I get a lot of questions in my personal life from people curious about the transition process. Good natured, usually; this information, whilst not completely inaccesible, is buried pretty deeply, and even people who need to know often find it difficult to get what they need. I know I certainly had a hard time. Of course, nobody ever wakes up and says “Oh hey, I need every piece of information available on the transition process, I think I might be transgendered.” There’s a lengthy period of confusion and self discovery and general mental and societal bullshit to wade through first, and that shit takes some time.
I’ve only just started down this road. I’m by no means an expert. Even still, I’d like to share my experiences here, as they happen. Maybe you’re curious, maybe you’re just looking for something to read. Maybe you just want someone to tell you what to expect.
My first step was working out what is actually involved, because let me tell you, I had no idea what the transition process was like. I spent a good chunk of my life assuming all that happened was a whole lot of surgery, on every part of your body. How was I supposed to know any different? There wasn’t exactly a flyer at the doctors office. It was only after seeking out and learning from transgender people from Twitter, my social media of choice, that I began to learn what the process involves, and I cannot tell you how valuable it was just to have people talking about it. It opened my eyes, and showed me, to some small extent, what to do next.
A little later, I was contacted by a lovely lady on OKCupid who happened to be trans. Whilst we quickly realised we had very little in common, before moving on and forgetting one another I questioned her on what the process was like for her. Just a little, just enough to get me started. She sent me in the right direction.
Armed with the knowledge that what I wanted was HRT (hormone replacement therapy, medicating my body to slowly replace testosterone with estrogen (way oversimplified)) I went to my GP. I wasn’t expecting much, just some information. He gave me jack. Not his fault, it was completely out of his wheelhouse. Never mind, next attempt will be better.
My OKCupid friend gave me the name of the clinic she went through. I tried to find them; no luck. They don’t have website, a listing, anything. I rang the hospital they were attached to; nothing. I breathed in deep, focussed my mind and my chi, and threw myself into Google. I found a website that looked like it came from the ’90s, complete with the word ‘tranny’ in the url. Lovely. But they had the contact details I needed, so I rang the number on the page for the clinic that didn’t exist.
Turns out, the clinic really doesn’t exist. I rang through and they didn’t know what I wanted. Eventually they realised and put me through to a whole separate clinic with a completely different phone number. I rang them, nervous as all fuck at this point. Guess what happened?
They didn’t answer. Apparently they’re only open three days a week, so I had to wait until the next week.
And so do you! Next week is when it gets fun.