This is how

In the middle of the night, I remembered something I’d forgotten for… well, decades.

As I’ve mentioned before (as I keep saying, nowadays), I was 23 when I first acknowledged my transgender nature. It was the week I decided to leave college early (after I’d had over a year of glandular fever, aka mononucleosis), and furthermore decided I wasn’t moving back to London after all – partly because someone I was fruitlessly in love with had just moved back there with her new boyfriend who was twice her age, but also because that’s where my parents were.

As soon as I decided I was moving to Bristol instead, I had this bright revelation. In 80’s language. I heard myself say to myself “I’m going to have a sex change!” and I was intensely, incredibly happy for about three weeks.

What happened then? I phoned my best friend (whom I was going to go and live with in Bristol) and told her. And she talked me out of it – well, I let myself be talked out of it, of course, but she definitely spun that wheel for me too. I’m forgiving her.

And the way I talked myself out of it? I had this to say to myself (and then to my friend): “How is being a 6’3″ woman with size 11 feet and one breast going to make me happy?”

Yes, I’m 6’3″ – and very few women were, back then (whereas now…)

Yes, I have size 11 (UK) feet.

Yes, I have one breast a lot larger than the other, because I was born not only with the wrong body-gender, but also with a number of muscles missing from my upper right quadrant, including my pectoralis major. So my right boob is probably always going to be very teenage and eentsy-nippled compared to the left.

But I look at myself today, and the answer to the question “How is being a 6’3″ woman with size 11 feet and one breast going to make me happy?” is simply: This Is How.


I got called Amazonian, a while ago. I like it, and it’s more apt than most people realise, what with the breast thing (you know, the Amazonians of ancient myth were reputed to cut off one breast, so it wouldn’t get in the way of their bow-and-arrow action). I am tempted to learn archery, just to complete the cycle :).



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