(Make yourself comfortable, this is a long post)
Today was the day. The day I found out that I’m not crazy or making anything up.
My psych appointment went really well. The lady was lovely and laid back and we had a surprising amount in common (we both used to play rugby, she’s in the RAF and I wanted to join the RAF, etc.).
We talked about pretty much every aspect of my life. But it wasn’t the interrogation I’d been expecting based on stories I’ve heard. It was just so easy and she stopped to listen when I went off on a tangent.
We even talked about phalloplasty. Very advanced thoughts for me right now, but it came off a conversation about my wanting to go into prosthetics and her saying I should contact the hospital that dealt with injured servicemen (totally off the topic of the appointment!) because they obviously do prosthetic limbs. And also phalloplasty for those who have been maimed in that part of their anatomy. And that the technology and techniques have improved dramatically since the supply of those unfortunate souls have started coming back with such injuries. I mentioned the episode of Embarrassing Bodies (I swear I’m not obsessed) which featured a man who had been run over as a child in the crotch region and had to have phalloplasty, and that the consultant had said “You have a large forearm, so you can have a large penis,” and the man had seemed very happy about this! I then started staring at my forearm and we laughed about her knowing what I was thinking! Also, we agreed that putting off my plans on extending my tattoos to my forearms until I’m very sure I won’t require the skin in the future was probably a good idea.
It was all so relaxed. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I’m not even mad it was postponed for two weeks!
Originally J was going to come with me but he had to work, so my dad took me instead. He’d already booked the day off just in case. And it was really great. We had a coffee afterwards and talked about it all and I really think he’s trying to understand it all. He’s trying really hard and he’ll make it, but there are obviously a few things he doesn’t quite ‘get’ at the moment, and that’s totally understandable.
So remember how I said I’d ‘come out’ on Facebook after my psych appointment? Well, I did!
I’d already written everything a few days ago and I just created a group and copy and pasted it onto the group.
The response I have gotten has been incredible. I have people from every friendship group I have ‘liking’ my post, or messaging me in other ways.
The best responses have been those which don’t reference it at all, merely rib me for how I wrote the message (I made it light-hearted. I find it hard to be serious). These were people who either already knew, or have known me for many years.
I have been called ‘brave’, that they ‘respect me’, that they’ll try to support me, one said she ‘admired’ me (after telling me I was stuck with her as a friend forever, so the soppiness was counter-balanced!).
I believe the bravery was to do with actually telling them, rather than actually being trans. And in messages everyone has called me Nick and have wished me luck for the future.
Funnily enough, the first message I got through was from the guy I was seeing for a few months two years ago. He said:
*High five!* I hope it makes you happy with yourself! XD
Which was a very nice message to receive!
Even those people in my class from other cultures who I was worried about acceptance have ‘liked’ my message. Which makes me feel a little stupid for ever assuming anything different!
And so here it is. The message I posted on Facebook. It’s a long one, full of disclaimers and pre-emptive explanations. And it reads in the way I talk, but then you regular readers are well aware of my rambling writing style!
You’re probably wondering why I gathered you all here today.
Essentially, it’s to make you aware of something important about me.
“But we already know you’re an awesome human being!” I hear you cry.
While that is correct, the truth could be seen as a little more serious.
The truth, then, is that I am not the girl you’ve come to know and love.
Welcome to my (slightly long) round-about, humour-to-cover-anxiety way of ‘coming out’ as a transgendered male.
I hope not too much, really.
I should have worked this out a long time ago because I’ve felt this way for as long as I can remember. This isn’t a spur of the moment thing.
I’m not sure how much you know about transgendered people, so I’ll give you a quick run down. Physical sex (ie genitals) has nothing to do with gender. Obviously for the vast majority of people, they match. This means that a person who was born a male feels he is a male and is all very happy about it and doesn’t even give it a second thought. ‘Gender dysphoria’ is when this doesn’t line up so well. In my case, I was born and from the outside I looked like I should be female, so that’s what my parents were told and that’s how they tried to raise me. I may have rebelled a bit. Ok, quite a lot. I have told my parents, by the way, and they’re cool with it.
No one is really sure why people can be transgendered. There’s theories that suggest it’s all about problems with hormones as a foetus develops, as the genitalia and the brain develop at different times, with two bursts of hormones. If only one hormone burst happens for whatever reason, the brain and genitalia won’t match. That’s a theory, and there’s a whole spectrum of both variables. But you don’t really need to know why, just that I am. And there’s a lot of us.
Now, I’ve known you all for different lengths of time, and you all know various different parts of my history (which would be great edited together in my future biography) but I’m pretty sure all of you can see where I’m coming from. Because I’m still very much the same person I’ve always been (sorry about that) and I personally don’t see this whole thing affecting us that much friendship-wise.
Now for the changes. I have been ‘living as a man’ for a few months now. Basically, this means I’ve been outwardly living as man, meaning clothes, appearance etc. You probably haven’t noticed. I wasn’t exactly the definition of femininity before. But strangers are reading me as a man so I think I’m doing alright.
What would be awesome of you all would be if you could start thinking of me as a guy, not just that super-cool kid Nicky. I know things are going to take a while to get used to, but using male pronouns when talking to me and about me (because I know you talk about me all the time) would really help me settle into this and feel a lot better. This means using ‘he’, ‘him’ and ‘his’ etc. You’ll slip up, I know, don’t worry. If you get it wrong, just correct yourself and move on. Simples.
To make things that little bit easier for everyone, I’m essentially keeping my name. No one calls me by my full name anyway so it’s no biggy. I’ve been dropping the ‘y’ though because although it gives my name a better rhythm (there’s too many ‘k’s in my name to only have 2 syllables, really), only kids and girls are called ‘Nicky’. But then, half of you call me ‘Nick’ anyway, and I don’t really mind ‘Nicky’, I’ve been called it for the vast majority of my life. So call me whichever. I will eventually change my name, but I’ll still be ‘Nick’ so that won’t even matter really. I’m too lazy to learn a new name.
So to the nitty-gritty. I’m taking steps to physically transition. This is going to take years and, while I hope I still know you all in a few years, some of you I may never see after this summer. Some of you I haven’t seen in a while anyway and again, while I hope I do see you in the future, I may not. This makes it easier for you. You can disregard this message and get on with your life. I won’t even get mad if you call me ‘she’ when you reminisce about our times together to your grandchildren.
As for you people I see all the damn time. I hope you read this and find it in your kind, accepting hearts to take this on board and support me through all this. You don’t even have to do anything except change a few words. Oh, and stop thinking I’m a girl. But that’s it, I swear.
Another reason for this announcement is to give you warning that in the next few days you will receive a friend request from Nick ——-, which will be my new Facebook account. Now, I’m not saying that changing my account makes this ‘official’ or anything dumb like that. It’s just that there are a lot of things on my current Facebook account which I’d rather not be there now. They were great times (probably) but I have weird feelings when looking back through the photos of me.
So, yeah. A long message. Sorry about that. Some of you know already, so sorry again for those of you having to wade through a ramble you’ve already heard. It’s not ideal doing this through Facebook, it seems really tacky, but I’m lame at talking to people and no one sends letters any more. And there’s too many of you and I don’t know your addresses. Who knows anyone’s address these days anyway?
Anyway. I really hope you’ll stick with me and accept my friend request (well, that sounded needy) because you all mean the world to me (urgh, I need to stop now) and I’m obviously going through with this with or without your approval, because your approval is not what I need.
Thanks for sticking around for this essay, I’m going to leave you with a few links if you want any more information. See you on the flip side, as I’ve never said before now.
Comment/message/text/email/fax/semaphore me or ignore me, I’m not fussed.
And I left them with some links which I will share here too, in case you haven’t seen them.
These links were then shared my a friend on his wall, hopefully educating a few more people in the process.
Another good day today!