Getting there

  • Posted on June 21, 2014 at 11:32 pm

My personal motto over the past few years has been ‘I’m getting there!’

Partly, it has been recognition of slow and steady progress, partly it has been self-reassurance when another day goes by and nothing has happened. Now ‘getting there’ means just a few more weeks, and then nowhere particularly to get to. I shall re-evaluate where ‘next’ might mean, in completely different terms. First, simply healing and gaining confidence in my body again, but after that it will be things like: what work can I best do or find that will make a contribution to my pension before it’s too late. And perhaps, how might I find love and romance again? Some things will continue, such as facial electrolysis … But there’s no story in that!

‘Getting there’ also means that this blog may also change. I may not write every week, or it may be occasionally reflective but with more poetry. I think what I have liked about getting here, is that I have met other people along the way, helped a few, and learned so much. Have I said it all, with regards the male to female transition? Three years ago, information was on the Internet to be found, but social media groups were fewer than they are now. Sometimes it seems everyone who successfully transitions has an urge to set up another page, write another book, start another group. Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be more openness, and hopefully, more acceptance. Some people have suggested that I create a book out of this blog, and I might. Distilled down, perhaps I can take a different angle on the whole business of gender self-identification and the impact on other people.

Meanwhile, the next few weeks (I was advised to be busy, very busy!) will be strange. I still have a few important things to prepare, people I want to see, things to write and concerts to play. And I have refused to allow anything to interfere with dance. Mercifully, my decapeptyl (testosterone-blocker) dosage runs through to surgery. The three-monthly jab will have been almost exactly three months ago, so it means no rush of testosterone coming unwelcome at the last. (Never have I been more grateful for a drug than this.) Already, I have had to drop the oestrogen, because it holds a thrombosis risk in surgery. How my body will feel for the next six weeks without it I don’t yet know, but I will be very glad to be back on it. It will also be almost exactly a year since I was given official and full dosage, and in that time my body has significantly changed in its overall shape – not just breast growth, but waist and hips. I like what I see in the mirror (well, from that point up) and my legs are good. This is what ‘getting there’ has also meant.

And perhaps strangely, excitement lives with me. I say strangely, because this is major surgery, and as I explain my forthcoming absence to people who don’t know what is being done, they look terribly worried, and then I excitedly say not to, because it isn’t life-threatening! But I don’t explain. After all, I’m only ‘getting there’. Every time my ‘bits’ get in the way, feel awkward or painfully squished, I know it isn’t for much longer; and it simply feels good, very good. I’m so looking forward to looking in the mirror, naked, in less than one month’s time. And to simple things like my knickers fitting properly (!), and dancing in leggings, or wearing a swimsuit.

Encounters remind me of the distance travelled: people who notice my body looks different. Today I came across a photo of me and my former wife when she ran the Brighton marathon just three years ago. I wondered who the rather unattractive grey-headed bloke was, standing next to her, as I stared at the thumbnail icon on the computer. Enlarged, he was wearing an unfamiliar tee-shirt: ‘Proud husband of …’, thoughtfully procured by my since-estranged daughter. And then there was a photo of my last Christmas with wife and son. Who was the bulgy bloke with longer grey hair? And how could he have been attractive to the woman next to him? And I realise that she may find another similar to take my place. If that’s what she wanted, well, I am a long way away from that.

Other encounters are much simpler now; the poet who took the trouble to find and contact me to express appreciation – which was mutual. The dancer in tears from the emotional experience of a very shared dance with me. The busker who sang just the right song as I was passing, leaving me in deep, quiet tears in the middle of the street. The German lesbian visitor who described me to a friend as a strong woman. And all those who don’t know what ‘getting there’ means to me, as I arrange my two months’ absence. My masseuse who kneads my body back into shape each month, who has been so supportive over ten years and shares my gratitude for this journey.

If anything, I feel this week like someone who has run a marathon, who is walking the final yards because the time no longer matters, it’s not about the clock, just about getting there.


« Light at the end Mirror, mirror … »


Leave a Reply