So what a week, as you know I’ve been treading water with a lot of stuff recently but while none of them are completely sorted there has been definite progress.
The book, Born a Woman, is now up to 5500 words and making slow, but steady progress. I’m going on a long train journey in a couple of weeks so plan on putting a few 1000 more words on the count during the trip, alongside steady progress in the intervening time. 10-12000 by the end of the month would be nice.
I finally made progress with the complaint with Porterbrook, I had a very pleasant phone call with the consultant who had been assigned my case, and he clearly agreed with my complaint. While he couldn’t commit to any decisions without talking to Porterbrook he agreed that the way Porterbrook had handled my transfer wasn’t correct and sounded extremely surprised that they refer to Leeds for the second opinion rather than simply trying to arrange the next available appointment. It sounded like his plan A is to find out which clinic can give me the earliest appointment and go from there, but he couldn’t commit to anything. At least it was a positive telephone call which kicked off, for me, a fantastic week.
I’m going in tomorrow to sort out my ID for my second job, so that’s great, means hopefully my financial position will improve soon, and remove a little stress. It’ll also mean I can start generating experience relevant to my future career as a Mental Health Nurse, speaking of which got my Occupational Health appointment for that on 1st June. Heard about that this week so that was good.
Roller Derby has also been positive this week, despite a poor performance on Weds I pulled it back, then enjoyed a fantastic skate with some of the league in the local park. I topped that off by, with the help of one of the experienced members of the team, choosing my derby name – Rita Skate Worth – which finished off a slightly crazy, but brilliant week.
As you can probably imagine I’m in quite a positive place now, next week I’m off LARPing although I have to confess not massively looking forward to it. The weather forecast is poor and I burnt myself out in the mud last event, so bit worried same might happen again.
I’m sure all of you who come here interested about the book as much as the blog itself will appreciate progress reports so I thought I’d put regular posts in explaining how things were getting on, maybe snippets of text or photographs etc. In this case this is the current draft of the Introduction text for the book, it’s not fully proof read – and the book most definitely will need proof reading – so errors in these posts are expected, and, of course, aren’t the final copy.
As well as giving you ideas of how the books going, such snippets are useful for me too as they allow you to give me ideas of what your liking about the books progress, and hopefully suggestions about angles you think might be good to take. So comments and feedback will be most appreciated.
BORN A WOMAN
I was born with Gender Dysphoria in 1971 but it didn’t manifest itself properly until this century when I realised the reason I didn’t enjoy living as a man was simply because I wasn’t one. This book will document the changes and processes I went through to get my body to match my birth sex.
Gender Dysphoria is a condition where recent research suggests the condition may be in effect a birth defect. While developing in the womb something, possibly genetic or hormonally related, caused the brain to develop abnormally. This causes the brain to take on a gender which is different to the physical sex of the baby. As such while Gender Dysphoria is traditionally treated by Mental Health services, the condition itself is not a mental health condition, I am completely in agreement with Mental Health Services treating the condition because often patients require significant mental health support. This is because Gender Dysphoria can fairly often trigger side effects such as depression are most definitely Mental Health issues and due to the time scales it takes to correct the problems, having mental health support is, in my opinion, absolutely vital.
Now many people will use the term Transsexual or Transgender but personally I have developed to dislike those terms for a couple of reasons. Firstly they are ‘labels’ and I have a dislike of labels, secondly I actually see them as inaccurate. I am a Woman with Gender Dysphoria, it’s as simple as that, it doesn’t need to be ‘pigeon holed’ into a ‘label’.
I first realised I was Gender Dysphoric around 12 years ago while playing an online role-play game called Starwars Galaxies. In 2004 I joined Second Life, and quickly found myself enjoying the female role and that snowballed. By 2007 I was cross dressing occasionally at home, went to Sparkle – a ‘pride’ aimed at both Gender Dysphoric people and the wider transgender community, and spent some of a conference in the USA as my real me.
I went to University in 2007 and by 2009 was still having to live in male role at home, but spent all the time at Uni as a girl. In 2009 I spent the last year at University in the female role then when our marriage finally broke up, after being in a bad way for several years, in 2010 I immediately went full-time and started my transition.
Many of the problems I have faced will be familiar to other people who are transitioning and part of the reason for this book is to help inspire those who might be struggling or help them feel that they are not alone. It’s also aimed at everyone else, Gender Dysphoria is something that is increasingly in the public consciousness and with that comes a bunch of questions.
We are, as is human nature, a curious bunch but asking personal questions can leave people uncomfortable and put-out. So this book will hopefully answer many of the more common questions and indeed will give a visual indicator of how the treatment changes the body.
I decided to write this book as I am a freelance journalist and photographer who is always looking for project to link those skills to something interesting. So when I finally got prescribed hormones I realised I had a once in a life-time opportunity to document something useful and interesting. The project started on 17th February 2014 and this first part ended on 17th February 2015. A Second book is planned covering the run up to surgery and probably into my early life as a woman fully in body as well as soul.