Friday, 22 December 2017

Its been a while...

I’m not really even expecting that anyone will remember me and read this, but I did think that it was about time my long neglected blog got dusted off and at least received a festive update because, ‘wow’, its been a heck of a year!

I’m really sure where to start, but I guess the big news is that finally, after so many ups and downs, I did, in fact, begin my social transition.   From 29th August, I started living in female presentation full-time and it has genuinely been an amazing experience on every level and every front.  You can imagine, that it ended up being a very complex and challenging thing to do, but has been completely worth it.

I knew that work would be ok internally, but I was unsure about how our customers might react to the process.  They dispelled all my fears very quickly.  I had to come out to around 30 customers and none of them had any kind of issue with my transition, if anything it has strengthened the relationships that I have with them.  People have just been so fantastic and hugely supportive - even more than I expected.  Out of sensitivity to my family, we didn’t want to make a big splash of it, so just updated my details on our company website, changed LinkedIn (without notifications) and eventually just included it in our Christmas cards.  People have been finding out in dribs and drabs and that works well for me.

One client even gave me an opportunity I never sought.  They are a government agency and they asked me to do a video interview for trans awareness week.  I’d thought I’d like to do that in the future, but I’ve received so much amazing help, that I felt it was really important to pass it on now.  So I stressed I’m not an expert, I only have my simple story and dived in.  It went live on their Intranet and the feedback was both fantastic and very kind.

I had a number of things that worried me before I transitioned.  Client sales meetings where people had not met me before, delivering presentations to large groups (I can often address groups of 100+ people), going to the supermarket, travelling on public transport, etc.  The list was finite, but super scary at the time.   I’ve ticked them all off and really don’t pay much attention now to them anymore - what a difference a few months can make eh?

The bigger issue for me was how my kids would respond.  I feared rejection from them.  But in the end, the fact that I cried when I told them because it was so moving was the biggest thing that shocked them.  Their responses ranged from, ‘its fine’ to ‘wow, you look really fashionable’.  Genuinely was a proud moment realising that they are young men who are so accepting and kind.  Mrs A has continued to struggle, although her issues have been somewhat reduced by the acceptance of the children.  But she has made it clear that she’ll never accept, ‘the other woman in the relationship’ which I can understand.  It distresses me to know that I’ve hurt her, for all that this wasn’t my first choice either.

Medically, the wait for the NHS continues: I’m still on hormones, still having laser, not still losing weight, but that starts again next year.   I’ve moved to a new town, begun to build a life, been promoted at work, been accepted generally.  I would hate to pretend that its easy and that everyone has a simple, happy life post transition, but I have been very privileged to received so much love from friends and complete strangers every day.  Even today when changing my name with yet another company, the lady on the phone told me how fantastic it was and that she wished me well.  I will be forever grateful.

Thank you for reading - and as I await my first Christmas, presents having arrived that are for me as a female for the first time, I can’t stop pinching myself and half expecting to wake up from a happy dream.  I hope that you all have a very very Merry Christmas.