laboured and I was placed in a humidicrib and given pure oxygen. The outer shell of these humidicribs was made mainly of perspex, a material that had been used to manufacture the transparent canopies of fighter-plane cockpits during the Second World War, which had just ended.

Initially weighing three pounds two ounces, I lay in the foetal position in my survivor capsule and breathed in oxygen, while my mum and the caring staff watched over me and monitored my progress. What was not then fully appreciated was that the eye is one of the last organs to develop in vitro. Pure oxygen is far too strong for the developing eye, and consequently, like so many other premature babies at that time, I survived but I lost my sight. This condition is known as retrolental fibroplasia (RLF), or retinopathy of prematurity. Since the mid-1950s, with greater medical knowledge and much more careful oxygen monitoring, it has become a rare condition, certainly in developed countries such as Australia.

My birth was obviously a traumatic event for my parents. I think that my father never really accepted me. I do not remember him ever picking me up or holding me close. He certainly made little attempt to foster a father–son bond with me. Even now, I can’t really guess what was going on in his mind-either with me or my brothers. My blindness seemed to make me something less than whole in his eyes. Did he see it in some strange way as undermining his manhood? In many cultures, especially in the past, children disabled at birth are perceived as being punishment for a parental wrong. Did my dad feel this type of stigma?

On the other hand, my mother was determined that I would survive, entire and whole. She came to the Royal Women’s Hospital every day for two months, just to sit by my humidicrib and to be with me. I am sure that her presence greatly assisted my survival.

I was my parents’ third child. My diminutive mother gave birth to three boys -Ted, Max and me – in the space of three years and one month. No doubt, she must have found herself very busy. By the time of my birth, the family had moved into a two-bedroom Housing Commission home in Raynes Park Road, Hampton, which is a bayside suburb of Melbourne. There were then no paved footpaths, and the major shops were more than a kilometre away.

To go shopping, Mum had to pack us three boys into the stroller and set off for a brisk walk. We didn’t own a car, nor did we have a telephone, but this was hardly unusual in young post-war families like ours. Dad worked at the General Post Office in downtown Melbourne, and on occasion he did shift work.

After my birth, I am almost certain that my parents broke off sexual relations altogether, and the strain within the family at times became acute. Even before I was born, Dad had been violent towards my mother, usually when drunk. I cannot know whether this violence or family stress played a part in inducing my premature birth; it is something on which I do not wish to dwell. At this remove, it no longer matters – I was born.

While Dad and I were never close, I was still too young at the time of his death in 1962 to learn much about his life. I do know that his marriage to my mother was his second, and that it was his first family that had kept him out of the First World War. Dad’s first wife bore him their first child – a son – in 1913, then another two sons and one daughter. I suspect that it was Dad’s remorse about staying at home the first time round that led him to volunteer for service at the beginning of the Second World War. Many young men lied and put their age up in order to enlist, whereas my father pretended he was younger than he actually was.

We three boys knew that Dad had children from a prior marriage: this was not something that was hidden from us. When we were small, I vaguely remember his son Lloyd visiting us with his wife and children. These half-siblings were very much older than us and we treated them more like uncles and aunts. I have stronger memories of Dad’s daughter, Jean, whom we called Aunty Jean.

When she came around, she would say, ‘Got a kiss for your Aunty Jean!’ At the age of seven or eight, kissing ‘aunties’ was not high on my priority list.

Dad served as a soldier in the Middle East, but he was invalided out in about 1942. I know nothing of these details. By that time, he was an alcoholic. There was an eighteen-year age gap between my parents: Dad was born in 1890 and Mum in 1908. They married in Melbourne on 6 June 1943. Although I know little about how they met, both came to the union with some personal baggage. It is fair to say that theirs was not a happy relationship.

It is said that the effects of war flow down to the succeeding generations, and my brothers and I saw the truth of that. Dad’s violence consisted of swearing at and pushing Mum, sometimes knocking her to the floor. I was terrified, especially as a toddler and small child. To make things worse, I couldn’t see what was going on. These memories remain distressing for me, ghosts on which I do not care to dwell.

Although I don’t remember it in great detail because I was barely three years old, my brothers used to talk about one occasion when my father took an axe to one of the bedroom doors and we all fled to a neighbour’s house. The police were called, although in those days perpetrators of domestic violence were generally let off with a warning. This saga was told and retold over the years among us three brothers as though it were some sort of classic rescue folktale.

I do remember, when I was about six, pushing Dad on his legs and telling him not to hit Mum. But he just swatted me away, in what for him was a reasonably gentle fashion.

As I sit here, the memories come flooding back. I recall feeling the bruises on Mum’s elbow after he pushed her over. I remember touching the part of Mum’s scalp where Dad had pulled out a hunk of her fine hair. Clearly he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder caused by his military service in the war, for which he never sought or received help, but of course that is hardly an excuse for his behaviour.

In those days, domestic violence was swept under the carpet. I am sure that our neighbours knew that Dad was violent towards Mum. However, it was an unwritten convention in that era that what went on behind closed doors was not interfered with or even discussed. As we grew older my father’s health declined and he was less capable of violent behaviour.

Mum had known several blind people before I came along, which helped her cope more easily than my father with the challenges I faced. She insisted on me behaving ‘normally’-for example, she would scold me if I raised my voice unnecessarily to be understood. This is what many blind people do, making them rather noisy to be around. Mum made it clear that I had to learn to survive and to thrive in a world of sighted people.

I hear you wondering, ‘When did you realise that not being able to see made you different from others?’ I don’t quite know how to answer this question. I must have had some knowledge, even before the age of two, that I could not do some things that others were able to do. To begin with, ‘they’ had something that prevented them from falling over, while I fell over far too often.

One memory stands out for me. Just before the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, when I was four years old, Mum was reading a story to us three boys. She was explaining the pictures to Ted and Max; I think the pictures may have been of jewels or crowns or the pageant – I don’t quite remember. I put up my hands to touch the book, but of course I couldn’t feel the picture. Mum said, ‘Remember, darling, that you can’t see – so you can’t see the pictures in this book and you can’t see the printed words on its pages.’

I think this memory stuck because I loved the stories Mum read to me. Her words cut into my consciousness. To think that when I grew up I wouldn’t be able to read stories seemed terrible to me. I still think that one of the worst things about being blind is not being able to read the printed word with my eyes. Certainly, by the age of four I knew what seeing was about, at least in part. I knew that I couldn’t see and would never be able to see.

Mum ensured that we three brothers treated one another equally. I remember joining in their games, even the ones I perhaps should not have. On one occasion we all climbed onto the shed in our back garden-it was a little more than a metre and a half high. One by one we jumped off to demonstrate our prowess and bravado. I can remember Max saying to me: ‘Of course you can-just jump,’ and so I did.

I am pleased that my family was not over-protective and that they encouraged me to take risks. I say this in spite of the inevitable injuries that followed. One afternoon, when playing with my brothers and other children, I slid down a bank on some open land near our house, which left me with an impressive scar on my right buttock, courtesy of a misplaced brick on which I broke my fall.

When my second brother, Max, went to school and I was four, Mum enrolled me in an ordinary kindergarten for a term. My kindergarten teacher was very nice, but I do remember being confronted by the situation that there were some games in which I couldn’t participate. However, being in a class with ‘ordinary’ children broadened my horizons-quite literally as I was no longer confined to our house and yard.

Of course, Mum taught me how to go to the toilet and how to dress myself, in the same way as she schooled my big brothers. I also learned to tie up my shoes after a fashion. Even today, tying shoelaces up tightly doesn’t come easily to me. I’m not sure why, but this kind of fine-motor movement has always posed challenges for me.

The mention of shoelaces and trembling fingers evokes for me cold wintry days in Melbourne. Our house, like most in Melbourne at that time, didn’t have central heating. There was a fireplace, where we burned wood, and a small electric radiator heater. I can remember getting half-dressed under the bedclothes to combat the frosty mornings. We also used hot-water bottles on freezing nights to warm our beds and toast our chilly toes. The coldness was accentuated by the fact that we didn’t have hot water in the home. There was a gas bath heater to heat up the bath and shower water, but to wash dishes in the sink meant that we had to boil the kettle.

Many years later, one of the very first things I did when I began to earn money, was to pay for a hot-water service for the family home. Even today, I never ever take hot water for granted. I still find it a bit of a miracle to have piping hot water come straight out of a tap.

Like many other post-war families of modest means, it was many years before we acquired a refrigerator. Instead, the ice-man came and delivered cold blocks of ice, which we put in the ice-chest to keep things cool. Nor did we possess a washing machine. Instead we used a gas copper to wash our clothes. I remember feeling the stick with which Mum used to churn the clothes in the hot water. And then there was the complex task of wringing out the clothes through what was called a wringer: two rather lethal rollers that could suck in careless fingers and hands, and squash them flat.

Of course, in those far-off days, disposable nappies had not been invented. The housework of sixty years ago, almost all of which was done by women, was hard and gruelling. We children benefited from Mum’s efforts, perhaps without appreciating the human cost that she bore.


Born at the Right Time is published by Allen & Unwin (ISBN 9781760875015 / eBook 9781760870416). You can purchase it in electronic braille, DAISY and large print formats from ReadHowYouWant, and the eBook edition available from the main eBook retailers is in an accessible format.

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News from the Women’s Branch

By Janene Sadhu – NWB President

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Since the last issue of Blind Citizens News, our branch has held two teleconferences. We thank guest speakers Jennifer Parry and Karen Passmore for talking about their experiences when we looked at the impact that blindness and sight loss has on women’s lives.

We also tackled the topic of how to motivate ourselves to stay connected with our community in the cold winter months. Thank you to all who participated. We will be hosting two further Womentalks before the end of the year.

Aspirations Magazine

Unfortunately, we have not been able to produce this magazine for the past year, however I am pleased to report that Aspirations will be back again with a new editor, Carmel Jolley. The next issue, with a travel theme and more, will be out before the end of the year and Carmel is now accepting contributions. For more information or to make a contribution, please contact Carmel using the details provided at the end of this issue.

Peer Support

This is one of our goals which we take very seriously as it can make such a difference to our members’ lives. In recent months, some of our members have been going through difficult times.

Our branch is here to support women through good times and bad. Our thoughts go out to those who have reached out in tough times to make their situations known to women in our branch.

If you are experiencing grief, illness of loved ones, further vision loss, ill health or any other setback, we are here for you. I hope that in some small way, support from fellow NWB members can provide comfort, and in some cases a friendly voice on the other end of the phone.

New NWB Committee Members

At present, we have room for interested women to sit in on our monthly committee meetings on a casual basis. We meet on the first Thursday of the month at 8 PM Melbourne time for about an hour. If you would be interested in attending one of our meetings to see how our committee operates, I would very much like to hear from you.

Annual General Meeting

The date for our AGM has been set for Saturday, November 16 at 1 PM Melbourne time. This meeting will take place via teleconference and RSVPs are being accepted from now on. As well as the usual AGM business, our branch will be holding elections for our branch President and seven committee members to serve for a two-year term.

If you’d like to be more involved in our NWB, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. If you aspire to taking on a leadership role which is not too arduous, you can think about putting your name forward to be our next branch president.

Elections will only be held at the AGM if we do not have enough candidates to fill the eight positions. I would really like women interested in standing for election, or to find out more about what is involved, to make contact with me. We propose to hold voting if required via email or telephone prior to the AGM, with details to be announced in October.

We’d love to have more women involved in our committee, so please consider this as a new activity if you are looking for a worthwhile, not too time consuming, role with which to become involved.

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Staffing Update from our CEO

By Emma Bennison

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I returned from six weeks leave on 5 August refreshed and excited by how much was achieved in my absence. I want to take this opportunity to thank Rikki Chaplin for acting in the CEO role while I was enjoying plenty of relaxation. Since returning, I have made some changes to the structure of the team to ensure we have the right people in the right roles to enable us to take advantage of new opportunities, such as an ILC grant we recently received to enable us to undertake an employment project. More to follow on that in future updates.

Rikki has worked tirelessly as our National Advocacy Officer for five years now and is ready for a change. So he will take up the role of National Advocacy Projects Officer and will undertake a range of work, including more complex cases, assisting individuals to make submissions to the Disability Royal Commission, undertaking systemic advocacy work in NSW and more. As a result of Rikki’s change of position, Martin Stewart, who acted as National Advocacy Officer while Rikki was acting CEO, will continue in that role. I would like to take this opportunity to formally welcome Martin and thank him for his already significant contribution to our advocacy work.

Anna Briggs, who was previously my Executive Assistant, has now moved into a more part-time role as Communications Assistant so she can focus on her family business. Anna is playing a pivotal role in the design and development of our new website which will be launched by early next year.

Since then, Naomi Barber, who many of you will have met through our leadership and mentoring programs and at recent conventions has been doing an excellent job as Anna’s replacement.

Given Naomi has a background working in the employment sector however, I will reluctantly lose her to our new employment project which she will work on full-time from late September.

Applications recently closed for our new Executive Assistant position.  I am excited to announce the results of the EA recruitment process. We received 134 applications and short-listed eight candidates. We short-listed on the basis of executive management experience and remote working experience.  I’m excited to announce that Emma Barrance is the successful applicant. Emma lives in Ballarat and is an experienced program manager and administrator. Emma commenced on 7 October.

While I was on leave, Jane Britt also joined our team as BCA’s new National Policy Officer. Jane has held various roles in the disability sector, most recently finishing in Vision Australia’s Graduate program working in Service Innovation and Design in work relating to the NDIS and Stakeholder Engagement for the Disability Leadership Institute.

Jane is also currently a writer for the Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) and works ad hoc in freelance journalism for other news outlets. Jane holds undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in psychology from the Australian National University.

In her spare time, Jane loves the performing arts, especially classical and jazz performances and ballets. She has a love or rather an obsession for dogs and will always be happy to have a chinwag about your beloved furry member of your family. She’s very excited to be joining the BCA team and looks forward to the new challenges ahead for her role. To hear her voice, and find out what she’s been working on recently, check out her interview in Episode 621 of New Horizons.

I would like to publicly welcome Jane to the team and to thank her for her already substantial contribution to supporting the National Policy Council and preparing submissions.

As you can see, a lot has been happening, and I’m confident we are well placed to take advantage of future opportunities for our organization and most importantly, continue to meet the needs of people who are blind or vision impaired. As always, we welcome your feedback at any time, and look forward to continuing to work with you.

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I Can See Clearly Now the Rain is Gone

By Jacqui Jentzema

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My name is Jacqui, but I was named John at birth. Over the past few months, I have gotten to know Jonathan Craig, our editor. He has asked me to write this in the hope that it may help somebody with the same problems or give others a look into the life of a person who is vision impaired and has had to undergo extraordinary changes to maintain their happiness and well-being.

Before I continue, please realise that I am not an expert in this area, and that everyone who undergoes major shifts in their lives will go through totally different experiences. My choices and feelings won’t match yours.

From my mid-teens, I started to feel a need to experience some of the changes that girls go through with the onset of puberty. I clearly remember looking out the kitchen window one sunny spring afternoon. It was a lovely day, a blue sky with fluffy white clouds and a warm breeze. In that moment, I thought “I wish I could have a period”. Before then, I hadn’t felt that way. I’d been raised as a male doing masculine things.

In my early twenties, strangers treated me as if I was a counsellor. Young women would talk to me intimately as one of their girlfriends. They’d even ask my advice on their gynaecological problems. They must have been tapping into my feminine side. In April of 2013, I realised something wasn’t quite right. I think that finally the penny was starting to drop.

I contacted a support group in Melbourne specifically for people who feel they need to express themselves in the opposite gender’s form in a safe environment.

The group’s President suggested that I may have a condition known as gender dysphoria. I was referred to Dr Fintan Harte, the leading Psychiatrist in Australia who has written the International protocols for the diagnosis of gender dysphoria. He diagnosed me officially as being just that, having been “born in the wrong body”.

I found Fintan to be extremely friendly and accommodating of my vision impairment. I saw him as a private patient, but he may well have seen other vision impaired people through the Monash Gender Clinic in Melbourne. I know of at least two other vision impaired trans women in Australia.

As I lived in Bendigo, a regional city, I had to travel down to Melbourne by train to go to support group meetings. I would stay in a motel overnight and go home the following day. I also had to travel down for my appointments with Fintan. At first, I wasn’t confident enough to travel on public transport as a woman, but eventually I gained enough confidence for it not to worry me. As it turned out, I’d used the group a bit like a steppingstone, finding that I didn’t need to go often anyway. Basically, I’ve found out that people take little notice of you as you go about your business. They’re too busy going about their own.

I did get a few compliments though about how nice I looked when I travelled; my style of dress, eyelash extensions, makeup, jewellery etc. Obviously, the travelling and accommodation costs put extra financial and mental stress on me.  But those who were not disabled would have faced their own challenges.

In Victoria, before gender reassignment surgery, transgender people are required to undergo at least two years of psychiatric treatment, to ensure that they are stable enough to be making such a life-changing decision. They must also be on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for at least two years.  HRT becomes a permanent part of life for trans people to maintain an altered appearance. After hearing about some catastrophes that have occurred overseas, I believe deviation from this process should be considered dubious. I heard about one trans person who changed their mind about their desired gender several times after surgery.

I had my operation in Melbourne rather than in Thailand, where after surgery care seems to be virtually non-existent. It isn’t uncommon for patients to fly home only two days after the operation, whilst I was confined to bed in hospital for eight days. Sometimes overseas, breast enhancement is done at the same time, placing a heavy load on the patient’s system.

My gender reassignment surgery was the same as anyone else’s. The recovery may have been a little more complicated though, in that I needed to have an extremely well organised and clean environment in which to heal. My recovery took around six to eight weeks, which is normal given that it is major surgery. Living alone, I had to make sure that food was quick and easy to prepare. Fortunately, my closest friends were always happy to help with shopping. I had people to garden and clean for me, so those things were covered.

My General Practitioner made sure that I knew a second doctor in her practice who I could see in the case of an emergency, as she simply wasn’t always available at a moment’s notice. A vision impaired person must be able to access medical treatment quickly if necessary.

When I first started dressing as a female in public, I was fortunate enough to have a supportive friend who took me to appropriate women’s stores. Between us, we decided on a no frills and understated style of clothing that suited me. I’ve found that staying with a classic style is more practical as a vision impaired woman. It is too difficult to keep up with constant changing fashion.

I use different types of technology to tell me clothing colours. Some smartphone apps do a pretty good job, but I don’t totally trust them. I also have a stand-alone device that does the same but again, it’s not perfect. I’ve found that being extremely organised is essential.

Trusted friends go through my wardrobe with me to help sort through the clothing and section off colours. But I have to make sure everything has its place and stays there.

I enjoy feminine things: shopping, perfume, jewellery, having my nails done and so on. Strangely enough, I learned most of these things from my mother. She isn’t at all aware of this, as she and the rest of my family basically don’t want to know me since my transition. That is a potential issue for all trans people. The general population just doesn’t understand our need to change.

I discovered very early on that it doesn’t matter what city you are in as to how well you’re accepted by others. I found complete acceptance in Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart and my now hometown, Bendigo. Whilst on a cruise, my girlfriend and I were both told how nice we looked when dressed and made up for Christmas dinner, by both genders.

One of my friends who had taken me dress shopping suggested that her youngest daughter, Shellie, might like to come along as well when she visited me. Shellie asked her Mum if “Jacqui would be wearing a dress. She’d apparently asked this in a matter of fact and excited way. I’m not confrontational and prefer to blend into the crowd. I think that might be the secret.

The best thing about being vision impaired and trans is that you can’t see if people are looking at you with disapproval. Sadly of course, you don’t see their looks of appreciation either. But you do come across those who are always happy to offer help and possibly, not politically correct, take your hand to guide you. Don’t resist or abuse them. They mean no harm; I think they simply feel less threatened than they normally might. You’ll find that it’s usually a woman who’ll do that. It’s so nice to know that there are still some truly nice people in this world.

So, in short, anyone, regardless of their disability, can transition as I did.  Yes, you might face challenges that sighted people may not, but some determination will see you through. I would suggest that you let people who you trust know how you are feeling and openly ask for their help and advice. I met a blind trans woman who was dressed appallingly. Obviously, she wasn’t getting very good guidance.

Personally, even with the expense, and transitioning can be very expensive if you choose surgery, I have found the process very rewarding. According to other people and myself, I think I’ve transitioned extremely successfully. I’m the happiest that I have ever been.

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