As you may know from my previous blog, I attended a GP appointment to discuss my options with them but I have since decided to seek help privately, to get the ball rolling quicker. I had my initial appointment with The London Gender Clinic on the 10 April which went okay. I found the experience rather uncomfortable as the doctor really did delve into my family history, past bad experiences, all the things that made me uncomfortable in terms of knowing I am transgender and, lastly, sexuality and sexual history. I wasn't prepared for how in depth they would go so it took me by surprise a little, but I have a big understanding of how necessary it is for the doctors to be thorough. When speaking of past events I was asked a lot "do you think this is the reason you could be transgender", which at the time upset me a little as I personally do not believe an event can create this, but upon reflection afterwards, I believe I was asked this many times to really make me think about whether this is something that is well and truly etched into me and my being? Or can it possibly be helped is different ways other than hormone and possibly surgery?
From my initial appointment the doctor believed it would be helpful for me to see a gender specialist councillor, and asked me to complete at least six sessions, but would review after four sessions. I have now completed four sessions and myself and my councillor both felt that I had made the progress in talking about this issue, and I have now finished my counselling. Counselling is something I have had in the past for other issues and I never felt I gained anything from it, until I saw my counsellor James. We discussed thoughts and feelings and I didn't realise how much aggravation I held in regards to being dismissed by my GP when I was younger and how much strength I have now.
The next step for me is gaining hormones, and it is something I am incredibly impatient about now. My first opportunity to gain hormones is at my appointment on the 23 June. I am incredibly lucky to be in the position to go privately and that I have been able to self fund my appointments, as the wait for the NHS I am told is roughly a year and a half.
So far I have found my time attending appointments and sessions quite draining but also very exciting as every one I go to, it is one step closer to where I need to be. I won't say it is easy as I would be lying, but it is definitely easier than staying hidden and suffering alone. In my case I feel a lot better that I can be open and honest but It hasn't made me feel any more comfortable in myself yet, but I guess that will come with time. I can imagine that I am not the only trans* person that has kept quiet for as long as I have and I will not be the last, and that is the sad truth. I write because I believe the more awareness that is raised on trans* people, it will lead to more understanding and acceptance. And I also believe by more trans* people being public and open, other people may feel comfortable enough to seek the help that they deserve and hopefully find some strength in knowing that they are not alone. The support network for trans* people on-line is incredible, I had no idea until I came out as trans*. You can find many open trans* individuals on Tumblr and Youtube, who partake in Q&As, and also many groups on Facebook in which many trans* people going through similar experiences to you, come together to help and support one another and speak of their journeys.
It is incredibly hard for me to fully come to terms with being transgender and to explain just how I feel but I am growing with each day to accept who I am and taking any steps necessary to get where I need to be physically and mentally. The road is long, and at times painful but support is more than definitely out there if you want or need it, never be afraid to ask for help, we all need a little guidance sometimes.