It looks as if there are changes taking place. For the last three years I have been sharing a house with a couple who have become my family. I would not be where I am today without their care and support and I had not realised how much this has impacted on me and my ability to transition. Unconsciously as I explored going out and about I knew I had a safe space to come home to.
Because of my work it now makes sense to relocate. I have become aware, through my period of isolation, how unproductive the amount of commuting I used to across the country. What I was not expecting from this decision to relocate is the level of anxiety it has induced.
I have moved house a number of times, definitely 28 times plus short term stays in addition. Yet none of those moves have caused anxiety as I am experiencing. This is the first move I am making where I am no longer a white privileged male and although I had become aware of my change in status I had not expected to have additional factors added into my shopping list as to what would be a suitable new home.
Some of these factors will apply to other groups. For a start as a woman I have more concerns about safety than I ever had before transition. One of the properties I considered is down a pedestrian walkway, more an alleyway and my first reaction was that is great, really nice and private. Then I started to think would I want to walk down that alleyway at night living on my own?
The next factor is apart from being concerned about safety as a woman, I am a transwoman and how do I guard against transphobia. The answer of course is that I can’t. So is there anything I can do to minimise the risk. Clearly moving in and finding you have a transphobic neighbour cannot be avoided, you just deal with that if that unfortunately happens and I guess move on as soon as you are able to.
This will be the first time I have lived on my own in all of my mature years. I was surprised to realise that since leaving home, apart from my first twelve months in a Hall of Residence at University, I have lived always lived with a partner (wife or significant other) and now with the couple I house share at the moment. I would normally choose some rural community, a small village. However, do you go for the anonymity of a city where nobody really takes any notice of their neighbour? There are other factors. A city has more opportunities to socialise and entertainment. As I will be on my own this could be a plus. A smaller community could be equally good if you were able to fit in, be accepted and be drawn into the community.
I suppose I do not really know the answer at the moment. I have only just started looking. Hopefully a property will turn up which is an obvious choice and the agonising of what to choose will solve itself and I can step out into a new phase.