Eleanor looks in the mirror every day and is pretty displeased. She despairs of ever passing convincingly as her innate gender, and sometimes her best projection for the future is retiring as quickly as possible to an isolated setting where at least she will be spared both the agony of rejection for who she is and the humiliation of acceptance for who she is not. She fantasises constantly, wondering if hormones alone might miraculously re-structure her angular, masculine features, though it is unlikely they will shave any inches off her total height. High heels are at least permanently out of the question, until some chemist actually patents a controlled version of the Drink Me Potion…
However, also personal physical acceptance is still a daily struggle, I have to say that this week has so far been extremely encouraging, and I would urge anyone going through a similar experience to take the following steps ASAP:
1. Contact whatever your local NHS / health authority is and ask to be put in touch with someone sympathetic. Mine had an LGBT coordinator who could not have been more considerate in their approach to me.
2. If you have any religious leanings, try to find an LGBT friendly meeting group in your area (such as http://www.thegatheringcardiff.org/).
3. Set up a dedicated Facebook profile for your trangendered self, block as many of your regular Facebook contacts from it as you see fit, and search your area for local LGBT groups.
4. Come out to trusted friends and loved ones, if you are confident of a sympathetic response. My own spouse and close friends have been essential to me in helping me though this.
The fact that I am feeling substantially happier having achieved these steps, even though I am no closer to my physical ideal, tells me one thing: that acceptance for one’s true self is more even more key than physical transitioning. Come to think of it, if I was to suddenly become the beautiful woman of my vain dreams tomorrow, I fear the pleasure of the moment would quickly dissipate in the administrative nightmare of trying to reconstruct my identity and persuading everyone that my passport was still valid, I do still work for this company, etc. Slow metamorphosis can be a frustrating experience, though potentially more rewarding. Which is no reason not to make the ride enjoyable, though…