Let’s get the cat out the bag straight away. I’m Rachel and I'm Transgender. Its rude to ask a lady her age so I'll just say I'm 33+VAT 😊
I came out from my closet only three years ago. During lockdown I set up a blog called the Trans Diaries (The Trans Diaries) to document my transition and also my thoughts and achievements, but in that time ALOT has happened. I’ve sadly been on the receiving end of some of my family not accepting me and how can we forget the Covid-19 problem. I've also been fortunate enough to start HRT via GenderCare and their support has been brilliant.
Acceptance for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community is vitally important, whether it comes from family, friends or the general public. Self-image also has an important role to play I feel in regards to acceptance and ‘fitting in’.
I was just finding my feet, and getting used to going to work as new me (version 2.0 as I call it) and BOOM Covid-19 hit. I went from working a 50+hr week, getting up in the wee hours of the morning, doing my makeup and looking fab to basically sitting at home wondering how I was going to pay my rent, and my bills. Thankfully the Government brought in various help for the self-employed, granted I fell through the cracks quite a few times, but that’s for another time.
The first few months looking back now where quite novel, the weather was good, and myself and my partner managed to do some home-improvements. Then overtime I slipped into a depression as I couldn’t help thinking that I had done something wrong. I started to think that all my bookings cancelled as they didn’t want to use me as I was Trans, even though it was clear to everyone else that it was Covid-19. I then had trouble sleeping and switching off. My mind was racing and worried how my business was going to survive. Then I did the typical thing of ignoring it and hoping it would just go away, but it didn’t. The big scary depression stopped with me for months and months. I started to lash out at my partner, blaming her for me being in a mood, (looking back now this was total wrong and I feel so bad).
During lockdown I started watching YouTube videos from Alton Towers and Thorpe Park. I then discovered Virtual Towers Online which for those who don’t know, it’s a true-to-life recreation of Alton Towers. I spent hours on that game (PC only) and this is where I discovered my love for coasters and theme parks once again. Back in my teens I used to go to Alton Towers once a year with my cousin but it had been around eight years since I had last been to a theme park.
So as soon as restrictions lifted, I visited Alton Towers. Only the gardens were open but it was enough and I was hooked once again.
I decided to gamble on getting a Discovery Season Pass and as soon as Alton Towers announced the entire park was open, I was there. Sadly I couldn’t get there on opening day but I was there in the first week. The night before I was so excited, but also worried because I still had to lose one of my biggest safety blankets which was my faux hair (or wig...ugh hate that word)as there was no way it would stay in place on the rides?!?! What do I do? I looked at clips, tape, the lot and then it dawned on me that I would have to lose the faux hair full time if I was going on coasters. So on the morning when I got up I took the decision not to go with the faux hair and go natural (sadly my hair wasn’t as long as I wanted it to be) and then I started to think about makeup, and I started to worry that I would look like a bloke wearing makeup and my brain was saying that I didn’t look femme with my natural hair. But it was Alton Towers and I wasn’t missing out, so I got my big girl pants on and did my makeup and did my hair the best I could.
I arrived at Alton Towers, and my heart was pounding, due to Covid-19 there was temp checks and also security, but as soon as the girl who was doing temp checks smiled at me and call my ‘love’ then it felt like a weight was lifted and I could feel my heart rate going down.
During the day at the park I didn’t feel like I was being judged, stared at or made to feel unwelcome. The park itself was very quiet, at times it actually felt like we had the entire park to ourselves. Seven hours just flew past and before I knew it, it was time to go home...boooooo. I felt so alive...so accepted and so happy. It left me on a high for days.
After a few days I started to look at when I could get back then sadly we went back into Lockdown for the second time, no Alton Towers for little old me. I longed to get back to Alton Towers, so I went back to Virtual Towers Online and watching various Vloggers like Theme Park Worldwide, Screwy Loops, and Lift Hills and Thrills to name just a few. I also discovered a very close nit coaster community on Instagram and Twitter and some of the best ones I've come across are Rollercoaster Rachel and Sanctuary Nurse (on twitter). As soon as restrictions allowed, I was back at Alton Towers and the love I had for the park grew and grew, the season pass was the best investment I had made.
Ahh fond memories
Waiting for the Beast
So fast forward to present day, I've been to Alton Towers 12 times so far this season, the staff at Alton Towers have always been super friendly and accepting, even when it’s busy and you can tell they are stressed, they still find time to have a quick chat with me and ask how my days going, some of the staff comment about my pin badges (of which I have a few).
I have a planned visit to Thorpe Park in September when the kids go back to school and also a massive charity event I'mdoing in the beginning of Sept
On the 8th September 2021 I’m planning on riding Nemesis all day for a brilliant charity called Compton Care, which is a fab local charity in Wolverhampton. I’m hoping to raise £500 so if you would like to help me get to my goal then please check the link here!
Compton Care are a charity based in Wolverhampton and surrounding areas, they offer palliative care for those who need it, either at their 18-bed in-patient care center or at home. They also offer support for those families also affected. You can find out more about Compton Care and what they can offer here: Compton Care | Charity | Wolverhampton
Over the visits I've had to Alton Towers, I’ve been accepted and made to feel welcome, some of the staff now know me on first name terms and when I go, I know I can hold my head high and be myself. This has also reflected when I go out and about generally, either shopping or just to Costa, where in fact I'm typing this from (carefully nursing one Golden caramel Latte)
I’m proud of being Transgender, I'm also proud of being a coaster enthusiast, love Theme Parks and what they offer, they offer a place of magic, escapism, wonder, love, enjoyment and more than anything acceptance. I still worry about my confidence and acceptance on doing Vlogs, I would love to start doing Vlogs when I visit Theme Parks, but I worry about the comments or reaction I would get.
The community I'm proud to be a part of have welcomed me and I've made some good friends and contacts.
Here’s to many more years of riding coasters and making friends!