I guess the ultimate feeling of contentment is when you have 2 hours to spare in a city with nothing else to do but to walk around in shops realizing you don’t actually want or need anything. I don’t even need to sit down in a restaurant or coffee shop, I’m not tired, hungry or thirsty. Already when I asked for the directions to the city center I realized I would just end up walking around for a bit and then buying a coffee somewhere just to have a reason to sit down for a while. So here I am, at a coffee shop with a drink in front of me doing something vaguely productive.
The first time I went here I decided to buy myself a new t-shirt in town as a reward, but the meeting at the gender clinic took much longer than I anticipated so I didn’t have time. This time around I have plenty of time, but no wish to get that new t-shirt. It’s a strange feeling, the feeling of having enough in every aspect of life. Maybe that’s why I’m prepared to halt my transition if it would make my family’s life easier. I have so much in my life that I actually could survive just fine without medical transition.
The whole gatekeeping thing is frustrating. The last time I told the good doctor all about my history. I was open, candid and didn’t hide anything. Today he had received and read through my medical files, so we went through my history once again. Basically we just concluded that I told him everything the first time I met him and that I haven’t received the best care in the past. I’m not really sure why I was here today.
He told me that the whole process, from the first meeting until I can apply for change of legal gender, will take two years. Not because they want it too, but it’s a requirement from the legal council that you have been under “observation” minimum two years before they process your application. This is pretty much what I already knew so it wasn’t a surprise. Still I was disappointed when he said it, I guess I secretly had hoped it would move a bit faster. The next set of appointments will be with the rest of the team, a couple of meetings with a counselor and a couple of meetings with a psychologist. Then they will set the diagnosis I need for receiving any real medical aid in my transition.
I was surprised when I felt more anxious after this meeting than I did before. Nothing was said that I didn’t already know and nothing of consequence was said or done. In reality nothing has changed since I asked for the referral more than a year ago. Still I felt sick to my stomach when I left the clinic. Maybe it’s the talk about the meetings I will have with the rest of the team.
I tend to get anxious about meeting new people, and now I’m about to see two new people who are going to poke around in my life in a way no one have done before. All my other contacts with psychologists and therapists has been for my sake, to make me feel better. But this situation is completely different. This is an evaluation and a trial. Their job is to look at me and my history critically. Their job is to ask intrusive questions and if I’m not cooperating I risk (at least hypothetically) loosing the possibility to transition medically. To put someone in that kind of dependence and then expect them to give truthful answers is just ridiculous.
That talk today made me realize that I’m fed up. I’m fed up dancing to my parents pipe, I’m fed up with society’s view of gender norms, I’m fed up with people not respecting that I am a man and I’m fed up with gatekeeping. So I’m going to continue to live my life my way. People who don’t like it can leave it, it’s as simply as that. I’d rather not transition medically than letting the gatekeepers and the process get to me and make me question myself. I know who I am, why should I have to prove it to someone else? And what give them the right to question me?