Once a body gets to the point where they are thinking, “wait, I don’t think I’m the gender I, and everyone else, thought I was”, something they typically do is search out a good therapist. Let’s face facts, at that point it’s getting progressively harder to convince ourselves we are not crazy. Actually crazy seems to be the easier of the two options when you think about it. Three hots and a cot, even with the threat of involuntary restraints, somehow sounds less scary then telling the world you are transgender and dealing with the mound of crap that goes along with it.
My spouse and I started seeing a marital counselor to get to the bottom of some fairly significant issues well over a year before. I came clean right away about the cross-dressing and she made a quick stab with a blunt stick to see if something much larger wasn’t hiding under the sand. There was, but the poke failed to rile her enough into coming out. After a good long year of this, all the poking and some mental exercise she had me do on my own time led to my big ‘oh shit’ moment where the truth revealed itself to me. I wasn’t quite ready to fully believe it yet, so I made a very clumsy attempt to try to goad her into telling me. As incredible as she is in almost every other area, trans isn’t her area of expertise and I quickly grew frustrated. Finally I suggested we explore this more. It didn’t take long before I was almost sure.
She referred me to the local guru in this area, Dr. M we’ll call him, and I made an appointment. It was a freezing cold day in February when I came in, dismayed to find his “waiting room” was a chair in a well frequented hallway. “Great. Just great. Everybody is going to know what I’m here for.” Oh, the things I used to be concerned with! As with every subsequent visit, and in spite of the fact that my own sessions always ended early, the preceding appointment dragged painfully into mine as I stared at a finger painted picture of a dog and tried to avoid a major freak out.
My first session was a ‘meet and greet’ that lasted all of 10 minutes as he gave me his background and I tried to avoid nervous giggling because I thought he sounded like Mr Rogers. Later I came to find he keeps it short on purpose because so many never come back after this. In my first real session we began the formal assessment. In ‘Sex in the City’, Charlotte is rebuffed three times trying to convert to Orthodox Judaism, because one better be damn sure they really want what they are signing up for. The assessment is kind of like a cross between that and an 18 round match with Evander Holyfield. I’d come away from one of those not even dead sure of my own phone number much less my gender. This is typical though, at least of him. The other girls and I have talked and concluded that he really comes across as a giant dick. Once he is dead nuts sure about you though, he’s sweet as pie and I can see the Mr Rogers thing going on again.
As usual, when I asked for the results of my assessment, he answered with another question. “What do you think?” Naturally this annoyed me and I told him the same thing I did in my first appointment, that I was there because I thought I was transgender and looking for independent verification. Dr M pronounced me officially transsexual with moderate to severe gender dysphoria. Sounds grim, but I was happy being validated at least. “So, what do you want to do about it? Again, if you can do nothing, that is what I would recommend.” Seriously. If I could do nothing like I had been for 39 years, I would have just continued on my merry way.
And so began my transition and all the fun that lay ahead. Most of my logistics questions he deflected to the local support group and before long I had my head back together, got my ‘this person isn’t crazy letter’, followed a few months later by the long awaited HRT letter. My need for therapy over this dropped to zero and my appointments became spaced out to where I maintain the relationship for forms sake. There is, after all, one more letter I’m going to be looking for soon.