But I’m feeling strangely freed up. And one of the things I’ve been doing over the last couple of weeks is, well, I suppose it’s just part of my gender transition process, but it’s fair to call is an aspect of “coming out”. It has involved writing to my GP’s surgery, and to the DWP (Department of Work & Pensions) asking to be referred to as Ms and female from now on – and getting affirmative responses.
Well, mostly. Neither the NHS nor the DWP are able to properly change me to the big F on their systems until I’ve had surgery, but both of them are set up to help people in my situation, by changing our identifiers on their system at a more surface level. So their computers tell them to call me Ms and “she” when writing to (or about) me or talking on the phone. This is great!
I’ve just had a funny old experience this afternoon in connexion with all this. It’s something we Buddhists refer to as The Worldly Winds – dualities we tend to swing about between (or get blown about by, if we let ourselves), like pleasure and pain, praise and blame, and so on.
So this afternoon I had to go to see a GP at the local surgery, partly to query my latest Estradiol test results, which are suddenly 5x higher than they should be (test error? was my first thought), and partly to ask about getting a prescription for Eflornithine (aka Vaniqa), a facial hair growth inhibitor crème thing. Our surgery has a self-check-in touch screen thing in the lobby. It has always amused/frustrated me that the first thing you have to do to check in there is to press the Girl or Boy button. Today, for the first time, I got to press the Girl button, and I was so happy when that worked! Wow, huge grin on my face. Little big things are important.
However (sense the winds turning?)… the GP I saw today, not my usual one, is not very with-it. She said she’d have to call the pharmacist to ask about the Eflornithine, because The Book sayeth it’s only indicated for women. And then, over the phone, she kept referring to me as “he”, and said to them “he’s going through a gender change, but he’s still a guy until he has surgery – can we prescribe this?”
I was so shocked by this (given the efforts I’d recently gone through to get them to update their system, and how helpful they’d eventually been about it) that I couldn’t say anything on the spot. But I’m going to write her a gentle but firm letter explaining why that was inappropriate and made me very uncomfortable.
But… Girl Button!!! 😀 😀 :D.
My next step – and this one is making me pretty nervous – is to come out to my landlords. Pretty much everyone around me knows I’m transitioning (just try getting me to shut up about it…) but I live in a flat that’s above a pub in a small Devon town, and my front door is actually inside the pub, and I haven’t felt safe enough until now to tell the bar staff what’s going on. I mean, some of them must have figured out something is going on, because of my changes of appearance, and, well… because of all my post that now says Ms.
But it feels like time I cornered one of them and told them what I’m up to. Apart from anything else, I want them to think about thinking of me as a “she”. I feel nervous about this, because it’s my home and I don’t know for sure that they’ll be cool about it, but I’m fairly confident that at least the important people will be.
I figure I have 9 days in which to do this, as the 26th is my first anniversary of going on hormones. Wish me good luck/good judgement.
Exarmorio, you say? Fair question. I’m helping a friend start an LGBT community choir in Exeter, and she asked me for suggestions for a cool name for the choir. this is one I came up with, that it’s really hard to let go of (even though she won’t let us use it, grmmbll). It’s Latin for Out Of The Closet! – I love it because (well okay, because I thought of it, sigh), um, because it sounds like a Harry Potter spell, and because singing together is magical, and because we’re an Exeter choir on the River Exe. Its time will come. For the moment, we’re to be called Exeter LGBT Community Choir, and fair enough, that tells people exactly what to expect. And once we’re rolling, she promises a cool name pow-wow (though she gets executive decision). But.. but… Exarmorio!!
[The emerald solar flare thing is because I couldn’t find a decent photo of an exploding wardrobe – come on internet, what’s the matter with you? – so I googled green explosion because why not.]