This post is PART 37 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 decided to look at this like a job interview, which was the only way I was able to process through the fear and anxiety that I might be turned down. I kept my emotions in check that morning while I was getting ready for the three and a half hour drive to Edmonton. I kept trying to come up with some sample questions that he might ask, the only problem was I wasn’t sure if they would be the same type I had been asked previously.
By the time I had started my trip I already started to feel the nagging worrying slowly building inside my head. I tried to drown it out by playing my music loud, I tried to focus on the beautiful farm scenery as I traveled closer and closer to Edmonton, but nothing seemed to help. I could feel my body getting tense with anticipation. I was so tense that I went the wrong way once I got into Edmonton. I started to curse myself out as I hurriedly got myself turned back around. My wonderful GPS in my phone was slow in responding to the changes in my driving. This, of course, increased my worry that I was going to miss my appointment.
I hadn’t been in this city in almost six years, things had changed. New roads and construction made it difficult to navigate. Besides that, I had never been in any of the hospitals or medical offices when I was here over twenty years ago, I had no point of reference. Sigh. I thought I really needed to learn some new coping techniques. I pulled onto one of the exits, hoping that it would allow my GPS to reset itself. What do you know? That actually worked. Whoa, I was closer than I thought, only fifteen minutes away, and my appointment was in ten minutes. Throwing caution to the wind I let my lead foot drop on the gas and pulled into the doctor’s office parking with just a minute to spare.
I stopped worrying about being late and forced my body from the car. Anxiety full blown, I quickly walked into the medical office and promptly got lost again. Sigh, why couldn’t this get any easier, I thought glumly. I was finally able to find the directory and Of course, his name wasn’t anywhere on the directory. Trying not to growl under my breath I then remembered that they had said something like third-floor office…? I had to try something or I would stay rooted to the lobby floor. So as soon as the first elevator showed up I punched the third-floor button and tried to breathe. The door opened and I was presented with a small waiting room on my left and a smaller still enclosed room in which a young woman sat typing away on a computer.
I took two steps and was right in front of her window. I waited until she looked my way. Your name? I croaked, then coughed, “dead name” then Rachael. She said is that how you wished to be called while you’re here? I said yes please, much more clearly and louder than I thought as I heard someone’s chair scrap against the waiting room floor. I had forgotten, that until I could start living my authentic life I would still be called by my old name, or as most Trans individuals would say their “dead name”.
I was told that the doctor would see me in a few minutes as he was running a bit late. I was lucky then, I made it in time, in fact, I had just sat down when a young man in gray slacks and a dark shirt came up to get me. I crossed my fingers behind me as I followed him down the hallway. Deep breath I said to myself and walked into the office. It was then that I realized, there was another man there… Which one was the doctor??
Editor’s Note: To read Queer as me – Part 38: Explanations and hopeful answers, click here. Or click here to read the previous blog post Queer as me – Part 36: Patience rewarded. For the latest LSOP blog posts and so much more, make sure to add us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.