Make no mistake about it, living as the wrong gender for a prolonged period of time causes trauma, depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation.
I’ve been trying to be true to myself since September 2013 (when I started taking hormones), but despite progress, it has been a massive struggle. The regular misgendering I received in the first 18 months or so was pure hell and caused me so many problems. Even now, I feel like I am too tall and my voice gives it away.
It has got to the point where I am largely mute in public. I am terrified of being called sir, him, he, even though it hasn’t happened in some time. Other transgender people still seem to trigger me though; in fact even talking about transition can, as most of the time I want to just forget it and be treated the same as any other female human being.
I’m sick of being told “I accept you” or “I tolerate you”. No one would tell me this if I were cisgender. Well meaning comments can be just as damaging or even more damaging than those intended to hurt me.
I feel like there are still too many obstacles in this journey. The Gender Identity Clinic at Charing Cross in London have lost my referral for SRS / GRS. I feel like I will have to wait two years just for an “assessment” now, despite being authentic for so long and having spent almost three years on HRT.
There is little or no support from the so-called “transgender community”. The LGBT community at large cares even less. Most transgender help seems to be targeted at transgender kids / youth or simply those who have the money to almost instantly transform themselves. The rest of us are basically just left to it, told to “suck it up” and that life could be worse.
I feel that no one understands the pain that this causes. Sometimes I look in the mirror and see who I am, other times I still see “him” or “the ugly monster”. My face looks like a beaten up old football, my eyes are a reflection of the pain inside and some have noticed. I’m tired of people out there commenting on how tall I am, even if they mean no harm. I wish they’d notice something else about me, not something I perceive as too “male”.
I do not think I’ll make it. But while I’m still here, I want to keep discussing this openly so that hopefully, someone will read this and will be able to relate. Hopefully my story and the stories of many other transgender people in similar circumstances will be seen by those who can enact change and change will eventually come.
Because I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.