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Commitment; a celebration

  • Posted on October 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm

This journey has been described often enough as a roller-coaster, because there really are big ups and downs, certainties and fears, permissions and blockages. It’s inevitable, because you really can’t understand this except from the inside, so people get you wrong all the time, even when they’re doing their best.

This week was a case in point, but more than that, made me think seriously in a way I haven’t had to since transitioning. That’s right, transition. I have done everything that I can do on my own. Just one thing remains that I cannot do for myself.

But first, there I was in the office, surrounded by colleagues including a new starter (with a gorgeous pick-tinted ponytail), and I was accidentally referred to as a man by someone who has never seen me as a man. Woops! Accident, and great embarrassment (not mine). ‘Aaargh! Sorry! I’m always doing that!’

I said the first thing that came into my head, to be reassuring: ‘No, you’re not. You’re doing really well.’ and smiled at him and our new joiner. And got on with it. I guess if it happened much I would get a bit upset. After all it reveals what people really think I am underneath. They don’t naturally think of me as a woman. Yet.

I wasn’t down, or even cross. Just saddened. I have lost everything to become the most authentic I have ever been. I feel fantastic about it, but I can’t put everything right by myself. If it’s good enough to cost me everything, why isn’t it convincing enough at work, where I have never presented as anything else than this?

Then a friend, who returned their forms to the gender clinic on the same day as I did, received their first appointment (only four months waiting!). Grrr. I decided to call yet again about my change of address, and asked ‘I don’t suppose …?’ And knock me down with a feather – a letter had been posted (to my old address). Suddenly my horizon was visible again. What I really needed was to give someone a great big hug. Never mind!

Do you remember the queue for the water flume? Or the rollercoaster? The joking, the sense of bravery, dispelling thoughts of being scared or sick! Then you’re in. It’s a smooth flat ride. You’re doing fine. Then the ratchet picks your car up with a click and the rumbling starts. Now you are being driven, hauled up and there is a real sense of commitment. What you face, you must face now. It’s serious. That’s what it feels like to have that vital appointment. When I walk in, a woman who transitioned 9 months ago, on illicit hormones and working full-time, I don’t expect a refusal or a doubt, but it is a hurdle to clear. And so I feel I am on track for the one thing I can’t do for myself, with disruption, risk, pain, discomfort, and finally the peace of being complete and right. It certainly focuses the mind.

But it is so very much what I want. I know – from the deep envy I felt when a friend had her surgery this week.


  • Posted on October 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm

It just occurred to me since I completed rearranging all that emerged from cardboard boxes, that there is significance in what came with me here, what did not, and how I arranged it. The one piece of furniture left in this place was a shelf unit with glazed sections. Not my cup of tea quite, I thought. I have no family silver, trophies or cut glass to be illuminated from above, through the glass shelves with an air of prestige. Then I started to put things together that I had brought. What deserved display, to be seen, even picked up…