This time round it was very positive. I haven't been since February - I kept postponing the appointment due to wurk - but because I'm spending much more time as Elaine I was determined to check in and get a sanity check.
This time I was up front about the idea that I don't see myself transitioning permanently, and that I was happy with developing female characteristics and being able to be female sometimes and male at others. I must have seemed like I'd considered what I was saying, because he went along with it.
He made one comment - there are those among his colleagues who are not comfortable with prescribing hormones to anyone who is not committed to transitioning completely and he would have to justify himself to them. There must be some kind of oversight where he discusses my case with reviewers. This makes sense to me from a quality point of view, but I'm not so keen to be discussed by people I haven't met and can't persuade myself. Especially if they're not so flexible, as fjm
has been saying; doctors who only think in terms of male and female with no in between.
His point of view on the idea is that he's fine with it. His criterion for success is a happy functional patient, and he was looking at a happy patient. I'm obviously not messed up and confused in what I want - this is in fact true, I want it all and I want it now! - and he was very complimentary to me in how I look and present myself. His first words in the consultation were, "look at you!"; I was wearing a pretty indigo skirt with flower details that I got in the sale at Markies yesterday, and black tights and black top, and I'm getting quite practiced at makeup.
So, there was none of the feeling that I got last time, however faint, of disapproval. I'm in charge of this exercise in finding myself, I've considered the questions that he puts to me and I'm thinking about what happens to me. He's happy to sign off on me going the way I want to go, which is to continue the hormones, and get to a position where I can comfortably be female without losing the facility to be male when I need to be, and vice versa.
That begs the question about surgery. As I explained to him, since I could meet a woman and turn male all of a sudden, I don't see surgically remodelling my genitals as being an option right now. However, we agreed, I could conceivably see a situation where I'm so much more often female than male that I might want go all the way. Time might tell and for right now, the way to go is the way that I've planned.
It had been an idea I'd had in the back of my mind before I started all this, and apparently it's done quite a lot among TS's who can't come out to their families, to get reassignment surgery and still pass as male. I described to him the transphobia I've run across that would prevent me from continuing with my career if I should change sex. And then there's the acceptance of my family. Which means that I have a strong stake in being able to be male when I need to be. However, this is not an option allowed by the UK medical establishment. Before they'll allow you to have surgery, you have to transition completely and be fully socially female for at least a year. And, possibly, quite rightly, because it must be a nightmare to have altered your body irreversibly and to find it intolerable. I did say to him that if it were possible to change reversibly, then I'd do it like a shot.
To me, I think what I'm looking for most is to be able to exist in a feminine mode. To be pretty, to like and to wear pretty clothes. Being feminine is an entire hobby, vocation and to some women, career. Much more popular than cars and computers are for guys, judging by the number of magazines there are on the subject. I've written before about how I don't see a distinction between the roles that women and men should be able to play (except that I don't fancy bearing kids), but when people talk about equality of the sexes, what they always seem to mean is that women should be free to be as hard as men. Annie Lennox from the eighties and power suits. Going the other way is still a social taboo.
So, having taken the afternoon off and dolled myself up for the doctor, I went for a stroll through the new shopping centre at Pollokshaws. Nobody batted an eye. I wandered through Markies looking at the new clothes for this winter, walked the length of the mall to the Tesco, got the makings of supper and walked the length of the mall again back to my car. No hassle, not even a snigger at the guy in the skirt, even a nice smile from the lady at the Tesco checkout. My feet hurt by the end of it though. Just going to have to do it more often.
Now I've got helenex
's bolognese on the cooker while I write this and I'm going to watch more of my new box set of New Who season two.