tagReviews & EssaysA Year into Transition

A Year into Transition

byNicola_cd©

It has been a year into my transition, a year since I first went to charing cross hospital, nervously knowing that my entire life revolved around this and more appointment. Twelve months since I saw the first consultant and was being eaten alive by nerves, wondering exactly how do you show someone that you were born in the wrong body and gender.

Its been 3 months since I started my low doseage HRT, the changes havent yet begun, but knowing they will is a huge boost and chance to sit back and gather my thoughts, to put the last twelve months into context and share the experiences.

Regardles of what knowing the transition is happening is the greatest things, it does give me pride to know that I am slowly correcting what I see the person who should have been born. Of course there are those who dont see that, those stuck in a past, but perhaps my greatest wish at the moment is to thank the NHS in UK for at least giving me this chance to be myself and the real me.

There are times, even today, when I just don't feel human, when depression presses down upon me and sadness engulfs me. Its times like this, when I wonder what the point of this life was, what was the reasoning behind bringing me into a world where I couldn't just fit? How often have you thought or wished you could body jump into another person, not because they had a more affluent lifestyle, or because they had a better personality, but because their gender was correct and they had none of the internal fittings that have plagued your life.

For as long as I can remember I have had this internal war raging within me, a strange, curious baffling set of emotions that engulfed and plagued me, never once allowing me to enjoy my life or feel at ease with who I was. I would look in the mirror and feel violently sick, there would be a profound sadness in my heart that would seep to every part of me, a disgust, even hatred at what was staring back. I was ashamed, tormented by the feelings that longed within my soul, sensation, thoughts, hopes dreams that plagued me, but things that I should, according to some, have never felt or imagined.

My school thought I was mentally unstable, some even said possessed by the devil, a person, a spirit that belonged incarcerated and banished from infecting others around me. I at that time knew no different, I was told relentlessly that God had turned his back on me, that I was a creature of damnation, yet why, I had done nothing, I had asked no questions, I was struggling with something I couldn't understand and feelings that really no child should comprehend.

At the age of thirteen I could finally put some description to the thing that was afflicting me, the thing which had tormented my entire life so far. I remember it was late summer, the words of my teacher melted away into nothing, as my eyes roamed the class room. I remember looking at the females, who sat at their own side of the classroom, girls to the left boys to the right and the horror of everything struck me.

"I was born the wrong gender", I thought, a fleeting thought that shot through my head but it never left, it stayed there haunting tormenting me, everything made sense at that moment. The repulsion of the way I was, of who I was, the hatred, profound hatred for myself, of not being able to fit in, a loner who settle, who hated gym, who detested the body that he was born with.

Most people I knew looked at females with lust in their eyes, me, I looked at them with envy, they had everything I so desperately wanted, everything that my inner body and mind screamed out for. I used to watch them, see how the carried themselves, their posture, how they sat, talked, laughed, how their voices floated, how their faces were so expressionate and then I used to look at me and I could feel the tears of hate welling up within me.

For me the male body lacked everything that was essential to live and enjoy life. The flesh was harsh, unfeeling, the body bordered upon the repulsive, the skin was a forest of dark strong hair that strangled any sensations till they became almost dead and barren. It lacked shape, excitement and stimulation; it was unappealing to my eyes and never once felt comfortable with those sensations that raged within my heart and soul. As one person once said, most people can go through life existing without living, but very few are willing to know the difference between living and existing and for me existing in what I would call a second rate, hallow form was no way to spend a life.

At night I used to cry myself to sleep, pray for the nightmare to be, to wake up either in the body I desired and could be proud of, or not to wake up at all, every night was the same thing, filled with the same prayers, same questions, same dreams and the dawning of every new day would bring with it the same ridiculous result of being trapped, held prisoner for yet another twenty four hours before the hope will rise once more.

To try and explain it to someone who hasn't been through it is hard, it borders on the insane, the reality of what you are saying and the feelings of reside within you are so opposite that it's the extreme. But just imagine your worst nightmare, that dark fear that resides within each of us, the thing that sends a cold shiver up your spine and chills you to the bone.

Imagine it in every aspect of your life, feel it sinking over and into your body, consuming your existence, dominating your world, now imagine it having full twenty four seven control, it's there every time you walk, every time you breath, talk, open your eyes or look in the mirror, hell even catch your reflection, every time without fail it is there haunting, hunting and tormenting you, through days, months, years and eventually decades. That is the feeling that those people like me have to cope with every day, it is the over ridding factor of our life, never ending always chasing, always staring over your shoulder, waiting to remind you of who you are and not who you really should be.

Added into that the moment you find the courage to banish those torments and dress how your mind, body and soul desires, you, those people that are trying now to imagine that dark personal fear, are waiting out there, ready to laugh, ridicule and persecute. To you we are things of laughter, trannies that have no feelings, no courage, we are perverts that should be locked up, people that deserve to be spat at, screamed at, and humiliated regardless of how public things are. To you we are a joke, a minority that is worthy of nothing but ridicule and insults, would you be so brave locked into your own nightmare without a chance to escape and live the life that has been granted to you.

On the most part I could say people are ignorant, they chase the easy target, they don't want to know the truth, they don't care, transgendered people are amongst the most persecuted these days that it almost passes off as a normal bit of everyday living. Religion would encourage you to do it, I myself have been told that the church doesn't recognise my female gender, that I am a pervert, a thing unworthy of god's love. I used to argue over that with them, but today I find it laughable, God or religion doesn't chose sides, its humans that does, those that pretend to teach the works or words, but they end up teaching what they believe, and what's worse is that today's religion will help a child molester escape justice but judge a transgendered person to be evil. Hypocrite doesn't quite really do justice to what you people preach and do these days.

Well I first started my transition, I legally had to change my name, forsake everything connected with my birth name, become a male living a female lifestyle, to prove to the authorities that I was genuine. Do you know how many psychologists a transgendered person see's when they are transitioning, how many different doctors they have to meet to be granted entrance even to the lowest level of gender treatment? It's enough somewhere between six and eight and all have to agree that it is the right thing to do or everything stops. In truth we are saner than you are, but we have to prove it every step of the way.

When I first changed my name, I went to my local High Street and well known bank, to inform them, there must have been twenty people in that building, customers and six staff, not one customer said anything, but the branch staff pointed, laughed, told customers and thoroughly humiliated me in front of everyone, so much so that my friend had to stand up and defend me, my right to go into that bank and be there at that time. They later sent a basic apology, but not one person was punished, which makes you wonder if the company was endorsing Trans phobia, even today the main source of that humiliation works for them and he is allowed to carry on his views without ever being brought to task.

Of course you expect abuse, you expect to stared at, words to be said, things to be thrown at you, to be ridiculed and laughed at, but not by big multi-national companies and not by government employee's. Shortly after that I was told by the unemployment centre, that due to the recession they would not be accepting my change of name deed poll, as I was consciously making life harder to find work and that unless I changed it back to my birth name, I would either starve or become homeless.

This was in stark contrast to the nhs or other government bodies that never had a problem, soon I found myself fighting to get my name change recognised, over the space of three months, I lost my benefits, any money and received a covert death threat from one part of the unemployment centre, when they sent out a funeral expenses form that had the opening page filled in with my name. it was amazing to think every time you called their call centre, to talk, to ask them to explain, you were told they just couldn't accept it and when complaining about it, they would have no transcript of your conversation because the days and times you called, always fell on the moment they had telephone monitoring being upgraded.

I have given up to much of my life already, you may judge us unfairly, but when all said and done, at least we have the courage to stand by our feelings, at least were determined to get recognition, you may poke fun, you may try to humiliate and the laws that are there to protect us may not apply to government agencies or big companies. But at least we are determined to set our life's right and fight for what we believe in, we combat prejudice every single day, we face up to those that hurl abuse or threaten us with psychical harm. I am here to stay and no matter how hard you make life, I will be around to complete it, to live it, I may have lost family and friends, but I will never lose the conviction of who I am and what I feel, I never asked to be created like, no one ever does, this isn't a lifestyle choice, for me there is no choice, I have tried to escape it, and cant, I've tried to avoid accepting things, but I cant. I have to stand my ground and carry my convictions, my beliefs and start to live life, as the body finally begins to take the form and the gender of how it should have been created and how I should be living.

So the next time you want to hurl abuse or try to make a public scene, remember we aren't doing it to annoy you, it's not a choice, it's not like one day we waken up and think today I going to risk everything I have ever had to try something new. The decision we make is the hardest choice we will ever have to, but that said it is the only choice we have if we want to stop existing and start living. And for those in power who should know better, or those who are employed where they are expected to be non-discriminatory they should do the job they are paid for; their personal views shouldn't enter into their professional life.

This is my story on year since my first appointment to Charing Cross gender hospital, yes it has been a hard year, but also it has been the best year, I have found out who my friends, what companies to talk to and which to leave alone, but most all it has been a year where I have slowly begun to pick up the pieces and feel that at least I am no longer hiding behind a lie, that I am being true to myself and finding, accepting and developing the person that I have always believed who I was whilst also correcting what nature got wrong. I am not perfect, I never will be, but I will not live a life of a lie and risk the consequences of the past. I am transgendered, it is a fact, I am transgendered because I wasn't born the correct gender and as everyone knows what gender you are born is not a question in which you get to give an answer or input in. Sometimes Mother Nature does get things very wrong.

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