Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Every Win Leads to a New Challenge

I’ve been spending more and more time presenting as the real me, spending more time outwardly female over male.  Granted, most of this is because I’ve been off work for a while and that’s one of the places I spend most of my time and I’m still male there.  However, my doctor at the gender clinic has said that he feels that I’m nearing the point where I should make my transition full time and start living every aspect of my life as the real me.

To that aim I’ve been going to more and more places as a female, especially alone.  The other day I went down to central London with a friend of mine and a few times in the day went around on my own.  Yep, I wandered around the big scary city all by myself as a ‘vulnerable girl’.  But it wasn’t that bad. 

Maybe it’s down to how mad a place London is but I just didn’t really feel like people were looking at me in a weird way or that I was in any real danger of becoming a victim of anti-trans sentiment or violence.  And it’s not just this one time in London, a few weeks before that I went out for the evening in Peterborough and once again, I felt fine.  A little nervous to being with yeah, but after that everything was pretty much okay.

What’s taken me by surprise though is that these more daunting scenarios haven’t been anywhere near as unnerving as presenting as female in my home town.  Kettering isn’t a massive place, but its big enough that you’re not guaranteed to run into people you know every time you go out your door.  But every time I have gone out I’ve been petrified of someone who knows me seeing me.

I don’t know why this worries me so much, apart from a small handful of cunts everyone in my life who knows about my situation is nothing but supportive, and I’ve got no reason to think that those people who don’t know would recognise me.  Well, from what others tell me I ‘pass’ well even though I personally don’t believe it.

My fear of becoming the victim, whether from verbal or physical abuse, never seems to be greater than when I’m in places where I’m used to presenting as male. 

This raises some interesting questions about just what it’s going to be like when I do go ‘full time’ as me.  Will I get over these fears?  Will anyone challenge me?  Can I be accepted in female only places?

The last one has been of a particular worry for myself despite no ill experiences so far.  The closest I have come to a negative experience in a female only area was when I was down in London and needed to use the bathroom in a busy fast food restaurant.  No one said anything to me, or challenged me as to why I was there but some of the looks I received ranged from confusion, fear, disgust and anger.  That really hurt me.

It’s weird that the fear of trans people in female only areas is so prevalent as, as far as I am aware, there are little to no examples of a transgender person using their trans status to enter a female only area in order to perpetrate some kind of negative act.  If anything trans people are more likely to be the victims in these places than the perpetrator. 

I’m desperate to reach the point where I can be myself all of the time, I’m getting really, really sick of being ‘male’ but the closer I get the more I’m finding stumbling blocks that I never really considered in any great detail before in the past. 

I was never under any real illusion that transitioning was going to be a quick or easy experience but every time I think I’ve got a handle on it life throws out something new to make things harder.



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1 comment:

  1. "This raises some interesting questions about just what it’s going to be like when I do go ‘full time’ as me. Will I get over these fears? Will anyone challenge me? Can I be accepted in female only places?"

    Stop thinking of it as "going full-time", because it really isn't like that at all. You've been out and about a few times, constantly worried that people are staring or know what you are. Imagine going through that every single day of your life.

    It's like you have to hold a glass of water balanced on your up-turned palm with outstretched arm. For a few seconds it's not a problem. For a few minutes it's pretty tough. For days and months and years, it's simply not possible.

    It's all about confidence and self-belief. That's how you get through transition.

    Step out with confidence and the laughter you thought was targeted at you was just two people sharing a joke, the woman who stared at your dress was actually wondering if it would look good on her, and the bloke who shouted "git" was just a drunk yelling abuse at anyone who walks past.

    I can hear you saying it's not as easy as that and wondering where you get this self-confidence from. That's the really cool thing. It's really obvious when you think about it.

    When you stop pretending to be what you're not, the reward is more confidence not less. Confidence isn't something you have to find in transition, it's what transition gives to you. When you no longer have to put on the act every day, no longer have to wear clothes that don't feel right, when you can be the real you, then you will feel more confident.

    Transition is when you put the glass down, not when you pick it up.