Transition

The Mirror Quack’d

Been thinking a lot about my options this week. Not that it’s yielded much in the way of answers.

As things progress I have more available choices to make. Facial feminisation surgery, tracheal shave, breast augmentation.

I keep coming back to just letting things unfold. I hope to transition with the minimum of surgical enhancement. I don’t have much of an Adam’s Apple luckily, I kind of like my face and as for boobs? Well, I’m still holding on for a small B cup. In an ideal world.

But I don’t think I want to look different or go under the knife. I’ve mentioned before my friend’s duck based theory. And to be honest, it’s mostly held true.

I have no idea if I pass as a woman. Fortunately I care little. I am as happy as I’ve ever known and that’s enough for me. Society seems to be able to cope with the notion that if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck then they should treat it as a duck.

I feel lucky that my daily life is not plagued by too many problems. Surgery is a future option that I will get to when I’m good and ready. But for now my life is relatively straightforward and my new found confidence means I don’t give a flying duck.

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Transition

I’ll Take The Red Ferrari Please

Occasionally, people freak out around 40 or 50. Traditionally it’s a time for embarking on affairs, purchasing top of the range sports cars or packing in your job to start the cafe for cats you’ve always dreamt of. Or some such thing.

At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I probably have those beat. “Hands down” roars the crowd. I’m not necessarily equating being Transgender with a midlife crisis though. Well, I was but just for effect. But 40 was just the age I was finally able to decide what I wanted to do about how I felt. And probably the first time I’d really had the confidence to try.

40ish is more accurate I suppose. I was 39 when I referred myself to the gender clinic. That phone call took every scrap of will I had and I was shaking when it finished. Looking back, I didn’t even know what I’d just started. It was just a recurring question that was demanding an answer. Which it got. Quite emphatically. But not without much consideration.

I don’t really know how to explain what goes through my head to anyone though. Most of the time, people can fill in some of the missing pieces themselves but it’s not easy to explain how you knew you were Transgender. Or that you were going to do something about it.

And not handling that at all well continues to haunt me. Not every day but it does keep coming back at various points. Had I been better at breaking the news, would it have done less damage? I’ll never know and it’s pointless to worry about it. Although worry about it I do. Often.

But it is far from my midlife crisis, it’s been the start of another life. A happier life, all things taken into account. But there are quiet little moments of doubt when I wonder, would getting a pink VW have been less trouble?

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Transition

Popeye Had It Down

My main aims for the next year or so are working out who I want to be and where I am with the whole complicated gender reassignment thing. Annoyingly, those answers are more evasive than I’d like.

All of my questions have multiple choice answers. Could I really be happy as I am right now? Do I need to commit to surgery? What will I gain? What will be lost? Will I even like having a lady voice? What happens to Chris once I do? The answers vary depending on time of day and my nomadic mood patterns. But fortunately the consensus is generally about moving forward. The one advantage I have with these dilemmas though? I do know what I am. I think.

To paraphrase that wee romantic bit at the end of Notting Hill, “I’m just a girl, standing in front of society at large, asking it to vaguely tolerate her.” That’s really all I need to get by in life. I have simple needs. Sorry though, I do love a movie reference. Even my blog name contains one. Although it’s a Bridget Fonda movie and not the “specialist” video it may have brought to mind for you.

What I really am is about as flawed as anybody else. Flailing about in the dark trying to make sense of things. But still,  definitely not floundering. And that’s good enough for me. Just letting life happen has been a positive life saver of a strategy so far. It’s made my transition thus far relatively painless and the few blanks I have seem to be doing an impressive job filling themselves in.

So I’m not going to worry too much. There’s still an amorphous plan in place. It has just two prongs. Lady voice and hair removal. Both are likely to take me into early 2017 without finding time for too much consternation. The final decision will still be there to be made. And that feels ok to me. A lot can happen in a year.

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Transition

Big Wheel Keep On Turnin’

Some people get to be good at sports. Some people get to be good at science. I get to be a Transsexual. Which is far from the handicap you might think.

Despite originally suffering a terrible case of wondering “Why Me?”, I’ve come to regard it as the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Although to clarify, it’s a bit like winning some kind of utterly perverse genetic lottery. The prize though is just being yourself.

I doubt that any parent’s heart’s desire would be for their child to be gender variant. That’s because of a natural enough fear that life will somehow be painful and harder. And to some extent, it perhaps is. But it’s also chock full of fantastic opportunities.

I get to experience the worst of people and their incredible lack of education and manners. But it’s totally balanced out with the very best of people, just a half smile and eye contact offer both support and acceptance in an unspoken instant. This happens daily, confrontation does not. And in the end, life is generally fairly positive. Because people continue to be mostly good.

I get to have the experience of having lived in two genders and all that comes with that. It offers a reasonably unique perspective in life. And I’m lucky to be one of the few that’s seen the world from both sides of a fence. Neither are really as dramatically different as all that.

I get to learn. More every day. What it meant to be a man. What it means to be a woman. Where the hell I fit inbetween, given my gender status limbo at the moment. But it’s very much a beautifully privileged position to be in. I grow less “black and white” as time goes on because of this. I’ve managed to find room for a lot of grey areas.

I get to exchange confidence for the anxiety I actually believed was normal. Won’t take too much credit for that. That relied heavily on the people that matter to me and the world around me meeting me in the middle.

I get to be surprised that that happened.

And I get to feel happy. Most of the time. Not that I was ever desperately unhappy before. It’s just a different sort of contentment. So, it’s not really a handicap at all. More of a daily adventure. With no room for regrets on the journey.

But I never lost a minute of sleepin’
Worryin’ ’bout the way things might have been”

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Transition

She Who Laughs, Lasts.

More than a few times recently I’ve either had Transphobic abuse myself or been aware of it’s impact on others. For me, it rolls off like the proverbial duck and water. But others are not so lucky.

The one thing that helps me to do this is a sense of humour. I am lucky enough to have a circle of friends where scathingly accurate character assassinations are the norm amongst us. I thank God for this as it has made me pretty resilient to casual criticism.

I have managed to deflect most transphobic comments so far by defaulting to humour in just about every situation. For example, a group of men in a bar insisted their friend wanted my number. They were told I was pretty sure their friend did not want what I was selling. Could possibly have done without inferring I was some sort of hooker but it had the desired effect. They learned I answer back and don’t take myself that seriously. We shared a laugh and then I spent hours just talking with them and hopefully dispelling some of their preconceptions.

Ok, that’s not always possible but then complete indifference is a valuable weapon too. Nothing seems to annoy the lesser spotted bigot more than being entirely ignored. If you know what and who you are then even the most vocal idiot is unable to take that from you. Or define you in any way. As long as you can hold your head up and keep walking tall, you’ll have the last laugh. And if you must, you can give them something they really don’t want. Your pity.

On a separate note, I can’t not mention the loss of David Bowie earlier this week. He pushed gender boundaries at a time it was less possible than today. His contribution to music was exceptional but he also made it significantly easier for us to express ourselves differently than accepted norms. A one man cultural tsunami, the world is a sadder place without him. Still, to return to the point of this post, your mother’s got a penis!

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Transition

Cast Against Type

From the opening credits of 2016 I’d decided this year was going to be a lot more about who I am, very necessarily what I am and where I’m headed.

To this end, I’ve been actively seeking out Transgender reference points that speak to me. I’ve started with movies, probably because they are the most easily accessible. And I’m a lazy cow.

And I don’t mean bloody Priscilla or To Wong Foo. Although they have their place, they don’t really represent my life or the way I’d like to see being Transgender portrayed. Cis actors dragged up often play to a couple of Hollywood stereotypes. Kooky comedy relief or tortured soul Oscar bait. I’m talking to you Dallas Buyer’s Club. But I just want to see our normality in all it’s mundanity up there.

And I’ve found to my delight that those films are out there. And I didn’t need to look that hard. Boy Meets Girl was my premiere event movie. Just a lovely little story about a transgender girl finding both her way in life and eventually, the kind of love that people take for granted. That was my feel good movie. I adored it because it made me feel normal.

My horror section was Soldier’s Girl. Not because it isn’t also a type of love story but because of it’s desperately sad ending. The ugly truth is that people can be killed for just who they love. The horror part is it’s based on a true story and someone was.

I’ve not managed to get to the Danish film “En Soap” yet but that’ll be my foreign film. Another sort of unconventional love story though. See, even Trans girls have very routine and even traditional hopes and dreams. Who doesn’t want to be loved for themselves? Still, leads me nicely to my next film.

The Danish Girl will likely be my art house movie, once I have time to see it.
But the thing about all of these is just they portray Transgender characters as people, not comedy props. It’s good to see it reflected on screen.

The more people get to see that reflection, the more normal it hopefully becomes to them. That might help put an end to our awkward journeys on public transport. Or enduring uncomfortable glances and stage whispered comments unnecessarily in our weekly shopping aisles. Just to be viewed as a person should be automatic. People really shouldn’t get to stare at Transgendered people or anyone else who appears different. Especially when they have no idea of the price of admission.

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Transition

Tits Up!

Today was the first time I faced the world without the breast forms that I’ve tended to believe are the source of my confidence.

Turns out I may have been mistaken. There was no Samson and Delilah moment. My hard bought confidence did not ebb from my chest, slipping away like sand. In fact, nothing was even particularly different.

Except that I was able to. And that’s immense to me. I thought I was several months from this decision. And I kept telling myself I needed the forms. Kind of like when I needed a wig to feel remotely confident about whether I passed or not.

And today? I just don’t care. I am not going to have anyone’s eye out with my meagre mammaries. But fuck it, they’re mine! And they’ll function perfectly well for now.

Truth be told, my stunt boobs were getting pretty tatty after two solid years. Been put back together more times than Evel Knievel. I thank them for their service and commend them to the great brassiere in the sky.

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