Off days

Still tired from yesterday’s events, I was headed to Amsterdam this morning. My fifth appointment with my gender therapist. I was still falling over with sleep when we left home.

Since it’s customary procedure to invite a close relative to come and give their view on the “possible gender dysphoria” of their loved one, my daughter came with me. I wanted her to be the one to talk to my gender therapist, because when I came out to her, she wasn’t the least surprised. She just said, “Doh. I’ve known that for ages.” So I figured if any of my close relatives should talk to my gender therapist, it should be her. And so she did.

She was great. And she told my gender therapist things about me that I had never noticed – but I recognised them as true the moment she spoke of them. That girl sure is observant. Far more observant than I ever knew.

I was different from other mums, she said. It was in so many little things. The way I dressed, how much I hated make-up – to the point that I spoke about it as if it was something dirty. (Which to me it really is. A sticky yucky mess on your face. How can people stand to wear it?) How I would change my clothing style every other year or so, but always wear my clothes like a bloke, no matter how feminine the clothes might have been.

She said she always thought woman’s clothes looked funny on me. I was awkward in them, and just didn’t seem to have a clue as to how women dressed. She continued to explain how real women would accentuate their female curves, no matter what they wore. I never did that. (And why would I, seeing that all I wanted was for them to just vanish?)

About my hobbies she said mine were unlike most women’s hobbies. And it wasn’t just my passion for DIY and power tools either. Sure enough I had the dolls house, but it wasn’t a woman’s dolls house as that would have had far more intricate little details and a gazillion knickknacks. She said I was more about construction and everything being solid and able to stand to test of time. She’s certainly not wrong there.

As for the changes when I came out, she said I instantly became a different person. Not the shy and awkward woman I’d been, but a strong and confident man. It was in everything, she said. In the way I walked and the way I talked. The look in my eyes. The way I took initiative and refused to take shit from anyone.

Like I said, that girl spots and remembers every little detail. It’s quite astonishing.

When my therapist had the audacity to suggest I might not need to go on T or have any surgeries, because I already gained so much from simply presenting as a man, I almost bit off his nose. Usually, I have a firm handle on my emotions, but the enormous fatigue took my usual restraint and I snapped at him that if it were up to me, I’d have been on T the day before yesterday rather than tomorrow. Did he think it was at all funny not even to be able to look at yourself in the mirror because you’re disgusted by a body that just isn’t yours? And did he think it such a pleasure to hear yourself talk with a voice high enough to make Minnie Mouse envy you?

But that man can be so annoying! I know it’s his job to play the devil’s advocate, but really it gets to me. Big time.

Did I ever have any off days, he asked my daughter. I just stared at him wondering what the hell he meant by that. Off days? As in days when you’re not feeling too well? Which would be my definition of an “off day” – but somehow I got the feeling that was not what he meant.

“Nope,” said my daughter, and I realised he was talking about days where I took leave of my senses and presented as a woman for cripes’ sakes!

“Why would I want to do that?” I blurted out.

“Well,” he said, “that’s for you to answer.”

“Not of course,” I retorted, too angry to keep my voice down. “All my life I’ve been in drag, and it’s been enough. I don’t ever want to go there again. Not ever. It’s my turn now, and I’m going to be myself for the rest of my life.”

Off days.

Is that man completely off his rocker?

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21 Responses to Off days

  1. PlainT says:

    Wow. As if an adult needs to prove his gender identity to a gender therapist. I can’t imagine how much more distressing this would be without your daughter there.

    Maybe if you can’t talk to this therapist and feel respected, then you can at least get what you need out of him (hormones and whatnot), and just be on your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kris says:

    Not going back, ever. Drab (dressed as a boy) always. Man today, man tomorrow. Yourself. Period. Fight on, Liam.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. georgiakevin says:

    I very much enjoyed reading your post (we are going different directions) but there is such a warmth about your writing that i know that we could be the best of friends. Please write more. Your daughter seems like a wonderful and delightful young lady!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What an amazing daughter!! So awesome to have that level of awareness and support!!! And no frickin way are you off your rocker!!! Your therapist sounds like a complete ass!!! So sorry that you have top go thru all these hoops. So not ok!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. My daughter is the best!
      As for my therapist… he’s not too bad really, but he sure has a knack for making assheaded remarks. I know it’s his job. He has to make sure it’s really gender dysphoria and not a rare psychosis or something like that. He needs to question the validity of my claim that I am transgender. That’s how it works in my country. They want to minimise the risk of people transitioning and then regretting their transition for the rest of their lives. I get that.
      But I still don’t like it. I don’t think I have to like it either. I know I’m not crazy. I know this has been with me for as long as I can remember. And I hate having to convince others that my gender dysphoria is genuine.

      Like

      • Seems like while doing his job of ascertaining ur genuineness he could be more compassionate. There are many ways to tell someone’s honesty without playing devils advocate. But I grew up with a brother who was and still is a Devils advocate and it is something I am particularly sensitive to. Here’s hoping informed consent makes it your way soon.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. woops you asked if he was off his rocker not if you were!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tea With Ess says:

    He’s bonkers!
    I know how the system works, it’s pretty much the same here. It’s easy to apologize for the systems rudeness since “they only want what’s best for you in the long run” but the longer I wait and the more I feel that everything is just so right when I acknowledge that I am a man, the more I feel that the system is crap. Why wouldn’t I be perfectly able to make decisions for myself? I think that the counseling shouldn’t be about wether you have dysphoria or not, but maybe to find out if you have anything else that make you not to make these kind of decisions for yourself. I like the idea of not rushing into things, but the pace is very different for different people and I’m not rushing into anything, it took me over 30 years to make these decisions!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so agree, Fredrik. The system sucks. It is wrong that we first have to prove who we are before we get the medical treatment we need. I fucking well know who I am, and I know precisely what I do want, and what I don’t want. There’s just one thing I’m unsure of right now (bottom surgery), and I won’t make any decisions about that until I am 100% sure. It’s that simple.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. rimonim says:

    I’m sorry to hear you have to go through this gatekeeping bs to get treatment. It sounds like you’re moving through the process step by step. How awesome that you have such an observant and supportive daughter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, mate. I feel like I’m proceeding at a snail’s pace – and a slow one at that. I keep wondering if there’s anything I could do to speed up the process, but apart from buying T at the black market (which I don’t want to do as it’s both risky and illegal) I don’t think there’s anything I can do to that effect. I just have to keep my head high and tell myself all will work out in the end.

      Like

  8. Cairtheand says:

    Wow, the audacity of suggesting that you shouldn´t go on T. I admire your restraint and I really hope that the man won´t say the same thing to me. I don´t know what I´ll do if he does. This does help though, it´s good to get a sense of the guy beforehand, be a little prepared.

    I think I´m just going to write up some boundaries. Might be an extreme measure, but it´s an extreme situation, one where I am the vulnerable one and he gets to pick me apart because he studied to be a shrink.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

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