New Year’s Eve – ’tis the day to post memes containing words of wisdom about hope and happiness in the 12 months ahead on social media, to get drunk with loved ones and then to do that silly crossed-arms thing at midnight and sing a song no-one knows the lyrics to (apart from those in the title, obvs).
I’ve spent pretty much the past week in bed full of flu (yes, Soupy, it’s my turn to be poorly). I rarely get ill, so, when I do, it’s normally pretty bad. But today I’m feeling loads better now, ta for asking, and the past few days have given me chance to work on this new website.
I’m not the most technical person in the world, and figuring out how to move over all the words and pictures from andiepasdedeux.wordpress.com to my own domain has been challenging to say the least, and there’s still loads more I want to do. But I wanted to get it up in time for the new year, and technical glitches permitting, here it is. Hurrah!
It would be really easy to look back at 2017 as a year of negatives, but I’m not going to do that. I’ve decided that the TERFs and other transphobes can just carry on without me. I’ve stood up to them time and time again. And while there have been some victories, such as getting their Twitter accounts taken down, I know I’m not going to change their opinions. If you’re a bigot, you’re a bigot. It’s sad, but get on with it. I’ll leave the hate battle to those with far thicker skins than me. I’d rather live my life without all the abuse and surround myself with positive people, ta.
So, this new website has a marvellous little gizmo which means that anyone who leaves transphobic comments – or those who have done so in the past – is blocked from all leaving any more comments. Anything that is sent by these people will be deleted unread automatically. Hurrah! It’s nice to be nice, people. BE NICE – it’s not a fucking rocket-science concept!
Anyway, time to look at the positives from 2017. First, it was a year for coming out. I came out as trans to loads more friends at the start of the year and was accepted by everyone. Then I told my sister and parents, who have been really supportive despite one or two (understandable) concerns. And then, in August, I came out to the world on Facebook. So pretty bloody massive steps for someone who likes to take baby ones!
Relationship-wise, Georgie and I looked at getting back together, went for counselling and, despite it not working out, we remained firm friends. Annie and got together, fell in love, got engaged and then split up within the space of about five minutes. It wasn’t meant to be, but you live and learn, and I still have some wonderful memories of our time together. I wish her well for 2018.
And then, back in May, I finally had my first gender clinic appointment, after the best part of two years on the waiting list. It was really tough and got me to re-evaluate a few things, but the next two appointments were far easier, ending with a green light to begin HRT at the last one. Bring on February!
June was fab. Although I’m on a bit of a ballet hiatus at present, I got to dance with the Birmingham Royal Ballet in their studios – then, shortly after, I went on my first hen night en femme, something I’ve long wanted to do. Then more big steps, including legally changing my name to Andie by Deed Poll and freezing sperm with the NHS, just in case I ever change my mind and decide I do want kids.
The autumn has been spent developing a regime to bring back my head hair and just doing loads of writing. I’m working on a book called You Don’t Know Me which follows my trans journey from age six to the day I start HRT. I then plan to write another book a few years later about transitioning, from that day forth.
It’s been really fulfilling looking back at being trans during childhood. I basically have a series of snapshot memories – such as the first time I tried on a dress, being told off by mum when in the bath for pulling back my bits between my legs to make “down there” look the same as my sister, and just being fascinated by tomboy George in the Famous Five novels. I still don’t understand why it’s OK for girls to present and act “as boys” but not vice versa.
Away from trans matters, I was up for a regional award in September for my writing. I didn’t win but it was a fantastic night and just great to be honoured at a glitzy ceremony. My old cat died this year, which was heartbreaking, but I now have two kittens, who are just adorable. And I’ve become really close again to my old pal Bob. We met at school in 1985 and became firm friends until the mid-1990s before our paths went separate ways and we just sort of drifted apart. Now we’re firm buddies once again, and it’s been lovely to meet his new partner, too. Both have been incredibly supportive over “the trans thing”!
And now I’m feeling physically healthier, as this flu buggers off, I feel loads happier about the future, too. As I said earlier, I should be starting my HRT in late February, so long as my blood tests are all OK. But even if they’re not, steps can be taken to correct any issues with medication (eg warfarin if there’s a DVT risk), so I’m not at all concerned.
I still believe I’m non-binary, and I still believe I’ll end up as a transwoman, given time. But I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to “go full-time” overnight as many transwomen do. I’ll just keep on evolving as I have (mentally) for the past few years at my own pace, taking baby steps. The time will come, when my breasts develop, that I won’t be able to present as an androgynous “man” anymore. Fine, I’ll just present as an androgynous woman, and then continue to grow into my new skin at my own pace. If anyone has a problem with that, it’s their problem, not mine.
I’m not going to lie and say I’m not scared about transitioning – everyone who’s ever done it in the past has that fear – it’s only human. But I’m 100% convinced it’s the right thing to do, I’m really excited and I believe I will feel far happier at the end of it.
My friends have been my rocks for the past year or so, since coming out, and I know they will continue to be there for me, however I present. I’ve also made some amazing trans friends on Twitter, and am organising a trip to Brighton with some of them. That will be amazing, to meet trans girls at different stages, some who are still firmly in the closet, some who transitioned years ago and some who are in between. Can’t wait for that next year.
In terms of new year’s resolutions and making changes, well I guess transitioning is a pretty massive change in itself. Other than that, I just want to be happy and avoid negativity, because all negativity does is bring me down. I went for lunch with a pal just before Christmas and she warned me about my run-ins with the TERFs:
Don’t prod the bear – and don’t touch the flames and then complain when you get burnt.
Good advice, I reckon. Other than that, the usual resolution I have every year about losing weight. It really would be nice to get to my Slimming World target one day! Not easy at this time of year when one of your business associates is a wine merchant who literally pays you in £300 of wine every Christmas!
Anyway, I have to get my gladrags sorted, cos it’s time to paint this little town RED tonight! I hope you all have a fantastic night and, more importantly, a wonderful 2018, filled with peace and love.
OK, all together now, “Ner-ner, ner-ner, ner-ner, ner-ner, ner-ner, ner-Auld Lang Syne!”