Whether it’s beer, music or football, I can’t abide fakery in life. And that extends to being trans as well – I wanna keep it real.
Those who know me will know I have no time for anything artificial in life. I hate anything mass-produced or overly commercial.
Give me a pint of foaming real ale or a hoppy craft beer any day over a glass of piss-poor Carling or John Smith’s. I wanna taste hops and malt, not synthetic chemicals.
Give me a live gig at an intimate venue. I saw Sleeper at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Saturday. I was on the second row and it was bloody fantastic. I pity the people who go and watch shite like Steps and Little Mix in massive arenas where you have to listen to dross a mile away from the stage.
And give me real football. Give me terracing and hot pies from the local butcher and chatting to the players in a non-league clubhouse after the match. You can keep your soulless all-seater stadiums where 22 millionaires ponce about with no passion whatsoever.
Don’t even get me started on fake people – those who say one thing and then do the opposite. I can think of two or three, but that’s a story for another day.
I think society has become obsessed with material things and I believe that, if shallow people are told something’s good, then they will believe it – and buy it. It’s all too easy to accept anything rubbish if you’re told it’s great – and much harder to root out the good stuff. But it’s far more rewarding when you do.
But enough of me on my soapbox. There was a point to this post. I’ve been told by Nottingham gender clinic that, providing my blood tests are OK, I can start HRT in February.
I reckon I’ve been fairly patient since being referred to the clinic by my GP two years and two months ago. But I had hoped to have started HRT by now and I’m getting just a little impatient now.
I absolutely love presenting en femme – and I’ve done so more this year than ever. I plan to do so even more in 2018.
But one thing that really bugs me is the fakery involved in it. Now don’t get me wrong – I believe my gender identity is every bit as valid as that of any cis woman.
But as someone with a male body (for now) you can’t get away from the fact that a fair amount of fakery is involved.
So what do I mean by that? When presenting as female, most of what I do is what any cis woman would also do – so female clothes, makeup, perfume, that kinda thing.
But because the male body lacks those all-important curves, people like me have to improvise. By that I mean corsetry to whittle that waist, padded knix to give you hips and silicone breastforms to give you boobs.
In a year or so, estrogen and testosterone blockers will cause my body fat to redistribute, and every single one of those things will be sorted naturally – no need for any more fakery. The fat redistribution will even make my face more feminine. I can’t wait.
But, for now, all I can do is wait until I get those little blue pills (or injection or patch) and estrogen starts to do its thing.
Another crappy old thing about being a male (biologically) in waiting revolves around hair – sometimes too much of it and sometimes not enough.
So body hair – gross. I’m talking a hairy chest, a hairy back, and that ‘orrible diamond shape in the pubic area, stretching right up to the navel. Fortunately, razors keep all that in check, but I can’t wait for the day when hormones mean I can keep my Gilette Venus Spa Breeze for my legs and bikini line only.
And then there’s head hair. Until age 30 or so, I had really thick, wavy, dark hair, the stuff most women would kill for. Think Nigella! And at some points, I had it long. In my late teens, I could tie it under my chin. I used the excuse that I was into heavy metal at the time – but I really just wanted to be more feminine. I used to dye it copper. I loved my hair.
Then, at some point in my 30s, my hair began to recede. They say you take after your mum’s dad in terms of head hair – and my maternal grandad was as bald as a coot. Cheers, Franko!
So, for the past few years, I’ve done what all good bald “men” do and kept it cropped really short, shaving it right back to the wood every week or so.
But you don’t really see that many women with male pattern baldness, so I decided to do something about it. Yes, you can wear a wig – and I have one or two really nice ones.
But a wig is still fake, isn’t it? I don’t want fake boobs or fake hair – I want the real deal. So I asked my doctor to prescribe Finasteride – the miracle drug that prevents testosterone being converted to DHT, which shrinks the hair folicles and causes baldness.
I began taking it about three months ago and, although I’ve still got a long way to go, I’m already starting to see results.
Here’s a pic from the start on August 5th on the left, and another from November 21st.
I reckon there’s been a little progress. I mean, not loads, but then I read somewhere that Finasteride isn’t supposed to even start working until three to six months after starting. The pic on the right is after less than three months, so not too shabby a start.
I obviously have a loooooong way to go, but I’ve gotta be happy with that start. I’m also thinking about starting Minoxidil, which works hand in hand with Finasteride to really get things growing again.
There can be side effects from Finasteride – everything from breast growth to impotence and loss of libido but I’ve not noticed anything. The only downside is that I can’t give blood while taking the drug. But I won’t be on it forever. Once I start taking T-blockers, I’ll be able to stop taking it as there won’t be the testosterone to convert into DHT in the first place.
Anyway, that’s a bit of an update for you. Boo to fakery and yay to keeping things real.
In other news, life’s pretty good at the moment. I’ve been really “on it” at Slimming World, losing bang on half a stone in the past fortnight; I’ve been out loads, mainly seeing bands (Big Country, The Charlatans, Sleeper, Happy Mondays); and I have a date lined up with a gorgeous nurse who does humanitarian work across the globe for the Red Cross.