A mantra –
‘All is not lost, it’s never hopeless,
I will never give up, I am broken but,’
I had my first trip to the Gender Identity Clinic (GIC). They had me sit in a waiting room with other people at different stages of none-of-my-business. What endured was a two and a half hour, one on one, non-stop psychological strip down by someone who introduced herself as Doctor. In depth topics included:
- A break down of history with parents, family, siblings
- Traumatic events and memories
- Relationship and sexual history
- School and work history
- Gender variant experiences
- Discussion of goals, wishes and expectations
- Explanation of services and treatment options (laser, wig fitting, voice coaching, fertility preservation, hormones, surgery, therapy etc)
I felt pretty good afterwards, but didn’t realise the toll that comes from expounding many intimacies to a stranger with a badge. For a few days afterwards I felt totally emotionally drained with no time off work to recover, so it can be difficult even with a positive mindset. Six months minimum of ongoing assessment for hormones and RLE, that’s not so much a goal as a time-frame to make decisions.
I met a transgirl I have been speaking to online, more a testament of how talking to people online skews individual realities. Nonetheless we went out and had a very nice time. She bought me dinner, which was new, so that was pretty nice, though I did feel awkward at having nothing to offer, girl wouldn’t take my money! For as feminine as she is online, it seemed I was more overtly feminine in my action and attire in public. Everyone has their own ways and methods, I just found that interesting since I’m more resistant to the entire process.
I’ve been asked to stop seeing my independent gender counsellor so there are no crossed wires with the GIC, though I would not be the first to skirt that advice to have an ally to bounce feelings off that may be wrongly received or interpreted at the GIC, potentially setting back treatment. I admitted to her that I am an awesome guy, she countered that then I should be an awesome girl if I decide, and furthermore that I could be successful on whichever path I choose, reiterating the previous cases I remind her of who transitioned ‘effortlessly’.
Maybe my dysphoria is just less strong, less desperate, or maybe I’m just used to dealing with the casual betrayal of my emotional brain. It’s a tough decision to make and come to terms with. I already have a man’s everything, I could live easily enough as a man, it would just be a lie, and it would probably feel quite sucky. Or, there’s the alternatives…six months will creep up quickly my dear.
No idea, been way too busy with work and getting through to focus on the unending nagging compulsions that demand I change.
One major success worth noting, I’m no longer trying to justify who and what I am. I’m transsexual, woopy-do, it sucks, woopy-do. It’s a step further than acceptance. I carry a purse, I’m not going to justify it, I just have it, even though I hate the word ‘purse’. Yes, my posture and mannerisms are what they are now, I don’t feel the need to explain it like I’m acting strangely, in a way that me acting normal merits an explanation to people who didn’t ask for one.
Trying to justify changes takes up both physical and mental time and effort, and I just can’t be bothered. Even if I were a man and I wanted to dress up like a woman, or like a Smurf, my balls wouldn’t shrink because someone doesn’t like it. My ovaries don’t quiver at my own doubt. Just accept it, good and bad, it’s coming for you anyway – doubt, fear, elation, loneliness, overwhelming love. You don’t need to justify or validate your experience as an individual and unique human being. Even if you aren’t confident in yourself, remember you don’t have to justify it, you need that energy to achieve your personal goals, to justify days well spent!
I know first hand, still dealing with my ex- who said our relationship is ‘void’, because I didn’t tell her I was trans. The truth is I didn’t know I was trans until after we broke up, I just thought myself a sick man, but she sees it all as a lie, and I am a liar. I can only imagine the pain families go through when so deeply entrenched. We had years of epic love, I don’t have to justify that they were real, I just have to accept and get over the hurt. Love ends, at least once if we are lucky. Once again character is how you deal with difficult situations, not easy ones! It will take time, it always does…worse things have faded away.
Whilst going through this process, I find it easiest to identify as female, but to think myself as agender, non-binary, whatever. Just because my brain tells me to take hormones and cut off my penis doesn’t mean that’s what is necessary…necessarily. Just because my brain tells me I am female doesn’t mean I have to do everything it tells me. The process of change is maybe not a case of a means to an end, but part of the general eternal balance, intensified, yet still seeking that same equilibrium.
Bring on the Lasers!!!