I am a transgender woman, what this means is that I am a woman, but when I was born, my body refused to acknowledge that, so I am receiving treatment and making changes to correct this.
Because of this, I reached out to medical professionals to help me get my body to line up with who I am. This has not been an easy process, at first, I applied to the NHS Gender Services. However, the waiting list for this can be up to 8 years for the first appointment. Due to this, I chose to use private healthcare to transition. However, this trades out the time barrier for a financial barrier as for the most part you must pay for anything related to your transitional healthcare, including appointments, documents, blood tests, prescriptions, and medication, this is within the realms of thousands of pounds a year, and to get surgery privately starts at £14,000. On top of the medical care, there are also many legal hoops to jump through that have many requirements to get anywhere in terms of having your identity recognised. Due to this, transitioning is a long and arduous process and even the initial process can take months, if not years, before access to any sort of care.
Two of the most significant factors that affect trans people, and myself specifically, are Gender Dysphoria and Transphobia.
This sense of unease or dissatisfaction may be so intense it can lead to depression and anxiety and have a harmful impact on daily life.
Transphobia – Transphobia is a dislike of or substantial prejudice against transgender people.
I want to share an experience I have had that can illustrate this. After a curry with some colleagues after work, I was waiting for a tram to get back to town to get the bus home and was approached by a random person who proceeded to aggressively question me on my gender and then went on to tell me that I was not a woman. This heavily triggered my anxiety due to gender dysphoria, and I had to make the remainder of the 3-hour journey home whilst being so frightened I was going to be attacked for my gender identity that I was physically shaking. When I got off the bus that night, I rushed to my home, locked the door, and sat and cried alone in the dark. After this, I had trouble going out for months. Experiences like this are harmful to trans people. However, there are those who have suffered far worse, and violence against trans people is far too common.
Transphobia doesn’t only affect trans folk, below is a link to an article about a man who attacked an elderly woman who he believed was trans and a ‘predator’.
This is why I think Pride is important, we still live in a time where people, trans or cis, can experience these kinds of things simply because of being trans or assumed trans. A big part of what causes attacks like this is misinformation spread about trans people in various media, which when left unchallenged, can foster an attitude towards transpeople that makes these events more frequent, so I think having Pride is a chance to gain some positive attention, educate and challenge misinformation is good, as often in ‘debates’ about transpeople there doesn’t seem to be any involved.
While some struggles come with transitioning, I have also had some wonderful and happy experiences, and I would not change my decision to transition.
There is a real joy in just other people treating me as who I am and being accepting. I recall once when I was having a cigarette between sets at a gig a couple of women came over to me to give me a compliment about my leggings, we discussed clothes, boots and the gig, and they treated me as they would any other woman at the gig. This was extremely joyous for me, despite being something so simple. This is just one example of many. Even things such as when I was able to change my name for my online work accounts have been big steps for me and filled me with joy for just being able to be myself.
More About Me
Being Transgender is simply something that is a part of me, but beyond that, I am just a person with a job, family, friends, and hobbies. I love punk and metal music, I play guitar, bass, and keyboard. I love playing tabletop RPGs. I am learning to speak Japanese and would love to visit Japan one day.
I would like to end this with just a silly poem I put together whilst writing this.
My name is Lexi and I am Trans,
You’ll often see me wearing Vans.
My fashion sense is somewhat Goth,
I like pork ramen with a spicy broth.
I enjoy writing songs in A minor and C,
My name is Lexi and I’m just me.