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...

No comments:

Post a Comment