My name is Claire and this journal is the result of people asking me to write down my thoughts and “share my gift”. (I kid you not!)
What is about to be revealed is my life from February 2012 until the current date. Whether it’s a good read or not only you can judge and that involves you reading what I have written. So read on, dear reader, read on...
As already stated, my name is Claire and I identify as “a pre-everything transsexual” since I have yet to take a single hormone or place myself under the knife for any kind of gender altering surgery. I have an active social life and am a volunteer for The Salvation Army. At this moment of writing I am also unemployed but hope that will change soon.
I came out as transgendered to friends and family in 2009, around the same time as I first went to my GP about getting counselling for my gender identity worries... and they very much were worries at the time! To the extent that I could not concentrate at work and used to come home in tears! The only way I have been able to come to terms with my gender identity is by transitioning, which I did in August 2010.
It was by far the best decision I’ve made (next to “marrying” my husband) and I’ve lived full-time as Claire since then. Since transitioning I’ve changed my name by deed poll and got all my documents, debit/credit cards, driving licence, etc changed over to the name of Claire - apart from my passport. The reason why I haven’t bothered to change my passport over is because I hate flying and my husband is too ill to travel anyway and thus I see changing it as an unnecessary expense.
But transitioning was not an easy decision to make since I believed if I came out as trans and started living the life I dreamed of living, I would find myself facing a mob carrying pitchforks and blazing torches. To date that mob has not materialised. In fact, in the two years since I started going out as Claire, I am aware of only two incidents where I have been the victim of direct transphobia - but fortunately neither were the kind of thing that would prevent me from living the life I feel I deserve.
To help me through the tough times, I am blessed with many good friends and a loving family and husband.
Unlike others who have the dilemma whether or when to tell their significant other that they are trans, I was fortunate that my husband knew I was trans before we even started dating (and a long time before I transitioned!). To date, we have had ten years of happiness together – five years of which as a “married” couple. My husband is without question the best thing in my life but, perversely, that is a big reason why transitioning has been difficult for me. I love him deeply and the last thing I want to do is to cause him hurt or pain but I know that he did not enter into our relationship wanting me to be his “wife”. So I find it very difficult to tell him how I’m feeling because I fear it will upset him and our relationship will end. To date, however, our relationship has proved incredibly resilient and our desire to be together is as strong as ever – if not stronger.
I first told my parents and siblings I was trans around 7 years ago. They weren’t much bothered at the time and no difficulties materialised until I decided to transition. I fully understand why as it can not be easy for your son to become your daughter or your brother to become your sister! But it was also not easy on my part to have my father call me “it” because he couldn’t decide which gender pronoun to use or to have my brother tell me that I wasn’t to be “Aunty” Claire. Thankfully, honesty and love has enabled us to reach amicable solutions to these difficulties and, as with my husband, I believe our relationships to be stronger than ever.
The third section of my support network is my friends. The majority of them stem from the support groups I participate in. Knowing and socialising with people who have similar gender identity issues as myself has been incredibly beneficial to me. It’s helped me realise that I am not a “freak”, that it is possible to be trans AND successful, and that, above all, I’m allowed to have the same successes and failures as any other human. It has also been beneficial to me by providing me with the information to navigate my way through the NHS and where to get specialised treatments such as facial hair removal. The most enjoyable bit though is the fun we have! Humour is never in short supply at the support groups, so they always manage to re-enthuse me and carry me through the tough times. I also hope that I’ve been able to return some of my friends’ kindness when they have faced difficulties. It is the nature of true friendship after all to give as well as to receive.
So, anyway, I think that gives you a brief introduction to myself and, if you like what you read, be sure to look out for the next instalment.
Until then, adieu!