Rushed. 11am appointment, which is never good for me. The vagaries of modern rail mean I can get to London after 10am for £28 – or before for the best part of £100. I needn’t have worried: made Charing Cross GIC with about 15 minutes to spare…and then waited an extra ten minutes for my appointment.
We opened on a slightly sour note. He – the consultant – called me in by THAT name…the old one…the one I’d rather not use any more. I handled it well – I thought. I was assertive. I explained my dislike of it. Told him my name.
I explained my dislike of deed polls as bureaucratic nonsense and an imposition. I explained I was taking that matter up at Ministerial level. I kept it all light.
So we started with history-taking: the usual charlatanry. Childhood. Relations with school. Relations with friends. Relations with relations. It wasn’t exactly threatening – wasn’t exactly anything much at all.
Til the end – and a provocation. How did I feel at the start? Huh? Did he think I was cross or something? The whole point was for me NOT to get wound up: to state, to assert and not have a go. Is he looking to start something?
He insists. Honest reaction, I say? I was terrified at the idea this might get in the way of my transition. I still don’t feel altogether safe.
He falls back – but only for a moment. Let’s cut to the chase. I can’t go private and be treated at Charing X. That’s fair. I’m happy with that.
But…we wouldn’t prescribe hormones til a second appointment (which has now moved out to February) or later: might need me to COME OFF hormones until I satisfy their criteria.
Oh? Wary, now. Hasn’t he heard a word I’ve said? A black hole starts to open: I can’t contemplate that.
And they may need a deed poll. What! Yes: some consultants won’t prescribe hormones until I’ve got a deed poll. Bastards! Fucking control freak bastards!!! This is beyond madness and I kick off.
I explain again why I object to the stupid things: why I can’t see the point of making life-changing drugs dependent on something I can obtain in ten minutes for a fiver. Explain, again, that his lot are medics – not lawyers – and they appear seriously to be misrepresenting the law on this front.
He scribbles furiously. Did he deliberately set out to provoke this, to see where I would go? Stupid man. He adds another twist. My dislike of deed polls shows “resistance”.
To whom? To what? I’ve changed my name already with Inland Revenue, VAT, NHS next week. The council. My video shop. But no: I need to go buy that stupid bit of paper.
But time is pressing. The issue is still whirling round as I find the session finished and myself back out at reception…then out on to the street. I am a total wreck. Plans for a quick dash up to Camden for some clothes shopping are trashed.
The hole opens up and panic sets in.