Author Topic: A Story of Hope  (Read 206 times)

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GemmaC

A Story of Hope
« on: December 15, 2017, 09:10:46 am »
 
I hear a lot of negativity surrounding Transition.  The kind of negativity that really held me back for so many years.  There seemed to be so little to gain and so much to lose.
Besides, I was 40 years old, I’d left it far too late and I had a male body.  I had resigned myself to this endless cycle of momentary elation, disgust, guilt and confusion,

I was married at the time (yes, there is a sadness in here too) with two beautiful kids. 

It was 2010.  I’d become increasingly dissatisfied with my body (just carrying too much weight) and so I started to run.  I ran and ran.  And after a year something incredible happened.  I started to look at my body and see a change.  I’d lost nearly 2 stone (from a not particularly heavy frame) and my shoulders didn’t seem that big after all, I had a waist, even cheek bones! 

Inspired by my new figure, and with encouragement from a girlfriend in the office, I took my first steps outside en-femme.  May 10th 2011.

I was working away at the time, and what followed was a rollercoaster of champagne fuelled partying, extravagant shopping trips, beauty salons and Soho hotels.  I was out of control.  My friends in the office were aware of my nocturnal activities - I was most definitely OUT.  Approaching Xmas of 2011 after another long night partying - I turned up to the office in female attire (at 6am - straight from my night out).  I was actually presentable but maybe still a tiny bit tipsy.  My boss arrived at 7am, walked over to me and told me in no uncertain terms I was not to stay like that!  I headed to the loos to change.  Devastated.  Later that day, we had a meeting.  My boss apologised, I apologised and we agreed that it would not happen again.

My wife was getting increasingly more concerned.  Until now, she had tolerated my behaviour - I had a great job, we went on great holidays and I wasn’t actually a bad Father.  But it was not really her thing.  Over the Xmas of 2011 we had a huge bust up - my parents got involved and far from being supportive they were distraught. 

All the prep work I had done to get to this point; the good job, the nice house, the generally ‘being a nice person’ kinda thing all seemed to be forgotten when it came out that I was ‘one of those’.  They had visions of me ‘tottering down the street in heels and stockings’.  I get that.  For years - that was my perception too.  And why I hated myself for so long.  But the reality could not have been further from the truth.

I asked them to leave and we didn’t speak again for a year.  I spent 2012 reflecting.  Yes, it was completely irresponsible.  I vowed to be more discreet and considerate. 

By this stage I was getting tired of taking 2 hours to get ready every time I wanted to go out.  I just wanted to wake up ready!  All the time!  I started IPL and dabbled with medication to stop hair growing in some places and to stop it from falling out in others!  To be clear, at this stage, if you had asked me my goal - I could not have told you.  I was more happy with myself but just as confused about what it all meant. 

I saw a counsellor, briefly.  I wanted to tell him my story and for him to label me.  Was I ‘just’ a crossdresser?  Was it something more?  Was I just delusional.  As if somehow that label would determine the path I had to take.  Of course, he didn’t tell me.  Nor should he have done.  A label does not define you or determine your path.  He advised me to take small steps and see where things went.

I started to spend my entire time outside the office, en-femme.  Travelling abroad to work, flights, passport control,  commuter trains - I did it all.  The moment I arrived in the office I stripped it all off.  And the moment I left - it all went back on.  It was getting ridiculous.   I’d upped my medication slightly (self medicating - I know - don’t try this at home kids!) I had been growing my hair out and by 2013 I felt ready.

I approached my boss and suggested I might give it another go.  The message was passed to all levels of management.  The entire organisation was briefed and so I started my first stint working en-femme. I got to use the female loos, but they still referred to me by my male name and used male pronouns - which was a little odd, but for me, it was not really about names and pronouns.  It was me being allowed to look how I wanted to look.  And I looked pretty good  :-)


The job ended.  I came back home, and aware of the importance of securing another contract, I slipped back into male mode.

2 years passed.  Then, in the Summer of 2015, as if by fate, two job applications dropped into my mail box.  Both were keen to see me.  So I agreed to interview.  But this time - I turned up en-femme!  The interviews went without a hitch (the subject didn’t even come up - and bearing in mind they were expecting my male self - I thought that was pretty cool!).

Both companies offered me the job.  I accepted one - and from that point on I started my second stint, this time working as Gemma from the start.  At the time I didn’t really think it through.  This would mean, every morning, whether I felt up to it or not, I’d need to get it all together and face the world.  My years of prep work paid off.  I settled into the role and over time worked out that a) this was the piece of the puzzle that had been missing from my life and b) you don’t have to look great all the time - people know you’re a guy - they’re not expecting perfection!

We held it together back home for another year - but now, it was more clear the path I had to take.  And something had to give.  Xmas 2016 we agreed to call and end to our 28 year union.  We’re now in the process of the worlds longest divorce settlement - it’s amicable, and, a bit like my transition I guess - there’s no huge sense of urgency. 

Life is a journey.  There really is no destination.


My advice to anyone out there - take up running!  It’ll change your life.
 

 



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