Should I wear more makeup? Should I wear less makeup? Do I wear a bra? Or is that trying too hard? What about getting implants now? Wait, do I need bigger hips? How can I define my shape better? Should I get cosmetic surgery on my face? What about how I talk? Should I get vocal coaching? Or even vocal surgery? Should I go private? What about buying hormones from the internet? Are there any other types of surgery I need to look at? Should I sit down to pee yet? Do I still need to ease people into this? What do I choose for my title when filling out forms? Am I female enough? What can I do to be more female? These are just some some of the questions that zoom around inside my head every single day. It’s overwhelming. However the biggest question of all is quite simply: am I doing this right?
And you know what? There is no answer.
Being a person who likes rules and order to follow, I would love there to be an answer but the hardest pill to swallow is that I need to do this on my own terms. I won’t lie, it’s really fucking difficult. Especially when you see so many amazing people on Instagram who have braved so much to get to where they are. They look amazing and feminine…and appear to be just know what to do in order to transition. Almost like they have it all mapped out. I’d like to think I do, but I realise there’s so much more I can do. But it isn’t just about transgender people either. It’s also from seeing inspirational people who have battled mental health struggles, suicide or abuse to then carve a new life for themselves – a life that’s full of positivity.
I guess these worries and insecurities also stem from the long wait I have on the NHS, since I had a letter from my chosen GIC confirming I’m on their waiting list. I used to worry about who knew that I was transgender and how they’d react. These days, I couldn’t really care less. I’m comfortable with who I am now. No more running or hiding. Instead, my mind has turned its attention to worrying about the present. Worrying if I am letting transgender people down by not doing “this” right or by not representing them properly. Which is really stupid, if you think about it. It’s not a club, there’s no membership fee or initiation. There’s no manual. I finally admitted who I am and in doing so I became part of another community, in addition to the one I was already in. It’s that community spirit that’s so important during a time like this. People who have been through it and are able to offer their experiences. And they have. I’ve met some really ace people who have been so helpful. Yeh, everybody’s transition is different, so what works for them may not work for me…but it’s still worth knowing about and worth sharing.
I went to see a music legend a few days ago: Neil Diamond. Please don’t judge me!! My parents are huge fans and as a kid growing up, I was exposed to his music, along with a lot of 60’s music too. It’s partly what got me into music as a kid. Anyway, at the gig nobody cared that I was transgender or how I looked. If anything, I got funny looks due to my age!! That’s when it became clear that by being transgender, whatever I choose to do is what I’m supposed to do. Does that make sense? It’s like in a previous band, some members were worried about the sound and how to write the next album that retained that “sound” they were known for. I pointed out to them that as the band, whatever they wrote would have that sound. The sound comes from the individuals. There’s no formula. There’s no formula for being transgender too. I don’t have to act differently to anyone else. I’m still me…just a happier me.
So the last week has been a learning curve for me. Well no. Not so much learning anything new…more like reminding myself that despite the insecurities and the habit for following rules, my journey is unwritten. It’s up to me to write each page from now on. It’s pretty exciting but it’s very scary. I have a few project ideas but they’re a bit half-baked at the moment. I need to get my head in the right place so I can figure them out. Watch this space!!
Featured image: by me