Grief! What is going on? I mean: really, what is going on?
Out and about again yesterday evening, doing my best to maintain the pose of a freeloading hack (and failing miserably: I scored a meagre couple of canapés, a slice of cake and a cranberry and vodka cocktail).. . and I appear to be passing. Again.
Which is exactly what happened on the train the other day, leaving me… bemused.
I am not objecting: far from it. But it does make life just a tad confusing.
Because its another change and, in its way, almost as strange as the various mega-changes that have taken place over the last few years. Only this one is unbalancing precisely because it is so ordinary.
I guess those who HAVE transitioned will get this. The journey is well documented. You come out. There is an enormous flap all round you. Nearest and dearest have to come to terms with what you are doing: some never do. Work has to adjust. You have to adjust.
Then, on the street, you are constantly on the defensive, aware, always that lurking just around the corner could be abuse or threat or actual physical assault.
That settles down. There is a calmer period, during which your main issue is whether or not you are going to be mis-gendered in the supermarket.
Then, the op and the post-op hiatus: interesting how many of those who were intensely interested in “the process” pre-op have suddenly disappeared from view afterward. Almost as though they were fascinated by the will-she-won’t-she aspect of it and once she did…well, there’s nothing more to see.
That was odd: a lot less focus, but also relief that I was no longer the centre of so much local speculation.
And now this. Its not unpleasant: lovely, actually. And totally surprising. I was with a group of women talking about life experience. Readying myself to shrug away my past: explain myself, justify myself, yet again. And suddenly I didn’t need to.
“You probably experienced that”, one said to me, “growing up as a girl”. Huh! Did she just say.. .? Yep. Did she mean.. . ? Absolutely.
Another milestone, if not quite passed, at least reached. I shall have to work out how to handle this. So much of the journey never REALLY believing I could reach this point. And now I’m here, just flabbergasted.
Slightly embarrassed, too. Am I being dishonest, not “putting people right”? Probably not. But will they think I’ve been dishonest if they work out later?
Time to rethink. Time to get used to a world in which some people still read me: but increasingly, people don’t… and I am now officially a middle-aged – and therefore invisible – woman.