Tag: tdov

Bad Blood

Today I had my first appointment at a gender identity clinic. A few people knew this and they all wanted to know how it went, so this post is is simply so I don’t have to repeat myself as well as explain a bit of what I want out of gender treatment.

So, today was like a prelim appointment before I see a specialist. I met with a volunteer at the clinic – an ex patient (lets call them J to maintain confidentiality) – and the session was a couple of hours long. It was for me ask questions and get direct answers (the internet is a dangerous place and everything I have learned from it was corrected in todays meeting) and also to give J the opportunity to explain exactly what the clinic can offer me and how everything works. These meetings essentially speed up the process when I see a doctor or a therapist as I (theoretically) will have already have had my questions and queries answered. My apologies about the excessive use of brackets, someone give me a grammar lesson!

So sometime towards the end of Summer my name will be ‘top of the list’ and I’ll be the next person to be assessed for gender dysphoria at that particular clinic (they do about two assessments a week i think). This will be done by a specialist doctor and a gender identity therapist who will hopefully officially diagnose me with the condition (although my GP has already informally diagnosed me, but then it’s pretty obvious I don’t want to solely be a guy any more, right?) and ‘suffers from gender dysphoria’ will go onto my medical record in some sort of medical record-esque way.

After this diagnosis I’ll basically then be offered a smorgasbord of treatments for me to pick and choose from with an end goal of (hopefully) my body matching what is going on in my head. I can have full surgical procedures to have bits added on or taken off (I’m not interested in surgery), HRT, laser treatment (to remove unwanted hair that HRT doesn’t take care of) and a number of other treatments. HRT and laser are my current wants; upping my production of oestrogen in an attempt to suppress production of testosterone is the normal ‘first treatment’ and will continue for the rest of my life. After that I can have anti-androgens to cease production of testosterone altogether which will render my reproductive organs more or less sexually useless as well as promoting the development of breast tissue and minimising other male characteristics like body hair, body odour and fat stores around my body.

Simply put, when I’m presented with these options, I’ll be jumping at having my beard tamed by laser treatment (it’s almost impossible to have it removed altogether) as well as taking the oestrogen boosters to minimise the ‘male drive’ in my system. If I start growing boobs while taking them then that’s a bonus in my eyes. I’ve wanted my own boobs for as long as I’ve been dressing as a girl.

That about sums up today and hopefully explains a bit more about what is happening in my head to anyone who is still trying to understand it. I have a ‘Gender Is Over’ pin badge which was on my jacket today and got masses of attention so I’ve added a picture of it along with a couple of other favourites of mine. A Google search of the slogan will direct you to their site (top result) where you can find out what it means, why it’s important and where you can buy one if you want one for yourself.

Timeline: I went to my GP saying I wanted a gender clinic referral in November 2015 and he put me in for blood tests immediately as you can’t be referred to a specialist without them. The initial test came back with a ‘prolactin spike’ (stress hormone in men and an indicator of thyroid or diabetes issues) so I was tested for all of these which took me to May 2016. I found out then I don’t have ‘bad blood’ (as my GP put it) and he processed my referral. This was accepted in June 2016 and I have been waiting since, until today (today was a volunteer meet and NOT something I had to have, I still have about four months to wait). You can do the maths; if you’re in the UK, want to see a gender clinic and your initial bloods come back okay you can expect to wait about 16 months, although this is expected to increase. I’m not getting into NHS politics.

Music: today was about 6 ours of traveling (I don’t drive so buses, trains and one of my best mates cars, Celine, were the rides of the day) so I listened to loads of music. For anyone who cares:

  • Russian Circles – Empros
  • Mastodon – Crack The Skye
  • The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation
  • Every Time I Die – Low Teens
  • Baroness – Blue
  • MUTation – The Frankenstein Effect
  • Andrew Bird – Are You Serious

I also spent waaayy to much money in Topshop and New Look while I was waiting for a connection but I got a fucking stunning dress and some other little bits so I really don’t care.

Until next time 🙂

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Transgender Day Of Visibility 2017

Transgender Day Of Visibility 2017

Firstly, a huge thank you to any one who took the time to read my last post. The shares and responses have been overwhelmingly positive and some of the messages I have received have been some of the nicest things I’ve ever read. I’ve even been given flowers by a dear ex-colleague and had an old school teacher get back in touch with me to share some of his own experiences and cement my point of us not being alone. Please keep sharing it if you want to, it is there to help people as much as possible!

I mentioned briefly in my last post Trans Day Of Visibility (TDOV), which is this coming Friday (31st March). Although it’s a day that many people are unaware of, it is something I am hoping will gain momentum over the coming years in the same way that Pride festivals are doing in towns and cities around the world. It’s a day that is separate from Trans Day Of Remembrance – a day dedicated to remembering trans people who have died at the hands of trans phobic violence and crime – as it’s focus is more on celebrating trans people in society and their contributions to it.

Now for how you can get involved and show your support. You’ll have seen (if you’ve been to this blog before) a pink, blue and white striped image. This is the Transgender Pride flag, one of many variations of the rainbow Pride/LGBT flag most people are familiar with. TDOV has many goals and reasons for existing and one of the aims of the day is to encourage people to display this image at their place of work, as a way of showing trans people they’re welcome and accepted there. This can either be in the form of something simple like changing your desktop screensaver to the flag colours and making it visible, wearing a pin or button badge of these colours or hanging a trans pride flag in your window. If your employer is reluctant to let you display anything (they should be called out for this, obviously!) then you can adorn your car with a small flag or bumper sticker, for example, or share the image on your social media. The more people that do this will encourage other members of the public to ask why you are displaying this image, prompting you to explain your support of TDOV and increasing the publics’ knowledge and understanding of trans people and their roles or involvement in society – and that just because we may feel we’re in the wrong body or wear different clothes to what society say we should depending on our birth gender assignment, we are still normal people who live normal lives and we are no different from any one else.

Some of you will want to show your support but may feel you have read this post ‘too late’ or have not heard of TDOV before today, but it’s never too late to show your support! I will always encourage others to display the trans flag or colours (along with other pride/LGBT+ flags) to show solidarity and support of the community. If you still want to do your bit regardless of it being TDOV or not, you can purchase flags, badges and stickers from most decent online stores and there is no end of places you can display them.

I’ll probably be wearing baby pink and blue this Friday (considering I always wear black, I’m terrified of blinding people by wearing more than one colour) and the shop I work in will have a flag hanging in the door over the weekend.

Thank you for reading, let’s see your flags!