It’s been a month since my last post. Thank you to all that read it and to the people who added comments. Avril made a very valid comment about weight gain which I had overlooked so I’m grateful to her for bringing this forward.
Life has gotten in the way of my writing time so I’ll start with an apology for the delay. The title of this post is inspired by a combination of recent events in my life and the upcoming onslaught of Christmas movies that we are about to endure/enjoy. One such movie that is traditionally scheduled for the festive season is the Clint Eastwood classic, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I thought this would be a nice way to update you on all the things that life has thrown at me in the last month. So, as you may already have worked out, there has been good news, bad news, and bloody downright ugly news. These are the realities of transition, not the fluffy bullshit that you read about in the daily Mail. I have never lied to my readers, and I never will.
In the last month I have made some decisions which I think will benefit the course of my transition in the long term. These decisions are by no means the right or wrong way to go about transitioning but I’m hoping they will work out for me. I haven’t done any electrolysis for about 4 months mainly due to the costs of moving and also because my friend is no longer practicing so I need to find a new practitioner. Similarly, I haven’t had any laser on my jungle forestation also known as the Carlos Van Dango chest wig that adorns my frontal torso area. Regular shaving to reduce dysphoria over the years has created a robust layering of darkest brown fur removable only with a four-wheel drive razor or Napalm. Don’t get me wrong, HRT has helped to reduce the thickness of the hair and also the density but regular shaving of your breasts is an experience only the most unfortunate of Eastern European gypsy women should have to endure.
Several of my friends who have had their GRS (Gender Reassignment Surgery) have noted that HRT treatment is far more effective post-surgery when the body is producing female levels of testosterone so for this reason I have decided to put hair removal on hold and concentrate on clearing my debts and getting my finances back on track instead.
My second goal is to crack the mystical art of makeup. My dear friend Gail Spooner makes it look easier than stirring soup but this is down to her experience and incredible skill. When she makes up my face I feel like I can take on the world exuding confidence like confetti at a Royal wedding (on topic joke). When I do my own makeup I’m not only lacking in knowledge and talent but the outcome always makes me feel like I have no confidence and I’m very self-conscious. The empowerment that makeup provides is incredible. Sure we could argue over the politics of this and why women in society are seen to be more credible when they are made up and dressed well but the fact remains that this is the world we live in good or bad. Coco Chanel once said, “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman”. The bottom line from a personal view is I just feel better about myself when I look nice.
Other recent events have also been very positive. Gail Spooner organised a makeup tutorial evening for the trans women in the Milton Keynes area last week. Myself, Laura and Emma who are all her friends helped to make it a great evening. Laura took stills, and generally sorted stuff out in true facilities manager mode while Emma played to her strengths as video director and executive producer. My job was very easy, sit in the chair and keep still. I’m very good at this. You’ve probably guessed that I was the model for the evening. I decided to remove my wig for a couple of reasons, firstly it was easier for Gail to apply the makeup, secondly everyone could see the effect easier and thirdly I remember how good Mrs potato head looked when I had finished with her as a child. Jokes aside I am starting to come to terms with the fact that my hair will probably never grow back and I don’t want to rely on wigs for the rest of my life so learning to be brave and go hairless is a huge challenge for me but one I am ready to take on.
This week I attended a meeting with Q: Alliance, a local LGBT charity here in Milton Keynes. I have been asked to consider becoming a trustee and that is something I’d very much like to be involved with. I still have to be voted in so it isn’t set in stone yet but it was just really nice to be asked to be involved. If you would like to know more about the work that Q: Alliance does then head to the links section of the blog and have a look at their webpage. You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.
As with all things in life there is balance. For all the good things that are going on there are some things that haunt me from time to time. I have lived with depression and gender dysphoria since I was in my early teens and have turned to anti-depressants for much of that time to hide from the truth about my gender and all the other problems that life throws at us generally. I have been feeling lower and lower lately and my physical health also takes a nose dive when I am feeling this way. Living alone and having no-one to turn to for a hug and a kiss is hard. We give up so much to be our true selves; the very lucky ones have either remained in stable relationships with their partners or have found new partners since transitioning. For many of us transition is a very lonely place. I am the kind of person who is fine when I’m busy or around people but once the front door shuts on my little flat, as lovely as it is, that is when I feel at my lowest.
I have had a lot of knocks in my life, most of them since I started transitioning. I’ve lost two of my best friends who couldn’t accept me as a woman. I have a difficult relationship with my daughter due to my situation and I have a brother who hasn’t spoken to me since I began my journey.
Recently my sister and I had a row over the phone. It got pretty heated and I admit I lost my temper. I’m not proud of it but my sister wasn’t blameless either. Since then I have reached out to her in a text but heard nothing so I don’t really know what the situation is at this moment in time.
This argument has obviously been the source of discussion between my sister and my oldest brother. I bumped into him as I was leaving the warden assisted home where my mum lives on Sunday. In the middle of the foyer he says “I want a word”, and without going through the dialogue proceeded to rant about how I am totally in the wrong with my sister and so on. I asked him not to point his finger in my face and at this point he stood toe to toe with me, staring at me with what I can only describe as hate and venom in his eyes. It was at this point that he said something I never thought I’d hear a member of my family say to me. He pointed to my genitals and said “while you’ve still got them things as far as I’m concerned, you are still a man and I have no problem hitting you”. He followed this up with “if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and sounds like a duck, then it’s a duck as far as I’m concerned”.
I was literally stunned. This is the same brother who 2 years ago when I came out said he may not understand, but I was still his brother and he would support me. It has seriously affected me and I’m still processing it if I’m being really honest. One thing I do know, there is no going back from that. It can’t be unsaid. In the heat of temper his words spilled out as if he’d been bottling them up for a long time. His prejudice and his values are more important to him than the wellbeing of his sibling, whether he sees me as a brother or a sister. I suspect that I won’t see him again unless by unhappy coincidence. We have nothing more to say to each other and I have no energy or desire to try to educate him on his lack of understanding.
So as you can see the last month has been an eventful one. Thankfully the positives outweigh the negatives on paper at least. I am struggling with depression at the moment and having vowed never to go back to taking medication for it I am surrounding myself with friends who accept me and love me as my true self, Amy. I have so many wonderful friends, and ending this post on a positive note, I have learned a valuable lesson. Family is more than just blood. My friends are my family, they love me unconditionally, are there to support me and do not judge me even when I get it wrong. For this, and so much more, I love each and every one of them.
Thanks for reading.
Amy Kate xx.