I was looking through some emails from September 2017, just over three years ago, and I was surprised at what I found. I suppose when you live your life you don’t really notice the changes that are going on around you or for that matter within you. These emails were exchanged with a close friend who has subsequently given me huge support through my transition. She and her partner have been completely non-judgemental throughout.
What surprised me was that in September 2017 the question of transitioning was still a matter for discussion. I knew I was trans as did my friends. Yet the question was raised, “You are not out to the world, maybe it is something you you need to dip in and out of”? That just seems so strange three years later. Yet then I had not found a sympathetic Doctor, I was in reality only out to my close friends, one of my children, definitely not at work so she was raising a legitimate question of whether I needed to continue in that situation, that I was not ready to move on despite what I was saying.
I describe my gender dysphoria as being like a runaway train, something unstoppable. I say this especially when people say, kindly, you are so brave. I think they really mean mad. But that is what it was like for me. However much I was scared of being rejected, of being made fun off or ridiculed transition was inevitable. The fact I was scared delayed the inevitable, yet it was never going to stop me transitioning.
A few months later I moved in and lived with my friends sharing a house. When I was at home I always presented as myself and was treated as female at all times. I still had to travel to work and did so still in my male persona. Over the months the balanced tipped and it started to feel strange going out in male clothes. Because I had moved I needed to change Doctors and was lucky enough to find a GP who did not have an issue with Transgender patients and she was willing to supply my prescribed HRT on the NHS.
Progressively over the next two years my male persona diminished and my comfort levels grew as I my confidence increased. Throughout this time my friends were one hundred per cent supportive, offering me guidance yet not pushing me. Their understanding was phenomenal. Over the next two years I picked off people and told them I was transgender until by the end of last year I had come out to everyone important to me including work colleagues. I had the continued support of my friends throughout. In the same period I saw the Consultant Psychiatrist and Consultant Endocrinologist to get a referral for surgery and steadily progressed through my transition.
Then for work reasons it became sensible for me to move further west to be closer and cut down on the travelling, so I found a place to rent of my own and moved in.
Taking stock, today I am fully transitioned living “me” in every facet of my life. All my official papers are changed including my new passport. There are a few people who still use my old name or get the pronouns wrong. Frankly that is there problem I am me and I know who I am. Things have changed so much I find it hard to remember I was once leading a different life. It has been a real surprise to me that it is only just over three years ago that I was still resistant about making the transition. A day of reflection on the past few years.
I owe a huge debt to my friends for giving me their support and allowing me the space to find myself.