What Leads to Transition? part 1

People come to the realisation that they are transgender at  varying ages, from  under 5 to well into middle age. People don't always act on that realisation at the time or try to rationalise or justify it away.

for many years the view was that people must have profound Physical Dysphoria (usually focused on the genital area)  to be a 'transsexual' and until maybe 15 years ago that was the narrative, that  if you were aware of it, you understood  the nature of being  trans the whole ' born  in the wrong body  trope' ...

Currently however  that understanding is not held in a great deal of esteem by  clinicians  working in the field  of Gender Medicine. to some extent for  cost/ coding / payment  by  results reasons  clinicians  are tied to the definition of 'transsexualism' in the ICD 10

Gender identity disorders

F64.0Transsexualism
A desire to live and be accepted as a member of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by a sense of discomfort with, or inappropriateness of, one's anatomic sex, and a wish to have surgery and hormonal treatment to make one's body as congruent as possible with one's preferred sex.

  ICD-10 F64

Where that  discomfort or sense of inappropriateness is not  physically   focused, or the physical  focus  is  not intense it can lead to many  years of 'something is wrong'  and  tens, hundreds or even thousands of 'missed clues'

I never had those moments  that we saw Maxine  have in Butterfly,



  I never self harmed as  a child, I never directly said 'this is all wrong, i'm a girl'... but equally I was never sure of 'i'm a boy' and of course the survival instinct kicks in... 

You can play things over and over in your head, looking for the missed clues,   the repression and masking, the learned behaviours ... 


What happened happened, what didn't happen didn't happen ...

If i were a 10 , 11  or 12 year old now would I come out as trans? I don't know, probably I would  ... maybe  Maxine's  Story in Butterfly or seeing Jackie Green's interview on Really Jackie's interview ...

Would I have come out when I was 10 /11/12 in the late 1980s? I don't know?  would I have been taken seriously...? after all I didn't cut myself, I never overdosed, but I was never happy and content in the body I had, I knew it was something wrong but couldn't quite put my finger on it... I wished it wasn't hairy, I wished I had breasts so on and so on ...  so I repressed it I put on an act ... a growth spurt took me from one of the shortest in the class to up there  in the middle of the height of the boys and one of the taller against the girls ... 

My mum wouldn't be saying this - Transgender: a mother’s story ... and remember Jackie is 15? years younger than I am.

but does that mean I wasn't trans  then? No it does not, I've been told by my  family and friends  there were so many clues  that were not really thought too much of at the time... I was that somewhat effeminate, small, delicate  child easily upset, stressed and  upset by rough and tumble, completely disinterested in ball games...

I built up a mask ...  still pretty poor effort ... labelled  'gay' at school  -  but  how can i be gay? I fancy girls ...  (the answer is obvious now ...  how can I be gay and fancy girls ... durr  I'm a lesbian) excluded , bullied  never really found my place  or my  tribe ...  I in fact didn't find my 'tribe' until August 2017 ...

School rolled round into sixth form (and a change of schools  due to the bullying i was still getting  -  and that was out of the frying pan into the fire - because i was still the effeminate  strange creature  far happier  talking musical theatre and the like with girls  rather than  football, rugby  and beer  with the  boys)

So i got some  reasonable A levels  and   wanting to carry on what  had become a bit of a family tradition - my paternal Grandfather  an engineer's toolmaker,  one of my paternal uncles a coachbuilder  and my own Dad  a professional Engineer - I went off to Newcastle University to Study  Marine Technology  i had an interesting  year and bit there, fell out with the degree level maths, but  did some self discovery, few more pieces of the jigsaw collected... removing body hair,   buying  and  wearing female coded  clothing  in private... the pink dog  of dysphoria was there, but the mask was still there and  the black dog of depression visited me  because of my struggles with work ...  So i ended up withdrawing from that degree and returning home.

Continued in part 2

 


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