Gender Clinic Appointment No. 3, name change witness… and a chatty shopping experience

My third Gender Clinic appointment had been postponed from November due to my nurse being sick, and it finally happened on 10th December. I arrived at 2.00 and did not have long to wait this time. We chatted for about an hour and a half about all that I had done (as per what I have documented on previous posts), and she said “Wow, you’ve been busy” – I told her about my Eastbourne trip (and she was impressed with my winning costume), coming out to my parents, my walking group (I showed her a picture of the group, which she said would be useful for my transition assessment) and Xmas meal, coming out at work, and so on. At the end I handed her a photocopy of my Deed Poll form!

The only thing we continue to disagree on is coming out to my daughter (which I am scheduled to do on 2nd January) – she said it would be better leaving it until she was aged 16 (four years away!!!)… but considering the place I am at, all I have done, and where I am going, and how increasingly intolerable life is while forced to cross dress as a man and just how CERTAIN I am that this path is right, that suggestion seems rather pointless and indeed ludicrous. She also thinks I should tell me ex- before my daughter, as she thinks the court could take a dim view if a child access issue arises… even though I have explained how deceitful and manipulative my ex- is, how I need my daughter to hear this news from me and in my own words, and how I will tell my ex- almost the same time as my daughter, literally an hour or two after. I have left it that she will talk to another counsellor about it, and potentially arrange a social services session for me to tell my ex- in advance.

Sometimes she asks questions that she has already asked me before, or others I think to test me. Firstly she said “on the days when you are working, when you have to present as male, presumably when you get home you just stay dressed as a man” and I said “No, as soon as I get home I have to stop cross dressing and shed those dreadful male clothes, so I usually put on whatever I am going to bed in, either a nightie or girlie pyjamas”. As I was leaving she said “Are you going home now?” and I said “Oh no, I am off shopping, will go and get some lunch, do a grocery shop…. (deliberate omission here, see below)… and then meet up with my best friend Kirsty for tea and chat at M&S”. So hopefully I passed that test!

After I left the GIC my first port of call was Forestside shopping centre, I had an amount of time to kill before my next “appointment” and I was in need of refreshment and so a mocha and cappuccino cake filled the gap. Then I headed off shopping. My first port of call was a powder brush, as I had left mine at home, then I went into Oasis and had a browse, eventually buying a selection of girlie socks, including a pair for my daughter – the lady at the checkout was nice, and she complimented me on my jumper-top! That initiated a nice bit of chat, and I left there happy. I had a browse around New Look, and then in the middle of the shopping centre a chocolate stand caught my eye – I had a casualHoldens chocs 2 wander around and then moved closer to the selection of hand-made chocs on display (see right for a selection of their goodies) and the friendly guy offered help and he started telling me the different flavours. I asked him to pause, checked my purse to see how much cash I had, so as to not waste his time, and then he went through them and put 12 chocs in a little box; I said it was nice to find something a bit more up-market for a special treat, and then we got in a lengthy discussion about where he gets his ingredients from, the pricing pressures, all kinds of things, and that started me off about how my company is going the Indian-outsourcing route for some of its IT… and eventually I had to tail off because a couple of new prospective customers arrived. I went in a couple more stores, including Molton Brown with its ridiculously priced bathing/soap products and a snotty-nosed assistant to match, then drove a short distance to a Tesco supermarket for a grocery shop – that was all fine and normal, and at the check out was a lady who has served me before and she was really nice, she said “how are you today?” and a lovely conversation ensued.

My next “appointment” was with laser-lady Lynda, not to get my face blasted for once but for her to witness my deed poll form signing. I arrived about 10 minutes early, and so went to a nearby shopping centre to go to the loo – of course, I could have just gone to the loo at Lynda’s office, but where is the challenge in that? The shopping centre was quite busy… but no bother. It was lovely to see Lynda and, once the signing was done, we chatted for the best part of an hour, and she said that with me there properly made up and fully-presenting as Andrea I looked so happy… and she complimented me on my make-up again. I waited while she packed her things away, as I know she does not really like to leave the office on her own in the dark, also she has a dog that cannot walk down stairs, and so as usual I helped her carry her things out to her car. After a bit more chat we hugged goodbye, with best wishes.

Then it was on to meet my BF Kirsty at 9.00 for supper – we went to M&S Sprucefield cafe and, as usual, the time out with her was great. We had some nice toasted sandwiches and chat, and then did a few minutes of independent (i.e. separate) browsing and a loo stop before meeting at the entrance to see rain heavily pouring from the sky… so it was time to test the hood of my new coat and do some girlie trotting to the car before I got totally drenched.

The final venue of the day was my local support group and, as it was a Christmassy-type evening with cake (and also dinners for those who do not venture out, which I had to skip for that very nature… because I DO venture out, as much as possible) there was a good turn out. There was someone there who presents as ‘Sue’ I think it was (have never met her before), and a guy called James (I think I have got this right, have met so many people this year and am terrible with names), the discussion eventually came round to me and my journey, and my imminent coming out to my daughter, and as I brought them up to speed they both provided good advice and James in particular asked some very pertinent questions.

So, a pretty full day… and a successful one too in every respect.

Thank you for reading.


P.S. Have eaten a couple of those chocs while writing this – oh, yummeeeeeeee!

My Deed Poll Arrived!

This will probably be my shortest post ever on my blog… but I had to put an entry in because, today, I received my deed poll to change my name to Andrea Denise (surname) which is officially dated tomorrow! So, I just need to get it witness-signed (person lined up, time to be arranged with her), then return it and get legal copies done and sent to me… and then I can start informing everyone who I really am! It was GREAT to read it and see my new name in writing, with clauses indicating that I renounce my male name AND my ‘Mr’ title in favour of ‘Miss’. I was SO excited to receive this in the post!

I was also happy to today receive my latest parcel from Wallis, which is addressed to Miss Andrea…

This morning I met my lady in personnel and gave her some information on websites and organisations to contact about employers and transsexual employees, including (which has great employment guides), TENI (Ireland), and SAIL/Transgender NI. We had quite a nice chat about her trip to New York, and all the clothes shopping she did.

Wednesday just gone I had my typical evening out, though longer than usual as I left earlier from work and so had time to do a good supermarket shop (as I could not get out as Andrea at the weekend), then go to Boots and the loo in Sprucefield shopping centre before having coffee and supper with Kirsty at Costa where we had a good chat until getting thrown out once they were closing. We then went to my support group, where there is a new girl there… and it was quite fun for the two of us to give her some basic being-a-woman lessons – she wanted her photo taken, and her arms and legs were totally wrong. But we have all been there to some extent, so it’s good to help.

What’s in a name? Well… I Just Changed Mine!

Well, hot on the heels of yesterday’s post I just HAVE to do another one… because another milestone has been reached.

So, my news of today? Well, early-ish this morning I logged onto the UK Deed Poll website and put my name change through. It is really easy, just enter current and desired names, choose the legal-copies option (as these are required to send out to all organisations who need to know about the name change), and pay! So, I am now semi-officially Andrea Denise! I say semi-, because of course I need the paper-work with a witness signature on it, but it is officially in progress anyway.

This milestone made me rather tearful, just more joy of course – it’s only a name… but the change is SO significant, it is an official representation of who I really am. So, 30th November 2014, I am officially ME.