Thursday, 25 August 2011

Charing Cross, Lyme Disease and People P*ssing Me Off

It happened (last Friday) after what felt like a slight eternity, but I am pleased it happened.  I waited 8 months for my appointment which I felt was a long time but then I have heard other stories of people waiting as long as 18 months just to get their GP to do the referrals for them so that they can see a community psychiatrist before getting a referral for Charing Cross.

I was also slightly disgusted to hear of some people who don’t live in London having their appointments cancelled on the very day that they have travelled down to London and then having to wait up to 6 months for a new appointment.

Made me feel that my 8 month wait was f*ck all in comparison to what these people have had to go through.  I also have the added luxury of living in London so getting to and from the clinic isn’t such a bind.

I had a really nice appointment and was seen by Dr Lorimer whom I found really friendly and warm in energy.  I felt very at ease discussing my gender and what my goals for the next year are and was nice to know that I would be supported in my choices.

My only gripe was that straight afterwards they requested to do a blood test, which I think I would have preferred to have known about without it being a surprise. Especially as they took 6 samples of blood from me to look at my hormone levels, liver function and a whole load of other things.

In terms of how I am transitioning I am now into my self imposed Phase 2. Phase 1 for me was to start transitioning socially, so within that I came out as male, started being referred to as Leng and lived in role for over a year being male identified before I changed anything legally. 

This year was when I made everything legal and now I am starting to move to the end of phase 2 and into Phase 3, which is where I am implementing physical changes.

By that I am taking about hormones and looking into surgery options. I would like my chest to be gone by this time next year. I don’t think I can stand a third year of binding if I can avoid it.

On September 18 I am going to celebrate my second birthday (although I haven’t made any extensive plans yet) but that day will mark 2 years of being in a binder constantly.

I am more than ready to have the surgery now but am waiting to find the right surgeon and in 2 cases it will be having the right funds available to me as well. Once that is in place then I will commence with having my chest surgery.

The longer I have the wait the more I know that I want this.  I also hate feeling that my chest isn’t a true representation of who I am and my naked reflection is a head f*ck because I have breasts.

I am more than comfortable with everything else other than the breasts. It is like being trapped in the wrong body when I see them hanging there, wishing that they weren’t there.

The main thing I feel most pissed off about is why do they have to be so big and ugly. They aren’t nice to look at and they feel wrong.  I sometimes wish I they would fall off or just shrink but they don’t.

I feel they are the one part of my body that is ugly and looking at them makes me feel ugly. Still I remind myself that they won’t always be there and for that reason I try and bear it.

Another year won’t be the end of the world.  Although if I won a few grand on the Euromillions I know what I would be spending it on straight away!

In the real world it will take patience, budgeting and saving to make this happen as well as good old-fashioned hard work.

Other than that I have also had another couple of things happening.  Almost 2 weeks ago now I went to The Forest of Dean and whilst there I was bitten by what I thought was a horsefly.  I had some swellings on both of my legs that came up and wouldn’t respond to anti-histamines and Savlon cream so I went to the docs. When there he looked up where I had been and in The Forest of Dean there are tics that carry Lyme Disease.

I have been placed on a two-week course of anti-biotics and had a blood test the other day to confirm whether or not I have it.  Since then I have more swellings that have come up and feel very swollen around my legs and to be honest I feel hideous.

I also hope that they can confirm the Lyme Disease or not as the side effects don’t sound nice at all.

This is something in which the Testosterone has made an impact and that is I don’t feel worried at all. I would just rather know and want my legs to stop feeling so itchy and swollen. It is beyond irritating and I hate feeling that I have deformed limbs which I do right now.

Although last night I limped my way through a Yoga class which was a great experience but it really hurt my feet due to the swellings.  Was glad to have experienced something calming as well as having some exercise.

I was really crap at half of the moves but did manage to stand on my head, with assistance of the wall and the teacher – so managed something with some kudos.

There is also a widening that is taking place right now in my body and is making me feel that I am turning into a whale. At least when I write this I do see an element of how ridiculous these thoughts are.  I still wish I didn’t have them though.

The only other big thing that is bothering me right now is feeling a sense of indirect prejudice starting to come my way from things people say to me. This is coming in the form of people either asking me if E finds it difficult being in a relationship with me, or making statements like she is ‘brave’ or “it must be hard for her to be in a relationship like yours” and other things which make me think and feel that somehow me being in transition and male identified means that I shouldn’t have a relationship with a lesbian? I shouldn’t have a sex life?

Just what is meant by the “it must be hard?”

Is it hard for people to digest that a lesbian and a male identified person could be in a relationship? Maybe people don’t get it but how I live my life and who I love and the same applies for E is about us and our lives and not what other people think or feel.

For the record, when E and I first met she has always known me as Leng. She has always known me as being male identified and knew I was in the process of transitioning.

So to set that one straight I didn’t “steal” a lesbian from the Sapphic community nor have I ever had an issue with how she identifies or want to enter the land of heteronormativity. We’re both queer and proud of that.

There has been no struggle or suffering.

I have had fears that perhaps me being male identified might be an issue but so far we haven’t had many problems in that department. Like all couples we have had a few ups and downs but then who hasn’t?

I have always been aware that not all relationships (especially if someone is in transition) will survive.  But the same can be applied to other relationships in life too.

Recently my parents split up and that did shock me and upset me, especially as they were one of those couples that you thought were made for each other and were so full of love that they would never break up.

But it didn’t work for them and I won’t lie, it hasn’t been a nice thing to watch and it has jaded my views on relationships a bit. My new mantra where relationships are concerned is to cherish them on a day-to-day basis and never become complacent.

From my experiences so far I feel a good relationship requires attention, care and space to accommodate one another as you progress in life together. It also helps if both parties have common goals and similar shared values. But then there are so many other layers in place as to hat makes a relationship work and how to keep the spark alive…everyone is different. 

It could be argued that my mind works a bit too much in the opposite direction though. I cherish relationships I have because sometimes I have major doubts as to if they stand a chance of lasting.  Even if it’s a perfectly good relationship.

When I was younger I put it down to age and that was why I avoided being in relationships wherever possible. In general I don’t seek to create relationships in a hurry.

I have always found it easier not to have relationships with some people that I have known I am sharing more of a purely sexual connection with. Also with some people I have known that we wouldn’t gel in a relationship and I haven’t felt that way inclined so have been happy to casually see people a few times and if it fizzled out to let it go.

I don’t believe in wasting time or trying to create a false sense of intimacy that I knew wasn’t there or wasn’t felt.

But then people I have been in full on relationships with I have had a deep emotional connection with and have had intense love for them when we were together.

With E I felt we had the chemical love bond very instantly. Within a matter of just under a month we both knew we were in love with each other, and since then we have always valued the time we have had together since.

I feel with her this is the most honest and healthy relationship I have had so far.

I also know that from transition aside I am changing more and more. As I get towards the end of my twenties there are thoughts and desires that are getting louder.  Thoughts of possibly having children but marriage seems to be coming into my mind a lot. 

But at the same time if I’m with someone who doesn’t share those same goals or aspirations to me then I would never place that pressure or expectation. I don’t see the point. 

I do know that with every wedding I attend, I do wonder if one day it will be me getting married too? Then I remind myself that I am 27 and have many years ahead of me before thinking of dirty and perverse things like marriage!

I also tell the inner romantic that lurks inside of me to shut up and I start reading a cook book or food magazine instead.

In six months time I have been advised that I can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate as I would fit criteria to apply then so that can lead me to going about getting a new birth certificate and also with a GRC it means I could marry legally if I wanted to.

Although right now, that isn’t on the cards I would like something in place so that if and when the day comes I am not in the position whereby I have to chase paperwork around.

So all in all there is a bit more paperwork to go and now surgery until I feel I have fully transitioned.

1 comment:

  1. For the record, you weren't cr*p. You were splendid. There is no better student, than someone open to learning.