This post is PART 35 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.
This was the day.
The doctor’s assistant had only a few days left before she was done, and I was desperate to get her recommendation for a gender therapist referral. Getting ready to leave my mom’s house, I started my plan to protect myself and my chances of hormones and future surgery. This time I brought a brush and my wig, and I placed both in a carryall bag. This way I would be able to still present as myself and still decrease my chance of anxiety issues on the trip there, by looking like the gender the world still believed I looked like. I know, I know, it sounds like I was lying to the therapist, but because I still wasn’t even close to passing I had to do what would keep me safe and further my ability to gain access to the medications necessary to begin transitioning. I was able to come to the last appointment calm and yet show that I was willing to do what I needed to resolve my anxiety issues.
Financially if I could afford the costs associated with laser hair removal and hair regrowth, I would have done it in a heartbeat. But the costs at the time were too great. So I stopped in the men's washroom prior to going into the office and styled the wig and went in presenting as a transgender individual.
Sorry, not sorry, but it takes time to grow a thicker skin.
Anyhow, when I entered the office I was rushed back to the doctor’s assistant’s room. She told me that the doctor was leaving for six weeks for a conference and that he wanted to look at my information before he left. She could tell that I was much more present in the moment, and she was happy that I seemed to have resolved my anxiety issues. My face redden, which I guess she must have took for blushing, as she patted my thigh, saying that red looked good on me. Which of course made me laugh and the last of the tension left my body.
She explained in detail that I still had a long road to go, but that she believed that I truly was Rachael Summers. Therefore it was in her medical professional opinion that I was a woman, and so she would recommend to the doctor to send in the referral to see a gender therapist. Now she said that the final verdict was his, but she thought I had a great chance to go to Edmonton.
You see there was only a single psychiatrist in all of Alberta to see the hundreds of transgender individuals living here. He should have retired years ago, but since he was the only one that would help save us, he stayed. The wait was at least a year if not two to see him, but you had to get on his waiting list first. So although it wasn’t a one hundred percent sure thing that I would get on that list, at least I had started. I thanked her profusely for all her help.
Then prior to leaving the safety of the building,I quickly went back to the men's washroom. Thank goodness both times it had been empty I couldn’t imagine what would have happened if I had met anyone in there. I was able to leave without any anxiety. Until I got those hormones though, I would refrain from trying to present as my true self.
Now it was the beginning of the waiting game.
How long? I wasn’t sure, but I hoped that I could hold out until then.
Editor’s Note: To read Queer as me – Part 36: Patience rewarded, click here. Or click here to read the previous blog post Queer as me – Part 34: Words of importance. For the latest LSOP blog posts and so much more, make sure to add us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.