At the age of 25 I honestly did not think I would make another 25 years to the age of 50. Just the idea of living another lifetime as a stranger in my own body was unbearable. Last week I turned 50 and proved myself wrong.
Many people dread the half century but it wasn’t that way for me. I hit 40 as a woman on the brink of self-destruct as the knowledge I am male, trapped inside a living prison had really began to take its toll on me. I had approached my doctors so many times and had been fobbed off with ignorance and, in one case, blatant bigotry. Now just 10 years later I hit the big 50 as a man secure in my male identity.
I am not going to glibly say the last 10 years have been easy because they haven’t. Transition is not an easy answer but for me it was and is the only answer. When I began living as a man 10 years ago I had no idea how far I would need to take my transition as I felt the processes of gender reassignment should be a last resort.
To undergo gender reassignment is quite possibly the hardest decision I have made in my life as I knew it could and would hurt those I love the most. I have been relatively lucky in that most of those I care about are supporting me but that is not always the case and many transgender people face alienation and rejection from their loved ones. It is because I have that support of loved ones I can write and share my story and hopefully reach out to others who may need support.
I also realise the time of tough decisions isn’t quite over yet. I’m nearing the point where I have to decide what is going to happen below the waistline. And perhaps that is the toughest decision of all. On New Year’s Day I watched the movie ‘The Danish Girl’ and I can honestly say I haven’t cried so much at a film before and I hope never to again. It has made me painfully aware that whatever decision I make now will not only affect me but may cause my beautiful Caz anguish and stress too. I am grateful we can discuss everything the way we do as to hurt her is the last thing I want to do.
So as a new decade of life begins it is looking good but as I frequently say some assembly is still required.
JG Farmer 2016