Somewhere over the Rainbow…

… skies are blue.
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

I know there are going to be thousands of posts on blogs and forums from trans people saying that the start of 2016 is going to herald wonderful things for them in their transitions.

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Ruby slippers and pale blue socks – so pretty!

Good for them. For me, I had a hat-trick of brilliant trans news on December 31, which meant that it was the best New Year’s Eve ever.

I usually don’t like New Year’s Eve. I think it’s a lot of fuss over a number, I never know the words to Auld Lang Syne and, like a lot of people I know, it just gets me down. We’re saying hello to the start of another year, but no-one knows whether it will be a great one – or an annus horribilis.

I worry about the future enough – I worry about everything enough – without thinking of the next 365 (366 in this case) days ahead.

Anyway, this year was to be rather different. I’d planned to go to the local pub with my girlfriend. I don’t want to put her real name on here, just as I don’t want to put my own on. But from now on, I’ll call her Georgie – it’s a name I used for her when we first started dating.

We were to be joined by two of our friends – a couple. I’ve known the chap since high school and his good lady plenty of years. They’re both wonderful.

There was a fancy dress theme and, as usual when there is, I go in girl mode. This year was to be Dorothy, of Wizard of Oz fame. I’d ordered my costume off eBay a few days earlier but, due to the Christmas rush and me leaving my purchases rather late, I’d still not got my Dorothy dress or plaits on December 30. And I could hardly go in just a pair of ruby slippers with pale blue ankle socks, could I?

Anyway, New Year’s Eve arrived and I had four items through the post. Two were letters, one was the dress and the other was the plaits. Hurrah! Cinders, you shall go to the ball!

So, this was to be the first goal of my NYE hat-trick – simply being able to dress up, wear makeup and beautiful shoes and head out. Bliss!

The second was one of the letters – confirming my referral from my GP to the Nottingham Centre for Gender Dysphoria, formerly Nottingham Gender Identity Clinic or Nottingham GIC.

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My handmade Dorothy dress

I was actually referred back in September and, despite being told by my GP and later by calling the clinic on the phone that I’d receive a letter, I never had one. I pinged off an email around Christmas and the clinic then confirmed a letter had been sent out in September – but I never received it, so heaven knows where that ended up. It’s not the kind of letter you want lost in the post.

Anyway, on New Year’s Eve, I received a copy of that letter. It’s pretty unremarkable in its content, but it made me feel good that I’d got it in my hands and that the wheels were in motion and everything was official.

It also referred to me by my first name rather than calling me “Mr *******” as with the letter from the hospital (see previous post) so that was progress.

The letter stated that the wait for the first appointment was 10 to 12 months, although this was written in September. I asked about the waiting list in my email and was told this was now “in excess of a year”. *Sobs*

The waiting is awful. I’m a very impatient person all round, so waiting a year – and then another six months before there’s any chance of estrogen, really is terrible. I did do a little Googling for so-called “bridging hormones” – low doses said to be prescribed by GPs to transgender people to tide them over during the months and sometimes years before they get the real deal from their GIC.

But all I found were lots of posts from people saying their GP had refused their requests, so it appears to be a non-starter. If anyone knows different, please leave a comment.

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My trusty Playtex corselette – I love vintage lingerie and corsetry

So, 2-0 up and it was still morning. My hat-trick would come later. I spent the afternoon getting ready, shaving my legs and body, and then my face, using new razors.

My Dorothy dress was gorgeous and handmade, but really snug, so I decided to wear an old Playtex 18-Hour corselette, which sucked me in well.

On top of that went the dress, plus a new pair of Pretty Polly gloss tights, my pale blue socks and ruby slippers – sparkly, glittery ballet-style shoes. Georgie tied some gingham ribbons into my plaits and then I was ready, bar the makeup.

Georgie did this for me, too. She’d bought me some new makeup and brushes for Christmas, used some of her own (Clinique) and some of my old stuff, plus a red lipstick another dear friend gave me for Christmas.

Georgie was a treasure and gave me oodles of makeup tips. I had foundation, concealer, powder, various eyeshadows, mascara, eyeliner, brow pencil, lippy, blusher and highlighter.

I was really pleased with the results – I loved them. Just a shame that the wig wasn’t the greatest, so I’d never have passed. I’d also love to learn the secrets of makeup for transwomen, so must make that a resolution for 2016.

She was dressed as a farmer and looked gorgeous – a beautiful tomboy look with a flat cap, checked shirt and braces. She really did look stunning – easily in the top five of Georgie Looking Beautiful occasions.

And so off we set to the pub. There were a few looks when we entered, but people said they thought I looked good, which felt lovely. I just repeated lines from the film if anyone looked at me. One woman said something along the lines of: “You look far too good in gingham!” Bless her!

And it was a great night, with lots of beers, good food, dancing and even karaoke (I sang Time Warp – obvs – with Georgie, along with Suede’s Animal Nitrate with my pal and then When You’re Gone by Bryan Adams and Mel C with Georgie again).

I felt so happy. I always do when I go out en femme, which isn’t that often, being a non-binary bod. I feel a rush of joy, a celebration of femininity and always, always freedom and liberation. Being a girl is brilliant!

So I felt happy and, with plenty of Dutch courage inside, decided to tell my friend. He’s the same age as me and I’ve known him for over three decades. I’ve told plenty of friends before – but always female ones, never another man.

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My phone contains dozens of photos like this. Loved my sparkly red nails, shoes and lips!

I knew he’d probably be OK with it, but I wanted to make sure, so I spent 30 years fannying about and dropping massive hints. So I said I had something to tell him, and then told him: “I’m transgender.”

The very same two words I uttered to my GP in September. I was far less nervous – and far more drunk – this time. I said some other stuff but I have no idea what and he just said it was all hunky dory. The conversation was then cut short as Georgie and I were called back on to the dance floor for more karaoke.

We didn’t really speak about it again after that – it was just too LOUD for such a conversation, but he spoke to Georgie briefly outside and said some lovely things about everything being fine and dandy – and that he’d always be my best mate no matter what.

And now I’m welling up.

OK, he and his good lady stopped over that night and I thanked him for being so fab the next morning – we definitely need to have a night out, just the two of us – to put some meat on the bones.

So there you go. Hat-trick completed and I got to take the ball home. I’d like to say I clicked my heels three times to get home, but we got a lift.

2015 – “The Year of Trans”, I keep reading, thanks to the Parliament inquiry, The Danish Girl, Caitlyn Jenner, Transparent, etc, etc.

It was certainly a fantastic year for me in terms of my trans self (DVT aside) and I hope 2016 will be even better, though it won’t be until 2017 when I (hopefully!) get prescribed estrogen.

I shall end as I started, with a few more lyrics from Judy Garland.

Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can’t I?

Andie x

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