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Transition Diary

I just write about being myself, and the unnecessary hassle it brings me.

A Month Later

Hey, I’ve been gone for a month.

Since the last post, life has changed a little.

My parents haven’t magically changed their minds about me unfortunately, but I have made small steps in my transition without them noticing.

For example, my close friends now refer to me as he/him and use the permanent name I picked out. I feel like I can finally be myself around them. I can sense walls that had previously stood tall and strong crumbling, and it honestly felt liberating.

One of my friends also bought me a binder, which was amazing. When I first put it on I teared up with happiness, and I’m not a crying type. I’ve had it less than a week but it has honestly boosted my confidence so much. I’m still trying to figure out how to wash it. I realised today that I don’t know what detergent looks like. Hanging it up to dry is also an issue as my parents don’t know about it, so I can’t leave it in the open. My mum left the house recently and my dad and brother were out all day so I could hang it up in the shower, but I think this is a one-off situation. I’ll find a way around it I’m sure.

There’s lots of stressful things happening right now. Obviously I’ve got to deal with my parents, but I’ve also recently had lots of GCSE coursework and mock exam preparation dumped on me. I can’t wait until it’s all over.

As much as things didn’t go very well a month ago, I’m already working towards recovery. I can’t afford to let anyone bring me down, I’ve got to be resilient. Thank you for the kind messages you sent in response to my last post, I’m glad there are people in this world who support me.

-Elliot

Reaction

Sorry I’ve not written for a while. My parents didn’t react too well.

I spent Friday night roaming the streets (my mum only received the letter Friday afternoon). I was cold and I was lonely and I was upset. But as a wise man once said, every cloud has a silver lining.

I realised that I have some of the best friends in the entire world. Two people in particular probably saved my life these past few days. Between ‘you’re mentally ill’s and ‘I never want to see you again’s, I heard ‘I love you’ and ‘I’ll be here no matter what’.

Many trans people have yet to come out, and to those who will experience what I am experiencing, I have one thing to say:

All you need is hope.

A life without hope is hardly a life at all. Sometimes, all you’ve got to your name is hope. Keep going, keep resilient, and keep hopeful.

My best wishes to anyone coming out.

Stay positive and have a great day.

P.S Thank you to everyone who’s commented supportive messages. Your support genuinely helps me, I’m eternally grateful.

The Letter I’m Giving to My Mother

Dear Mum,

I’m writing this to come out as transgender.

I wanted to tell you this before other family members because you said that you accept transgender people a few months ago. I’m already ‘out’ to a few of my close friends, and others I spend a lot of time with, who I’m not related to.

I don’t want to make it a big deal, but at the same time I want to tell you how I knew, when I knew, what I want to do about it, etc.

I always had a bit of a feeling that I was different, even all the way back in y3. I was always a ‘tomboy’. I was friends with boys, which a lot of the girls refused to do at that age. But mainly, I hated ‘girly’ things. I hated anything that made me be perceived as a girl. Whether that was dresses, or she/her pronouns, I simply hated it.

When puberty hit, everything got a lot worse for me. I started feeling disconnected with my body. I no longer saw it as mine. That’s when I really realised that I wasn’t meant to be in this body. This all happened late y6/early y7. Early y8 was when I first heard of being transgender, and when I did, something just snapped in my head. It was like I’d found the missing puzzle piece. That was when I knew I was transgender formally.

It has taken me years to pluck up the courage to tell you.  I was scared that you’d hate me, that you’d dismiss me, that it’d ruin our relationship. In all honesty, I still am scared. But I can’t hide it anymore. Hiding from everyone began to have really bad effects on my mental health, and I couldn’t explain to anyone why I was so sad and anxious for fear they’d tell everyone else.

That’s why I needed to tell you, and that’s why I want to go to the GP and get referred to Tavistock Leeds (a place that helps transgender kids under the age of 18). They teach kids how to deal with any transphobia/hate they experience, and work with parents as well, all in order to make the child happier. I want to be the most authentic version of myself, the happiest version of myself. And I want you to stay in my life and be a part of my transition, especially helping out with picking a new name from a shortlist I’ve made.

No matter what happens, I’ll always be me, your child. You are not losing me; you are simply seeing who I am meant to be. Who I am in my heart won’t change.

I love you to the moon and back xx

I’m giving it to her tomorrow. Wish me luck.

2017

The new year just passed, and thus the ‘new year, new me’ statements flooded social media. The phrase has been used so much that, at this point, it’s meaningless.

When I read these posts, about people transforming, I wonder what they mean by ‘new me’. Do they want to lose a little weight? Dump that partner who never shows up on time for dates? Improve their grades? Who knows.

I don’t believe in ‘new year, new me’; I never have. I always saw it as ‘new year, improved version of me’, because the person in our heart won’t change because we lost a few pounds, nor will it if suddenly we become an A* student. Ultimately, if you’re kind at heart, nothing will change that, and if you’re mean at heart, nothing will change that.

All this being said, however, I fully encourage improvement. We can all improve ourselves. It’s more a matter of are we tough enough to make that change. This year, I know I am. I hope you are too.

Here’s to a successful 2017.

Stay positive and have a great day! 🙂

Learning to Pass

With my transition seemingly moving at a quick pace, I decided today to go shopping with one of my male friends who I’m out to. The aim was to make me ‘pass’.

For those who don’t know, passing is when a trans person is seen as their gender. For example, me, a ftm, would pass if I appeared male. A mtf person would pass if they appeared female.

Tips on how to pass are everywhere on the internet. A quick google search gives you thousands of results. However, I have learnt that they don’t always work. Passing is completely unique to the individual.

Long, baggy shirts are often advised against, as are partings in the hair. However, I have both of these and I think I look quite masculine in the outfit I’m wearing. Admittedly, there are some tips that are 100% right, such as chunky boots to make your feet appear bigger (I know your pain, small footed people, I’m a women’s size 4). I plan on ordering Timberlands soon, but they’re super expensive so you might want to find some fake versions, I’m sure there will be some just as good. Another one is short hair. I looked 10x more masculine when I cut my hair short.

I don’t own a chest binder. They are only available online and I don’t have a credit card to buy one with. This is why I love baggy flannel shirts. If you adjust you’re posture slightly and don’t wear a bra, provided you have relatively small breasts, a baggy shirt can almost completely hide them.

Another thing that I bought today that doesn’t help me pass but is great for dypshoria, is men’s underwear. Wearing boxers makes me feel so much more confident, which leads me to my next point.

If you’re confident, if you walk and talk like you’re the gender you wish to be, if you appear completely  convinced, then other people will assume you’re that gender too. Exude unapologetic confidence, even if at first it isn’t real.

Stay positive, and have a great day. 🙂

The Art of Being Normal

This isn’t what I usually write, but I felt I needed to write this as I’ve just spent the last few hours reading this book.

I am personally not a book person. I used to read a lot, but I reached my teen years and everything seemed to get in the way of reading. Unfortunately, after a while I simply lost the skill to imagine a situation whilst reading. This book is the first book I’ve managed to read and enjoy in years.

I think one of the main reasons that I could keep up with this book is one of the characters, Leo. (THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS NEXT BIT) Leo is a guy who blocks himself off from other people in fear that they’ll find out his big secret, he’s a transguy. He moves to a new school where no one knows he’s trans, and keeps his head low for a while, until he hears another student being bullied. He then punches the bully, despite the consequences of a month of detention, threat of expulsion, and having to put up with his therapist telling him off for it. From this, he makes friends with the guy, or should I say girl, he stood up for, and they become very close when the victim (David/Kate) admits to Leo that she, too, is trans. Leo tries to have a relationship, but it ends when he tells the girl he’s trans, as she wants to ‘get intimate’. Basically, Leo is me, but further on in his transition.

This is the first book I’ve ever read that even mentions being transgender, let alone having the two main characters actually be trans. It makes me so happy to see that someone took the initiative to speak up publicly and try to make being transgender a less taboo subject. Hopefully, when people read this book they realise that trans people are people too, and some of the issues trans people face.

Thank you, Lisa Williamson.

I really suggest you read this book, whether you be trans yourself, you know a trans person, or you’re cis with no connections. Everyone should read this book.

Stay positive, and have a great day! 🙂

Coming Out to Friends

So I decided to come out to my friends a few days ago.

It wasn’t particularly special, I didn’t have some special song or deep, heart-felt 2000 word essay on being transgender. I just sent a short text consisting of the words:

‘Hi (insert friend’s name), I just wanted to tell you that I’m transgender. You don’t have to change my name yet, as I haven’t decided on one, but please expect it in the near future. Thank you, and I hope you accept me’

Short, but sweet.

This method of not making a big deal of it seemed to work, as I haven’t got a negative response so far (although I’ll admit I avoided telling one or two people who I knew wouldn’t be too happy about it). I didn’t go into detail about my childhood, nor the effect on my mental health unless I was specifically asked about it.

Most responses I got were just expressing love and support for me (one friend said “I’ll love you male or female”, which made me super emotional). However, there was one person who asked a few questions. I shall tell you, so you can prepare if you are planning on coming out soon.

  1. “Wait, so what gender are you?” It may seem like a stupid question, but be patient, as it’s probably extremely confusing for them. Imagine the first time you realised that you didn’t want your body to be the way it is. That’s what the person is experiencing. Answer the question politely and respectfully, it increases the chances of them respecting you.
  2. “What triggered you to tell me?” This one can get very awkward if you don’t want to go in-depth about your personal life. For me, I was okay with admitting the damaging effects being in the closet had on my mental health, but if you aren’t, I’d recommend just saying that you want an honest and open friendship with them and didn’t want to keep secrets anymore.
  3. “Have you told your parents?” The answer to this one is pretty obvious. Just tell the truth, but you might also want to add whether or not you want your parents to find out just yet.
  4. “But you dated/are dating (insert boy’s name)” I am a straight guy. I have dated boys. The way I explain this is simply by telling them the truth, that I wanted to fit in better with the girls. It may make you seem like a shitty person, but your friend will probably understand. If you’re gay, just be honest.
  5. “But you don’t like (insert trans person’s name)” This one is very specific, but there is a trans guy in my school who I have often had arguments with. This lead a lot of people to assume I’m transphobic. When coming out, I had to explain that I don’t like the guy because of his behaviour, not his gender. It hurt me that people thought I was transphobic, but I kept my cool and explained myself. Let your friend know that you don’t have to be friends with someone just because they’re trans too.

The overall message of this post is, when coming out, honesty is the best policy. Sometimes it’s not the nicest thing to say, but the truth is important to build trust, and trust is important in a supportive friendship.

I feel a lot better knowing that I have support and a place to be myself, and it has definitely boosted my confidence in coming out to my parents. Coming out is so important to happiness, and if your situation allows it, I really recommend telling friends that you’re LGBT+.

PLEASE ASSESS YOUR SITUATION BEFORE COMING OUT. IF YOU FEAR THAT IT MIGHT BE DANGEROUS, CONTACT SUPPORT GROUPS/CHARITIES/MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS/SOCIAL WORKER/TEACHER ETC. AND DON’T COME OUT UNTIL YOU HAVE A SAFE PLACE TO GO.

UK Trans Organisation Directory – https://www.gires.org.uk/the-wiki

UK FTM Info – https://ukftm.tumblr.com/

US Trans Organisation Directory – http://www.tgnow.com/support-groups.htm

As always, stay positive and have a great day! 🙂

My Hair: Part Two

First of all, sorry I haven’t posted for a bit, I’ve been celebrating Christmas with my family and didn’t have chance to write. Secondly, I hope all of you who celebrate Christmas had a great time, and if you don’t I hope you enjoyed all the good telly that comes with Christmas. Thirdly, I cut my hair.

When I wrote my last post rambling about how excited I was to get my hair cut, I was expecting to wait a month or so before it happened. Turns out, I had to wait only a matter of days. As I mentioned in my last post, my uncle, a hairdresser, came round for Christmas. I was planning on just talking to him about the hair cut, but he said he’d do it whilst he was here.

Now, remember when you read this, that I am not out to my family. Therefore, the general consensus between family members was short, but still feminine. And thus, and don’t take this as me being ungrateful because I still appreciate this, I ended up still looking extremely girlish. The issue was how long the hair was at the front side bit of my head. I looked more like Frankie or Freddie or whatever her name is out of The Saturdays. But it was a start.

All the family members went home today, so I did what I felt I had to do to look more masculine. I picked up some shitty, left-handed scissors I had put in my pocket by accident from school, and I began chopping. I’ll be the first to admit that my hair is scruffy. I’m not left-handed, so I struggled even cutting bits off my  hair. When I did manage to get some off, it was messy as the scissors were very blunt. I also could not see the back of my head, so I assume that it looks like a bomb site. But I did it. My hair is messy, but it is masculine. It looks as if someone pulled 90s Leonardo DiCaprio’s hair and tore parts out. But it’s manly, and it’s mine.

The lesson of this story is that your first masculine haircut might go very wrong. It might look horribly feminine to the point where you change it, it might not suit you, it might be uncomfortable, but remember, it’s a step in the right direction.

As always, stay positive and have a great day!

My Hair: Part One

I’ve always had long hair. Admittedly it was longer some years than others, but it’s always been long. The shortest I can remember it is shoulder length. I cut it shoulder length August this year to try and ease people into me without hair a foot and a bit long, in hopes that I could then have a masculine hairstyle.

That was only four months ago, yet it feels like decades to me. I’ve been waiting, plucking up the courage to ask my mum (my official hair cut minister) to cut it short once and for all.

And yesterday, I did.

I feel slightly foolish now, but I disguised it as a ‘new year, new me’ action, to avoid unwanted questions. I then stared at my phone (I’d texted my mum the request) for about ten painstakingly slow minutes, waiting for the response.

Hallelujah, she said yes. It’s not even happened yet, but it’s  keeping me hopeful and, with this to look forward to, the patience to put up with the inevitable repeated use of my birth name at Christmas.

My uncle is a very talented, very successful, and very knowledgeable hairdresser. He’s also super accepting. He’s coming over for Christmas, and is arriving tomorrow. My mum says I should tell him what I want and he will help tell me how to style it, although he won’t be doing the hair cut itself as he lives in London and we don’t want to hassle him during his break.

I’ll most likely write a part two of this post either after I’ve talked to my uncle and fully decided what sort of style I want, or after I’ve cut it. I’ll definitely write when I’ve had it done, whether it be a part two or a part three.

I most likely will not write for a week or so, as I like to write at midnight or shortly after, just before I go to sleep, but due to family coming over as I’ve already mentioned, I shall be sleeping in my parent’s room, so no laptop.

But until next time, stay positive and have a great day!

P.S – the woman in the photo is Brittenelle Frederick. I’m hoping to show her hair to my mum, as it won’t be suspicious if the style is on a girl. I know, I’d be a great undercover spy.

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