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Overstepping The Mark?

Teresa shares a wonderfully accepting experience.

By Teresa H.

I can’t believe I’m stepping back sixty years to school years when I first started playing tennis, often making the school team playing against other schools. After leaving school I kept in touch with old school friends to continue playing and then after I married joined a tennis club. However like so many things from our youth life starts to get in the way, time and other responsibilities exclude personal leisure activities, not forgetting the real elephant in the room my transgender issues.

Jumping to the present most of you know those issues were finally solved by separation and then divorce to continue my life as Teresa. In the last six years I’ve gradually pushed the envelope to combine my life as a woman with aspects  of my life as a man. From the start that was often the big question “Was it really possible?” Of course there were sleepless nights but time and time again I proved to myself that the thought is often far worse than the deed (as Kandi often shows from her extraordinary life).

So now to pick up the story of playing tennis. The spark came from a leaflet promoting healthy living for the over-sixties and in particular the benefits of playing the game for exercise and companionship. The extra spur came from the husband and wife who live very close to me. I still walk for an hour with Paul and his collie, we became friends very soon after I moved to my new home town and the walk takes us passed their home. As we passed he to me called from his roof terrace to ask for chat, we waited several minutes then his wife appeared. She put her arms round my shoulders, turned to Paul saying, “Excuse us while we have a girl talk”. She started by saying how lovely it was for me to sign up to the group, then hesitated before continuing to ask what restroom facilities I would I prefer to use. I admit at this point I felt very disappointed to be asked this, as the issue had not cropped up in the last six years.

I had to quickly turn the question round in my mind because she wasn’t actually saying I wasn’t welcome and she was asking my preferences rather than telling me them. The other point was that she doesn’t actually know if I’d had surgery, I guess I would have been more upset if I had. We soon resolved it by  agreeing the male facilities would be totally out of the question, we then agreed that as it was the first session let’s see how it goes. Finally I pointed out that if anyone raises an objection my driving license and passport both have my female name and the female gender, I’m so glad I bit the bullet and made those changes now.

So onto the day itself, first of all the question arose of what to wear, I’d popped along to SportsDirect to buy tennis shoes, socks, sports bra and two skorts, one white pleated and the other a tighter black one. I tried them in the store and preferred the black one but on trying at home I realised even when tucked you could see a bulge. So off I set wearing my white skort and white T-shirt with a red gilet (because as usual it was raining. I walked in to be warmly greeted by everyone, did the formal signing in and chatted, one remarked on my gilet. I was the only one wearing a skort but discovered that many thought I was one of the team because of what I was wearing. I was chatting with a group of girls about not being sure what to wear, they all agreed with my legs they wouldn’t hesitate in wearing a skirt. (Yes women do notice these things!)

Did I enjoy my day? No question, I’m booked (and hooked) for the following Tuesday and I’ve already been earmarked to make the numbers up in a team in the future. As for the question of restrooms, the toilets weren’t a problem as they’re separate, OK taking a shower, watch this space!!

The title I settled for this post was “Overstepping The Mark?” I admit it did feel like that when the wife had the conversation but from her angle she needed to know the facts just in case. Afterwards I remembered I’d run short of milk so still wearing my tennis gear I popped into the nearest supermarket, I got some lovely smiles. I have to admit it feels so good to have taken the chance even at 73, it brought back so many memories.


6 Responses





  2. Marie,
    I guess it’s wrong to say I should have backed down , perhaps some might have considered I chickened out but the only way is forward . Looking for the right choice of words I would say commitment comes on top , I’m totally committed to being Teresa , my name change really ” rubber stamped ” that back in January .

  3. To bring the story up to date . After my first session I had a twinge in my right ankle , no pain just a stiffening , so I thought it would be OK to play the following week . Our coach gives us an hour of warming up and basic ball control but he has insisted from the start that we forget about the first ball bounce let it go and also don’t attempt to chase every shot down . In the second hour I played in a doubles game , I admit I was a very competitive player when I was younger and was determined to play the first bounce and not let shots go . I ignored the stiffening ankle until I tried to walk off court and realised my mistake , I’ve missed a couple of weeks to allow my ankle to recover and it was doing fine . So yesterday I joined a group on a day trip to Skegness ( seaside resort on the east coast ) , it had been many years since I last visited so I checked out how much it had changed in the town and then headed for the beach . The tide was in so a paddle along the shore line was inviting , I stopped to chat and at the same time my foot dropped into a hole in the wet sand and my ankle twisted . I wasn’t in exteme pain but my ankle had locked , so then panic set in I had to find a way out of soft sand with an ankle that didn’t want to move . I was torn between trying to attract the lifeguards attention or trying to drag myself step by step out of the soft sand . (I must mention I was wearing a blue linen dress , with a denim jacket ). Eventually I made it but the rest of the day was spent finding a good place to eat comfortably while trying to rest my ankle .
    So sadly tennis is out for some weeks now , perhaps I should accept I’m at least fifty years older and call it a day , it was good to play again and get the old feelings back , we’ll see !

  4. Hi Teresa,
    I was so happy reading your post. The whole day must have been so exciting and confirming for you. It just all sounded so wonderful. Take care of your ankle girl. We don’t heal as fast as we used to. 😋

    Trish ❤️

  5. Trish,
    It really was exiting and confirming to return to playing tennis but as Teresa . I couldn’t write this post without a picture so I asked the coach to take the picture on the pretext of showing my children and grandchildren . I don’t otherwise use pictures often but my painting friends loved it .

    I know ligaments can take time I’ll just have to be patient .

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