Where to start. Sitting at the airport as I write this, on my way home. Will probably finish up the post when I arrive home and can type on a proper keyboard.
Anyway, so as a part of my gender reassignment surgery (yeah you heard me), I have to attend a lecture about the whole procedure. Been waiting for a long time, and a few weeks ago I finally got a letter saying it was time for the lecture plus an individual examination with a doctor. Well today was finally the day, and I’ve been so hyped about this. Why? Because it’s another step towards my goal! I live far away from the city where this lecture was to be held, so had to take today off from work, book a flight and a ride to the airport, etc.
I’ve been in the area in the big city before due to other visits in my process, so to speak. But finding the exact location of the lecture was quite a challenge. I eventually found it, after asking twice and then had someone draw me a map (I don’t have a good sense of direction, okay?).
Told the receptionist that I had arrived. Two floors up, then sat down in a waiting room with a bunch of other people. We all had to wait roughly thirty minutes before a nurse came in and told us to follow her. Everyone sat down in a small room, and then shortly after the lecture started. There was a projector, with images being displayed on the wall. Very, very graphic images, of the whole procedure. Lot’s of blood. Now here’s a thing about me. I don’t do well with blood. Even thinking about it while writing this is making me dizzy. So roughly half way through the lecture, I had reached my limit. I tried to hold out and think about something else (I thought about ducks). But it was no use, and my vision got darker and darker. Quickly stood up and tried to make it look like I needed to go to the bathroom. Made it to the door, but it was locked. A nearby doctor saw what was happening. He came up behind me, pushed a button that unlocked the door and grabbed me under my arms as I reached my limit and fell to the floor. I manage to utter the words “I’m very dizzy…” before it went dark.
Woke up what I think was only a few seconds later. I was on the floor outside the room. The doctor that caught me plus two nurses was sitting on their knees around me, keeping an eye on me I guess. I got some help to get up and into a chair, then got some water. Realised I hadn’t eaten anything during the whole day, which probably contributed. I had food in my bag, but I was so afraid to make noise in the waiting room and the lecture room, so I never opened it. When I came back into the room, the lecture was already over. Didn’t want to watch more anyway, but since it’s mandatory to continue the process, it got me worried. I was told later during a private discussion that it was okay and that it counted towards my process, even though I missed half. During this private meeting (everyone was called in for such a meeting after the lecture), a red flag was raised. Normally they would want to do a physical examination, to verify that I can continue with the process. They didn’t do this with me though. Instead they sent a message to my regular doctor, and nothing more. They were very unspecific on what the next step was, and I couldn’t make them give me anymore information.
I thanked the doctor for the lecture, for the discussion, and for capturing me. I wasn’t satisfied at all though. I came all the way there to see half a lecture, then get a “I don’t have any more info for you” afterwards. He did tell me that he sent the info to my regular doctor, and since I had to pass that doctor’s office anyway when I was leaving, I decided to check if she was in. She technically didn’t have any time for me, but was nice enough to spare me five minutes to discuss the info she had been sent by the other doctor.
This is where it all crashed. Previously, I had been told that as long as they can trace my “condition” as far back as at least two years, then it’s all green lights with all procedures that I need to finish this, this year. Now all of a sudden, they tell me that this has been a misunderstanding, and that to even be put in the queue for these procedures, I will have to wait at least one more year. After a year, I can change my legal gender, which takes time as well, then after that the queue is a minimum of one and a half years. In total, we’re looking at a minimum of three years to get this started, with the current queue (which is only growing, and I’m not even in it yet).
These words crushed me. I left my doctors office pretty calm, but started tearing up in the stairs outside. Tearing up in the middle of the big city is not on my bucket list, so I did something I haven’t done since I was forced to as a kid. I went to a church. It was the only place I could imagine people would leave me alone as I cried my eyes out. I’m anything but religious, but I really appreciate that there was a church so close, and that it was empty. It was a very large and beautiful church, and I picked a bench that was as much “off” as possible. I tried to be quiet, processing my thoughts and letting it all out; but it was pretty much impossible to be completely silent. The priest in the church got the message though, and left me alone like I wanted. He’s probably used to people crying in there.
I sat in there for a little more than an hour. When I felt that I had calmed down, I dried my face on my jacket, and left for the train back to the airport. I really wish I had enough money to do all these procedures privately. Sadly they cost a small fortune, and are out of my reach. In my desperation to feel anything but darkness, I sent in an application to the tax payer’s office, to officially change my name (you can do that easily via the phone here, love it). I’m not writing my full name here, but in about two weeks, my legal first name will be, Jinny <3.
As I have been writing this, I have already been on the plane, and landed. On the bus home now, then I have a short bike ride left before I’m home.
I still have a lot of work to do, and so much darkness that needs processing and light shed on. The writing helps me survive all this in the meantime. It keeps me floating, for now. What messes with my head the most right now, is that I feel as if I now have to live as “half a person” for many years until I can go all the way. I probably wont date anyone, because I’m so afraid of whoever I’m dating getting disappointed, and maybe even disappointed to the point where they threaten me or start spreading information about me. So I guess I will simply try to make as much of an effort as possible with what I can do for now. Unless I can magically find roughly half a million SEK, then I am in the hands of the grumpy old white men who decided that “I haven’t been in the system long enough, and therefore can’t be truly sure that I am what I am”. Really getting the same vibes here as the people who prevent women from deciding if they want to have abortions or not.
And there’s one more thing I feel I need to be clear about. In my country, to do any of these procedures towards living a life as the gender you identify with (There are a lot of procedures that they offer, and I want most of them!), you will need to change your “legal” gender. So, I have to wait at least one year, to even be able to start any of these processes. And all of these procedures, say gender reassignment surgery or vocal chord surgery, have loooooong separate queues! So the legal gender is a huge blocker for me now. And here I thought I would finish up with all this work and pain during this year, so I can live a more normal life, but I guess not.
Oh well. This has been a pretty hard blow for me, and it means I will have to change a lot of my plans and expectations on what I would be able to do with my life after 2019. I wont give up just yet though.
It’s just that sometimes there are very dark moments, and those moments are what scare me the most.