I had mentioned in an earlier post that a couple of months ago I had made a ferry booking in my female name. And I’m still guarding my own counsel with regard to the purpose of that ferry crossing, but I have to say that over the last couple of months I have been becoming more and more nervous about it. Not about getting on a ferry, that bothers me no more than going for a coffee, i.e. not at all. No, what has been bothering me is the worry about the booking being in my female name, not my male one, a.k.a my actual legal name that is on my identification. I just thought that if my ticket said Bob and I looked like Kirsty, it would raise a lot more eyebrows than if my ticket and my presentation matched. However, I hadn’t been able to shake the fear that I might be asked for identification and might then be unable to board the ferry that I have paid for.
During my final counselling session I had mentioned this concern to my counsellor, and that I worried I might have got a bit ahead of myself in wanting to be Kirsty in everything I do. So I tentatively asked if there was anything she could do for me, specifically if she could give me some sort of explanatory letter to the effect that I had been seeing her for gender identity issues and that when presenting as female I use the name Kirsty, but my identification is in my male name of Bob Roberts (obviously it’s not Bob or Roberts, but you knew that, right?). Unfortunately Colleen was pretty reluctant to do this, saying she couldn’t provide identification and making a few other suggestions such as taking out store cards or the like as Kirsty. I was a little crestfallen, but at the same time more than a little embarrassed that I had even put her on the spot like that. So I resolved to consider her suggestions and forget all about the idea of a letter. Then a week later I received an unexpected email from her saying that she had discussed my request with her project director, and yes, she would be able to issue the type of letter that I want, and asking when I would like to collect it. What a relief!
I went round to meet her yesterday afternoon and there was the letter. The content was more than I could have hoped for, and in all honesty was stretching the truth quite a bit in one very significant way. It said;
Re: Bob Roberts
I am writing to confirm that the person named in this letter is attending counselling for Gender Dysphoria and is in the process of transitioning from male to female, as such she has no official documentation in their new identity of Kirsty Roberts.
Please accept this letter to verify their identity.
She even included contact details! The only problem is, I’m not in the process of transitioning, unless you view the transitioning process as being potentially 10 or more years long. I wish so much that I could be a woman full time already, but it isn’t possible for now. We’ve been through all this, and Colleen of all people knows just how deep my yearning is. Maybe she is taking a very long-term view, as if transitioning is climbing Mount Everest and I’m spending an awful lot of time at base camp – well maybe not exactly base camp, I do have an active female life which is more than some, but still the foothills. Regardless of that, seeing this letter just made my heart leap. Yes, I thought, that is me. I am that person. I never really thought of having a new identity but that is exactly what it is. It’s the same identity to me, but different to the outside world. And those few short lines cover it. Excuse my hyperbole and I know the letter has no legal standing, but it feels like I am now an officially licensed transsexual.
My birthday is coming up at the weekend (I’ll be coughty-cough) and when I had seen Andrea last week before she went off on holiday (all the details on her blog) she gave me a birthday card with a rather touching sentiment. To be honest, in a prior existence I may have thought it a bit too sincere, but the person I am now is very different and a lot more honest about her emotions. So when I received a card saying what a good friend I was, it brought a lump to my throat. Both because of who gave it to me, and also it was to me, Kirsty, the real me. After so many years of fear, hiding and suppression, the fact that another human being would not just tolerate me but actively want to be my friend is a true joy. So as is our normal practice now, Andrea and I met up for a coffee and a natter before going on to the Butterfly Club, where we had a pleasant if unremarkable evening.
I wrote in my last blog about the trans* person I had seen who was seriously overdressed for a trip to a shopping mall. I was careful at the time to give her the benefit of the doubt and say that she could have been just getting a few essentials on her way to a dinner date, but there was a strange juxtaposition between her entering the mall in a little black dress, sheer black tights and killer heels and me exiting wearing jeans, jumper and a pair of ballerinas. As it turns out, I may be that person too (although I conceitedly hope that I might pass a bit better). Mrs Kirsty has been working late most nights this month due to a busy period in her office, which has meant that when going out to meet Andrea for coffee last week I only just made it in time for our 8.40pm rendezvous, at least an hour later than I usually arrive, and meant that I couldn’t do my usual bit of window shopping and generally being out and about before going for coffee and on to the Butterfly Club. This week, I expected to be at least as late, and with my coffee-drinking chum Andrea away on her hols, it meant that I would be going straight to the club premises without going out in public at all, unless you count driving. So I thought why not use this opportunity to glam up a lot more than usual? So instead of denim or an informal skirt, I put on a bodycon floral dress, sheer black tights and packed my highest heels (4.5″) just for a change. Then as I was driving across to the club I got a text from Mrs Kirsty; can I get some apples for the kids’ lunches? Oh for crying out loud, I couldn’t have been less appropriately dressed for a trip to the supermarket. But duty calls, so in I went to Tesco. Thankfully, I had a pair of ballerina flats for driving in, so I just kept those one and I had brought a little beige cardie in case it was cold in the evening on the way home, so I was able to de-glam a little, but I felt more conspicuous than I had done going out in a long time. Of course, as usual, nobody seemed to bat an eyelid. Again.
Off I went to the club where there was a new face waiting. Someone I had actually heard quite a bit about, the other Andrea, a.k.a. Andrea D. She is good friends with my own good friend, regular dining companion and occasional hostess Andrea L so it was great to meet her at last. And she was really lovely. Turns out she lives not too far from me, and we exchanged mobile numbers and agreed to meet up at some point. A new friend! Hurrah!
And speaking of friends, I have to mention Michelle at this point. Michelle had brought me a birthday card, and also a little chocolate cake, albeit with no candles. What a lovely gesture. Unfortunately Andrea D along with the other people present had left by about 9.40pm, so it was just Michelle and me for well over an hour, and the time flew past. I had such a super chat with her about all sorts of things, and at least it meant we could talk away about our shared interest in music to our hearts’ content without ever worrying that we were boring everyone else! Plus, we ate a quarter of a cake each! And then, as if the card and cake weren’t enough, we were discussing dress sizes and weight loss when she asked what dress size I was. “Sixteen”, I replied. She said “Well, this is fourteen, but it’s stretchy.” She had been saying she was going to clear out her locker to make room for new items, and this dress was one with a place in a charity bag already reserved. She brought it out and looking at it, I honestly couldn’t imagine Michelle ever wearing it, it just wasn’t the style I would associate with her. On the other hand, it was right up my street. I tried it on and it seemed to fit nicely, and I was really thrilled to bits with it. And now it’s mine – a donation to the club funds will follow. Thank you Michelle hun!
So there we go, in another two days I will no longer be 43 (I know, I can’t believe it either). But what a year it has been. I can say without fear of contradiction that there were no other years like it. As Michelle wrote on the card she gave me “You have had a hectic and interesting roller coaster of a year”. Never a truer word was spoken!
Until next time (when I’m old)