For the past three days, I have been trying to figure out what would be a clever thing to write about. I’ve toyed with the subjects of trying to find love as a transwoman, but it came across as too cringy and self-loathing. I thought about writing something poignant, but I’m not that person, and finally a thank you list to those who helped me through my transition that I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned, but that didn’t really work out, so I’ve just gone with the safe bet of talking about my time in Portugal since the last entry and also reflecting on it now being nearly a year since I completed my transition.
As usual, a song…..
Before I go any further, the synth-wave music genre is awesome, or at least music can be vaguely nostalgic in nature, such as “Bleachers” or “Sound of Arrows”.
So yeah, I’m going to start with the reason why the majority of my readers come to this blog and that is to talk about my transition from male to female. It feels weird referring to it like it is still something that is in progress, mainly because I completed the process in October last year. I can look down and see breasts emerging from my chest and a vagina between my legs, but in many ways, it might be because whilst the physical side of me has finished the transition, socially I still have a long way to go. It feels crazy that I’m coming up on a year since my surgery. It only feels like yesterday that I was waking up in the hospital after the op, completely dazed and confused as to where I was, all before it dawned on me that it was finally over.
Everything body-wise is actually working out ok. As I’m coming up to the full year since the op I can finally start looking forward to the point where I don’t have to dilate every day. I’m pretty certain that after the year I can go down to just twice a week, maybe even once, and I can’t wait. This is something that non-transwomen will ever experience, but dilating is one of the most awkward, messy and uncomfortable things ever. Lubricant gets everywhere and because I have a lot of scar tissue following the infection that tore my suture lines apart, it can be quite painful sometimes. Then again, and forgive the crudeness of this entire sentence, the whole vagina is uncomfortable sometimes as, because the clitoris is formed from the tip of the penis and the blood flow to it still exists, whenever something happens that would have caused an erection when I had a penis, it now causes a mild-pain and discomfort. Granted, it doesn’t last long, but it’s not fun.
But anyway. As time goes on I’ve noticed my dress sense changing somewhat. I’ve never been an overly feminine person, but recently I have started to dress in a more feminine manner. This is down to a few factors. The first being that I spent all of this money to become female, so I want to make at least some effort, and the other is that the majority of my wardrobe before I move here consisted of black and/or tight clothing, as well as some ice hockey jerseys (go Flames), none of which are ideal when you live in a hot country. So I’ve bought a lot of lighter clothes, both in terms of weight and colour (I now own more white clothes than the rest of my life combined). I still haven’t got myself to the stage where I would feel comfortable wearing a bikini, but then again, I have little interest in going to the beach anytime soon after what happened the last time I went, but we will see.
I think it is also down to a body confidence issue. I’ve lost about 20 pounds since I moved to Portugal, so I’m back to the same point I was at last year when I was gearing up for surgery. I still think I look very male as well, and even though the below pictures may tell you otherwise (they were taken nearly ten years apart, obviously either side of the transition)
Away from transgender-related stuff, I am approaching my 35th birthday (September 12th) and am very much looking forward to going home to celebrate it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m starting to settle into Portugal and have met some people I hope to be friends with for a long time, such as Neeve, Ricardo, Dan and a few others, but home is home and I can’t wait to see some old friends. I can’t wait to go into Jess’ beaming face and her attempt to hug me when I walk into Odeon, Beckie’s “hi hun”, or Steve’s “hey man” when I see him. I am also hoping to catch up with my friend John in London when I am there on September 1st, and see some of my old hockey friends when I go to the Lions vs Hawks game on the 15th. I just can’t wait to see my friends again. The problem is that anytime I do see them, I feel like staying, something I haven’t felt to this extent before.
This is different to when I lived in places such as Leeds, Salisbury or Wycombe as if I wanted to go home, even just for a day, it would be a drive of a few hours or some time spent on a train, so even though I wanted to live in Lincoln again, it wasn’t too bad as I could realistically go back whenever I wanted to. Now it is a case of spending time looking for appropriately timed flights, spend time booking them, selecting a seat, going through the check-in, spend several hours in the airport…..you get the idea. It’s now a slog to get home. For example, my flight leaves Lisbon on August 29th at 22:25 to go to Dublin. We arrive there at approximately 1:05am and then I have to wait seven hours for my connecting flight to East Midlands, all before a ninety-minute train back to Lincoln. I used to think the three-hour drive back to Lincoln from Salisbury was ridiculous, but I’d gladly have that these days.
There are some days where I am really happy to be in Portugal and can picture myself being here long term, but there are others where I just want to get on the next flight home and not come back. Parts of me are considering not returning when I go back to the UK. Friends are the main thing keeping me here, well that and I am getting a lot of progression opportunities. Yesterday marked three months in the job and in that time I have already been asked to floor-walk, and in the last few weeks I have started to take escalation calls, so career-wise I can’t really complain. I have also applied for a Supervisor position on a different team, I’m not expecting to get it, but we’ll see.
But anyway, to end this blog I am going to share a video of clips I have filmed during my time in Portugal, and I’ve also started a new Youtube channel that focuses purely things such as my transition (the second video focuses on this), so please watch and subscribe.