…I set foot out in to the big wide world as Tammy. In some respects it feels like no time has passed, yet in other ways that things were never different. I’m not one for nostalgia and getting sentimental over things, but it was a big deal. Every glance my way was scrutinised for signs or jjudgementand intent.
It was of course, not my first outing as a woman, although the first time since the late 90s, but this felt different; the first flakes that caused the avalanche. Although it would be almost a full year before I approached my GP with the intention to medically transition and live full time as a woman, the countdown to the inevitable had begun.
When I stepped out of the house for the first time, with only my friend Kim for moral support, I knew that my old self was running out of time. My head never filled with doubts about my identity, but it did fill with fears and worries about who I might lose along the way.
Yes I lost some, but if their friendship was based solely on my previous gender, then I am no worse off. They were the trade-off for the things I have gained since transitioning and I have definitely gotten the better part of the deal… Real friends, acceptance of family, a body that grows daily towards what it should be…
Every day I look in the mirror and I see less of the person I used to be, and I struggle harder to remember him and who he was. He meant a lot to some people, and I feel it is important to remember, but aside from the odd piece of junk mail or old piece of paperwork I come across, that identity is no longer anything to do with me.
Don’t get me wrong, the core is still me. I have not changed inside, only shed the disguise I wore for so long. It was like playing a character… desperately trying to please the crowd whilst drowning out any sense of myself.
Three years ago today a journey began in earnest, and even in my darkest moments, I have never been truly alone. Thank you to all who have walked beside me and propped me up when I have stumbled.
And thank you especially to Kim Leiser for being the one who accompanied me on that first impossible mile.