Tuesday 26th May was the highlight of this week – it was a day full of appointments relating to my transition, with a very positive outcome from the final one.
The first appointment was with my daughter’s counsellor, and its objective was to bring me up-to-date with how the counselling is going and to see how I can be brought into the process. Apparently at her first appointment her attitude was that she couldn’t cope with the new-me, whereas in her latest appointment it appears that she is prepared to try and progress things. Her counsellor is very nice – I gave her a history of my condition, to which she was very sympathetic – and we discussed various issues, such as what my daughter should call me (because I’m afraid that ‘dad’ is not an option with it’s male connotation), how I could enter the process, and a draft of a letter that would be sent to her with some input from me.
The second appointment, nearly an hour’s drive away, was with my speech therapist at City Hospital in Belfast. It was a lengthy visit, with quite an amount of re-cap and repetition of exercises, we talked about my goals for the sessions and then she taught me another technique for voice-improvement, around breathing, this time with focus on how I might attain more volume with my new voice. At my previous appointment a trainee had been present and I was given her feedback…. which was that my voice is ‘somewhat feminine’ and that my image was very good; so that made me quite happy.
I got to my third appointment after another drive, this one was my latest at my Gender Clinic and this time, as well as seeing my usual therapist, it was with the GIC head consultant in Northern Ireland, Mr Richard Ingram, who I thought was very nice. He discussed my progress and how things have gone coming-out (and was well impressed with my dear dad’s acceptance), went through the process and results of taking HRT as well as the risks, and how to minimise them… and then completed a consent form, which I signed, for me to be put forward for HRT medication! Yippee!! And the best news of all, that meant that that day was Day 1 of my Real Life Experience (RLE), of which a year is required before consideration for gender reassignment surgery. He left me with my therapist and we discussed a few more things before I headed home; I had thought about shopping on the way, but after all those appointments I was just too tired.
Wednesday I managed to leave work early… and was determined to do so so that I could meet my good friends and tell them my news. I went to Tesco in Newry for a few things, primarily for my forthcoming little holiday (I know, another one already), and had a nice chat with the checkout girl. Then I drove to Sprucefield and popped into Boots for makeup supplies where I had a couple of nice interactions – firstly I asked one of the beauty assistants for some highlighter for my cheeks, who was very nice and helpful, and then the woman who served me at the till was really nice too. After saying ‘Hi’ she said ‘I was just talking about you’, which I thought was highly odd… until the conversation revealed that Kirsty had just been in there for her own makeup; as I left she said ‘It was really good to see you’, which was nice. I met Kirsty and Michelle outside M&S and we went to the café where I first had a very tasty toasted sandwich, and then a hot chocolate… accompanied by a small piece of cake that I shared with Michelle. We had a nice catch-up, and I gave them my RLE news; there was also an amount of cycling chat, as Kirsty is fast becoming a keen cyclist as Michelle already is – I think I am gonna have to buy myself a bike!!!
The rest of the week at work was just, well, normal, but with some nice chat with the ladies in my office, including an amount of clothes-chat with Nuala, and with Liesa, in particular about her last-minute surprise weekend to Prague – how romantic!
And that post brings me and my blog up-to-date – lots been going on recently, mostly good… and that is how life feels.