Gender Clinic Appointment No. 2… and retail therapy

Tuesday 14th October was the date of my second gender clinic appointment in Belfast… though that turned out not to be exactly the best part of the day.

I spent an amount of the morning getting clothes out in advance of Andrea’s next trip, and responding to numerous work emails on my iPhone too, but I was eventually out of the house at 12.40pm; it took the usual 90 minutes to get ready but I was very happy with my appearance, I wore a lovely floaty top and a trouser suit which would be perfect for work.

My first stop was Banbridge to drop off a carrier bag full of stuff to the charity shop that I normally go to; as usual it was nearly all male clothes that I wanted to get rid off, including the work shirt from Thursday just gone where I had my severe DISMAY moment. As usual, I handed the bag over and asked if they could empty if for me so that I could take it away and bring another bag-full another time – the two ladies serving were quite old and not that talkative. I said I would look at the books while I waited and when the lady came out with the bag the other one said to her “the lady’s over there”. Yes! Another ‘ladied’ moment. Then I asked them about bringing toys and they said they couldn’t take them as they weren’t insured, and then another customer who overheard me told me all about another place that took them and gave me directions… and then we all got into a right chat about how quickly children grow out of toys, my daughter wants to sell all hers on eBay and she said the same, one of the old ladies then said she gave away one thing to a neighbour and there was uproar, etc. I eventually left, I thanked the customer for her info and she said “You’re more than welcome” with a big smile… so I really enjoyed that.

Then I drove to Sprucefield, about 20 miles away, and went into a large M&S. Firstly I went into the ladies loo, then had a browse, then went into the cafe and had my lunch; an assortment of people served me, one woman on the till, a really nice girl who heated up a sandwich for me, and a young lad who made me a lovely mocha, I asked him for an extra spoon to eat my yoghurt and he said “there you go love” when he handed it over, and I thanked him. Left there feeling good.

I drove to the gender clinic and, after going to the loo, sat in the waiting room and, well, waited. And waited. And waited. People went in and out, there was a guy constantly popping his head around the door to see who was there. I read some women’s magazines, in one there was an article about a woman who fell in love with a guy who soon came out and admitted she was transsexual, and transitioned with her full support, it was so moving. Eventually I went to reception just to check was all okay, and my counsellor Jane was sent an email; eventually, over 40 minutes after my appointment time she let me in, and she caught up with me as to how things have been over the last month. I told her about my little holiday, coming out to my brother, the other counsellor, etc. and about 40 minutes later I was back into the waiting room to wait again. And wait. And nearly another 40 minutes later I was let into another room occupied by a lady doctor and Jane. They talked about a variety of things, including name change, what I wanted from the clinic, timelines, and my daughter. They don’t think I should be setting timelines,.. but I just HAVE to, I just can’t keep on de-Andrea-ing, it is just heart-breaking having to kick myself off a cliff every time I have to pack Andrea’s exterior away. So by this time next year I intend to have come out to everyone AND be full-time.

At 5.40 I was let out, and drove to see my friend Andrea D, where we had some pizza and a good catch-up chat. An hour and a half later, I drove home, stopping at Sprucefield again to go into Boots for some foundation… except that they were out of my shade. NIGHTMARE! I am running really low, not a good situation to be in as I am about to embark on a holiday. So I grumpily went into M&S and bought a dress which I had seen earlier. Then home… and still so happy to see ME in the mirror… wishing tomorrow I could STILL see her. Never mind, coming soon will be my longest time as 100% Andrea ever…

7 thoughts on “Gender Clinic Appointment No. 2… and retail therapy

  1. Patience is a virtue or so they say. It is easy for me to say this, I am not transitioning, but I know in your position I would also be feeling frustrated and wanting to accelerate matters. Your counselor is right in that you should not have a time line for these things. Take matters as they come to you or present themselves. If you set limits and timelines you are only going to become frustrated when matters do not proceed as you feel they should. You have come so far in such a short time. It is truly amazing. Just do not try to rush matters.

    For your foundation try Boots on line with the view to you picking it up at your choice of store (Eastbourne??) They are fast and efficient. I use them very regularly.

    Relax and fully enjoy your 24hr per day Andrea over the coming week.

  2. Andrea I understand the need for timelines. Even for other things unrelated to your transition, if you’re planning to do something look lengthy and complex it needs to be broken down into manageable steps of who / what / when etc. The important thing to remember is that circumstances can change so you need to be able to adapt your plan, timescales and all, to take account of those new circumstances.

    As for your longest time as Andrea ever, well I’m at least as excited as you are since it will also be my longest time as Kirsty ever! Starts tomorrow!

  3. It’s possible that the clinic is discouraging you from timelines because, the NHS being what it is, they may not be confident about what they can actually deliver, or when. But there’s no reason why you can’t have a timeline for making the things happen that only you yourself are in control of, and not dependent on the GIC or anyone else for.

    Here’s to the 24-hour Andrea 🙂

    R x

  4. Thanks Kirsty / Ruth. The thing is, for something SO immense, how can one NOT have some kind of plan in place. I realise it has to be flexible, and over time could change due to circumstances… which could mean I bring my coming out FORWARDS!

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