Starting electrolysis

Hair removal is painful, in all the ways!

It seems like a long time ago that I nervously pushed the door open to the beauty clinic after agonising about whether or not to start treatment when I haven’t even met with the gender outreach clinic yet. The warm and friendly welcome I received even as that quiet, nervous and shabbily dressed guy made a lasting impression. One that ran deeper than the pain of laser treatment. I look forward to going in, being offered a hot drink and listening to the relaxing music, the staff are always smiling and I have not once felt judged or even out of place.

This weekend saw my last blast of laser treatment – clearing the weeds as my electrologist called it.  The laser has had to be at its maximum setting and it has hurt and made me flinch or gasp, every. single. time. We are running out of black hairs to zap, whats left are mostly red and a few white – the joys of my celtic heritage.  I was very nervous when I was told to look for magic cream before this session, if laser was sore, how much worse must electrolysis be if you have to numb your face before you start!

For those without children magic cream is a local anaesthetic cream, usually rubbed onto children’s arms for the purpose of giving injections or taking blood. EVERYONE in the UK calls it magic cream!  The make I was told to seek was called EMLA, it comes in dinky wee tubes with dressing pads to help absorption or giant 30g tubes for multiple uses – it was the large tube I was told to look for and I went to 4 different chemists in two different towns with no luck, although one pharmacist did offer to order some in for me.

I resorted to ordering online, but when I entered electrolysis as the reason online the chemist refused to send it to me.  All of this was to avoid going to my local GP and telling them that I think I am trans and waiting for an appointment but have started on hair removal. I could not tell you who my GP is – the extremely rare time I have made an appointment I do not care who I see as long as they are trained and the first available appointment.  I had one last town to try before giving up, but ran out of time so my sister bless her went through the big Boots who were rubbish and then finally Superdrug – who were super helpful and got me two wee tubes, oddly the packets with the dressings were cheaper than those without. She did have to explain to the chemist what she wanted the cream for but she was really nice and very quick to offer future support if more was needed. I had arrived for my appointment with my miniature magic cream tubes and when I explained the hassle trying to get the cream my electrologist said that she was not surprised and she would just use from their own stock and charge me the cost of the tube.

My face was stinging – the more zaps you get in quick succession the more it hurts, and after 20 minutes everywhere feels like you have serious sunburn, which in a way is true – the saving grace is that the machine also has a cold air blower which is heaven and a blissful relief from the laser machine.

We finished up and then cream was applied to my chin and jawline which is where the strongest concentration of hair remains and I was left to lie on a massage table and read for an hour (so glad I took a book) while the cream took effect.

By this time I needed the loo so when I was allowed to move I was told I had to go downstairs – the clinic is located above the health suite in a local hotel chain and the toilets are just open for anyone – it says a lot about how comfortable I am becoming with the treatment that even though my face looked like I had been interrupted shaving I could go and ask a member of staff for directions to the closest loo – the young lad almost hid his amusement very well and was still nice and polite so kudos to the hotel staff.

After answering nature’s call I went back to my wee room and prepared myself for my impending torture.  The saving grace being that a large portion of my face no longer felt sunburnt because it had no feeling at all, running my tongue around the bottom of my teeth I could feel a slight tingle, but had no idea what to expect.

What followed was about 3 hours of pleasant conversation as the electrologist zapped and pulled out hairs that had roots that looked inches deep.  I could occasionally feel a slight zap almost like a pinprick, but most of the time it was just the sensation of the hair being plucked even though it did not hurt.  I had arrived for my appointment before 13:30 and left at 1800. It was a long afternoon and as had become habit I kept the windows open in the car to take full advantage of the cold air as I drove to my sisters house and my waiting children.

I was warned that my chin and jaw might be tender for the next few days after having the double trauma of laser and electrolysis, but my face has calmed down surprisingly quickly, today I have the blotchy facial hair that catches on my teeshirt just as I always do, but overall I have to say that I have gotten off lightly.

I am looking forward to putting the pain of the laser behind me.  In two weeks time I have to go back for another extended session of electrolysis because it is apparently better to get as much out at the same time as possible and then get to the pattern of catching anything as it grows back.  For me it is a milestone – I am delighted that I can look clean shaven for a full day even if I can feel the hairs myself, I can go 2-3 days before looking like I haven’t shaved at all. At the moment regardless of what happens in October I can say that the money I have spent has absolutely been worth it, I feel so much better about myself.

Next weekend sees my first extended time being Dee in front of family, friends and strangers and while I am SOOooooo excited by the prospect, I am also quietly and unashamedly terrified of showing this side of me to the world.

Online I can chat in rooms and in forums and am happy to just be myself, due to my butterfly avatar I am always treated as female, and I am 100% okay with that, I may not be comfortable with the concept of voice chatting but it is nice to be able to express myself freely.

In the real world I cannot hide behind a drawn picture though.

I do not want to make a fool of myself, to be mocked or ridiculed or rejected, nor do I want to be pressured into moving forwards if it does not feel right for me, or pressure others into being okay with me when this is the first time they will see me in female clothing, I do not want to damage the relationships I have – it will literally be two nights and one full day of many of those little daydreams about coffee and lunches and window shopping and dancing and being seen as a woman in public that I have had literally had for basically my entire teenage and adult life coming true – so it is that place where fantasy will meet reality and I am so nervous about it, no pressure lol!

XX

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Living painfully quiet

I was at a friends Murder mystery birthday party this weekend.  My character was supposed to be a reformed womaniser and loan shark type. The party was amazing, everyone got into their parts and even without a corpse we all horribly murdered the accents we were trying to do for our characters.

We all turned up for dinner, and over a 3 course meal we listened to a short section on a CD, read from our specific character scripts and then improvised the conversation questions and answers because we were all suspects.

I was told afterwards though that my character had not done much womanising overtly, and I blamed it on the accent and not the fact that while I could just about handle calling my female friends and a couple of strangers; love, babe, sweetheart and darling – the truth is I find it sleazy and uncomfortable and I cannot act that way for long even in jest. The murderer was guessed by one of my friends, but not me.

I did not mind the fancy dress part, a few trips around the charity shops soon helped to get a suitably magnum pi type outfit and I thought about fake tanning too late for it to be done, but my point is that it felt like I was playing a part – I could flow in or out of character but it was always just that, a character.

In two weeks time I will be spending almost a whole weekend dressed as Dee, going out, dressing, eating and sleeping as my girl self in public and private – I will have 2 members of my family and one cis het couple of good friends with me, I was best man at their wedding, although recently my friend said I was now their best person. Everyone with me will be encouraging, they all just want to support me and everyone has said they will be okay with me dressing as Dee, but if I change my mind, if I have a panic attack, or if I realise it is not me then there will be no judgement. I can go and change and there will be no harm done to me or my friendships, and it will not be made public knowledge.

It is going to be an important moment for me – pretty much mentally confirming to myself if I am “trans” and looking to transition socially, or just “trans” emotionally and happy being perceived as a male but just working in taking away the masks I have discovered I frequently wear.

I know that when I dress as Dee at home with or without makeup it does not feel like a mask, I cannot go out for fear of discovery in my local area so everything I do is done at home behind closed curtains.

I hate that dressing still sometimes has an attachment to my libido but I am pretty sure that the urges are more testosterone and attachment based as I can still make lunches, read, watch films and do housework without it being exciting in any way. The clothes I am wearing are ones that a girl could wear anywhere without being embarrassed (some are more party then office or home but still everything is rated pg).

Certainly when I sleep in my pj’s it is just nice to be in bed sleeping – the worry comes from the small chance of having a child wander into the bedroom ill in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning so it is rare for me to wear my girly pj’s at home.

I met up with my sisters to do a 5k jog this weekend, trying to increase my fitness and even though I completed it I have hurt my foot badly, I can barely stand to put any weight on it – it is a combination of historically wearing male trainers that are too large for me and the fact that I am overweight and unfit. I want to be able to do so much more, even though I am presenting male I almost resent being asked for my gender and name at the beginning because I know that it is a classification that I am no longer sure I fit into, I am getting far more nervous and far more excited to see if this weekend as Dee is going to be one that helps me to see where I am going.

Mentally since I accepted the idea of being Trans it has calmed me down emotionally and I have been able to go out and have fun, the only thing is that whenever I see my female friends I am checking out what they are wearing and wondering if that will be me in a few years time… it may not make sense, but since when has anything in my life ever made sense?

Take care

xx

Emotional Boxes and how to fill them…

I am discovering that one of my strengths/weaknesses has always been just how tightly I control my emotions.  People are only allowed to see what I want them to see, what I consider it appropriate to share at the time.

Of the four sisters, one niece, two nephews and four friends that I have talked about my trans feelings with not one of them had ever suspected that I sometimes dreamed about being a girl, none of them said I strike them as being feminine and none of them ever thought they would be having that conversation with me.

That is because I have gone to extreme lengths to ensure that an item of clothing borrowed when I was younger was folded and put back in the same place and in the same way it was taken, anything that could possibly have been discovered was well hidden and then even when it was binned for fear of discovery was also done by bypassing the house bin for an outside one – and on more than one occasion driven in the car, wrapped in a black bag and put in a random roadside bin so even if there was some accidental tear as the bin was emptied it couldn’t be traced back to me.

I have NEVER talked to anyone about dressing up in womens clothes, I have NEVER admitted to liking nail varnish and hair styles, or pamper sessions, I have gone out of my way to mask or mock any traits that were even slightly girly or feminine with the exception of my eq, which has been a positive when it comes to working with people.

It is only over the last few months that I have shared these parts of myself with family and friends as I struggle to come to terms with who I am and how I see myself, fighting to understand whether I am trying to be something I am not or putting meaning into something that shouldn’t have it, or simply discovering a part of myself I could not previously acknowledge.

I am great at putting things into boxes and making sure they stay there.  I have seen End game twice and cried at exactly the same parts twice – the same parts where the women I know (and my daughter) cried, but I sucked those tears back in so quickly that no one saw or would have known if I chose not to admit it.

I am very careful how and when I choose to let my emotions out, to the point that sometimes its like I know how my brain wants to respond, but my body just refuses to show anything. It can be frustrating and it has led to me being called unemotional and heartless in the past, but it has also protected me from discovery for years.

I do this in other areas of my life, my ex wife’s granny recently died and ages ago when she had been planning her funeral as her health deteriorated I had been asked if I would be a part of the service – of course I had said yes, this week my promise has been put to the test, I have helped my ex mother in law put together and print a tribute and suitable orders of service and had to be nice to my exes new man who was there when I dropped the children off prior to the service tomorrow. I was smiling and cracking jokes but all the while this is still the woman I loved, even if she did likely cheat on me and it hurts to have to be in her family house and play nice.

With the best will in the world at most I would have managed a sarky comment, but as I have never been one to seek out confrontation, anyone coming in would have assumed we were lifelong friends. I have been told that I let her off too easy – but why create extra drama when it is not needed and will not help?

I can box up my feelings and emotions like a boss.

I do not know how tomorrows service will go – I do know that no awkwardness will come from me being there. I know that I am happy enough that my ex seems to be finding happiness in her life, I know that it is exhausting telling my son to be polite to the new man and it sucks that my daughter will be moving away when my ex does and I will miss out on seeing her except for holidays.

I will get through the day by being the best version of me that I can, I will be as kind and as helpful as I can be, but I also know that I will be exhausted by the end of the day, by the time I have taken the kids home I will be absolutely physically shattered.

The other thing that was on this weekend was a friends wedding – it was amazing – she looked stunning and the day let me catch up with so many of my friends it felt more like a reunion party than a wedding & reception.

I was in male mode but just has an absolute blast – I spent most of the night with a fake flower table decoration tied around my wrist like a corsage and was on the dance floor for most of the night even though frequently I was the only “man” up there – possibly the only thing that stopped me waking up hungover the next day was the sheer amount of dancing.

It was a tremendous night, the first time in a very very long time that I have laughed that long and that hard with my friends, and a part of me is very curious to see how going out as Dee at the end of this month will compare.

Two of my knowledgeable friends have volunteered to come out with my niece and I so I wonder if I will have as much fun and feel more or less myself.

It will be interesting to see how it all pans out. For a short while I will be relaxing the iron grip I have over myself and my emotions and just letting myself relax. No boxes, no unnecessary control. Should be quite the experiment!

XX

The Countdown has started

I unofficially started my holidays a little early, travelling to a friends house so I could go out with her to the cinema for her birthday. I am away from home for just over a week and have 3 separate events I needed to pack for so my case is about twice as large as I would normally pack…. and that is just my boy clothes, I have another case in my car that has some of my other clothes in, just in case the opportunity presents itself.

It did not today but instead I had a really good conversation with one of the friends who I told at Christmas and we discussed where I am and how I am feeling, as well as likely scenarios for moving forwards, it is nice being able to have a real life conversation and talk to someone who is supporting me trying to unravel the mystery of who I really am. I was even offered the promise of company on a night out towards the end of the month which is potentially the first time her and her husband would see me out as Dee.

I also caught up with my niece today and had a wonderful time. We just sat and swapped stories and then went back to her flat and started planning Dee day for a few weeks time.  The plan is to go out for the afternoon and then if that goes well to go out on the town in the evening too. She is flexible that if I have a panic attack she will not mind coming back to the flat but is happy to help me experiment with how going out socially in real life as Dee makes me feel.  I am nervous but quite excited as in my head I thought I would have gone out more by now.

I am bigger than I would like but so are many other girls, I am still nervous to go out but now it is excited nerves. This is a big step because it will be 1-2 full days interacting with the world as DeeDee. If I chose I could have my other friend and her partner out with me too and while it would be weird for them to see me, a part of me would be delighted to have them out – there is safety in numbers.

Things are getting real and I hope I am brave enough to go through with it.  It is an opportunity to be out and about, seen as how I want to be seen!If it feels right it could mean the start of more trips out for Dee, and if it feels wrong then I know that I am looking in the wrong direction.

Fun time ahead

xx

Dancing In Limbo

Having finally started to accept being trans and knowing I need to explore where this is going I am in a bit of a limbo.  All of my sisters now know – not having this secret feels amazing.  I no longer have to worry if a comment is made within earshot of any of my sisters and I know that I have their support regardless of where this exploration takes me, it gives me the strength to keep exploring until I find my peace.

My facial hair removal is going well, that first session has left me with a red brand on my neck that I hope will eventually fade, but I feel so much better having smooth skin.

The two sisters that I told recently have not been in touch to ask anything, but they haven’t stopped including me in messages or anything else either – at the moment, as far as family are concerned it is simply business as usual.

There are now really only two people that I care about that I have not told – my mum and my ex – I have stated before that my mum has had mental health issues for years, she has B.P.D amongst other things and refuses to accept the diagnosis which can make her an emotionally intensive person to be around. I love her to bits but the manipulation (both intentional and unintentional) of us children and the need to place herself at the centre of anything anyone else goes through without a thought or appreciation to their feelings has caused a lot of drama and friction over the years and that coupled with a total lack of understanding of LGBT+ issues just makes the prospect of telling her SOOooo daunting! It makes me tense just thinking about it.

My sisters have often bemoaned the fact that no matter what I do because I am the only boy, my mum has a soft spot for me. Some of that is true – as the only boy growing up I was frequently measured to a different standard to the girls. I hated but accepted it – there was a lot of sexism where my mum was determined that I would not consider cleaning or laundry “woman’s work” thanks to my grandfather who had very definite opinions on many subjects like that, but at the same time reinforcing that because I was the boy I was expected to do the gardening, fill the coal bucket and catch spiders or remove the dead things the cats brought in – you get the idea…  Once my father died then suddenly I became the man of the house and responsible for its smooth running – a mantle I was doomed to fail at carrying. I used to dream of becoming half the man that I believed my father to be. I really respected him, he was a man of principles, faith and not scared to show his love for his family – but I was young and death makes anyone suddenly appear saintly, I chose to remember all of the good things people said about him – the good working class family memories of growing up with very little financial riches but a great deal of family activities; and not so much the frequent bouts of alcoholism, depression and verbal or physical abuse which just go with the culture and time period.

I know without a doubt both parents loved us and things could have been so much worse, the fact that we are still as loving and close as we are is a testament to the fact that we were “brought up right”.

No matter how much my mum continues to want me to be, I haven’t wanted to be my father for a long time. I have wanted to be my own person – worth something in my own right rather than just being an extension of his memory.

I have wanted to be liked and respected for who I am, I like to believe that I am fairly unflappable, that when people think of me they think of someone who they could call on at any time – I have tried my best to be someone who is happy to be happy but slow to anger. Being able to see both sides of an argument has frequently placed me in the role of mediator, yet while my instincts to protect are very strong I have never been able to step in and blindly or aggressively turn on someone or get in their face.

I inherited my mums sarcasm and sharp tongue so my humour becomes far more barbed and hurtful despite myself. I keep things to myself rather than hurt others by saying something that I will have to try and take back later.

Which brings me to possibly the only other person I worry about telling my Transgender feelings to.  My ex wife. I am happy that we seem to have a good relationship, our whole married life I have tried and frequently failed to keep her happy, along the way I lost many parts of myself and what I saw as my identity and yet at the same time other than the occasional joke or comment about cross dressing or role reversal I was never able to share my feminine side with her. In fairness I did not think that I was holding back, those jokes were meant as just jokes at the time – things designed to make her laugh or just part of a couple mucking about – but obviously I was hiding my own guilt and desires and if I could not accept that part of me (and from the odd comment my wife made) it was obvious that she would not accept that part of me either, then I was never going to go there. Our marriage was so uneven – I gave her all of the power she had over me, all of my self worth came from her opinion, all of my respect came from her respect – she was everything to me and I worshipped her and wanted her to know it. She never asked me to – yes she wanted me to love her, and make her the centre of my world, just not in the way that I had done it. Often she is seen by others as selfish and sometimes that is true  -she would frequently buy things for herself without a thought about whether anyone else wanted or needed anything, but she has struggled every single day with a life threatening condition that most have only ever seen the parts of herself that she chooses to show them. When they see someone looking fantastic and out enjoying herself they rarely see or hear the throwing up or hours spent in bed or on the loo in agony. I really do respect her strength and determination to live her life, even if that means being happier with someone else.

We are opposites in so many things and without meaning to her masculine side has probably been emphasised by my feminine side with neither of us really knowing we are doing it – in all of those internet posts about woman working hard and the man thinking the cleaning fairies take care of it all I have empathised with the women.

I think that ultimately she was right to sit me down and end things.

We do operate so much better as friends, she was and still is beautiful regardless of her fluctuating weight, our kids are beautiful little people and are fast turning into beautiful little adults and as parents we think a long the same lines – we want them to grow up happy; to equip them with a sense of their own worth; an ability to be themselves regardless of what their peers are doing and to be kind and accepting of others. Careers and cash flow come secondary, we want them to know that they are loved and valued as people..

They have also inherited some of the selfishness, sarcasm and crippling self doubt that we carry as parents and we can both see and admit it.

But when it comes to seeing my children my wife still has a power over me even though we are no longer linked financially – if she chooses to she can fight me for custody of the children and that thought terrifies me.  The children are the best thing to ever happen to me, I have missed sleep and patience but I have never even for a moment wanted to be free of them. Raising children is a burden that I cherish, because it was something that we were told was extremely unlikely to ever happen. Everything else in my life comes secondary to their well being.  The thought of the children being caught up in a fight over which parent could raise them better makes me sick.  Obviously because she has left for the third time and this time for another man – no matter how much I have defended her she has been painted as the baddie in the scenario – when I come out as Transgender it will be like being given a get out of jail free card in Monopoly. It gives her an excuse as to why the marriage did not work.

Honestly I can live with that, most of the time I do not care about gossip and never had, I could not do my work if I did, but I do care about maintaining a good relationship with her and my children – our current agreement is that if/when either of us moves (pretty much a certainty for both of us) both kids are given the option to stay or switch which parent they live with, my daughter stays with her mum and my son stays with me – it is unlikely to change any time soon – if my wife moves away for her work we will just switch to having the kids half and half over the school holidays rather than seeing them both every other weekend. It actually works very well for both children because they are getting their own space and it works for us as adults because we get time to be grown ups without the kids about.

Without that space I would not have been able to watch the videos, read the books and forums or take time to dress as Dee and genuinely explore how I feel about it all that has taken me to this place.

Sometimes I think my ex already knows and is simply waiting for me to tell her, a few times over the last month she has used words or phrases that seemed like hints – whether she has put 2 & 2 together on her own, stumbled across this blog or noticed that I spent the few weeks when I was without wifi at hers looking at “Am I trans” videos I do not know. It could all be in my head – questioning your gender has the side effect of you being almost constantly paranoid that people will notice the things that you are doing. Man I feel like a woman has a whole new meaning to me now (I used to hate that song far too much leopard print in the video). If my ex does know she has not done anything to hinder the kids being with me, if she is really okay and open to me exploring my gender I would value her input as a friend – honestly if the kids are not about just tell me, otherwise I will not say a word until after the divorce is finalised – perhaps that is what we recognised in each other and just mistook for something more when we were younger (she has impeccable fashion sense, and is a guru at makeup and nails too – I have frequently been jealous lol).

Of course she may have no clue – in which case I have to balance the fact that while she has a fairly live and let live approach to life, we have been together 14+ years; she knows me and my moods better than most people including my sisters and she was the one who recognised that I was not happy and needed to try and figure out what was wrong.

It may all blow up in my face – she may laugh or throw a total fit, she may try and take the kids away from me so that they do not have to be around their freaky father as he explores being a girl. She may want to protect them from bullying if I ever start presenting as female in public and they have to deal with an openly trans parent in the school yard/parents nights. Scotland may think it is progressive but schools are just as full of bullies keen to assert their authority by using any difference as an excuse for punching and ostracising as they were when I was growing up, and with autism my kids already have an uphill battle to be accepted socially. I’ve seen it and it breaks my heart when they are picked on but just do not know why.

Oddly enough, once I have told these final two people I know that my work and friend circle will take care of itself, a few of my friends have trans friends – me being trans is not going to be an issue for those who really matter, gossip will soon spread it about when I am happy for people to know, and for the ones it does matter to it will be down to a difference of religious opinion, a form of bigotry and fear that I have no control over despite my own understanding of it all.

So here I am, happy that I am able to at least sleep again now that I am not ashamed of my feelings, but dancing around the one topic that I want to talk about and get out of the way so that I can have an honest and open relationship with two people that will either be enormous sources of pain for me or potential great allies going forwards and it is a total coin toss which!

Sorry this ended up being a bit longer than I intended, I guess I needed to get it out of my brain somehow.

xx

When Calmness feels strange

I have been out pretty much every day the last few weeks and so dressing has not even been on my radar, yet at the same time my nails are finally at a length that I am fairly happy with and no one seems to have noticed the clear varnish or deodorant and so I can in some small way express myself.

I finally managed to meet up with my younger sisters and tell them that I am exploring being transgender – the twins were an unknown to me because although we are a pretty close family I am not as close to them and do not get to see them as often as my other sisters. If I am honest I was more worried about being disowned by their partners or not being allowed near the house.  All of my fears turned out to be unfounded – I still do not know how their partners will take the news but I know that I have my sisters love and support and for me that means the world.

Both were surprised but after all of the build up in my head and fears it turned out to be a total non event.  The youngest said that as far as she was concerned she wants me to know that she loves me and always will and that she is always available if I need her.

She said that in her opinion we only have one life to live and if being female makes me happy then go for it.

The other sister said that she couldn’t even begin to understand going through that kind of crisis of identity, but she gave me a big hug and told me that she loves me even if we are crap at keeping in touch and that I am not alone, I can always phone her or drop by and not to worry about being Dee or male me.

Later once the kids had gone to bed my sisters cracked open a bottle of wine and the youngest (there is only 10 minutes between them but she will always be the youngest to us lol) she had a bit more time to start processing and so she asked me a few more questions – she is straight to the point and very intelligent, so she asked me when this all started and while it is still difficult for me to express myself properly I answered her when she pointed out that my marriage ending was very close to the fancy dress party, so having a crisis of identity would not be unusual during that kind of stress.

I brought up the other things like borrowing their clothes to dress up in when we were younger, playing with their friends and being more comfortable in women’s company than men’s and she pointed out that I grew up with sisters, of course I am comfortable in female company.

I agreed – a lot of what other people use as atypical activity to point to being trans was for me just normal growing up – playing with dolls, dressing up and playing imaginary games, choreographing dance routines, playing cartwheels and handstands, jumping rope, hop scotch & braiding hair were all just normal for me growing up even though I totally accepted I was a boy.  It was and still is quite confusing because I never wished to be a woman growing up, I accepted who I was, but it was really when my dad died that I started trying to live up to who he was in my head, and I have felt lacking in just about every area ever since.

I pointed out though that other men are brought up in all female households and do not question their gender – that as far answering “how do you know if you are transgender?” seems to go online if you seriously spend time researching and questioning it then you probably are transgender because “normal” people (this is not meant to offend) just don’t question the gender they are assigned at birth because they are totally comfortable in their skin.

I have felt emotionally and socially inadequate and not quite right for my entire adult life, my marriage was not perfect and I have walked away (technically I’ve been walked away from) feeling inadequate as a parent and as a man. I am or have been depressed on and off for years without ever seeking help for it and some days especially throughput the Christmas period I struggle to get up and out of bed, but do so because I could not afford to take any time off my work, and if I did stop I worry that I would not want to go back. I need to have a reason to leave the house.

One of the big things about researching being transgender has been finding out the statistics of those who ended up taking their own lives rather than admit it to themselves, due to my family history I do not want to add to those statistics – I have never felt suicidal but I have wondered about disappearing. So I need to take this seriously and explore it so I do not turn into our mum who refuses any help offered or try to commit suicide because I refuse to accept a part of me that I just did not pay attention to for most of my life. The statistics are genuinely terrifying.

I showed my sisters my fave picture of me as Dee in my blond wig and then the youngest who has a strong family resemblance to me and is blond took a selfie and compared – we really do look alike. I do not know how it impacts her self confidence but it gave me hope that with a wig I will be passable.  Though I am still in two minds about wigs in the long term.

She told me that I had better go to her for fashion advice and not start dressing like a tart, or going out anywhere where I might get beaten up. I laughed and reassured them I would, the twins are gorgeous and very fashionable so I know that now I have access to the genuine opinion of all 4 sisters moving forwards. Yay! I also have every intention of staying safe while I explore being Dee if I can.

At some point this year I will have to tell my mum and everyone knows that I am not looking forward to that – but with all my sisters supporting me this is nowhere  near as scary as it has been.

I think that finally being okay with the idea that I need to fully explore being transgender has made a big difference, and that accepting this as well as finally being able to stop keeping a secret from my sisters is why I feel so calm at the moment.

Given how crazy my emotions have been over the last 7 months or so I am going to make the most of this eerie emotional silence before the next storm of panic and fear hits.

XX

 

Beautiful People

I have been feeling fairly negative for the last few weeks. Internally I have been stamping my feet and throwing a proper tantrum about being trans, about being female, about trying to imagine what my life would be like if I chose to transition to female. Trying to work out a kind of pro/con scenario about my family & friends, my work; which colleagues would disown me and which would embrace me & what direction my life would take in general.

The idea that transitioning will be a permanent change – there is no going back to just being me was literally keeping me up at night – and I realised last week that I was just grumpy  because I do not want to be transgender.  Life is far simpler if I can carry on presenting male. Why put myself through all of this? I started thinking about the timing, the possibility of it just being a mental breakdown due to burnout, or a reaction to being emasculated during my marriage, or being dumped by someone whom I believed loved me imperfectly, all of the things I have mentioned before.

Of course being me I have shared these feelings online – when typing I can just write without overthinking and what comes out is what I am feeling, I do not need to sanitise the way I do when I am talking to someone face to face and trying to work out how much to share without overburdening them or over exposing my feelings to the chance of rejection.  It is a natural habit and something I have done for years to protect myself from being hurt later on.

What I have discovered is just how beautiful the online Transgender community and its allies are. While they are taken out of context from their respective posts here are a few of the responses that I am sure the owners will not mind me sharing,

“Listen, you don’t need to be “good woman”, you just need to be you!   You are not a man acting.  You are frightened, rightly so. if you weren’t I would wonder…  Fear is a great equalizer.  It makes us think about the choices we make.  You’re on the right track.   Don’t look at it as transition, look at it as shedding the parts that don’t fit who you really are.”

“it is exhilarating to make that journey to authenticity. My “mind” had to learn first before my “body” could express it, if that makes any sense?   It’s like slowly but surely, I’m shedding my baggage, and my shoulders are getting lighter and lighter all the time. ”

“Also I have had times when I questioned whether or not I could actually do this. At those times I just take a deep breath and then take a step back. I just stop thinking about the future. I focus on the day.”

“Remember that “phobia” = “fear” and you’d be crazy not to be fearful. It’s what our amygdala does for us. It tries to protect us from the scary monsters and things like that. It’s perfectly normal to feel these fears, all of them.”

“Every morning, awaken and look in the mirror and love what you see.

Learn how to loose the fear and awkwardness in presenting and go out into the world proud of being your true self.

Discover new friends and relationships that have always been around you, but you’ve never seen before.

Unearth your buried personality and be in awe how it is now growing and flourishing like it never has before.”

“In my opinion, a “good woman,” whether transgender or cisgender, is judged by her character. In my book, DeeDee, you are a good woman!”

“you’ll start living more for you. I’m seeing this happen right now in my own life. The more I am in public as myself, the more confident I become and the less I truly care what people think. ”

“I think the goal (if you will) is to not care about the labels, to just be our authentic selves.”

I thank all the ladies who have been in touch with me, the genuine warmth and support while I flailed around feeling like I was drowning in fear and indecision has been like someone throwing a life jacket. It has helped me keep my head just far enough above the water for the panic to subside.  You are all beautiful and wonderful people to care so much about the well being of someone you have never formally met.

I had my second laser appointment this weekend, I went down to it and was greeted warmly by the receptionist, the appointments are in my male name, and a small part of me wonders if I could ask them to just call me Dee even if I am in my male clothes, but I am losing my nervousness now, we chatted briefly and this time I refused a cup of coffee and inwardly smiled at the man sat waiting for someone nervously looking completely uncomfortable, that was my mindset two visits ago, once his mum/gran came out he was out the place as quickly as he could be – a definite difference. Of course I very much doubt that he had on female undies and socks or that he had clear nail varnish on his hands or sparkling silver toe nails, but I find myself fascinated by all the different treatments on offer, and hope to ask about getting my nails and eyebrows done at some point – though I cannot fathom the options I have seen for lipstick/makeup tattoo – what happens when you want to change your colours?  Anyway, the electrologist was really pleased with the results of our first session, I had some very smooth areas of skin, she admitted that my skin had taken a severe reaction, when I talked about it scabbing over, but said that risk was the trade off for having the laser set powerfully enough to be permanently effective. I love her no BS approach. What we are doing is a violent approach- thermolysis effectively blows up the hair root – so the body will react violently.

This time she stopped more frequently to cool my skin down and spent less time going over my face, the session was only about 45 minutes start to end, it still hurt like a mammajamma but was nowhere near as bad as that last session, my face just over 24 hrs later has lost almost all of its redness and just has the scruffy hair look as the roots die out. I told her about the advice I had seen regarding not drinking caffeine and while she doubts it is true she said if it works for you, go for it – there is less hair to hurt this time so I cannot say decisively, but I will continue to stick to mint tea before my appointments and have the coffee as a reward after.  Soon we will run out of dark enough hairs and will move onto the slow and laborious process of electrolysis. Curse my ginger celtic heritage!

The schools have begun their Easter break and my children are away with their mum this week so when I came home I could lounge around in my girl pj’s without fear of awkward questions.

Last night I played computer games while I listened to several videos on transitioning, on why people transition, the difference between someone who cross dresses and someone who is transgender, including the origins and actual meanings of the phrases transvestite, transsexual and transgender, some I had watched before and not really heard and a few of them were new and mentioned the fear we give ourselves over physical looks, over family relationships, over workplace and career opportunities and over mental well being. The over arching recommendation was that we owe it to ourselves to be as authentic as we can, to stop making excuses because we do not know what will happen, but statistics show what happens if we don’t do anything, then by taking tiny baby steps until we completely recognise the person that we see in the mirror we just keep removing excuses and things we do not like, we are still us but minus all of the other stuff we have been hiding behind.

Over the last few days I have realised that the recurring theme has been about my own fear of who I am losing and who I will become, the statements about discarding my excess baggage are so true – the statements telling me not to try and emulate what a “good woman” is are so true – I do not want to be play acting – makeup and clothes are things that I enjoy and they brighten up my day and make me feel prettier on the outside regardless of how I feel on the inside – wearing a wig makes it start to feel like I am pretending, trying to change my voice too much makes me feel like I am pretending.

I have not been feeling particularly feminine, in thought or looks, but I know that while my looks are very masculine, I have not been feeling any more butch or manly either.  I have been making excuses to myself about why I should not or could not change. Last night as I drifted off to sleep around 01:30 am in my head I heard myself say “I am transgender”.

It nearly but not quite woke me up. This morning I woke up and in front of me were two sets of clothes. My day consists of catching up with my mum on the phone (who is super religious, super proud of her “son” and super unaware of my current struggle – putting my moods down to my marriage ending) and doing a load of washing taken from my child’s bedroom as he packed for his holiday.

As I looked at the two piles of clothes I asked myself which ones I will wear knowing that I will not be seen, that there is no pressure either way and that I will still look the same from the neck up…….. who do I really want to be?

 

 

 

 

I chose my butterfly tee, and my leggings.

Hi internet – my name is Dee and I think I am finally emotionally ready to admit that I am transgender.

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I realise that I am still going to have moments of panic, that I am still going to question and doubt myself, I am overweight and under motivated and I break into a sweat as I envision telling my mum this summer and risk losing my relationship with her, but during one of my recent conversations with online friends I mentioned my hair removal treatment and found myself asking;

Would I really drive a 330 mile, 6hr round trip for a 1 hour appointment, just because I don’t like to shave?

It is these little things that make the difference – my electrologist said it didn’t matter to her if I called myself Archie or Anne (random names she made up), she knows I am months away from visiting the gender clinic, but she knew I was certain about hair removal and I was – while there I may answer to my male name at reception but the rest of the time I am called sweetie and darling and I am just myself. Without the extra nonsense. The pain gives you nowhere to hide, and while I know I have always had sensitive skin – make no mistake it is painful. Yet this is one thing that even over the last few weeks I have been absolutely certain that I wanted to do, but would I take the time, the pain and the huge amount of money that would be better spent on my bills and kids if I was genuinely cis gender? really? I am far too lazy!

Typing this I feel like a weight has been released – I no longer feel smothered by the decision but hopeful that at least now I can continue on – I do not have to put a poster up of Cameron Diaz with #lifegoals written underneath it. I can just slowly but surely examine all of the baggage I have and throw out the parts that I do not want to keep, I do not need to look at it as a transition, but as a spring clean of my physical and emotional self.

Take care and thank you for being so wonderful.

xxx