Tag: tdov

Transgender day of Visibility 2018

Transgender day of Visibility 2018

Here we are again! A year a later and (for me personally) a year stronger.

Since I last blogged (and certainly since last years TDOV post) I’ve moved to a city that is much more diverse and accepting than where I used to live and I’ve started a new job too. About two weeks ago I also decided to take the next step in my transition. I’ve started to be femme full time. No more boy days, no more boys toilets and no more boy clothes. Just before I moved house I got rid of the last remaining hangovers from when I was still ‘in the closet’ and treated myself to another batch of new clothes from girly clothes shops in my new city. I’ve been more on-top of promoting my pronouns too.

I tell my friends that my pronouns are they/them/their although my new house mates and colleagues have automatically gone with she and her and I haven’t bothered to correct them. She and her works just as well for me as they and them so I don’t want them to change (if you’re reading this, you pick what you want call me, so long as it’s not he or him) and I’m happy being referred to in this way. All the new people I’ve met recently also call me by full name, Amelia, as opposed to Mel, the name most of my friends use. I like this too!

Today at work (I work at a big university, I have an office with big windows on three sides so every one can see in) I decided to hang the Trans Pride flag on my office wall above my desk in preparation for TDOV this year. I sent an email to my colleagues about what the flag meant and explained about what Transgender day of Visibility is too, information which a lot of people reading this might find useful:

‘Sunday this week is Transgender day of Visibility. It’s a day that occurs on the 31st of March every year (annoyingly clashing with Easter this year but oh well) and is a day that’s set aside to promote transgender people in society and the workplace.

The main aims of the day are to encourage employers and establishments to show their support of ‘my’ community as well as celebrating the contributions transgender people make to their workplace or community, in attempt to break down the stigma that surrounds our community (we’re just like anyone else, a lot of society doesn’t get that yet) just like the Pride marches in Summer do for the wider LGBT community. It is also to show solidarity and alliance to transgender people, particularly those who haven’t come out yet. Promoting support of transgender people in places like schools and universities is massively encouraging to young people who may be battling with gender dysphoria and not found the courage to come out, as it shows they will be accepted in the establishments in which they are students or associated with.

Showing support can be done by simply flying the Transgender Pride flag in a visible area of the workplace or in your car window, changing your desktop background to the flag colours or wearing a flag pin-badge.

If you want to know a little more about this day, there is some more detailed information on my blog:

https://girlbrainboybody.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/transgender-day-of-visibility-2017/

I have decided to bring in one of my own flags from home to hang above my desk so it can be seen through the window, but I’m open to suggestions of other places it could be flown if anyone has them.’

…and that’s that. I had a couple of replies asking where they can get flags from so I’ve ordered a load more to take to work and give to people to hang!

I’ve got a couple more ideas floating around that I’m going to write about in the not too distant future (hopefully) but until then, thank you again for reading and supporting me, if you have. Friends, pleeease start using my preferred pronouns!

I normally end my blogs on explaining the quote I use for the title, but as this has no quote I’m going to leave one here instead:

‘But we can stay here, and laugh away the fear.’

This is taken from a song by a musician that writes stuff I never thought would be the kind of music I would like, but is someone I have grown to love because of what and who their music connects me to. The quote has many meanings to me but the simplest interpretation is that I wouldn’t have been able to more forward in my transition at the speed I have without the infinite support of certain people around me and one person in particular fits the ‘together’ in this quote perfectly.

Transitioning becomes so much easier when you can let someone in and help you through it because at the end of the day, it’s a battle. Battles are easier to fight when you fight them with someone who believes in what you’re fighting for as much as you do. When this person has their own battles that you want to help them fight for the same reasons it makes the process even easier, you start to invest in each other, become intertwined and end up fighting everything together, sharing the effort between you to make everything half as hard. Battles are scary, daunting and fearsome things but moving forward, out of the darkness towards the light and my end goal is so much more obtainable when we stay here, and laugh away the fear.

Happy TDOV 2018.

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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 included about 6 hours 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!