So a couple of days ago I wrote a post about how negative I was feeling about more or less every aspect of my transition, and I spent quite a bit of the post talking about how I feel like Mrs K is burying her head in the sand and trying to spend a year pretending this isn’t happening. I have been feeling in a quandary: after I told her my tentative plan for transition and when I anticipated things happening, she told me that she didn’t want to know. But now that I’m potentially a few weeks away from setting the ball rolling in an official capacity by asking my doctor for a referral to the Gender Clinic, I can’t help but feel like she should know that I’m doing it. But then again, she asked me not to talk about it. But if it gets to January and I’m a few steps down the line then she may be angry that I didn’t even mention the significant steps that had happened on the way. I probably can’t win.
A few of you left some very helpful comments, and the general crowdsourced view was that I shouldn’t say anything. There were two apparent reasons for this; firstly, Mrs K did say that I wasn’t to mention anything to do with transitioning this year, so I’m following her instructions. Secondly, I am advised that the initial GP’s appointment is nowhere near as significant as I’m building it up to be. Well that’s all right then. Actually, in a way it is significant because once I go there and tell him that I believe myself to be transsexual and intend to transition, that gets marked upon my medical records and I gain some level of protections that I would not have had previously, so that’s something positive. It certainly makes it a little safer to come out to others in work – not that I am planning on doing such a thing, but secrecy isn’t quite as critical.
However, last night this particular bit of navel-gazing became rather moot, because the subject came up naturally in conversation between the two of us. We had been sitting up late watching TV (Swedish drama Thicker Than Water on More 4 if you’re interested, it’s very good) and after the show had ended we inadvertently stumbled upon a teleshopping channel which was showing a long-form advertisement for some sort of high-intensity body-sculpting exercise DVD called T25. As is the way with these things, there were lots of testimonials from entirely convincing members of the public who had used the program, accompanied by “Before” and “After” photographs with the “After” pics looking decidedly buff. However I noticed that there was another big change between the two pictures, at least for the men, and so I mentioned it to Mrs K.
“Have you noticed the side effect of all this exercise for all the men?”
“It makes all their chest hair fall out.”
Without fail, the “Before” men were flabby and hairy, and the “After” men were rippling and smooth. Knowing that I’m not averse to a bit of body hair removal, Mrs K replied
“Maybe they’re all trans”
“I thought we weren’t talking about that?”
“Well I know it exists and it’s ok to mention it, I just don’t want any big conversations”
“OK, well so long as you know my plans haven’t changed”
“So when are you going to be going to see Hugh?”
Hugh being the name of our family doctor. This gives the impression that we’re on very familiar terms with him, which isn’t the case. I have met him once in 9 years. I think the first-name thing comes from our previous doctor, who shared the practice with his brother and father so surname wasn’t a great identifier. So he became Dr Dermot, but he passed away in his 50’s a few years ago and got replaced by Dr Hugh, who is now in his mid-30s and very nice as opposed to the late Dr Dermot who was, with the greatest of respect, a grumpy old get.
I really couldn’t believe that literally the day after I wrote a post pondering whether or not I should tell Mrs K about certain significant milestones in my journey, she would come out and ask me when they are happening of her own volition! So I told her the truth
“Not sure exactly when, but most likely some time next month. I’m really nervous about it.”
“He will be so nice and understanding. You have nothing to worry about with him. He won’t judge you and he’ll just want to help.”
Around 8 years ago we had a miscarriage. It was at that time that we discovered that Dr Dermot had died, and so the first time that Mrs K met Dr Hugh was as part of the after-care following her miscarriage. She did have a very tough time, and she always felt that Dr Hugh was a big help for her. Always had enough time, very sympathetic. She has been to him for various things over the last few years and she always says he seems to have a real desire to help. So she is very positive that he will be very positive with me, and I shouldn’t have any concerns about going to see him. She then thought about Dr Hugh a little more:
“I wonder will you be his first trans patient. Well maybe not his first, but maybe his first one who’s married with a family. He’ll love it, something different to deal with”.
So 24 hours after I put up that last post, I end up having a conversation with Mrs K about my transition (which wasn’t supposed to happen) wherein she ends up making me feel better about the whole thing (which definitely wasn’t expected). It’s not some great conversion where suddenly she’s all positive about everything, but it’s movement, more that I have ever seen before. And it’s a glimmer of hope. Maybe it’ll all be snuffed out, maybe not, but for now it was just what I needed.