So Far So Good

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.

Susan Xxx

1 thought on “So Far So Good

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Susan. I’m sure there are many trans people who share similar experiences, trying to get away from who they are because they are told not to, yet from an early age struggling to cope with the feelings they have inside. And yes, it’s difficult to find safe spaces to get away from sexual objectification and exploitation.

    Isn’t it funny how, once we learn to take care of ourselves, life becomes precious and vibrant.

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