Anyone who has read through some of my Two Spirit story will understand it’s been a rather interesting ride for me to say the least. A roller coaster of a lot of emotions and a lot of heart ache. But thankfully I can say I am on the best side after 8 months or so of HRT treatment.
For anyone who doesnt understand or can’t really be bothered reading I am a 42 year old person who has suffered with Gender Dysphoria all my life, the conventional wisdom has always been to put people like me through a strict regime of hormones and sex reassignment surgery. However I knew a long time ago that wasn’t for me and I set out on a quest to get well and cure the Gender Dysphoria. With over 6 years of work and determination I achieved it.
My personal diagnosis, that of a private clinician and now the NHS (more of less) is that I am a person who is Intergender – someone who has hormone receptors in the brain that demand high levels of estrogen, although I was born a natal male and fathered children I am still Intergender. This lack of estrogen in my brain provided me with massive periods of gender dysphoria a symptom that can range from mild gender confusion to almost total debilitating symptoms ensuring I struggled to operate. One day I will write about how my gender dysphoria affected me if only for a record of understanding. Suffice to say today I have been more or less discharged back to my GP from Charring Cross, no need for surgery, no bullying just an appreciation that I am well and happy on my medication regime.
Throughout it all I was determined to take an approach of treating my symptoms rather than simply wearing a frock and calling myself Andrea. This approach 6 years ago of treating the symptoms was far from conventional, treating the individual wasn’t the way especially in the world of the NHS. I wanted to treat the symptoms first, understanding that treating the symptoms and getting well where far more important than wearing frocks etc. After five years of heart ache, investment and struggle I was prescribed Estrogen. Back at the start of 2012 I commenced Estrogen based HRT on a low dose of 2mg provided and monitored by my GP, with 6 month visits to Charring Cross. Within a matter of days I started to feel more human again, more rounded and less anxious. My medication has now increased to 6mg a day and I can safely say I am happy, physiological side effects are currently minimal, but I do experience breast tenderness…effectively I am seen as male/androgynous person, quirky maybe because I dress a little different, but not girly. I exercise regularly, lead an active enough life, cut my alcohol consumption down from a massive 84+ units a week to 21-25, cut back my smoking from 40+ a day to less tan 15 and still intend to stop – all in all I have stopped destroying myself.
My appearance today is thus that even though the NHS insisted I change my name to a more female name for purpose of box ticking I can still present a PX for me with the title Ms xxx on it and still be referred to as a Sir. I check in at the doctors as a female but to most I am a male.
Today I feel I have reached my destination and feel well enough to get on with sorting out my life and putting it back on track, I personally see myself as an androgynous person with a physical look leaning more towards the male and an internal gender perception of androgynous with a more female leaning, all that said in shops men refer to me as ‘mate’ and not ‘love’, you can get the picture. In time my medication could feminise me more but I see that as a side effect of feeling well and something that I will evolve with.
I think the real purpose of this post is prove that if you are suffering from Gender Dysphoria you can be cured and it doesn’t have to always rip your life to pieces. I went through the NHS route and now I’m being medicated in accordance to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health guidelines – more over I am being medicated for my needs. Also this post reaches out to anyone who is starting a journey of gender wellness or feels trapped in a ‘strange gender’ world … to say it can be done, you are not alone, you are not a freak, you can get well, you can be you and if you so wish you can maintain the role you are in without a great deal of upset. Rest assured I know this may all sound a crazy concept if you are suffering but really I cannot describe the place I have been in – I AM WELL you can be too!
I must at this stage apologise that this blog is tailored more towards ‘natal males’ – this is obviously due to the fact that’s what I am and I write from my own experiences. It doesn’t not in anyway discount the turmoil natal female gender variant people go through – I am sure if you are a natal female and suffering from gender dysphoria similar procedures will help you towards happiness. No matter what variant of gender you are if you are suffering I do share your pain.
So if you do feel you suffer from even mild gender confusion, dysphoria, upset or otherwise please seek help and advice from your GP. In my view there is no need to hide, feel ashamed, guilty, suicidal, turn to drink, drugs or even enter the world of transvestism, although I did and lot of these things, there simply today is no need! SEEK ADVICE at the start, you can’t beat heart disease alone and you won’t beat this alone trust me I tried, wasted 20+ years of my life and fought very hard against it, finally please don’t self medicate on anything – GET HELP!!
As a natal male I know how tight the confines of the male gender stereotype can be and how cruel people can be if you stray from the norms – do not be afraid.
No matter if you suffer from gender dysphoria or simply have a desire to express the softer side of your nature we all have a right to be the best we can be. For some like me it requires medical help for others it can simply be a determination to be true to you no matter what.