Analysis (Services and Self)

Koan Bremner's view on life as a database and data warehouse professional / addict and non-genetic woman

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

"Non-Genetic Woman"?

So, what exactly *is* a "non-genetic woman"? It's the best way I can describe myself; emotionally a woman, but stuck (for now, but not forever) in a male body. Someone for whom the terms "Gender Dysphoria", "Gender Identity Dysphoria" or "Gender Identity Disorder" aren't just subjects dealt with on TV in shows like Jerry Springer's.

I wasn't going to write about all this; no, seriously, I wasn't! I told myself that no-one else would be interested in my feelings and experiences as I progress towards the goal of womanhood which is so important to me; that I was too private a person to commit those same feelings and experiences in a medium which others might read; and that I didn't need to have a record for my own purposes of what has happened (and will happen) on this journey.

However, I now realise that each of those objections is shaky, at best. Firstly, I know that others are interested, because of the surprising number of friends, colleagues and acquaintances who ask me "Are you keeping a diary of all this?" And some of those people have persuaded me that even people I don't know might welcome a record such as this; particularly, people who are directly experiencing the effects of Gender Identity Dysphoria (whether as someone who has it, or as someone close to someone who has it). To those who are interested, I say welcome, stay and read for as long as you like. I make no claims that anything I write here will be useful (or even interesting) to anyone else, but... you never know.

As for being too private to commit my experiences to the public domain, well, I may live to regret writing this! But the fact is, I'm no longer ashamed or afraid; either of what I am, or of what I am doing to deal with what I am. So it's hard to see why I should fear to write down what I have undoubtedly said to more than person on more than one occasion. I'm way past the point of fearing that other people might use some of this information against me or those who matter to me. Besides, I'm hopeless at keeping in touch with people; if someone wants a quick update on what's been going on since last we met or talked, I guess I can always point them here!

On the off-chance that some of what I write here maybe useful to someone else travelling a similar path, I may occasionally give some details that are pretty explicit (although never pornographic) about the medical aspects. I'm going to adopt the practise found in Usenet support groups of prefacing the title of posts containing such information with [SP], standing for "Spoiler"; if you read something you find distasteful in such a post, well, don't read this blog.

As for using these ramblings as a personal record; I believe that nobody's memory is perfect, and I know that mine isn't! (Especially at the moment, but more about that another time.) And such memories as we do have tend to alter, merge or fade over time; and our recollections can be coloured by how we felt at that time, or how we feel now. So, if I record what happens and how I feel about it, then the words stand as a record of how I felt in the moment. When I look back over them after the event, I hope it will be harder for the mischievous side of my personality to deny, downplay (or exaggerate) anything that actually happened on the way.

I'm making a couple of rules for myself, though. What happens to me isn't just about me; other people are a key part, for good or ill, of what has happened and will happen. So part of these writings has to be about them. And since I want to be able to recall, long after, exactly who said or did precisely what, I'm going to refer to them by partial name (normally, first name). I hope none of them will object; I can't imagine why they would. But if anyone does object to being identifiable (even if only to themselves) in here, I will either anonymise or remove the references to them. And that is the only act of editing I will allow myself. As my work colleagues know, I am vehemently opposed to "rewriting history", so I don't propose to rewrite my own.

So, I'm going to write about what happens to me on my journey. But that journey has already started, so along the way I'll probably fill in some of the back-story to give the innocent reader a framework to build on. To draw a line in the sand, in a couple of weeks I'll have been living and working full-time as a woman for a year; I've been taking hormones for about three months now (and I'll have plenty to say on *that* subject in other posts!) and, all things being equal, will be having gender reassignment surgery (colloquially, a "sex change") in about a year.

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