Sunday, 8 August 2010

A funny thing happened....

So I am not normally one to find myself on a course of any discription that teaches you about life skills I'm not really sure how it got started well no that isn't true I do. I have a utterly beautiful friend who I have come to respect and trust in many ways I think more than I thought I did. Anyway enough gushing, he being the beautiful open sort of man he is told me the story of how he changed his life and part of that story was going to a course with some folk called More to Life ( it's a catchy little name :) (searching for More to Life will get you to their site by the way though this is in no way an ad for this, if you want to see what it has for you I wish you well and think your dam amazing for doing it but I'm not selling anything) So after hearing this story being in a place of incredable stuckness I thoguht to myself what have I got to loose. I logged onto the site looked at the stuff and clicked into the registration page to see how much it would cost... I was shocked at first but then after about a week of investigation and talking to people found that actually what they were asking for was not a lot at all so I went back, I filled out the form, I cancelled the form, I filled out the form, I cancelled the form.. this went on for a few days I walked away I came back, I worried about there being no places left when I finally signed up and then in the end this is what got me to pay money I didn't really have to do a course that I wouldn't normally do.. I said to myself, if this course does even a fraction of what it did for your friend would it be worth it? Yes I thought and if it doesn't well provided you finish the course if you walk away feeling you were cheated and it didn't work they promise to give you your money back. To which I thought, suckers people must be taking your course and getting their money back all the time, but apparently they don't.

I don't know really how to explain what went on there and like my friend I don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone if they did want to go check it out for themselves. They just give you tools, tools to help you see through the crap of a situation and then from that truth make choices about what it is you want to do and where you want to go. They help you to have a dialogue with yourself so you can find choices that are really your choices. It's not magic or hocus pocus, it won't solve your problems and make your life perfect, but it could change your life somehow in someway

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

It's been a while...

It's been a while since I logged in here, it's like an old home I remembered fondly and kept trying to find the time to come back to. I have a lot of homes like that, work mainly has been keeping me away bags of travel and no time for myself too tried when I get home to find words to put together how I feel and what I'm thinking.

It's been a tough couple of months a lot of questioning, a lot of doubt and a lot of fear. I feel like I have lost my way a little no longer sure of where I am or what I was standing in for some time. I've been hiding out in my skin not confirming nor denying anything about myself paralysed a little by demands of changing my name before my next appointment being made on me. I don't see how I can logistically right now mainly because of travel and needing my passport than from any real reluctance to identify myself as male. I have come out at work and found my colleagues to be overall very supportive which has been helpful, but now I am faced with another dialectic I don't pack or bind but I identify as male and everyone knows I identify as male so which toilet do I use? Seems like a silly question really but I am hypersensitive about having a female body so I don't want to make men uncomfortable by using the mens and I also don't want to do the same by going into the ladies when they all know I consider myself to be male. I of course just use the disabled toilets there but it does bring into stark focus the reality that at some point I will have to consciously start using the mens toilets and changing rooms. There are ways around it for now, but the thought of it is very scary right now indeed mainly the fear of being told to get out cause it's the mens which shouldn't be too strange cause I am told to get out of the ladies all the time but I guess the only difference is that this time I want to be male. Being rejected from the ladies has always felt like a validation and a reassurance where as being rejected from the mens would hurt I want to be male I don't want to be rejected from male areas because in my head that would be more than just a rejection from a toilet or changing room it would be a rejection of my gender and that by far is the one thing that hurts me the most.

All my life I have been told I am not a boy but, a girl or even worse a 'tomboy', a girl pretending to be a boy or butch, a masculine female. All identities I have found some comfort in because they allowed me to be part of what it is I am and I am grateful for them but, now I struggle to be me, the full me, a trans-male. These identities only hinder my development, these identities are shackles tying me to the idea that really I am a woman pretending or wanting to be a man.

The idea or this rips right through the center of me and over the last few months it has become more and more apparent to me that I not only struggle against this notion in other people but also in myself. It is my constant fear that the people around me see me as some from of eccentric or crazy, like the trans-men of my past who were derided and disapproved of by the women who initiated me into the lesbian fold. "Oh that poor whats her name she has some kind of crazy girlfriend who makes her call her a mans name! Oh and I am sure that she/he must be beating her she's always this or doing that blah blah blah". This is my growing up image of a trans-man I didn't for one second associate what was going on in my head with what those women were talking about, but now I have finally started to face what it is I am that image keeps floating in front of me, pointing it's finger at me, accusing me. And this fear of being a 'crazy' is being fed by other things too.

Other trans-males around me are getting their treatments and I have been told that I need to legally change my name before any treatments will be given to me, I've told some people and they are like oh yeah well I can see how they would want to see you show some commitment, but then a friend of mine said hell no they can't tell you how to be trans and for god sake talk to some other trans guys. I am still trying to do this alone, all my life I've done this alone, I've survived alone, stayed safe alone in places where if I had been exposed I am sure it would not of ended well. I don't know anymore, I want some help, I need someone to say it's OK your not crazy your just like I was when I was dealing with this and in fact thinking back every tans-guy I have talked to in the past has said that. I feel like I am getting lost in all the what if's and doubt all over again and I want to get back in the sunshine so very very much...

Saturday, 5 June 2010

The Appointment..

On the bus on the train walking round the streets in a daze it feels like I can't seem to catch my breath right now. I feel like something shimmering in between, both excited and afraid of what I may find in the time ahead of me. I make myself small and invisible and yet still feeling eyes upon me as I walk by I can't help but find myself questioning this path I have chosen for the millionth time again. All the upheaval all the disapproval of it. It would be so much easier and safer to stay locked away safe in the darkness of my secrets. Is this what it is like to be in the closet? Funny how I have spent my whole life out of the closet only to find I was in one all along.

Back on the street my feet taking me closer to the place of no return finally setting myself on that road. Step and step and step and step, not much longer now, step, step, you don't have to do anything now you can just take your time, step, step, I'm at the door, looks like a door to a fancy house, only it's not a front door it's a side door off the main street in a building not attached to the Hospital campus with signs that talk about mental health. I can't help but feeling a wave of irony touch me. Here I am coming out into the world stepping out into the sunlight so to speak in a little side road through the metal health door. I guess this is a day for readjusting my perspective.

My appointment starts on time my mind is shutting itself away tucking up tight like a child hiding under the stairs, I need to be able to talk, tell her how this works for me, why I need this. Panic rising and pushing up against my mouth like a bitter bile it freezes my tongue. The answers to her questions are short and superficial, I feel myself cringing inside scrabbling round for some semblance of eloquence in the hope that I may rescue myself. The hour lingers on almost as if time has slowed down to give me the chance to save myself, but there will be no saving today I fear. 'Do you have any questions you want to ask me?' I look at her blankly my face impassive while my mind races round like a hamster trying to grab hold of everything at once, anything for once. 'No I think I'm fine.' I should of just shot myself right there and then and now it's gone the moment passed she's walking out the door and I am left to pick up my stuff and go, dismissed..

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

It's been a while..

It's been a long time, I've been up and down and all around the world inside my little world and here I am again. It's been a change of pace a change of job a change of living space a change of me and back to old me and then change again. It never stops changing here and that's ok, I like the change I like the constant roar of back and forth of not quite knowing where I'll be or who I'll be when I wake up.

So Since I've been away aside from the job and new place to live I've given up on love and then found it again ( funny how the universe will always pop along to dangle some sort of delicious treat in the form of something you've just given up to tempt you just as you swear you'll never eat it again and before you know it your stuffing your face full of it, but that's ok too I like it. ) I went to my local psych for an evaluation and apparently I'm not to crazy to go to the gender clinic and so i got an appointment for October, I was happy to wait, I'd waited this long and a few months for time to adjust to the idea of doing something about changing was nothing compared to the years I've spent agonizing over whether or not I should do anything at all. Then I got a letter saying my appointment has been pushed up to June, suddenly the reality is more real and more scary. I'm torn between the excitement and the wanting to finally move a little further along that road to being more me and the fear of what that me might be. How will I change, who will I change into, will I like the me I become? Will this change change the friends I have found or the friends I have kept. Will I remember to take a breath every now and then to take stock and just make sure I am really going where I want to go. Everything is changing..

Friday, 11 September 2009

One of those mornings.

I've been waking up late, lately. It seems like the days just kind of catch up with me and I am left with a wave of exhaustion that will not go and I am overcome and pinned beneath my duvet for the day. As if that wasn't enough for one day, I woke up lonely, it happens when you live alone I think it must. Don't get me wrong I am really enjoying living on my own, being inappropriate in my own company, lounging around in my boxers all day, that sort of stuff. Every once in a while though I wake up wishing I could roll over, slip my arm round someone else's waist and pull them in close for a morning of just half dozing in each others arms. It's a lazy, sensual activity, that usually ends in one person kicking the other out of bed to make coffee or get some toast and some mornings I just wake up missing it.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Appointment pt3

Another unnaturally beautiful morning, I've been out all night and am woken at 7:30am by my phone ringing. I am waiting on a job offer so thinking it might be that I leap up and run for the phone I have drunkenly left in the front room. Once I answer it it turns out to be my Doctor seeing if I can come in earlier to see him. Sure, why not I am just round the corner and the sooner I get it done the more of the day I have to do other things. So I wash up get some clothes on and walk down to the GP in the amazing sunshine, I'm feeling pretty damn happy today.

I've been having real issues with my food over the last few months. I am a punishment eater, I don't eat for comfort I eat to punish my body or at least I have in the past. Stuff it full to bursting with any old crap I can get my hands on to hurt it. Since I have come out as trans I have been getting a hold of it, the idea that I could actually have the body I want or something closer to it has allowed me to take more control over my food and start working out and for the first time I think in my adult life, I am being body aware. I'm thinking about what I want my body to look like and I'm taking steps to try and achieve it.

In the last month or so though I was finding it harder and harder to stop going back to my old habits. Bit by bit I was slowly reverting back to the old tortured eater and would stuff myself with food I didn't enjoy as some way of blocking out the world and hurting myself and I think in a way it is also a way of hiding my body. I couldn't work out what it was that was bothering me and then I noticed it.

I don't know if anyone else plays this game, I expect they must because I think it's just human nature to do this. I play a game when I am out in the world, in my head I call it body shopping. I look around at guys and when I see a guy who's body I like, I think to myself I'll look like that one day. Or I'll see a guy and think I'd like to have pecks like that or legs like that. I'd stopped doing it and when I started to think about why I had stopped I realized I needed to do something about getting referred. Part of me very much needs to explore this option of body modification and though other parts of me seem content to carry on, this part doesn't think life is worth living if I don't have at least a look. So I guess this is a part of me that I have kept pretty quiet for a long time and now it's got a voice it is yelling at the top of it's lungs to be heard.

At first when I started just the possibility of being recognized and addresses in a male context was enough for this part of me it made me believe that that was indeed how people saw me and it gave me the space to start getting control of my eating habits. This only existed in a little bubble of space though and as I grew more comfortable with my male space I wanted to expand that out. I started to realize that I was still being seen as female especially in male company which made me want to revert back to invisible, because being invisible for me is better than being singled out as a girl. It was a relief to realize this in a strange way in fact any revelation be it one I want or one I don't is a good thing it helps to give me some kind of anchor in the sea of what ifs I seem to be constantly drowning in. They change too but for the time they are true for me it gives me a chance to work out how I feel about things and helps me to find enough clarity to make a decision or understand something about myself a little better. Sometimes that is all I can ask for.

Anyway back to the Doctors. He was very open and friendly today, such a sweet fellow, I do get the feeling that he genuinely wants to be of help to me and that for me is a very amazing thing. I told him about the call to the GIC and that they said I needed to be referred to a local psychologist. He said that they have one attached to the clinic and wrote out a referral letter for me and said it should take 2-3 weeks and if I hadn't heard anything by then to contact him. I don't want to rush this so I am almost grateful for the waiting, it can be deeply frustrating I expect, but I am trying to see these waits as positive. A chance to take a breath reassess and see if this is really where I want to go and to try and get my body closer to what it is I want.

Friday, 21 August 2009


Since I have started this journey, a lot has happened. It seems silly to say I guess, but when I take a look back over these last few months. Look at where I started and where I am now it is lightning fast. For me it doesn't seem that way because in actuality I have been bursting at the seams for these changes since I was 15 when I first told my mother I wanted a sex change.

I remembered this while talking to her and my dad today. We were having our general catchup chat and she was asking that usual mum questions, so how are things, anything new going on? I am seized by a strong urge to say, well you know that whole trans thing we were talking about a few months ago when I said I wasn't going to do anything, well I am and I've kind of started, made appointments, got referrals. I can't tell her this over the phone though, not any of my family I have to be able to look them in the eye, so they can see my eyes and know this is not something I have undertaken lightly. I know they would not think I would but I have noticed more and more when taking to people who do not have a disconnect with their gender that they really don't understand what it is to not be the gender you are identified as. It really is a deeply alien thing to them and unfortunately it is not an easy one to explain.

There is not quick dirty combination of words that's snaps them into enlightenment for this, or none that I have found yet. I keep hoping I will think of them, I don't want the next time they see me to be a me so changed from what they know that it becomes even harder.

When I started this journey in October last year, I could barely say the word trans, I was afraid to tell people and afraid their reactions would be negative. Sometimes I am still afraid but not so much now. I was lucky to fall upon a group of people at Wotever who let me just be me and are supportive and encouraging when I make decisions but don't try and force me to do anything more than I have decided. It could almost be considered nurturing, yes that is a good word for what I have found there.

They respect my identity in a way I don't find anywhere else, I have other groups of people who I love, some even more deeply than those at Wotever but they don't really understand what my identity means to me right now, just how delicately balanced I am between joy and despair when it comes to finding this real me. It's been a part of me so long and parts of me want it so so much, but at the same time I have learned to live with what I am and I am afraid of what I could loose as I keep moving down this road. A part of me desperately wants to be more male, have a more male appearance, use the mens, be called Sir and not then correct to Miss, be one of the guys in a way that doesn't lead to me being singled out as a girl 5mins into the conversation.

I also don't want to stop being one of the girls though I don't want to loose my sisterhood ( for want of a better word ) I'm not going to be a man, I don't want to be a man, I'll be something in between. Not a negative, neither man nor woman, but both man and woman I think there is something beautiful about that. I don't want to deny my femaleness, I just can't find out what that is in me until I have gone through this. I can't explore anything male or female really because all I can explore is the disconnect, I am an uncomfortable me, trying to present me but being called out as something else by people around me.

So now I've started getting referrals and I am telling people about it, I am getting a lot of "But I thought you said you weren't going to do anything about it?" It must seem confusing to them one minute it seems I am hell bent on not, then I am. What I say is simply this, I can't work out what it is I want and what I really want to do unless I start doing it. I can spend my whole life asking myself, do i or don't i? Yes I am scared for a million and one reasons one of which is the very real fear that I may do something irreversible that I don't really want, but I am going to have to just trust my judgement here. I am just going to have to believe that I am smart enough not to do that. I can't of wanted to do this for this long and still want to do this without there being something very real about it and I must now in earnest ask some very real and difficult questions of myself. I need people who have seen it all before to help me deal with those questions one at a time. Work through them, keep me focused on them and that is what I am hoping for by starting this, I need grounding and a bit of reassurance that this isn't something new. I have to do this because if I don't I will just keep running around in circles and getting nowhere.