After being quiet about the subject for quite a while I feel it’s time to start talking about gender again. And specifically mine. At first I wasn’t going to, at least not yet, but if I want this blog to be a real representation of my life, I need to incorporate this. And I find writing shit down (in addition to vocalizing to myself) helps me process things. Secondary to that, I hope this will make it easier on my friends, family and wider social circle (in a probably mostly vain hope that more than five people read this).
So, last time I spoke about my gender identity, which was March 2011, and before that (with more detail) December 2010, I mentioned how I was growing away from identifying as genderqueer (being beyond and both man and woman) to a more masculine identity. This process has continued, and not too long after the March post I realized the genderqueer moniker no longer fit at all. Woman was not a part of my gender identity. The older I get, and the more I let myself be the man I am in thought, and appearance, the more I realized I could no longer live in this body. At that point I started to seriously think about transitioning, and doing my research. Because, even with a real life example in my friend circle, everyone’s experience is different and my process will be different than his.
So, at that point I came out to myself as a transgender man.
I allowed myself to live with that (silent) label and to experience the feeling and as time went on, I felt so much more at peace on such a deep level. Even though I could (and can) still not look at myself, unclothed, either directly or in a mirror and am in denial of my body whenever I am not binding, I felt myself moving forward.
When the new year came around, I adopted my motto for this year ‘Just Do It‘ and decided now was the time to start taking practical steps. After all, the process of transitioning can take two, three years easily and I kinda want to be whole by the time I turn 30.
So, early January I went to my doctor and asked for a referral to the Gender Team at the UMCG. She was supportive and seemed to understand at least a little, and she went to make it happen. I would get a letter with my appointment date.
Later that week or early next I don’t quite remember, I received that letter. The appointment for intake was for February 24th, at 13:45. This also meant it was time to tell The Parents. While this was a very butterfly-stomach moment, it went well. They took it better than expected (granted, they were aware of the binder and some related shit so it couldn’t really have been a total surprise). Mom understands the whole thing a bit better than Dad does, but it will come.
I told Nienke the day I’d gone to my doctor for the referral. I told Eva and Ingrid during a game night at Eva’s place along with Jarig who was obviously also there, and Anneke and Julius who dropped by to dress up Ingrid 😀 I told Gert about a week and a half or so before the appointment. I wasn’t sure yet when and how to tell others, so I decided to keep it quiet for now.
I spent the month and a half I had to wait for the appointment being ecstatic and nerve-wracked (in a good way) at the same time. Finally the day came. I’d taken the day off work, and Mom offered to drive me. I really appreciated this, not just in the ‘thanks for the ride’ way, but also on a deeper level as a show of support and love. We got to the hospital plenty on time. After I registered at the front desk, we made our way to the relevant clinic where we sat and waited for twenty minutes or so.
Then the doctor showed up and I went with him. And then it turned out the referral hadn’t quite been processed right…
Yes, the doctor was part of the Gender Team, but he was the plastic surgeon… Not quite the one you need for the intake. So we did a quick history with a basic ‘this is how I feel‘ thing and some medical history and he then wrote a consult for his Gender Team colleague. So this means I will be getting a new letter, with a new appointment some time this week (I hope) and I get to do the giddy nervousness again. Especially since there’s no telling how soon the psych guy can fit me in. I hope it’s soon.
This ending is a bit abrupt, but I’ve been going on long enough now, and I don’t quite know how to knit a proper ending here. Plus I’ve been hovering over the publish button for the last five minutes deciding if I’m ready to put this out there. I hope this will lead to a more gradual coming out, versus having to suddenly go ‘hey everybody, listen up!’