This post is PART 34 in a guest blogger series following author Rachael's transition from an A.M.A.B (Assigned Male at Birth) individual to that of a self-identified trans woman.
If you are just discovering Queer as me, start the story from the beginning here.
I believe that to this day, those three visits with the doctor’s assistant were some of the most important meetings I have ever had. I was able to discuss quite candidly how and why I believed that I was identifying as a Trans woman. I know what you’re thinking, that I have been doing it for most of the few months prior to this, but in this instance, the words I used would define my future and my ability to see a gender therapist.
The first visit seemed to go well as I explained with absolute clarity, my life and all the many moments that clearly showed that I have never been a boy, or man. I was very happy to learn that due to my lack of funds these visits would be no charge. Usually they could run in the hundreds or thousands of dollars all depending on how many visits would be needed to prove who I was. I was incredibly lucky that wouldn’t be an issue in my case.
The assistant, who was actually finishing up her practicum, was well versed in gender theory, queer theory, and specialized in Trans issues. This became apparent in her lack of questions on my gender fluidity. Most of what she did ask me was based on why now. Why did I wait until I was forty before I told anyone? Other questions, were on what my family thought and if I had a support system in place. I explained what I lost and what I had gained, especially thanks to my mother’s acceptance of my identity. I doubt I could tell you how important it is to have a parent back your play, even if they are not totally sure that they understand it.
But most of the first visit was information gathering. Sad to say that in the medical mental health industry, you have to repeat yourself quite often due to records that are kept separate from each doctor. Compared to other medical conditions, doctor offices are able to interact with other offices to gain previous information. Mental health is one of shame and silence, most people rarely speak about having these conditions.
I was able to make it home without incident, albeit not without much anxiety. My next visit would be in two weeks. This is rare as well, but since she only had less than a month left, we agreed that it would be best if I finished working solely with her and she would be able to give her recommendations to the doctor. I was less nervous meeting with her in our next visit, but due to the weather being much nicer two weeks later, I felt very conspicuous in my heavy winter attire.
She could tell that I was very agitated during this visit, and I explained that I was feeling extreme anxiety due to being afraid that during my trip on Calgary Transit I would be attacked. That because I didn’t *pass* as a cis female. That the way I presented myself would “out” me to being different, a freak. Something that society would judge as being of no consequence if I were to be hurt or injured.
She explained that I would have to grow a thicker skin if people’s judgments could affect me that severely. That maybe I should slow my transition until I could handle it better. This terrified me actually, my dysphoria was constantly driving me to transition and I believed that any reason that would cause me to slow or temporarily halt my race to my bottom surgery was unacceptable. I know that most people cannot understand the desperate need to transition dysphoria places on you. The knowledge that there was something that would allow me to live a normal life without dysphoria was wonderful.
But as I was finding out, the process in which someone would become what they have always known they were, was one of patience and considerable work. I had to learn to control my impatience if I had any chance of losing this my ability to become my true self. I apologized to her and explained that I would do my utmost hardest to do as she asked. Inside I was completely terrified, but I now knew that I had to again learn how to hide those things that would cause me to be questioned on my ability to transition. Leaving her office left me cold inside,
I had to find a way through this, I couldn’t allow anything to slow my progress that I had gained so far. Riding the c-train I came up with an idea.
Hopefully it would work.
It had to.
Editor’s Note: To read Queer as me – Part 35: The final verdict, click here. Or click here to read the previous blog post Queer as me – Part 33: Trains, brains, and the Doctor’s assistant. For the latest LSOP blog posts and so much more, make sure to add us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.