A couple of years ago I was a mess. I was an habitual drinker and if I’m being honest I was a borderline alcoholic. I can’t remember the last time I had not woken with a hangover.
Then one day as I was showering I caught site of myself in the mirror and saw myself and what I was becoming.
I realised that I was killing myself and that I was killing myself because I could not face the truth about myself.
In that moment I woke up and accepted myself as I had always known myself to be, a transsexual. That evening on my way home from work I went to the supermarket. But this time rather than heading for the drinks aisle I went to the women’s clothing section and picked up a skirt. Amazingly I picked the right size. Over the next couple of months I regularly bought clothes and makeup and stopped getting my hair cut. Ever since the late 70s I had had my hair cut short in a 1950s ‘manly’ style.
I began searching the internet for support but became distressed because I could only find sex sites.
However, I eventually found a couple of sites that offered support and steered me in the direction of the Transition Support Service-Scotland and my local LGBT centre which host a regular T Time event. It took me several months before I plucked up the courage to go to these services in person but when I did go to T Time, clothes clutched in my overnight bag and got changed, I entered a world of instant acceptance and understanding. I knew I had come home. Since then my life has changed utterly and mostly for the better. I have lost the weight that my drink habit had given me (over three stones) and no longer smoke. I don’t want my nice clothes stinking.
I changed my name by Deed Poll to Susan. I’m not sure why I chose this name, it came to me when I was a small child, about five years old. I realised that my parents had given me the wrong name. I also realised that I should never tell anyone this as I would get into trouble. Even at that age I knew I was a girl and had hidden some of my sisters clothes in my toy box to wear for a precious few occasions before they vanished. I remember my grandmother asking me if I wanted to be a boy or a girl. I knew that I had to lie and say ‘boy’. That sent me on a lifetime of lying about myself, with only the odd lapse in concentration.
At 13 my mum discovered I had been wearing tights. She sent me to my room and after a couple of hours of careful consideration came and told me I was depraved.
I found solace through music and song-writing. I might not be a good musician but I can write songs that state flatly that I am transgender while at the same time saying something completely different. No one has ever asked me to explain what certain lyrics mean, they just weren’t listening I guess. I am now starting to build bridges with my ex-wife and I am hoping to be open and honest with my daughter. I am no longer ashamed of myself and feel I can be a better parent now that I am not drinking. I have had one psychological assessment at which the doctor said that if it was up to her alone to make the diagnosis then I would already be getting treatments to help me transition fully. My second appointment is at the end of January, only eight weeks at the time of counting. I fully expect this psychiatrist to confirm the diagnosis. If you are reading this then you are probably transgender or a very good ally. I’m sure you will understand the excitement I feel when a new piece of ‘evidence’ confirming my reality drops on the doormat. I could barely contain myself when I got my first wage-slip made out in my real name, and when on the same day I received my cheque book and driving licence I wept tears of joy and relief.
I don’t know how many years I have left on this planet. I am 53 years old and spent 45 of those years hiding behind a mask of cynical bravado and an alcoholic haze. I intend to spend those years as healthily and happily as possible.
If I might be allow myself a little vanity, I think that I have a pretty good body for someone yet to start hormones. I have hips and long legs, my arms are shapely and my wrists are thin. Apart from the fact that I am as hairy as a gibbon (which I am addressing with laser and electrolysis) I sometimes wonder if I nearly became a girl in the womb, but something took a left turn at the wrong moment (as it were). I’m not sure where this is heading or if it has a point so I will wrap it up.I just want to say that I am happy at long last, and the friends I have found are the best friends I have ever had.