In my last post I wrote about how fear - and particularly my fear of not having any money - had dictated the path my life had lead.
It's interesting to reflect on that as I sit here now having gone through - what seems to me - a seismic change in the direction I'm travelling.
Last week I was on holiday in Oxfordshire. The weather was lovely, and I was enjoying getting out and about and leaving my worries behind. But one morning I forgot to take my hormones and I didn't realise until I was a long way from the cottage we were staying at. Not to worry - one day wouldn't matter and I'd resume where I left off the next morning.
Then I went to buy ice creams for John and I and the ice cream man called me "Sweet heart".
Now to some trans people being able to "pass" (i.e. accepted to be the gender as that which they're presenting) so completely as I just had would be empowering. It would, after all, have achieved one of their goals. But to me it was alienating and, although I'd regularly had this niggle in the back of my mind, suddenly it became a disturbing roar and I couldn't take it any more. As far as I was concerned, I was creating a deception I didn't actually want to create.
So what to do now? Well, the next morning I thought about taking the hormones as usual but, realised, it was causing changes in me I no longer wanted. I didn't want the body of a female.
Now I'd been here before - as I blogged about at the time - and I'd taken hormones again the very next day. But this time I had the certainty that I no longer wanted to take hormones and the will power to stop. And I've not taken a hormone since.
So now I'm left with a problem that I haven't completely sorted out yet. How do I, someone who is trans, who felt manhood alienating, and wants to be perceived as feminine achieve that without being perceived as a woman?
Well, the answer that appeals at the moment is that - when I feel alienated from both the male and female genders - is to stop allowing my issues with gender to disadvantage me. For, if neither gender really suits, then gender becomes an irrelevance and I can play with gender to my advantage.
Don't get me mistaken - I never want to wear another item of male clothing or present myself as masculine ever again - but what's to stop me from presenting myself as an ultra feminine male?
For this I look to two of my heroes, Quentin Crisp and Boy George. I admire neither for their personality - both are quite loathesome in many ways - but I do admire them for their audacity to present themselves as they are/were - ultra feminine males.
I feel that is where the true expression of my gender identity lies. Some might describe it as "androgyny" but "androgyny" is a term - to my ears - that carries a weight of feebleness about it. I don't believe for one second that I am feeble. I feel empowered because now I feel I have the strength to express myself in exactly the right way... despite the fact that doing so may very well worsen my employability even more than it already was.
Now, to end this political party broadcast, I will relay an answer I thought of in answer to the question, "Are you a man or a woman?" which is, "I am intelligent."
"I am intelligent enough not to answer that question.".