Wednesday, 3 December 2014

How I went about it

So I had emailed the psych guy. I spoke to him and arranged an appointment. I went along. And I was nervous. In the back of my mind I thought that I was just creating the situation in my head. That I am not really a trans female. That it was some sort of psychotic scenario run wild in my mind. And so I wanted to know what an expert thought. I also made my mind up not to lie. To be honest and not play games. I had told him I thought I was transsexual via email. Why lie? I'm not great with honesty but now I am trying to be as honest as possible with everyone (maybe too much information!). So I was direct. I told him all I have written in previous blog entries. And he listened. And it felt great to let out 30 years of secrets and 'thoughts'. He said I should defiantly continue sessions - that I was clearly trans. But also that I should deal with my depression first, to which end he pointed my to a shrink and I got some tablets that stopped the psychoses in my head that prevented me being normal. 

And as my head cleared, my therapist helped me talk through my trans issues. I realised that it was not all some sort of crazy fantasy in my head. And, truth be told, I was so glad. I feel I am a female so much that I am glad it is not all just a mental scenario I invented.
There are thought processes available around the web for deciding whether or not you are really trans. Now, I will only run though the first two of a set of 5, but it will explain my feeling above. The first: if there was a button you could press and, bam, you are female - would you press it. Yes. Oh heck yes. Ok, two: if there was a button you could press and all the transgender thoughts, the GID, would disappear. You would be a 'real' man. Would you press it? Wow. No. absolutely no way. I am who I am and love that. I just need some help becoming more me. So, I guess, that is the crux of being trans. 

Right, so I ain't crazy. So what does this mean for me and what do I do??? Well, clearly it means that I NEED to transition. Cripes DM. Can I do this? Had I transitioned when I first realised I should, back at the end of my first degree, then I could have dealt with it a bit easier i think, logistically speaking. But now here I am. I have a career. And this could have an effect on that, which I will discuss at a later point. And then I have to tell folk. I know I will not get hate but I do not want to be seen as the odd ball. The statistical trans from the group. I do not want my friends and family to see me differently. (Ha. Now I do - I am a girl, damnit. Lie and tell me I'm pretty!) So what do I do? Seems pretty obvious what I should do. The evidence is there and the psych is agreeing with me. Hmm.
Sign one: one of my favourite bands is called Baby Chaos. They became Deckard after two albums, and changed the style slightly. The first Deckard album was hard to get. But, earlier this year - as I am deciding whether to transition - I find the album (avid collector that I am). I buy it and it arrives. I had never heard it before and it did not disappoint. But, one of my fav bands for 20 odd years and I have only just filled the gap in my collection?!?! And on it there is a song called Christine. A song about a friend of the singer struggling to decide whether or not to transition. The refrain "I want this, but how do you know for sure. I want this, I want this change". Yep. Sign one.

Sign two: I head into a comic shop in Seattle. The best city in the world ever. I pick up a title and that prompts the woman that works there asks if I have read Locke and Key. "No, never heard of it." "Buy it, you'll love it" "OK." I pick it up and a girl walks by and says "oh, that is the best book ever." Wow, two great recommendations. Then till dude tells me it is amazing as well. Three folk now. Must be good. So the next morn, over coffee, I begin to read. And I do not leave till I have finished volume 1 even though I am finally in my dream city and about to embark on my first day of sightseeing. That good! And more, in it there is a key. Use it, and enter / exit the closet and you swap gender. Just like that. The thing of my dreams. Well, therein lies sign two (and my next tattoo). 

So two signs down and 5 months of therapy and my doc tells me he will refer me to a doctor for hormones. "Oh, do you think I should transition then?" "Oh, yes. Absolutely. You are a clear case of a trans-female." Again, wow. My hopes confirmed. Note, I did not say fears, even though the implications are huge. Yer. So a few weeks later I am on the train to the doc. I am sweating like crazy with anxiety and cause it was like 30 degrees. After all this, what if this doctor says he does not think I should go ahead? And on the train I realise the latest Against Me! Album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, is available on Spotify - pretty much just available. I had read all about the singer coming out as a trans-woman and how the new album was all about her life struggle with GID. And here it is, turning up for me to listen to on the way to the gynaecologist. Sign three right there.

And then there is the big life lesson. Something that was at the front of my mind, and clear in my thoughts on that train. Life is short. You have no control over it. You have no idea what will happen. You climb a mountain and you may fall off. But if you cross the street you may get ploughed down. You stay at home and you can die of any number of diseases. We have no control. In many ways I cannot think that there is some kinda fate thing all around us, even though it does not fit with science. When your time is up, it is up. And so you have to make the most of it. Love life. Live how you want to live. Do all you can and if something may make you happy without hurting others, do it. Do not get hung up on fear and worry. Cause you stop yourself becoming happy and add to the sad. I am not saying go crazy and do anything you want. But when you know there is something you need to do – you need to do it. 
The death of a very dear friend a year before I began my transition taught me this. A friend who loved and lived life to the max. A friend I lost years of time with due to misunderstandings. And when we overcame the silliness it was like old times. One of my dearest friends whom I could tell anything. I could be completely honest and open. One of the few people that knew, maybe better than me, who I was. I learnt a hard, but amazing and important lesson from her. I just wish I could share the good times as a result. I cannot, so instead I just thank her for helping me come to terms with myself and remember all the crazy, fun times we had. Love you so much xxx

So I go in to the docs office. I wait. I talk to the doc, who is real nice, and he says that mentally I am ready for hormones! OK, that is two experts now. I am really not crazy (in that way at least). So, now for a physical. ...What?!?!? Just strip down. Eeeeep. My gross body. Oh, and I am wearing some cute bloody pink knickers that I never thought anyone would see. Well, I strip to me knickers and have a full physical. So uncomfortable but needs to be done. Haha. Oh man. That freaked me out. Anyways. I have blood taken and then he says "right. These are ant-androgens. They block your testosterone. Take one three times a day. This is an oestrogen patch. Stick it on your belly and swap twice a week. This is oestrogen gel. Two squirts applied to leg or belly twice a day." 

And that is it.


Without ceremony. 

Hormones. The things that will make my body come closer to the way my mind perceives myself. 

Just right there. 

So I go home. Hormones in my bag and mind racing. What do I do? Crunch time. I knew this is what I wanted but now it is here and, honestly, I was not expecting it. This takes me from transvestite to transsexual if I want to apply labels. I am altering my body. Woah.

So I get home and look at the meds. I translate the safety sheets. And I am in a little bit of shock. Well, bugger it, I have them now. Patch on. This will make me a girl. Gel applied. This is the start of the journey. I wake up the next morning. No changes yet. But I take the ant-androgens and apply the gel. Excitement mixed with trepidation. Honestly, I was not quite mentally prepared. Even after 30 years. 

One month later, my mind is ready. I take pleasure in popping the pills. I love applying the gel. And each new patch is just full of the crazy hormonal goodness my body craves. And a further 5 months on, I still get excited every time I apply or take my hormones. 

And the changes. Oh. Yes. I love the changes...

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