Monday, 20 January 2014


In December, I started called the Charing Cross gender clinic repeatedly every day, as often as I could. At first I went out of the office, but after a while I started dialling and redialling from my desk. You know how when a phone isn't answered and isn't answered, after a while you sort of forget it might be answered? It became routine to hit redial and half-listen to the rings while I carried on working. This went on for a couple of weeks.

On 20th December, my last day at the office for 2013, the phone was finally answered. Turned out they had received my confirmation paperwork at the beginning of August, after my referral, and they had received my name change paperwork at the end of October. I wasn't hassling, I said, because I knew how busy they must be, but I just wanted to make sure I was in the system. When might I expect to hear about an appointment? If they'd had my referral before April, she said, they would probably get to me in January. If later, they wouldn't look at it until at least March. 

Lucky it was my last day at work! I'd been putting in mad hours so I felt justified in having a complete meltdown and leaving work at 2:30. I spent the afternoon having tea, biscuits and comfort sex with a dear friend, then went home to regroup. 

I spent Christmas with my family - nearly two glorious weeks with no jobs and no commitments, just games and food and jigsaw puzzles and wine and cuddles with my boy on the sofa. And when the offices started reopening in January, I booked an appointment at Transhealth

It's on Wednesday at 14:30. I'm anticipating it intensely - I always know exactly how far away it is - but I'm not sure whether with excitement or fear. Probably both. Since the initial GP consultation my feelings about the whole deal have been oscillating wildly, and that's taken a certain toll on my general health and wellbeing - not to mention the health and wellbeing of those closest to me, who have to deal with my angst all the damn time.

I don't know what's going to happen. I am very frightened - for no good reason - that I won't get what I want. I feel like it's a test I have to pass, but I don't know how to. 

Anyway, I am thinking of blogging my progress, assuming there is any, partly as a way of getting back into this blog, sadly neglected as it has been, and partly as another personal resource for anyone else scouring the net for information. You never know what's going to be helpful or reassuring, or what tiny insignificant detail will be the very thing that some other soul is searching for.

Having said that, I have been pretty flaky lately, so maybe don't hold your breath. But wish me luck for Wednesday.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

I see you

Queers and weirdos can spot me a mile away and for some I’m a safe space to gush about a secret girlfriend or the good old “I see you, you see me” homo head nod.  The speakeasy undertones of my queer existence are so badass, I love the code-switching and the acknowledgment of my existence from others like me.
An article popped up the other day and this bit jumped out at me. It's a great article - nuanced and perceptive and far-reaching - and there's a lot of it that I can relate to. Words for clothes aren't always foolproof, so I don't know if leggings are the same thing as skinny jeans (they could be jeggings, which I think are slightly different?), but I definitely get the point. Figure-hugging bottoms, whether they be skinny jeans or jeggings or 'yoga pants' or (good lord) meggings, can be a minefield to navigate gender presentation in. Luckily for me, I live in a city where people of all genders and sexualities wear the stupid things, and that's probably why it wasn't a huge deal for me when I bought my first ever pair last summer. I loved them (I have two more pairs now) although that much figure-hugging took some getting used to. Angsty little queer that I am, I can make a big deal out of anything, particularly clothing, so you know skinnies can't be that much of an issue if my main takeaway is "super comfy, great for drawing attention to amazing shoes and colour-pop socks, and I can get away with wearing them at work".

(Who ever thought I'd care about socks and how they go with my outfit? Amazing.)

Anyway. My point (I don't really have one) is the quote above. ""I see you, you see me" homo head nod." Now, I'm not a homo, but that head nod? I am all about that. Luckily for me (again) I live in a city that's full to the brim of queers of various stripes, and god, sometimes I live for that head nod. There's zero queerness in my new industry, but out and about at lunchtime and in the evenings, we're everywhere. Yesterday I shared a bench outside a coffee shop with one of them, and although we didn't even really look at each other, and not a word was said, that fleeting moment as our eyes met when I got up to go was unmistakeable.

You know that moment of fizzing connection you feel when you flirt with a stranger? Not flirting like witty repartee and flipping your hair, but flirting like an extra moment of eye contact or a slight smile across a room? Recognition. A secret, sparkling pulse of promise. It's like that, but quieter. Comfortable, and comforting. Recognition - allyship. I got you.

I love being a safe space for the secret-girlfriend-gushing, or the "so, how do you know you're ... ?" tentative push for understanding, but what I love most of all is the quiet camaraderie of the homo head nod. I got you. We're here.