Gender Assessment - Step One

Up until lately I have always concentrated on providing reviews on my blog. I have recently found this to be well.. less satisfying. A subject that means so much more to me is gender identity and the journey some people have when their gender isn't the one assigned at birth. I am one of those people and yes I'd describe it as a journey (sounds corny, I know!)

 Me ~ A GenderQueer

At the age of twenty four I was diagnosed with a thing called Gender Identity Disorder. Here in Ireland that is the diagnosis you need in order to be referred to a gender clinic to discuss treatment like hormones.

My marriage had just ended. Up until that point I had always had a reason to cover up my feelings about my gender. I was afraid of upsetting my mother who was very ill. Then after she died I worried about my husbands reaction. I felt transition was completely out of the question while I was married. 

Soon after my marriage ended I found myself in counselling. I had taken it very badly when things ended, though I had actually been unhappy for a while already as I wasn't fully being myself during the marriage. I blurted something out while I was in the middle of my eighth counselling session

'I feel I am male inside'

In one way I was surprised to hear what I had just said. I also felt a huge sense of relief and release from saying it. It was like the deepest secret I had ever kept was out there and I didn't need to carry the secret anymore.

In the weeks that followed I bought male clothes and experienced a feeling I'd never had before. I had always kept my hair shaved or very short anyway but I had also dressed very feminine because I felt the world wanted that from me.

I starting thinking less about what the world wanted me to look like and more about what would an expression of my~self.

I did alot of research on gender and transition. I cried while I watched transguys on youtube describe their struggle. I related to these people.

Later that year I went to my doctor and explained my situation, at first he had no idea who to send me to. He looked it up and referred me for an assessment in a mental health clinic. Apparently the first step towards getting treatment was to get a diagnosis of gender identity disorder.

So you are labelled with a disorder. But you need to be labelled to get treatment. You walk into your assessment and hope that this disorder will be put onto your file.

That's what happened to me and it left me with mixed feelings. I felt validated in one way yet in another way it was depressing how much I was asked about my sexuality during the assessment, as if gender and sexuality were exactly the same. 

It hit me that Ireland was behind the times.The keyholder to my hormones was more misinformed on this subject than many people.

This is huge part of why I want to write more posts about gender on my blog. By sharing my experience, my thoughts and feelings around my body and my gender, readers will gain some insight on what it feels like to be on the trans-spectrum.

Or maybe you'll relate to these feelings x


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