Gender counselling

It is lovely to work with Serra at Charing Cross. She is brisk yet warm, professional, encouraging, sympathetic with a beautiful smile.

How fascinating to see the mechanism of my projecting! I am really happy about that, but I have doubts and fears too; so I project the doubts onto her, and the fears as imagined judgment onto them. These feelings are mine, I have no idea what others think or feel about this. This does not mean that I can stop projecting, but that I might notice it and be clear about what I am doing
-at least in hindsight?
-perhaps, with practice, while it happens.

I am frightened of my feelings, even happiness. I change my goals: I want to feel them all, more.

On Sunday night to Tuesday morning I was scatty, pacing the floor, weeping, hurt and terrified. I saw myself as permanently bewildered and hurt by bolts from the blue, which in theory might be predicted yet I never could. I thought I have a particular view of Quakers because of the way I joined, and the thought that my view might nevertheless not be divorced from reality helped me out of it.

I saw I was depressed, but it appears rational at the time. Could I challenge these depressive thoughts? The realisation that one of them was wrong brought me out of my temporary depression.

All my life I have been completely ashamed. At first I was ashamed of my real self, I always felt inadequate, and now I feel ashamed that I could not be my real self earlier. Aged twenty I was very attached to my parents’ attitudes and ideas and trying desperately to make a man of myself.

-Why were you like that?

It is the right question at the right time. I know this stuff, but I need to articulate it before a witness and myself. I say,

Because it was the best I could do at the time. I need to forgive myself my misadventures, for that was always true. I will work on this with her.

This puzzle-world is more difficult than I might like.

I could be proud of discovering and accepting my femininity. She says many people do not get to know themselves, then,

I think you are beautiful. That makes me glow.

I am off to see my wise, warm and witty friend.
-You should spend time with such people.

W makes a better connection with women than with men, deep and emotional, but wants a relationship with a man. She wants an authentic man, true to himself with a sense of purpose. She mimes her hand, palm flat, moving out from her face to point forwards. She sees that in me- though a partner having a penis is important to her. Sorry. That’s OK, ducs. I love you too, but not in that way.

At ChX I met A, who is here for her first assessment. She has what is commonly thought as a gender marker- women with it are seen as weird- along with bright red lip gloss and a tiny bow in her hair. She is herself, and most people are happy with that, though she lives with her parents and there are tensions there. She has a discrimination claim against the sports centre for demanding that she change in the disabled changing rooms. She did not know the word “transbian”- a word we use when apologising for existing. I explain it, and she says “You’re a Lesbian”, reassuringly. She is androphile and sees that as heterosexual. This is a breath of fresh air. All the trans women I have knowingly spoken to this year have been older than I. A is so much freer, not worried at all at my hang-ups. Though even she could not have transitioned as a child. If only!

John Lavery, Evelyn Farquhar

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