Sunday, 30 November 2014

Why I am doing it (why now)

So what changed? 

Whist I may have been happy, being able to wear makeup under the guise of glam / goth - it was never enough. In private when I dressed up as a girl I tried to look like a girl. I tried to look pretty. As I got older and had a job I bought more makeup and girls clothing. I dressed in secret and my makeup was not the heavy, black panda eye I wore out to clubs. It was pretty and (not actually but in my inexperienced mind) subtle and seductive. Yer. In those early days I did not get that right at all.

When I lived with friends I prayed for days when they would be away for an evening or, even better, a weekend. I bought wigs and fake boobs. And heels! I watched makeup tutorials online. I shaved all my body hair.  And took any chance I could to try and look feminine.  And I did my research about being transgender. I had myself labelled. According to the spectrum of being transgender (an umbrella term for the whole spectrum) I was certainly not a fetishist. I did not get turned on by dressing. I just wanted to be feminine. I was not a cross dresser either because it was not just a case of wearing the clothes. I wanted to act female. I wanted to feel female. So that led me to label myself transvestite - broadly those who dress female and act female in order to feel female. Cool. It would have been nice to transition but I was happy enough. Right? 

And how the heck I did not get caught by my flatmates, god only knows. So many close calls. And I ended up with less and less opportunities to dress. Less time to dress due to my flatmates being in more and more constantly for various reasons. And I hated that. So much - and came so close to telling my best friend a few times. It was like an addiction. I needed to dress up and I couldn't. I was climbing the walls (this was before I started actually climbing walls again) and started to hate myself for that. And I started to resent my friends. Two of my very best friends ever - who were amongst the most amazing when I came out (although, who wasn't). I just could not be myself. I felt trapped. Trapped as the wrong person and I had no release for the pressure building inside me. I felt like a lie to myself and them. 

And more and more I knew I needed to transition. I prayed more for the old dreams of just waking up a girl. I knew all about transition by then. I knew about hormones and what they did. Oh to have a femme body. Between what I now recognise as Gender Identity Dysphoria, GID, and the extreme pressure I put on myself to finish my first degree with nothing less than a first I became extremely depressed. 

I went to the university counselling service and they took me in immediately and made me go along a lot out of fear for what I would do to myself. But I only ever told them about the stress. I went to talk about wanting to be a girl but I just couldn't say it. It just would not happen. I tried to leave clues but it never even came up from their side. I even half turned it into my own, weird game – drop hints and see if they put the clues together. Pretty dumb really. At this time I decided I actually wanted to be a counsellor or psychologist myself. So that I could, obviously easily in my majestic wisdom, work out what they missed and help people like myself. I needed the help. I took the first step, but no more. And that just made me angrier with myself. I needed them to see what was obvious to me and I had no idea how they could not see it. But then, my defences were high and my ability to hide was ninja like. So, you know, not really the councillors fault I see now.

Then my degree ended and I got my first. I got a job and then a hernia and ended up in lots of pain for ages and recovered for a few months. I returned to my job and got offered a PhD. Life rushed on with me as a passenger and, ecstatic about my first, I went with it. I had a piece of paper to prove that I was a good student and people pushing a PhD on me. My ego was sated for a time and a huge amount of stress lifted. I was swept along with the tide and the start of the PhD was a whirlwind. And during my first week I met a girl and knew pretty quick I would fall hard for her. I didn't have time to notice my GID. I moved into my own flat and threw on a dress as soon as I got home each night, of course! I wore makeup all weekend long if I did not go out. I half filled a wardrobe with clothes and had more heels and boots than I could wear. It was a happy time. 

I was falling in love which was amazing. And that person will always be my soul mate. So I started hinting that, just for fun, I liked to wear makeup and dresses and look like a girl. A very casual liking of course. Her reaction, knowing someone that had already begun to transition, was that I wanted to be a girl which, I assured her, I absolutely did not want to be. It was a bit of fun. We experimented with me wearing the odd dress. We did each other's makeup. She moved in and saw I had a lot of girls clothes. But, you know, I just liked buying stuff - nothing serious. Then one day I dressed on my own and she was shocked to see that I was, well, good at it. I didn't look like a guy in a dress. I ‘got’ makeup and female style. She hated it as she wanted a ‘man’ as her partner. I always knew this - and I knew then that I could not dress around her. I could put her through it. But we lived together. So that meant I could never dress unless she was, very rarely, away. This stung. My old dysphoria started to return. I hated myself for it and I resented not being able to dress. And a rift formed. We drifted despite being soul mates. I just could not get over my dysphoria. I didn't what caused us to drift but in hindsight it was 100 % obvious. The support I got from her at the time was amazing. She never judged me. I just was not who she needed. And since she has been so amazing that I feel as close as ever. 

She moved out, and I lived femme more or less full time in my own home. I emptied the bins, went for walks and occasionally to the shops all dressed up. But still - this was a HOBBY. It was not serious and I had no need or desire to transition. 

So then life happened and cut harder than it ever had before. I had to deal with the hardest situation of my life. 

Next I moved to Switzerland. And this was a great thing. Soon I was able to have my own flat, dress when I want and buy lots of girl stuff. And, in doing so, forsake any social life I could have had here. I had plenty of opportunity to socialise with great people. But my time at home pretending to be a girl was more important. Dresses and makeup were like crack - very moorish (I hear). So I forwent a social life. 

And in time I learnt to realise that I had given up love with an amazing girl because of my GID. That was a stark realisation. If I was to give up love with a soul mate so that I could wear dresses, then what chance did I have in the future? Why was dressing more important than gaining a social life? This started to pray on my mind.

So my thoughts spiralled. And I started to get depressed about it all again. The difference being - this time I had my fix of dressing up. So why was it not enough? And forcing myself to live a hermit life was lonely. Very much so. 

I had chatted online with trans girls from various trans websites. Always difficult to weed out those who are just looking for sex. No surprise - the internet is full of them. And there are plenty with a 'special' interest in trans girls. Shock. Honestly, why would I want to have a one night stand. In truth, despite being lonely, I had no interest in close contact. I was starting to hate my own body: I don't want anyone else to see what I hate. My 'stuff' just became an annoyance. A reminder of my maleness whenever it made it's presence known. (Don't worry, I am fine now. Ant-androgens pretty much mean I forget it is there until I need to pee.) 

The body thing. Yep. That was getting annoying. More and more I came to hate that my body was manly. Damnit. And as you get older, you have more male features. You lose your youthful, androgynous looks and need thicker and thicker makeup to cover it up at weekends. And your hair starts to thin and grow less quickly. You spend more time getting rid of body hair. GID is very much a body related issue for obvious reasons. But up to this point I had never really had body dysphoria. Well, it started to hit. And hit hard. It started to cause me severe depression. Seriously, any articles you read about GID say how it needs to be addressed at as early a stage as possible. I was never suicidal with it - but suicide rates are high for trans folk. Like 45 %. Yep - it hits that hard.

Then one day I had a trans-girl round for dinner. She was starting hormones and I felt the pang of jealousy. But as she left, I said that I wish her luck with transition. And I said, "I am jealous, but I never want to transition. I am happy with who I am and enjoy just pretending to be a girl from time to time." (paraphrased). As soon as she left, I thought about what I had said. And realised, even though I had meant what I said, that I had spoken a lie to another person, out loud, to their face. At that moment it hit me. 

I do not want to pretend to be a girl. 

I AM a girl. 


So then I mused on it. Or rather, stressed about it. And I messaged the same girl, and asked for the contact details for her trans-specialist psychologist. 

And send him an email...

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

When I knew I was transgender (but why I figured it wasn't an issue)

Hey guys. So I am a transsexual female. I am currently transitioning (nearly six months when I post this). If you are of the “this is abnormal / against god” persuasion then maybe you should browse elsewhere. This is my space. But I thought I would start filling in a little bit of information about myself and my journey so far for my friends. And maybe as advice for other folks thinking about starting their own journey. Get in touch with questions and stuff – I am happy to chat and will always try to help!

I want to say "this is a blog" - but I am really, really poor at that. I have no discipline or self control. So I ain't gonna trck myself into thinking I will keep a regular blog. But I will write as the fancy takes me. And maybe, someday, repeat what I have here as a vlog. I like the idea. We shall see.


This is all pretty personal. My own, inner most thoughts. This is what I did and how I did / do view the world. It may seem at parts like I hated life but this is not true. I have had a wonderful time so far on this earth. But, some times were hard. When are they not? More, this blog is about me. By association, others are involved. I have kept the names out but friends know who they are and when stuff happened. I have only mentioned people I love and because I feel like I kept things from them, lied to them (without knowing it in many cases). So, in some ways, those parts are mini apologies. Not one ever did me wrong in any way and I want to make that clear – they were, and continue to be, amazing!

Anyways. this first chapter may strike many similarities to other trans-folk out there. (And hopefully become more unique come part 2!) So - when did I know I was trans? Well, like many transsexuals I figured it out at an early age. As long ago as I can remember. One of my earliest memories was playing with my sister in the back yard and for some reason I ended up wearing one of her skirts. No idea why or how, like I say I was really small. And I still remember that. I remember it felt like I shouldn't be doing it and would get in trouble but at the same time that I always wanted to wear skirts. Crazy to think that I was so young and knew what felt right - and that it was not the social norm. 

From there, over the years I would try and get my sister to dare me to wear her clothes as we went through being children and playing crazy games. And when she was out I would pinch a skirt or dress and wear it as long as I could before I got caught. In truth, it a compulsion. But I just always wanted to do it. I looked enviously at the clothes my sister had and felt a little cheated. Don't get me wrong, my mum bought me clothes I liked. But deep down I wanted the long hair, ribbons, dresses and tights. I didn't know what this meant of course; except that it was not something I should let anyone else know. 

That said, I loved playing with my transformers as a kid. And my Star Wars / He-man / Ghostbusters figures. And my action man. Loved it. But yes - I would pinch my sisters Barbie or whatever and have my action man playing husband and wife. Now I think, I did have a lot of clothes for my action man and loved playing dress up… Course, Barbies clothes never fit him - poor guy. But I was never really jealous of my sisters toys, just her clothes. 

With one exception, she had these beautiful flower fairies. I was secretly obsessed with them and played with them whenever I could. I was really jealous of them. So very, very pretty. Weirdly, my obsession with fairies has never abated and I will tell a story at a later date about them - a sudden thought of fairies that sparked this memory of my sisters flower fairies. 

So as a kid I would 'borrow' clothes where I could, pinch me mums makeup and experiment. And keep it all on the absolute secret down low. And then I became a teenager and I could grow my hair. After all, all the bands I loved had males with long hair so it was fine. Then I met Manics fans and the guys work more makeup than the girls. I had discovered Bowie at around 10 and loved the music. But I was fascinated by the fact he work make up. To me it was a revelation and I knew that growing up may be interesting. And once I hung with those Manics fans - it was. I dyed my hair red or pink or yellow (or any colour or combination of the rainbow). I got my own makeup and did what I thought was glam but was actually just a bit scary Marylin Manson in hindsight. I wore fishnets under cut-off shorts like Trent from Nine Inch Nails. And yes, I got called freak and stuff but I didn't care. I loved it. 

A few times I went out in drag. Not often. But the freedom I had those times was amazing. My friends were so liberal that they just took me as was. Any grief I got from strangers disappeared in a confidence with presenting as myself. Funny. When I thought about wearing a dress in public I stressed and panicked. When I did it, I was so self assured and care free. How come I only worked this out recently?

But as I was a teenager / young adult - it was all fun and games. My ability to walk the line, be androgynous, eased my desire to dress as a girl. But I always had the desire deep down. As an early teenager I remember seeing a program on TV (ha!) that contained transexuals. It explained all about them and talked about them changing their bodies with medicine and surgery; and how they lived as females. I instantly clicked. I got it and knew I was like them. I was so jealous that their bodies were somewhat female (i.e. they grew hips and bought boobs). I did not hate my body. It just was not the one I wanted and I became more and more aware of this as I watched the girls around me bloom. I must have been like 13 but I just knew that was what I wanted to be if I had not been so scared of 'society'. For years I dreamt of just running away to where no one knew me and trying to live as a girl in secret. Heck, I still had fantasies of that in my late 20s. The idea stuck and I knew who I would be if no one I knew was around to judge me. Strangers I didn't really care about. But those I love, friends and family, I do care about. And I do care about their opinion of me. Of course, I never should have worried but when you are not quite at ease with yourself, how can you trust how others will be with you? 

So instead I tried to act 'more' male. (And yet – so few of my friends were surprised when I came out. And I have been told I have always been camp. So, yer. I cannot even get my version of overtly male right – and that is fine!) At some stage I started to buff up, hitting the gym with a guy I worked with who was a body builder. We were in the gym 5 times a week for a year and I expanded pretty damn well. But as soon as I stopped I regretted having done it. I let my muscles shrink. But there are certain areas, such as my chest and back, that will never regain the skinny, stick thin-goth figure I once had. Arse. 

As a male, the question often arises of what superpower you want. I always said flight (which would be awesome). But secretly I wanted the ability to change sex at will. To become a female. To wear female attire. To be treated as a female and have female experiences. To just BE female - that was what I wanted. The number of day dreams I had where there would be an accident and somehow my 'maleness' would need removing so I would be surgically transformed into a girl 'for my own good'. I would fall asleep at night just hoping for some sort of freak accident so that I could legitimately become female. Wishing to randomly waking up a girl. Ah, but it is so much harder than that in real life. And I knew that. So I made do with dressing in secret as a girl, being a gothy make-up boy on nights out and felt happy enough with it. 

Or, you know, so I thought...