In the Tunnel, Needing Hugs…

Ok… Yesterday’s optimism and philosophical attitude seems to have packed up and left, and I am currently just doing my best not to catch my reflection, as the sight of it disgusts me. There will always be days like this with gender dysphoria, and all political correctness aside, I have no problems with calling it a disease, as it is certainly not conducive to ease. I will try to see a GP on Monday, if I can get into the walk-in surgery, but even that seems an age away, and all time not spent trying to escape from my prison cell, so to speak, becomes a test in staving off frustration and depression. Finding things to be grateful for in my appearance has, unfortunately, been a dismal failure as a strategy. The more feminine I try to appear, the more jarringly masculine I look, to the extent that I am close to giving up even trying to ever “pass”. Sometimes I would just love to move somewhere with no people at all other than myself and my spouse, who is the the only person who relates to my true self, then I can at least call myself what I like and not cringe inwardly every time somone addresses me as “mate”, “sir”, “young man”, and “Anthony” (who, incidentally, does not even exist. Sorry to everyone who thought that was a real person).

Tomorrow will hopefully bring better news. I will be attending The Gathering LGBT meeting at the United Reformed Church (Windsor Place, Cardiff City Centre). I am hoping that will at least help me find a place within the local trans community, and through that some emotional support to help me through this. At present, I have only my spouse to truly understand my situation, and without them I might well have gone mad… I only hope I do not drive them mad with my melancholic obsession.

Incidentally, if you have a trans friend in this situation, do be very wary of the following piece of reassurance…

“But you’re a great looking [insert birth-assigned gender here]. Loads of people would be grateful to look the way you do.”

This may be well meant, but is just adding guilt to the mix of emotions. One might as well tell a person who has lost their legs to buck up and be grateful because some people have lost their arms as well. It is also the basis of the widely-reviled “reparative therapy”, such as Leelah Alcorn endured, based upon techniques for making the patient feel so bad about themselves that they (sometimes) strive to police their “aberrant” behaviour, (often) commit suicide, or (hopefully) punch out the so-called therapist.

The next one is a lot better, but don’t be surprised if it fails to completely elicit a cheerful frame of mind…

“It doesn’t matter how you look. You are a [insert innate gender here] whatever people think.”

Somewhat akin to telling a life-term prisoner that they are indeed innocent and unjustly convicted (always good to hear), but without actually being able to promise them a release date from their cell… Still, knowing for sure that I have gender dysphoria is better than wondering if I am just screwed up in the head or suffering an extreme manifestation of a fetish (Unlikely, as I would expect a fetish to be fun, and being “cross-dressed” just makes me more painfully aware of my masculinity).

Not that it is easy to reassure someone in this situation. To anyone reading this who is facing it, the most vital thing I still have to suggest is not to face it alone. If no-one in your close circle will see or acknowledge you as you true self, locate your nearest local LGBT group quickly. There are people out there who will help, and if they can’t always bring the light at the end of the tunnel any closer, they can at least hug you for the duration of the journey, and that counts for a great deal.

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