Welcome, dear reader. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
I’m not looking for tea and sympathy (at least not yet, I will ask if I need some). I am asking you please to leave any baggage and prior judgements and opinions at the door, take my honesty at face value and not be reticent to ask appropriate questions. I will tell you if your question is inappropriate and either rephrase it to make it appropriate or decline to answer it. I will choose not to take offence (do you know that you also have this choice?) unless you ask loaded questions clearly intended to offend. I will do my utmost to answer all appropriate questions which will be easy if you are the only reader, but might become impossible if there are many!
I hope you will gain an appreciation and understanding of me, my situation and the challenges I face, many of which will be common in the transgender community. I hope my shared experience will inform you, improve your understanding and be rewarding use of your time. It’s not entertainment but won’t be devoid of humour either.
Some people appear to lead charmed lives. I think you can safely assume that nobody who is transgendered has led one, that each has endured a personal struggle devoid of inner peace and contentment because their sense of self is misaligned with the assumptions that society has made about them. Assume nothing, question everything!? A laudable ideal, but we all take short cuts and improve our efficiency by making assumptions throughout our daily lives, and usually the assumptions are valid.
This blog will explore these issues and I hope my clarity of thought will be sufficient to allow you to understand them. When you understand them, look again at what you left at the door and please decide what you would like to keep and what you should dispose of. I believe people are inherently good and decent (with obvious exceptions) and most will form a fair point of view given access to relevant factual information. However, an enquiring mind questions the validity of everything and is not brainwashed into believing something for which there is no evidence. If the previous sentence raises objections in your mind, then you did not leave your belief system at the door. Sorry, that is part of the baggage and there is no baggage allowance on this blog! Please go back to the door and leave it there.
So, what’s in the name of this blog? It is a play on words, of course. Through a combination of chance and survival of the fittest sperm I have a Y chromosome. I have spent much of the first 50 years of my life asking why, trying to ignore it, trying to conform to family and society’s expectations of me having it and now finally accepting after many turns in a downward spiral that it is the “elephant in the room”. It is the primary cause of serious depression (50 years of Y.UK) the symptoms and clinical treatment of which both have an adverse impact on my health (mental and physical). Confronting the elephant is the only option for me to escape from the downward spiral. The key point to take away from this post is that it is the last resort, after all else has failed. I think transgendered people who eventually transition arrive at this inevitability having accepted that they cannot cope. Why should we be expected to cope just because society has made wrong assumptions about us? Don’t we have the same rights as anyone else to inner peace and contentment?
I have heard it suggested that gender confirmation is a lifestyle choice. Those who suggest it haven’t thought it through. People choose the path of least resistance. Aligning your visible gender presentation with your sense of self by physical intervention so that society recognises you to be the person you have always been – your true self – is an extremely tough path, not a lifestyle choice. I’ll explore this in a subsequent post, so that you can understand that there are in fact easier paths, but they are not available in most human societies.