Hi, I’m Andie

OK, that’s not my real name. It’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever reveal my real name on here. As for facial photos, forget it. Why? Well, I’m kind of shy. I have a secret – a really big one – and I don’t want just anyone to know.

for_the_non_binary_folk_by_tonytoggles-d620r4zLots of people know me – some of them quite well. But most of them don’t get to know the secret. You, dear reader, get to know the secret – you just don’t get to know who I am.

I guess that creates a sort of balance, something that’s important in my life in all kinds of ways. More on that later. Only a handful of people know about my alter ego – my girlfriend, a few close friends and a few exes.

So, I’m going to hide behind a pseudonym. I’ll tell you my deepest, darkest desires, my hopes, my dreams, my regrets (I’ve had a few) and my progress. But I won’t reveal my real identity.

Soooooo, I’m a 41-year-old guy from the Midlands, in the UK. I don’t think that gives too much away. I live with my girlfriend and a cat, and I turn 42 next week. Yikes, ooooold!

So what’s the big secret? Weeeeeell…

I’m transgender.

There you go, two little words, yet two little words that mean so much. Two little words that have given me indescribable highs and crushing lows in equal measure over the past three-and-a-bit decades.

Until fairly recently, I’ve satisfied my transgender fix with clothes. I’ve worn lingerie every day since 2006 and girls’ nightwear since 1998. Most of my wardrobe is androgynous, so I wear girls’ jeans, T-shirts, coats, shoes and trainers day in and day out – but only by looking closely would you know. A boot buckle here, a little pink stitching there.

I don’t like the word transvestite and I’ve never been happy with “crossdresser” either. The first word sounds like some kind of parasitic disease and the second conjors up images of fat, hairy men wearing their wife’s stockings and tossing off over Mayfair when she’s out at bingo.

I don’t know if there is a word to accurately define me, apart from the umbrella term of transgender. I’m more than a transvestite/crossdresser but I don’t consider myself to be transsexual either. I’ve never felt like I’m a woman trapped in the wrong body.

More recently, I’ve discovered new terms: non-binary, genderqueer, gender neutral and gender fluid. I guess I fall into one of the non-binary categories as I want to begin HRT but more on that later, too.

I was going to write this first post about going to see my doctor to ask for a referral to Nottingham Gender Identity Clinic, but that will have to wait. I’ve just told my girlfriend that I’ve started a blog. She looked distinctly unimpressed and has now gone to bed, leaving me downstairs, alone, by the fire.

I’ve told her that my gender dysphoria has grown stronger and stronger over the years and she’s terrified about what the future holds. Will I have SRS? Will I end up fancying men? And now will someone we know read this blog? I’ve told her that all are highly unlikely. On the first point, I don’t ever see myself as going full-time as a woman – it’s too much like hard work and I quite like my “bloke” side. I don’t ever see myself fancying guys, simply because I’m not at all attracted to them even slightly now – they’re hairy and they smell! As for being outed by a blog, I just need to be careful what I put on here.

My girlfriend has always been amazingly supportive about my dressing up – and we’ve been together about two and a half years now. I told her about my cross-dressing very early on. But getting the wheels in motion in terms of one day taking estrogen is a whole new ball game. She likes boys, not girls. She’s scared for the future and that makes me scared, too, for us. I love her to bits – but will she still want me two years from now? Even if she does, will she still want me in an intimate way? Part of me feels selfish for thinking about re-sculpting my body, and yet I know that I would be profoundly unhappy if I didn’t.

“What next?” she asks. “What is the next stage after hormones?” I try to assure her that there won’t be a next, but she looks unconvinced. I’d better head upstairs now. More later…

Andie x

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