I disappeared again.
I wish I could say that it was because things had gotten better, or that something had changed, but no. Nothing better, nothing changed.
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve never felt so much anger, frustration and despair. I’ve been trying to get on with my life, go to work, go to college, see my friends… I really enjoy my work. I’m a part-time PA, and I help out two disabled clients. We get on so well, and they’ve become as much of a part of my life as I have for them. And the hours suit me so well. No early starts, no late-night finish; I can get out of bed once I shake off the mood, and finish work in time for a pint at the pub.
College is a one-day-a-week challenge. 9.30am start. Which isn’t much, I know I have an easy life. But when you open your teary eyes in the morning, wishing you could turn back over and never wake up again, it is a challenge to get out of bed. I’m studying a Level 1 Counselling course. That’s where I want to end up, as a counsellor. It’s early days, and I don’t know what I want to specialise in, but I know I’m made for this.
But I realised something the other day.
What’s the point in going to work, spending a few hours doing something I enjoy when I’m not even happy?
What’s the point in studying for a job I have some interest in when I can’t even smile?
Nothing seems worth it any more. I can’t even believe that, because I really do love my life. But I don’t love it as me right now, with the body I have. I guess it doesn’t help that I’m not out to my clients. I started with both of them when I knew I was going to transition, but it was early days, I didn’t really believe it would happen, and I didn’t want to jeopardise employment. I felt like I was already at a disadvantage being Asian, with piercings and short hair. Ooh, different, scary. Another reason, which is the main reason, was that they required a female PA.
“‘Gender’ is a Genuine Occupational Qualification existing under Sect. 7 of the Sex Discrimination Act.”
Due to the nature of both roles, they wanted a female working for them. Which is understandable, completely. But I don’t identify as female. It’s become harder and harder to ignore the female pronouns, to avoid talking about myself as ‘he’, and to stand being introduced in public as ‘she’. And considering I’m binding tighter and growing out my facial hair (Movember, hello!), it’s becoming harder to feel comfortable around someone who still sees me as a girl. They must know! They have to know. No. They won’t know until I tell them. I’m so scared. Even though we’ve got a great relationship and we’re pretty close because of how involved in their lives I am, I don’t know how they would feel about such a big difference. I’m sure they figured my sexuality from the start. That’s hard to ignore. But being transgender, it’s completely different. It’s apparent that they are from an older generation, as some things they say aren’t politically correct. But they mean no harm, I try and open their minds as much as I can without a disagreement. Cowardly, I know. But at the end of it all, they wanted a female PA. And I won’t be any more. It’s written in the contract. I always said to myself I’d tell them when I know when I’ll be starting hormone therapy. But I can’t wait that long. I’m living alternate lives. I’m losing who I am. And I can’t afford to right now.
When I started college, I decided to go with whatever was on my driving license. I didn’t want any trouble or delay with starting the course, and I was wary of what my class would be like. But they’re such a great group, so ‘diverse’ (yuck, I hate that word, but you know what I mean). With counselling, you’ve got to be as open as you can be. You’ve got to be able to talk about yourself, confront yourself. And I feel like I’m lying to them. I’m hiding from them. I felt like if I went in there as ‘he’, people would think that was incorrect, and see me as a butch girl with a hairy face. It doesn’t make a difference, I still feel like they see me as that. I’ve got nothing to be afraid of. I just need to take that step. I think I will e-mail my tutor and ask permission for a brief coming-out at the start of next week’s session.
Saying that, I’ll probably have to drop my clients a hint or two. I’ve been cancelling work so much, because I just can’t pull myself together in time. And they have a right to know what it is that’s not letting me leave the house and see them. Maybe it’d be better to speak to someone who handles the finances, their go-to guy, who was there at the interview and handles our contract. I’m still unsure, but I’ve got to tell them.
I can’t believe I’m still ‘coming-out’. It’s been about a year? My parents, my clients, my classmates – the parts of my life that actually make up my life, I’m hiding from. I don’t feel accepted. And it’s destroying me.
On Wednesday I saw my awesome GP. I wanted to leave with an answer. I didn’t. But I found my own. I have been referred to Charing Cross. But I won’t be going there first. I made my own decision to go private after I realised the wait for a first appointment at Charing Cross would be over 6 months. Meltdown. I then calmed down and e-mailed Dr Stuart Lorimer. Dr Lorimer works with NHS at Charing Cross but also runs a private gender clinic in Hammersmith called GenderCare. I actually got a reply a few hours after I sent my message on Wednesday. By yesterday afternoon, I had an appointment to see him for my first appointment on Saturday 24th November. OMG I’M SO EXCITED. I’m trying not to get my hopes up. Because I’ve been waiting and waiting and I’ve been let down so much, by doctors, by the system, by the way everything fucking works, that I just can’t handle any more of this. I’m hurting so much inside. I fear that if I felt another blow, I would disappear forever.
There’s no fear. I know I would.
Here’s to seeing Smash soon.