Thu Nov 1st, 2007 at 04:01:47 PM EST
Slowly, I'm writing a series of diaries on some of my experiences as a transgendered person. Here in the diary "In the land between Blue and pink" I discussed what it was like to be unwillingly male, and the processes I went through to find myself about to transition. So, I guess, now I have got to the point where I describe some of ways in which transition happens. As I've said many times, gender change happens between the ears rather than between the legs. I think, looking back, I am surprised both at how much I changed, yet how little.
Changing gender is a major decision, not just for yourself but for every interaction you have in society. It is the most primary piece of information people use to determine how to react to you, judge you, even see you. Yet, I am amazed that some people do it so lightly, such as those who come to regret it invariably casting doubt on the rest of us who agonised for years over our decisions. Equally I have been occasionally disappointed to discover that some people imagine I myself did so on a whim, it's really quite insulting.
Nevertheless, one January evening I found myself outside a doctor's surgery struggling with myself not to flee from the consequences of what I was about to do. Even at this stage I was debating the decision with myself and obviously many thoughts ran through my mind. So many that I wrote them down that night;-
It's a funny thing really. Your head that is.
You can think you've sorted something out in your mind. You make the decision and know, really know, that it's the right one. Okay, you may be avoiding one or two minor issues, but the substantive point is plain. So you're up for it. Ready. Let's do it......er ...wait a minute.
Why now ? Why when I'm sitting in the waiting room am I wondering what I'm doing here ?
It's as if I hadn't realised it before, but it occurs to me that I'm doing a big, big thing. Except that no, it's not. It's not a big thing for me at all. It really is a tiny little thing. It's just everything, that's all.
Except suddenly I'm thinking that I really want a girlfriend, to be her man. I'm almost eager to play rugby. Immerse myself in my grubby maleness. Do absolutely anything except take a chance on happiness. After all, it's a leap of faith really. Here I am, a rather dull, frustrated personality that's not so much been waiting for life to occur, but practically been waiting for permission to live. That's what being male feels like to me. A sort of nothing-works-so-why-bother.
I don't like being male, I never did. I don't hate it, I'm rather accustomed to it after all. But I don't take the pleasures in it that other friends do. Ever since I can remember I've wanted to be female and always viewed any woman as just being lucky, really bloody lucky and viewed myself as correspondingly damned. Sentenced to live outside the light. Oh there's more to it than that, much much more but the lighting is sombre, the antique clock is ticking and my thoughts are racing away.
I'm not expecting miracles. But I want more than I have. I want what I cannot have until I walk through that door. The chance to be female, no longer a man (badly) disguised as one. I don't expect that hormones will make me a beautiful woman, but I hope to be a passable one. More importantly I want to have the social feedback of a society that sees me a female and in which I can behave in a feminine manner. We are social animals and it's that social recognition I desire more than anything else.
But having chosen my path why do I want to just get up and walk away and pretend I never made the appointment ? It's simple really. Because it's everything, this little thing. I feel alone and small and confused and scared. I'm giving away everything that's easy for god-alone-knows-what. And who would willingly turn their back on that ?
But I'm still sitting here. And I'll sit here till I'm beckoned in because I cannot have anything that matters unless I do.
So now I've got my prescription and I'm taking the pills. Even the packet in a pastel pink tells me this is a new future. I will be a pastel pink person from now on, not a primary blue or red one.
These little pills, too small surely to change my world forever. Who could imagine they'd do such a big thing if I let them ? And I will let them because I want to feel lucky. Or at least I don't want to feel damned any more. I want the ache to stop. I'll get other aches but I want to know what life is like without feeling that I missed out somewhere along the line
And yet I'm being surprised by odd thoughts. Again, not because I've not thought about them, but because they've never had any force until situational reality comes knocking on the door. In 2 or 3 years time I'll be turning right into the ladies changing room, or going to the ladies loo. It's strange realising that this is in my future. Not a wish upon what-might-have-been to be considered as a hypothetical, but the real thing. I can put my hand on the rails and feel that future rushing towards me. I don't know where it'll take me but even thinking about getting on board can make my head spin. It's a long time since I didn't know where I was going and it takes a little getting used to.
Just reading those words takes me back to that night. The bone-gnawing doubt, the fear and yet also, hiding away, the hope. A tiny flicker, uncertain and flickering it's true, but having tried all other options, I had finally allowed myself to hope. Hope for what I didn't know at the time, but surely anything must be better than this limbo. Yes, it's very personal, as you can imagine, but more than anything it allows you to see how I was feeling at this time.
As I have explained, the doctor I saw didn't spend too much time talking to me as he uses hormones themselves as a diagnostic tool. After six weeks of taking them, that little ache in the head that I have had all my adult life faded away like morning dew. Anything else I might have imagined I wanted from this process, that social acceptance or other stuff, was suddenly of no consequence. This was what I had wanted all of my life. Just that, the ending of that ache; that would do me. That was the little thing, the everything, and it only took six weeks.
Naturally, there's more, but not yet.