Getting the show on the road

I think it’s my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is, let the chips fall where they may.

Leonard Nimoy

This post marks the end of an important phase in my transition. My family and friends are now aware, for the most part anyway, and I have had overwhelming support from everyone. I have a name, first and last, which is a relief. My wardrobe and makeup are growing and my confidence knows no bounds. I had the wheel and made the decisions when, where and how my transition should evolve. However, one aspect I have little, if any, control about is the medical side. The doctors are the gatekeepers for an important part of transitioning, hormones!

I was in complete control on my path up until this week.
I was in complete control on my path up until this week.

Being referred to the gender identity clinic (GIC) at Charing Cross, London, was a milestone that my local doctor and mental health team had been very good to sort out rather quickly. I was fully aware, however, of the long waiting list associated to this. I had read others stories about waiting for 18 months or longer just for an initial assessment and although I am very patient with most things, a wait of that magnitude is simply ridiculous.

Every transperson knows the feeling of waiting. It is at least one thing we all have in common!
Every transperson knows the feeling of waiting. It is at least one thing we all have in common!

Knowing that the queue was long and my time is ticking, I was not prepared to wait. I am over 30 now and it is important that I have as much time as possible as the woman I need to be. Patience would wear very thin if I sat in the queue and made the decision to contact a private specialist who ironically works at the GIC in London for the NHS as well. Even taking this step had a waiting list and my assessment appointment has now taken place. To say I was nervous was a huge understatement and I felt fear for the first time in a very long time. On the train travelling towards the doctor I was numb, my head was spinning and my thoughts were all over the place. I kept worrying that my brain would freeze when faced with questions about childhood, family, sex and my lifestyle. It was just as well that these questions had already been discussed, in varying degrees, with my local mental health team. The lovely doctor who had made the referral was really happy to see me transition from confused man to confident woman by the end of our last session, so I reflected on those moments and told myself I can do this! Anyone that has started the medical side of transitioning will be able to tell you that honesty is the most important part when speaking with the specialists. We spend such a long time not being truthful with ourselves and to get this far after a life of pain and suffering is a tall order, so why spoil it with more lies. I clung to this the entire way. ‘Be truthful, Faith. No sugar coating, be you!’

Open your heart because keeping it closed could lead to a life of pain and suffering.
Open your heart because keeping it closed could lead to a life of pain and suffering.

Sitting in the waiting room presented me with a rather strange moment. There was a huge mirror directly in front of me and it reached from the floor to the ceiling. It was spotless and really opened up the small space and I could see my entire self sitting, waiting, pondering and breathing heavily. For all my nerves and uncertainty one thing became clear and as a small relief to my situation. I liked what I saw. Now of course I have seen myself in mirrors in public before, but mostly the safety of the ladies toilet applying slap or a quick glimpse walking passed windows or similar. It dawned on me that this was the first time in public where I could see it for myself, happy, strong and alive. The look of despair strewn across my face had turned to the cheeky smile that I have come to love. I was dressed quite conservatively (read: boring) but I did not want the doc to think I was some sort of tarty cross-dresser who did not know what she was doing.

One day...HEY! A girl can dream!
One day…HEY! A girl can dream!

The appointment itself was actually a breeze! The doctor was amazing and made me feel so welcome it was like all the worry throughout the week fell away to reveal tranquil warm waters. He was impressed with my journey so far, complimented me on how I had thought about how not only myself, but others, will be affected by my transition. He explained my plan was solid and again well thought out, the fact I started with the social aspects and not the medical side was a bonus and that I was confident and not crazy! I am now back in control in the respect that the gatekeeper has thrown open the doors to hormones and it is up to me to get my blood test results back from my GP and come back for a medical assessment based on those. I was genuinely surprised that he felt I was ready for such a big step.

One small step for...oh shut up Faith!
One small step for…oh shut up Faith!

Some serious decisions need to be made on the back of my assessment, though. Decisions, which if being honest, I have not put any thought to. Sperm freezing. Freezing some of my sperm on the off chance I may meet a woman, who I want to spend the rest of my life with AND we want children. This is a much bigger decision than it sounds and my head is swimming with future fantasies and nightmares.

There are two distinct aspects to this subject. Firstly, purely biological, my sperm could be used to make little versions of me, it is simply biological matter used to make babies. Fine, I get that, it seems a good idea from this viewpoint. It would cement the ability to carry on my genes and allow a future partner and me to have our own children. Great.

The creation of life is a wonderful moment that many people will enjoy. I am trans though, is it right for me to want or expect this. Do I want it?
The creation of life is a wonderful moment that many people will enjoy. I am trans though, is it right for me to want or expect this. Do I want it?

However, I do not feel it is not as simple as this. Taking a step back several other raw emotions boil in me when I think about having sperm frozen. Why am I transitioning into a woman? Why do I go out of my way to express the woman inside? Why am I struggling and fighting to find freedom? The answer is simple. It is because I AM NOT A MAN! The idea that my sperm, my man juice, can be stored and used in the future to make children is confusing to say the least. I am aspiring to become a woman of the world, not a dad in a dress. Many will say its just the stuff that is added to your partners egg so you can create life. I do understand this, but my part in that beautiful moment will be as a MAN. I would be the man, not the woman. Would I feel fake? Would I feel I made the wrong decision and become depressed because I now want to be a father for that child?

These are big questions that every transperson should think about (obviously with eggs for the boys). It is easy to dismiss it as simply ‘baby batter’, it is the emotion around it and what it stands for that frightens me. I would be heartbroken to go through my transition, maybe get married, than be expected to be a dad, a man, the very thing I was trying to escape from all that time. This is hard to decide.

On brighter note, my family has now met Faith and it was fine. My mother said it was like seeing the real me for the first time, which was wonderful. I am breaking down the barriers that I have battled with all my life and the air I breath is clean. I am taking strides but with big decisions ahead.

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8 comments

  1. Congratulations on getting through the gate and for being fast tracked. It is kind of like playing the lottery.
    In terms of sperm, you raise a really interesting question. Most of the lesbian couples that I know who had kids went through a sperm bank rather than knowing the donor. If it isn’t important to you that your child has your genes, then don’t worry about it. If you’d rather keep it in the family, then that is different.
    One of the weird things about being trans is that we are always a mixed bag, and so we end up as men with vagina’s, etc. If you want to be a woman who has bottled her sperm for posterity, then it becomes women’s sperm. The good thing is you have the options and you have the choice, and lets hope you find a partner who loves you and wants to carry a baby.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Faith, another wonderfully uplifting post! I wonder why you think your part in a conception would make you a man? For all the women who can’t and don’t want to conceive with their own bodies but want a natal child, they are still women for the way they do it. It would make you a mom, right?

    I really await the day when I’m a lesbian in a sperm bank, it will be the closest I’ll ever come to conception, it’s disgusting, but what a blessing it could be to find your vitality and fertility exists at all, let alone something that can be storied for later use. Some people are born infertile, so I still think it’s a very big deal to have the option at all.

    When the day comes for little kiddies, how my material is passed on will surely be overshadowed by the joys of bringing new life into the world. Love trancends the genetic material of creation.

    I hope you consider it if you think you may ever truly want children, because before you know it, the opportunity could be gone forever.

    So happy for you honey 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know I need to look at it in sterile biological terms. I do. Its just baby making stuff, it should not define my gender, similar to my penis does not make me a man.

      Maybe this is a bigger issue for me in terms of do I really want my own kids or not and I am hiding behind this freezing stuff.

      Thanks for you input it is always great. Glad you have rationalised this for yourself and I am sure I can do the same soon.
      Xxxx

      Like

      • Well I would ask, beyond not knowing whether you would want you own kids, would you like to have the option one day when you do know? I know that kinda forces a response but just offering up the challenge :p

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  3. Huge congrats on coming out, finding a name and having your assessment!

    As you know I’ve also been struggling with the whole reproduction thing in relation to being trans. I hear you saying you “should” be able to view your gametes as just genetic material, no big deal. But I don’t think there’s any “should” here–you feel how you feel, period.

    It’s understandable that in your mind, sperm=man. That could change, and if you can reimagine this as something that would be consonant with your gender, that’s great. However, if you can’t get there, that’s okay, too.

    I have really wrestled with and I’ve realized that, even if I did not carry a pregnancy–e.g., have my eggs removed & use a sperm donor so my partner could carry a child–the idea of playing the “female” role in reproduction just disgusts and disturbs me very deeply. A lot of trans people don’t feel that way, and I think that is beautiful. But personally, becoming in some sense a genetic mother (even while being a social father) is just not cool with me.

    So if you feel too squicked out by the idea of using your sperm, that’s okay, and it doesn’t have to mean you will never be a parent (if you even want to be a parent).

    Best of luck making these difficult decisions!

    Like

    • Thank you, I have read lots if your recent posts and we both have the same issue. Using our given bits to bring into the world.

      I do need to rationalise it somehow but right now this is all too raw in my mind. Concentrating on straight forward stuff like name change and growing mt hair. Hehe.

      Best of luck to you as well, always here to listen. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

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