Monday, 23 July 2012
Over the last month I have been in contact with Lisa on the other side of the world by herself going through the final step in her transformation. Lisa was the first to seek me out once I started my blogging, we had both long been using the net to explore the trans world and where we should plot ourselves in that universe.
As inwardly convinced of who we should have been we each could not quite believe that the change would be possible for us. It had not stopped us starting to make physical changes which could not be reversed but would at least lessen the anguish of living out a less than satisfactory existence perceived as the wrong gender. We had each panicked at the thought of loosing a head of hair while horrified at the luxuriant growth everywhere we did not want it to grow! Neither of us has rushed into this process and are still online long after waves of others have appeared, changed and moved on hopefully to live the lives they dreamed of.
The net has saved many lives, not so much a safety net as a scramble net allowing us the means to climb out of the depths on misery and despair many of us lived through. The net really has helped spread the word and made our condition better known and understood allowing easier access to help. During her time away Lisa has seen legions of late teen and early twenties girls arriving with supportive family members to be set on a path to a complete life nature had tried to denigh them. I have to admit that I do experience an occasional wave of regret wash over me shaking me to the core. Looking back on lost chances is not something I am wont to do but it is inevitable that occasionally something will crop up to remind us that help was hard to come by or actively refused even a short while ago let alone the decades ago many of us first realised that our problems could be rectified if only logic rather than prejudice could rule the health practitioners.
What a ride it has been. Net world has changed so much it is hard to think back and remember all that has happened and changed. Initially it was an open and happy place with everyone open and trying to help each other, sites went up collating information to allow informed examination of your own situation and what you might have to do to rectify it. Decades of trawling libraries starting in my university library in the early 70’s had landed very little information, and then often out of date or just plainly wrong! I resisted linking our home computer to the net for several years knowing full well what I would do given half a chance. That lid to Pandora’s box was so enticing to open… I am not sure that someone searching for the first time would find it quite so warm and welcoming as it has been, then again not as cold and unwelcoming as it was a while ago with people arguing about who was more worthy of being here!
So many of us felt open hearted enough to start a blog and share our experiences taking much of the fear out of the scary concept of transition for those who might follow. I wanted to know how was my testosterone poisoned, tall, hairy body ever going to transition into a voluptuous flawless beauty? Not as it turned out! Well I could dream... What it did transform into still amazes me.
Transition throws us all into the same lifeboat
As I think about cleaning up my subscriptions list yet again I realise many who once seemed so close in their time here have already become hazy memories, several waves have come and finished their journey whist I plodded on wondering if my turn would ever come to finish the physical transformation.
So many blogs started with enthusiasm and hope only to falter and dry up or vanish without warning, what has happened to those souls? Did they find their way and move on to a new life or did they find the going harder than they could cope with, we shall never know.
Many stop somewhere along the way when their lives become comfortable in the new role and we never hear wether they finish the course or not. Even more suddenly stop when they cross the notional finishing line of surgery, this I find more understandable now just having reached that point, the internal noise of transition leaves you calm with time and desire to enjoy the new life which has become open to you. I would have liked to have read more blogs which continued into that new life, reporting on issues which others may have to deal with, transition does not suddenly stop post op! You will be stuck with me posting for a good while yet to show how I move forward with my new freedom.
Others sadly did not make it and have died on the way, some never knowing the joy of completion others after too short a time to be themselves. Several friends of friends ended their lives by their own hand only reminding us how high the suicide rate still is for those with our problems and the difficulties much of society still puts in our way in the forms of discrimination in employment and general acceptance. Many others lost support of close family through fear of what society might think of them being associated with a transsexual...!
Nearly six months on from my operation, life is better than I ever hoped it would be. It is not exciting, little special happens day to day, just the ordinary life it always should have been. How do you explain to people what waking up and being able to think “this is me” when almost everyone else on this planet has done that since day one, whilst we have woken every day thinking “this is not me”!
Finally I look in the mirror and am happy at who and what I see...