When I tell people my name, they hear Adam and I make it a point to wear more make up the next day. I don’t have breasts, I haven’t started hormone replacement therapy yet and there isn’t a set date for my sex change. I began my transition at university, just a few weeks ago and I thought my life would be like a Jane Austen novel.
That there would be unbearable poverty and stints in sex work, or perhaps a sugar daddy would pay for my sex change. None of these things have happened to me yet. Nearly every media representation of gender-variant people involves sex workers or flamboyant transvestites.
I think about a pivotal scene in the documentary ‘Transvestites Cry Also’, when a transsexual immigrant sex worker is getting ready for a night of working the Parisian streets. She holds a large eye shadow palette, and when asked which colours she plans to use she replies “all of them”.
Nearly every media representation of gender-variant people involves sex workers or flamboyant transvestites
This is how I thought my transition would be. I would wear every shade in my eye shadow palette on a debauched night out; it would be my “F you” to the world. My flat mates and friends on my course were comfortable with my being transgender. Many of them asked me in private which pronouns I prefer; though they slip up quite often.
I am asked whether I prefer “he” or “she” so often I now just reply that I prefer “Goddess”. The most offensive thing that has been said to me is from a flat mate who claims he has a “sassier” friend than me back home in Bromley. Seminar tutors have gone to lengths to refer to me by my female name rather than my legal name, but in the first few weeks I felt like I was coming out to everyone I met. Hello I’m “insert name”, am I not on the register?
I am asked whether I prefer “he” or “she” so often I now just reply that I prefer “Goddess”
That’s because I need a sex change. Unlike other members of the LGBT+ community, gender variant people often have to come out every day. It feels almost inappropriate that I tell everyone I know I need a vagina, quite soon. When I walk down the street prolonged stares make me wonder if they are unsure about my gender, or whether I really did spend enough time blending out that smoky eye. If the person staring at me is handsome it does cross my mind that he might be infatuated with me.
Just last week I was putting lipstick on while walking to an event I was late to, and the look of disgust on this man’s face was enough to illicit an angry comment from my friend, and I realised that I’m not the only one that notices these things and that it really is happening. My family think I’m a flamboyant gay boy. I have a theory that they believe they have inhibited me to the point that I’ll never actually come out as gay. I won’t come out as gay though since I like men and therefore I am straight.
Unlike other members of the LGBT+ community, gender variant people often have to come out every day
Despite this, my flatmates have commented on the hypocrisy of my being on Grindr. My reasoning behind this is that straight boys aren’t lining up at my door, and I have needs and desires like pretty much everyone else.
Just last night I approached a man I have been interested in. When he asked what I was trying to achieve, I replied to eventually seduce him. He coyly mentioned he was straight. I wasn’t trying to be subtle; why bother if I’m wearing two inches of foundation and a rainbow on my eyelids?