Here’s to 2017!

This year has been one hell of a weird year. A lot of good has happened, a lot of bad has also happened… I’ve gained friends and family, I’ve lost friends and family… I’ve played Cards Against Humanity with my grandmother, I’ve been a stereotypical teenager (aka got pissed quite a bit) and I have visited the one country in the world that has a ‘Cute Monster’ themed cafe on the same street as a 2000 year old temple (of course… it’s Japan.) I think the most poignant thing is that I started the year as a girl, and I’m ending it as a boy. Weird how things work out, isn’t it? So let’s look back, shall we, before we look forward.

This year has been pretty hard, I won’t lie. I’ve had a lot of difficult decisions to make over a relatively short period of time – both personally and in terms of making decisions for the future. It’s definitely been a learning curve, but despite the negativity I can look back and, in hindsight, I see that in one way or another they all helped influence the more positive things that happened this year.

I started 2016 as a reserved, self-conscious girl who was desperately trying to find a way to just be happy. I was denying the fact that I was transgender, telling myself that I’d ruin my relationship with family and friends if I were to come out. I was in a pretty s**t place and I didn’t know what the year had in store for me.

As the months went on I started questioning my happiness. I spent a lot of time reflecting on what I wanted and how I wanted to live my life. As the year went on I came to the realisation that maybe I was worth a little more than I originally thought and I started being kind to myself for the first time in years.

July came around and a particular event in my personal life, although it was a horrific thing to endure, changed my mindset completely. I finally understood just how quickly things can change, and that I no longer wanted to live my life being untrue to myself.

So after nearly a month drafting and refining my coming out letter, choosing a name for myself and getting myself in a suitable headspace to actually overcome my nerves and tell someone – I told my best friend of five years that I was transgender. He was so supportive and rational and I appreciate him so much for responding in such a way that I felt comfortable to talk about it to more people. I told my close circle of friends shortly after, who were equally as supportive and, although shocked, took it on board really well. I sent my coming out letter to my Mum and Dad first over Facebook Messenger and I couldn’t have wished for a better response… I love my parents immensely so their acceptance was what I was worrying about the most… I needn’t have bothered worrying. Following getting a reply off both parents, I sent it to the rest of my close family – my Gran and my Auntie, who in turn told my uncle and cousins. I received the same positive response. After wondering how to tell the remainder of my family and friends, I ultimately decided to go public and write a Facebook status (which I didn’t particularly want to do, but I didn’t see how else I could tell everyone without individually messaging like 30+ people who ought to know.)

My family and friends have literally been my lifeline this year and even though I’m an insolent little shit sometimes I really do appreciate each and every one of them for how they’ve dealt with such a huge and relatively mindboggling thing.

Since coming out in August, I’ve had this huge-ass whirlwind of doctor’s appointments, blood tests and counselling sessions, referrals sent off here, there and everywhere and millions of questions asking “why the name Elliot?” to which I just shrug my shoulders because there’s literally no reason behind it… I just liked it. Anyway, all of these appointments and sessions and needles stuck in my arms paid off on November 17th when I got my diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria from CAMHS and a clear blood test result, meaning that I could start my bridging prescription of testosterone. One month down the line from that day, and I’m starting to get my first few dark hairs appear on my face and I’ve never been happier.

I’m going into 2017 all the more positive and happy, slowly learning to love myself and hopeful for my future transition.

Here’s to 2017!

-Elliot

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