So, so much has changed in the past week, since my first gender clinic appointment. As well as telling more male friends about me, I’ve been to dinner at a busy restaurant “en femme” and re-evaluated where I’m going with all of this. I’ve evolved. A lot.
So in my last post, I wrote that the consultant at the gender clinic didn’t seem that thrilled with my non-binary status. At the time, it seemed like I was being pushed into a trans woman box.
I explained to her that I was still happy presenting as male, and gave her the example about football, saying I wouldn’t want to go down the pub on a Saturday afternoon presenting as female.
She then pointed out I’d have breasts – and asked what I’d say if anyone asked about them. I said they’d probably be tiny anyway and that I’d probably bind them, or wear a sports bra to flatten them.
She didn’t seem impressed with this idea at all – and she went on to say that it would be “highly unusual” to prescribe someone like me (someone who’d want to present as both male and female) with HRT. She told me to really think about what I wanted before my next appointment in August.
So I’ve thought of little else these past few days – and I’ve made a ton of progress. I still identify as non-binary but whereas I used to think I was 70% to 80% at the female end of the scale, I now think I’m probably more like 90%.
I’ve realised that, if I want the gender clinic to prescribe estrogen, I need to just live my life to the full – and stop worrying about what people might think.
So the chaps at the pub – none of these are really close friends or anything. I’m just gonna tell them I’m transgender. Same with people I know at the football ground. What’s the worst that could happen?
Yeah, I know it won’t be easy – some of these are proper “men’s men” and will have trouble getting their head around what I’m doing. But as Annie keeps telling me: the people who matter don’t mind and the people who mind don’t matter.
So, one day soon, I’ll be coming out. I’ll probably put some kind of statement on Facebook, update my profile photo and update the spelling of my name. I think 99% of my friends on there will be fully supportive. The other 1% can unfriend me if they wish.
Before I do that – and change my name by Deed Poll, I need to tell my parents. I’ve written them a letter telling them what I’m about to do, but that’s a tale for another blog post.
I just hope all this doesn’t affect my work – and that clients I work with won’t have a problem. There are loads of LGBT people in my field of work, though, so I don’t expect too many issues there.
It’s just the chaps at the football and the pub where it will be tough. But I keep telling myself that these aren’t close friends anyway, so if they have a problem, it’s their problem, not mine.
So once I’d decided on that, I started to feel a lot more positive about my transgender clinic appointments – and a lot happier.
On Sunday, I went up to Sheffield with three of my male friends – chaps I usually go to a beer festival with in the winter. I said by email I had something to tell them – and pointed out the new spelling of my name.
After a few beers for Dutch courage, I told them. Well, I asked them to guess actually. The guesses included “You’ve found God?”, “You’re gay?” and suchlike before one of the chaps got to “You’re transgender?”
And as with my other friends, they accepted the news and had no problem with me being trans. I said I might look a bit different when I next saw them and showed them photos on my phone.
Unlike women I’ve told, they didn’t think the news was “Oh my God, Andie! That’s AMAZING! I’m sooooo happy for yooooooou!”
But they were cool. In fact, one of them even came out to me as bisexual. I can’t really remember what words were said – we’d all had quite a few beers by this point – but it was all supportive. Hugs all round.
So that was that, and I travelled home on the train feeling very happy. The next day, Monday, I’d arranged to go for dinner with my friend Annie.
As I’ve said in previous posts, Annie and I have become firm friends in a very short space of time. I love her to pieces and it feels like I’ve known her all my life.
I can’t remember whether it was my idea or hers, but we decided to meet for dinner – and that I was going to go as Andie (although she said she didn’t want to put any pressure on me and that I should only do that if I felt ready).
I was ready. And I don’t mean androgynous boyfriend jeans and a plain T-shirt – I mean the works!
I booked a table at a gorgeous Italian restaurant near where I live – it’s somewhere I’ve eaten in bloke mode quite a few times.
I thought that, as it was a Monday and we’d booked the table late, the place would be virtually empty. Ha ha…
Anyway, Annie arrived at my house at about 8pm – half an hour before we were due to eat – and we cracked open a bottle of prosecco. Amazingly, I didn’t feel nervous at all.
She looked lovely – she always looks lovely – and I really noticed her makeup, seeing with new eyes the different products and techniques she’d used.
My makeup I’d done earlier with the help of another YouTube tutorial. It’s simpler than the other one I’ve used but the results as just as good, if not better. I really liked my makeup.
Clothes-wise, I was wearing a crisp white La Redoute blouse with a black women’s tie, a gorgeous knee-length black skirt from Miss Selfridge, 10 denier black tights and three-inch black heels. So a really nice, smart, chic and classic look.
After a couple of glasses of bubbles, we were ready to head out. I opened the door, walked out with Danni and then saw one of my neighbours literally a few feet away. Aaaargh!
Now this is a lady who I’d not met until recently. She’s a bit of a hippy but really cool. She said a few days ago that she was having a new start in life and had changed her name, to Sky.
I replied that I was also having a new start and was changing my name, too. I said I’d tell her why over a beer another day.
But there she was, right in front of me, so I just told her there and then that I was trans, hence the name change. She was cool about the whole thing and said I looked very nice. Bless her!
I reckon people are more openminded than I previously gave them credit for. Pretty much everyone I’ve told that I’m trans has been really supportive.
Anyway, Annie and I walked up the hill and through town to the restaurant. There were a few people about but it was pretty quiet. Good, thinks I.
Then we arrived at the restaurant, and it was absolutely rammed! There were only two free tables – the one we’d reserved and another table for two.
I’d booked the table in Annie’s name, so she announced who we were to the waiting staff, and then we were invited in.
At this point, I was really bloody scared! I felt so vulnerable and very, very “trans”! There were dozens of people in there, and I was bracing myself for stares and elbow nudges and mutterings.
We were shown to our table and I sat down with Annie, who could sense my nerves and just told me that everything was going to be OK and not to worry.
And do you know what? Everything was OK – and I needn’t have worried. We were sitting by a wall, so I could see all the other diners spread out in front of me.
I got a few glances, but only the sort of glances anyone would get if they’d just walked in and sat down. Nobody gave a monkey’s.
There was one woman who gave me a couple of lingering looks – but she was one half of one of those couples who have ran out of conversation years ago and just sit there looking round at other people all night. Quite sad really.
People didn’t know I was trans. They thought I was just a regular girl out for dinner with one of my girlfriends. I’d made a real effort with my makeup, my clothes and my wig, and I guess it paid off. This is the tutorial I used:
And then I relaxed and felt epic. We were served by a waiter and a waitress (is that PC?!) both of whom have served me on my previous visits in bloke mode. Now they might have suspected I was trans because obviously I had to order food, so they heard my voice.
But if they did suspect, they didn’t show it all. They are both great waiting staff and got a nice tip at the end.
Once I’d relaxed, we had a beautiful evening. Annie’s one of those girls I can talk to until the cows come home. So chatty, so clever and so much fun. She’s awesome!
We ate scallops, pasta and lamb, and we drank a stunning Chianti. And nobody stared. Nobody nudged their partner. Nobody said anything hurtful.
One by one, the other diners left and then we were the last ones in there. Before we left, I went to the loo. And for once, I didn’t feel like I was being naughty by using the ladies’. There was no-one else in there but, even had there been, I’d have been OK with that.
Annie and I walked home and then sat on my sofa, chatting and drinking wine until about 2am, and listening to music – Simon and Garfunkel, Blur, Pulp and Mundy.
Her mum is getting married in August and Annie says I should go to the wedding (evening do) in a frock. I might just do that – but I don’t want a Pippa Middleton moment with the bride! We’ve also spoken about going on holiday and me spending an entire week presenting as female. I would LOVE that!
And then we headed to bed, both of us sleepy but happy after a wonderful night. My memory’s pretty hazy but I think Annie, looking so cute in a pair of my pyjamas, might have fallen asleep spooning me, all warm and cuddled up.
So there you go! Being brave, part one. Another big step in this amazing, crazy journey of mine. And I couldn’t do any of it without beautiful friends like Annie. Love ya, girl!