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.”
Is that man completely off his rocker?