This is the last big legal gender-change thing I can do, this side of surgery, so it’s a big milestone (ah, all these travel metaphors!)
It coincides strangely with a recent new contact – I’ve just started to get to know a fellow Buddhist in Ireland who’s quite near the beginning of her gender transition, and we’ve been talking about going on a retreat together – and I’ve been looking into going over for a visit early next year. So I may soon get to find out how progressive UK and Irish border guards are these days.
I’m grateful to be living in a country where it’s straightforwardly acknowledged, by the government and health service, that transitioning is supported by being able to change official gender at quite a deep level during transition. The only thing I can’t change yet is my gender on my tax record, and on my birth certificate. If I want to, I can do that next October (though it will be easier if I wait until after surgery). I’m very aware of the hell some people in other countries (even the ones where being transgender is both legal and supported by law) go through in changing their gender, being at the mercy of prejudiced local officials.
I also just want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all my friends (even though hardly any of them are reading this), for the efforts they’ve been making in using the right pronouns for me. I was just away with friends in Bristol over the weekend, and it still gives me a thrill to hear people I care about calling me “she”. You’re all stars.
[This is a Hubble telescope picture of the Tadpole Galaxy. It’s 420 million light years away. That’s a bloody long way. Sometimes my transition journey feels like a bloody long way still to go – but I can see the destination, and it looks fascinating. And it’s filled with stars.]