“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
***TRIGGER WARNING – extreme generalisations on gender, trans issues and transition. No offence intended, just my personal experience and thoughts.***
I have always found water very calming, the stillness of a lake in the park, watching the swans splash about. A fountain spraying powerful jets, a constant that can be relied upon. Crashing waves back and forth along the shore. Fluidity is a concept that all transgender people can relate to on some level. From changing your body in a slow way to more outwardly parts such as switching from birth gender to acquired gender for different occasions. I am not sure if the fluidity ever really stops, even when you start to live in your acquired gender full time, and the path to finding the true you can ebb and flow seamlessly. And for those that are non-binary it is a constant fluid existence that I have much to learn about. I like to think of it as Trans Ocean because there are ports along the way, storms and typhoons to navigate, an endless sea of discovery.
Keeping with the nautical theme my own transition has taken on a new meaning. The opening chapter has been written, I turn the page for chapter two. The first chapter was all about getting ready to sail, the first stage was planning my crossing across the seas, thoughts on what I wanted to explore and discover, preparing the maps and logistics. Secondly I sought out the sailors who would help me navigate the seas, these came in the form of doctors and friends who provided me with over whelming support. Another stage was saying the goodbyes, family and friends have had to deal with a person they care about changing into something better and a mourning of sorts has been evident. Supplying the ship in preparation for travel came in the form of a new wardrobe and make-up, jewellery and beauty products. Finally it was getting approval for my voyage from the authorities and having to secure a deed poll and new passport. The ship was stocked, the maps made, paperwork in order and the good byes done.There was just one thing left to do and that is to set sail. I have been waiting patiently for my embarkation date. I watch the shore, the waves crashing, seagulls chirping away above. The sea breeze caressing my face and tempting me to rush in.
I have been in a waiting stage of transition for several months and have not had much to say. The time has been put to good use, however, with starting laser treatment. It is basically re-enacting Star Wars on your face and although the pain is minimal it certainly is an experience. Work was my last hurdle and I have now managed to finally work out all the details so there is no more problems in being ‘me’ in every aspect of my life. Faith is official for all intents and purposes and she awaits raising the sails and getting the voyage under way.
During this wait I took stock of my situation, my new found place in the world, my emotional transformation and overall understanding of my status now. I thought how I was enjoying the fact most people in my life now saw me as a woman rather then the curiosity I was before. My femininity is ten fold that of any broken masculinity I held for so long. I am a better, stronger and confident person now. My place amongst my friends has shifted and I do not see them ‘trying’ to treat me as a woman, they are just doing it. I know some others in my life are still a little sceptical, but most of those are people who have known me as a child and it is much, much harder for them to break the barrier. I knew this when I started and my resolve is strong.
Thinking on wider society and how easy I have found it to ‘fit’ in has been surprising to say the least. I have not come up against any real problems in the street or about town. The odd remark from drunks outside pubs, but that is to be expected. I have really enjoyed navigating ‘women’ spaces such as the cosmetic counters in Boots and buying saucy lingerie in Ann Summers. I have enjoyed these experiences, so natural, calm, meant to be. Woman are always smiling at me as well, I am not sure why this is. The curiosity factor plays a huge part and my new ability to exude confidence and supreme self awareness. I know people are watching, so I use it like a celebrity would and take advantage of the situation. There is no point crawling into a hole and have the attention brought inward. My philosophy is rebound all the looks, stares and attention back to the world. I ‘make’ people love me.
I sit in a privileged position it would seem. I found confusion reading other trans folk plights and bad experiences and wondered why so many of us struggle with the day to day. Why don’t they all do what I do, put on the brave face, not care what others think and just live? I am silly to think everyone has it as easy as me and know that there is a different set of circumstances for someone born in a modern city like London, where I have so many other trans folk to bounce off. I also genuinely do not care what anyone who has a negative view thinks. An ability I have always had which enables me to absorb the negativity and shut it down where it belongs.
I will be arrogant in saying that I dress very stylishly and have a knack for colour, especially when it comes to make-up. I succeed in presenting femininity in large doses and know that other woman are surprised by my appearance at times. I own my height as well,using it to create beauty and power for others to be in awe at. I look at other trans women and see pictures on the internet and I do worry that some struggle with fashion and make-up. I know how cruel and stereotypical this sounds but if you want to be accepted you have to use rules that society expects you to stick to. I am different but have a familiarity to my style and appearance that makes people think ‘this is a woman’. I make that happen, I do not expect it or moan when someone does not fall for my tricks and mis-genders me. Sometimes I worry about how trans folk want nothing more than to be accepted by society but fail to engage in society itself. It is not enough to say ‘I should be accepted as X gender no matter how I present’ because the sub conscious of every human is battered by imagery and constants that make gender what it is. I do not think it is right, it is just how it is, you cannot be accepted if you do not yourself accept.
This brings up its own issues for me about what is femininity and womanhood within society. It is obviously not just dressing correctly or having perfectly coordinated make-up but the expression of these things gives the stranger in the street an instant snapshot of what you all about. I want, need, expect strangers to perceive me as a powerful woman, matriarchal of sorts, respected but with elegance and style. I have no privilege to this expectation, I use my style and confidence to take, not get given what I want from society as a whole. My words my seem dismissive and naive but my success and happiness has come about through my control of the world around me. I do not wait to find out what people think of me, I create an aura that makes people think of me what I want when I walk in the room. And now things are set to get even better.
My appointment with the endocrinologist could not been a smoother ride. A quick chat followed by a simple physical examination and then the end of my preparations for my journey were sealed. Being prescribed hormones has been a reward of sorts for all the hard work I have put into my transition. I have never stalled, took a break or looked back. I set a goal and have achieved this. Obtain hormones within a year and be fully transitioned within society. All the emotional and social hurdles have been overcome as well as the paperwork side of things completed. Now I turn the page and a new chapter starts.This no nonsense woman will grow and grow and only time will tell where my port of call actually is.